Timing belt

toyota
sienna

#1

I have a toyota Sienna van and I took it in for a recall repair. I was told due to its mileage (167,000)I needed to replace timing belt,and since they were in there water pump and crank seal. Since I don’t have an interference engine, is all that needed if my car is running fine? Just a side note, 3 of our children are in college, so I don’t want to spend money unless I need to. Thanks!


#2

If this engine is, indeed, a non-interference engine, then you can skip this recommended service without fear of damaging the engine.

However, you have to bear in mind that when (not IF) this aged belt snaps, you will be without engine power and will also have no power assist for your steering and will have very limited power assist for your brakes. If this happens while crossing an intersection, it will be inconvenient and possibly dangerous. If it happens while you are rushing to an important appointment or to the hospital, it could have serious consequences. If it happens while you are on an expressway with 18-wheelers all around you, it could be fatal.

For some reason that I can’t fathom, many people seem to imagine that impending mechanical failures will take place in their own driveway, with no inconvenience or danger connected to that mechanical failure. In reality, you have a higher probability of this happening while you are driving.

Just something to consider.


#3

Amen. The belt will most likely snap at a high rate of speed not while idling.


#4
Waiting will likely increase the cost (think tow truck) and inconvenience. It also could be a safety issue.  Loosing power in traffic is not fun or safe.  In addition consider that much of the cost of the other work you are going to do is shared with the timing belt, so you will end up spending a lot of money to do the same tear down and re-install work twice when you can do it just once.

#5

Has the timing belt ever been changed? If the change interval on the belt is, say 105K, and it was changed at 105K, and if you haven’t exceeded the time interval (which would be impossible to guess about since you never said what year it is) then you don’t need a new belt right now.

I don’t know what the mileage or time interval is - but your manual does. Don’t let someone else tell you when to do things to your car. That is how you end up wasting money. Get the recommended maintenance schedule out and figure out when your belt must be done. If you are at that point, then have it done. It does not have to be done by a dealer. Plenty of good, local, independent shops can do these for less.


#6

Agree; Ignoramus’s car should by now be on this third timing belt. Some years ago, my Ford blew its fan belt just off the Mackinac Bridge, connecting the Upper Peninsula with the rest of Michigan. Blowing a timing belt on the middle of this very long bridge, or worse in a tunnel, is something I don’t ever want to experience.

Today’s cars, with good maintenance and fluids checks, are incredibly reliable. Even my 1988 Impala did 160,000 miles (about 10,000 trips) with only 4 unplanned outages, for a 99.96% avalability.


#7

I agree. According to the Gates manual the Sienna requires a belt change every 90,000 miles. If this is the original belt, you’re living on borrowed time.