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Timing Belt Replacement? 2003 Sc430


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Hi everyone! I am new to the forum and was wondering when is it ideal to replace the timing belt, drive belt, and water pump on a 2003 SC430?

My car has around 115,xxx km and has never had a replacement done. The last time I brought it into the dealership for maintenance, they told me there were tiny cracks in the drive belt and suggested me to get it replaced. They said that since I'm at it anyway, I might as well replace the water pump and timing belt as well.

To me it just sounds like they're trying to push more sales, but it had me concerned when I drive in the mornings (especially in cold weather) and I hear little whistle sounds sometimes. (The guy said that's coming from the cracks in the drive belt). Other than that, my vehicle runs perfectly fine.

I wouldn't go back to Lexus to get it done considering it's overpriced. I got a quote at an individual shop to get all 3 things done, and it was around $1300 after discounts.

What do you guys think? Is it necessary to get all of those things done at this time?


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The timing belt replacement interval for the U.S. is every 90,000 miles (140,000 km) or 6 years - whichever comes first although the recommended replacement intervals vary slightly by country. Replacement of your timing belt and associated parts appears to be way overdue.

I have never heard of a timing belt on a Lexus breaking on its own due to fatigue. Timing belt "failure" is usually caused by the failure of another component such as the water pump, tensioner or one of the idlers.

Here in the U.S., I would expect to pay more than US$1,500 for a timing belt replacement that includes replacing all the parts I mentioned above and a few other miscellaneous washers and O-rings.

I doubt that your "whistling" sounds are coming from cracks in your timing belt although I have to hand it to the inventive mechanic who came up with that story.

Verify that any independent shop you choose to replace your timing belt and the other parts is very experienced in doing it on a Lexus V8. If in doubt, let the Lexus dealer do it.

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