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Looking To Purchase My First Sc


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Hello All,

I'd like to just briefly introduce my self to this amazing fourm. My name is Tom, I'm 19 and I'm looking to buy my second car. I purchased a 01 Mazda 626 ES as my first car, and i was basically ripped off. The dealer removed the check engine light from under the dash and with out knowing, I ran the car until it over heated about a year later (before it was due for inspection).

So now im in the process of looking for a new car. I fell in love with the SC a long time ago, and ive decide to pursue one. I'm hoping to buy an early model SC300, and if i can find one with a manual transmission that would be ideal. This is a car that I will be most likely be buying with alot of miles. However, I don't have a problem with that because I would like to keep it forever, and ultimately restore it.

I've done a decent amount of research on the internet, talked to a few of my friends (who are Lexus owners) but I would like some real advice from the enthusiasts.

If anyone could help me out i have a few quick questions it would really be helpful:

What are some common maintance repairs, and when do they usually arise?

Are the repairs costly?

At a high mileage, is the car still reliable?

What are some warning signs that i should avoid?

I'm sorry if these questions have already been asked/answered but I was unable to find them through my searches.

Thanks Everyone!

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Kickmee6, This link has all your answers.


Check this site and search for common problems



"What are some common maintance repairs, and when do they usually arise? the link has a list of common problems. Check this too: Turn on the stereo system, make sure speakers/amp and CD Changer are functioning. this link shows steps on taking out and what can be fix. Make sure Stereo/AC LED readouts have on bleeding, information is visible.


Are the repairs costly? Yes it a Lexus

At a high mileage, is the car still reliable? Yes if properly maintained (ask for records), but try to find one under 150,000.

What are some warning signs that i should avoid?" An Sc that has numerous common problems you will see in links. Fixing all the problems will cost more than the Sc value.

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  • 2 weeks later...
"What are some common maintance repairs, and when do they usually arise?"

I have a 94 SC400 with 250k. You're looking for records that someone always changed the oil and coolant on time!

These are not miracle cars. But they will "hold" repairs unlike any other 10-15 year old automobile. But like any 10-15 year old car, a lot of stuff needs to be replaced. Brakes are expensive... there's a few links on how to rebuild calipers own your own... but brakes do last a very long time.

At 150k my 94 SC needed:

new struts all around

new control arms and/or bushings as appropriate

valve seals replaced and valve/cam shims were changed out

New radiator

AC system service

infamous window regulator problem fixed

At 200k

engine repairs to fix "seeks at idle / accelerates funny"

timing belt changed (was changed at 100k too)

fuel filter replaced

plugs & wires

throttle position sensor error code (replaced from Lexus parts online)

EGR valve filter is still clean (left as is)

PCV valve and o-ring replaced (Lexus parts online- auto parts store PCV valves are cheap chinese crap)

Sea-foam and run on 93 octane to clean faulty injector #8 (I can no longer recommend 91 octane to my SC400 friends)

manual sez it's time, so transmission fluid change with T-IV (replaces T-II according to Lexus TSB)

non engine:

cabin air filter

trunk struts replaced (40 each at local parts store, 200 EACH at dealer!)

LCD screen on HVAC replaced

sanded/de-schmutz the headlights

repainted hood (wife used auto-car-wash, these remove clear-coat after a few years of washes)

replace (or recone) factory speakers

disassemble and clean volume rheostat

At 250k

Doh! go back into trans pan, remove filter and replace (o rings were solidified), replace about 2qts T-IV in pan.

New windshield (highly recommended for night driving)

upholstery replaced due to extreme wear on driver seat and sun-baking on rear seat


The factory original exhaust is in need of service soon.

The rear struts are showing wear.


A bullet-cars supercharger to catch up to my buddy's auto-stick Audi A4

And the UZZ32 active suspension to pass him at the corners on the track

If you like DIY, this is a fun car. Enjoy! :D

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