Drive belt question

I have a 99 Toyota Camry with 68K mileage. The dealer told me that the drive belt is very thin, and I need to change a new one, plus the
timing belt.
I didn't find anywhere in the maintenance manual that suggested me to change the drive belt, but found the timing belt needs to be changed at 80K. So I more concern about the drive belt. Do you experts have any comments on it? I don't want to drive risky, but don't want to spend unnecessary money as well :)
Thanks,
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Drive belt "thin"? Does the dealer know what he/she is talking about?
If you go to Toyota's web site, you should find that the timing belt needs to be changed 6 years or 90K miles, which ever comes first. So you are overdue based on time. That said, some people drive 200K+ miles on the original belt, but we don't recommend that here. :)
It does cost quite a bit to do the complete package, including all oil seals, water pump, idlers, and drive belts (power steering, air condition/alternator). If the valve cover gasket is leaking replace the set too. So negotiate a package deal and see if the dealer will let you out between $600-800.
So your manual says 80K miles? :)
I would do the following:
(www.rockauto.com prices for 3/5SFE) GATES TCK199 (kit of timing belt with two pulleys and instruction) $84.79 GATES Part # K030295 PS belt $4.32 GATES Part # K050435 Alt/AC $12.12 FEL-PRO TCS45641 Cam seal $4.11 FEL-PRO TCS45920 Crank seal $6.04 BCA Part # 221820 Oil pump seal $2.71 AISIN (Toyota #16110-79185) water pump $58.79 FEL-PRO VS50304R valve cover gasket set $13.94
On Feb 25, 12:30 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Thanks for the information. You are right, the maintenance guide suggests 90K for timing belt replacement.
I remembered the dealer told me some number in mm about the drive belt to illustrate how thin it was. On the checking list, they checked the red box (need immediate attention) at the drive belt, and wrote "check if timing belt changed, no record". May I know what kind of problem the drive belt would normally generate?
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The Gates website has some pictures as to what worn V-belts look like. http://www.gates.com/brochure.cfm?brochure &91&location_idT0
Most belts today are "v-ribbed" or Micro-V as Gates calls them. http://www.gates.com/brochure.cfm?brochureQ88&location_id488
For Micro-V wear, see: http://www.gates.com/brochure.cfm?brochure (37&location_id373
However, belts DO NOT wear like brake pads where you have to replace them when they are down to 1-2 mm thickness. Belts are replaced by damage, time/mileage or by normal aging stretch as shown by a mark on an automatic tensioner.
I don't know what belts your dealer uses, but I use Gates belts and these don't thin out like your dealer's rubber bands (see Micro-V wear above). I'll just say your dealer is quite creative, otherwise I'll start to doubt their integrity.
Now what outlasts metal roller chain drives 3-to-1? Why, the world's first commercially successful carbon cord elastomeric composite belt from Gates of course: http://www.gatesprograms.com/carbon /
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Thanks so much for these pointers! Very appreciate it. I'll make an appointment with a different dealer to see what they would find out.
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On Feb 26, 7:35pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

My Camry does not have a working odometer, it might have half a million miles on it because all the previous owners commuted with it everyday. The last owner said the timing belt broke, but it did not damage the engine because it is a 'non-interference engine', but that does NOT mean one should wait till the belt breaks. Because damage may occur in these engines if a belt breaks.
I had a toyota cressida (1986) strait six with a double overhead cam that broke a timing belt (non-interference engine). When I took it apart, one of the Camshafts was bent, I do not know whether that caused the belt to break or the broken belt bent the Camshaft as I rolled to a stop. The belt had 60,000 miles on it.
I do have enough experience to draw conclusions from what I just posted.
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Preventative maintenance is the key if people want to keep their cars longer than 4 years by which time dealer ads start to flood the mailbox and ask you to trade in. So "life of the car" is quite different for a dealer's or an owner's perspective.

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