Price — SOLD
Mileage: 114,000, Engine: 4.3 liter V-8, Body Style: Hard-top convertible, Exterior color: Dark blue (used to be black before repainting), Interior color: Black with dark-red seats (seats used to be black before reupholstering),
A/C, Cruise Control, Navigation System, Power Locks, Power Steering, Memory Seats, Heated Seats, Cherry wood interior, Cassette – Radio – CD Changer sound system
This is a 2002 (first year) Lexus SC430 convertible with just under 114,000 miles. I’m either it’s third or fourth owner and judging from the stickers on the old windshield we were all doctors or professionals of one sort or another. I’m the one that did all the 100,000 mile fix-up stuff.
The title records show that the car lived in Florida and Oklahoma before I moved it up here to Saint Paul, Minnesota (zip code 55108). I’ve stored it in a heated garage during the Minnesota winters (this is not a real good “winter car”).
This car was originally black and I slightly changed the color (to a really dark metallic blue) when I splurged and had the car repainted in 2013. Basically, the paint is in near-new condition and there’s plenty of clear-coat if you’re looking to buff the car some time in the future.
The seats were reupholstered last year. Do note the 24.7 average miles/gallon fuel economy on the dash — I drive like your Granny.
Wheels and tires
Wheels – aftermarket (downsized from OEM 18″ to 17″ to improve ride)
Tires – Michelin Primacy MXV4
Clearly, these differ a bit from the originals. The original 18″ rims have been replaced with 17″ ones and the harsh run-flat tires have been replaced with Consumer Reports favorite Michelin Primacy MXV4’s. The ride is amazingly smoother, quieter and less “jittery” than the typical SC430 as a result. The rims and tires were both replaced in spring of 2013. That lame picture on the right is a NICKEL because I didn’t have a quarter handy. The tires have a bit less than 5000 miles on them. Note: there is no spare, because this was originally a run-flat tire car.
Engine and drive-train
All of the “expensive 100,000 mile stuff” has been done, right around the 100k-miles mark. Since that time the car has been going through routine oil change and fluid-changes without bringing up any flags at the Toyota dealer where I have the work done. Here’s a list of big-stuff that was done at 100k miles:
Front and rear struts
Front bushings (the “problem” bushings known to cause trouble in this model-year)
Transmission and radiator fluid flushed
New windshield (not really “engine” or “drive train” but it fits nicely in this list)
And here are a couple pictures of the engine compartment:
Known issues with 2002 SC430’s
There’s a very active SC430 forum which will provide you all sorts of incredibly useful information about these cars. We’re… well… enthusiasts and think this is one of the best cars of all time. Consumer Reports agrees, rating this car incredibly high in reliability. That said, there are some things you should watch out for, which are documented in this post on the forum. I strongly recommend you follow that link and learn about these cars before you buy an SC430, especially a 1st-year one like this. You’ll save yourself some headaches.
Here’s a list of issues from that post, and the state of this car:
Rough ride: the front suspension arms and bushings have been replaced. This car rides great, what with all the things that have been done.
Run flat tires: also a contributor to rough ride, these have been replaced
Pie plate wheels: these were replaced, partly because they’re incredibly homely and partly because they were bent
“Clunk” noise coming from front suspension: that’s the bushings, they’ve been replaced
Error 5 on stereo: not present with this car
“No disk detected” error on Nav screen: not a problem (the Nav CD is about 8 years old, so every once in a while you’ll run into a newer road that doesn’t show up right)
Top won’t go down: not an issue with this car
VDC/Check-engine: not an issue
TPMS: Is on. The tire pressure management system on these cars is goofy. I finally gave up on it, check the tire pressure regularly and leave the light on. There’s a lot about this puzzler in the forum post I mentioned above.
Stuff to mention