Toyota Camry Timing Belt/Chain Questions

roh75roh75 Member Posts: 1
edited May 2015 in Toyota
I have 98 Camary and do not know if I need to change the timming belt(s) and water pump, since I bought the car from a dealer. The car has 92000 miles on it.

The dealer is asking for USD 230 to change the timming belt. Is it ok. How do i know i need a new timing belt. I am meeting dealer tommorow for the service.

See Also: Timing Belts and Timing Chains


  • xingze_caixingze_cai Member Posts: 47
    I got 97 Camry, it is about 51000 miles on it. Sb. said the timing belt and water pump should be replaced every 60000 miles, it is correct for Camry?
  • john_fjohn_f Member Posts: 30
    Can someone clarify if/when the timing belt should be replaced on a 2002 4 cylinder Camry? Many thanks.
  • canoe2canoe2 Member Posts: 128
    I think it is time for you to change timing belt at 92000 miles. It's about $50 for part and 2 hrs labor. They asked $230 that is little to high except replacing water pump and other belt(s) as well including in the price.
    You could check condition of your timing belt by opening plastic cover for inspection.
    Make sure that you check their works after installing new belts. It happened to me that the belt for water pump was so tight caused water pump bearing failure after 4 months later. After they changed water pump, then the air conditioning bearing making noise ...
  • nikunjanikunja Member Posts: 1

    I bought this 96 Camry LE from a Toyota Dealer. It had 56K mileage at that time and the sales person said the timing belt is changed (which I do not believe). Now, it has reached 60K. Should I replace the timing belt now ? Someone told me that timing belt for 96 Camry need not be replaced at 60K. It should be done when it reaches 90K. Please advise.

  • razielinskirazielinski Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Camry XLE 4cyl Auto

    Does it have a Timing Chain or Belt?
  • t0y0tat0y0ta Member Posts: 1
    Is it true that when its due to change your timing
    you also have to change your water pump?
  • leonivleoniv Member Posts: 120
    You don't have to, but it's recommended since the water pump is right there after you take off the timing belt. There's no extra labor involved to remove the pump so you're really just paying for the part. The reverse is true as well. If your pump goes out before the belt, they have to remove your timing belt to replace it so may as well get a new timing belt.
  • gunga64gunga64 Member Posts: 271
    You may have a chain in that baby. Also
    at my toyota for a camry 2001 says timing belt change at 90k. Dealerships love to say 60k I wonder why hehe.
  • xpfshostxpfshost Member Posts: 35
    I've been trying to figure out whether my '05 Camry LE auto (4-cylinder) has a timing chain or a timing belt. I talked to 3 different local service centers: 1 didn't know, another said I had one or the other, and the 3rd said I have a belt. The Ask Toyota website:

    Ask Toyota

    says I have a chain. Anybody know for sure?????????? Also, the salesman at a local dealer said that the car has no spark plugs, but instead has some kind of 'coils'. Is that a load of crap? It is a PZEV, BTW.

  • toyotakentoyotaken Member Posts: 897
    The Camry uses a chain now and yes it does have spark plugs, but not a distributor, but the coils replace the distributor. He has half of the story and as usual, it's people with only half the information that are the most dangerous.

  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Yes, it does use a chain (2002-05 4-cylinder engines), and there are no spark plug wires or a distributor. But yes, there are spark plugs. This is also known as a coil-on-plug design.
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    "...there are no spark plug wires..."

    How is the voltage transmitted to the coil?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    ...but there really are no spark plug wires. I'll have to take a look.
  • cam2003cam2003 Member Posts: 131
    "How is the voltage transmitted to the coil?"

    It's called direct ignition. Integrated with the coil is transistor for switching high voltage to spark plug. Probably, there are at least 4 wires to the coil: 12v, Ground, switching signal, signal return.
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    I guess your point was there are no spark plugs wires that can absorb moisture and reduce the spark voltage like in the old days, right? That makes sense.
  • cam2003cam2003 Member Posts: 131
    "I guess your point was there are no spark plugs wires that can absorb moisture and reduce the spark voltage like in the old days, right?"

    Not only that, the ECU can adjust timing (advance or retard) or anti-knocking, maximum fuel economy.
  • jodar96jodar96 Member Posts: 400
    I just had a Toyota dealer replace the timing belt on my 96 Camry at 90K. This was the first time the belt was being replaced. It was supposed to be replaced at 60K, Burt being a non interference engine, I decided to ignore it.

    When I inspected the belt, it was amazingly clean. There were no cracks, or drying. I bet it could have gone another 50K miles before it needed replacing.

