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First post, hey all!!


Looking at a Scion tC 2009-2010, and thought Id get some feedback form the people who own them. Mainly looking for 2004-2007 owners with higher mileage, but of course everybody is welcome to chime in.

My main concern is reliability. I can put up with small stuff like creaks and rattles and I don't have a problem with routine maintenance (clutches, wheel bearing, engine seals, timing belts, brakes, etc), but other than that the drive train would have to be pretty reliable. I don't have the time or money to get an engine or transmission rebuilt (piston rings, valve seals, etc). Might be able to stumble through a head gasket change if there is no damage to the block, but that would be as far as I dare go.


What I'm getting at is this. How do these cars hold up after the new car honeymoon is over? How do they do at 100K-150K miles and 5-6 years old? Any specific problem areas? Any problems with the engine burning oil or the transmission?


Is the car fairly easy to work on? I've yet to test drive one or look at one in person...


How does it handle in the snow? I imagine the stock Bridgestone RE92's will have to go...

Can you fit a bike in the back with the seats folded down? No deal breaker but that would be really cool! From the pictures it looks like you might be able to...




The car will be a daily driver and will be completely stock. I'd like to keep it for at least 150K miles/10years.



Thanks for the help.


Dragos
 

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I've only had my car for about 9 months and only have 37,000 miles but it is an 05. Overall I think these cars have proven to be quite reliable, when maintained. You are buying a Toyota engine, and they are exceedingly reliable. I would think you could get much more than 150k out of it.
 

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I've had my 2006 for almost 5.5 years. I got it in August of '05. She's been nothing but good to me. No major problems. *knock on wood* No burning oil, no tranny problems, no electrical problems. A few of us around here drive in the snow and it seems to do well. Definitely get yourself some good tires, though! I'm sure you'll get some others to chime in, but I think you'd be smart to go with the tC. Very durable.
 

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AWD V8 KILLER!
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Mine is an 09, so it's not too old. My older 05 didn't have any problems before I traded it in for my Release Series 5.0. They are solid cars, and able to do alot.

As far as working on them, it's is very easy. You need a 10mm deep socket to take apart most of everything. Lol.

I can speak for the snow though. I only have the Toyo Proxes4, but Im on a TRD Drop and 18'' rims. I live in Alaska, and the snow up here SUCKS. However, the car does amazing. Im sure with some better tires it would do better, but even with my Toyo's, she performs well in the snow. I DO have a manual, which makes it easier, but it all depends on how well YOU drive in the snow.
 

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but it all depends on how well YOU drive in the snow.
THIS
I got the car in February right before a big snowstorm and was totally panicked about driving it in the snow because I didn't think it would handle well, and it was so much better than driving in my Focus. Through the rest of the winter I don't think it ever even really slid at all, no fishtailing, etc. I am a very cautious snow driver though!
 

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Former '05er
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The wife has 127k on her '06. Yes I can fit two bikes in the back with the seats folded down. One of them was this one:



Things to look for - most important - rear calipers stuck on their slider pins. Toyota has been having trouble with this across Scion/Toyota/Lexus and if it happens, your brakes will feel like mush. It is expensive to fix because aftermarket calipers are difficult to find and usually expensive when you do. The damage requires replacing the caliper and pin (which really sucks). It is not guaranteed, but definitely something to look for in the buying process if buying used.

It's easy to work on with the exception of the rear engine mount when doing the clutch. I'd highly recommend an engine support bar for this job. You can do it without one, but it's a lot quicker and easier with one. I've done 5 or 6 of them and done it both ways. Way easier with the bar.

The rest of the car is very low maintenance. I run just about everything I own on Mobil 1 (because it's easy to find and cheap at Wal-Mart) for 10k miles between changes with OEM filters. Works like a charm and has had zero negative impact on the car's performance or service life.

At ~120k miles you'll want to clean the throttlebody. You'll also want to change out the power steering fluid (it's usually black somewhere between 60k and 80k) before 100k. Sparkplugs are easy to change and last ~100k. Coolant is designed to last at least ~120k before the first change.

