Just bought a used Toyota Sienna 98 is there an easy way of determining when or if the timing belt needs to be changed? It has 76000 miles and the dealer is unable to verify a belt change at any point in its history. tnx
The change interval for the 98 to 03 Sienna are 90k miles. The 3.0 V6 is an interference engine, if the timing belt breaks, engine damage will probably occur. I have a 2006 Sienna and the interval is 90k or 9 years, whichever comes first. Since yours is already 9 years old, a timing belt and waterpump change might be prudent.
I suggest you call your mechanic and make an appointment for a timing belt replacement ASAP. If the belt breaks the engine will be damaged, and maybe destroyed. Its not worth the gamble. Replace the timing belt before it breaks.
That is part of the problem that results from buying a used vehicle that did not come with maintenance records. As the others said, since it can’t be verified that the belt has been changed, you have to assume that it has not been changed.
Otherwise, you risk major engine damage in the event that the belt snaps. Please note that an engine will normally perform very nicely with a worn belt–right up until the moment when the belt snaps and destroys several valves and possibly a piston or two. This is not something that you want to risk, IMHO.