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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all
I am hoping someone can please help me.
I have just been to visit my mother, who has a RAV4 she utterly adores.

She has been told the cam belt is due, as its done 98888 miles, and it was apparently due to be replaced in June. The quote she has been given is £430 and she cannot manage that at the moment, so is going to have to park the car up until she can afford it. :crying

The car is a 1996, 4WD, 1998cc, no ABS.
Not sure if you need any other info?

My question is - is this an interference or non-interference engine?
Thank you in advance :smile
 

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It's non-interference. She can drive it until it breaks if she wants or finds a better price. The original belt may last 150,000 miles.
 
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I'm sure but someone else will probably confirm it.
 
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1 week after i purchased my 96 with 132k my original timing belt broke with no problems other than needed tow. I knew it was coming since i could hear the rattle from the belt slapping.
 

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Agree with Dr. Dyno. Every reference I have read about Toyota RAV4 engines which have timing belts states that they are non-interference engines - the pistons and valves will not impact each other in the event of a timing belt failure.
 

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So, for future reference, NO RAV4 has ever had an interference engine, correct?
 

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As a professional tech, one of the many things I advise customers about is what is needed now and what is needed later. The timing belt is usually on the later list, unless it is way overdue.


One thing you haven't considered is the inconvenience and stress she will experience when the belt does break. Who knows where she will be, or at what time of day? Will a tow truck be readily available? Will she be in a safe location when it happens? What if it breaks when she is driving, it stalls and someone rearends her?


I have seen timing belts break on an engine that is not an interference engine, and there has been piston/valve collision. Just because an engine is said to be a non-interference engine does not mean it is 100% of the time. Hydraulic lifters pump up, holding the valve open when the piston is supposed to be down. All it takes is one of the valves to hit the piston to require cylinder head removal.

If your mom can't afford the timing belt now, will she afford a major engine repair later?


I'm speaking candidly....can't you chip in what your mom can't afford so the both of you will have peace of mind?
 

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I agree the main issue is where will she be when/if it breaks. Then you not only need a tow but assuming the car is needed immediately also be at the mercy of whoever can fix it. It is a pay-me-now or pay-me-later issue so I'd suggest shopping for a better price and getting it done during the "grace period" before it breaks.

I didn't know it hadn't been done on my FIL's 1998 RAV4 and it broke while I was out of town. So instead of me doing it for maybe $50 I found out later he spent close to $1000 with all the other repairs the shop claimed were needed. That did not include any extensive engine work due to any piston/valve collisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the replies so far.

It just concerns me that it seems very expensive, and its her second belt. I forget when she had the first, but it just seems a lot of money and very soon. But she is very worried about not getting it done, so plans to leave the car unused in the meantime :(

I wish I could afford to help her with the cost, but money is tight for me too :(
 

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Second belt at 99,000 miles???

Something's amiss here. A timing belt will go well over 100,000 miles and she's being told she needs a second one at 99,000? That's what I call a rip-off, especially for £430 ($650 USD). You need to find out when the first one was done and what other work was done then. Add 100,000 miles to when it was replaced and she's easily safe for that.
The timing belt is $15 USD at Rockauto but some shops hike the price by changing other unnecessary parts such as the water pump, etc. They use high pressure tactics and dire disaster warnings to extract the customer's money. Find someone who will just change the belt for a reasonable price.
 

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The factory guidelines for changing the cam belt are 63k or 5 years, so highly likely it's due for changing.
It may last 100k, 200k or even 500k, but that's risking it, which you'd be a fool to do on an interference engine. This isn't, so worth a risk.

We know why water pumps and tensioner bearing are also changed at the same time, insurance. An extra £$50 now, or an extra $£500 if they go later.

As for the cost, is that a main dealer price? How many hours labour is it?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks guys!

My Mum's reply:

I have been told that it is how many years as well as mileage - whichever is first. I last had it done on 22nd July 2009. This time I have been told by the garage, who did it last time, that the 'kit' comes complete with a water pump now and that is why it is so much money!

