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Timing Belt


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My wife has a 2001 ES300 with 37,000 miles. For the last 7 years we live part time in Phoenix, AZ and the car is driven about 3,500 per year. During the summer hot season we are up north and the car is stored in our garage where it may see 100 degrees some times. It is in wonderful condition for she babies it and it has been religiously maintained by Lexus. At its 36,000 mile maintenance the service department strongly recommended we replace the timing belt because of its age, and not mileage. I understand the risks but as an engineer find it difficult to imagine the belt has deteriorated. From a PRACTICAL viewpoint should I replace it now?

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This is a non-interference engine, so even if the timing belt does go, the only additional cost (apart from the timing belt) would be the cost of a tow truck and some inconvenience.

Having said that, the Service Department is right. You should really change the belt based on the schedule specified in the owner's manual. (Milage or Time, whichever comes first)

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