Timing belt replacement instructions

Tiny
DMASONCT
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
  • 53,000 MILES
Dealer recommending changing timing belt. I can't find this in Toyota's recommended scheduled maintenance. Is this required?
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Thursday, April 18th, 2013 AT 7:36 AM

44 Replies

Tiny
DL AUTOSHOP
  • MEMBER
Hello, I'm Danny.

Here is the information you requested. For your information Toyota doesn't suggest replacing the timing belt until 90,000 miles. Here is a tutorial showing the function of a timing belt:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-a-timing-belt-works

I've attached picture steps below for the procedure to replace the timing belt on your vehicle. Hope this helps and thanks for using 2CarPros.
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Friday, February 5th, 2021 AT 12:40 PM
Tiny
SKIWALKER
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
  • 6 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 90,340 MILES
The Owners Manual calls for replacement of timing belt at 90,000 miles. It is at 90,000 miles and I intend to keep the car another 30,000 miles. Is this replacement necessary and if I don't what are my risks?
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:52 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
It is a regularly maintenanced item and should be replaced at the manufacturer's suggested intervals. Not doing so can cause timing belt failure, which in turn may damage internal parts of the motor such as bending valves etc. If you're only keeping it another 30k miles then it is up to you if you want to risk it or not. If you was keeping it for unknown amount of time then definitely replace it.
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:52 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RJJL
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
  • 3.3L
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 217,000 MILES
I changed timing belt/water pump. I did not remove the cam sprockets for this job. Last belt/pump change at 112,000 (by dealer, pre-purchase).
Prior to starting, there was a substantial noise coming from the vicinity of the water pump and accessories, and I could not diagnose the source of the noise. Due to the mileage, I decided to do the belt/pump change and figured I'd come across the source of the noise in the course of the job.

After removing the accessory belts, I started the engine as a check to see if the noise was still present, to check if it was an accessory. The noise was still present.

After removing the pulley's and tensioner and water pump, none of them appear to have failed enough to make the noise reported above, but who knows, at high speed one of them could have been the culprit.

After belt install, I rotated crank by hand 2 times to check for interference. Tried with starter, no start. I did not keep trying.

When I re-inspected crank and cam timing marks again, I discovered that the rear cam had moved counter-clockwise (relative to facing the engine) from when I took the old belt off, so the belt was initially installed out of time. To be more specific, the crank and front cam were in proper alignment, the rear cam was off counter clockwise 60-80*) I have subsequently learned that that cam was not in a resting "unsprung" position in the aligned TDC state. [Neither of the two video tutorials I consulted mentioned this, but I have since watched others that warned about it]

I disassembled, re-set the tensioner, then re-installed the belt with both cam sprockets in proper alignment with the crankshaft. Again, I turned crank times by hand. Then I tried to start the car, and still no start.

- I have verified spark at the front left plug.
- Ground straps did not need to be removed.
- I have made sure there is no crud where the crank sensor is.
- I smell fuel, that's the extent of my fuel check.
- There are no fault codes in my reader.

The engine turns over with the starter normally, nothing seems odd. Hand turning still encounters compression.
It does not even hint of wanting to start.

I realize it is possible I bent one of more valves on the rear cylinder bank with the initial install. I don't think so because I did a hand crank 2x with no resistance (except compression). However, I assume that even if one bank has valve-train issues, the car should still try to start, and if there where issues, it would show up in other symptoms.
Q1: Is this a correct assumption?

Q2: What diagnostics can I do to track down to figure out what's preventing the car from starting?
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:52 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Good evening,

Start with a compression test on the front and back cylinders.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-engine-compression

That will tell you if there is an internal issue. Look for about 140 pounds.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-a-timing-belt-works

Let us start there.

Roy
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:52 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RJJL
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the reply Roy.

