The Toyota dealer where I am in Canada says 140 000 km, but there is
also an age effect at work here. I'd say leave it another year and then
change it. It's not an interference engine, so it's not big bucks if it
breaks, but there is a safety issue of suddenly losing all power.
According to Toyota's web site, the replacement interval is 90,000 miles or
72 months for your car. According to Gate's web site, the engine is
non-interference so the engine should not be damaged if the timing belt
breaks, although you will be left stranded when that happens.
Rubber does deteriorate over time, which is why automakers put a time and
mileage replacement recommendation. That said, at the rate you are putting
miles on the car, you should be able to delay timing belt replacement for at
least another year.
Since it is a 1999, it's about 9 years old.
Owners manual on my 1998 definitely says 90,000 miles. An unusually high
number of people report problems after timing belt changes (compared to
other maintenance items).
I would recommend it be done by a dealer or very experienced independent
shop (specializing in Toyota service). Call around to all the dealers in
your area to find the price. Sometimes they have service specials on their
web page, or just ask the Service Advisor.
Timing belt change is really not a complicated procedure. Anybody who
claims to be a professional mechanic should be able to do the job
competently especially if they have access to the service data and they
If you do it yourself, most likely you will find service data at your
I've changed more than a few, want hear some stories about jobs that
have been done by others that had to be done over? A crankshaft bolt
that came loose, a motor mount bolt that was stripped, missing bolts and
nuts, parts that got replaced that didn't need replacing, and parts that
should have been replaced that didn't get replaced? Book allows 2 1/2
hours shouldn't take me more than 2 1/2 days. And one that comes to
mind, that was my doing, I changed the timing belt on one of my Toyotas
and didn't change the water pump at the time, 30K later I was back in
there, replacing the water pump. Right now the crisis of the moment is
a flat on the lawnmower, first things first.
What really gets my goat is the shops that that tell you to change the
WP and tensioner at the same time you change the timer belt then charge
you the same labor that they charge if they were ONLY doing the WP OR
the tensioner. That of course drives up the price of timing belt
change. Don't do it. Tell the suckers to change the TB and if the WP
is not leaking or the tensioner is free and not making noise to forget
it. When they do make noise or leak then go back and have it done. The
only reason to change out a good WP or tensioner is for the shop to suck
up more money out of the unaware customer. Honest shops Will tell you
the same as I'm telling you.
Dunno.. I'd always want to change the WP and tensioner if I'm
in there doing the belt. Delaying the pump in particular is just
not worth the risk of damage to the engine, and also you'd
have to go back in there. I always recommend doing it all
and being done with it. Oil seals too..
But.. I do it myself...
Changing a timing belt is easy. But... You have to be very
exact in setting it back up. You can't even be one tooth off.
This is not hard to do, but it's not unusual to have to redo it
2-3 times before finally locking it all down.
I'll align the marks before removing the belt making sure
they are perfectly aligned. When I put the new belt on,
I make triple sure the marks are *exactly* like they were
with the old belt.
Never have had any problem.. I'd crank the engine with the
new belt, and it would sound the same as with the old one..
You will know if it's even one tooth off. It won't run and time
right. It'll feel and sound different right off the bat.
If that ever happened to me, I'd tear it back apart and
do it over until it was right. But.. I make sure it is right
the first time.. I *hate* doing things over.
The danger in postponing a WP is they often totally flake
out in only a few minutes time. You often get no or little
warning before they start squealing, and pouring out water.
I don't need that @#$% in my life.. So I alway swap in a new
pump if I'm in timing belt territory. And.. I always use at least
a new pump if not OEM. Don't get the rebuilts. They suck.
But the new ones are ok. Or at least I haven't had any problems
with new ones so far. Costs a bit more, but it's worth it.
If there is a kiss of death to a JA engine, it's overheating.
I'll do anything I can to reduce the likelihood of it happening.
Once you overheat one real bad, they ain't never the same
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