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Lexus SC 430



  • janwyljanwyl Posts: 1
    The problem isn't the handling of the car--it is the run flats. This has been an ongoing "problem" since the car was introduced and while more recent models are slightly better, the fundamental problem is the small sidewall necessitated by the 18" wheels. The problem isn't the handling of the car--it is the run-flats. This has been an ongoing "problem" since the car was introduced and while more recent models are slightly better, the fundamental problem is the small sidewall necessitated by the 18" wheels.

    My wife has a 2002 SC430 and after 33,000 miles, the tread was wearing enough that it was time to replace the tires. We went for the Michelin Pilot Sport 2 (around $250/tire). These are not run-flat tires. I know there is a risk that a tire will fail leaving the car stranded, but the ride on the old OEM tires was so bad, we thought it worth the risk.

    The good news is that the ride has VASTLY improved. It now rides like a Jaguar XK8 we had a few years. Along with the improved ride, if anything the handling has improved as well.

    Overall, much recommend. :D

    BTW, another issue with the original run-flats is that they are susceptible to “bibles” developing in the sidewalls. The tires we replaced had developed two...
  • mikestevensmikestevens Posts: 17
    Does anyone know if Bluetooth and/or satellite radio are available as either factory or dealered installed on the 2005 SC430?
  • jbradbjbradb Posts: 39
    Just replaced Bridgestones with Dunlop 5000 DSSTs at Discount Tire. On a scale of 1-10, the car ride used to be a "4". Now, about a "7". Dramatic improvement, as others have mentioned before. Not as smooth as I'd like or even as smooth as other Lexi I have driven, but vastly better.
  • jbradbjbradb Posts: 39
    Does anyone know if you can pay for an upgrade? (I have an '02)
  • micronmicron Posts: 1
    My father just bought one today. He has bluetooth in his car and i believe it is factory. As far as the satellite radio im not sure. Hope that helped.
  • mikestevensmikestevens Posts: 17
    Thanks for the info. I managed to confirm-no satellite--they just released photos of the 2006--a few changes to the front, I don't of any interior changes...
  • jecholsjechols Posts: 1
    You are absolutely right. We have a 02 Sc430. Dog tires. Lexus will and did nothing. I bought new 20" wheels and tires. Looks great. The car cannot hold the wheels. Too much. Must try 19's. I am in the equipment end of sales for the automotive industry. Very disturbing that Lexus will put a car on the road like this. My wife won't let me get her the new SL500 Mercedes. TOO MUCH MONEY.
    I bought a M45 Infiniti, absolutely in love! Drove a new Lexus GS 430. No spunk and soft suspension. IF you drive the new M45 you will buy it. Two friends have changed from Lexus to the M45. Reason, better car, more for the money. $55,000, LOADED. I mean loaded! Lexus better wake up, finally here comes Infiniti after trying for many years. By the way, my one son is driving the Infiniti G35 coupe, my second son just got his, my daughter just turn 16. Know what I am buying for her? They are safe, resale is great and just damned good looking. Also the Infiniti dealer reminds me of the early Lexus dealers, hungry. They're great. Run flats suck but Lexus sucks more for not fixing the problem that I bought from them. I will keep talking with the wife but looks like Lexus is on their way out with us. I started with them in '92 with an LS400. Too bad the prices have gone out of sight, but most of all they won't stand behind their cars. Good luck!
  • iancariancar Posts: 31
    As Lexus, Japan is making their final preparation to launch, the new SC430 will have its nameplate changes from soarer to "SC430" and minimum front-end changes. I believe these changes will apply to American model in 2006 SC430 with some upgrades with it. has full range of details and pictures.
  • calster1calster1 Posts: 2
    I am thinking about buying a 05 sc430 but after reading some of the comments about the run flats on this site I am thinking twice. I initially became a little nervous because even in the Lexus sales material they advise ( in super fine print) that you can expect to get much less then 15,000 miles on the sc430 tires. But wear does not seem to be the problem facing many readers in this forum. Can some one tell me what it is exactly about THE "problem" that everyone seems to be commenting on without identifying exactly was the nature of the problem is?
  • jbradbjbradb Posts: 39
    Bottom line, many of the early tires were much so that some people's rims were dented and ruined. They also had a very short life.

