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2000 Toyota Camry Solara - evaluating timing belt

How to test and/or change the timing belt beyond 180,000 miles. The car is running fine, but i’m not original owner, so I don’t know when it was last changed.

I presume you have a V6 because the 4 cylinder has a timing chain. Scheduled maintenance says change it every 90k so it’s due if not overdue. I’d go ahead and have a mechanic check it out. If he decides the belt is okay you can stop worrying. If not, you can have it replaced.

A mechanic can’t determine if a timing belt requires replacing by inspecting it.

That’s why you follow the manufacturers’ recommendation for replacement.

It’s not just the timing belt that gets replaced, but all this too.

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Tester

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nope

For the 2000 model year, all of the engines for the US model Camry Solara had timing belts

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Drat, you’re right. The timing chain 4 didn’t come along until the 2002 model. My bad.

I agree with the others here. It’s time to get the job done. It’s painful to have to lay out the money and time to do this, but if the engine is otherwise running well there’s really no choice.

I wish mechanics would write a note on the underside of the hood in permanent ink with the date and mileage when they do this job. It could be on any place under the hood that’s easy to see, but it should be an automatic thing, everywhere in the world.

Not that it had much scientific basis I told customers if the BANDO brand was worn off the original belt it was past due for replacement. It seemed to make them feel more certain that the work was needed.And when they picked up the car the old belt would be obviously buffed black with at most a few spots where the stripe was still visible. On a few rare occasions I found that there was a replacement belt on the engine along with a water pump etc and the owner was very happy. But when a timing belt is old enough that you can look at it and know it’s shot you’re living on borrowed time. There was a Gates flyer that advised counting the cracks in serpentine belts in a linear inch and condemning after some special number but that sounded as hokey as my spiel about reading BANDO.

My Aisin kit came with a sticker, which I filled in (date and miles) and stuck under the hood of my 1999 Honda when I did this job in 2018.

Go ahead and get the belt changed. It will break at the worst possible time for you.

And then you might have to buy a new engine. Better to pay a few hundred dollars on your schedule than a few thousand later.

There’s still good news to be had

Both engines for this Camry Solara are non-interference

Meaning . . . if the timing belt were to break before op has a chance to schedule the service, the engine won’t have bent valves or broken pistons

I also got an Aisin kit . . . with water pump . . . for my Camry. It also came with a sticker. The only thing I had to buy separately were the cam- and crank seals

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