Avalon year 2000 timing belt replacement

I have a 2000 Avalon with only 38,000 miles on it. Toyota recommends replacing the timing belt every six years no matter what. However, they want $895 to do this. [1] Should I do it? Pros and cons? [2]Do I have the kind of engine that can be seriously damaged if the belt breaks (or is will I simply lose power and be inconvenienced if so)? [3]Related to all this: I have not had any serious problems with this car [so far]. I’m not sure whether–or how long–to keep it? In other words, should I put more money in it now or wait?

Thanks for any help anyone can give with all this!


Rubber ages with time as well as mileage. I would change the belt, no 8 years old, at this time, but have it done by a good independent mechanic; your cost will ba substantially less.

If you have the 3.0L V6 engine, then it is an interference engine and will incur substantial damage if the belt should break. As said above, rubber ages with time as well as mileage and you should have this done ASAP. You should be able to shave $200 off easily if you let an independent shop do the work. The timing belt also drives the water pump on this engine, so get that replaced too. Most places will do it anyways.

Yes, it is an “interference” engine that will incur major internal damage when (NOT if) the belt breaks. If you think that $895.00 is expensive, just think about whether you would like to pay three times that amount for repairs, as well as the belt replacement, when the belt breaks. As one of the members of this board has said, your engine will run very nicely–right up until the milisecond after the belt snaps without warning.

As to whether you should get rid of this car, I would suggest that you have the timing belt and the water pump replaced a.s.a.p., and then continue to enjoy many more thousands of trouble-free miles. The only caveat is that you should adhere to all of the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations in terms of the elapsed time factor, rather than the odometer mileage factor.

Since you are now two years overdue for the timing belt replacement, I wonder about other service procedures (transmission fluid change, brake fluid change, and even something as basic as oil changes) that you might not be doing according to the elapsed time factor. As long as you perform maintenance in terms of elapsed time, this vehicle should continue to give you many more years of good service, but if you continue to use odometer mileage as your guide to maintenance, the car might not have a trouble-free future.

Thanks for this. Just a note for further reference if it comes up with others: I called my dealer after reading this and I was assured that it is NOT an “interference” engine. I take it in regularly but will keep in mind the need to use elapsed time rather than odometer in future.

As for the $895…You don’t have to have the dealer do it. Any competent independent can do it for about half.