Scheduled Maintenance

The scheduled maintenance guide for my 2001 Sienna requires inspection of Engine Valve Clearance at 120,000 miles or 96 months. I purchased my car in June 2001 (96 months ago). However, my car has only 60,000 miles. Is it necessary to get Engine Valve Clearnce inspected? How much should this inspection cost?


This is one circumstance where I go with mileage only,unless there is something special about the time specifcation.

Check if your engine is belt driven or chain driven. Do you also see a timing belt replacement interval?

Yes. To stay current with maintenance requirements, the manual states 120,000 miles OR 96 months. You hit 96 months. Time to get it done if you want to stay current on maintenance.

Also, what else needs to be done at this interval? Usually there are a few maintenance items to take care of. This should all be wrapped together, and the price will depend on several factors. The biggest would be if you decide on the dealer over a good, qualified independent mechanic.

I would follow the recommend scheduled maintenance. That schedule does seem a little unusual but I would still follow it.

Yes, it is time to do all of the services that are due at 120,000 miles or 96 months.

Get at least three quotes for this service. At least one quote should be from a dealership, but try to also get some quotes from independent mechanics if you can find a good one. Not every dealership overcharges its customers, but most do.

Make sure you tell them you only want the services that are listed in the owner’s manual and nothing more. No fuel injection cleaner, no power steering flush, no transmission flush (if all that is due is a transmission drain and refill), etc. If it isn’t listed in the manual, don’t get it included in the quote, and don’t authorize them to do it.

Confirm if this vehicles timing belt was ever changed. If not price out changing out the timing belt and have them inspect the valves clearance for a little more charge likely.

A timing belt is much more critical to vehicle life and avoiding expensive repairs than the valve clearance check.

My opinion is that valve clearances should be inspected every 30k miles. While odds are (if you’re a gambler) there may not be a problem, for X number of people there will be.
The regular inspection of valve lash is to assure that you won’t be one of that X number who suffer engine running problems, damaged cam lobes/adjusters, or possibly burned valves/valve seats.

Toyota is not the only one guilty of these extended valve lash inspection intervals nor is inspecting the valve lash the only thing that is given a seriously over-extended service interval.
These extended intervals are recommended for one reason only; to make your car appear to be more maintenance-free than it really is. In a nutshell, to not offend the car owner by allowing them to find out after buying the car that it may require some serious money to do these knick-knack service items.

No idea on cost; that varies a lot by locale and shop.