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Q: 2006 Lexus V8. Should I spend $900 to replace timing belt at this low milage?

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Recently purchased a near perfect SC430 Lexus. Always heard that Lexus engines should last at least 100,000 miles before needing serious attention. Is the dealers service manager just trying to drum up business? Ten year old car only 39,000 miles. What will happen to engine if timing belt fails? Will it ruin engine? TAS

My car has 39000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there. As a former Lexus Master technici...

Hi there. As a former Lexus Master technician, there is an not only a mileage change interval for the timing belt, but also an age interval of 8 years. This is what is suggested in the original owner’s manual.

The age/time change interval is due to the fact that the rubber in the belt doesn’t last forever and can become brittle and crack. A timing belt failure in this engine would be catastrophic as this is an interference engine. This means that, if the belt breaks, then the pistons will strike the valves resulting in severe engine damage. The service manager there isn’t just trying to drum up business, he was within ethical rights to offer the timing belt service.

However, theses vehicles are also known to have water pump leaks due to age as well. It’s a hit or miss with the water pump, and the technician usually will not know until he has the front of the engine torn down to replace the timing belt. If you would like to have a second opinion on the car, a local expert from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the vehicle and advise you on any work that is needed.

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