Considering Purchasing An SC400-Bit Worried.. - ClubLexus - Lexus Forum Discussion


SC- 1st Gen (1992-2000)

Considering Purchasing An SC400-Bit Worried..

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-22-17, 09:20 AM   #1
msm1
Driver School Candidate
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: PA
Posts: 3
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Considering Purchasing An SC400-Bit Worried..

Hey CL,

So I've been considering an SC400 for quite some time now because of the engine inside the vehicle and the overall design of the car is very unique. I am just worried about the general maintenance of the vehicle. I have been doing some searching around the forum to see the general maintenance of the vehicle and some people have been saying the maintenance shouldn't be that expensive as long as you do the regular oil changes, timing belt, water pump. However, other people have been saying that the maintenance of the vehicle is expensive in regards to the cost of parts and if you do it yourself. I mostly will try to get a mechanic to do most of the fixing but will try to do some stuff on my own. In regards to that, is the SC400 a expensive vehicle to maintain and keep running? Also how reliable would the vehicle be if I was to be using this as my daily driver? I live in the North so we do get some snow and wondering how it performs in that climate. I am also a college student so sometimes I will strapped for cash and may not be able to pay for repairs if they become exceeding expensive. I have been also considering a 5th gen Honda Prelude in manual because that will be a cheaper car to maintain but there's something that the SC400 has the keeps me from not considering it as an option anymore.

I plan on purchasing an SC400 when the time is right and I find one in great condition, if that matters on the maintenance costs.

Thanks.
msm1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-17, 10:00 AM   #2
vteruni
Pole Position
iTrader: (1)
 
vteruni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: FL
Posts: 348
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Default

Hello and welcome,
I have a 99sc400 that ive had for almost a year now and ive had to do some maintenance to it and ive owned a 95sc300 for 5 years before it and i will say that the maintenance on these cars is more than others but not as bad as people make it out to be. If you do your research and properly check the car before buying it you should be ok. go for the 98-00 years as those are the best when it comes to the sc4. The engines are very reliable, ive seen them go past 3-400k if taken care of properly. Im a college student myself and i have a mechanic do most of the heavy work on it but its not as bad. There are a few things that are specific to these cars that cost alot to replace so have someone check those before you buy the car. front lower control arms cost ~$200 each now that weve located some aftermarket alternatives, the way the cam seal is designed on the front of the engine make it a nightmare for mechanics to change and some of them will tell you to take it to the dealer because they dont want the liability, interior parts are expensive to replace on this car and its almost 2x more expansive if the interior is black. Bottom line, try to find a lowish mile (just over 100k) clean 98-2000 SC400 that doesnt have those specific issues. Here in florida i would consider $7k to be a bit premium price, 6k to be fair, 5k to be a good deal, 4k to be a great deal, 3k to be a steal. I got mine for $3200
Regardless of how clean the car is, remember that youll always have something that needs fixing when you first buy it. Its just a part of buying a used car. If it was working perfectly then it wouldnt be for sale. So try to get the cleanest car you can but makes sure to save some of your budget for the repairs that will pop up within the first few months of owning the car. Take your time looking for it, it took me 1.5 years to find mine for the right price.

best of luck, these cars are a great experience to drive but remember that you are getting a luxury coupe so dont expect this car to feel like a 'sports car'. its more of a comfy cruiser with style.
vteruni is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to vteruni For This Useful Post:
msm1 (11-25-17)
Old 11-22-17, 03:25 PM   #3
lexuscfour
Rookie
 
lexuscfour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: FL
Posts: 83
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Whatever SC400 you find, make sure they've already changed the starter. That's the biggest pita and possibly the most costly and time consuming repairs to my knowledge.
lexuscfour is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to lexuscfour For This Useful Post:
msm1 (11-25-17)
Old 11-22-17, 04:57 PM   #4
vteruni
Pole Position
iTrader: (1)
 
vteruni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: FL
Posts: 348
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Default

^ true, forgot about the starter, but on these cars they dont usually warrant a replacement until the car gets close to the 200k mark
vteruni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-17, 06:01 PM   #5
kitabel
Lexus Test Driver
 
kitabel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: New York
Posts: 908
Thanked 69 Times in 63 Posts
Default

Regardless of how clean the car is, remember that youll always have something that needs fixing when you first buy it. Its just a part of buying a used car. If it was working perfectly then it wouldnt be for sale.

THIS^^^
kitabel is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to kitabel For This Useful Post:
msm1 (11-25-17)
Old 11-22-17, 07:10 PM   #6
msm1
Driver School Candidate
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: PA
Posts: 3
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thank you all for your helpful comments!,

What would be expected monthly cost of maintenance after everything is good with the car such as the starter was replaced, timing belt was replaced, etc? I am just trying to gauge how expensive it will be own. I currently own a 2007 honda civic coupe ex and the current year maintenance was +$1000 because the previous owner didn't replace anything since they brought it. How much of a difference would it be in cost of ownership between the two cars?

