Camry timing chain/belt change

I have a 2002 Camry with 70,000 miles on it.

One mechanic says I need to change my timing chain.

Another says I have a timing belt, (rubber), and do not need to change it.

Which one is correct, and whose advice do I follow?


None of this makes sense.
You did not state which engine you have but the 4 cylinder should have a chain and the 6 cylinder should have a belt.

I’ll assume you have what you were told crossed up here because what you are stating about the chain and belt being changed or not changed is backwards.
Normally chains outlast the car. If your engine application has a belt then it needs to be changed if for no more of a reason than the belt is 8 years old and it’s sheer luck it hasn’t broken already.

4 Cylinder Has Chain. 6 Cylinder Has Belt. Follow Your Owner’s Manual.

A chain would not ordinarily be replaced as a maintenance item. A belt would need replacement soon (if it never has been) because of miles and age.

Do have a 4 cyl. or 6 cyl. engine?

You need to read the owner’s manual to get the right answer. Some Toyotas like my 2007, have timing chains that don’t need replacing. It seems you have been advised by TWO incompetent or ignorant mechanics!

The idiot mechanic who told you a timing belt does not need replacing should have his license revoked!!! ALL TIMING BELTS NEED REPLACING! Some more often than others.

For what it’s worth, on a 2007 Toyota V6 and V8 the timing belt, if it has one, should be REPLACED at 90,000 miles or 6 years, which ever comes first. So it’s likely that your owner’s manual will say something similar. Please check it out. Most posters here will recommend replacing the belt, if your car has one. And we get many questions like yours!

Please change mechanics after reading the owner’s manual.

As usual, I agree with OK4450. And CSA. And Doc.

Check the maintenance schedeule that came with your Camry. If it has a timing belt it will tell you when it should be (have been) changed. If it says nothing anywhere about a timing belt, then you have a chain and need do nothing.

Bring it up to date on any other items in the schedule that you may have missed too.

Call toyota dealer,they will tell you and you can get price at same time.
If you have trusted mechanic it will be cheaper than dealer if not DO not use tuneup or quick lube places, you will be sorry.
Be sure to replace water pump and tensioner at same time.

Unfortunately, the service writers at most dealerships are not as “car proficient” as they should be, and they often give incorrect information. Thus, while it might be a good idea to call the dealer’s service department, whatever their service writer tells you has to be considered unofficial.

The only information that can be trusted is sitting right in the OP’s glove compartment, and it goes by the name, “Toyota Maintenance Schedule”. If the maintenance schedule lists a timing belt change for 60k, or 90k, or 105k, then that provides the OP with the official information from the engineers who designed that engine, namely that the engine has a timing belt, and that it does need to be changed at the specified interval.

If the Toyota Maintenance Schedule does not list a timing belt change at any those mileage intervals, that is an indication that the engine has a timing chain, and it does not need to be changed-despite what incompetent mechanics might tell you. Note that the maintenance schedule will likely list different maintenance procedures for the 4-cylinder model and the 6-cylinder model, so the OP needs to refer to the information that is appropriate for his/her mystery engine.

As usual, opening up the glove compartment and simply reading the documentation provided by the car’s manufacturer will eliminate the guess work. Why is that process so alien to so many car owners?

Never underestimate the stupidity of service writers! When I had a rear drive Caprice, one tried to charge me for a “4 wheel alignment” which cost more than the regular 2 wheel alignment. I explained my car was rear drive and had a solid axle, and he seemed puzzled!

A 4 wheel alignment alines front and back tires so they track true if not you get uneven tire wear.

A true 4-wheel alignment is…a bit difficult to do on a RWD Caprice with a solid rear axle. Doc’s point was that the service writer was too dumb to know the difference between a FWD/independent rear suspension model that could probably benefit from a 4-wheel alignment, and a RWD vehicle whose solid rear axle is not normally the subject of any alignment efforts.