Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Lexus SC 430



  • ahhaahha Posts: 5
    Does anyone know of a high quality outfit that chromes the stock wheels on the SC430 and LS400?

    I seem to be lucky so paint problems on my Twilight Amethyst SC...still only 2600 miles..after almost 1 year.

    Squidd99, love the Zaino stuff..buying more!!!
  • I find if I have a problem, and just ask the service manager to deal with it, when I pick the car up, it is dealt with. The more a person gets involved, the more the person will have to do. Tony
  • Is anyone else a bit dissatisfied with the transmission in their 430? I really do love this car, I knew I was buying a GT, not a true sports car, and maybe it's because this is my first automatic in some time, but if there's one complaint I have it's the hesitation and lack of smoothness in my car's pickup. Very un-lexus-like compared to the GS and earlier SC I have driven in the past that are responsive to a feather-light touch and amazingly smooth. Are others getting this? Maybe I should take the car in to be checked out (1500 miles).....
  • joeyb1joeyb1 Posts: 5
    I would certainly talk with the service guys.

    What I think you are feeling is the Drive-by-wire system. I noticed a one to two second delay in throttle response. The service technician knew exactly what I was talking about and said it was the normal operation of the car. Although I would still prefer more response, I have gotten used to it
  • I have an 02 SC430 with 14000km's on it. Just took it out after being stored for the winter and sure missed driving it, but what I did not miss is the VERY VERY hard ride that comes with the Run Flats.
    Every bump I hear a clunk coming from my the back of the car, both sides. Sometimes its so loud sounds like something is broken, I have noticed it much more after not having been in it for 4 months while it was stored, now I hear about the TSB and the bushings, read all the posts in the fourm and found nothing much about it. Anybody got the details of the TSB and does what I describe sound like the problem?
    I will contact the dealer about this but I like to have the info myself before I start talking to them.
    Now that I think about it my 1996 SC400 had a very similar problem, clunking over bumbs in the left rear over the wheel well, was in the shop for 3 days a week after I got it and they put in a bunch of new parts and I never heard from it again. Weird....
  • 43810774381077 Posts: 31
    The main reason I don't own an SC is the lag you mention. However, when I returned from my initial test drive totally dissatisfied the salesman sent me back out with instructions to use the sport mode, keep it in third gear and to shut off the automatic pilot ( the electronic skid control or whatever it's called). The performance and response improved considerably. It's a shame you have to trick the car to get it to behave better, but MB has the same problem with the auto pilot engaged so it appears unavoidable. The solution for all these companies is to have "off" as the default on all these electronic control devices and let those who want to idiot proof the car turn them on. I have the same problem even with my wife's 300. If you want to drive it hard with the controls on the computer is constantly cutting power when it senses you're driving too fast. She has taken to shutting the thing off.
  • topgun7topgun7 Posts: 412
    Silver430, I would definitely get the bushing. I have a Indigo 430 and had the bushing done about 1 1/2 months ago. We did not have the clunking noise but felt the harsh ride with the run flat. My wife refused to drive the car. We went to the dealer, pointed out the service bulletin to them. It made a very big difference in the day to day ride of the car. In high speed, it feels as stable as before (I had only taken it up to about 90 after changing the bushing). My wife actually like to drive the car now. You may want to go to In their sc430 forum they have a thread that discussed in detail about the bushing change and has some more folks posted their experience with the change.
  • I made my way over there and got a heap of info on the TSB for the Bushings. My car is in my dealer as I write this. I am interested to see how much of a difference it makes. Thanks again topgun7
  • gandrogandro Posts: 3
    I am considering purchasing a 2002 Lexus SC430.
    Unfortunately, all come into the dealerships on the west coast with runflats. From owners comments and my own test drive, I would prefer the ride with non run-flat tires. Besides in the years I have driven, I have never replaced a tire
    When I had a flat I either called AAA or used a can of fix-a-flat. So with the SC430, I will not put a spare in the trunk. So to all of you SC430 owners, can you recommend a Non Run-Flat set of tires? My preference is ride comfort, wet traction (not snow), and noise. Performance is secondary, but of course I don't want to sacrafice too much, if possible.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    I've had my car since last May, about 6 weeks after the first deliveries were made, and I have not yet had to deal with getting new tires.