Thanks again.
msm1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-17, 08:15 PM   #7
vteruni
Pole Position
iTrader: (1)
 
vteruni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: FL
Posts: 348
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Default

i cant really tell you how much it would be monthly, it really depends on how much you drive and what your driving habits are. In terms of timing belt/water pump, when i bought mine i had to do that and replace the valve cover gaskets because they were leaking. also did an oil change while i was at it. With my mechanic it all cost me about ~$800 but ive known the guy for a while and he gives me good rates. I imagine if i took the car to the dealer that same work would easily cost me $3k. Since then its been about half a year and it runs like a champ. I still need to replace the lower control arms, do an alignment and probably front brakes. Then i gotta work on the ignintion, change the plugs/wires/coilpacks which will cost me about $400 in parts. The ignition is really easy to work with on the V8 because you dont have to rip apart half the engine to get to the plugs so i plan to do that myself and ive done brakes before so thats not a big deal either. The lower control arms are going to cost me about $400 for a set + labor to get them replaced. My guy said he would do it for $200 but i might end up doing that myself too, the process is pretty simple but a pita if you dont have a lift(which i dont). The point of all the stuff that i listed was to give you a general idea of what maintenance costs on this. Notice that pretty much everything i did was over $300. Thats pretty much what you need to expect. But with a lexus, in most cases when you fix something it stays fixed for a while. Best way to save money is to look around the forum for stuff that caused people headaches because they didnt do it in time. For me it was the steering rack bushings on my 95 SC3. Had i gotten them replaced in time i wouldnt have sprouted a leak in the rack itself and wouldnt have had to replace it (cost me about $800 with labor)

If i had to sum it up, i would say in the 5-6 years that ive owned my SC300 i did about ~$3k worth of maintenance on it, and im being generous, it was probably less then that and im not counting normal stuff like oil change and new tires.

And finally if you do end up getting the car, once youve got all the maintenance squared away, youll want to do some minor quality of life upgrades. On my car i added, bluetooth for music and phone calls, converted all cabin lighting to LED, including trunk and license plate, added a phone holder, replaced the steering wheel to a 3 spoke wood grain wheel from SC430. DIdnt have to do that last one but it was sitting around after i sold my SC300 so i swapped it in. Things i still plan to do: Upgrade headlights to HID, get some new wheels and tires, lower the car just a little bit to get a more aggressive stance without having to worry about going over speed bumps.

I may have gotten a bit off topic here and there but this should give you a pretty good idea on what to expect and of couse this all varies depending on what condition the car you buy is in.
vteruni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-17, 08:18 PM   #8
liazon
Lead Lap
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 452
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Sc400

SC 400 has a super reliable engine but due to its age u r gonna run into The common non engine maintenance issues of any 100K plus car. Maintenance on a Lexus is more expensive than a Toyota, and there are more bells and whistles which are the first things to go, so if you are on a tight budget a Toyota is a better bet, I.e. the Toyota Solara SLE has a peppy v6 engine, leather, and a great stereo and guaranteed the driver of that car didn’t drive it is hard as a V-8 Lexus . It Will treat you better on a budget. In my opinion, if you don’t have A minimum of $8k to spend on a used lexus you should save until you do. A Lexus under five grand is going to cost you money on maintenance pure and simple.

regardless of what choice you make, always buy from an individual who has written maintenance records. People who take pride in their vehicles keep records.
Never a dealer and never a wholesaler.

gl
liazon is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to liazon For This Useful Post:
msm1 (11-25-17)
Old 11-22-17, 11:49 PM   #9
ALISC400
Driver School Candidate
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: DUBAI
Posts: 35
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitabel View Post
Regardless of how clean the car is, remember that youll always have something that needs fixing when you first buy it. Its just a part of buying a used car. If it was working perfectly then it wouldnt be for sale.
THIS^^^
Hello MSM1!

Well glad you’re considering the SC400! Well for a daily driver, the car is brilliant and parts are somewhat available. Do keep checking the forums as that’s the best way to tackle the problems (or future issues) you may face but also some people do part out their cars so you could honestly pick up a bargain.

Now, the usual maintenance aside… the engine IMHO is bulletproof if you take care of it. The gear box too doesn’t shoot out many issues for a SC400 thus far for myself but requires care and such. When buying a used car, you’d have to take SOME precautions with the previous owners care/service history but also don’t expect a brand new car. Though these cars may be old, they are somewhat forgiving.

