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Tune Up- Toyota Camry

I have a tune once a year on my 1996 Camry. How often should I have the timing belt replaced?

Check the manual.

You will be safest if you follow @Bardkydog’s advice and change it out when the owner’s manual says.

Don’t want to suffer the expense? I can only offer only my experience with an early 90’s Toyota Corolla. The owner’s manual recommend the timing belt be changed every 60K. I changed mine at 120K, and it still, from visual inspection, it still had plenty of life in it.

I took the risk because I have a light foot on the pedal, and I use this car for around town driving only, never on 1000 mile out of town trips. And this car has a “non-interference” engine design.

If you want to go to the trouble, I expect the timing belt on your car can be visually inspected without too much effort. On my Corolla, I have to remove some rubber plugs in the timing belt cover, then have someone turn the crankshaft while I look at the belt as it passes by the inspection hole. I’d be looking for cracking and fraying, but I never saw any such thing to date.

How long a timing belt lasts depends upon how the car is driven, the climate, etc. And if the timing belt breaks – interference or non-interference – while the engine is running, especially if at freeway speeds, it can still seriously damage the engine.

When to change it out? It’s a compromise.

The “Gates.com” web site can give you some specific info on your car. Most Toyota’s of the mid '90’s that had timing belts that required changing every 6 years or 60K miles whichever came first.

Uncle Turbo is correct on the timing belt schedule. The spark plugs (tune up) should be relpaced every 30,000 miles (4 cylinder), or 60,000 miles (V6 with platinum spark plugs).

I’d go with platinum even if the originals were not. As long as you use the plug listed, and you use an NGK or Denso, this’ll be a very low cost upgrade with no risk.

Actually, I’d probably try irridium, but that might be too big a chantge for most folks’ taste.

By the way, congratulations on having kept the car on the road this long. Its longevity is a testiment to your maintenance discipline. How many miles do you have on it?

174,000 mile, yeah but its getting difficult /expensive to maintain. It now has a rear main seal leak, which cost about $800.00 repair. Changed oil and put in blue devil sealant both work for a little while, but the small leak came back. Should be ok hopefully until I come up with money or get a different car…Unless want to give me some money…LOL