Timing Belt


I have 1998 toyota sienna LE with 128k miles and I have no records from previous owner about changed the timing belt. Is really need to change ot wait for next level milage?


Previously, there was some debate over whether a Sienna of that era had an “interference” engine or a “non-interference” engine. In light of the possible doubt over the type of engine, I will try to cover the waterfront for you.

If it has a non-interference engine, WHEN the belt snaps (NOT if it snaps), you will have no engine power, no power steering, and no power brakes. If this occurs on an expressway, as it frequently does, you will be in danger from the cars and semi-trailers around you when you lose all power–possibly in the center or left lanes. And, you will be stranded until the tow truck comes to take your vehicle to the shop for replacement of the timing belt. Bear in mind that this could occur at night or in inclement weather.

If it has an interference engine, then in addition to the above scenario, you can add the following fact pattern: Valves and pistons will collide, causing internal engine damage that you will have to repair at significant cost, in addition to the cost of the timing belt.

Since you cannot verify that the belt has ever been replaced, and since the belt is something like 4 years/ 38,000 miles past the point at which it should be replaced, you have to remember that these situations will occur WHEN the belt snaps–NOT if it snaps.

I will allow you to decide whether this bit of maintenance is a necessary item or not.


Who says the timing belt will wait until the next level mileage? Why should the previous owner have changed the timing belt? S/he sold that problem when they sold the suv.


it’s a mini van.

just a heads up


do the belt(or get ready to walk)plus an uneeded tow bill,plus rental fees.

good luck


Here is a web site that will answer all your questions…http://www.aa1car.com/library/2003/us70343.htm


Here’s another website that covers ALL the bases. http://www.gates.com/downloads/download_common.cfm?file=428-1466_web1.pdf&folder=brochure

Your Sienna is listed as having an interference engine. Get the belt replaced as soon as practical. The valves you save may be your own.


I had the same problem with my 1990 plymouth laser. I was told the timing belt was new but while driving on I-81, the belt snapped and I was seconds away from being killed or someone else being injured. I had to throw it into the guardrail to avoid a pileup.


Please, give a bit more info on this one. I had a timing belt snap on me while driving a borrowed car. Engine died, and I had to fight a stiff steering wheel to get it off the road, but it didn’t send me into traffic like an unguided missile. Please elaborate.


Strangely, this listing on the Gates site indicates this is NOT an interference engine! (See note at top of page: "The vehicle shown is not an interference engine unless noted “Interference Engine Application” in the comments column of the Cam Belt application section."