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Lexus SC 430



  • scsc430scsc430 Posts: 3
    Thanks, Sue in Dallas, for the message. I hope you were able to get the cigarette smell out of your car.
  • I just purchased a 2003 with 24500 miles on it. This is my first lexus (previous Honday owner) The car is being delivered today so I've not yet reviewed the owners manual yet. I'm a firm believer in changing the oil on a regualar basis and that won't change with this car. I presume the lexus uses synthetic oil so my question is 1) what brand of oil do you use and 2) how often do you change the oil? Thanks much.
  • jorgemjorgem Posts: 3
    Any updates on the front end clicking noise? It happens when I first sit in my car ( or push down on the front bumper) after the car has been sitting for sometime. My dealer could not locate the problem but to Lexus' credit, they gave me a 100,000 extended warranty at their cost.
  • fb04scfb04sc Posts: 4
    Thanks for all your info bruce and sue! purchased 04 sc three weeks ago so I can store my 2002 tbird. since I drive a 05 explorer limited my partner drives the sc most of the time. up to this past weekend I drove the lexus very briefly. I was always the passenger when we took the freeway, and when he mentioned that it rode rough, or applied the break the steering wheel would jerk either left or right. I just attributed it to the run flats knowing they would drive a little bumpy... let me now take you along with me on my first journey with the 04sc.. step 1. filled gas tank, step 2. got on freeway on ramp step3. merged on the freeway... and then it started ...oh my god! as I changed lanes the road was rough(as always on the 405 in a constant state of construction)the car was bouncing and when breaking the wheel jerked. I was like oh my god! something is wrong! I continued on...1st exit 2nd exit... ok something is really wrong I am thinking. then I remembered reading online(probably this site)that with rft's sometimes you really can't tell if you have a flat, and the warning light isn't reliable. what do I do? do I go back home switch cars..I decided 3rd exit ...EXIT! exited freeway pulled over and looked at tires (now everyone I know we're all guilty starring at our cars when problems arise, but seriously we dont know what the heck we are looking at!lol) I decided to continue my (after expertly checking tires...NOT!) journey not really enjoying the ride(t-bird really drives smooth its a really heavy car and takes rough roads and turns much better than what I was presently experiencing) I thought to my self no it must be something. there are so many of these cars on the road (even as I am driving) they can't be experiencing what I am. know way! that was sunday.... monday morning(I make day trips to sand diego) requesting service for tuesday morning requesting the car be thourly checked paying special attention to anything that has to do with handling, tires, shocks, struts,blah blah blah.(I dont even know if this car has these things ha ha) also told them about the story your reading, and how I am dropping the car off on monday since I feel it was to dangerous to drive, and that I was posing a safety hazard to everyone in my path! (I really have a tendency to over exaggerate ha ha) so here I sit ready to call my service writer at lexus, but not before I called my partner to pick up a nordstum gift card. oh before I forget I was a little bitc.. when explaining my work order to the service writer and how there was something dangerously wrong with this car that I purchased on may 30th. ha ha long story short(yeah right) I'm so happy to find this site and especially Bruce and Sue who without their back and forth Q&A I have the knowledge to tell lexus where they can shove the rft's, and to put regular tires on.(just kidding I'll buy them because like you both Im anal about my cars and I feel the ride is more important than having trunk space! And anyone buying this type of car should have access to an suv or other vehicle for hauling your stuff and dogs! You can't have your cake and eat it to! thanks
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    1. get rid of the runflats - that eliminated the jarring ride - now it feels more like a sport tuned German sedan - hard but not painful
    2. the car is very sensitive to the crown in the road - it definately wants to follow the slope. I'm not aware of anything to do about that but be aware of the tendency and take it into consideration when braking (steer a little "uphill")
  • jtmavjtmav Posts: 18
    Any of you with more than 20k-30k on run flats should have the susupension checked before the warranty runs out. I had my '03 in Monday for 45k service and I asked to have the suspension checked out. They replaced the front upper ball joint and the left strut both worn because of the run craps. Car is riding like I hoped for and I couldn't be happier.
    Just a suggestion
  • brucerossbruceross Posts: 16
    Wow, where do I start.The run flats are definetly your problem. I must tell you that the regular tires when installed make a big difference, but the ride is still harsh compared to my LS400 and RX330.I live in San Diego and travel to L.A. frequently. When you are on freeways like the 405 it can be a bone jarring experience even with regular Z rated tires.When Lexus decided to go with those large 18 inch wheels on a low lying car close to the road like the SC430, you really tend to feel all the nuances on the roadway. No matter how many times you go to the Lexus dealer the answer will still be the same. It is inherent to this style car and the handling is what it is! That being said get in your convertible, accept that it's not going to be a fluffy type ride and have fun.There is nothing better than cruising Laguna Beach topless on a warm summer night!
