Ray O. is used to dealing with Old School Toyota dealerships, like the one
in my home town.
If you brought a car in for a timing belt change, and it was discovered
the water pump was leaking, then the price for replacing the water pump
and the timing belt was the price of the pump, the price of the belt, the
labor to remove the cover, belt, etc, and maybe 15 minutes more to replace
Around here, *ALL* the Toyota dealers were like that, except for one, and
Ray knows the one I'm talking about...the BIG one, waaaaay out there...
If we're thinking about the same one, he disappeared a few months after I
started calling on him. Perhaps having most of his franchisors start
charging him back for warranty claim irregularities; receiving weekly calls
from the AG; and having his store featured on the nightly news consumer
protection segment, and having his most profitable line threaten to not
renew his franchise convinced him to find another line of work.
The one I was thinking of was near the north end of 495. They were a
multi-line dealer, and my wife's aunt and uncle went there to get a Detroit
3 vehicle, unaware of the dealer's reputation. My wife's aunt wanted the
car in light blue, with a vinyl top in the same color, but the only one they
had on the lot had a white vinyl top. The salesperson said that they would
get them the car they wanted in a couple of days, and sure enough, when they
stopped by the dealership, they had one with the right color combination and
they bought the car. A week later, when the uncle sprayed the garden hose
to wash the car, blue paint started peeling off of the vinyl top, revealing
the original white top underneath. By the time they went back to the
dealership to complain, it was out of business, and since the problem wasn't
a factory defect, no other dealership would provide warranty coverage on the
I know who you're thinking of, we had their service department running
profitably and customer -friendly when I left the district. Maybe follow-up
DSM's haven't figured out which buttons to push to get them to do the right
My 1991 Camry 4 cylinder has the water pump driven by the timing chain. I
assume that is why the talk about changing the pump at the same time. I
took my camry to a mechanic I trust and he hapened to have one on the lift
with the covers off and showed me the pump. He said he would only charge me
what the pump cost as the labor was almost nothing while changing the belt.
I agree that if they want to charge you the same for the pump and again for
the belt, I would just wait a week and take it back to have the pump
Someone said why change the pump if it is not leaking, to that I say why
change the belt if it is not broken... Just spend big bucks later.
My Tow bill was 150, my rental 200, my inconvience 300, not using my
trusted mechanic was worth 300, id say I paid double by not thinking
about it and letting it break on the road, im lucky it was daylight in
a good part of chgo.
You guys act like it's the driver's fault if the timing belt breaks.
Back in the 1930's, there was an engine built with an overhead cam
that used a chain to drive the cam. The chain lasted for the life of
the engine and several car engines still use them today. It seems to
me that car manufacturers are shifting more and more design fault
responsibilities and costs over to the buyer. Timing belts are a BAD
idea and driving accessories like the water pump off of the timing
belt or chain is an even worse idea.
Don't buy cars that use timing belts. Why buy a car with designed in
additional maintenance costs?
You'd be cutting your nose off to spite your face with that criteria,
because almost all of them are belt driven. And the ones that aren't
belt driven are chain driven with water pump driven by the chain! Which
defeats the purpose of using a chain! I'd like to see the list of cars
that don't have either belt driven cams or chain driven with the water
pump driven by the chain. The list would be *very* short - chances are
you wouldn't like the choices.
Like I said in a recent post - I'd like to see gear driven cams. Those
are *truly* life of vehicle - no if's and's or but's. Magnetically
couple the water pump (to eliminate the seals) and otherwise design it
(bearings, impeller) to last the life of the vehicle.
Problem: Initial vehicle cost would be a little higher (a show-stopper
in the automotive world), even though overall life-of-vehicle cost to
the consumer would be less.
(To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
address with the letter 'x')
If by 'driver" you mean vehicle owner, of course it is.
Scant few timing belts break before their scheduled replacement interval.
And when the chain breaks, the engine is at the end of its life.
Long timing chains whip, to control the whip guides need to be used,
those guides wear and allow chunks of the guide to fall to the oil pan
where they can be ingested by the oil pump causing it to fail.
Chains stretch, their pivot points wear, chains weigh more than belts
sapping horse power and fuel economy.
Even short non OHC timing chains fail; in the 60s, 70, and early 80s,
you could damn near set your watch by when a Pontiac V-8 timing chain
would let go, the early Buick V-6s were lousy also, Ford 302, Chrysler
318 and 360... all had roughly 100K mile life span timing
chain/sprockets, which interestingly is typical timing BELT maintenance
All designs are a compromise.
If you can't accept the responsibility of performing the maintenance
when it's time. Otherwise, buy away.
Makes sense when there is an alternative.
Classic example is ChryCo minivans; the 3.0 liter engine uses a timing
belt, the 3.3 and 3.8 liter engines use a timing chain that is very long
lived. The 300 cc displacement does not account for any significant
fuel savings (if any) so I always recommend the bigger ChryCo built
We had this discussion before...
According to Gates' web site, an example of Toyotas with a water pump that
is driven by the timing belt:
83-01 4 cyl Camry
88-04 V6 Camry
You can go to the web site, look at the automotive timing belt replacement
guide, and look for vehicles with the # sign, which indicates a water pump
that is driven by the timing belt.
Jeff Strickland generally posts useful information although they are
sometimes IMO a little overly complex. If there is a shortcoming in the
information he posts, it is that some of it tends to be more applicable to
BMW's and Jeeps than Toyotas, or that the assumption is that everyone does
it the same way as BMW and Jeep.
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