Check the website of your local Toyota dealers for service specials. Or just
call the service departments to get a quote.
According to their website, one of my local Toyota dealers offers a has a
coupon special of $279.95 for 4-CYL, and $369.95 for 6-CYL vehicles to
change the timing belt.
"Additional parts may cost substantially more" always appears on the
specials I've seen.
Depending on mileage, it's a good idea to consider changing oil seals,
water pump, valve cover gasket, drive belts, pcv valve and grommet,
spark plugs, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid and so on.
Some people have had success in driving the Camrys with minimal
maintenance but others, by doing all the recommended procedures, go for
hundreds of thousands of miles (400K+), so if you dont' get tired of
the car, the maintenance expense is less than replacement cost.
Besides using the dealer coupon, which is the cost of changing ONLY the
timing belt, you should ask and agree on a "complete package price" for
changing the oil seals, drive belts, water pump, and two pulleys. See
if you can get out of the dealer with less than several hundred
I'd budget for the replacement of all the items above (not including
other intermediate/major/preventative service items like valve cover
gasket, hoses, plugs, etc).
For me I do the work myself and the timing job parts described are
The first time I did the timing belt in my 97, 4 Cy Camry it took 8 or
more hours. The second time I did it it took about 6 hours. The
difficulty seems to be the need for the removal of the heavy bracket
that goes between the passenger side dog bone engine mount and the
engine block, and the moving of the Power Steering resuvare. Are there
any shortcuts I missed? Do I need to jack up the engine to ease the
removal of the bracket?
Thanks in advance
There is no conceivable way you could get that package done for under $1000,
dealers aren't going to give you a break because of the greater economy of
doing the water pump and timing belt together. There's a formula, a repair
has a set number of labor hours and the service writers must follow those
procedures. You can negotiate for an overall discount of 10-15%, I've seen
that done on repairs of over 3K. And of course the obligatory daily rental
car at no cost to you. There's no breaks at the Toyota Dealer Service Bays,
unless you work there, then there are meaningful reductions.
The belt itself should initially take about 3-4 hours without
pump/thermostat work or the time it took me to fabricate a pulley
holder from scrap lumber and 3/8" grade 5 bolts. But I find that once
you are familiar wit it and the car is jacked up wheels off (ready,
set, start...), you really can get to it and button it back in about
30-45 minutes of time. But it's best to take you time and triple check
all the work.
A crank pulley holder and 1/2" 20-inch extension, 24" $2 pry bar (for
tensioning PS pump belt), 1/2" 24-inch breaker bars help, Krik-it belt
tension gauge from local NAPA store, as do $12 torque wrenches
(80ft/lb, 150ft/lb) on sale at Harbor Freight.
Use a wood block padded floor jack to support the engine on the oil pan
(away from the drain plug), so there isn't too much strain on the
remaining engine mounts. Didn't touch the PS fluid reservoir. Used a
longer than standard (8-10") 3/8" flexhead ratchet from top to remove
the bolts on the right engine bracket. Slightly tight but was doable in
a minute so didn't go the wheel well route.