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8.5 years and 148k miles later - my Scion tC is..

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8.5 years and 148k miles later - my Scion tC is..

Old 04-24-2015, 07:45 AM
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Default 8.5 years and 148k miles later - my Scion tC is..

I'd like to share with all of you the status of my tC 8.5 yrs 148k miles later. I bought the car when it had 2 miles on it

Some minor issues: I have an Injen CAI and front and rear sway bars. The rear sway bar gets squeaky from time to time, so I have to get it lubed up almost every other oil change.

I only use full synthetic 5w30 oil on my car. I have noticed a bit of power loss - does not quite accelerate into the freeway on ramp like it used to, but still sufficient enough. CAI still gives a great hum It also burns oils a bit more, and I've noticed that I'm topping it off more often based on the dipstick checks.

The driver side sun visor spring is loose now, so sometimes it is a bit annoying to get it to stay put.

Some of the weather stripping in the front of the moonroof window is starting to peel upwards.

My headlamps got pretty yellowed, and after several different types of treatments to get it to go clear, I've decided to get some LED projector headlamps. They look great and are bright, but don't give as much coverage as the OEM ones.

I have the clario seat covers, and they've started to crack at some areas, which is expected after so many years of use.

Current issues: the damn check engine light keeps going on and off cuz of my gas cap. I've tried different caps, and it will go away for a while until the next gas fill up, where it'll stay on for about 50 miles of mixed driving before going away again. Maybe it's another leak or hole elsewhere, but since it's just emissions related and isn't detrimental to my car, it's not worth the trouble to me to further diagnose the problem and try to repair it.

The TPMS sensors in the tires seem to have different battery life among them, and I have to pay about $160 or so to get the sensor replaced and to have the dealership reset the computer to recognize the new sensor. Only Toyota dealerships can do this apparently.. at least in my experience. So far I've swapped out two of them.

AC isn't as cold as it used to be.

From time to time, I'll experience some rough idles at a red light.

The "classic" problems I've experienced:
I've had the rattling hatch noise, but it seemed to go away over time.
My trunk bezel hatch broke off, and I actually DIY fixed it and got reimbursed by Toyota for the part costs.
I've had my AC/clock LCD screen go completely dark but had it sent in for repair and it was good as new.
I installed these JDM fogs, and they experienced a chip or two due to some rocks skipping around on the freeway.

I also installed a Bluetooth double DIN alpine audio unit and it works with no problem.
The center console partially cracked and now it's a bit loose when you nudge it, but the latch does snap/lock it in place.
I've changed all my turn signals/brake lights reverse lights and cabin lights with LED bulbs and it's fantastic.

I've got through 3 sets of break pads, 4 sets of tires, 2 sets of spark plugs. Oils changes every 5k miles or less. Maybe 5 transmission fluid changes. Used fuel cleaner supplement every other oil change. Changed my own power steering fluid about 5 times.

All in all, it's a great car. Given its age and mileage, it still runs and looks great. I'm considering keeping the car until it has a major problem (which doesn't seem to be happening soon) as I begin to eye some cars. Hopefully it'll get to 200k w/o any of those issues! People are still amazed at the backseat space and how much it can fit once the 60/40 seats are folded down.
This forum is rich with information and great users the contribute a wealth of knowledge. Without you all, I don't think I would have had my scion last that long!
Maybe I'll post some pictures... but I'm so lazy

I'm considering getting the calipers painted and getting new rims, and lowering it an inch, but I've been on the fence since I'm looking to buy another hatchback.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:55 PM
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I'm in the same boat as you. I love the 1st gen tC! I'm on my 2nd one now, my first was totaled by a drunk driver, and plan on keeping it till it literally falls apart somehow.


My current tC has 122k on it and hasn't had any major issues other than some slight oil consumption. The first owner has kept it well maintained and I've done the same since owning it.


I recently did the usual tune-up with new tranny fluid, spark plugs, fuel injection cleaner and cleaned out the maf sensor and filters. I also swapped out my serpentine belt even though the original looked pretty decent. I try to be proactive with my cars.


I plan on doing a radiator drain and refill soon and install stainless steel brake lines along with a fluid bleed and fill with fresh Motul. Upgrade brakes and pads are going soon as well.


