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Lexus SC 430



  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If they make you nervious, just pick up some old fashioned Michelin Pilot Sports, and a membership to AAA incase you need it.
  • gscoupegscoupe Posts: 30
    I second that, you won't regret it. Significant improvement in ride & handling. Everyone I know wish they had done the switch earlier.
  • tmarttmart Spring, TXPosts: 1,497
    road hazard certificates. If a tire can't be properly repaired, you get a NEW tire at no cost. Well worth the cost. Some have said Sears has a similar warranty.
  • vbsc430vbsc430 Posts: 1
    I've read on the forum that people are putting 38 - 40Lbs of pressure in their run flats. We just purchased an "04 with dunlop run flats and it does indeed run hard. I'll switch out to non run flats once the tires are whipped but what is the best pressure to get a better ride?
  • masonmason Posts: 5
    the first time i test drove an SC it was a used one and ran very rough. After that i drove a new one it was lush comfort. but back then i was not paying attention to what tires were on them. Do they usually have their new on lot models with non run flats? or do they always come out new with the run flats?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It could just be under inflated tires on the used one. Just about all used cars have that.
  • ron36330ron36330 Posts: 69
    Have your dealer read "Te3chnical Service Information Bulletin, Dated:April 4, 2002, Titled:Adjustment of Tire Inflation Pressure, Model SC 430, PG005-02.
    In this bulletin is provided charts and a formula for determining correct tire pressure for your area. The tire pressure is determined by outside air temperature on a seasonal basis.
    I live in Alabama and the recommended tire pressures for our seasonal temperatures range from 36-38 psi.
    I know this is more than recommended in the owners manual, however the car does ride much smoother at these pressures. You may question this as the prevailing theory is that the lower the pressure the better the ride but, I have not found that to be the case with the run-flats.
    In any event I have owned the car for 15 months and not had the first problem. Everything works great and the only time I have been back to the dealer is routine maintenance. It's a wonderful life!!!!
    Hope this helps and does not further confuse the issue.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Im sure SC owners will be happy to know that the SC430 scored the highest in IQ ever of any single vehicle.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    If you don't want or need the run flat tires, Tire Rack has Sumitoma HTR 245/40WR-18 all season tires at $115 each. The tire warranty is $55.20 for a set of four.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    I went to my local dealership last week to test drive an LS 430 and afterwards he asked me if I wanted to take the SC for a spin. I was very impressed but have a few questions so that I may decide if this sports car would work for my lifestyle.

    Does anyone use it as a year round car? I live in the NE and as you know we get 3-4 months of ice, snow etc. I currently drive a BMW 330 which with winter tires is actually good in the snow (believe it or not). The summer rubber was useless and dangerous in the winter.

    When test driving I did sense that the usual Lexus super smooth ride was a bit rougher and per some earlier posts, I attribute that to the run flats. Will the dealer willingly sub other tires?
    This particular salesman seemed to indicate that they had to take the cars as they were shipped...
    I didn't press him since I am not close to decision yet.

    With regular tires and a spare, can you fit one set of golf clubs in the trunk if only with the top up?

    Lastly, are their deals around on this car? I know it's been out a while and there seems to be a lot more competition from other companies in this class.

    Just a side note, when looking at what one gets as far as size, features etc. it seems that the LS is a better value. But of course you can't put a price on the smile one gets from the SC.

    Thank you in advance for any feedback and comments
  • onthefenceonthefence Posts: 1
    I am getting ready to replace my 1996 Toyota Celica convertible, which I have enjoyed greatly but which is beginning to show its age. My wife says it's too noisy for long trips. I'm also ready to move up to the luxury level. After research and test drives, I've narrowed my choices to the SC430 and the new Audi S4 Cabrio. They are, of course, very different cars. For pure driving fun, the Audi, with its 6-speed manual and tight handling, wins hands-down, and it's all-wheel drive. But for comfort, luxury, and gadgets, the SC430 is the best, The Audi has a much harder ride and is noisier. In fact, the sedan I test-drove (because they had no cabrios) was noisier then the SC430, top up or down, making the SC my wife's definite preference. The retractable hard-top on the SC430 is a huge plus, too.

    So the choice comes down to: luxury or fun? (Which is not to say that the Audi isn't luxurious or that aspects of the Lexus, e.g., the retractable top, sound system, and navigation, aren't fun.) My question is, has anyone else confronted a decision like this and decided that there's enough fun and performance in the SC, or vice versa?,

    And is there any chance Lexus would ever come out with a "sport" version of the SC with tighter handling and a 6-speed manual, or at least a manumatic? I'd buy it in a minute.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Topspin, I have an LS430, and a Jag XKR, which is pretty much a direct competitor to the SC. I find that the LS with winter tires does a very nice job. Their VSC system is great. Jag's traction control on the other hand doesnt really do anything, and combined with the Z-rated Pirelli's, winter driving is pretty much out of the question. I think the SC would do ok in the winter. I've grown tired of the XK, and am most likely going to get an SC for myself. The run flats are optional, and you should be able to order the car without them. The trunk is very small, but I think with the top up you would be ok. If you buy an '04 when the '05s hit, you could probably get the dealer to take a few grand off the sticker.

