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Toyota Camry 2001--Interference Engine?

I have a 2001 Camry with very low miles, just over 37k, bought from a relative. It is due (well, overdue) for a timing belt due to age. Is the 4-cylinder engine in this car an “interference” type that damages the valves if/when the belt breaks? Or does it just stall?

What else should I have replaced at the same time? Water pump? Serpentine belts? Thank you in advance.

Many people use the Gates web site to answer that question.

The Toyota 2.2 Liter 4 cylinder engine is not an interference type engine. So if the timing belt fails the engine just stops running with no damage to the engine. Since the front of the engine is going to be opened up to do the timing belt. now would be the time to replace the water pump. As far as tensioner/idler pulleys, just have them checked for bearing wear since the engine only has 37,000 miles on it.


Why change the pump with only 37K miles on it? It is most likely good for another 100K at least. The OP could change it at the next timing belt change 90K later.

Because I’ve seen Toyota water pumps start leaking at the 70,000 mile mark.


Thanks to everyone–very helpful.

What Else ? Should You Elect To Replace The Timing Belt And Water Pump As Advised, I’d Surely Have The Cooling System Flushed And Coolant Renewed And Go With The New Serpentine / Accessory belt(s) Of Your Inquiry.

These items all “overlap” and labor savings should reflect that.


you replace the water pump when doing a timing belt because the labor involved to do ONE is about 450. so if you do the timing belt, and then two years from now do the water pump you have paid for double labor. You have to disassemble the exact same parts to do either one or the other.

ASE MASTER for 35 yrs, timing belt should be replaced at 90k miles, do the water pump at this time. Order a timing belt kit that includes the tensioner and idler pulleys. Replacing the cam and crank seals at this time is good thing to do as well, but…and I stress the but…a novice tech will fubar this seal job. And remember that this is a 20yr old car, the valve cover needs a new gasket, the plugs and wires should be replaced and give it a new radiator and thermostat. Some fresh oil and a new oil filter is the way to go as well. A good tech can do all of this in one working day, a lesser tech and the car hangs around forever unfinished, or worse, comes back and a dude like me has to clean up his mess.

@Kevin_Tursam You do realize you are replying to a discussion that was ten years ago???


By now, it’s a 30 year old car–assuming that it didn’t already go to an auto graveyard.


Thank you Kevin Tursam for your contribution.