  • 2002, 26k miles - am having a dreadful experience with battery(s). SC is my "weekend" car and tends to sit 1-3 weeks at a time. It has been towed twice, it is now on its 4th battery (my second). It has failed to start 5 times and is presently in the shop again for the 4th time on this problem - the 2nd time this month alone. There are no after-market parts and I make sure everything is off. So far, dealership is clueless and just received a call from Lexus today telling me that their official policy is that unless the car is started on a regular basis, at least once per week, the battery will trickle down and die. I have had a dozen other types of cars and never had or heard of something this absurd. I am appalled at this statement by Lexus and the position they are taking. Perhaps mine is a fluke, but I will never own a Lexus again.
  • rhighfillrhighfill Posts: 1
    We have decided to buy/lease an '07 sc430. Based on what I have researched, I have several questions:
    1. I do not want the RFT's. However, the local dealer told me they all come with RFT's even though they are an option. Is that really true and if so why is it listed as an option? I will take the FT's at no extra cost or ask that they put real tires on it.
    2. It's amazing the SC430 does not have a sateillite radio option; have to do after market. It has a nice NAV screen but its my understanding you can't interface with that. YOu have to put it below where the lighter is. any other options or has anyone heard they will make that an option in '07?
    3. Lease vs buy. I have leased a car but am thinking I will with this one. Can you get the best lease deal through the dealer or should I look for a 3rd party leasor that will buy and lease back?
    Thanks for any input,
  • margaux01margaux01 Posts: 3
    I'm thinking of asking the Lexus dealer to install LoJack to my new SC430. Any advice will be greatly appreciated! This is a 'weekend car' and wonder if it's worth the price. Dealer hasn't called back for a price yet. Thanks.
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    The one time I had the same problem with my SC the service advisor recommended two things. Lock the car even in the garage. Apparently fewer electronic components draw power when the doors are locked. Second, if you are going to leave it sitting for protracted periods of time have a trickle charger installed (about $75). It will keep the battery charged while the car is sitting. Hope this helps.
    This is a peculiarity of the SC, so don't knock the whole brand. I've owned several, including the SC, and it's by far the best for my tastes. Lexus just won every category in the latest JD Powers survey that they had a car in (I have no ties to Toyota, just a very happy customer).
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    "Standard options" are a reality. They just build some cars with certain combinations (or the distributor adds them at the port, which is why there may be some east coast/west coast differences) and while run flats are an "option" the dealer probably does get every car with them and the rear spoiler, also an "option". Other brands do it also, like MB. In their case it's an "optional" $500 security system and a few other things. I suspect part of it might be keeping the car at a certain base price target, even though you could never buy the base car.
    I just replaced my runflats at 10K. Still fine with plenty of tread left, but I'd had it with the ride. The dealer gave me a really good price ($700 installed) on a set of Kumho ECSTA ASX tires I picked out(highly rated on, relatively inexpensive at $125 ea, and with a 30K tread warranty). I'm thrilled I made the change. They also offered to store my runflats at no charge should I want to put them back on or needed them at lease end.
    I think the SC has a unique radio so it doesn't have the satellite receiver option. We added Sirius, and have the radio control head velcroed to the passenger side of the dash near the passenger air bag light, and the antenna on the rear deck (the piece that folds up and forward when the top goes up or down). This works OK, but not as well as on the roof or trunk would on a sedan. Don't know the plans for '07, but you might be able to get some info on
    On the lease deal question, it wouldn't hurt to call some leasing companies. Like everything else, different companies have different gimmicks that make it hard to do a flat compare. One offers up to a $1500 forgiveness on minor damage (scrapes and dings). Occasionally Lexus (Toyota Motor Credit) offers to let you out of a lease early without penalty if you get a new car. Last time this was a general offer for people whose lease was within 6 mos of expiration. A great offer if are you close to or already over mileage with months to go (they didn't reduce the total mileage of the agreement even though there were fewer months, but you would have to pay excess mileage already accrued).
    Like anything else it helps to shop around and find the best deal for your individual circumstances.
  • palmharborpalmharbor Posts: 26
    The battery on my 05 has run down when not used for 2 - 3 weeks, and I was also told to get a trickle charger. I have one now, but I make sure to run the car at least once every couple of weeks or put the trickle charger on.

