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Timing Belt and Validity of Other Posts?

I see some interesting advice on timing belts, but do the brothers chine in on some of this if they disagree with the post? Is there a way to search programs for the brothers comments on this topic?

I have a 2004 Tundra SR5, and it has 90K miles, which is the recommended point for replacement. A post here mentions that such belts (all vehicles?) are commonly changed by backyard mechanics. I’m certainly not one. Talking to my mechanic suggests it’s a tough job. Comments on the above?

Your mechanic isn’t going to tell you that fixing your car is easy, then bill you $1,000 for the job. He has an interest in you thinking it’s difficult.

I’m no mechanic but I changed the timing belt in my Honda Odyssey having never done anything like it before.

You have to do your research on how to do it. Service manual, Haynes, Alldata, the internet are all good sources of information. How much time are you willing to put into the job researching it, then taking things slow and careful.

You also have to have the right tools. A timing belt change isn’t rocket science, but some of the bolts may be hard to reach, and if the crankshaft pulley needs removed, it can be a real bugger to loosen the nut. Not something you want to try with a cheap ratchet wrench. You also need to have the time available. If you are pressured because the van is needed the next day to get the kids to seven different things that just can’t be missed, you’re gonna screw something up, and with a timing belt, that can be pretty catastrophic!


Click and Clack do not reply to any of these posts. At least they have never done so, in the last 3.5 years, I have been around.

As with every Forum out there on the InterWeb, one should never believe everything that is written in one. Did you first do a search about timing belts, or did you just ask the question?
That being said, I need to add that this Forum has, by far, some of the most informed and knowledgeable regular contributors. And this comes from one who reads about 4 car and 2 moto forums on a regular basis.

If your engine has a timing belt, it is imperative that you follow the change interval recomended in your Owner’s Manual-by mileage or age limit, WHICHEVER OCCURS FIRST !!! Said manual is the ultimate authority on this. And if you do not feel comfortable changing a TB after doing the required due dilligence/research, no one will think any less of you.

Thanks for the comments, but I should have added a little more. I really have no plans to do it myself. My mechanic says it’s about a $700 job, including the water pump (recommended), which is very close by, $100 of the $700. A Toyota dealer wants something like $1000. My mechanic says though that it is in a difficult location. In some way, it’s kind of strange that Toyota would put it in such a place, if in fact there’s a good chance of a failure.

I’m trying to sell the truck, but slightly hung up on the 90K replacement. The ability to fix it may help in the sale in that if I know the Tundra isn’t that difficult to change I’d be in a better bargaining position.

Take our advice as just that, advice from (usually) well-meaning strangers.

I for one have mechanics change my timing belts, even though I have all the necessary tools and experience. Just worth it to me to have somebody who does it routinely handle it, get it wrong on an interference engine and it’s toast.

The collective knowledge and EXPERIENCE on this forum far exceeds what Click and Clack personally have. That’s why careful readers get a lot out of this site. Others use it to spin conspiracy and junk science information, which the posters “diffuse” with varying degrees of tact and diplomacy.

The posters here are also very frank (not politically correct)and live all over the US and some foreign countries. Click & Clack have never lived in the desert, or tropical countries or Alaska. Many of the posters here have, and can tell you all about extreme operating conditions.

With respect to timing belts, you need to know what you are doing, as well as following the manufactursr’s instructions as to time and mileage, and if I were Click or Clack I would NOT recommend you do this yourself unless you were a mechanic. The main reason is, of course, that some guy changed a serpentine belt correctly and changes his own oil, and then fancies himself “competent”. And if he screws up, it’s C & C’s fault.

The water pump on timing belt-equipped engines is under the timing belt cover and driven by the timing belt, so it really is good to change it while they’re in there. Gawd only knows why they put the water pump there. Timing chain equipped engines have the water pump mounted in plain view.

If you are selling the truck it might be profitable to have the belt replaced by a very reputable shop and sell it making note of the repair evidenced by the invoice. Or, sell without the work and price the truck discounting the price by the estimate of a complete professional job.

Amen on people here living in places and conditions that C & C don’t! I used to read their car reviews, and they seemed to lambaste any car that could get out of it’s own way as “overpowered”. They must not have to drive uphill much.

Yes, I’ve been doing a lot of diligence in trying to understand the issues behind the timing belt. Other forums, Google, Consumer Reports, etc. The idea of a diy repair is interesting, but, as said above, I’m not going to do the repairs myself. At this stage, it’s about be a smarter seller.

It’s unfortunate that issues like this don’t have a source I found recently for medical procedure evaluations. It is operated by 10K doctors around the world, and review journals, tests, and so on. They post their findings on the pros and cons. In my particular case, family, a much often procedure that doctors swear by is found utterly unsupported.

There is “Beacon Hill” in Boston, but that is more a setting for soaps and murder mysteries.

I’m considering both options.

Yes, per above, this forum sounds very solid, but there’s nothing like collecting data, per my remark about doctors. Otherwise, one runs the chance of hundreds of anecdotal remarks of varying usefulness. It’s one of the reason I like Consumer Reports.

“Timing chain equipped engines have the water pump mounted in plain view.”

Is that a reliable way to determine if your engine has a belt or a chain? In other words, is it always true? I want it to be.

Like Consumer Reports? Did they caution you about buying a vehicle with a timing belt with the consequent expense of changing it with the water pump and also tell you that there are plenty of vehicles that use timing chains that last for the life of the vehicle if you don’t abuse them?

You might want to take the approach that if another human being can change your timing belt, then you, as a human being, properly informed, can do it too. I can change my VW’s timing belt for about $50 for the belt, tensioner pulley and a Saturday morning.

No, it’s not always true. Some engines with timing belts have the water pump on the outside–heck, even at the other end of the engine. Some engines with timing chains have water pumps inside, driven by the timing chain.

Of course not, that’s why I’m here.

Yes, I’m quite sure with the help of at least one friend I could do it. I’m sure he’d be happy to try. Do I need to? No. As I said above, this is about selling now. I have gathered my facts. I do however wish that some buyers would get their facts first.

I will repeat what I said about doctors above, it’s too bad auto people do not have a database like I mentioned. The doctor’s db is very sophisticated, not a CR auto report.

It may be a tough job for your mechanic.

My mum got her 2001 Tundra done for $500. Call around to see if in check or out of the ball park.

I bought an '01 Sequoia 2 years ago with 89K miles. The dealer didn’t mention it was due for a timing belt change but I figured the car needed maintenance so I wasn’t surprised. My job was about $600 in NE PA.

You can sell the truck as is. Or, if you feel better get the timing belt job done and show the potential buyer’s the receipt. Getting it done won"t get you a better price, but will make it easier on your conscience.

These are basically very solid motors and it should last a long time.

I still do plenty of repairs myself, proactively usually, but while I CAN change a timing belt, its actually not worth the effort versus the cost to have it done for me. I change the water pump every two times I change the belt.
In an interference engine this replacement must be done according to the scheduled maintenance.

I have never seen Tik and Tak or Tack ever weigh in on an answer on this site. You might call the radio proram with your question, though.
If I were you I’d replace the timing belt for around five hundred dollars, mostly labor cost. At 180,000 miles, if you get there, replace the water pump as well as the timing belt.
Replace the fluids according to schedule and drive easy and you will get that far. You have a very good truck. Many are on the road with much higher mileage.