Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2006 Toyota Solara P0304

I have a 2006 Toyota Solara with a V6. I replaced the timing belt in the latter part of 2016 with a complete kit (water pump, tensioner, etc). I was driving the car yesterday when the car suddenly died as I was pulling away from a red light. I had the car towed home and pulled the engine code of P0304, camshaft position sensor. I replaced said sensor and the car sounds like there is no compression. Yesterday and today before replacing the sensor, the car acted like it would try to catch or have compression, so not sure if this is a coincidence or not. Will a broken timing belt or one that may have jumped time throw the code? The belt has only about 15000 miles on it since replacing it, and that is generous.

Yes it would likely throw a code. If the engine sounds like it has no compression, the timing belt has likely broken. Slipped a tooth or broken, you still have to open it up.

Ok, new problem. Belt was broken. After fighting a series of issues with studs breaking on my water pump and having to have them ordered from Toyota, because no parts or specialty store had the equivalent to get me back up, I have now spent an entire day trying to get the belt back on the car and can’t get it to go over the tensioner pulley. I get a 50/50 problem of either my left cam gear spinning back a 1/4 turn (and no, no parts house has a cam gear wrench, I checked), or I just can’t get the belt to slip over the dang tensioner. Running out of patience here, anyone got any suggestions? I thought about removing the idler pulley and reinstalling after I got the belt back on in place, but not sure about that. Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated before I do some severe collateral damage to this thing in frustration.

Remove the tensioner, retract the piston and insert a pin to hold the tensioner piston in place. Install the belt then install the tensioner. Double check the timing marks before removing the holding pin from the tensioner.

Rotate the crankshaft 2 revolutions by hand and check the timing marks again.

Nevada, your a life saver, took 5 minutes and bam. Of course, that was after I had to take the belt back off because I forgot to pull the pin when I tried the test crank, but still, it lives. Thank you again.

Got everything back together and car runs as good as expected for 190000+ miles. By the way Nevada, never had the pin out of the new tensioner. It wasn’t giving me enough room.

What caused the belt to fail? I see vehicles with this engine with more than 150,000 miles with the original belt.

What brand was the failed belt . . . ?

I do not know, it came in a kit I purchased on line. I do think I know what may have contributed to the failure though, I believe I had the left cam gear turned backwards, which allowed the belt to possible slide forward on the cam gears. I found the left should have been turned the opposite way then the right so the flange was on the outside, and I do not believe that was the case.