    This week my service advisor told me that the SC430 is being discontinued, but wasn't certain whether the last year is 06 or 07. The replacement will be a less expensive V6.
  • rcraftrcraft Posts: 16
    While I don't doubt your service advisor's info, "less expensive" and "Lexus" just don't seem to go together.

    I would suspect that a more likely change would be a Lexus SC460 (the new V8 that is showing up in the LS460). This is a company flagship car and as such, "keeping up with the Jones' is part of the deal". IMO :D
  • brucerossbruceross Posts: 16
    You are correct! My dealer told me the path Lexus will probably take is the 460 V8 in the next generation SC.I have heard that Lexus is going to produce a limited LS600. Now picture that in an SC format!!!
  • ron36330ron36330 Posts: 69
    From what I've heard the LF-A will be the Lexus sports car.
    The SC will then morph into a true 4-Pax convertible, ala MB CLK( I think that is the correct designation for the MB 4-Pax convertible).
    The SC engine will then carry over from the new LS, as essentially the new SC will be a LS convertible.
    Hope this doesn't confuse.
  • Thanks for the reply - a few comments / update. (1)I've talked to dozens of people on my issue - the only ones who have ever heard of having to start a car on a weekly basis to charge the battery are the minor few who own a Lexus (2) None of the people I talked to, especially the non-Lexus ones find this acceptable - especially for a high priced, Flagship vehicle (3) none would buy a car if this was a requirement - including myself (4) there are people who are not in a position to drive or start a vehicle on a periodical basis - work, vacation, other (5) show me a company that offers a trickle charger as an authorized part, chances are they have a design issue (6) the use of a trickle charger is nice if you have a garage or access to an outlet - that is not the case with people who might live in Apartments, Condos or Townhouses (7) if this is acceptable behavior, please show me or provide written documentation from the manufacturer - I've seen none.

    To date - my SC is still in the shop ( day 12 ) and I firmly believe the dealership is making a good attempt to track down the issue. My dealership in Virginia is the most customer friendly I've ever experienced - including Mercedes and BMW. In summary - I simply want a dependable car to drive - one that can sit for days or even weeks at a time without worrying about it starting. It has not been an issue with any car I have ever owned - again, this includes most Japanese models, BMW and Mercedes. My hope is that they discover and fix my issue as I will not own a vehicle that must be started weekly. There are simply times I am not in a position to do so. If they can not fix this car, then I would hope Lexus offers me some type of compensation. The other alternative is to sell the car ASAP, in which case, it will not be a Lexus or to look into legal action - which may force the issue.
  • gokadengokaden Posts: 28

    I just bought an '03 white/saddle SC 430 with 27K miles on it. It's the first time I'm owning a convertible, and I'd just like to check if it's alright to turn the A/C or heater on with the top down? Does anyone else do that while driving?

    I was thinking that doing so would overwork the compressor or something, since automobile A/Cs are constant flow instead of constant temperature.