    Onthefence, how long do you plan on keeping this new car? Having an out of warranty Audi can be a VERY expensive proposition. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the '04 SC set a JD power record for highst IQ ever. The interior is also the best this side of a Bentley. Personally I havent been impressed by the new A4, it's still down on features compared to its competition, and the NAV is basically a joke. The SC is expected to get an update for '05, most likely it will get the LS430's six speed with a tiptronic shift, (Lexus, for some reason, decided to remove E-shift as an option when they made the transition from the 4.0 to the 4.3L, but its back with the new six-speed.)

    If the SC isnt enough driving excitement, I would recommend either a CLK500 Cabrio, which is a more taught and responsive car, has a real NAV system (though you do have to use COMMAND) and has the strongest resale of any car except for the BMW Z8. Or, at the pure sport side of the spectrum, M3 convertible.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,863
    Onthefence, although I consider myself very much a "Lexus person", I only kept my SC430 for about a year.

    While I felt that the interior was one of the nicest in the business, and I personally like the styling (you either love it or hate it), I was overall not pleased with the car enough to keep it. The ride, although better with 38-40 psi pressure in the run-flats, was punishing, the cornering was so-so and the fun-to-drive factor nearly absent with its numb handling. In summary, I felt that the punishing ride produced no dividends for me.

    That said, it's reliable and far from a bad car, just not as much bang for the buck as I would have liked.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yep. Other car makers go to Toyota plants to try and figure out what the hell they are doing to make their cars so damn reliable, and copy it.

    As for a sportier tuned suspension, its possible. The dealer would be able to answer that.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,863
    I've seen the silver with saddle on the street. They are rare as opposed to the most common silver with black.

    They DO exist.
  • dmizockdmizock Posts: 4
    I can definitely confirm that the Silver/Saddle combination does in fact exist, as I sit here looking at mine. I live in Southern California and was also told that the factory no longer builds them that way. The truth is, that no silver/saddle SC430's are shipped to the western region, and that Florida/Texas get all that are produced. Even then, there are not that many that are built that way at all. In my opinion, it's the nicest combination, especially since it is so rare. I have seen many silver SC's in the Los Angeles/San Diego area, none with saddle interior. You might want to contact JM Lexus in Margate, Florida, or Sewell Lexus in Dallas. I just checked and they have four silver/saddle SC's in stock! Good luck!
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Has anyone put winter tires on and if so how was it? From what I've experienced even in sporty cars, the tires make all the difference. I drive a 330i with Blizzaks and no problem in the snow.

    My buddy has an M3 and tried to drive with summer tires this winter and it was dangerous.

    If the SC is well balanced, I would think it would be a good winter performer with the right rubber unless I'm missing something.
  • gscoupegscoupe Posts: 30
    Newie, the saddle looks like a baseball glove tan to orange depending on light conditions. It's not for the tastes of everyone. I personally like it :


    There are more in this thread:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Nice looking set of wheels, mate :) This is what I've got..for now. Its the silver\bone combo. I'm strongly considering a black\black SC430 though.

  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,863
    Sweet car you've got. After two Jaguars I still am not crazy about the J-gate shifter and prefer that of the Lexus. Lexus still doesn't offer the auto-shift, however.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    This XKR is my second XK, and I dislike the J-gate also. Its been slammed in every magazine write up I've seen of a jag, and yet for some reason, they absolutely refuse to abandon it in favor of a more traditional +\- gate. Lexus E-shift was lost in the transition from the 400 to 430 engine, though the '04 LS has it with the new six-speed auto. If the SC gets that tranny update for '05, it should get the auto-manual also.
  • masonmason Posts: 5
    i just heard from a long time Lexus dealer out here, CA, that Lexus was going to be sending LOTS and LOTS of Saddle leather/silver combos for 2005. smart marketing actually. anyway, it seems best to go with what you love not whats rare or trendy, that way you'll always love it regardless of many many are out there.
  • sms353sms353 Posts: 3
    I have an 03 SC430 (Silver/Saddle BTW) and live in NJ. I would say forget about driving it in the winter if there is any snow or ice on the ground.

    I love the car but I'm very disappointed in the tires/rims. I just replaced 3 rims that were bent after hitting a few potholes. The roads in NJ were really beaten up this winter and I still have to drive very cautiously over bumps/filled in potholes or what's left of the non filled in holes. That takes a little of the sportiness out of the car.

