» » »

Lexus Q&A

Ask Your Question

1996 Lexus LS400 Question: Timing belt question



shelleygiacomini, Danville, KY, December 11, 2009, 10:13

Looking at buying this car used from original owner - it has 190,000 miles current owner has never replaced timing belt (nor on his previous 3 LExus')..he says it only needs to be replaced if it breaks...and will not damage the engine. The dealer says the oppposite.
Can anyone give me a straight answer?
Thanks, Shelley

2 Answers
Flag This
  • Answer #1

    matte December 11, 2009, 10:36

    He is absolutely wrong. If a timing belt breaks while driving, there is potential for doing damage to internal components of the engine--the most common is bending a valve. These are things that cost thousands of dollars to fix.

    It's important to do timing belt and water pump work on schedule to avoid big problems down the road. This owner is lucky that Lexuses are often bulletproof, but it might not be a great car to buy. It hasn't been maintained.

    Flag This
  • Answer #2

    calebsrme April 30, 2012, 19:54

    I am reading your post on 04/30/2012; it may too late for your use, but this answer could help others. The response posted prior to mine is accurate; however, I would urge you to definitely change the--
    Timing belt
    Idler pulley
    Water pump/gaskets
    Price, parts & labor-!,000.00 to 1,290.00.
    We changed all these on our LS 400 at 91,000, not much wear, HOWEVER it was brittle and with cracks, 12 years is a long time. If the timing belt were to break, some engines would suffer major damage, some would not, it depends on the year the engine was built, Lexus changed models in the mid-1990s.
    You bought a gem, 30,000 miles! Incredible, most 99s probably register close to 180,000 miles. We have a 1999 and previously had a 1991; that make us Lexus owners for almost 20 yrs.; we are indeed very satisfied Lexus customers.

    Flag This