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2009 Camry LE V6
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250,000 miles ... How long will timing belts go?

I sold my Gen1 to a friend when it had 88k miles on it. I did flawless maintenance including changed timing belt, plugs, coolant & tranny flush and battery at 60K.

He now lives in Mississippi near NOLA and still has it .... says it's running fine .... zero abnormal repairs ..... 2 brake jobs, 1 battery, and repaint hood damaged by sun. He uses Pennzoil 5w30 at 5K oil changes but does little else. He changed out radiator & tranny fluids, "belts," & plugs ONCE ... at 150,000 miles!

I asked him if he'd changed the timing belt to which he responded ..... "what's that?" He didn[t know if the "belts" replaced at 150K miles included timing belt and either lost or never got the receipt (done by a AST certified mechanic but on the "shade tree" sly).

OK ...... so now he's coming to visit me here in Florida some 200 miles away. So his timing belt either has 210K or 100K miles on it. He is a bit short on cash due to child support payments, etc ..... so ......

1) what's the longest these things last?
2) how much labor is involved in the replacement?
3) Are there any symptoms before the things "die" and cause the engine to shut down and car has to be towed ?
4) Can a simple inspection be performed to see if it's about to fail?

I am thinking about ordering the belt on line for $50 and telling him to have it installed before he drives out here. I just don't want to "insult" him.
 

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1) what's the longest these things last?
The original belt in my Camry went 230k, and then it was replaced only because the water pump was leaking. The belt still looked fine. But mine was an exception, not the rule.

2) how much labor is involved in the replacement?
Quite a bit. 3-5 hours, depending. I've seen folks post up about paying $300 at a back yard mechanic, and up to $1200 at a high-end shop.

3) Are there any symptoms before the things "die" and cause the engine to shut down and car has to be towed ?
Usually not. When they snap, the car just dies. This is a non-interference motor, so no serious damage is done. It just leaves you stranded.

4) Can a simple inspection be performed to see if it's about to fail?
Yes. The cover can be removed and the belt can be inspected. Problem is, if the water pump or an idler seizes up, that can destroy the belt. And those are hard to inspect without a full teardown; at that point you might as well replace them.

I am thinking about ordering the belt on line for $50 and telling him to have it installed before he drives out here. I just don't want to "insult" him.
If you do that, good brands are Mitsuboshi (same as OEM) & Gates. I'm sure there are others that I'm forgetting at the moment. BTW, it's a good idea to replace the water pump, idler, and tensioner pulleys while you're in there. "Kits" are commonly sold that include all those; saves you a bit of money. I'd stay away from the cheapest kits, but decent ones can be had for about $130 or so on eBay. Check on rockauto.com and Amazon too.
 

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i've been more then procrastinating on my belt, ...as far as I know , when wife bought the car about 110k+ more or less ago, they had a replacement engine put in. Now did they do the pump and belt...dunno but never changed them. However I still feel a lot more saffer about the over due tb on the avy then the dummy '00 explorer SOHC and it's plastic timing chain guides that I bought to replace my reliable babied 98 concorde (too bad it got totaled .......

Planning on doing some tlc on the avy over the florida winter .....

timing belt kit (no leaks yet but.....I might just inspect it first), new struts, tranny and oil pan gaskets , power steering fluid replace and pump (makes the whining noise for over 30k)
 

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I'm at 145,000. 99 Avalon, bought it used in 08 at 119,000 for about 7K. I'm a bit jealous of all those who didn't have to do too many repairs. Since then, I've replaced the power steering pump, front brake lines, timing belt/water pump, battery, four tires, front disc pads and rotors, and soon the catalytic converter. Plus there are a still a few other things that need repair too (like why my gas tank gauge is off and the dent on the front passenger door and the cracked windshield) once I can afford them. :( But still planning on keeping the avalon forever.
 

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2007 Tundra Double
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90 Posts
Well we are only up to 286745 but keep on chugging. Every year at inspection time it just blows me away when the mechanic says your car is ready to go. I am so used to being called out in the ship for al the work recommended or needed before passing inspection on my past vehicles maybe we should have let those little guys kick our ass 65 years ago. We could have gotten Toyotas that much sooner. Just kidding of course!!
 

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Avarollin?
1996 Avalon XLS
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923 Posts
Came back from a road trip and rolled over to 294K. 1500 miles with a healthy average of 75mph and 27mpg with 900lbs of cargo including myself. And I only got one check engine code :) (Same code I usually get from long trips, after about 3 hours of solid driving the converter heats up too much and throws PO420)
 

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1997 Avalon,

233k currently. Timing Belt was replaced at around 165k (they wrote it down, hard to recall). Just had the struts replaced last week. After quick struts and labor, two used front tires, alignment, set me back $600. Everything is working, I have only had the car 6 months though. I hope to take it to 300k! I love it so far, despite the four struts setting me back some.
 

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'11 Camry XLE
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36 Posts
Just rolled over 280k, best mpg was an even 30 on trip up to Mass. No a/c, windows open all the way, just me and a few things, under 70 mph.
Have been using it more lately on hi-way trip to work, 50 mi. 1 way. More comfortable than my 2010 Jetta in terms of sight lines, ease of driving, lack of wind noise. Susp. still tight for its age.
Only one set front pads, 2 on rear - amazing...never done timing belt. Will do valve covers soon. Also pasenger door isnt working, body man says a rod in there slips its moorings. But basically these things are bullet-proof. I just keep hanging on to it and it keeps running. Wish I could do some more to it, would do timing cover gaskets, struts.
 