    Although I know some owners have swapped tires back and forth between the two types, there are not many who have done so, and there is just not too much experience that owners have had with different sets of tires because the car model is so new.

    Get the size from the spec sheet, and ask around at a local tire store that you trust (that means, not a big chain because they will want to sell you what they have; go to an independent dealer who carries high performance tires; if you are looking at this car, you probably know a tire store like that).

    Also talk to your dealer, because you need to specify non-run flats on the car. That set-up does not have the pressure sensors - it's more than just a different set of tires. The dealer may have some choices for you. If not, you will have the choice of taking what Lexus supplies and driving on them, or you will have to unload them at a considerable loss and get new tires which maybe will be better for your purposes and maybe not.

    If you really don't want run flats (and you will find that about 80 to 90% have them, so this will limit your choices) see what the dealer suggests, and try to get him to put on the car what your needs suggest. I have found Lexus dealers (OK: one dealer, but over 10 years) to be most accommodating. I think this is your best bet since you want something non standard at delivery.

    As for your desire for a tire providing ride comfort, wet traction, low noise and relatively high performance, let me know if there is such a tire. If there is, by the way, it will be soft rubber and high milage will not be on the menu.

    Let us know what you find out, because a lot of us will be in the replacement tire market in the next year or so. (Especially as the run flats, which most of us have, are only good for 15,000 miles or so -- we shall see.)
  • I would also like some info on replacment tires. I have a shop that I can talk to in the area here that might be able to lend a little insight into the matter. As an aside, I just had the bushings replaced on my car and the difference is amazing.
    I think that I will get away from the run flats on my next set of tires but that being said because my car is a very low mileage car the tech'gy. in the run flat tires might be vastly improved by the time its ready for new tires. Although I am not sure where the whole run flat industry is heading but thats another issue all together.

    The ride that I now have is what exactly what I expect from a car that is riding on the tires with the size, design(run flat), aspect ratio and speed rating. I am much much happier with the car and no longer think the run flats are to blame for the clunking and such that I used to endure on a regular basis from my cars rear end.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,753
    ...leading to replacement of the bushings?
  • amg55amg55 Posts: 1
    I ran across this comment on the Mercedes board: "Comparing the Lexus to the new MB SL500 is ridiculous. Its like comparing the smell and appeal of a beautiful rose to the smell and appeal of a wet dog's [non-permissible content removed]".

    Rather strong commentary from the MB boys.
    Anyone here seen the new Mercedes SL's?
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    Sure, we've seen them. They are on the MB dealers' lots, and the magazines have had articles and photos for the last two months.

    And the cars should be compared, as they are both 2 seat (more or less) luxury folding hardtop convertibles. The comparison is not ridiculous, even if one's opinion is that one car is far superior to the other.

    For example, if you compare them on price, the MB is much more expensive. If you compare the Nav systems, the MB system is extremely old, CD technology that is not only virtually obsolete, but prevents you from using the CD player to play music while you are using the Nav system. (When I'm on the highway, which is where I use the Nav system the most, is the same time I play CD's the most.)

    Then there are the subjective comparisons, such as which car is better looking, and let's not get into that, because you can't win that argument. (Some people walked out of "Moulin Rouge.")

    Both are good cars, and each will appeal to a lot of people. It's a great comparison, and not as ridulous as the example give.

    Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Exactly. There isn't much to compare here. The SL wins on just about every count, except for a nav system and stereo.

