Timing Belt Replacement Schedule

I was told by the dealer yesterday that my 2002 Toyota Tundra is 3-years over due for a timing belt replacement. The recommended schedule is 5-years/90,000 miles. The truck has only 52,000 miles and in my mind mileage is a better indicator of wear/need than time.

Any words of wisdom or correction will be appreciated.

There’s a reason they have the replacement interval as 5 years/90K miles. Belts deteriorate with time. Gamble is you want, but I’d replace the timing belt.

You didn’t say which engine your truck has, but the V8 is an interference engine, so if the belt breaks there will be internal damage.

As I frequently do, I am in agreement with mcparadise.

Replacing the timing belt will likely cost somewhere around $400.

If this is an interference engine, when the belt snaps, engine damage will result in repairs costing somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 to $3,000 over and above the cost of replacing the timing belt.

And, even if it is not an interference engine, when the belt snaps you will lose all power–including the power steering. If that takes place in the left lane of an expressway with semi-trailers all around you, the result will not be pretty.

For some reason, people always seem to envision timing belt failure as something that will take place in their driveway or some other convenient location. However, it is just as likely–if not more likely–to take place in a less convenient or less safe location.

And, in case you think that a timing belt will give you some kind of warning of its impending demise, this is not correct. As one of the most experienced mechanics on this board has said, “Your engine will run very nicely–right up to the milisecond after the belt snaps”.

I have a 2001 Sequoia with the V8 motor and the '01 Maintenance Schedule booklet and log for the car says the;

Timing belt is scheduled for replacement at 90K miles or 72 months (6 years).

I expect that is the interval for a V8 engine for 2002 as well. Therefore according to Toyota you are 2 years overdue. I don’t think anyone can give you a definative whether mileage or age inservice is more important in predicting failure. My feeling is the mfg recommendations are based on what you need to do to have virtually zero failures unless a belt or tensioner, or water pump was defective in the first place. Since you are now at 52K miles and 8 years after purchase my assumption is the belt and those items weren’t defective.

After the 73rd month and beyond Toyota is saying the risk of your belt breaking is going to incresase. If we knew the point (number of miles and months) at which all belts will fail then we’d know the other end of the risk spectrum. Let’s say it is 15 years just for fun. At this moment you are at the lower end of the risk spectrum but moving into higher risk every year you run with your original belt. At or before 15 years (or some X we don’t know) your belt will fail. In the case of the V8 the pistons will whack into the valves and you’ll likely need a new engine.

If your truck is a “clunker” either in the govt. eyes or your own then perhaps you’d just let it go and either trade it in or run it out. At 52K miles your truck is likely in very nice shape. If you plan to keep it another 8 years and 50K more miles you should change the belt. Whether you ever put a 3rd timing belt on the truck will depend on whether you still own it and how long you plan to own it. As vehicles age and move from owner to owner timing belt replacement becomes a “deferred” item due to the expense.

Time is just as critical as mileage. The truck was likely built in the summer or fall of 2001.
This means the belt is near 8 years old and that’s not counting the time it spent on a shelf somewhere before it was ever installed in the truck originally.

The dealer is right.

Thank you all for the feedback. BTW - The Toyota Dealer’s estimate for the work is $1,400!

I’m shopping for another shop to do the work now.

I had the belt done on my Sequoia for $590. It included the water pump, a new serpentine belt, and fresh coolant. If the tensioner was questionable the shop would have replaced it, but it was OK. The Toyota dealer is pricing out everything at a high markup. You price quotes should bring it down significantly. Be sure the shop does these on your motor fairly often to be sure of a good job.

I don’t understand. The owner’s manual states “five years or 90,000 miles, whichever comes first,” but you want to ignore the “five years” part, and ignore the “whichever comes first” part?

Edit: I see you already replied, and I am glad you are taking the advice that has been given. Get some quotes at non-dealership mechanics. You should factor in the cost of a new water pump if it is driven by the timing belt. You should also replace the crank shaft seal if it is leaking oil. You should be able to get it all done for $500-$600. Good luck

Uncle: You should have had your tensioner pulley changed too. Change it while it is still good just as your water pump was changed. A failed tensioner or water pump bearing can take out the belt and then your engine. Your shop gave you bad advice. I am going by what VWs routinely require, change the tensioner pulley with the timing belt, always.

Correction: Pulley added to tensioner. Tensioner can be reused but not the pulley.

You can replace the tensioner pulley if you want, but I ran one on a Toyota for over 300k miles (5 belt replacements). Ran the water pump that long too, but it wasn’t part of the timing belt circuit so it didn’t matter.

I just replaced the timing belt on my 2001 Sequoia @ 280,000 miles; Car is almost 20 years old.

I don’t recommend going that long but the belt was extremely worn and I am suprised it never broke.

With the new belt it feels more responsive and powerful.

I suspect this is an example of the placebo effect.


It might have slipped a tooth.