Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Timing Belt Broke on 2003 Toyota Camry LE

Just two days ago bought this Camry LE used from a private party, have no warranty and today it appears the timing belt broke. I wondering what type of damage to expect. It is a 2003 Camry LE, what could be the worst scenerio in damage and can any one kindly give me an idea on what type of expense I am up against.


  • edited April 2009
    The engine in your Camry is not an interference type engine. So at this point all it should need is a new timing belt/water pump.

  • edited April 2009
    Thanks for your quick response.You have put my mind to ease.
  • edited April 2009

    Although you can put your mind to rest regarding collateral damage from the timing belt situation, you have to consider what other vital maintenance procedures the former owner decided to NOT do.

    Unless you can confirm that the transmission fluid was changed every 30k, you need to change the trans fluid and filter a.s.a.p. Although you dodged a bullet with the timing belt, a 6 year old car that has had no transmission maintenance is a candidate for early transmission failure.

    For this service, take the car to an independent transmission shop that has been in business for at least 3 years. DO NOT take the car to AAMCO, Lee Myles, Mr. Transmission, Cottman, or any other chain operation unless you want to be told that you need a rebuilt transmission--and to be overcharged for that unnecessary transmission rebuilding.

    After the transmission has been serviced, then you and your regular mechanic can assess whether the car needs new spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter, spark plug wires, a coolant change, and a brake fluid change. In the absence of maintenance records, you have to assume that these procedures have never been done.

  • edited April 2009
    Change the coolant and any other fluid with a service interval below the mileage and time on the vehicle!
  • edited April 2009
    Make sure who ever services your vehicle uses the correct things. Toyota ATF, NGK iridium plugs, Toyota coolant etc etc...Your original spark plugs should be good for at least 100k miles and you do not have spark plug wires since yours is a coil over plug ignition system. Also you don't have to worry about a fuel filter, as yours is not considered a regular service item. Your Toyota T-IV ATF is called a lifetime fluid by Toyota, but don't believe that. Just get drain and fill every 25-30k or so, no flush required, and you should be good.
  • edited April 2009
    This is so amazing how many good things have come out of my question, I am going make sure that I take care of all the service needs regarding transmission, oil change, air filter change, complete tune up, fuel filter replacment, coolant.Thanks to all of your folks for taking time out and helping someone like me who has no experince with something like this. Please feel free to add anything else as it comes to your mind.


  • edited April 2009
    Mind you, a complete tune up for your car means changing the spark plugs, thats it, so don't get ripped off. Don't let anyone change your fuel filter either, your car does not require it.
  • edited April 2009
    Don't get too upset. There is no requirement to replace the belt on your car. (I think) How many miles on the car??
  • edited April 2009
    His belt broke. It should probably be replaced.
  • edited April 2009
    How many miles are on this vehicle?
This discussion has been closed.