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Rx-300 Timing Belt Replacement Based On Vehicle Age


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#1 lparet

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:10 PM

I have a 2002 RX-300 with 29,200 actual miles. The last time I brought my car in for routine maintence the Lexus Service Dept had to change the belts on the car due to small cracks. Based on this, I was told by the Lexus Service Department, that due to the age of my vehicle that I needed to have the timing belt replaced as well since it was made of the same material as the other belts on the car. I was under the impression that the timing belt first, is much more durable than the other belts and second, is not exposed to the elements like the other belts. Anyway, I could not find anything anywhere that states that the timing belt should be replaced based on age vs miles. The manual only discusses vehicle milage as the criteria for replacement of the timing belt. It does not state replace after Xyears or Nmiles whichever comes first as they do for an oil change for example.

Does anyone know if the timing belt really has to be replaced based on vehicle age over milage? We are talking about $1600 here. I value safety over money but just don't want to have it done now if it is not really necessary.

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#2 lenore

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 11:37 PM

The belt is indeed very tough, however a good mechanic can look at it by removing the upper belt cover....and $1600 is way out there. YOu could go to an Toyota or independent and pay no more than $500....

#3 pauljcl

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 01:56 AM

I have a 2002 RX-300 with 29,200 actual miles. The last time I brought my car in for routine maintence the Lexus Service Dept had to change the belts on the car due to small cracks. Based on this, I was told by the Lexus Service Department, that due to the age of my vehicle that I needed to have the timing belt replaced as well since it was made of the same material as the other belts on the car. I was under the impression that the timing belt first, is much more durable than the other belts and second, is not exposed to the elements like the other belts. Anyway, I could not find anything anywhere that states that the timing belt should be replaced based on age vs miles. The manual only discusses vehicle milage as the criteria for replacement of the timing belt. It does not state replace after Xyears or Nmiles whichever comes first as they do for an oil change for example.

Does anyone know if the timing belt really has to be replaced based on vehicle age over milage? We are talking about $1600 here. I value safety over money but just don't want to have it done now if it is not really necessary.


The manual of my old 99RX300 stated that the timing belt should be changed (and other maintenance items completed) at 90,000 miles or six years. All the mileage numbers were linked to a period (like the 5,000 miles or 6 months for oil change). Lexus talked me into changing the timing belt after six years even though I had only 60K miles. After reading various posts in this forum, I am close to certain it was not needed.... but I did it.
It may be that the manual of your 02RX300 does not contain the same requirements...

#4 code58

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 03:05 AM

I have a 2002 RX-300 with 29,200 actual miles. The last time I brought my car in for routine maintence the Lexus Service Dept had to change the belts on the car due to small cracks. Based on this, I was told by the Lexus Service Department, that due to the age of my vehicle that I needed to have the timing belt replaced as well since it was made of the same material as the other belts on the car. I was under the impression that the timing belt first, is much more durable than the other belts and second, is not exposed to the elements like the other belts. Anyway, I could not find anything anywhere that states that the timing belt should be replaced based on age vs miles. The manual only discusses vehicle milage as the criteria for replacement of the timing belt. It does not state replace after Xyears or Nmiles whichever comes first as they do for an oil change for example.

Does anyone know if the timing belt really has to be replaced based on vehicle age over milage? We are talking about $1600 here. I value safety over money but just don't want to have it done now if it is not really necessary.


They were definitely concerned about their bottom line, NOT YOUR WALLET! I have changed these belts and I can tell you, THEY ARE NOT made of the same material your 2 external belts are made off! They are made of a completely different cord and rubber (it's NOT rubber) and made in a completely different way. When I changed my DIL's on her RX, it looked like 15-20k mi and it had 97k mi. on it . There were absolutely no cracks, or other signs of deterioration and NO signs of wear on the teeth. I don't know of anyone yet who has changed their own who has reported anything different, no matter what the miles. It IS NOT built like the timing belts of the past that were recommended for 60k mi, and really needed changing by then. Also, the $1600. is absurd beyond degree. That is ROBBERY without even the aid of a gun or a mask. The original equipment (Toyota) belt can be purchased online for about $35. and the labor is about 4-5 hour and a good mechanic can change it in little more than half that time. Would I love to change those all day long for $1600. :rolleyes:

#5 eurospeedit

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 10:38 PM

The difference between the drive belts and the timing belt wear is that the drive belts crack/split the timing belt wear is measured in thickness, and yes it can over time wear to the point that it can actually skip teeth on the cam gears and cause the engine to be mis-timed. I have also seen timing belts go completly out. Those vehicles were in excess of 140k on the original timing belt. Having done hundreds of these services i would say that your timing belt should have very little wear on it,despite being an 02. If you know anyone that is someone of a "shade tree mechanic" they can check the condition of your timing belt in about 5 mins. simply remove a few of the upper timing belt cover bolts and take a look...

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