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    In my opinion, both are ok looking cars. The SC430 definitely has grabbed my attention each time I've seen it, but usually as much for how well it's been detailed as anything. I've seen lots of mud-covered SLs (just like everything in Detroit gets mud-covered during winter) but I don't think I've ever seen a SC that wasn't sparkling. Go figure. The SC does look much more futuristic. I suspect it's going to age quite nicely; it's a look I hated that's slowly growing on me as I see more and more of them. The fact that it has such an astonishingly high quality exterior finish (I've never seen paint deeper and more lustrous than what Lexus gave the SC) gives it an air of wealth and luxury that's pretty rare in my opinion.

    I don't think the new SL500 looks all that elegant. I finally saw one, it looked very sporty and my fiance called it "cute" but I actually preferred the older style a little more. In inheriting some of the styling of the SLK it also inherited that "cuteness" - I suspect this would get named in the "chick car" discussion if there were more financial parity between the genders. The one I saw was a silver color, which probably contributed to the so-so response I had. Silver is a nice blend-in color on any car model, a rich black SL500 would probably be much more eye-catching.

    I don't think in terms of looks you can point to one car and call it heads or tails better than the other. It's personal opinion. I do think the SL has a more blending-in design, while the SC is more extroverted.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    Most of the articles I have read agree that the SL500 is an extremely advanced car in regards to current automotive technology. Innovations abound in suspension, braking, very nifty folding top, really big engine, etc.

    But it costs close to twice what the SC430 costs, so it ought to offer more. That is why I am very surprised that the NAV system is so bad and I understand that the sound system is also not as good as it should be in a car of this stature.

    As far as appearance goes, the interior is generally considered to be not as elegant as the Lexus, and it does not have the leather storage space behind the front seats, which we all love so dearly.

    On the outside, both cars are good looking (who would pay this kind of money for an Aztec???), but they are very different, and will appeal to different people in different ways. If you drive a Navigator, you probably won't like either one, even if you could get a good look from way up there.

    Since the price difference is so great, the question for me is whether I would pay extra for what the SL has to offer. When I was looking for a convertible (to replace my SC400), I did not like the SLK because it was too small (same for the Boxter and the little BMW), but I gladly paid more for the SC430, which costs more than those cars. (I also drove the Jag XK conv for a weekend, and my only thought was "way overpriced," and this was a year before I even knew about the SC430. That's still my opinion of that car; but it is fun to drive.)

    I do not know whether I would pay the extra amount for the SL500, but, if I were in the market, I would take a good look and probably a few test drives. If someone gave me one, I'd keep it.

    Your mileage may vary.
  • karklinkarklin Posts: 15
    Does anyone know how to remove the CD changer from a Lexus ES-300 that is mounted in the glove compartment.Any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you kindly
    [email protected]
  • opentopopentop Posts: 3
    I have Dunlop S9000's with BBS wheels. Greta looking, great performance tires. The dealer also reinstalled the run flat sensors so the tire pressure light didn't stay on in the dash. I opted to put the spare in trunk.

    Unless you want to replace the $120/each pressure sensors, don't use flat-fix cans. They damage the sensor. You can opt to leave the sensors out but then you need to either disable the light, somehow elegantly cover it, or let it annoy the heck out of you.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well that may be true, the SL does continue the Mercedes design them, but updated and sleeker, while the SC430 looks like nothing else, with no previous cars to draw upon from Lexus, so I'll give you that the SL may blend more. With the SL you'll know it's a Mercedes, the SC well many still ask me what it is.


    The rest of the car is soo good, a stereo and a Nav system won't even matter, plus Mercedes is switching to a DVD based Nav system this fall. Stereo??? Well lets just say the Germans are very, very slow to change things like that. They're still as pigheaded as ever. Do you know what it took for Porshe and the others to finally offer a decent cupholder?

  • 43810774381077 Posts: 31
    I actually got to drive the new SL and there's no contest; SL wins in every category but for perhaps a few "who cares" creature conforts like the NAV. On the other hand, while the base sticker of the SL is ONLY $85, you'll be hard pressed to find one under $100 and you can break $110K if you want to load it up. I'd say an SL with goodies comparible to the SC's would list a few bucks one side or the other of $100K. For the $ the SC's probably the better buy @ 40% off the SL price, but it's really unfair to be comparing these cars with this big a price difference. The SL is in an entirely different league.
  • "Exactly. There isn't much to compare here. The SL wins on just about every count, except for a nav system and stereo."