All in all, it's a awesome car and you're right about the backseat/trunk space area. Everyone that has seen it was blown away how much stuff I could fit in there.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:52 AM
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Good stuff. Nice to see you kept the tc so long!
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:10 AM
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Yea, there's something about this car that is very likeable. I've had other Toyotas and several Honda Accords. My last Accord was just sold and I kept the TC, where I could've easily done it the other way around. Its a nice looking, sporty car, with lots of room inside. And I love the Flint Mica. My fondness for it grew even more, once I added the OEM LED taillights and GFX kit. Huge improvement in appearance

In the time I've owned it, I've done a transmission flush with OEM fluid, replaced the HVAC unit (lighting went out), fixed a stubborn sunroof switch, and replaced a motor mount (I do all my own work). Almost 170k miles and runs great. Next big purchase will be a set of late model OEM Corolla S 5-spoke wheels. I think it'll make it look even better, and Im getting tired of the factory TC wheels
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:20 AM
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Ive had just about the same issues over time with common wear & tear... overall my 06' tC still runs like a champ... odo 97337
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:13 PM
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I have a similar good report for my 2009.

I got it new in mid-2008 and have a little over 125k miles right now.

-Trans fluid x2
-Coolant flush at 60k (far too early, am waiting till 150k to do it again)
-Serpentine belt at 100k (also too early)
-Plugs at 100k
-PCV valve at 100k (preventative)
-Water pump at 110k (leaking from weep hole, but caught it early. Also reused coolant)
-Power steering fluid x2
-Brake and clutch fluid every 2nd year
-Still on original brakes and clutch
-On my 3rd and 4th sets of tires (I have winter and summer tires on different sets of OEM wheels)

I had the hatch handle replaced under warranty. I also had a funny transmission problem at 120k where I lost 5th gear, but miraculously fixed it after finding the output shaft nut was loose and didn't have to remove the transmission to fix it. That's the only time it ever let me down, and it even drove home in 4th gear.

My car is actually holding up pretty well cosmetically. The front bumper and hood have a few rock chips but that's pretty much it. The light plastics haven't really faded at all. The interior looks more or less new when it's clean. No scratches or broken parts.

Other than that... it's been boring. I've taken it on a half dozen 1,000+ mile road trips, including one as recently as 2 weeks ago.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mc1114 View Post
Yea, there's something about this car that is very likeable. I've had other Toyotas and several Honda Accords. My last Accord was just sold and I kept the TC, where I could've easily done it the other way around. Its a nice looking, sporty car, with lots of room inside. And I love the Flint Mica. My fondness for it grew even more, once I added the OEM LED taillights and GFX kit. Huge improvement in appearance

In the time I've owned it, I've done a transmission flush with OEM fluid, replaced the HVAC unit (lighting went out), fixed a stubborn sunroof switch, and replaced a motor mount (I do all my own work). Almost 170k miles and runs great. Next big purchase will be a set of late model OEM Corolla S 5-spoke wheels. I think it'll make it look even better, and Im getting tired of the factory TC wheels
I hear you on the factory wheels. I was thinking of getting some new wheels altogether, and getting the calipers painted flint mica as well to add some subtle flair.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by OpTiMi5t View Post
Ive had just about the same issues over time with common wear & tear... overall my 06' tC still runs like a champ... odo 97337
They are hardy little cars. I think being manufactured in Japan has something to do with it.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bentheswift View Post
I have a similar good report for my 2009.

I got it new in mid-2008 and have a little over 125k miles right now.

-Trans fluid x2
-Coolant flush at 60k (far too early, am waiting till 150k to do it again)
-Serpentine belt at 100k (also too early)
-Plugs at 100k
-PCV valve at 100k (preventative)
-Water pump at 110k (leaking from weep hole, but caught it early. Also reused coolant)
-Power steering fluid x2
-Brake and clutch fluid every 2nd year
-Still on original brakes and clutch
-On my 3rd and 4th sets of tires (I have winter and summer tires on different sets of OEM wheels)

I had the hatch handle replaced under warranty. I also had a funny transmission problem at 120k where I lost 5th gear, but miraculously fixed it after finding the output shaft nut was loose and didn't have to remove the transmission to fix it. That's the only time it ever let me down, and it even drove home in 4th gear.

My car is actually holding up pretty well cosmetically. The front bumper and hood have a few rock chips but that's pretty much it. The light plastics haven't really faded at all. The interior looks more or less new when it's clean. No scratches or broken parts.

Other than that... it's been boring. I've taken it on a half dozen 1,000+ mile road trips, including one as recently as 2 weeks ago.
I guess boring could be a good thing when it comes to issues the car could have! But the tC does leave one yearning for a bit more. I'm surprised the 2nd gen tC didn't come out with more horsepower or weigh significantly lighter. the HP:weight ratio could add some lively pep into the tC's step. But perhaps that's what the FRS is for...
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:17 PM
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Mine has the exact issues as yours...

