Drive Belt and General Question

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 job.
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 break down.
Thanks as always to you Ray!! You are the first and sometimes the only help out there for me :)
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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 2/32."
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 are streaky.
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 the car.

You're welcome! Have a safe trip!
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
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