I don't have a compression tester (at least not the one that reaches down into the plug hole on the Highlander), and I think the intake manifold and throttle body would have to be removed to test the rear cylinder bank on the Highlander (V6). Isn't that an awful lot of labor for a starting diagnostic, with all due respect? Even if compression is compromised on one bank, I think the ignition should try to start the engine. I had asked the question above to see if that can be confirmed.

Is there an ignition and/or fuel diagnostic test you could recommend?
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:52 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Yes, it would be hard to do the test but that is the diagnostic to confirm if the belt is one correct and if there is no damage internally causing it not to start.

Do you have a scan tool to look at live data such as the crank sensor?

Roy
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:52 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RJJL
  • MEMBER
Ah ha. I've never used it to scan live data, but turns out it does, and I can select which parameters.
I don't know what the advance numbers should be, but it looks like the fuel system has OL. I was thinking that was no power, but just read that it means open loop. Inconclusive to me.

What do you think?
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:52 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
The first picture, there was no RPM reading. Was that taken while cranking?

Roy
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:52 AM (Merged)
Tiny
G. MARTIN
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 180,000 MILES
If the timing belt breaks in the 3 litre V6 does any engine part damage result?
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:52 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RJJL
  • MEMBER
Sorry about that. First picture was with key at ignition, second pic was while cranking the starter.
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KASEKENNY
  • EXPERT
The V6 is a non interference engine so if it breaks it will not damage the engine.

I am attaching the process below on how to replace this. Please let us know if you need more info. Thanks
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Okay, the crank sensor is sending a signal to the ECM.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-cranks-but-wont-start

Do you hear the fuel pump run?

Roy
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RJJL
  • MEMBER
I can't say I can hear the fuel pump, but I don't know what to listen for.
What would it sound like? I assume this would be prior to cranking?
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
It is a small electric motor in the tank. It should run for 2 seconds with the key on. Then run all the time cranking.

Roy
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RJJL
  • MEMBER
I hear a click from the rear when the key turns to ignition position. There is about 1-1.5s between the key turn and the click.
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
It is a motor, not a relay.

Roy
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RJJL
  • MEMBER
So I asked what it would sound like and you didn t say. Whining or whirring? I thought maybe the click was the pump going off, but there s no electric motor sound that I can hear. I m going to have my wife turn the key while l listen at the back.
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DAVE144
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 119,000 MILES
2001 Toyota Highlander, V6 3Liter, I am changing the timing belt & water pump as part of a major service. Following the manuals instructions step by step I removed everything in the way and had access to the belt.

The crank shaft mark was on "O" , both cam shaft marks were lined up with the marks on the their heads.

The instructions then said to rotate the crankshaft counter clockwise 60 degrees, then release the tensioner pulley, and remove the belt in a set sequence.

When I removed the belt from the cam shaft on the front of the motor, it spun about 30 degrees.

First instinct was to put all parts in box, have car taken to garage - let them
fix it !

I have done 5 or 6 timing belts before, but never had anything move when I removed the timing belt before.

Still willing to try and do this myself if I can do so without ruining motor.

If I go ahead and install the new water pump, without disturbing any of the shafts, then move each shaft back to its timing mark, install the new belt, then rotate the motor numerous times - as long as each time the crankshaft mark is on "O" , both cam shafts line up with their marks, then:

1. Best case, all is well, car will run as designed.

2. "Worst" case, car will not run - BUT neither of the heads will be smashing valves on pistons because the marks mean that at TDC the valve will always be in an ok position relevant to their pistons.

I appreciate any advice to get me successfully out of this situation !
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

Yes this is scary when it happens, what has happened is that one of the cams have be up against valve spring tension and when the belt tension has been released the cam has kicked back, you can safely re position this cam back to its timing mark, you may need an extra pair of hands to hold the cam still while you set up the belt and tensioner, what I do is I use a small section of the old belt and use this as a cushion to protect the new belt, set the cams up and softly clamp the belt with either heavy bulldog clips or very light pressure with small vice grips, just to hold the cams in place, try this. Mark
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Saturday, February 6th, 2021 AT 9:53 AM (Merged)

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