    While changing the belt, the mechanic at the dealership damaged the oil pan while lifting the car. That made me very ticked off. They charge $80/hour labor rate, and don't care to check where the hoist saddle is placed before lifting. I made three visits for one repair. It cost $150 to replace the belt

    In 9 years of owning the car, this was the first time ( beside tire and alignmnet guys) a mechanic every touched the car.

  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Sorry to hear about your bad dealership experience. That's why I also do as much maintenance myself. For my 1997 Camry, I had a friend at work (who used to be a Toyota dealer tech) change the timing belt. He did a careful, methodical job.

    Timing belts don't show any visible signs of deterioration normally, so you can't base replacement need on appearance.

    I hope that dealership replaced your oil pan for free! They had to be pretty far off with the hoist to snag the oil pan. I'd go elsewhere in the future.
  • camry9237camry9237 Member Posts: 1
    I didnt get a manual when I brought this car in 2003. It has about 83000 miles on it and I believe the timing belt is the sound that I hear underneath the hood.

    Does anyone know when the scheduled timing belt change is for this vehicle? If it helps its a timing chain.

  • typesixtypesix Member Posts: 321
    If you are not a lead foot all the time when accelerating and do not need to tow anything, the timing chain will last the life of the car.
  • vskrvskr Member Posts: 2
    Whats the best time to change the timing belt, other belts.
    I have to push hard on gas to pick up its a V4, doest throttle cleaning takes care or improve pick up?

    I am nearing 60K what are the major maintainance i have to do?
  • loucapriloucapri Member Posts: 214
    i had my 1st belts changed at 100K (97 LE) and I don't see why I need to have it done at 60K unless you didn't take good care of your car.
  • emcqueenemcqueen Member Posts: 7
    I have a 2002 Camry V6 that has been well maintained over its short life. With 96000 miles on it, the dealer says I should change the belt at 100K...for a cost of around $850. The car runs great, and the hi-miles come primarily from highway driving. I tow nothing but do occassionally "get on it" and/or wind it out some (I love the sound of that engine). If changing the belt has to be done, is there a way to do so at a reduced cost. Ed
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Yes, it is absolutely necessary, but that quote is absolutely absurd! No wonder dealers have such a bad reputation!

    You should have them itemize what they plan to do for that outrageous sum. Or go elsewhere. The last time I was at my local dealer, they had a sign posted listing service prices, and I think the timing belt change was around $300.

    When I had it done on my former '97 Camry 4-cylinder a few years ago at 93K miles, I had the timing belt itself changed, as well as the tensioner spring, crankshaft oil seal, and both drive belts. But I had a co-worker (a former Toyota dealership tech) do it for me. We agreed on $100 for labor, and the parts total was about $60.

