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Toyota Camry Timing Belt/Chain Questions



  • emonenaemonena Posts: 3
    Please can anyone out there help me in answering this? I have a 2002 Toyota Camry, XLE 3.0L V6 engine. Does it have a timing belt or timing chain?

    Secondly, how does its anti-theft security works if it has at all, as a standard for the XLE?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Definitely a timing belt that must be replaced periodically (90K miles). As for security, the car has an engine immobilizer which means that a key with a built-in transmitter must be used to start the car.
  • emonenaemonena Posts: 3
    210delray, I appreciate your prompt response to my questions. To add to my earlier questions, I bought this 2002 Camry, XLE 3.0L V6 with 97K miles on it. I did checks with Autocheck. They did not say anything about the engine status such as the condition of the Timing belt. However, the car checks out with 85% mark with all the usual stated conditions. I am a bit confused. Do I need to check independently with other mechanics autoshop?

    Lastly, is the '02 Camry XLE, 3.0L V6 a more durable and reliable car with a second hand value than its LE, 2.4L V4 counterpart? I am asking this, because all I see around me is the LE, 2.4L V4 model. It seems there is a reason why people prefer this?

    Thanks 210delray and all other respondents in anticipation.
  • zsokazsoka Posts: 2
    I have a 2004 4 cylinder auto camry, with 75,000 on it. the dealer tells me that the car doesn't have a timing belt, but a chain, but they say the drive belt has to be changed. Any recommendations/
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    The drive belt the dealer references, is the accessory or 'serpentine' belt. That's very cheap and takes hardly any time to replace. Many owners can do it themselves with some basic tools, if they are so inclined.
  • zsokazsoka Posts: 2
    Thank you, my dealer estimated a cost of $165, and i'm not sue if it includes labor
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    That cost must include labor, because the belt itself is much cheaper than that.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I haven't bought that particular belt yet, but have bought many others for our other vehicles. I would have guessed the belt to be about 30 bucks at an autoparts store, probably 60 bucks then at dealer. Would take someone about 10 minutes to put it on, but they'd charge you an hour of labor.

    Call Pep Boys, and ask them what they'd do it for. Heck, Jiffy Lubes might even do it.
  • dovandovan Posts: 4
    I just found and joined this forum. Here's my first question. I want to replace my plugs. The manual says I must replace with only "iridium-tipped" ones. Unfortunately I've already bought platinum tipped plugs. Is it all right to use them? The manual does not have the maintenance schedule. I can't find the supplement that has the schedule. When should I change plugs? I only have 45K miles on my Camry. Thanks. -Hieu
  • nickitpanickitpa Posts: 1
    I recently had an oil change done and the tech told us we need to have the timing changed, was not specific on belt or chain. Also, he said there is no warning when it goes, it just gives and your car stops running. If there is no warning, how can he tell that is needs to be changed? Also, I just had all of my other main belts replaced about 1 year ago, the car has 136,000 on it. What should I look for so I do not get ripped off ?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    This should explain the differences/advantages to you:

    The short version is that iridium plugs need less voltage to fire and last longer.

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  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    All '93 Camrys will have timing belts. Do you know if yours has EVER been changed? If not, then you are way beyond the mileage limit (I'd assume 60K miles for your year). It's true that the belt will go without warning -- I've had it happen to me on my former '80 Volvo. The other belts have nothing to do with timing belt.
  • You can check the belt yourself on the 93 Camry.

    There are five small bolts that hold the plastic cover on the front top of your engine.
    If you have small hands and a short 10mm socket remove it . I use a 1/4 inch drive socket set. You can bur a socket at a pawn shop for 25 cents a good rachet at Sears for $15 . Dont buy a useless socket set if your only doing small work on your own car. A Toyota can be repaired with just a couple more size sockets and a couple wrenches.

    Get a 8mm and a 12mm to get your set started. These are standad size bolts for Toyota's
  • gearhead8gearhead8 Posts: 12
    I know for sure!!!
    The Camry 2.4 lite 4 cylinder engines going back to at least 2002 have timing chains. No timing chain maintenance required.
    Keep clean oil in the crankcase, top tier fuel in the gas tank, fresh antifreeze in the cooling system and keep an eye open for leaks and this engine will run for at least 200,000 miles.
  • bernskibernski Posts: 1
    I have a flyer from my dealer estimating the cost of a timing belt replacement at $239.99. Isn't that really high?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    The 2002-current Camry does not have a timing belt, it has a maintenance free chain. The only belt on your 08 is a serpentine belt that powers the alternator, AS compressor, PS pump, etc. It should NOT be $240.00, probably around $90.00 installed. Only needs replacing about 75k miles or so. Easy to check visually.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Bernski didn't specify whether they have an I4 (chain), or a V6 (cogged belt).

    It's not clear whether the 240 is referencing a serpentine belt replacement (which should be cheaper than the 240), or a V6 with a timing belt replacement (which would be substantially more than the 240).
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    You're right, could be a V6, but I thought the new V6 was a chain too?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The new V6 (as of 2007 models) does have a chain also, like the 4-cylinder since 2002.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    You are correct, both the I4 and V6 have chains for the valve timing......looked it up in the 2007 Toyota service manual.

