I've put off changing my timing belt... What could happen?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by mgartner0622, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #1
    Hello-
    I know this is not a car forum, but I thought this would be where I could get the best answer...
    So, I have a '98 Toyota Camry LE as one of my cars. It has the small 4 cylinder engine, with an automatic transmission.
    Oil changes have been done as normal and such, but, the Timing Belt has seriously been neglected. The Owner's manual says to change it at 85k, but, the car currently has 135k on it, with the original timing belt.
    I'm hoping I can get by a few more months... Is this bad, or do you think I can manage?
    Thank you for the help.
     
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #2
    not a good idea but it can last a while. My dads been meaning to change his for the last 80k miles.

    As for what could happen is the belt snaps. If it snaps you car is not going to run. Worse case is when it snaps the valves are in the wrong spot and end up bending them and could even damage you piston heads when they smash into them.
     
  3. dmr727, Feb 13, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011

    dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #3
    You'll end up stranded if it breaks. Just make sure you have AAA or equivalent available if you want to continue to roll the dice.

    I looked up the 4-cylinder engine out of a '98 Camry, and it appears to be non-interference. I don't think he'll have this issue.
     
  4. mgartner0622, Feb 13, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011

    mgartner0622 thread starter macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

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    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #4
    Hmm, thanks for the info!
    I do have a towing allowance with triple A, so I think Ill be able to put it off for another month.
    Thank you again!
     
  5. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a

    Fubar1977

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    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    #5
    I put mine off on a Honda 1.6i-16V and it snapped after 6-months totally trashing the top of the engine.
    Not worth the risk unless it`s a cheap car you can afford to lose, repair was basically a new engine :(
     
  6. Richdmoore macrumors 65816

    Richdmoore

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    Troutdale, OR
    #6
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Like others have said, if it is a non-interference engine, you'll just be stranded. If it's an interference engine, it's a bad deal.

    FYI, when you go to change the belt, consider also changing the water pump. They wear out at about the same time, and is much cheaper to proactively replace while changing the belt, due to labor costs.
     
  7. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a

    Fubar1977

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    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    #7
    Agreed.
    Always change the water pump with the belt.
    The vast majority of modern engines are interference engines.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    I believe the cost of a repair if you damage your engine will increase with the addition of a comma. While the price of replacing the timing belt is not cheap, the cost of fixing the damage from a bad timing belt is significantly higher.
     
  9. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #9
    Neglecting a timing belt is one of the worst maintenance neglects you can do.

    Want to pay a couple grand for a new engine if it goes? That really is the russian roulette of auto maintenance.
     
  10. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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    Dark Castle
    #10
    In addition to the belt, what about the spark plugs? And fuel injectors? As you put a new belt in a tune up might be needed also.
     
  11. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

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    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #11
    What could happen? Well you could be cruising down the highway doing 70MPH. Car full of stuff because you are making the final trip during moving. Out of no where the car dies for no reason you can immediately see. Your car in this story is a 5-speed manual.
    So your motor doesn't stop moving until you push the clutch in or the car comes to a stop. You push the clutch in and try to start it. Cranks and cranks but nothing happens. Later on you finally get it some where to examine it. You take the valve cover off and pull on the timing belt. It comes right out. Your stomach flips end over end.

    30 hours of your own labor because you work on it when you can and $800 later.... you're car runs again.

    Do not neglect engine maintenance. It wont cost anything now to change it before it breaks. After things like timing belts break is when your wallet gets light quick.

    I was lucky and the valves didn't punch holes into my pistons. I just had to replace the head.
     
  12. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #12
    I think it's absurd that someone would say they have a AAA towing allowance so they should be ok if their belt breaks. AAA towing charges are going to pale in comparison to what can happen to your engine. Skip the next Apple upgrade and get the timing belt fixed.
     
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #13
    If you know anything about car repair then do it yourself. Pick up a timing belt and Chilton or Haynes guide for your car and do the repair. It isn't that difficult and you will save a lot of money.

    I do all my repairs myself and save a fortune. Many car parts stores loan specialized tools for free. If you don't know much grab a friend who does and start to learn. Buy a twelve pack of beer and a pizza for their troubles. Beer and car repair always go well together.:D
     
  14. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #14
    Most modern cars are non-interference so if the belt snaps, no damage is done besides not being able to start up for the most part

    Upon reading the rest of the thread, I too suggest replacing the water pump as. it. is. right. there.

    As far as concerns, it is really luck of the draw. I have replaced mine at 65 and 130k as that was the schedule. My brother has never swapped his and it has over 100k on it. My dad has never changed his and his has over 330k on it! Talk about ballsy lol
     
  15. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    Apr 19, 2004
    #15
    Thank goodness automakers are changing over to timing chains. They are a bit noisier than timing belts, but don't need to worry about replacing them as much as a timing belt.
     
  16. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

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    #16
  17. mgartner0622 thread starter macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

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    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #17
    Thank you everyone-
    This car is not driven very many miles a year, and I'll try and not drive it until I get it fixed, which I plan to in the next few weeks when I have time.
    I will have the belt changed, and water pump, and will look into the spark plugs and a tune up as the SP's are original to the car, and it's been taking a little longer to start lately. I don't think I'm capable of doing the belt change myself, the only maintenance I'm capable of is oil changes and tire rotation. :eek:
    Thank you again for the help.
     
  18. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #18
    QFT - I 100% agree. I wonder why they went away from chains to belts in the first place? Cost? Noise? I was very happy to hear my 07 honda accord had gone back to a timing chain design - especially since we actually own 2 of them (that we bought at the same time) and they would have otherwise both been coming up for the replacement right about now.
     
  19. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #19
    Cost and noise. We have better technology now and can make chains cheaper and stronger than in the past to the point were you really are not going to hear the chain over other engine noise.
     
  20. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #20
    Noise most likely. Toyota and Honda( especially Honda) became well known for their engines being smooth and refined. A timing belt helps with that reputation due to the less noise it puts out.
     
  21. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    Communard de Londres
    #21
    You're right mainly cost,aside from the economics of scale (more being used) I'm not aware of any major difference in chain technology in the last fifty years,it's a mature technology,chain drives are very efficient see the dominance on motorcycles for instance.
     

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