    I think on the V6, it would be advisable to replace the same items, unless of course you've already replaced the drive belts recently. Now the dealer will probably want to replace your water pump, because it's "right there" once the other items are off. Certainly if there are signs of leakage, it should be replaced, but if not, the choice is up to you. I gambled that it wouldn't need replacement, and I ended up selling the car at 111K miles.
  • jbkennedyjbkennedy Member Posts: 70
    You got a great deal at $160. I just had my belts & tensioner changed on my 97' 4 cylinder at 85K after the timing belt broke, for $400.
  • mikegirmikegir Member Posts: 1
    The 2003 is a chain, the 2002 may be too...If the cover (left side of the engine) is metal, then you have a chain, if the cover is plastic, you have a belt and 80,000 is about the time to change a belt. I suspect it's a chain, so the answer is never....
  • carcruisercarcruiser Member Posts: 6
    People say you dont have to change the water pump when your replacing the timing belt, its up to you on the 2001 camry. My question is does the water pump known to fail prematurely on this model year. Let me know Thanks
    Toyota Owner
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    You have to look at the broader picture. The timing belt on these engines drives the water pump, too. (I'm in the same boat with my Sonata's 2.7L V6.) If the original water pump poops 30,000 miles into the new timing belt, the hapless owner's on the hook for the hassle or the entire labor charge of changing a timing belt all over again plus the cost of the water pump (figure ~$70.00 or more) because he or a tech will have to delve right back into the same area, remove the timing belt in order to extract and replace the water pump, and then re-time and re-install the timing belt. In effect the same expense as the timing belt replacement. By replacing the water pump at the time the timing belt is replaced, the car owner's only looking at a nominal additional $70.00 added to the final price. For those who practice excellent cooling system maintenance, maybe foregoing a prophylactic water pump replacement during a timing belt change is an acceptable risk. But, it's a risk, nevertheless. As Dirty Harry plaintively asked: "Do you feel lucky? Do you?"
  • jddayjdday Member Posts: 3
    I have a 91 Camry. I just changed the water pump and timing belt. When finished the timing was way off and I can't get it ajusted. Please help!!
  • typesixtypesix Member Posts: 321
    Check to make sure timing belt is in proper teeth of gears. It is common for someone to misplace proper position.
  • penizzlepenizzle Member Posts: 104
    Actually, the actual timing belt can be put on anyway, but the camshafts are what arent alinged. Look down the side of the engine and the crankshaft pully. You should find a place somewhere that has marks with the numers TDC or O, then 5, 10 and 15. Rotate the crankshaft or bump the starter until the TDC or O mark is aligned with the mark on the crankshaft pully. Now, look at the camshaft sprockets and rotate them until the two dots are aligned. Basically, check all the dots and lines are aligned. Just to let you know, i may nt be exactly right but that is what it is like on our camry. Buy a repair manual for your car.
  • jddayjdday Member Posts: 3
    I have checked and rechecked to make sure the belt was lined up right and that i had TDC. Could it be that the pully looks like it is lined up but the harmonic balancer-pully has spun throwing the timing off
  • penizzlepenizzle Member Posts: 104
    Rotate the alignment marked sprockets another turn or the crankshaft another turn. To prevent this from happening next time, align everything before working on it. I've had that problem and rotating some stuff again and aligning it fixed it. The pullys do not affect the timing. You need to get a manual from online or at a local auto store. The only thing affected that has to be the way it was before are the crankshaft oully, and the camshaft pullys. The oil, water and other plain oullys do not have to be any way. Make sure the new belt is instaled good and is spinning when cranking the engine over.
  • jddayjdday Member Posts: 3
    I did all that when i took it apart and put it together. I have been working with a mechanic that knows all that. Our problem is that he is a GM mechanic and does not know that much about Toyotas. What we did not know is if there were any other problems that were common for Toyotas. When we put it back together TDC or the crank and cam dots were lined up the way the manual said to, but the timing was way of. we checked the timing and it was at zero. According to or manual or what we found is that the timing is to be set at 10. So we turned the distributor to adjust the timing the way the manual said to do,but we could only get it to 9 1/2. It runs a little better, but it still runs rough and heats up after a little run time. We have checked the belt to see if it was the same as the old one. We have also checked the harmonic balancer which is also the crank pulley to see if it had slipped.-( we matched it to a new one) Everything that we have checked seems to be fine. Thank you for all the help so far, but is there anything anyone can think of that we might have missed?
  • jon30jon30 Member Posts: 1

    I would like to know if you were able to resolve your problem with setting timing. I have 93 Camry and I am having exactly the same problem setting the timing after installing water pump and timing belt. The car starts and idles fine but has absolutely no power at all. Been through it twice now and haven't had any luck. any help would be appreciated.
  • sambo49sambo49 Member Posts: 47
    Took my 2000 LE V6 for an oil change at 83000 miles. The car is generally in excellent mechanical condition. The service advisor noted that I have a valve cover leak ($650) and I am due for a timing chain and water pump replacement ($840).

    There have previous instances when the same dealership in Northern VA recommended service work that was questionable.


    1. How cam I check for the valve cover leak if there is no visible oil leakage under the car?
    2. When is the timing belt supposed to be replaced? I understand that replacing the water pump makes sense concurrent with the belt replacement.
    3. What is a reasonable price for all this work? I have a feeling I am being over charged.

  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    High mileage Camrys of that vintage tend to seep (ooze?) a little from the valve cover gasket. If there's no visible leakage, it's a pretty minor problem, imo.

    Toyota recommends changing the timing belt at 60k miles for vehicles normally driven under "severe" category usage, i.e., taxi cab, police, constant stop'n'go driving, etc. People differ about the need to change the belt under normal driving conditions. It's true that a broken belt will be an unpleasant and expensive experience.

