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Toyota Avalon Timing Belt Questions



  • On the Avalon, Toyota recommends the timing belt be changed every 60,000 miles. The dealer will probably recommend a new serpentine belt as well.
  • I'm getting ready to bring my 2000 XLS in to the shop for a Timing Belt job. Does the tensioner have to be rebuilt/refilled? Does it have to be retensioned after a certain amount of time?

    Is it recommended that the water pump be changed at the same time? Anything else that should be done while they're in there?? Replace all other drive/acces belts, etc ?

    THANKS !

  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    ab-Yeah, I drove around without an alignment, and saw some irregular tire wear. Then I got the "fronts" (PU's) in, and did a 4-wheel alignment.

    pwarth-yup' do it all while you are in there. Parts cost is negligible once you do that much "surgery" ...idler, tensioner, pulley, do a thermostat, too
  • nomad:

    do you recommend replacing the water pump too?

  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    pwarth-Absolutely! The water pump is almost a given when doing the tmg blt.
  • petraspetras Posts: 6
    hi everyone and thanks in advance...i have a 98 avalon with 74k mi...owner's manual recommends timing belt change at 90k or this engine an interference design where a broken timing belt would cause damage or would it simply stop running?
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    What mileage have people safely pushed before changing the timing belt. I know the service manual for the current model year is about 85K-90K.


  • After reading post 376 I checked my owner's manual. Except for a few driving conditions (not ones I normally encounter) there is no recommendation for my 96. I'll probably change it next year when I do a major maintenance (belts, brakes, tires, all fluids, hoses, plugs and wires, ...).
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    abfisch-I am not sure of a MAX range of the belt. I have seen a couple pass 100k. FYI: I haven't seen one break(on this engine)! My buddy had one come into his shop(ES300) that was "fraying" before it broke and the slapping of the frayed belt made a heck of a noise. One that would make any driver see their mechanic.

    mikem30-If those imperfections are "polished" and smooth to the touch, it is NOT likely that it is "environmental". ie)working from the outside-in. Take it to a body shop, or two, for a better analysis of what's going on. -nomad56-
  • I bought a 2000 Avalon. I took it to a Toyota dealer and asked for the timing chain to be replaced. When I picked it up, I looked at the engine and could not see any places where they removed any parts of the engine ( like smudge marks or places where wrenches were applied). So, I am wondering if they really replaced it. Is there any way to tell if they replaced it by looking at the exterior of the engine under the hood? thanks.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    I am fairly sure, that the Avalon has a timing belt, not chain. Belt need to be changed, chains rarely. Besides the high price of performing this necessary maintenance, would be done I believe on the passenger front engine compartment. Asking them for the used belt(s) is always a good idea.

  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    the Avalon has a timing belt. Typically a sticker (its normally packaged with the new belt in the bag) is placed near the belts on the outside with mileage so that one knows when it was last done.
  • johndjrjohndjr Posts: 80
    Not to argue, but I'm sure that I read somewhere on the Toyota info that the 05 Avalon has a timing CHAIN.
    Maybe the earlier ones had a belt?
  • Do you recommend changing the water pump when you change the timing belt? I have 86,000 miles on my 98 Avalon and the Toyota dealership told me that it would be a good idea to change the water pump when the timing belt is changed. Are they just trying to make another sale? mhill3
  • Not necessarily. I saved the following from another forum I'm on, and it's what I intend to go by. I recently changed the belt due to age (6.5 years), not mileage (60,000) and didn't get the pump. Next change, I will:
    You should also do the water pump (with body) while you’re in there as it is fast and easy with the timing belt off. If the car only has 60K, you can skip the water pump, but anything over 100K, I'd replace it. Use a good pump (preferably OE). And when replacing the water pump, have them "toss in" a new OE thermostat too. Of course, they will charge you for the part itself, but no labor.
    Hope this helps.
  • ltomltom Posts: 1
    I bought new in Jan 98. Has 145k miles now. Have never changed the timing belt. My owners manual says "Check" at 90k. No replacement standard that I have seen. The belt can be checked-I pull the top right hand belt cover and use an inspection light and mirror-I see similar "inspection kits" at Costco for about $25 from time to time. At this time it is, finally, beginning to show signs of wear-mostly the unribbed side (I call it the back) is starting to shine. There is no cracking or ribbing problem. Plan on changing it myself (not the first I have changed) in a week when she flies to visit kids for 10 days - mostly because of the age of the belt. It is not an interference engine, so breaking is usually only an inconvenience My mother had an 86 Camry (I know-different everything) that nobody took care of other than the local K-Mart. She knew nothing about a timing belt, until it broke in 2002. K-Mart even towed it in for free-belt replacement was all they did. So, make your own decisions on when to replace the belt and keep the dealers hands out of your billfold.
  • mohullmohull Posts: 5
    Hello everybody and thanks for all.
    I just bought a 1999 Avalon XLS with the 92000 mileage. It is my first car I have ever had. I am wondering whether I have to change the timing belt. The car runs very well. In addition, what maintenance jobs I have to do for my car in order to drive it for next 3 years safely and without any problem. I appreciate if you give me a favor. Sincerely
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Welcome and congrats on your new Avalon! This may help answer some of your questions: Maintenance Schedules, Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins.

    Enjoy your new ride!
  • I have a 2000 Avalon with 304,000 miles. Basically, except for the oil, I service it
    every 90,000 miles when I change timing belt. It is running fine, but I am beginning
    to wonder about its further reliability. What part will likely fail that will leave me
    stranded without warning?
  • I just did a bunch of research and found the following regarding Toyota Avalons:

    The 3.0 V6 with VVTi is interference whereas the standard 3.0 V6 without VVTi is NOT interference. Source: interference-engine.html

    VVTi was introduced in 1999 on the 2nd Generation Avalons. But the 1st Generation Avalons were still made and sold in 1999 and they did not have VVTi. So if your car is 1999, like mine, find out if it is 1st Gen or 2nd Gen which is easy enough by looking at it (pics on wikipedia!). Source:

    But really all of this info is pointless because all you really have to do is go to this website and it will tell flat out whether your car has an interference engine or not!

    I could have said this from the start but it took me an hour to research all of this and find out so I felt like sharing everything :)

    Best of luck to you all and to all good timing belt health and a non-interference engine!

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