Engine Timing belt experience? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
2nd Generation (2000-2004) Specific discussion of the second generation Toyota Avalon

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#1 Old 05-10-2011, 11:09 PM
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Engine Timing belt experience?

I am requesting experience on the "suggested maintenance" of replacing the timing belt for $500 -- $600 on a Toyota Avalon 2001 with a 3.5L engine with 134,000 miles. This mainentance seems very expensive to me. Is this something you have done? or gone without? I have done the other mainentance very regular.

this is my first car that I have owned to reach this many miles. -- Very good experience with this car. I am starting to think about trading for a new vehicle or continue on adding miles to this car. How many miles is reasonable before the repair bills start to hit?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions / experience to be shared.
Bob
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#2 Old 05-10-2011, 11:38 PM
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Dosen't the 2001 Avalon have the 3.0L V6? $500-$600 to change the timing belt is reasonable, but replace the water pump with it too. (May add another $100) The labor is what's expensive. For 2001, it should be change every 90,000 miles. Do you happen to know if it has been done before?

The problem with the Avalon is that is unclear if it's interference or non-interference engine. If it's an non-interference engine, the engine will shut down if the belt snap and just need a tow. But if it's a interference, the heads will be damage when the belt break. Most likely it's a non-interference but no one is 100% sure. (Forums and dealerships show different info)

As for mileage; some people lease car every 3-4 years and are happy with that. Some will let people drive the price off of new cars and buy them used, while others will drive the same car for 15+ years. If the car is running good, then a little maintenance can give it many more years. But if you feel like it's time for a new car, nothing wrong with that if you’re financially ready. It's really a personal decision, but I will chime in that I find most vehicles begin to show major problems around 175,000 miles.

"Yūko" 2001 Camry 5S-FE/A140E @ 111k
"Sandy" 2002 Camry 2AZ-FE/U241E @ 176k
"Chihaya" 2012 Camry 2AR-FE/U760E @ 41K

Last edited by Yuko; 05-10-2011 at 11:39 PM.
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#3 Old 05-11-2011, 12:38 AM
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VVT-i=Interference engine
Others non-interference.

2001 Toyota Avalon has VVT-i.

2000 Lexus ES300 Millenium Edition
1993 Camry V6 LE
1990 Camry LE V6
1990 Camry LE V6 WAGON
1987 Camry LE I4
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#4 Old 05-11-2011, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 71Corolla View Post
VVT-i=Interference engine
Others non-interference.

2001 Toyota Avalon has VVT-i.
That helps a lot. Just checked it on other websites too. Wish I knew that earlier because there was a TN thread a while back that no one knew if a 99 Avalon was interfence or not.

"Yūko" 2001 Camry 5S-FE/A140E @ 111k
"Sandy" 2002 Camry 2AZ-FE/U241E @ 176k
"Chihaya" 2012 Camry 2AR-FE/U760E @ 41K
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#5 Old 05-11-2011, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 71Corolla View Post
VVT-i=Interference engine
Others non-interference.

2001 Toyota Avalon has VVT-i.
he said his 2001 has a 3.5, so a 2002 3.0 is not interference?

2002 Avalon XLS
2004 Nissan Titan SE
2011 Hyundai Sonata SE
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#6 Old 05-11-2011, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcompton View Post
I am requesting experience on the "suggested maintenance" of replacing the timing belt for $500 -- $600 on a Toyota Avalon 2001 with a 3.5L engine with 134,000 miles. This mainentance seems very expensive to me. Is this something you have done? or gone without? I have done the other mainentance very regular.

this is my first car that I have owned to reach this many miles. -- Very good experience with this car. I am starting to think about trading for a new vehicle or continue on adding miles to this car. How many miles is reasonable before the repair bills start to hit?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions / experience to be shared.
Bob
A $500-600 price is fair. Timing belt is ESSENTIAL maintenance and needs to be done; at 134K miles you are asking for trouble. Even if the engine isn't damaged (which is a risk), when the timing belt breaks the car stops. No warning, no chance to drive to a safe place. And remember Murphy's Law: It will only break late at night - 400 miles from home - in an area with no cell service - in the middle of a raging storm - when you desperately need to get somewhere! And the other poster is right - do the water pump at the same time.

Properly treated, this car should be good to well over 200K miles.

PS: You have a 3.0L, not a 3.5L V6, unless someone has done a strange engine swap.

Last edited by bobflood; 05-11-2011 at 12:19 PM.
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#7 Old 05-11-2011, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bobflood View Post
Even if the engine isn't damaged (which is a risk), when the timing belt breaks the car stops. No warning, no chance to drive to a safe place. And remember Murphy's Law: It will only break late at night - 400 miles from home - in an area with no cell service - in the middle of a raging storm - when you desperately need to get somewhere! And the other poster is right - do the water pump at the same time.
100% agreed. Say the timing belt fails right when you need to accelerate when crossing traffic on a turn?

Yes the 2001 Avalon has the 3.0 liter engine (same engine used in the ES300).