Loss of power on the bridge
Rough idle at red lights sometimes
Whistle sound on the INJEN CAI so that consumes more gas
Check light went on a couple of times because of the loose gas cap
Hatch handle broke and the recalled expired when it did. I will have to buy one on eBay for $60
AC isn't as cold as it used to be
Aftermarket fog lights broke because of rocks

Somethings not mentioned ...
Noisy cabin
Ride is a bumpier

Heres something on the serious level, I had a P0741 engine light code so I got my transmission rebuilt for $1600 =(
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:41 PM
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I haven't been around lately.. but about the idle issue, I had it too. the usual suspects are :

- Clean the MAF sensor
- Clean the throttle body
- Use bg product's 44k fuel cleaner. Dump into the gas tank, fill up to mix it all. Burn that tank of gas out.
- Replace the spark plugs with NGK's laser iridium part no 4589

But the one thing I did forget about was the 44k fuel cleaner. I dumped that in and burning about 1/2 tank of that it has already cleared up the rough idle. It's about $20 a can where you can find it. thought I'd throw that in
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:03 AM
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2006 53k miles. no problems except the moonroof mechanism under warranty ($1600 i think).had to be replaced. they told me to grease it.

at 53k is there any special maintenance i need to do? cant find my manual.

i pretty much keep regular maintenance on it, i did change air filter once though.

Last edited by Luisfc1972; 05-28-2015 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Luisfc1972 View Post
2006 53k miles. no problems except the moonroof mechanism under warranty ($1600 i think).had to be replaced. they told me to grease it.

at 53k is there any special maintenance i need to do? cant find my manual.

i pretty much keep regular maintenance on it, i did change air filter once though.
Check the water pump to make sure it's not leaking, you'd see pink/white crusty stuff down in the middle of where the drivebelt goes. I think the bad water pumps were from 05-08 or so. The newer design is much better.

Cabin Air filter (if you have installed one, there is a space for one there)

Every 30k miles:
- Replace brake fluid, 30k or every 3 years.
- Replace Engine air filter
- Replace auto trans fluid (Check your year, it was Type IV 2005-2006, 07 I think it changed to WS).. Only of course if you have an auto trans.

- Service brake calipers.. Clean/Lube sliding pins, caliper piston edge with toyota rubber grease
- Replace Spark Plugs (I dont listen to the 100k replacement hype) these are NGK 4589, Laser Iridium plugs.
- Replace engine coolant (Toyota SLLC, super long life coolant)

That's how I do the maintenance, I don't listen to Toyota's recommendations, I do things early. Better safe than sorry, as they say.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:37 AM
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where do you buy those spark plugs? theres only one available on amazon and they want 6 plus with shipping.

as for the coolant is this the one?

Amazon.com: Toyota Genuine Fluid 00272-SLLC2 Long Life Coolant - 1 Gallon: Automotive Amazon.com: Toyota Genuine Fluid 00272-SLLC2 Long Life Coolant - 1 Gallon: Automotive

i live in los angeles so i dont think i need it but your name is sciontc_mich so you must know about the mighty tc!
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sciontc_mich View Post
Check the water pump to make sure it's not leaking, you'd see pink/white crusty stuff down in the middle of where the drivebelt goes. I think the bad water pumps were from 05-08 or so. The newer design is much better.

Cabin Air filter (if you have installed one, there is a space for one there)

Every 30k miles:
- Replace brake fluid, 30k or every 3 years.
- Replace Engine air filter
- Replace auto trans fluid (Check your year, it was Type IV 2005-2006, 07 I think it changed to WS).. Only of course if you have an auto trans.

- Service brake calipers.. Clean/Lube sliding pins, caliper piston edge with toyota rubber grease
- Replace Spark Plugs (I dont listen to the 100k replacement hype) these are NGK 4589, Laser Iridium plugs.
- Replace engine coolant (Toyota SLLC, super long life coolant)

That's how I do the maintenance, I don't listen to Toyota's recommendations, I do things early. Better safe than sorry, as they say.
Never listen to the car manufacturers on maintenance, they are in the business of selling car's not making your last 500K miles..

I got 413K miles on my 85 Camry
367K miles on my 01 Sienna
298K miles on my 99 Corolla
518K miles on my 05 Scion XB (Missed.. Shouldn't have sold her)
Oil changes every 3k Miles Synthetic or not..
Plugs every 65K miles
Coolant flushes every 50k Miles..
The only things i never touched was Tranmission fluid..
Ran the original Tranny fluid on both the camry and the Sienna all there lives.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Luisfc1972 View Post
where do you buy those spark plugs? theres only one available on amazon and they want 6 plus with shipping.

as for the coolant is this the one?