You can always repair yourself or find a trusted mechanic to help you out, most of the information is out there =) but as I said, many people are trading out cars (maybe even locally to you?) so you could always find a good deal for the parts you need. Maybe scrap yards would be your other best shot if the cash strapped days arrive. I can’t personally say for colder climates in regards to its performance but as a daily driver, it does put a smile on my face. Do wait for the right one though and do your research, don’t rush into it and hopefully you’ll find “the one”.
ALISC400 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ALISC400 For This Useful Post:
msm1 (11-25-17)
Old 11-23-17, 07:49 AM   #10
lexuscfour
Rookie
 
lexuscfour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: FL
Posts: 83
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

In my case, I bought this 93 in Oct. 15 with 200500 miles and just got around to doing timing belt, water pump, plugs and wires last month. Car fan fine without all that and runs like a beast now that it's been changed. Did the alternator a few months ago but that's probably because I drove in a puddle. I'm actually heading to a mechanic to change the drivers side camshaft sensor because the serpentine belt is chewing through it. $60 for the sensor, $40 for labor. I have 233k on her now. This car has been taken care of by all 3 previous owners and even had the starter and ECU changed at the Lexus dealership back in 2013 and has 19 pages of service records so I have a decent base to start with. Only paid 2k for it too. These cars are super reliable when they've been taken care of.
lexuscfour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-17, 07:57 PM   #11
msm1
Driver School Candidate
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: PA
Posts: 3
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thanks again everyone!,

I don't consider myself as an aggressive driver and mostly drive locally so how are the mpg's regularly on this car. I've read online that its like 16 on the city and like upper 20's on the highway. Do these values hold true or can it be slightly higher regarding my less aggressive style? Also how does this car perform in the winter? I know its RWD but I'm thinking that it being so heavy that it would be fine in the winter. My backup is a Honda Prelude and that's FWD so I know for sure that won't be an issue in the winter.
msm1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-17, 08:24 PM   #12
vteruni
Pole Position
iTrader: (1)
 
vteruni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: FL
Posts: 348
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Default

Im in FL so we dont get any winter here but regarding MPG it depends on the the year you get. The 98+ SC400 use less fuel than the earlier years. I average about 19-21 in the city and about 25-27 highway (depending on speed). Its not an economy car by any means but i wouldnt go as far as say its a gas guzzler either.
vteruni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-17, 11:11 AM   #13
Celtica
Driver
 
Celtica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: CA
Posts: 105
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by msm1 View Post
Thanks again everyone!,

I don't consider myself as an aggressive driver and mostly drive locally so how are the mpg's regularly on this car. I've read online that its like 16 on the city and like upper 20's on the highway. Do these values hold true or can it be slightly higher regarding my less aggressive style? Also how does this car perform in the winter? I know its RWD but I'm thinking that it being so heavy that it would be fine in the winter. My backup is a Honda Prelude and that's FWD so I know for sure that won't be an issue in the winter.
My 1998 SC400 is rated at 25mpg on the highway and the only time I actually checked it was when my wife and daughter and I drove from Northern California to Disneyland. With three people In the car and the trunk and left rear seat packed with luggage and driving up and down hills, I actually got the rated 25 mpg which I think is impressive for a 3600 or so lb. car pushing almost 300 hp. It does take premium fuel though. As far as snow goes, I think it's so so, it's better in dry or just wet climate. My old Volvo 240 did better in the snow and it was rwd and didn't even have traction control.
Celtica is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 08:39 AM   #14
liazon
Lead Lap
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 452
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default

SC400 is a horrible car in any ice/snow. tires spin at the drop of a hat and VSC mechanism (if engaged) shuts down the rpm if they spin so you go nowhere. I even tried rear studded snow tires on mine to no avail.

the only reason to buy a v8 is for the power. you sacrifice significant MPG.
liazon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-17, 09:32 AM   #15
LEXXIUM
Lexus Champion
iTrader: (1)
 
LEXXIUM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: IN
Posts: 1,857
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
Default

Msm1 welcome!!
As you noticed a beautiful lines of the old sc400/300, you can’t resist falling in love with such a sexy Japanese body!!
I would take the car out for a ride since it’s moded and just turn the stereo off and listen for abnormal sounds, these cars from the factory come very quiet and reliable, it’s not like buyin a 5 yr old mustang that’s falling apart.
Im looking at the Liazons list of cars above me in the signature, this guy knows his ****, he drives nothing but Lexus!!!!
myself I have 3 sc 2of them 400s and I’m in love with every one of them and I don’t know why, may be it’s because they are so reliabl, sexy etc and there is so much potential and aftermarket availability that no other can offer!!!
Plus, this is an awesome Lexus community here, you can rely on help if you needed!!!
good luck to you!!!
LEXXIUM is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ES300 is good for how many miles? punkyrules ES - 1st to 4th Gen (1990-2006) 51 11-05-17 04:05 PM
We're considering a used SC430... your advice please!! andynoel78 SC430 - 2nd Gen (2001-2010) 21 10-04-16 06:48 PM
Value of Lexus Vehicle Service Agreement or Prepaid Maintenance beauzer Car Chat 1 07-12-16 01:28 PM
Anyone own a German vehicle, or want to at some point in addition to our Lexus? HouseB328 Car Chat 66 06-30-16 09:56 PM
How many miles is too much for you to consider buying? Wandl Car Chat 63 04-28-16 03:59 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:39 PM.


Copyright © 2000-2017 Internet Brands, Inc. All Rights Reserved We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: