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I have a 2002 Toyota Sienna XLE and a local mechanic is asking to replace Timing Belt. He said it will cost $1000 to do the job. Is it that costly? Please let me know. You can reply to [email protected]. Thanks.
I paid $1264 last year for the same job. That included exterior belts too plus anti-freeze. The mechanic bought all the parts, with a nice mark up of course. Mines a 2006 Sienna xle with 233,000 miles and never had any belt replacement. I bought it and right away had the timing belt kit put in it. Sure the belt looked worn and may have given out soon. I have put 10,000 miles on it now and its going strong still. Haven't done that much to it. Engine light has been on for like 8 months now. It goes off when i add additives for the front catalytic converter fix. It still runs ok. I just do the right thing and ignore it-lol. It doesn't have any rear brakes, maybe 10% but it stops good enough. Everything else works though. For a $2600 vehicle its a good one. Scotty Kilmer persuaded me to buy a Toyota ,so i did. He was right about them. I hope to get to the 300,000 mile mark with this one. The mechanic said the seals were not needed and didn't install them. That price included replacement of upper brackets and bolts. They were badly rusted and had to be cut off. It wasn't easy. The kit cost $461 with everything but the outer two belts and antifreeze. All the parts cost were doubled from what i could have bought them for but the mechanic would not let me buy anything. He bought them through Continental supply, his supplier. So far, so good!
 

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I paid $1264 last year for the same job. That included exterior belts too plus anti-freeze. The mechanic bought all the parts, with a nice mark up of course. Mines a 2006 Sienna xle with 233,000 miles and never had any belt replacement. I bought it and right away had the timing belt kit put in it. Sure the belt looked worn and may have given out soon. I have put 10,000 miles on it now and its going strong still. Haven't done that much to it. Engine light has been on for like 8 months now. It goes off when i add additives for the front catalytic converter fix. It still runs ok. I just do the right thing and ignore it-lol. It doesn't have any rear brakes, maybe 10% but it stops good enough. Everything else works though. For a $2600 vehicle its a good one. Scotty Kilmer persuaded me to buy a Toyota ,so i did. He was right about them. I hope to get to the 300,000 mile mark with this one.
Well, I would STRONGLY advise you to replace the rear brakes! With the XLE, you should have traction control and 4-wheel discs. If you have any kind of emergency braking and/or traction loss, you may find something bad and unexpected happens. But, yes, I have a similar experience with mine. I've put roughly $1000 per year into the van for the past 3 or 4 years, but, before that, it was on the order of $200 or less per year. I have to address the rear end ($1500) soon and will probably need a whole new exhaust ($1500) in the not-too-distant future. After that, I expect the van to return back to a $200/year cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Hello again. I just thought of something: Are there any special tools needed for this job that a mechanic wouldn't likely have. My mechanic said he had to buy a special tool once to do a t belt on a ford. Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Well, I would STRONGLY advise you to replace the rear brakes! With the XLE, you should have traction control and 4-wheel discs. If you have any kind of emergency braking and/or traction loss, you may find something bad and unexpected happens. But, yes, I have a similar experience with mine. I've put roughly $1000 per year into the van for the past 3 or 4 years, but, before that, it was on the order of $200 or less per year. I have to address the rear end ($1500) soon and will probably need a whole new exhaust ($1500) in the not-too-distant future. After that, I expect the van to return back to a $200/year cost.
At how many miles did you start getting into the 1k/year repair costs? Is that parts and labor? Thanks!
 

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Are there any special tools needed for this job
I agree with Roader. Now, if you area a seasoned technician by trade you will most likely have the necessary tools. However for me , a shady tree enthusiast I purchased three tools that specifically helped me. A heavy duty weighty 22mm socket by Lisle helped me in removing and tightening the crank bolt with a measly Sears electric impact. A chain wrench to wrap around the camshafts helped me in holding it during the process and a seal installer for the cam seals.These are the three tools which are now in my tool box for the next TB change. BTW I see videos where users wrap the cam sprockets with the the chain directly on it. I would imagine that these are tough cams but to preclude any scapes or damage I cut and use a portion of the old belt , wrap it around the cam sprocket , tape it then use then chain wrench . look how beefy
Hand tool Metalworking hand tool Tool Camera accessory Camera lens
that socket is.
Automotive tire Gas Auto part Office ruler Font
 

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At how many miles did you start getting into the 1k/year repair costs? Is that parts and labor? Thanks!
It was a mix of parts (for stuff I did) and parts (typically supplied by me) and labor for stuff I had the mechanic do. My '06 has around 140k miles on it right now. It was probably 5 years ago (110k miles) when I got a cat efficiency light and the mechanic (who never steered me wrong until this point) insisted the front manifold/cat needed to be replaced (for $950) and when I asked if he could change the A/F sensor at the same time, since he was already doing stuff, he said it would be another $500 (30% markup on the Toyota part price plus an hour of labor). At that point, I decided I wouldn't ever let them touch the van again. That pushed me into trying to preemptively figure out what needed to be done, so I could do it as I had the time in the nice weather. As such, a lot of stuff which had never been done before (front suspension, O2 sensors, timing belt/water pump, etc.). My every-two-years safety and emissions inspection has identified stuff which needed to be done. Front flex pipe wore out for my 2017 inspection and then rusted through again by my inspection I had done last month along with a couple other rusty exhaust issues, which I had them deal with. Mostly, the stuff that's costing money are, depending on your perspective, lucky that they lasted this long or unlucky that they all failed around the same time. I mean, I still have all original wheel bearings, rear shocks, radiator and hoses, and a bunch of other stuff. Some people have them start failing just after the 100k mark. Others have them last until 250k. With me putting on so few miles, though, time (and beach salt and winter road salt) is the primary killer for me.
 
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