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Scion tC Problems and Solutions



  • i am new to the scion forum. i am currently waiting for my 06 scion tc to arrive here in maine. i am waiting because i didnt want an automatic. so i waiting for my five speed. my question is this. did any other owners have to wait for there delivery? and how long did they end up waiting? im eager to get my car and hate waiting. thanks derick
  • After reading again all of the 2006 issues...for now...I'm keeping my 100% TROUBLE FREE, NOISE FREE, never had ONE problem Nissan 1993 SE Hatchback for now. It is a very similar auto in power and design to the Scion, is almost 13 years old and has NEVER had to go to the dealer for a "problem". I still get offers on the spot to buy it for $6K-8K+ cash! Pretty good for a 13 year old car. I had TWO of them, same age and sold the first one with almost 90K miles on it back in 1999 for $9K.

    The models I bought had all possible options and has been an incredibly reliable and well performing car with no weird noises...ever. It has a moon/sun roof that has never made a peep. Same goes for the hatch area. I have waited over a DECADE to find/see a comparable car be made...I thought Scion might be it but I guess not.

    Will keep reading though and hope for the best. It's not just Scion, seems ALL new cars are cr*p quality these days...and with Scion since it is so cheap, I think the manufacturing issues show where that money savings came from...NOW I see why Toyota went with a separate line protect Toyata rep in case things didn't work out so good LOL.

    I still think it has the potential to be a GREAT car but right now there are far too many design flaws and manufacturing problems not yet resolved. Maybe 2007.
  • i left my partially open and my seat got wet. now there is a stain on the sided of it and i am wondering what the best way to take it out would be. i am also concerned that it might get moldy. i left the windows open to air dry in the garage and the seats not wet anymore but i did notice the stain. any idea's?
  • How does this car handle in the snow?!
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    jayjay3- the tC handles great in the snow, it also depends on the tires you have on there.. i had pirelli pzero nero's (stock size) and they were fine in up to about 3-4" of snow.. after that i'd suggest snow tires.. but the car as a whole (since some cars aren't good in snow) i didn't feel scared at all.. abs did come on once, but i was on solid ice, and the abs did a great job.. didn't lose control..
  • I posted a message on one of the other boards and didn't get a response. Maybe this is a better board for the question. I'm about to buy a new 2006 tC and it looks like some come with Yokohama tires and others come with Bridgestones. If I have a choice, is there one brand I should insist the car has over the other? How are the tires (whether Bridgestone or Yokohama) that the factory/delaer installs? Are they decent (I want something very grippy for aggressive cornering but also good traction for heavy TX rain!) or do I need to plan on buying something better once I take delivery of the car?

    All tire help and advice is greatly appreciated!
  • Suggest you find out the exact model numbers of each, and then go to and check the reviews.
  • Hi,

    Is it true there is no buzzer working with the security on Scion tC?

    I have security installed, but I don't hear any sound when I lock or unlock my tC.

    Thanks a lot for any reply.
  • keke1keke1 Posts: 3
    I have been looking at the tC to purchase. I have reviewed the Bridgestone RE92 tires that come standard on the tC via Not too many people had anything good to say about this tire. Some said it is the worst tire and is very scary in the rain and/or snow. A few said it was ok for an OE tire.

    If I were to purchase a tC, I would ask the dealer/factory to install either the Yokohama or the Goodyear Eagle which I have read have come standard on some tC's...or I would not buy the car.

    I'm curious, did you buy the tC? If so, how are the tires doing?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,358
    I have them on my car, just turned 10K. No real problems or complaints, even in the wet. Seem to be wearing pretty well, but the winter snow will be a good test (with any luck we won't have any this year).

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    I tried the RE92's when i got my tC.. and no i didn't care for them. Braking distances were longer, and handling seemed kind of numb to me. I didn't chance driving in the rain as i replaced them with Pirelli Pzero Nero (stock size) as a lot of tC owners have. Much better tire (ride, handling, braking distances shorter) but a lot of us have had balancing trouble with the Pirelli pzero nero... I might not get this one again.. Lots of trouble to balance :cry: The other tire to look at would be Yokohama and Toyo in the stock size of 215/45-17.. Haven't heard of any trouble with balancing and have heard they are good tires too.. Depends on what you want to do, lots of choices out there!
    But a lot better choices than the RE92's.. they were bad when introduced on the 94 Integra and they are still bad today.. in my opinon :shades:
  • Ive read about all of the problems and questions owner and potential owners have posted. Here's my experience after 38000 miles in my 05 tC.

