Jump to content
The Motorists' Guide
  • YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO MOTORING & DRIVING IN THE UK AND ABROAD
    CAR REVIEWS, PRODUCT REVIEWS, NEWS, ROAD TRIPS, CLUBS, STORE ...AND MUCH MORE!

  • Our picks

    • Car Review: Mercedes W213 E Class Coupe
      Steve tests the most recent Mercedes E Class coupe and to see whether it can live up to its predecessors reputations.
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • Used Car Review: Mazda 3 BK
      The first generation Mazda 3 was launched in 2003 as a brand new model for the marque and shared the front wheel drive underpinnings from the Mk1 Ford Focus. Designed by Hasip Girgin and known as the BK, the Mazda 3 looked crisp and modern from the outset thanks to sharp lines and was available in either five door hatchback or four door saloon.
      • 0 replies
    • Car Review: Kia Stonic
      Steve tests Kia’s new baby SUV the Stonic, to find out if it can compete in a very competitive small SUV sector.

      Launched in 2017 in South Korea the Stonic is based on the fourth generation Kia Rio and is the smallest SUV in the Kia range. The name is allegedly derived from the words speedy and tonic, but whether the car lives up to this is up to you as the reader.
      • 0 replies
    • Car Review: Mercedes C Class Coupe
      Steve sets to find out whether the current C Class Coupe can live up to its sporting credentials. 

      The current C Class range was launched at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show and released onto UK roads in March of the same year. As per its predecessor the new C Class was available in saloon, estate, convertible and coupe form, the latter is the model I will focus on for this review and was designated by Mercedes as the C205.
      • 0 replies
    • Used Car Review: Honda CR-V (3rd Generation)
      Vehicle purchases over time have mainly been based on what is around at the time that falls into a budget.
      However, occasionally there is a checklist of 'must haves' to comply with, in order to make a well researched and sensible purchase
      • 0 replies
  • Car Review: Ford Fiesta Mk8

    Steve tests the new Ford Fiesta Zetec to see if it can live up to the Fiesta's renowned reputation The new Fiesta is available in Zetec (B + O Play and Navigation versions), Titanium (B + O Play and X versions), Vignale, ST-Line and ST-Line X. plus the all-new ‘Active’ Fiesta released in 2018, the first Fiesta ever to feature SUV styling. Engines available in both Petrol and Diesel – 1.0 EcoBoost, 1.1 Ti-VCT, 1.5 TDCi Duratorq and variety of power output applies across the engin

    Steve Q
    Steve Q
    Articles

    Little red tractor improving lives

    Steve takes a look at a little red International Harvester tractor which is helping improve the lives of individuals with learning disabilities Nestled within the idyllic East Midlands countryside sits a farm with a special purpose in the quaint village of Seagrave. Set up in 2011 the farm in question is called WHM Work Connections which provides person-centred support in the way of life skills and work skills for individuals with learning disabilities with activities such as car wash

    Steve Q
    Steve Q
    Articles

    WHM Car Wash

    For those of you living in and around leicester or Loughborough in the East Midlands, there is a fantastic car wash called Shiners based at WHM Work connections at 60 Green Lane Seagrave LE12 7LU. WHM Work Connections provides life skills as well as work skills for individuals with learning disabilities with activities such as car washing, vehicle mechanics, animal Care and catering skills on offer. Furthermore, these skills help the individuals gain Independence and confidence when managing are

    Steve Q
    Steve Q
    Articles

    UK set to adopt vehicle speed limiters

    Speed limiting technology looks set to become mandatory for all vehicles sold in Europe from 2022, after new rules were provisionally agreed by the EU The Department for Transport said the system would also apply in the UK, despite Brexit. Campaigners welcomed the move, saying it would save thousands of lives. Road safety charity Brake called it a "landmark day", but the AA said "a little speed" helped with overtaking or joining motorways".

    The Motorists Guide
    The Motorists Guide
    Articles

    Most Feared Parking Manoeuvres Revealed

    Parking in a tight space takes top spot, followed by parallel parking YourParkingSpace.co.uk has called for industry standard larger parking spaces Almost one-in-seven motorists get nervous when parking The parking manoeuvres that make motorists most nervous have been revealed by online parking portal YourParkingSpace.co.uk Top of the list in its survey of British motorists is parking in a tight space, which arguably is becoming more-and-more frequent given the growing

    The Motorists Guide
    The Motorists Guide
    Articles
  • Used car buying guide: Lexus SC430

       (Overall rating from this review)
    Sign in to follow this  
    To most folk, it’s an ugly thing strangled at birth by clumsy handling and a lumpy ride...

    The Lexus SC430 long-haul comfort and its build quality is impervious to high mileage - here's how to get one for as little as £2750

    Marmite comes in many forms, including this, the Lexus SC430 of 2001 to 2009.

    To most folk, it’s an ugly thing strangled at birth by clumsy handling and a lumpy ride, made brittle by run-flat tyres. Changes to the suspension in 2002 and 2004 improved things but mud sticks and it stuck especially well to this wannabe alternative to the Mercedes-Benz SL.