2000 Lexus ES300 Millenium Edition
1993 Camry V6 LE
1990 Camry LE V6
1990 Camry LE V6 WAGON
1987 Camry LE I4
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#8 Old 05-11-2011, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 71Corolla View Post
100% agreed. Say the timing belt fails right when you need to accelerate when crossing traffic on a turn?

Yes the 2001 Avalon has the 3.0 liter engine (same engine used in the ES300).
You guys now have succeeded in totally confusing me!!! All the research I have done told me that my 2002 3.0 is NOT an Interference engine, do you have a link you can post that shows it is?

2002 Avalon XLS
2004 Nissan Titan SE
2011 Hyundai Sonata SE
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#9 Old 05-11-2011, 07:58 PM
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There is a lot of confusion on this issue. I researched this awhile back, and never came to a 100% conclusion, but the general consensus was that a VVTi equipped engine was interference. Again, I can't be certain of this.

If you look at the Gates timing belt guide, they don't help at all. They show the Avalon 1998-2004 as interference, the Camry 1998-2004 as interference, and a bunch of others as well show interference. But the ES300 1999-2003 shows and non-interference, as well as other models with the identical engine.

I'd say if in doubt, consider the engine interference just to be safe.

2000 Lexus ES300 Millenium Edition
1993 Camry V6 LE
1990 Camry LE V6
1990 Camry LE V6 WAGON
1987 Camry LE I4
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#10 Old 05-11-2011, 09:50 PM
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2nd Generation

I also questioned the need to replace the timing belt at 130,000 miles on my 2000 Avalon XL. After some digging on line, it decided that the cost paid for the repair would be cheap insurance against in break down weather interference or non-interference.

I had all three belts that are co located near each other replaced at the same time but was told by the Toyota mechanic that serviced the car, that I would not need to replace the water pump, because, "he has never seen one go out on an Avalon"

So Far so good.

Bob
2011 Camry LE
2000 Avalon XL
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#11 Old 05-25-2011, 03:20 PM
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I replaced my timing belt and water pump at 95000. The Toyota shop confirmed to me that my 2000 Avalon with a 1MZ-FE 3.0 engine was a non-interference engine. I looked at the belt after they took it off and it looked almost brand new. If I had to do it over again, I would have waited much longer. However, I would change the water pump at the same time.
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#12 Old 05-26-2011, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by hr2033 View Post
I replaced my timing belt and water pump at 95000. The Toyota shop confirmed to me that my 2000 Avalon with a 1MZ-FE 3.0 engine was a non-interference engine. I looked at the belt after they took it off and it looked almost brand new. If I had to do it over again, I would have waited much longer. However, I would change the water pump at the same time.
I looked at the broken timing belt on my stepson's Volvo when we fixed it after it broke - except for the actual place it broke it also looked "almost brand new." No cracks, chipped teeth, or other signs of wear. Unfortunately, the internal stresses as the belt ages/wears don't necessarily show up on the outside. This is not a place to cheat much on the maintenance interval.

2002 Avalon XLS; Black with grey interior; no mods; 2nd owner; 215K+ miles - starting to use a little oil between changes.
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#13 Old 09-11-2011, 03:02 PM
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Getting ready to do a belt on a 2000 with only 65K. I have a 2004 Acura TL and on that car did the whole bunch of parts at the same time. Such as:
belt, timing
tensioner, timing belt auto
adjuster, timing belt
water pump
belt, compressor
Idler Pulley
Thermostat Assy
Thermostat Rubber Mounting
cam shaft seals
crank seal

Does anybody have a similar list for the Avalon?
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#14 Old 09-12-2011, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Shoot2Thrill View Post
Getting ready to do a belt on a 2000 with only 65K. I have a 2004 Acura TL and on that car did the whole bunch of parts at the same time. Such as:
belt, timing
tensioner, timing belt auto
adjuster, timing belt
water pump
belt, compressor
Idler Pulley
Thermostat Assy
Thermostat Rubber Mounting
cam shaft seals
crank seal

Does anybody have a similar list for the Avalon?
65K is pretty short milage for a timing belt, but I understand doing it because of the years. I always do the water pump if it's driven by the timing belt, which it is in this vehicle. Rely on the mechanic doing the work for input re the adjusters/tensioners - they may not need it; same for the crank and cam seals. Might as well change any/all external belts, since they have to come off anyway. Pretty sure thermostat is an entirely separate assembly, but again due to age putting a new one on is not unreasonable. How do you have a 2000 w only 65K miles?? Good luck.

2002 Avalon XLS; Black with grey interior; no mods; 2nd owner; 215K+ miles - starting to use a little oil between changes.
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#15 Old 09-12-2011, 06:21 PM
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Thanks, it is my belongs to my mother. A lot of people offer to buy her car but she knows I have first bid. Nevertheless, I don't expect to see it for at least another 5 years. I got a 2001 Nissan Sentra a two years ago from another family member with only 55,000. Still age does make a difference. Rust here in NJ gets them all before they reach 20 years.
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