    I must have gotten in after the bad ones, but mine still rode VERY loud and rough....very UNLexus. Just replaced them after 18K miles and Dunlops are much better. It was a very bad call by Lexus NOT to replace those peoples' tires (although they may have done a few for those who shouted the loudest) and make them happy. It has left a bad taste in my (and MANY owners') mouth to have trusted Lexus to make a superior product only to receive a mediocre one. The car has been a pleasure, otherwise.
  • palmharborpalmharbor Posts: 26
    The bluetooth is standard on the 2005s; the satellite radio is not an option
  • batiarbatiar Posts: 1
    I own a SC430, the computure indicated loss of pressure in the passanger rear tier. I took it 3 times for repair. The first time, they told me that the tier had a nail, and as a curtesy they replaced it. Second time, they did not say what they did because they did not have a work order. Third time, they placed the tier in water but no bubbles came out. My husband fills the air before taking it to repair, so they do not have any indication of the problem. Usually it takes about a week to 10 days until the car looses pressure. What else can I do? :confuse:
  • cranbobcranbob Posts: 1
    We bought an 02 SC 430 as a fun weekend car. We have had the LS series (4) and I will now buy nothing but Lexus/Toyota products having had Mercedes, BMW Cadillac and Jaguar.
    This car turns heads, gets more attention and is more fun than any car I have owned even going back to the MGB's in the early 70's.
    My wife and two daughters (ages 26 and 29 they only come by to borrow the SC) only let me drive it on Fridays but it is great. Nothing beats Lexus quality.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    Welcome, batiar!
    You might also want to post your question in the Tires, tires, tires discussion in our Maintenance & Repair Forum.


    Need help getting around? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Tell everyone about your buying experience: Write a Dealer Review

  • mgrillomgrillo Posts: 2
    I'm thinking about buying a 2002 SC430 at $46K with 41K miles on it in San Diego, CA. A good price but all these postings on here has me concerned now. The volume control issues, the Run Flat Tires, the seats wearing out and ride of the car.

    Should I buy a 2002 SC 430 or not?
    Is buying new one better than the 2002 versions?
    Any other maintenance problems with them?
    Is it worth it?

    Thank you to anyone who can help me make this decision!
  • ron36330ron36330 Posts: 69
    I can only offer my own experience and results of JD Power research. JD Power ranks the SC 430 with the highest score ever for a luxury vehicle.
    My own experience is that I bought an 03 new and have not had the first problem. The car has been back to the dealer only for required maintenance. The RF tires are a problem. However, my solution has been to increase the air pressure to 38 PSI and the car runs much smoother. It is still jarring over potholes and RR tracks but it is something I am willing to live with. Everything is a compromise and I am willing to sacrifice a little ride comfort for reliability. I only purchase my cars new so I won't render an opinion between new vs used.
    Best wishes for a correct decision
  • mgrillomgrillo Posts: 2

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with the SC430...It seems like the tire issue is really the only problem anyone is having with them. Living in San Diego, I'm hoping that the issue will not be as bad as some others have had. I'm going to look at the car today up in Carlsbad...

  • jeff192jeff192 Posts: 5
    I bought a 2002 SC 430 in March. It had 26,000 miles and I paid 42,000. It is Silver / Saddle. I did a tremdous amount of research prior to buying. Living in Pennsylvania I wanted a hardtop convertible and given the limited selection, the SC 430 was by far the best choice. Even if I weren't in the market for a convertible, I think it would be tough to pass on this car. I agree with Ron that the RF take a while to get used to, but after a month or so you'll find yourself wondering what you were worrying about. This car is truly a treat to drive. I've not had any problems/ issues with the car. I'm jealous that you live in SD and get to go topless all the time!
  • The Dealer makes available navigation upgrades on DVD twice a year. Last one I bought in 4/05. :D
  • lee47lee47 Posts: 1
    Hi All,

    New to forum. Did a stupid thing---bought a used '03 SC43 via the internet with only my nephew to inspect. Young buck was so overcome by the car that his inspection wasn't very objective. The car really needs new carpeting. Any suggestions on how to get this done cheaper than the dealer. The area that needs replacing is the carpeting at the bottom of the driver's seat.