    Tires: Still have original Bridgestone Potenzas-good handling on dry roads, will hydroplane at speeds over 45 mgh in heavy rain. Ride is a little rough on cracked roads, but not jarring. I live in Florida, so no experience with snow, but based on experience with wet roads, would not trust them in the snow. However, treadware has been great. I expect to get 70,000 miles out of these tires.

    Pops, squeaks, rattles: No unusual sounds from moonroof when closed. When open, lots of wind noise, but what do you expect? No sounds from dash, glovebox, under or between seat as some have reported. I turned off the radio to listen for squeaks in the rear, and did hear some little rattle occassionally, but not sure whether that was from some cargo or what, really had to listen hard to hear it. Because it is a hatchback, you are more likely to hear noises in the rear than in a sedan.

    radio cover: Design seems bad, looks cheap, but mine still works fine.

    Moonroof shades: Look cheap, but again both front and rear still work fine.

    Transmission: (automatic): zero problems.

    Engine: zero problems, don't think I have read of any, either.

    Mileage: about what was posted on the sticker, and I drive aggressively. If you want better mileage, buy a corrolla.

    Heat retention: Interior gets very hot when sitting in the sun in Florida. It helps a little to keep the shades closed, but still very hot and the black interior makes the heat retention worse. Wish there was a lighter color interior.

    Reclining rear seats: excellent feature especially if you have small children who you want to fall asleep in comfortable position. Car seats work fine as well. Kids also like having their own drink and toy holders in rear and their own over head moonroof and interior light.

    Exterior: paint scratches easily, so be careful what you lay on this car.

    Upholstery: No unexplainable stains, but seats are really hard to clean up after kids have made messes. If you are anal rententive about clean upholstery, either don't let kids in this car or get something with an easier to clean interior. I've read that some of you had leather interior put in, that would be better, but don't get black leather if you live in hot climate.

    Driving experience: fun, fun, fun! What other car gives you this much fun to drive for the price? And with an engine that you never have to worry about. And you can personalize it a million different ways.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Nice report - sounds like you are a very happy owner overall. Have you had any maintenance issues, other than the usual recommended oil & filter changes and tire rotations? How are the brakes doing as far as wear is concerned?
  • keke1keke1 Posts: 3
    Thanks mark19 for the helpful tire advice. I love the tC but I know I will hate the RE92's :cry: You think I can get the dealer to put the Yokohama or Pirelli's on as the OE tire? That would save me money and time. Probably wishfull thinking. I know I don't need a Z rated tire; I'm not going to be racing my car. I just don't want to die in my car in one of the many ice/snow storms that KC MO has every winter. Well, I'm not planning to purchase the tC until the Spring so I'll keep checking this site through out the winter to see if any owners have trouble with the RE92's in the snow. :)
  • I've only test-driven the tc once (about a half hour w/o the salesman), but I had trouble engaging the clutch cleanly from a standing stop. I attributed it to a very quiet engine compared to my 2 current sticks ('92 Metro LSI convertible - 1L; '01 F250 7.3L Diesel).

    I have never had any trouble starting from stop with my current vehicles - or with other sticks I've owned / driven. I also have driven many "stick" miles from mid-50's Chevy panel trucks (my dad's) through my / our '63 bug, '69 Renault R16, '73 232 cid Hornet, '78 Datsun F10, '82 6 cyl Citation, '86 Escort. I suspect the tc was the quietest of the bunch - hence I couldn't judge engine rpm w/o actually watching the tach. Per this discussion, once going, I had no trouble with the tc's clutch when shifting up or down.

