Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Dealer Botched timing belt change on 2006 Tundra

Toyota Dealer improperly installed a new timing belt on my 2006 Tundra 4.7L engine with 90K on it. One side was OK but other damaged when pistons and exhaust valves collided. Dealer will fix one side only (pistons, rings, bearings) and provide 12 months warranty on parts & service. The head also needs to be machined.
The engine ran perfectly and used no oil prior to the timing belt damage. I will not accept the vehicle unless it runs as good as it did when I took it in for svc.
Not happy with a twelve month warranty, and not sure if the expected engine life will be adversely affected.
If the vehicle runs good after the repair, should I accept their terms, or should I try and negotiate some sort of a “sweet deal trade” and get rid of it fast?

If the dealer botched up the original repair, why are you letting them botch up the resulting repair?

Nobody halfway rebuilds an engine.

No wonder they screwed up the timing belt installation.


I’d agree with @tester.
A half rebuild is no rebuild at all. I’d get the Toyota Rep involved in this one.

Let’s just replace your left brakes this time, because you make more left turns on the way home than right turns.


I agree with Tester and Yosemite, especially about getting Toyota involved. Your owner’s manual came with protocols to "push the problem up the ladder, and you should putt the manual out and follow the protocols. Reworking one bank only could result in uneven compression and rough operation.

But in this case you may ultimately have no choice. Their only obligation is to return the vehicle to as good a condition as it was before they botched the work, to repair the bank that’s damaged.

Let them do this and see how it turns out. It might work out fine. Argue for a 5 year warranty instead of 1 year. You may not get it, but it’s worth a try.

Sincere best.

My vote is with Tester and the others.
Doing half of a top end. Translation: moronic.

So it used no oil prior to this event. Gambling money says that if the truck uses oil in the future they will claim that it’s not due to the half they repaired; it will be the other side for which they have no responsibility.


They said they’re doing the rings and bearings.

The engine has to be taken apart.

I don’t know where you can purchase only one head gasket, half a ring set, and half a bearing set.


@Tester, maybe I’m misreading it but my impression from the way it was worded is that they were only going to do one side as far as the pistons, rings, and bearings go. The phrasing led me to believe they were only doing pistons/rings/bearings on one bank. Maybe I’m wrong???

When I worked for new car dealers individual parts were available to us; one head gasket, 2 pistons, a single set of rings for one piston in a box, etc, etc.
I’m aware that most of the aftermarket is full sets and never having worked for Toyota I can’t say how they handle their parts situation.

With the 18426572 firing order it must have been sheer luck that both sides did not get dinged.
Someone finish the job, hit the key, and instantly think oh crap at the tone as they frantically turn the key off… ???


Interference engine. Right?

Would you just rebuild one side?


No; rebuilding one side is something I would never even consider.

The same thing when a service manager once asked me to “replace only the 2 worst brake shoes” out of 4 worn out ones on a car for which they only had 2 shoes in stock. That wasn’t going to happen either even if the SM did get a bit upset with me.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the SM at that Toyota dealer has an incentive factor along with a base salary and the halfxxx rebuild is a way of trying to avoid putting a crimp in any bonus pay.

If only one bank’s valves were out of time, how would you damage anything on the other bank?

I would make them rebuild the whole engine. With new rings and valves on one side your going to have different compression Left to Right.

It seems to me that it makes more sense for the Toyota dealer to replace the engine. They must have insurance that covers a slip-up like this. The labor involved in rebuilding the engine would come close, I would think, to the cost to the dealer of a new engine.
I bought a Ford Aerostar from a used car dealer that still had factory warranty. The engine had a cracked cylinder head that showed up after a year while the Aerostar was still on factory warranty. When the dealer’s service department pulled the cylinder head, the technician found that the coolant had scored one cylinder wall. When I talked to the service manager, he told me that they were installing a new engine. While I was happy about this, I asked why they didn’t just hone the cylinder wall and replace the head. He told me that if it were on my dime, that might be a possibility, but Ford said to replace the engine.
Maybe you ought to ask the dealer to pay top retail price for the truck, and if he does that, either take the money and run or insist that he sell you a new truck at his cost.