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How do I know if the timing belt is bad on a 1996 Camry?

cubfan53cubfan53 Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in Toyota

My daughter recently purchased a 1996 Camry. She purchased it very reasonably and has had it about 2 months. She's made trips of 350 miles and 700 miles with it so far but only drives it a couple miles a day on a normal basis. Due to nice weather in her area she hadn't driven it for about a week then she drove it for a short 3-4 mile trip. As she was, fortunately, only a few blocks from her home she said it started running quite rough and making noises she was not familiar with. She was able to get it to her home and in the garage but still running very rough. We were told the timing belts should be changed on the Camry at about 60k mile intervals. This car had 102k miles when she purchased it and we don't know if the timing belt has ever been changed. Does this sound like it could possibly be the belt? We might also suspect bad gas but she has about 1/2 tank of fuel and hasn't purchased any for a couple weeks. We're trying to keep her expenses minimal due to budget. Any suggestions out there? I thought maybe we'd try a bottle of Iso-HEET first.

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