    I'm looking closely at a tc, and at an Ion quad coupe 3 w the 2.4L engine - both stick. I like the Ion's milage compared to the tc's - but Saturn / Scion has a far better freq of repair reputation. Did anyone here compare the 2 before buying?
  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    And you guys thought you had it the best; teflon. Think again. And while you're thinking about that, think about how Toyota (Japanese mfg.s in general - just ask Mitsubishi, Honda, & Isuzu) seriously down plays their recalls. Hey, this recall may be worse than stated. Maybe the roof piece shatters when open and the driver sneezes.

    For the latest and greatest, get your recall info from NHTSA
  • djvicedjvice Posts: 1
    I was wondering if there were any aftermarket fog lamps that could be mounted and fit in the 2 cutouts right below the headlights (where foglamps normally go)...

    me personally, I think the round foglamps going on the grill look a little retarded, and as if it were a last-minute add-on. doesn't really go with the sporty look of the car.

  • ginocginoc Posts: 3
    looking to swap out my tires and rims...has anyone done that with sucess?? looking to put 205/60/15, 195/60/15 or 225/55/15 on. Life in the northeast and I need some traction in the winter months.
  • gtwgtw Posts: 46
    look at the site for reviews and sizes.
  • ginocginoc Posts: 3
    been there but nothing really gives me the info I'm looking for....any sugestions?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Michelin Hydroedge - great wet traction, quiet, 80,000 miles, but $$$.
  • geneegenee Posts: 170
    I started looking at the Hydroedge and found they didn't come in the low profile or speed rating for the tC. Then I read the recent Consumer Reports on tires where the Hydroedge is rated "mediocre" for resistance to hydroplaning. A quick visit to gives the message "Sorry, there are no tires to match your vehicle." :P
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,358
    not that many choices in this size. The Pirelli PZero nero got a lot of good press, but I'm not sure if they are still available.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • Great review for a great car. I've had mine for 1 yr nad 19000 miles and can ditto your experience and observations.

    As for the discussion on tires. I too looked to replace the Bridgestones immediately but the expense lead me to give them a try. While I am not a Bridgestone fan (Duelers wore out at 35k and were worthless in snow on an RX300) I must admit I have been pleasantly surprised with these Potenzas. I would not buy them as replacements, but they have been adequate thru a Michigan winter. Time will tell how they wear. I expected worse.
  • I too am trying to put some snows on my tc found some steel wheels and snow tires called winter force on tire rims 40 bucks ea and tires are 60 ea , and you can have them studded for 15 ea, tried some gm small bolt pattern fit in the back but wont clear the front caliper the wheels and tires from tire rack are 16" if you dont have a tc the gm small bolt hole might work for you, gary
  • I just had my tC in for the 15000 mile service...does the tC need new spark plugs at 15000 miles? I though that sounded ludicrous. I ended up paying over one hundred dollars for an oil change, tire rotation, "visual inspection" of various items, and an air filter. I don't know, that seems really steep to me.
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    no the tC doesn't need new spark plugs for a long time, they are iridium tipped and they resist wear. it is ludricrous! dealer told me they removed some at 50k miles still looked fine (ones that were iridium tipped)..

    sounds like your dealer is trying to make some $$$ on service for some simple things.. what is the labor rate there? $100? sheesh..
  • Ok, good I'm not crazy. I was tricky with them- I asked a different service guy what the interval for replacing spark plugs on a Camry 4 cylinder was, and he said 120k. Then I asked why I was being told to change them at 15k with my tC. I was told it had different spark plugs, etc etc, and a lot of the other Toyota vehicles had 15k plugs, the Camry being an exception. Now, I wouldn't let them do the plugs, but my bill was still that high.

    By the way this is Peruzzi Toyota in Hatfield, PA. I think if I force them to go buy the Scion service manual, I'll be ok, but I'm going to try to find somewhere else to get it serviced. They are TOO EXPENSIVE. Anybody else had this kind of experience?
  • mark19mark19 Posts: 123
    I have heard of others getting ripped off at Toyota dealers that aren't also Scion dealers.. I applaude you for going somewhere (or looking for another scion dealer) else. you might want to check out in their forums section you can get dealer reviews, at least you can get an idea of what the Scion dealers in your area are like..

    and yes the tC has the same engine as the Camry, good for you to know that! It's only tweaked a little on the intake side..
This discussion has been closed.