    Any thoughts?

  • ron36330ron36330 Posts: 69
    Yeah Baby!!! That is the neat thing about a convertible. Top down AC during the day and during spring/fall heater on at night. I do it all the time. It is truly living.....
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    me too. Streches the top-down season.
  • igorxxigorxx Posts: 3
    The best way to ruin any mechanical product is not to use it. You will probably soon see many other problems popping up as you let the car sit in the garage.
  • brucerossbruceross Posts: 16
    Very well said!
  • cscinccscinc Posts: 5
    I just bought a 2006 SC430. I also was dismayed to find that the SC does not come with a sat. radio. Fortunately I have a high end audio shop here in Louisville that installed an aftermarket XM Radio unit. It works seamlessly with the existing head unit and by cycling through the Text button, even shows the station ID, Artist, and song title in the display. Pressing the AM button will toggle you through from AM to XM1, XM2, and XM3. XM3 is the input for my IPOD. They installed a CUDA mount, which is a device that holds the IPOD. It is leather wrapped and mounts on the panel to the right of the radio and looks like it belongs there. I also had them install a backup camera that uses the existing Nav display. When you put the car in reverse, the view from the camera is displayed. There is also a switch to let you see the camera while driving down the road. It is mounted under the IPOD on the CUDA mount.
  • cscinccscinc Posts: 5
    Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, The XM unit that the shop installed requires no other controls. The existing steering wheel and panel controls handle everything. There are no wires or controls to be taped to the dash. There is however a cable coming from the glove box to connect to my IPOD and it does not have any interface with the car. You must control it from the IPOD unit. The next item that I'm discussing with them is controlling the powered roof from the key remote. They think it can be done. Will keep you posted. Randy
  • cscinccscinc Posts: 5
    I just purchased a 2006 SC. I am extremley dissapointed in the Blue Tooth handsfree phone connection. When receiving a call, the caller's voice comes from the stero speakers and is very good, but so far everyone that I've talked to from the car says that I sound like I'm in a barrel and almost impossible to understand. And that is with the top up. Forget about it with the top down. I have an upscale audio company that does all of my auto mods (See my previous posts about my aftermarket additions - user cscinc). He says it might be a defective microphone and I should go back to the dealer before he trys to do something about it. Randy
  • cscinccscinc Posts: 5
    If I remember correctly, Lexus does not recommend synthetic oil. randy
  • topdwntopdwn Posts: 2
    I own a Blue/Ecru '02, after the initial 1k engine break-in, I have added slick 50 and Mobil Synth to my scheduled oil changes. engine preforms flawlessly! Problems I have had with my sc:
    1. Top became sloppy landing into the a-pillar when closing and slams into the trunk when opening. Lexus says there is no motor adjustment. Had all 7 motors replaced under warranty but after a month, problem occurred again. now I just release the button at the end of top process and let gravity ease the top in.
    2. auto leveling head lamp became erratic. reminded me of googly eyes from a stuffed animal bouncing up & down. warranty replaced leveling sensor.
    3. Dead Battery. This is my main vehicle, stock battery wore out, not from non-use though. warranty replaced it.
    4. bought summer rims and changed out both sets to standard non-run flat Netto brand tires. ride is so smoother. keep a couple cans of tire fix in the trunk.

    A little over 45k miles and that is all that's been wrong with my car. The enjoyment, performance and head turns outweigh the bad. Only suggestion to convertable owners is to have dark interior. That light Ecru gets dirty in a heatbeat!
  • Randy -
    Thanks for the feedback. I was surprised to find that lexus uses std versus synthetic oil from the factory. Besides cost - which shouldn't be an issue with a high end car - I can't think of a reason why they wouldn't. Most high end cars nowadays do.

    I plan to use the same recipe for success with the lexus as I did with the honda... change the oil & filter every 3,000 miles and use slick 50 every 35,000 miles. The honda has 170,000 miles on it and it doesn't burn a drop of oil.
  • rcraftrcraft Posts: 16
    I agree that the outgoing call quality leaves something to be desired. You might try directing the AC vents down (if any one of them blows at the phone microphone which is just to the left side of the top center "control panel"). If the AC air flow is aimed at the microphone, it sounds like you've got the top down and running 70. Hands free, yes, perfect, no.

