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3 Serpentine Belts in Under 65k Miles

I have a '04 Toyota Corolla CE, manual, with 65K miles. At about under 10K miles the serpentine belt was replaced by the dealer after I noticed it making noises and not feeling quite right. They said this was due to the engine being cleaned after transporting my car down from another dealership. At about 45K miles (around 4.5 yrs.) I had the same issue. Another Toyota dealership replaced it after being told it was due to the water pump malfunctioning and getting the belt wet. I’m once again having uses with my third belt. I’m wondering if there could be more at issue with this belt that I don’t have knowledge about.

All this work has been performed while still under its warranty but I wonder if I will keep having to replace this belt so often over the life of this car as I like to drive my cars for as long as possible. I’m very good about maintenance, as my last car made it to over 400k miles.

It could be coincidence, on the other hand if the pulleys are not correctly aligned the belt will wear out faster. If you are still under warranty, ask to have the alignment of the pulleys double-checked.

I will do that!

For Your Information:

Irene, back in April, 2007, Toyota issued a Technical Service Bulletin for their technicians pertaining to 2003 - 2007 Corolla and Matrix vehicles with the 1ZZ-FE and 2ZZ-GE engines. It informs mechanics of a solution to a " squealing and / or rattling " coming from the engine compartment that some of these vehicles / engines may exibit.

The bulletin contains information that allows one to determine if the suspect vehicle needs a modification to solve the problem (Vehicle Identification Number and inspection procedures).

A revised *SERPENTINE (Accessory Drive Belt) Belt Tensioner (actually 2 differnt ones depending on which engine) has been made available by Toyota for customer purchase that should solve the noise problem on identified vehicles. It wouldn’t hurt to install a new (hopefully long lasting) belt when the tensioner is replaced.

See if your local dealer can help you sort this out using Engine TSB #EG021-07 or see if your mechanic can look it up.

By the way, Toyota was making this modification under the 36 month / 36,000 mile warranty for owners. I’ll bet the bulletin was not available when you first complained. Maybe Toyota will assist you with the cost. Do you still have service records pertaining to the belt noise ?

*Corrected 9/16


The standard and extended warranty have expired, but the last belt doesn’t have that many miles on it, so hopefully they will cover the expense. Either way, getting it finally fixed is my objective, so I’ll pay if needed. I do have all records and it has a appointment at the dealership who replaced the last belt. They already said that there must be something odd going on to create issue again and more then likely cover the expense.
Thank you for the info. I will be discussing with the dealership.

The title of this thread says “Serpentine Belts”, while the discussion touched on timing belts. Irene: Can you clarify if you’re talking about the timing belt or serpentine belt(s).

Irene, As Joe Mario Pointed Out, I Erred When I Referred To The Revised Part As A “Timing Belt” Tensioner. It Is Indeed A “Serpentine Belt” Tensioner And So The Bulletin Is Still Pertinent To Your Situation.

Sorry for the goof.


Joe, Thanks For Catching It. It Was My Mistake Referring To The Serpentine Belt Tensioner As A “Timing Belt” Tensioner. Timing Belts Were Never Part Of This Discussion.

It was late, I was tired, I’m getting older, Doctor told me to drink a couple glasses of red wine, etcetera.

I have since corrected the original post.

Thanks, Joe


It was late, I was tired, I’m getting older,
Doctor told me to drink a couple glasses of red wine, etcetera.

Same here. I’ve been using that excuse more and more lately for my screw-ups. Maybe I need more red wine…

I’ve Got A Great Doctor. He Told Me To Have A Couple Drinks Every Day And Ordered Me To Play Golf Every Day, Both To Keep Cholesterol In Normal Operating Range.

It’s working. Who am I to argue with a medical doctor ?


Assuming that your mechanics are any good and that they actually listen to customers, make sure they are aware of this repair history. They will probably want to spin every pulley driven by the belt to make sure that it turns freely and doesn’t catch or do anything odd. It’s very unlikely that there is anything wrong with any of them on your typical car so the mechanics won’t normally do that. But on your car, they probably ought to be checked.