Edmunds Answers



  • Stever@Edmunds 10/13/09 10:27 pm PST

    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide says that the change interval is 90,000 miles, and the estimate for the 90k service in my zip code is $324.

    Edmunds doesn't include the water pump but it's generally considered a good idea to replace it when you do the belt, since it's easy to get to once you tear in there to replace the belt.

    Someone in the forums was just quoted $700 for a new belt on a Sequoia, so your mechanic is in the ballpark I think.

    Gates says that the '99 Camry engine is not an interference one. That means that if your belt breaks, you will be stranded somewhere, but damage to your engine is unlikely. It could be a bit dicey if you commute on a heavily traveled freeway and your belt breaks. Otherwise, you may want to keep driving it and take your chances (that's what I've done with my minivan that has a non-interference engine).

  • tony78 10/13/09 11:12 pm PST

    I dont know about the keep driving it and take you chances advice,,,,just your luck the belt would break and you car would stall in the lane of traffic and you would get rear ended by a big rig and your camry will turn into a mini cooper,,

  • Stever@Edmunds 10/13/09 11:26 pm PST

    It could be a bit dicey.

    Most timing belt breaks will result in the car coasting a bit, so getting rear ended may not be the issue. When the engine stops from the belt braking, you have no power, no power steering, and no power assisted brakes. If it breaks on a long downhill, you may really be standing on the brakes while trying to pull over.

    On the other hand, I know of a guy with a van like mine who has 300,000 miles on his timing belt that's supposed to be replaced at 105,000 miles....

  • tony78 10/13/09 11:36 pm PST

    of course it could break on an up hill, then it wont coast very far and then there still is that big rig and,,

  • brake_down_ 10/15/09 7:59 pm PST

    Your timing belt and wallet are not the only worries you have. When the belt breaks, the valves and the pistons will run out of sink cousing the two to meet. Thus cousing the valves or pistons or both, extensive additional damage. My toyota solara will also need the water pump done as well. You don't want to pay for the same amount of labor TWICE. The timing belt runs the water pump on the 2002 models, which is located under the timing belt cover. Plus the valve covers and intake manifold must be removed to access the valves for adjustment, and to remove the pulleys to get the back dust cover off. Three in total. Oh and by the way the lower pulley must come off as well. While your at it the rear 3 spark plugs are easier to get to now that you have come this far. Go to an auto parts store and look at a Haynes Guide. Conclusion......
    Pay the $700.oo Bucks. That toyota of your will last for another 100,000 or more miles. Just change the oil every 3000 to 5000 to miles. This is not the best shade tree job.

    Good luck, Just went though it
    Key Largo, Florida

    Source: 2002-2005 Toyota Haynes Repair Manual, worth ever bit of $25.00

  • Stever@Edmunds 10/16/09 12:15 am PST

    Gates says both the 4 and the 6 cylinder engines in the 2002 Toyota Solara are non-interference. Perhaps you have another source saying otherwise?

  • brake_down_ 10/16/09 11:22 am PST

    The source is writen on the bottom of the answer for my 2002 model, not all the same. Pages 2B-8 to 2B-9 removal parragraph 14. warning of valve to piston contact.

    But here it is......

    Toyota Camry 02-05
    All models---- Includes Avalon, Solara, Lexus ES 300/330
    Haynes Repair Manual
    Based on a complete teardown and rebuild
    Guide # 92008

    Sorry I do not have the 99 model guide.

  • brake_down_ 10/16/09 11:35 am PST

    The toyota dealership quoted me a price of $199.00 for timing belt, $367.00 for the water pump, $136.00 spark plugs, $335.00 for fuel filter, $24.95 for oil change and $45.00 for the drive belt and power steering belt. My total was $1188.96

    The parts from Auto part store cost $224.75 just for the parts.
    Mind you, that those parts are not factory parts.

    Source: Toyota Service Dept.

  • Stever@Edmunds 10/16/09 11:50 am PST

    @brake_down_, Gates is wrong sometimes too.

    But other sites I've found on the net indicate that Toyota pretty much stopped making interference engines for US sedans sometime in the late 1990s. Like this one from aa1.car.com.

    It wouldn't surprise me to learn that some of the Haynes language is some generic cut and paste they did putting the manual together - just like those manuals always have the same pages and photos of spark plug condition.

    Not a cheap service any way you cut it. $1188? Ouch!

  • tony78 10/16/09 1:28 pm PST

    $23.00 dollar spark plugs, those would'nt be the gold plated, diamond encrusted designer label plugs, would they ?

  • brake_down_ 10/16/09 1:29 pm PST

    Steve thanks

    The one other nice part about the guide is its photographic steps and procedures. Showing parts of the work with step by step instructions. Plus it has been easier to get that guide without having to order it. From time to time there have been vage descriptions in some of there procedures.

  • brake_down_ 10/16/09 2:02 pm PST

    Not gold Steve

    Just your average 2 and a half inches away from the fire wall under the intake manifold using 2 prong 100,000 mile platnium plugs. They are about $10.00 each. Plus the front three are the only visable plugs once you pull the injector cover and 3 coils out. And standard plugs are not recomended by manufacture due to the difficulty rating for replacement and reliability

  • Stever@Edmunds 10/16/09 7:58 pm PST

    Sometimes you can find good info via the Online Repair Manuals guide to supplement your paper manual.

    Have we thoroughly confused you Pmb1?

  • pmb1 10/16/09 9:11 pm PST

    I'm just a woman looking for solid advice concerning this question on the timing belt to be installed by a mechanic I just recently started taking my car to. He's rated very highly in my area and it seems from the answers that he is not off track with a price of $600-$700 for a timing belt and water pump on a 99 camry. Just hope he doesn't find anything else when he takes it apart. I really appreciate all the great info I've received as I drive around with my little grandkids in the car and don't want to risk them in any way. So thanks! I guess I will go with what he recommends.

  • dglasscock 06/30/10 3:06 pm PST

    I concur with brake down, if they are already in there then replace the pump, it may cost more now, but if not and you have to replace it in 200 miles because the belt is tighter and wears out the water pump bearings then it will be the price all over again plus more. If it is a non-interference engine, then the valves will not impact the piston when the belt brakes, but you will be stranded with the tow cost also. "In piston engines using poppet valves, the valves descend into the combustion area at the top of the cylinder, while the pistons rise into this area from below. If the lowest point of a valve's descent is lower than the highest point that the piston reaches, the engine is considered an interference engine". In parting, if you can afford it now, do it, if you are a gambler (or just can't afford it)than don't.


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