Hi, I just bought a 1999 Toyota Rav4 with 98,000 miles. I had some maintenance done on it (spark plugs, wires, trans flush) and the mechanic recommended the timing belt and water pump be changed. The timing belt he said needed to be done at 90,000 miles per the car's maintenance schedule, but when I asked him if it looked worn he said they have to take the engine apart to tell.
My first question is, is there any way to tell whether this was done by the previous owner? I got no history information from the dealer when I bought the car. Also, what else should I have checked or done as long as they are doing this? The price he quoted for the belt and water pump was $477.
Unfortunately the only way to tell if the timing belt was change is to take the timing cover off which involves taking apart the front of the motor. It would be wise to change the water pump at the same time because you need to remove the same parts to get at both so while you are there why not save the time and money. Also have the shop inspected the belt tensioner to see if it needs replacing while you have it apart. As far as the cost goes it seems to be an average price. Hope this helps Backyardmechanic : )