Close
Car Questions
RepairPal is your advocate for car care advice and guidance

Timing belt question

(1996 Lexus LS400)
in Danville, KY on December 11, 2009
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
Displaying 2 answers & 1 comments
Popular Answer
on December 11, 2009
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.
on November 11, 2014
WHO EVER TOLD YOU WAIT UNTIL THEY BROKE MUST HAVE BEEN A MEMBER OF CONGRESS. THAT'S LIKE CALLING A CAB TO PUT THE FLAMES OUT IF YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE? REPLACE SOON AS POSSIBLE.
on April 30, 2012
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
Thermostat
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.
RepairPal estimates are guaranteed at over 2,000 quality certified locations nationwide. Learn more

Similar Questions

View answers to similar questions from RepairPal's community of auto experts and enthusiasts.
I have the option to purchase a 2008 maxima with 134000 miles. Does it have a belt driving the camshafts or chains
Timing belt broke, my son has taken the car apart to fix it, however the harmonic balancer is seized on, we can get i...
Didn't find what you were looking for?