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Q: Timing belt replacement on 2001 Toyota Sienna

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I have a 2001 Toyota Sienna with 74,500 miles. The manual states replacement of the belt at 72 months/90,000 miles.
My Haynes manual states at 90,000 miles. Nothing about months. This is not an inexpensive repair when you also throw in the water pump. Should I go by mileage or the months?? The car is mostly driven around town with occassional longer highway use for vacations,longer trips.
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We have owned the 2001 Sienna since it was new. Just did the entire maintenance package in July 2010. The Sienna was at approx. 89000 miles, and it has almost 9-years. We debated like you if we should go longer (if it ain't broke, why mess with it, right).

However, it was just a matter of timing (no pun intended). A belt is rubber, and you're just mindful of plastic/rubber breaking down eventually (even if the miles are low). I've read that the damage to a Sienna was not as catastrophic as you would think if your belt busted while driving. BUT, you really want to control your own destiny -- do you want to make decisions about this cost maintenance after researching costs, etc? Or do you want to make decisions when that your Sienna was down and out and you may be forced to make not-so-great decisions?

Start your research now for coupons, dealerships, etc. For me, I didn't trust a non-Toyota shop to do this "core surgery" right. The dealers all have different rates believe it or not, and some were actually cheaper than others (that surprised me). I also asked some of the repair shops like Firestone, etc, and their costs were actually higher.

We also watched for coupons on dealers' websites, but I received a 20% coupon off any maintenance from the dealership and went for it. So a package that was $800 or so (Yikes!) was reduced by 20% so that's not bad considering they are on the hook for the warranty now. You are only are taxed on the parts, so the 20% is not reduced too bad after taxes are included. That repair job took almost 6-hrs by the dealership.

Our package included timing belt, replace water pump, belts, and radiator hoses (only was charged for the hoses not labor).

Compared with our Camry (1998), the Sienna's timing belt repair was about $150-200 more (just a bigger brute I supposed).

Good luck on your minivan.
Toyota state that the timing belt should be changed at 72 months/90,000 miles under normal driving conditions. If you read the fine print describing "severe driving conditions" a lot of people become surprised that there driving conditions fit into the severe driving conditions. every manufacturer builds in a safety factor the belt seldom fails prior to the recommended timing belt change interval but that being said oil leaks inside the timing cover will drastically reduce belt life. I always follow the manufacturers replacement intervals just for safety sake. I agree it is an expensive preventative maintenance repair.
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