    That can't possibly be a $240 job to replace the timing chain. Bet bernski was referring to the accessory belt.
  • caazcaaz Posts: 209
    Let me make it easy for you, lol. 2002-2009 4 cyl. all have timing chains.
    2007-2009 v6 engines have timing chains.
    2006and older v6's have timing belts and should be replaced about every 90,000 miles or a bit less.
    $240.00 is about right for a timing belt., it is Not high.
    Last week i purchased a serpentine belt, for my 03 camry, directly from my toyota dealer, .cost.... $26.00 Labor 30 mins.
    I hope this helps, i made it nice and simple.

  • dntlssdntlss Posts: 5
    hello there, my sister has a toyota camry(1997) and saturday she was going somewhere and the car just died while on the road so she pulled over and i came to check it out, well i pulled the starter out and checked it,i know it has nothing to do with the car dying,its just something i like to check, well it worked fine but when i put it back in it will not turn the engine, in other words the engine is locked, i got underneath and tried to turn the crank at least a little and it will not budge, im guessing timing belt failure, am i correct in this assumption? i dont see what could make an engine lock up like that, car has oil, it does not smoke but shes not into preventive maintenance at all so ballpark is the car never had the belt replaced at the recommended interval so besides bent valves what else am i gonna have to fix?, thank you for any suggestions
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    to the contrary. A broken timing belt should make the engine turn over easier than normal, so I do not see this as your problem if indeed the engine is seized.

    Did you check the oil level?

    Did this happen in a rainstorm or when driving through a deep puddle?

    Have you tried turning the engine over with the starter motor out?

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  • dntlssdntlss Posts: 5
    hey there, thank you for your reply, yes it has oil in it and she just said she was driving it and the engine suddenly quit so she coasted to the next stop, i will be looking at this car tomorrow and i will definately try to turn it with out the starter, something to mention is that when i pulled the starter out i had my sister turn the key and the starter performed flawlesly, well i put the starter back in and had her try it this time and nothing happened, let me point that you can actually see the starter move a hair while is cycling and it looks like it wants to jump out of that hole cause is under such strain, i cannot understand what could make an engine lock like that, the day when it happen it was sunny and it was on a mild hill so i believe there was no puddles but i will ask her,the reason i stated the timing belt was because i figure that if the belt brakes and the valves fall and the piston comes up and hits one real good and bends it and that valve cannot return to its original positon it could stop the travel of the piston,hence the locking feeling, could this be possible or not? again thank you for your input , let me know what else you think it might be
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    If the belt brakes the valves are no longer connected to the pistons through the camshaft, so the bottom crankshaft should spin freely even if the valves were jammed tight or the camshaft was seized.

    You may need to get a socket and cheater bar on the front crankshaft pulley to see if this engine is actually seized.

    Aside from oil starvation, hydro-lock or a jammed timing chain tensioner (which you don't have) I can't think right off of any other reason for an engine to seize while running down the road.

    I suppose it could have eaten a valve but even that usually wouldn't cause seizure.

    I'm just not sure you have in fact an engine seizure issue here. More investigation in that area!


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  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Take the plugs out, when you are trying to turn the engine over with a cheater bar...that will make it easier to turn. Might also want to just take the accessory belt off as well, that would eliminate any frozen accessory from impacting your ability to turn the engine.

    You also don't need to take the starter out, it wouldn't be engaged with the flywheel.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    I was thinking it might be getting hung up when he tries to start it and it jams in the flywheel. Just groping for ideas here.

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  • Wow tore right into it, starter removed, and then installed again.

    Seems you could do the next step and remove plugs like the last post suggest.The symptoms like starter does not spin sounds like your on the right track Again a broken belt will let it turn over easily unless its so twisted around something at the crankshaft.You should be able to turn it backwards too, easily without cheater bar if you follow the above advice

    . The plastic cover on top of the engine covering the camshaft pulley you could pryed it back to see if belt is still on the cam. Remove three of the five or six 10mm cover bolts and pry it back.
  • dntlssdntlss Posts: 5
    thanks everybody so much for all the points, i will investigate every single one tomorrow and post what i found out so far, i want to point out that i did take one of the belts off(the airconditioned one ) but there is a smaller one behind it so ill take that one out tomorrow as well, i also wanted to add that my sister boyfriend was with me and i had him get under with a socket and a ratchet and thats when we tried to move the crank, actually he even got his foot on the ratchet for leverage but no dice, didnt move an inch, hes not too bright at times so maybe he was hitting something with the ratchet, so tomorrow ill get under it, the spark plug removal is also a good idea(thank you) i forgot about that and i thought of it later, this was all last saturday so tomorrow i will work on it in earnest,i did do also what the gentleman said about removing part of the timing belt cover and i did see it and push it lightly to see if it had a lot of slack but the test was inconclusive cause it was hard to see, again i will take more of it off and check, again thanks everybody!!!!
  • If the timing belt is visible on the top it is good. If its missing it broke.

    Sound like its still connected. You are the grand prize winner of whats behind door number three.
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