I have a 1997 Toyota RAV4 with 98,000 miles on it. I changed the timing belt at 60,000 miles in November, 2001. Toyota recently suggested that I consider replacing the timing belt as they recommend replacement every 60,000 miles or every 5 years. Most of the information on the internet focuses on the mileage. My question is does the timing belt need to be replaced after a certain age, even if the mileage is low?
I think consensus here is no more than 7 yrs if you don’t meet the mileage first. 5 yrs could be a bit conservative. In your specific case, you have hit the 7 yrs anyway, so get it changed out.
I agree with Jay. 7 years is about it on most timing belts. However I would suggest you find out what Toyota recommends, not the dealer. The manufacture’s recommendations should be consider good solid information. Dealer recommendations are based on dealer profit.
Good News! (And Just A Little Note Of Caution)
Mary, timing belts are discussed frequently here. Some car engines are classified as “interference” engines. When a timing belt unexpectedly breaks on these vehicles, severe engine damage can occur. Pistons collide with valves (not good).
The Good News is that the Gates Timing Belt Company website, that gets used a lot in discussing timing belts, doesn’t list your car’s engine as “interfernce”. This means that a breaking belt will immediately disable your car, but not cause severe engine damage. This has the potential of being dangerous in traffic, leaving you stranded until the tow truck arrives, making you late for work or appointments, etcetera, just like a tire blow-out could, but will not blow up your engine.
Many people wish their vehicle was of the “non-interfernce” free-wheeling design. Gates shows this vehicle as having a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. I Would verify with your dealer that this infomation is all correct.
Yes, and your owner’s manual will tell you both the mileage and the time period for belt replacement.
Get it done now! also replace water pump and tensioner at the same time this is important.
www.rav4world.com is a great site for rav4s