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Timing Belt

I have a Lexus RX300 2001 with 95000 miles they are telling me that i need to change my timing belt plus two other belts and also the water pompe, the price can go from $700.00 to $1,300.00 .

From seeing what other people have posted here, that would sound about right for the timing belt. The others, though, I don’t know. We’ll wait to see what other people will say.

Has it ever been done before?? I ask becasue you are most likley WAY over in terms of time… If it has not been done, then YES it should be done. IF it was to fail it could do a lot of damamge to your motor.

Don’t know much about Lexuses* but that $700 doesn’t sound bad for a timing belt. To replace them takes a bit of time.

You’ll want to replace the water pump because it is easy to do with the timing belt off. On all cars they tend to fail so this is solid preventative maintenance. To replace it eventually, when it does end up failing, will likely cost you another $700 as opposed to replacing it now, lightening your wallet only by the cost of the pump.
The other two belts are likely power steering, alternator, etc - again, they have to come off anyway to get to the timing belt so it is cheap insurance to replace them. They are cheap anyway.

  • (or is it “Lexi”?)

You are several years overdue for a timing belt job. The price is reasonable, you should replace the water pump and other drive belts too. The higher quote might include more parts such as tensioner(s).

Your engine is NOT an interference engine (according to Gates.com) meaning when the belt breaks your motor stops immediately. The valves do not collide with the pistons causing extensive internal motor damage, which would be the case with an interference engine.

Shop for a good price, but use a shop that does a lot of this work and knows the process well. A new water pump is a must, new tensioners is recommended but some try to go cheap and hope the old ones are still good.

You can decide to do nothing but the belt will likely break someday. When it does the motor stops immediately and you’ll not have power steering immediately and about enough power brakes to stop once before you have to push a lot harder on the brake petal to stop. If you drive on a lot of bridges, tunnels, and places with little to no shoulder on the road this can become a dangerous situation. Belts rarely break while sitting waiting for a stop light, more likely they let go at highway speeds.

“The valves do not collide with the pistons causing extensive internal motor damage, which would be the case with an interference engine.”

The SUV does have double overhead cams. The exhaust and intake valves can collide in this type of engine if the belt fails, and that would mean at least a top end job in addition to changing the belt. If this is the first time changing the timing belt, I suggest that you do it. If the price for replacing the timing belt, serpentine belt, water pump and coolant is anything close to $700, that is a good deal.

UncleTurbo wrote:
The valves do not collide with the pistons causing extensive internal motor damage, which would be the case with an interference engine.

The valves may not collide with the pistons, but the surrounding traffic may collide with the powerless Lexus in the middle of the road. This can cause extensive damage too.

On my 2002 Sienna, Toyota said to INSPECT the water pump at 90,000 miles, and not to replace if not needed. That is what was done, and it did not need a new one at that time.

At 180,000 miles they inspected it and said it needed to be replaced, so we did. It was not leaking or anything, but it apparently showed some wear at 180,000 miles.

I cannot speak for Lexus, but my wild guess is it would be the same deal, since it is the same company, and I doubt the water pumps are cheaper in Lexus.

At the same time, I sure am not going to criticize anyone for replacing it when not needed. But, replacing a water pump on a well engineered car when it is not needed is like replacing the oil every 3,000 miles as many do. If you choose to do it, that is your business. When you tell gullible people they MUST do it, that is a different matter.

@jtsanders:

The SUV does have double overhead cams. The exhaust and intake valves can collide in this type
of engine if the belt fails

Is there an implication that if an engine with a timing belt has a double overhead cam, that it is an interference engine?

I’d be surprised if it were true, but have no knowledge if it is.

I think $1300 for replacing the timing belt, the other drive belts, and the water pump – for a Lexus – is a pretty good deal. Replacing a timing belt and water pump is a lot of hours of work for the mechanic. I’d go for it. Definitely do the water pump at the same time, as doing the water pump later will be much more expensive, as much of the work will hav eto be re-done. Water pumps aren’t that expensive. This work will all have to be done eventually, and doing it as preventive maintance will likely pay off in spades in the long run.

"Is there an implication that if an engine with a timing belt has a double overhead cam, that it is an interference engine? "

Not in the traditional sense: valves falling into the cylinder heads. But there is not a lot of room for 3 or 4 valves per cylinder. Timing belt breakage loses cam synchronization and if the edges of the valves overlap any in their travel zones, they could hit each other and break or bend each other. This would not normally occur when the valves are tied to the motion of either the intake or exhaust cam.

Thank you very much to all I called the shop already, I’m only driving in south Florida, Highways and cities.