    Click here to see used Lexus SC for sale on PistonHeads

    Today, the SC is still no looker but it is different from the herd and on paper it has the kind of specification we’ll soon be drooling over in motor museums: a naturally aspirated 282bhp 4.3-litre V8 driving the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic gearbox, double-wishbone suspension and a folding aluminium roof. (No, it’s not broken. It really does take 25sec to do its thing.)

    066000100_1216135566.jpg

    The 2+2 cabin is a gadget-lover’s paradise and, this being a Lexus, you won’t have to worry about any of it not working. The climate control system can sense whether the roof is open or closed, as well as the speed the car is travelling at and the ambient temperature, and automatically direct chilled or warm air as necessary. There’s a knockout Mark Levinson sound system, powered and heated seats, electrically adjustable steering column and a touchscreen sat-nav.

    Obviously, the touchscreen system is seriously dated but cartronics.co.uk can swap in a state-of-the-art one that’ll talk to the Mark Levinson music centre for £2200. Pay a little more and they’ll wire in a reversing camera. It all fits snugly into the original space.

    The cabin is trimmed in leather and those door and fascia cappings are real wood, shaped and lacquered with the help of musical instrument makers Yamaha. Everything is finished and screwed together beautifully, qualities that serve today’s used SCs very well.

    untitled-15.jpg

    Prices start at around £3000 for a 2002 car with 110,000 miles. If it’s a late 2002 model, there’s a chance it has the tweaked suspension that brought improvements to the ride, handling and refinement. Still not satisfied, Lexus added new dampers and tuned the chassis in late 2004. The result was a more absorbent ride, allied to sharper handling. These mid-life cars start at around £7500. In 2005, the SC was mildly facelifted with revised bumpers and redesigned 18in alloy wheels.

    SC owners are loyal and fastidious so you’ll find a lot of cherished cars with just one or two former keepers, full Lexus histories and reasonably low mileages. Even the youngest cars are now nine years old, so expect some wear-and-tear-related issues. However, the first are as old as 17. On these, check for underbody rust, clonky suspension, evidence of timing belt and water pump replacement, healthy fluid levels and a smooth gearbox. At all ages, oxygen sensors and the tyre pressure monitoring system are weak points. Still want one? Good – Marmite’s quite nice, once you get used to it. 

    Click here to see used Lexus SC for sale on PistonHeads

    055062600_1216135611.jpg

    An expert’s view

    Lee Massey, owner: “I’m a former Lexus technician and have owned two SC430s, including my current car, a 2004/04 with 80,000 miles. I remember the SC430 from my Lexus days as being reliable and well built and my used ones haven’t given me any trouble. If you like wafting about in something powerful and different that isn’t going to give you sleepless nights worrying about repair bills, it’s hard to beat.”

    Buyer beware…

    ENGINE - Some head gasket failures have been recorded due to very low coolant levels. Check the condition of the lower radiator, which can leak into the gearbox oil cooler. Likewise, fluid from the gearbox can leak into the coolant. The oxygen sensor in the exhaust system can fail. Check the starter motor works okay since it’s located inconveniently beneath the inlet manifold, which has to be removed to replace it. The vapour canister is there, too, and these can fail, expensively. Timing belt change is every 100,000 miles. Water pump should be changed at the same time since it’s a weak spot, as is the centre belt tensioner.

    untitled-95.jpg

    GEARBOX - It should be very smooth. If juddery, suspect coolant contamination. Transmission fluid should be changed every 45,000 miles.

    WHEELS, BRAKES AND SUSPENSION - Check for worn top suspension arms at the rear and worn front wheel bearings. If the ride on early cars is rough, suspect the front control arm bushes. Listen for clunks from here too. Steel parts in the aluminium suspension can rot. Check the brake pipes’ condition. Ensure the tyre pressure monitoring system works. Some owners disable it as the valves fail but it’s an MOT issue. Steering wheel noise when turning could be the spiral cable (an expensive repair).

    BODY - Check for underbody corrosion, especially at the rear around the back axle and subframe. 

    FOLDING HARD-TOP - Position sensors can fail with lack of use. Check for leaks caused by perished seals and for roof corrosion.

    INTERIOR - Ensure the music system is fault-free: subwoofer and door speakers can fail.

    untitled-96.jpg

    Also worth knowing

    Amazingly, you can still buy an approved used SC430 from Lexus. At time of writing, there were seven, ranging from £10,990 to £16,995.

    How much to spend

    £2750-£3500 - A cluster of high-mileage (120k) 2002- reg cars with partial service histories.

    £4995-£6995 - Mix of 2002-2003 cars with 100k miles in good condition, most with full service histories and few previous owners.

    £7000-£8995 - Mainly 2004-2005 cars with around 75k miles. £9000-£10,995 Mostly 2005-2007 cars, circa 70k miles.

    £11,000-£13,995 - More 2007 cars with around 50k miles. £14,000-£16,995 The best late-plate cars. 

    ubg_one_we_found_lexus_sc430.jpg

    One we found - Lexus SC430, 2004/54, 70K MILES, £7995

    This SC has full Lexus service history, including recent timing belt replacement. It’s a mid-2004 model with the revised suspension set-up designed to cure the model’s questionable ride and handling. Autocar judged the changes to be successful.

    Click here to see used Lexus SC for sale on PistonHeads

    John Evans 

    Read more    View the full article

    • Like 1
    Sign in to follow this  


    User Feedback

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest



×
×
  • Create New...