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Timing belt (miles or age??)

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Old 07-09-11, 07:32 AM   #1
Freds430
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Default Timing belt (miles or age??)

I have a 2002 with 56,000. It will be ten years old next month and has 56,000 miles. My mechanic (Independent Lexus Mechanic) will not take my money when I suggested changing the belt. He said Lexus recommends 100,000 miles and it is independent of the age. I have read here and other places to change it based on either the age or miles. What does the consensus say and what have others done? What about the spark plugs?

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Old 07-09-11, 08:11 AM   #2
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I have a 2006 and the manual says to replace the timing belt at 90,000 miles or when it's 9 years old. I respectfully disagree with your mechanic, the replacement of the timing belt has always been based on either mileage or age for a SC430. There was one member of this forum that about a year or two ago that had his timing belt snap and it cost him his engine, not worth taking the risk IMO. Also when replacing the timing belt, think about replacing a few other items since the engine will be dismantled, even though you have fairly low mileage.

In regard to spark plugs, my manual says to replace them at 12 years of age or at 144,000 miles. In summary, driving habits and conditions will also play a role of when to replace certain engine components, but again, I would not take a risk on your timing belt.

Last edited by sixonemale; 07-09-11 at 08:57 AM..
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Old 07-09-11, 09:26 AM   #3
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Though it is mileage and age dependent, I would think it is more mileage dependent than age. The sc430 timing belt is pretty sturdy and probably will age well.

I have a 2002 with 53k miles and 9.5 years old. I will wait for a few more years before changing the belt, say around 75k miles and 12 years old. I think that is a good balance between mileage and age.
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Old 07-09-11, 09:28 AM   #4
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90.0000 miles/ 9 years is the conservative # from the Mfg (liability reasons?) there may be random cases of 'snap'. Those of you who have already replaced (cars under 60/65,000 miles) please offer your comments on the condition of belt and the parts replaced.
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Old 07-09-11, 09:32 AM   #5
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From I heard, most old belts looked good, at least could last significant more miles.
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Old 07-09-11, 09:36 AM   #6
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The earlier models recommended 60kmi or 7 years, IIRC. I forget what year that changed. We (members of the forum) never found out whether the change occurred because of increased data indicating that the belt should last longer than originally thought or because of improved belt materials. So according to the manual, your '02 is overdue based on time and very closely due from a mileage standpoint.
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Old 07-09-11, 09:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prasha View Post
90.0000 miles/ 9 years is the conservative # from the Mfg (liability reasons?) there may be random cases of 'snap'. Those of you who have already replaced (cars under 60/65,000 miles) please offer your comments on the condition of belt and the parts replaced.
I've mentioned it a number of time in posts here, but my timing belt appeared to be in very good condition when I replaced it last year ('02 SC430 with 37K miles). Since I did the work it didn't cost much but I can understand the desire to wait longer to have a professional do it for a fee.
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Old 07-09-11, 10:30 AM   #8
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I had it done in late april on my 02 with just under 45K. My decision was mostly based on the unknown - age/condition?. Would any sign of wear cause rapid deterioration. As it turned out the timing belt looked to be in good condition. In my case a year or two out might have been Ok, but I do sleep better having had it done.
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Old 07-09-11, 10:35 AM   #9
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I'll chime in here.... As was already mentioned, we have an interference engine, so if the timing belt does break, you may have totaled out the car. My 02 was built in January 01 and first sold in April 2001. In February 2011, and 56K miles I had the timing belt replaced. For me it was more for piece of mind and following the Mfc recommendations (time vs miles). The belt did have some minor cracking but may have lasted a few more years. But since I intend to keep the car for quite some time, and the cost was reasonable considering the alternative, I did it.
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Old 07-09-11, 03:30 PM   #10
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I have a 2002 and replaced it this year 9 years old when it hit 90K miles. My independent lexus mechanic said he has never seen a timing belt that needed replacement because of age. He told me 2 years ago to wait until I got to 90K.
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Old 07-09-11, 08:10 PM   #11
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Fortunately, (I believe) we haven't heard of owners who have experienced a timing belt failure. As the first SCs are now 10 (mine this coming November), I've simply been lazy in getting it done this year.

I don't believe that Lexus makes their suggestion with the intent on making $$, and if timing belts were found to absolutely last longer, I'd expect that subsequent years' manuals would change.

As for me, despite my procrastination, I don't intend to find out how many miles I can get out of my timing belt before it fails. No cracks or not, I'll have more peace of mind by replacing it.
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Old 07-10-11, 07:48 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies. I think VVTiBob said it best. We too are planning to keep the car a long time. It is ten years old and people think that it is brand new. Thanks Zaino!! I figure after ten years of driving, as little as it has cost us to maintain that this expenditure does not feel so bad. When I take it in at 60,000 miles for the oil change, she is getting a new timing belt and plugs. The only thing outside of routine maintenance that I have done is replace the serpentine belt that was squealing.
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Old 07-10-11, 09:15 AM   #13
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Good idea to have it done IMO. I purchased my 02 SC last year with 41K miles, and I wanted the piece of mind to have the timing belt replaced. I had it done at the dealership. I had the timing belt and the water pump replaced and it was about $900.
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Old 07-10-11, 10:40 AM   #14
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The plugs are probably overkill as even Lexus says 100k+ on them. Sent you a related PM
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Old 07-11-11, 08:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVTiBob View Post
I'll chime in here.... As was already mentioned, we have an interference engine, so if the timing belt does break, you may have totaled out the car. My 02 was built in January 01 and first sold in April 2001. In February 2011, and 56K miles I had the timing belt replaced. For me it was more for piece of mind and following the Mfc recommendations (time vs miles). The belt did have some minor cracking but may have lasted a few more years. But since I intend to keep the car for quite some time, and the cost was reasonable considering the alternative, I did it.
My friend's 119K SC's timing belt was done recently and the Timing Belt looked ok. But as suggested, better get it done. 90K is good.

I will get mine done probably by me. Just doing some research right now, taking my time and getting the right tools.

There are threads here on a DIY for timing belt that are sufficient for use.
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