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Discussion Starter #1
This is my Mom's car and she is looking to get rid of the 2000 for a variety of reasons not the least of which the car was in an accident before she bought it and didn't know. She bought it from a friend who owns a few used car lots. Once I told him about this he said he would swap it out when he got a car she wanted. This leads me to today...

He got in a 2003 Camry LE with 52k on it. Hers is a 2000 Camry LE with 42k. I only saw the car tonight, but it looks clean and no damage, unlike hers. Obviously will bring it to a mechanic this time and have it checked out thoroughly.

It should be a straight swap with no money changing hands. How are the 2003's? When does the first major service need to be done on these? Is 52k very high for this engine? When does Toyota recommend timing belt/chain and waterpump to be changed and when is everyone here finding it necessary to change those parts? What will I have to look out for with a 2003?

How well do the brakes usually last? Are parts expensive, rotors, pads, calipers if need be?

What should I be looking for when I bring the car to the mechanic?

Any and all information would be greatly appreciated. Tires are not an issue as we will be keeping the tires/wheels on her Camry. I bought her a set of Nokian WRs last year and she loves them. :)

Thanks.

Larry
2003 Honda Element EXS
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I have a 2002 with 65k miles. It runs wonderfully. A 2003 with 52k is normal milage. As far as belts/chains, if its a 4cyl, you don't have to worry about the chain until 150k. If its a v6, the timing belt needs to be changed at 90k. Calipers, brakes, and all that aren't going to be any more expensive on the 2003 than they are on the 2000. I'm at 65k and I'm still on original factory pads and rotors, and I'm going to change my pads soon, and have the rotors resurfaced for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Ok, then it has a chain and not a belt. That's good to know. So Toyota recommends changing it at 150k? What have you read about other people with this engine and when they are actually changing the chain?

I know Audi recommends 100-120k for their chains and in reality it is safer to get it done every 60k because they have a tendency to break. On my Honda they recommend 120k and some have said not to wait that long.

I just want to make certain that if this is bought that in a year she won't have to have some major work done to the engine.

Appreciate the fast replies.

Thanks.

Larry
2003 Honda Element EXS
elementownersclub.com
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Yeah, it really depends on who you ask. I've heard of people saying that they've NEVER changed their chains, and that its designed to outlast the life of the engine. Then I've heard of people saying that you should change it at 150k. And I've also heard the 120k. I looked through Toyota's Scheduled Maintenance pamphlets, and they don't mention anything about the timing chain up to 120k. Past that, there is no scheduled maintenance. For the v6, they list the timing belt change at 90k. I'll probably change my chain at around 120k just to stay on the safe side.
 

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No prob, mate. Good luck with the Camry swap. :) Your mom will enjoy the Gen 5 :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. Was wondering what Gen it was. lol I guess the 2000 was Gen 4?

I got the VIN and am having a friend run a CarFax on it so hopefully it comes up clean.
 

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Yup yup.

Gen 1 = 82 - 86
Gen 2 = 87 - 91
Gen 3 = 92 - 96
Gen 4 = 97 - 01
Gen 5 = 02 - 06
 

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I hate to burst anyones bubble but the Camry 4 cyl has got a timing belt, and unfortunately not a chain. Toyota says it gets changed at 60k. Also its a good idea to change the waterpumpo then becayse the timing belts in the way, it is a hard working part and so why not spend 100 bucks and change it with everything apaprt. Water pumps in my experience, usually last about 50k and then they usually squeak and leak, so I just bite the bullet and change it.

Timing chains on most engines are not ruitine replacement items, unless like Audi, the manuf says so. I changed the one in my Nissan pickup 2.4 at 200,000 but on comparing the old chains and gears to the new ones, it didnt need it. Change the oil and you probably wont have to changet he chain.
the brakes and stuff are normal wear items like any other car, 30 - 40,000 is what you will probably get. The fronts wear faster. I inspect mine when i rotate the tires, (every other oil change). If they have 1/8" or less i change the pads. Rotors should be smooth and if they have grooves, ridges or scores or look anything less than perfect, change em with a cheapo chinese rotor for $50 and personally, I dont bother having them turned. Turning removes metal that carries away the heat, they will be more likely to warp and unless they are only very lightly scored, they are often not possible to turn and without enough good metal left. So turning usually doesnt fix em. if the rotors are ok, i sand mine with fine emery clothe and clean em with brake cleaner to remove the glaze from old pads.
 

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^Incorrect. Gen 5 Camry 4cyl's have a timing chain, and its not in the maintenance schedule. The '03+ Corollas also have a timing chain.
 

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marc780 said:
I hate to burst anyones bubble but the Camry 4 cyl has got a timing belt, and unfortunately not a chain. Toyota says it gets changed at 60k. Also its a good idea to change the waterpumpo then becayse the timing belts in the way, it is a hard working part and so why not spend 100 bucks and change it with everything apaprt. Water pumps in my experience, usually last about 50k and then they usually squeak and leak, so I just bite the bullet and change it.
camry 4 cyl 2002 + has timing chain instead of belt.
 

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Yes, I'm 100% positive. I've seen it. Thats also why the Gen 5 engines have that light "slapping" sound at idle. Its the sound of the timing chain.
 

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^Yup, thats why in the Camry maintenance schedule, at 90k, it says "Change Timing Belt (V6 only)"
 
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