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99 Rx300 Timing Belt


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#1 BMSKM

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 08:20 PM

I just made appointment at my mechanics to have a new timing belt installed per 100,000 mile (I have 105k). He immediately recommended I also replace seals (3ea) and water pump saying if one of these goes in next 100K it will be expensive. Should I do this?

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#2 lenore

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:10 PM

i replaced the water pump at 100k, it is driven by the timing belt....If you have been taking care of the coolent (replacing every 4 years) I see no reason the pump might not make 200k...However I am from the old school, I would hate to have the pump fail at 160k and wipe out my timing belt before its time....

#3 blueridge

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 02:05 PM

Agree with Lenore. Hey, are you doing this at Lexus? If so, save yourself some $$$ and check at Toyota. Remind them it's the same as a Highlander and see if you don't save at least $300.

#4 zalaser

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 12:59 PM

I just made appointment at my mechanics to have a new timing belt installed per 100,000 mile (I have 105k). He immediately recommended I also replace seals (3ea) and water pump saying if one of these goes in next 100K it will be expensive. Should I do this?

I have done it at 95K. Best way is to do Timing Belt, water pump, timing belt tensioner, and seals. Private garage is about $600 including refill of toyota antifreeze. I also recommend changing drive belts at the same time.

#5 trips1

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 02:09 PM

I have 96K miles and when i was at 90K thinking of doing timing belt i looked at older posts and decided to hold the timing belt and water pump work till 125K or even a little longer.

All the previous post suggested that no one at least on this forum has seen any damage to the timing belt till 140-150K. And when they got it changed at 90K it was as good as new.

#6 artbuc

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 04:28 PM

I have 96K miles and when i was at 90K thinking of doing timing belt i looked at older posts and decided to hold the timing belt and water pump work till 125K or even a little longer.

All the previous post suggested that no one at least on this forum has seen any damage to the timing belt till 140-150K. And when they got it changed at 90K it was as good as new.


Mine looked as good as new at 87k too. BUT, please remember that the strength of the belt comes from the internal reinforcing cords which you can not see. I have read some technical stuff on TB failures which says the appearance of the exterior rubber has nothing to do with the remaining life. Also, our engines are interference or at least there is a probability that they are. Finally, time is very important too. I wouldn't go much longer than 6yrs/90k. Chances are pretty good that you will only be doing one TB change on this vehicle so why wait?

#7 lenore

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 06:00 PM

Oh, so I dont have to do any more in the next 500k....just kidding, I think 100k is perfect......

#8 eatingupblacktop

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 08:49 AM

I have 96K miles and when i was at 90K thinking of doing timing belt i looked at older posts and decided to hold the timing belt and water pump work till 125K or even a little longer.

All the previous post suggested that no one at least on this forum has seen any damage to the timing belt till 140-150K. And when they got it changed at 90K it was as good as new.


Read up a bit further. Artbuc is exactly right. You cannot determine the condition of a TB by the external appearance alone! Mileage and age are the parameters to follow regardless of how new it may look! TB's will deteriorate internally from stress and heat long before there's any indication on the surface. As has been suggested, there is no advantage in taking a risk especially if you have an interference engine. At the very least you face being stranded somewhere when you least expect it.

#9 trips1

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:52 PM

Thanks for all the info. I think you folks are right that if one plan to keep the vehicle till 150-175K then why wait. Better change it at 90K.
Somehow after reading older threads i got an impression that timing belt as well as spark plugs would last 125K or even a little more.

Anyways i think a lot of discussion happened on this forum on interference vs non-interference and it was finally determined that Lexus RX300 (at least 2000 and above) have non interference engine.

One more question. Any comments on getting the timing belt and water pump done by Toyota Vs done by an independent mechanic.

#10 lenore

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 09:54 PM

trips1 The 2000 is the same engine as the 1999....1meze. It is an interference engine..... As for the timing belt, have it changed. The plugs will go an easy 125k....as a matter of fact one gentleman has 175k and still going. The Iridium original equipment plugs are incredible. You could get your belt and waterpump changed by Toyota for around $500.. I did and am very satisfied with their work. They even used a Lexus belt (quite frankly that is a farce as it is just a toyota belt)

I am dead sure on the engine as I have been helping a neigbor by rebuilding his which is a 2003....

#11 trips1

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 12:34 AM

I did a search on "non interference engine" in this forum and there are different opinions.
Some have even provided documentation to support that RX300 after a certain year has non interference engine.
I am not sure if there is a way for me to confirm this.

Lenore i will go by what you say that RX300 has interference engine.
Anyways I have a 2001 2WD RX300 with about 95K miles. So i guess its time for me to get the timing belt changed now :-(

#12 trips1

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 12:46 AM

I did a search on "non interference engine" in this forum and there are different opinions.
Some have even provided documentation to support that RX300 after a certain year has non interference engine.
I am not sure if there is a way for me to confirm this.

Lenore i will go by what you say that RX300 has interference engine.
Anyways I have a 2001 2WD RX300 with about 95K miles. So i guess its time for me to get the timing belt changed now :-(

A little bit of googling have got me further confused. Some people have quoted that Lexus RX300 is non interference. I hope a call to Toyota and Lexus service center can confirm if RX300 2WD 2001 is an interference or non interference engine. Or does anyone know if a call to the Lexus corporate and requesting them to get this answered by their mechanical team is a better option. :-(

#13 code58

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 02:40 AM

I did a search on "non interference engine" in this forum and there are different opinions.
Some have even provided documentation to support that RX300 after a certain year has non interference engine.
I am not sure if there is a way for me to confirm this.

Lenore i will go by what you say that RX300 has interference engine.
Anyways I have a 2001 2WD RX300 with about 95K miles. So i guess its time for me to get the timing belt changed now :-(

A little bit of googling have got me further confused. Some people have quoted that Lexus RX300 is non interference. I hope a call to Toyota and Lexus service center can confirm if RX300 2WD 2001 is an interference or non interference engine. Or does anyone know if a call to the Lexus corporate and requesting them to get this answered by their mechanical team is a better option. :-(


This has just recently been discussed on Club Lexus in the most defining way that it has been explained yet. It is confusing when you search online and find sources that should be accurate and yet they disagree. If you do a search there I believe it will be clearer than it has been ay any time yet in the 3+ years that I have been on this forum.

#14 trips1

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 08:02 AM

Actually i had looked at clublexus also and different threads had different information.
I think finally the conclusion is that the RX300 engine is interference.

Here is one of the post from clublexus indicating that everyone (including Moderator Lexmex) previously thought that the engine is non interference.
I really appreciate everyone's response on this thread.
From Clublexus
==================

Quote:
Originally Posted by sktn77a View Post
Wow, LexMex, are you sure? We always thought (on this forum) that the RX300 had a non-interference engine. What changed this opinion? I had my belt changed today (see my other post) and I'm sure glad I did, if this is the case!

Lexmex and I for a long time thought the 1mz-fe is non-interference but it turned out 1mz-fe VVT-i is interference.
==================

#15 eatingupblacktop

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 12:09 PM

Lol! It gets to be a circus sometimes! :lol: Just stick with the maintenance schedule and forget about whether it's interference or not. In the case of an RX, I would use the extreme schedule.

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