    Still better than holding the damn thing up to your ear while driving - IMHO ;)
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Posts: 110
    I am shopping for a nice used SC430. Have there been any significant changes in the car since 2002? Also, I was quoted a price of $2187 for an extended 7 yr/100K mile Lexus platinum warranty. This price is also good on a car that I purchase elsewhere as long as it still under the factory warranty 4 yr/50K mile warranty. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • Does anybody know how to change Fahrenheit to Centigrade on Outside temperature display? I have 2002 Lexus SC430.
  • The 2006 has been mildly updated, a slightly larger grille, adaptive xenon headlamps, re-styled LED tail lamps,new 18 inches wheel and most significant IMO a six-speed transmission.
  • jimb12jimb12 Posts: 1
    Have you found a solution to the extremely poor quality of the sound when speaking on the blue tooth phone? In coming is perfect, but outgoing sounds like you are in a barrel or speaking thru a tin can. I've been told everything from that's the best it is, to it's my cell phone by the dealer. Unfortunately, I don't buy either but they won't change the microphone. Any solutions will be appreciated.
  • joec7joec7 Posts: 4
    When you installed your xm radio where did you place the antenna?
  • I live in Chicago, and am very seriously considering purchasing an 2004 or 2005 SC 430. I love everything about the car but I have some reservations about how it performs in the winter. This will be a year round car for me, so performance under adverse driving conditions will be extremely important.

    I've read threads about ditching the summer no flats, which I'd definitely would do for the winter.

    But I was wondering how else the car handles in snow, rain, ice, etc.? A few years ago, my wife had an IS 300 with rear wheel drive and it really sucked in the snow.

    Any help here is appreciated.
  • You could find some useful discussion about this subject at under the thread '2002 SC 430 in snowy new york'. Hope it will help.
  • fb04scfb04sc Posts: 4
    thanks for your info! i installed the same system as you after i read your post the very next day on my 2006 sc430. it works great! no more tacky wires or bulky delphi xm unit that was in the way.
  • Thanks a million. It helped a lot.
  • fb04scfb04sc Posts: 4
    although i live in california and cant help with winter driving i want to suggest that you test drive an 05 or 06 sc430. you can read my long winded tale of my 04sc430 message #1108. after three weeks brought it back to my dealership and got a new 06sc430. i thought being certified and having 14000mi i could save some money! the 06 even with run flats drives so smoothe. night and day compared to 04. i dont know if it was the 04 model year or that particular car that made it drive like crap anyhow i didn't want to pay for something i wasn't happy with! good luck and let me know if there is a differance between model years
  • ghloebghloeb Posts: 5
    Since the SC430 is not available with manual transmission, does anybody actually use the manual shift feature on the 06 6 speed automatic? I am trying to compare it to the BMW 650 steptronic, which seems to have surprisingly fluid clutch-less shifts.
  • I frequently use the manual mode on my wife's '06. However, my use is due to the fact that we live in the TX Hill Country and the hills are why I use it, but only to use engine braking going down the hills. It will shift up and down very easily, but this isn't a performance car, it's a luxury touring kind of car. Don't expect bang,bang shifts. It's Lexus smooth no matter who shifts it (you or the computer), but I do find it a useful feature. :shades:
  • I live in NJ so snow is a factor. I suspect conditions are worse in Chicago. I'ved owned several LS, and have a good relationship with the sales and service staff. They told me without any hesitation not to get the SC if it had to be a year round primary vehicle here, and to NEVER drive it in snow or ice. Too much torque and RWD. We ended up getting the car, but kept a Blazer we had intended to sell.
    Now we have my LS, my wife's SC and the Blazer for the dog.
    I'd say it's fine year round in the south or SW, but not where snow is anything but an infrequent occurrence.
    We also took off the runflats as just being too harsh. Puto on Kuhmo Ecsta ASX's (inexpensive and highly rated). The dealer came as close as he could to prices and did the tires and install including the sensor adjustment for a total of around $700. He's even storing the runflats (still plenty of tread) for a couple of years until the lease is up at no charge (to ease any concerns I might have just in case I have to put them back, which he says I won't.)
  • fx554fx554 Posts: 1
    Need know-how from experienced SC430 owners and connoisseurs out there.