    I've also had an LS and GS - The LS was the best car I ever owned - including Mercedes/Jaguars.

    Good luck.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Thanks for the input. Did you change your tires to a winter set up?

    That could make a huge difference especially if you went to a 16" tire and wheel set up. That's what I did for my 330i and the car was actually very good in snow and ice. My buddy has an M3 and tried to get by on the high performance summer tires and was stuck whenever the weather turned to ice or a bit of snow.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Summer tires are just that, summer. A guy who has an M3 should be able to afford a pair of Arctic Alpins for the cold months, or move to a warmer climate :) I always change the rears on my LS in the winter, and it does fairly well. The only problem I've had with doing that is, and this has happened more than once, when I get the rear snows taken on or off, I end of with toe angle\camber problems up front. Happened once with a tireshop, and another time with Lexus doing it. Im not sure why that is, but now I just have them check the camber and such whenever I get the tires switched, the car generally drives better anyway.
  • sms353sms353 Posts: 3
    No, I never thought about changing the tires. Without a spare I guess you would have to stick a spare in the trunk. I don't suppose they make winter run flats - do they?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Dont think so :)
  • driver2driver2 Posts: 2
    I have had to replace 2 of my run flats after only 8,000 miles. Bubbles formed on the sidewalls, casuing teh need to replace. I'm told that this has been fairly common that due to the design of the run flats- interior "mesh" that breaks down under normal conditions and forms a gap/hole that forms a bubble and jeopardizes teh integruty of the tire. lexus now has a kit that your can purchse that adds a spot in the trunk for a spare. I plan to oursue this as I dont feel like buying new tires every 8m miles!. I also plan to get lexus to pay for this(have not yet had this conversation) as the run flats were a factory upgrade that was sold as an option- extra money for a flawed product? Lexus should blame the tire mgr, its their issue- Recall?
  • hermann2hermann2 Posts: 6
    My guess of no tire recall reasons:
    1. costly (20 million dollars for 20,000 cars sold)
    2. Bridgestone makes the tires, not Lexus
    3. No excessive deaths related to these defective tires (yet)
    4. Lexus executives drive Porsche 911, not SC430

    In order for Lexus to recall these tires:
    1. Every owner who hates these tires, writes a letter to Lexus customer service. Ask them the # of complaints they have received on these tires. See how they try to play dumb on this.
    2. Some smart lawyers read these messages and decide to spend some time on this.
    3. The customer service department suddenly develops a conscience on people's safety and realizes that customer satisfaction always comes first.