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97 XLS, bought it for $600 in January with 240k, now at 245k.

I suspect the stupid price was a reflection of its extreme Detroit syndrome (beat to hell and not repaired properly. Ever.)
Still, runs perfect and drives.... like its got a quarter million miles lol

Check engine light (dunno), ABS light, trac light blinks (ABS relay chewed up by alternator pulley), trying to lock down a problem that feels like the steering rack is loose (turning corners hard or hitting bumps obliquely causes a slip), and I just noticed today that both bolts in my front motor mount AREN'T THERE.

Oh yes. Severe Detroit syndrome.
 

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1997 Toyota Avalon X
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9 Posts
Unfortunately, my quest for driving my Avalon until it blows up has ended unexpectedly. A couple of days ago, I got rear-ended by some girl (not paying attention, obviously) while the traffic stopped. She rammed into my rear bumper and push my car, and the rear bumper of the car in front of me rode up to the grill area and pushed the grill, radiator, etc. back by quite a bit.

Insurance appraiser stopped by this morning to look at the car and basically said that it will be a total loss. (due to the age / mileage of the car)

The car is perfectly maintained. No CEL, new tires, new front strut, sway bar bushings, synthetic oil in transmission, power steering system, etc, etc. But I am sure they will just give me some lowball offer.

100 miles short of 266k miles!

Argh!
 

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That is a bummer.

Put together some documents on you recent spending on the car: new tires and struts, oxygen sensor etc to show the money you had put in it recently that had a long life (include a labor figure at dealer rates if diy). If their value is $X, that might increase it to $X plus recent expenditures.

You could (if you want) push them to replace it with a similarly maintained and conditioned Avalon. You might have to go find one, and tell them to buy it for you - but looking around will also give you (maybe) ammunition to support a $$ figure if you wish to settle for cash. If your car was in particularly good shape, it may be you have to get one with a lot less miles to get the condition of yours. Then you will own a car you can leave to your grandkids, who can leave it to their kids, lol.

Good luck, and congrats on the 266k miles. I spoke to someone today with a 98 Avalon with over 300k.
 

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Discussion Starter #217
Unfortunately, my quest for driving my Avalon until it blows up has ended unexpectedly. A couple of days ago, I got rear-ended by some girl (not paying attention, obviously) while the traffic stopped. She rammed into my rear bumper and push my car, and the rear bumper of the car in front of me rode up to the grill area and pushed the grill, radiator, etc. back by quite a bit.

Insurance appraiser stopped by this morning to look at the car and basically said that it will be a total loss. (due to the age / mileage of the car)



Argh!
If your state laws permit... maybe you can take some sort of civil action legally against the girl that hit you. Say for example if she was criminally negligent. Maybe this will help to cover additional costs to repair your wrecked car if you don't want to see it go.... but there are plenty of used 1st generation Avalons out there to be had that have been maintained by elderly folk who cannot drive anymore, or just need the extra money. I think it won't take you too long to find a good used one....

One thing I would do is to salvage as many parts as possible that the insurance does not own or that you added to make the car better for you...
 

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1997 Toyota Avalon X
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Yeah, nah, I am not about to sue her or anything (although she indeed got off easy, the state police did not even give her a citation!!).. but more just frustrated that while she was 100% at fault, yet I am the one who has to go through the trouble to deal with the insurance company, and argue my case to get better settlement (and most likely won't be successful), etc, etc.

Anyway, should hear from the insurance company on Monday.. we will see!
 

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Discussion Starter #219
Wow, I started this thread in 2007 and people are still updating it!!!

Thanks to everyone for keeping this thread going!!!! :clap:


Well, I did it! Just today!! A milestone!




I called my mechanic first and then some buddies who wished they had bought a 1st gen Avalon...
 

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Seven Avalons So Fa
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3 in Family with >200k Miles

I make a habit of buying low mileage Gen 1 Avalons when I see them on EBay or Craigslist at low price. I once owned a Gen 2 but I sold it and bought another Gen 1.

Our family presently owns three Gen 1's, each with more than 200k miles. The oldest (1998) had 250k on it when it died last week of a blown head gasket. I suspect that she drove it without sufficient coolant in it.

I bought another one today for $4k with 136k on the odometer, more than I normally pay. This one has zero body damage and almost factory-new leather seats. The previous owner must have used seat covers.

Except for tires and brakes, the only things these Gen 1 beasts ever require are:

  • radio knobs (the factory ones split out after 10 years)
  • subwoofers (the Harman-supplied ones delaminate and fuzz out after 10 years)
  • front struts (they start rattling at 150k)
  • oxygen sensors (at ~100k)
  • ignition lock assemblies (they become allergic to their factory keys at 100k)
The cloth seats last longer than the leather ones which dry out and split after 10 years. The retractor springs in the drivers side seat belts also lose tension by year 5.

Love me some Avalons. Most reliable cars Toyota ever made, hands down.
 
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