CHANGE TIME BELT AT 72 MONTHS OR 90,000 MILES?

My 99 Camry V6 is at only at 75,000 miles but is at 72 months. I really didn't think about it until the last oil change when the Toyota dealer asked
if I wanted it changed or wait until the next oil change. I said I'd wait and normally wouldn't have thought about the 72 months but we don't drive as much as we used to. At this rate we won't hit 90K miles for another 18 months. Any advice on whether changing it on months vs. miles is a good idea? - Orv
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On Mon, 24 Oct 2005 16:32:11 -0700, Orv wrote:

I'm surprised he gave you a time limit. Every Toyota Service person I have ever talked to has said the same thing: mileage. Generally 80,000
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Go by mileage.
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That's my inclination too. However, I see the service schedule that came in the glove box - bought the car new - says 90,000 or 72 months. -Orv

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On Tue, 25 Oct 2005 07:25:26 -0700, Orv wrote:

Interesting. I have never heard of a time limit on a timing belt. Where are you in the world?
Or does that say 72 months under severe duty?
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Location is San Diego, California, and I don't recall seeing a "severe duty" annotation. I'll check when my wife gets back with the car and post if it does have a severe duty note. The use of this car, and its location, would not be severe duty.

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Suppose you found a car sitting in a field. Been there for years. Would the belts still be good? Questionable. They can age, harden, and crack even when not in active use. However, Toyota states the maintenance recommendations conservatively so people don't get stranded following their guidelines. Some people push the timing belts longer, and just get towed to the shop when needed but could be who knows how long - 120k, 150, 180,000 miles. Last time I heard a dealer service person comment on this he said, we go by mileage but some people around here put such low mileage on the cars, they would never change the belt, so we tell them five years. Your 72 months is six years, but this was for an earlier model with 60k mileage recommendation. It's not like the belt will be guaranteed to fail, it's a maintenance recommendation, varies with type of usage, climactic conditions. Just schedule it when you're comfortable having it done.
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Did he quote you a price$$$$? I need to do it too.

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I had the timing belt on my 2000 Camry changed last spring with 90k miles on it. The guy who did it is a former Toyota tech who is now independent at a local gas station. The belt that came out of the engine looked fine, but that is meaningless. The bearing in the water pump sounded like a loose bolt in a coffee can and the leaking had been mostly stopped by the buildup of crud around the shaft and masked because this stuff is so deeply buried in the engine space. A serious breakdown trying hard to happen. The mechanic was amazed that it had all held as long as it had. FWIW?

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No, I didn't ask for a price.

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My mechanic recommends mileage, not age. Came about because I asked about my Nissan, which gives five years, 90K recommendation.....Now on year 7.
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Thanks, much like my situation.

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Sort of depends what kind of maintenance you want to practice. Along with timing belt you could replace oil seals - seals are relatively inexpensive when all the disassembly has already been done for the timing belt, including, crankshaft oil seal, oil pump oil seal (two seals - one for the shaft and the other like a small wavy gasket), and possibly the camshaft oil seal (though the cam spins at one half engine speed, so could last longer). Also likely spark plug replacement is due. Water pump. Accessory drive belts. Valve cover gasket(s) Gas cap gasket Fuel filter (prob. can wait to 120k) Cap rotor and wires if applicable Brake fluid Power steering fluid (much less costly than a steering rack or pump replacement) Trans. fluid (diffferential if separate) Rotate tires (if you've been keeping up on that otherwise the wear pattern is already set) Check brake pads Check chassis mounting bolt torque Seat mounting bolt torque Air filter battery level, cables, state of charge For the timing belt only you can usually find dealer specials around $100 for the 4 cyl., $120 for the six "additional parts may cost substantially more" they ususally say. Before 150k mi. good idea to change the alternator brushes Change coolant, thermostat, radiator cap - just recommended inexpensive preventative maintenance
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