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2002 Corolla Timing Belt or Chain?

My 2002 Toyota Corolla is approaching 90,000 and I realize I need to change the timing belt for regular maintenance, however, there is NOT a word about a timing belt or chain in my owners manual - I’ve been told by some that it’s a chain and others say it’s a belt, I’m just looking to get it straight! And, if it is a chain, how often do I need to replace it?

Thanks for the help!

This question keeps popping up, at least two a week on average or maybe three. You can look up the Gates Timing Belt Guide at their website: According to the guide, Corolla’s haven’t used engines with timing belts since 1997.

Another handy way to check is to look at the front of the engine. Timing belts must be kept clean and dry, so a belt will be behind a separate cover, usually plastic that is attached to the front of the valve cover. Timing chains are lubricated with engine oil, so the chain is usually under the valve cover, and there is no separate cover attached to the front of the valve cover.

Timing chains are typically a lifetime item. Unless you like me, and keep cars for over 200,000 miles. Then, these chains will stretch to the point where they may need to be changed. I replaced the timing chain on my old Toyota pick-up once at 250,000 miles when I did a head gasket repair. The chain was just at the stretch limit as noted in my service manual.