    I have decided to get an SC430, and given the probability that the current SC430 as known today is in its last legs and will likely be either significantly upgraded or maybe even replaced by a substantially different car (particularly now that the new LS460 is out), I have concluded that a previously owned SC430 is wiser than getting a brand new 2007. With this in mind, I have narrowed down my decision to either a 2005 or 2006 year model with low mileage (ideally under 12K). To this end, I need help in expanding my knowledge and decision base as follows:

    1) Are there differences between the 2005 and 2006 model years? If so, can someone kindly list the most significant ones or direct me to a reliable source that would identify the differences?

    2) I like to hear opinions/recommendation of buying a CPO car vs one that is not.

    Most thankful for any and all help on this


    Can someone briefly enumerate the most significant
  • rcraftrcraft Posts: 16
    On paper the '06 is down on Horsepower from the '05, but that was due to a change in the way SAE calculates HP, so ignore that.

    The '06 had a slightly revised nose, LED tail lights (instead of bulbs) and a six speed automatic (which displaced the '05's five speed).

    The biggie IMHO, is the transmission. It's the "new" generation that is finding it's way into the rest of the Lexus line.

    Buy the '06.

    You will love this car and hate the tires (run flats)

    Good Luck. :)
  • I have this same problem with my 2002 SC 430. Had it back to the dealer 3 times, but they could not identify the problem. A nuisance item. Anyone else with this problem?
  • jorgemjorgem Posts: 3
    Hey Any updates????? Thanks
  • I also own a 2002, I have been through 4 sets of tires. I have over 115000 miles on the car. I recently bought the latest run flats by Bridgestone at the on line. These have made a substantial difference in the ride quality and the handling. I get around 25,000 miles per set of tires. There are many spare doughnut tires and mounting kits available from the dealer as well as on e-bay. They just take up too much room for my liking. I often carry a bicycle and golf clubs in the trunk and do not want to lose the storage space.
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    Golf clubs!!! a full set with bag?
    Oh yeah, I took off the run flats and it was the best thing I could have done. I might need to call AAA for a tow if I get a flat but the improved ride is woth the risk. My dealer is storing the run flats (for free) in case I ever change my mind.
  • voyeurrrrvoyeurrrr Posts: 1
    why did you have to replace your power steering pump???? I am actually having a noise issue with my 2002 SC430 & thought it may be related to the power steering pump but I have no steering problems. My engine sounds like an airplane when I accelerate :cry: and I hate it, what do you think that could be if you have any ideas.
  • rcraftrcraft Posts: 16
    The reason your engine sounds like an airplane is because what makes an airplane sound like it does is the propeller. Your radiator fan blades are like a propeller and when they are on all the time they will really roar. The fan clutch should disengage when the engine (and forward speed) rpm's increase as the cooling air is being provided by the forward movement of the car. The radiator fan is only there to provide cooling airflow when you are sitting still or moving too slowly for the normal source of cooling air (provided by forward motion) is insufficient to properly cool your radiator. Check the radiator fan clutch - I suspect it's locked up and never releases as it should. When your engine is cold (AND NOT RUNNING!!) you should be able to spin the radiator fan fairly easily only noticing a slight bit of resistance. If you can't spin it, or it is very hard to turn, it is locked up and will need replacement. This is not an unusual thing for a 5 year old car. It's also not a REAL expensive fix.

    That's what it sounds like to me, but there could be other things causing your problem as well. This just seems to be the most likely, based on what I read in your post.

    Good Luck on this,

This discussion has been closed.