    Personally, I will not buy any Lexus or Toyota car again, This is not because of these fragile rims or flawed tires. It is the failure of the Lexus company to admit these tire issues.
  • driver2driver2 Posts: 2
    I am having the same battle with lexus on replacing my run flats which went bad after 8m miles. They- lexus mgr- is offering 50% reimbursement to switch to dunlaps. They claim they have never offered more than 505 and that i would have to battle it out with the dealership to get 100%. Question, did you get teh 100% from lexus teh mgr(torrence) or from teh dealership or part from both? I'd like to leverage your experiecne to get the party that got you your 100% to do teh same for me! can you help? thx driver2
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    I don't understand the why the bad remarks are made to Lexus. The tires have their own seperate warranty. Why would you hold Lexus accountable for another manufacturers product that, industry wide, takes care of their own warranty work?
  • masonmason Posts: 5
    Does anyone know when the new year model generally comes out? the dealers have told me end of summer, but is it actually in late fall? is the timing different each year?
    Thank you
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    will arrive in port on Aug 22, at dealer about a week later. Only change for 2005 will be a special Palm Beach edition.
    Dates vary by model and year.
  • newienewie Posts: 15
    Hello to dmizock,
    i have an odd request for you. i too am in So. Calif and i am wondering if there is anyway possible to see your sc color combo!? its crazy i know, but you are the closest person with this car and i cannot commit until i actually see it in person! otherwise i may dash out to Texas for a peek.
    Thank you
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    While not exactly "In Person" you can get a great view usually if you look on EBay. At any given time there is usually a silver/saddle one on there and they usually have 15+ nice photos showing the car and interior. At least that gives you more of a look than the Lexus site.
  • mcubedmcubed Posts: 3
    That's funny, I just bought a new SC430 because there wasn't a single used one for sale in the entire St. Louis area. The one I bought was the only new one available.
  • johnson1johnson1 Posts: 1
    I'm disappointed with the tires/rims as well. I've had to replace run flat tires/rims on my 02. The roads in TX are probably worse. I realize Lexus does not manufacture tires, however, they made the decision to go with Bridgestone when there were other choices. I definitely intend to do some serious letter writing.
  • newienewie Posts: 15
    mcube, check out Mfullmers #824
    while may not be in your area, they are easy to find on ebay
  • ipsadoodleipsadoodle Posts: 35
    As I have stated before, I complained about my run flats from the week I received the car in March 01,,it was one of the first delivered...finally after 11,000 miles in 2003 and with the help of my dealer, Lexus reimbursed me in full for the cost of the Dunlops I put on...$1106...just keep on it, talk with your dealer, ask for his help....
  • diemakerdiemaker Posts: 6
    While I bought my wife's 2003 with run flats, she doesn't drive many miles, I did note that the car's warranty book plainly spelled out that the tires would more than likely not get over 10,000 miles. I don't think Lexus is trying to dupe anyone. I'd suggest you consider going back to standard tires and rims if you don't want the problems. The performance tires are only useful if you are driving at high speed in hot (Texas) conditions like we do.
  • dmizockdmizock Posts: 4
    Hi Kim.
    I am in the San Diego area and would be glad to show you my car. Send me an e-mail if you are still interested and we can make arrangements.
  • ipsadoodleipsadoodle Posts: 35
    When I replaced my original runflats, they had 11,000 miles on them and looked like new...did not show any wear..I think they can easily last at least 20,000 present Dunlap runflats have 4000 miles on them and are perfect.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Do you HAVE to buy the SC430 with run-flats or is that an option now?
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    Option for I believe $440 or in that range. Didn't see any on the lot without them when I got mine, and can't imagine where they would put one (and if they did there woul be -2 cu ft in the trunk instead of the .5 without. Lexus usually packages the cars with some options in 99.9% of the cars built. It would probably take a special order and who knows how many weeks to get one with regular tires..or you could just change them and take your chances without a spare.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I have a good friend who is about to buy an SC430 and I'm tempted to advise her to avoid the run flats all together and just take her chances on getting a flat. Since modern cars have such outstanding tires (I haven't had a flat in 5 years), and since road service is so good I'm wondering about which way to tell her to go with this. Sounds like the run flats are a real nuisance from what most of you tell me, but perhaps I'm being too severe here.
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    I only have 2K on my car, so no personal tire stories good or bad. I will say they have a sticker on the cars in the showroom saying you may not get more than 15K on the tires, and the salesmen state upfront you can't drive the car in the snow. A combination of the high torque and low profile run-flats. We kept a Blazer we were originally going to get rid of when we went with the SC as a combined dirty job and snow car. Don't think snow is a problem in Saucalito, but if your friend travels into the mountains it could be a concern.
    That said, I don't know how easy it would be to get the regular tires on the car. I never saw one SC with them on the lot, and my dealer is a very large volume one. I'd also wonder and be concerned if the trunk configuration is different to make a place for a spare. Even if you remove the tire the compartment for it could almost eliminate any trunk space (and we are really talking minimal to begin with). It might be easiest to just replace the runflats with a regular tire the first time they need to be. I'm assuming they make regular tires in the right profile, but the durability, ride and cost to replace may not be much better.
    Most of the knocks seemed to be with the Bridgestones. That's what happened to be on my car, and thinks to this forum I asked the dealer to swap them with the Dunlops on another car. They gladly swapped them, although they did say they were unaware of any issues with the Bridgestones on the SC.
    I'd also never forget murphy's law..If you get a flat it will be at night, in bad weather and out of cell phone reception. Not having a spare would just be tempting the fates. You probably haven't been stopped by the police in 5 years, but leave your house without your drivers license and watch what happens...the 1st roadside document check in the history of your town.
    As to the car itself, my wife and I love it. We take evening rides and scenic routes like we did decades ago. It's just a fun car, and a Lexus, which speaks volumes in itself.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Hmmm...15K hah? And what's the cost of replacing all four, roughly?
  • mcubedmcubed Posts: 3
    I think they are 300 apiece. But the sc430 is designed to be equipped with ultra high performance low profile tires. Even regular non run-flat tires in this category will wear out within about 15K miles. Mine did on my BMW 330 convertible. Most cars in the luxury touring/sport category are fitted with ultra high performance tires.

    My 04 sc430 has the bridgestones and the ride is generally better than in my BMW with continental sport contact 2's, although potholes are worse in the lexus.

    I suspect that most people who are getting under 10K miles with the bridgestones are very aggressive drivers.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I theory I agree but I don't see most SC430 drivers being very aggressive. I bet it's just the nature of the tire compound. Many automakers are putting these very sticky tires on for ride and safety but that comes home to roost in shorter tire life.
  • I think that if you have already shelled out sixty-five large for a touring car and find that the tires wear out a little soon, so what? You could have spend 100 large on a Benz and they have the same problem. I'm for just replacing the Bridgestones with Dunlop when you have to, and not being too upset with it.
    A bigger concern is that the ride is hard going over bumps and causes "cowl shake". I would like Lexus to address that in the next edition of the car, which I will rush out to buy.
This discussion has been closed.