Amazon.com: Toyota Genuine Fluid 00272-SLLC2 Long Life Coolant - 1 Gallon: Automotive

i live in los angeles so i dont think i need it but your name is sciontc_mich so you must know about the mighty tc!
my name came out of a combo of the scion's model and michigan where I'm from ;) but thanks! Yeah I have been around the scion scene since the beginning. wow that went quickly! lol

the ngk plugs, you can get those at your local napa store. I've never gotten a bad one from napa! They take a lot better care of their stock than autozone or advance auto! I would not buy the plugs the dealer sells, those are denso brand and when I installed them, the tC ran like crap! NGK 4589 is what mine came with from the factory.

about the coolant, yes that's the correct one (super long life coolant, SLLC for short, it's also the "pink coolant"), you can get that at the dealer. You can always ask the dealer for their "better price", since most can haggle on price. Instead of paying full retail price! You'd be amazed how most quickly will match online prices. Just ask!

I also agree on coolant changes every 50k (at least, I do mine every 30k miles)
Oil changes I go between 3000-4000 miles
The auto transmission fluid every 30k miles, because it has shown it does break down over time. Yes, someone did send it to a lab for testing.
And DO NOT forget to replace the brake fluid every 30k or 3 years! That breaks down over time, absorbs water/moisture, it's why brake fluid turns dark!
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sciontc_mich View Post
my name came out of a combo of the scion's model and michigan where I'm from ;) but thanks! Yeah I have been around the scion scene since the beginning. wow that went quickly! lol

the ngk plugs, you can get those at your local napa store. I've never gotten a bad one from napa! They take a lot better care of their stock than autozone or advance auto! I would not buy the plugs the dealer sells, those are denso brand and when I installed them, the tC ran like crap! NGK 4589 is what mine came with from the factory.

about the coolant, yes that's the correct one (super long life coolant, SLLC for short, it's also the "pink coolant"), you can get that at the dealer. You can always ask the dealer for their "better price", since most can haggle on price. Instead of paying full retail price! You'd be amazed how most quickly will match online prices. Just ask!

I also agree on coolant changes every 50k (at least, I do mine every 30k miles)
Oil changes I go between 3000-4000 miles
The auto transmission fluid every 30k miles, because it has shown it does break down over time. Yes, someone did send it to a lab for testing.
And DO NOT forget to replace the brake fluid every 30k or 3 years! That breaks down over time, absorbs water/moisture, it's why brake fluid turns dark!

napa has 2 types of the plugs but not sure which one to choose. i assume the top/first one?


http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Re...Dp%3d3%26N%3d0
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Luisfc1972 View Post
napa has 2 types of the plugs but not sure which one to choose. i assume the top/first one?


http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Re...Dp%3d3%26N%3d0
that's confusing! they named it three different things, but it's all the same part number, NGK 4589.. lol.. Ask for part NGK 4589 (four of them to a pack), and on the box it will say "Laser Iridium". pick any of those on the list it's the same part. No worries this is what the box looks like.. at this link NGK Laser IridiumŪ Spark Plugs

Also.. I found this pdf file comparing the Laser Iridium to the Iridium IX that NGK sells.. The Laser series offers two surfaces for the spark, the center electrode is Iridium, and the top portion of the side electrode is platinum. Where the Iridium IX only has the Iridium center electrode/tip. That means the Laser Iridium will last much much longer. Not telling you this to confuse you just explaining for you and others who find this thread in the future.. I think the Laser Iridium is the best plug between the two. http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/pdf/DYK...idium%20IX.pdf


also, you do not have to gap these plugs, or adjust the gap. They are already at 1.1mm, the correct spec for the tC's engine. Should be good to install, and enjoy

Last edited by sciontc_mich; 10-12-2015 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:17 PM
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hmm i chatted with napa auto parts and they said the price is for 1 spark plug. so its almost $40 for 4 of them. does that sound right.

does my cart look good

http://www.napaonline.com/ShoppingCa...ping-cart.aspx
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Old 10-13-2015, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Luisfc1972 View Post
hmm i chatted with napa auto parts and they said the price is for 1 spark plug. so its almost $40 for 4 of them. does that sound right.

does my cart look good

NAPA AUTO PARTS
I can't look at the shopping cart, since each cart is only for the browser it's loaded into. But yes that price is correct, they are about $7-9 each. The guy was telling you the truth. Not cheap, but then again they do last a lonngggg time .
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