    Also, anybody ever purchased 3rd party Navigation update.
  • jerrys5jerrys5 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know how to enter the dianostics screen for the sc430?
  • sueiosueio Posts: 2
    Looking for great ideas on how to neatly use the back seats as storage. How 'bout a custom cover that fits over the back seats with a zipper top? Anyone seen one?
  • sueiosueio Posts: 2
    Who has the best bra for a SC430?
  • brucerossbruceross Posts: 16
    Whats the deal with the run flat tire scare.I drive a company car over 30,000 miles a year for the last 4 years. No flat tires ever! When I purchased my 03 SC430 it came with run flat tires. After they wore out I purchased regular tires.In the remote chance I get a flat tire there is a 5.00 dollar can of leak repair in my huge trunk. If that doesn't work I'll call the AAA.No biggie! If I had to do it all over again, just get the car with regular tires throw away the spare and go have fun driving the best engineered sports convertible yet!
  • jbradbjbradb Posts: 39
    While having some service, I asked dealer re NAV update. He said for my '02 SC430 (bought May, 2002) to wait for the next update...that the current one wouldn't have many changes. Costs $295 installed.
  • leebroleebro Posts: 8
    The "biggie" with the run-flats is that the salesmen tell me "the only way they come" is with the run-flats and the cheesy tacked on "spoiler". (I guess it won't qualify as a true rice-burner w/o a spoiler.) I won't pay 60K for a car and then be forced to pay 800+ more for options I don't want. Plus if you go to Lexus's own web-site, you will see under the build you own options, you have the choice of four packages. Each, though, includes both the spoiler and the run-flats. There seems to be no way to avoid picking one. "Bait and switch" on the sticker price???
  • brucerossbruceross Posts: 16
    The car for 60k comes totally equipped and then some. You know deep down you want that spoiler. Just remember you'll need that extra aerodynamics working for you at 156mph! As for the few hundred dollars charged for the run flats, suck it up and accept it! In the price range of this car are you going to complain about putting in high octane gas also?
  • sc430archsc430arch Posts: 1
    Ok, as a new sc430 owner, I learned that I need to turn my radio OFF when I go into an auto car wash...or I need to start washing the car by hand. I bent the antenna mast on the car so that now it won't retract fully or extend fully.
    I would like to buy the antenna mast and install it myself, but am not sure if I need to disassemble the entire rear of the car to do so. It looks like I might be able to get the mast out from the exterior but haven't tried. Any thoughts about how to execute this repair from others who have learned this lesson would be a great help.
  • susisusi Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 sc430 and started having problems with the low tire warning light came on and I could not get it out took to dealer and they said I just did not have enough air in the tires, they balanced and rotated.. at about 11,000 miles the car was driving all over the place, pulling and very loud... I took back to dealer at 18,000 miles and they said the tires needed to be replaced and that they were cupped... said these Dunlop 5000 DSST tires should be changed at 20,000 miles...
    I was thinking about changing from the flat runs but from your message sounds like it would not matter and these sc430's eat up tires.. Your problem sounds just like mine... My husband said I paid too much for this car to have these problems and I've been thinking about getting rid of it... I wonder if anyone could provide some more info on the best tires for the sc430 that are not noise makers and last more than 18,000 miles..
  • stomp32stomp32 Posts: 38
    Sorry to hear about your problems. My wife has had her 04 since last June. Not one problem to speak of. After 13000 miles, the oe run flats look like they'll last another 5000 or so.

    She doesn't complain about the ride quality, probably since just about anything is an improvement ride-wise compared to her departed 98 RAV-4. When it's time to replace them, I think she will stick with run flats.

    I used to have to drive all the time, but since we got this car, it seems the only time I drive it is to take it in for routine maintenance.

    Since Lexus is doing a minor face lift in 06, it looks like the SC will not get a total redo for another 3 or 4 years. Hope they don't let it die a slow death like the previous SC.
This discussion has been closed.