Hi All two questions.
First, I am going to be changing the drive belt on my 98 GS 300 and
would like to take suggestions. I have the maintainence books from
Lexus. They talk about the belt being in the B range or what not.
I've found a chapter in the book about drive belt inspection but
nowhere about replacing it... Maybe because it is a common sense type
They say cracks on the rib side of the drive belt are acceptable but
chunks missing = replace the belt. My other question is wouldn't the
timing belt be in acceptable shape as well? I'm planning to take the
timing belt cover off so that I could take a look.
Lastly, I am going to be driving coast to coast and I would like to
know if there is anything I should do w/ the car to insure I don't
Thanks as always to you Ray!! You are the first and sometimes the only
help out there for me :)
Take a look at the sections for the acceories driven by the belt, like the
AC compressor, power steering pump, and alternator. They may have
instructions on replacing it, determining the proper tension, etc. You
didn't mention the mileage on the belt, but if it is at or over 60,000 miles
(100,000 km), I'd give some thought to replacement.
The timing belt has a manufacturer's replacement interval, somewhere in the
60,000 to 90,000 mile range. I generally replace my timing belts around
90,000 miles but if you're doing a cross country trip, then 60,000 miles is
a safer bet.
Check the condition of your tires, including your spare. Tread depth should
be generous - replace them if any of them is less than 2/32" thick. I
always inflate the spare to the max pressure indicated on the side of the
tire because it will gradually lose air over time. If I have to use the
spare due to a flat, then I re-check the pressure and release some if
necessary. I recommend that you increase your tire pressure by around 4 psi
over the recommended tire inflation on the driver's door sticker. This
results in a slightly harsher ride but longer tread life, better fuel
economy (in theory at least) and more resistance to heat, the enemy of tire
life. While you're looking at your tires, make sure there is no unusual
wear pattern on any of the tires.
Check the condition of your brake pads if you're going to do a coast-to
coast cross-country trip (especially if it is a round trip) - you'll want to
have a minimum of 4/32" pad thickness remaining so they don't need
replacement when you're on the road. Normal pad replacement thickness is
If you're handy, bring along a ratchet and a 10, 12, and 14 mm sockets, a
phillips screwdriver, a roll of paper towels, a pair of work gloves, a
decent flashlight with fresh batteries (I use a mini-mag light and an LED
head light), some duct tape, a pocket knife, and a few feet of bailing wire
to supplement the Lexus tool kit. If you're really handy, bring along the
repair manual and a multi-meter. Backpacker Magazine recently rated Gorilla
brand duct tape as the stickiest and most waterprof.
If the coolant or transmission fluid is more than 2 years old, replace it.
Check all the lights so you can avoid fixit tickets.
Think about replacing your wiper refills if they're more than a year old and
If you're driving across the desert, keep a couple of gallons of drinking
water per person in the car. If you're driving in the mountains where you
may encounter snow, keep a shovel (I got a collapsable plastic shovel at Bed
Bath & Beyond), a hat, warm gloves, boots, and a blanket for each person in
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