I was driving out of state in my 98 Sienna when I broke down. I restarted three times and went a short distance, but each time broke down again and had to be towed to a Toyota dealer.
The dealer claimed it was jumping time and needed a new timing belt. If that didn’t fix it he would need to put on a crank sensor. He also said the water pump was leaking.
I called my home mechanic who said the belts weren’t that old and, if jumping time, it wouldn’t have restarted. It needed only the sensor, he said. But the Toyota dealer insisted.
After the fact (a thousand dollars later) I showed my mechanic the belt, which was in perfect condition (except where they cut it to remove it), and he adamantly proclaimed it was an unnecessary repair. He said the only way it could jump time without damaging the belt was if the tensioner was broken, but they didn’t replace the tensioner (nor the idler to my mechanic’s distress). He also said the water pump showed no signs of leakage.
I called the manager at the dealership and he just as adamantly proclaimed it was necessary, that the belt on the outer bank was out one or two teeth, and that the belt wouldn’t necessarily be damaged as a result. He also insisted the water pump showed signs of leakage. The two error codes they were getting were PO 340 (cam position) and PO 335 (crank position sensor), the two things my home mechanic had said to try even without knowing the codes.
The dealer also maintained that had they not replaced the belt and pump I might have had further problems down the road.
Whom do I believe? Both sure sound sincere and convincing.