Ditch the RE92s. They're some of the worst tires I've ever driven. I've had rental cars with more grip than the RE92 in the rain.

That's about it.
 

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Destroyer of Cones
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Lance pretty much summed it up. You can fit a ton in it with the seats down. A funny thing was seeing the look on this guys face when I rolled a home depot cart up to the back of my tC loaded with 8' stud lumber :D The look on his face changed when I loaded all of them into the car and shut the hatch... gotta love having 106" of space with the back seat and passenger seat down! Not quite the 4Runners space, but when the wife is driving it, I still can haul some stuff in the tC at least.

Mine has 85,000 miles and about 400 autocross runs on it. I had to replace the hatch struts and that is it other than oil changes so far. I keep a check on the plugs from time to time, but they have a while. I have replaced parts of the suspension, but only due to me changing things for autox (stock to trd springs, then trd rear sway, then tein ss-p coilovers, then dg spec rear sway). Car hasn't ever even acted like it wanted to have an issue, -25F to 100F, road trips, city driving, etc.

I dont necessarilly call a car super reliable just because it makes it to 85,000 miles without issue, but it isnt too shabby either.

To add to the brake comments Lance made, also keep in mind when you buy used and look at brakes that you check the inboard pads, since they tend to wear a bit faster.

It does pretty decent in the snow, but I rarely drive it in the snow. I still have my trusty old 96 saturn and the wife has the 4Runner. So the tC lives in the garage in the winter most of the time. I did drive it the whole first winter I bought it... I mean I couldnt buy a new car in Sept and not drive it all winter!

The RE92's are expensive... and garbage. I dont do expensive garbage :) You can get a LOT better tire for a lot less. I have the Falken 912's but honestly they are dissapointing, especially after having had their summer tires in the past. The Avons I had before were worlds better, but I dont think they make the 550's any more. But there are threads on here for tires and you can find good reviews on Tire Rack. And by the way, order tires from them or Discount Tire Directs site (not Discount Tire... looks the same... different prices ... make sure it has direct in the name). Both have great prices and DTD usually has free shipping.
 

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FLD w/ H8
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sick bike o.o

912s are amazing in the rain and on wet leaves.
 

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Destroyer of Cones
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meh... they are so so at best in the wet.. maybe not even that good imo
 

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my bike fits in the back but mines a 20'' bmx bike but i coud see a mountain bike fitting with a little maneuvering. and my car has 80000 miles on it and its a 2006 release edition and its still going strong. my only complaint is that my wheels need aligned more often than any other car ive had
 

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I bought my 06 in August 2005 and Ihave the supercharger install for over 41,000+ miles and right now my car has 57,500+ miles and no problems what so ever, thank God.
 

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Destroyer of Cones
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Wow never knew lance was so engine smart! Cheers to you and Engi haha
Lance could teach most of us a thing or two ;) See his writeups, old posts, etc. Great source of knowledge.
 

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Gynecomastia
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just fyi. o5-06 is a little different from the 07-08

i used my tc to move in to my new place. it fits stuff like nothing else
 

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Destroyer of Cones
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Not a lot of huge differences though. Compression is a tad higher and it has oil squirters. But the engine in the 05-06 is very solid. The main weak point on all of them is the balance shafts, which seem to be the failure point on the few I have heard of that shelled the engine (other than being destroyed by beating them to death). But that isnt common.

The 07 HVAC unit will not work in an 05-06 or vice versa due to changes in the circuit layout and design, but again, not something you would notice unless you had to change one out. And even then you just need the correct year model.

Some subtle styling differences in the different years, but that is about it.
 

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I have an 08 with about 75k on it. I drive it all the time. taken it on some massive road trips.

I can fit 2 jbl prx525 speakers in there. those speakers are pretty frickin huge, so there is a lot of spare room in the trunk.

speaker specs-51" x 17.25" x 18.25"
 

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i put my seats down and put blankets back there and me and my exboyfriend slept back there once, so it fits two people laying down comfortably :) haha
 
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