    What about zero to sixty? SC wins... Reliability of Lexus versus MB? Lexus wins... Dealer attitude? Lexus wins...
  • 43810774381077 Posts: 31
    I'm driving a Benz, my wife a Lexus, and w/o question Lexus is far more reliable and customer friendly. On the performance issue though I must disagree. Although Lexus lierature says the SC is quicker, 3rd party tests refute their numbers. The mags that have actually timed the car on the track put the 0 to 60 times in the high 6's and having driven both I agree. I'm so put off by the Benz reliability and attitude issues I want to buy an SC but can't get by the low end performance and curb appeal issues. Keeping in touch here in hope that I'll hear that Lexus will either modify the design or put some kick in the low end. My wife likes the SC design and doesn't care about performance so she'll probably end up with an SC and I'll continue to suffer mental abuse with the CLK. Have you seen any independent verification of the Lexus times?
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,753 more important than 0-60 times. The cars are in a similar categorie, that of touring cars, but the price differential puts them in different ballparks. Looks are in the eyes of the beholder. The SL, overall is definitely a nicer package but then, you're paying for it. Not having diven the SL, I will say that it looks less impressive in person than in pictures and that the interior design and materials is lacking for the price. Lexus reliabilty and dealer service is the best. Still, I wouldn't refuse either one.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "What about zero to sixty? SC wins... Reliability of Lexus versus MB? Lexus wins... Dealer attitude? Lexus wins..."

    Yeah I guess the Benz will be breaking down all the time, and their dealers are the VW levels and all of them have such poor attitudes. Guess that's why the SL is sold out.

    The two CARS don't really compare, the SL is superior in almost every way. A few tenths different to 60 mph (figures are showing both cars faster than the other, depending on the source) doesn't mean much to the crowd that buys this type of car.

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    "Still, I wouldn't refuse either one."

    Then again, given the choice, I'd pick the SL, sell it, buy a SC and the most recent NSX I could find for whatever I had left, and call it a day.
  • zuma13zuma13 Posts: 35
    I find it most curious how many individuals rush to compare the new Mercedes SL500 to the Lexus SC430. Lexus doesn't officially claim both cars comparable. If anything, most comparisons are drawn between the Mercedes CLK and SLK convertibles; vehicles that are in fact priced at similar levels and at which level the Lexus has proved superior.

    The fact that so many people find the SC430 to be in a league comparable to the SL500 is a tribute to Lexus considering the price differential.

    I've owned the SC since last June 26th. The vehicle performs well and does all that Lexus claims. It's quick, fun to drive and Lexus service is exemplary. The navigation system is simple to operate and accurate. The stereo is fantastic and the "WOW" appeal to spectators has always been quite evident.

    For a great touring roadster it's hard to beat the SC430. If I was going to spend in excess of 100K for a vehicle, I'd opt for the Ferrari which does, and always will, have more class and sex appeal than the SL.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Then why would anyone compare a Ferrari to a SL, the Ferrari is easily 50K more.

  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    . . . and isn't the SC about 50K less than the SL?

    If I were going to pay "50 large" more for a car to replace my SC430, I would hope that it would be a little faster and handle a little better, so I am not surprised that the SL tests out better in those areas.

    What is a surprise is how close the cars are in size, performance, features, etc., which I think is why people are comparing them so closely (that, plus the fact that there are not a whole lot of hardtop/convertibles out there.)

    For some people, price does matter, and for 50 more, I'd like a big upgrade and something more than just another pretty face.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think the SL is quite a bit more than just another pretty face compared to the SC430. The SL has more technology and safety engineering than the Lexus for one. It handles better and has more features. From 60K to 85K is not a 50K difference either.

This discussion has been closed.