Back in July I also rang an actual Toyota garage and they quoted without the water pump, but said it would be a good idea to replace it if it is still the original. I can't find where I wrote their quote, but it was almost as much as my garage (without the water pump), with an extra £50 - £60 if the belt needs a side tension fitting (I think they called it)
One thing I have just thought of - If Toyota garage say that a new water pump is a good idea after 19 years, then surely I won't need another one in six years when it will be due again? Yet they say the kit 'always' comes with a water pump now! That cant be right!!?

 

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Thanks for all the replies so far.

It just concerns me that it seems very expensive, and its her second belt. I forget when she had the first, but it just seems a lot of money and very soon. But she is very worried about not getting it done, so plans to leave the car unused in the meantime :(

I wish I could afford to help her with the cost, but money is tight for me too :(

I assumed this was the original belt. The lowest mileage interval I know of to replace a timing belt is 60K on certain Hyundai and Kia models. Most belts should be replaced about 90K, and newer belts are made of a much better material, so you can stretch it out another 20K-30K unless a pulley fails or if a timing belt driven water pump leaks or trashes a bearing.


When shopping prices for a timing belt, if the water pump is driven by the timing belt, the pump should be replaced because it WILL leak after the new belt is tensioned. The water pump was used to a loose old belt, but when the new belt is tightened, it will cause the water pump to run slightly out of kilter, and the seal will most likely start leaking in 3-4 months. Then the whole job has to be done again, plus the water pump. Who should pay for that? The cheapskate customer or the shop that failed to educate the customer?
Also, when a customer is price shopping, some shops will replace only the timing belt to get the job. The original pulleys and tensioners are used over. These don't last forever and should be replaced with the timing belt. Most good aftermarket timing belt kits come with everything needed.


I didn't mean to offend you regarding the financial part. I tend to be blunt in my postings and ruffle a few feathers doing so. It's not intentional, so don't take it personally.
 

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Thanks guys!

My Mum's reply:

I have been told that it is how many years as well as mileage
Hogwash.

The main thing influencing the timing belt interval replacement is engine run time, not total time.


How many miles are on the replacement timing belt?


I think this shop is pushing your mom a little too hard.
 

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Yes, the belt replacement requirements are for engine run time, or more normally quoted miles or kilometers driven. From the replacement price quotes it appears that your Mom lives in the U.K., or perhaps Eire. If she is really concerned she could join the AA, or in the U.K. also the RAC which have reasonable annual membership fees (much less expensive than an immediate timing belt replacement) and in our experience provide very good breakdown and emergency service.
 

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When shopping prices for a timing belt, if the water pump is driven by the timing belt, the pump should be replaced because it WILL leak after the new belt is tensioned. The water pump was used to a loose old belt, but when the new belt is tightened, it will cause the water pump to run slightly out of kilter, and the seal will most likely start leaking in 3-4 months. Then the whole job has to be done again, plus the water pump. Who should pay for that? The cheapskate customer or the shop that failed to educate the customer?
I respectively but totally disagree with the water pump-with-belt upsell. I've replaced many timing belts over the years since I owned my first Accord in 1978 and can't remember EVER replacing a water pump with a new belt. And at least on newer Hondas the tensioner is self adjusting so a new belt will have the same tension as the old one so saying a new belt will damage the pump is a money making scare tactic IMO.

I'd do it the other way around - replace the belt if the water pump starts to weep or a tensioner gets noisy.

If the engine has 300,000+ miles it might get more new parts with the third of fourth belt but no way at 90,000 miles.

ANY shop that is trying to frighten someone (the OP's mother) into a SECOND timing belt at 90,000 miles IS TO BE AVOIDED.
 

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If the engine has 300,000+ miles it might get more new parts with the third of fourth belt but no way at 90,000 miles.
My '08 Tacoma pump was slinging coolant at 90k.
Wife's 4.2 was weeping at 100k.

When I replaced the belt in my Tundra, I did the pump and tensioner simply because I didn't want to have to pull it apart again before 200k. Water pump and thermostat were (relatively) cheap and didn't add more than 20 minutes to the job.

Shame what has happened to Toyota quality.
My '94 22RE went 225k on the original pump and it was not leaking when I traded it.
 

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My wife was driving two different Rav4's where the belt snapped. I simply put another on, no problems.if you replace it before hand you don't have to line everything up again. If it snaps you just have to get the pulleys aligned. Take a couple extra minutes.
 
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