    The prices quoted are well above what a quality independent garage would charge.
  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    I should add to my above note. While Toyota's 60K timing belt service applies to vehicles in severe usage only and dealers have adopted that as the "recommended" service interval for all vehicles, your car is about 14 years old. That counts for something, too. Changing the belt would be the safe thing to do.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    )) "...your car is about 14 years old." ((

    sambo49's model year 2000 Toyota Camry is about 14 years old? No matter... sambo49, be aware that some engine designs exhibit "interference" between pistons and open valves in the event of a timing belt failure while running. Moving pistons striking a stationary open valve extending down into the combustion chamber in the event the timing belt breaks will result in a bent or broken valve and possibly a broken piston. In an extreme case, connecting rods have been known to fracture, too, and result in busting a hole through the lower side of the engine block casting. (When that happens, it's replacement engine time - which might well wipe out most or all your car's current market value.) I don't know whether your Camry's engine is an interference design, but if there are four "dimples" cast into the piston crowns, it would be considered such. You'd probably need to call a Toyota dealership's service department for confirmation on this point. At 80,000+ miles on the original timing belt, consider replacing it an investment in continued, reliable service from your car - you're already 33% into borrowed time. The cam cover gasket oil seepage is probably a minor issue that the dealership's service department is attempting to scare you into unnecessary makework. Unless you observe actual oil loss on the dipstick from the "Full" mark to the "Add Oil" mark or lower over the course of your usual oil change interval, f'gedaboudut. ;)
  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    >>>sambo49's model year 2000 Toyota Camry is about 14 years old?

    Hmm, somehow I thought it was a '93. Must have been thinking about another car. Sorry.

    The 2000 Camry V6 has a non-interference engine, so your horror story doesn't apply. As I said, people will differ over the need to replace the belt. Toyota dealers, of course, are one mind on the subject. Somewhere around the year 2000 Toyota changed the recommended mileage for a belt change to 90K when driving under severe conditions.
  • sambo49sambo49 Member Posts: 47

    Not a problem, I believe the message right before mine was a 93 camry. Thank you very much for your reply. I will replace the timing belt at the next service since I intend to pass this car to one of my kids in college and he will need reliable wheels...
  • sambo49sambo49 Member Posts: 47
    Ray h1,

    I will replace the timing belt at the next service and hold off on the valve cover while keeping an eye on the oil level.

    I checked the engine again today and could not find any visible signs of oil leaks, just dust and grime acculmulated over the years and 80+ k miles.

    Many Thanks!
  • georgettegeorgette Member Posts: 16
    Your response is of interest to me. I have a '99 4-cyl. Camry with 106 thousand + miles and am tempted to continue to defer getting a timing belt replacement. Any way you know of to find stats on the track record of timing belts among Camrys of my vintage?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    I don't think any such stats exist. For one thing, belts don't even show visible wear for the most part -- they just break when you least expect it.

    So, you really ought to have it replaced now. I assume you wouldn't like to be stranded somewhere if the belt breaks, because the car instantly becomes undrivable.

    I'd look around for a good locally owned independent shop that can handle the job. Ask friends, relatives, and co-workers for recommendations. You don't have to go to the dealer, who will charge the proverbial arm and leg.

    I also wouldn't trust the chain places (tires stores and discount stores).
  • owlrunowlrun Member Posts: 1
    The Toyota dealer sent me a notice that the timing belt should be replaced at 15,000 miles on my 2006 Camry, for $180. Based on this forum, that sounds a little early. Should I do it now or not?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Are you sure they said timing belt? At 15K miles?

    If you have a 4-cylinder, there is no timing belt to change as of the 2002 model year, just timing CHAIN that should last the life of the car. If you have a V6, there is a belt, but the replacement interval is 90K miles.

    $180 is a good price, though!

    Run, don't walk away from that dealership!
  • jollygreen1jollygreen1 Member Posts: 42
    210delray you must be a toyota mechanic to know so much about these Camrys. I thought my 05 LE I4 (2AZ-FZ) had a belt not a chain. I looked at my owner's manual and sched maint book for any mention of a chain vs belt. The manual (under Sevice Specs) mentions the 1MZ-FE and 3MZ-FE drive "belt" tensioner is measured by a Borroughs gauge, but does not say anything about the 2AZ-FE (4cyl) having either a belt or chain. Your info will probably save me lots of money in the future because I was convinced I had a belt not a chain. The Sched Maint book says change the belt of the 1MZ or 3MZ at 90k. I guess I read this section too fast. Thanks for the info. I guess I need a Camry shop manual. Any suggestions on which one to buy for a shade tree mechanic?
  • rubezrubez Member Posts: 2
    I have a crack in my timing belt and it needs replacing. I have been quoted $550. is this a little to steep?
  • djm2djm2 Member Posts: 712
    Does a 2007 V6 Camry have a timing chain or a timing belt? ---- If it has a timing belt, when does it have to be replaced? -------- Best regards. ----- Dwayne ;) :shades: :)
  • stlpike07stlpike07 Member Posts: 229
    My dealer said my '07 I4 has a timing chaing and that it won't need to be replaced (at least during the terms of my lease.

    I would think probably around 100,000 miles......let me know what you find out.
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