Toyotas, like all cars with internal combustion engines, use a timing belt or chain.
But which one does your Toyota use?
What are the differences?
We’ll go over all you need to know about the timing belt and chain in this article.
We’ll go over what your Toyota vehicle’s engine features and how to care for it to avoid bad timing belt and chain replacement.
Which Toyota engines are equipped with timing chains?
Timing belts are used in the V8 versions from 1998 to 2007.
Timing chains are used in the V8 vehicles from 2008 to 2011 and 2013 to 2020.
Sequoia: 4.7L V8 Sequoia (2001–2009) Timing belts are used.
Timing chains are used in the 2010 – 2012 4.6L V8 and the 2008 – 2020 5.7L V8 vehicles.
What Is The Purpose Of The Toyota Timing Belt Or Chain?
The Toyota timing belt or chain functions in the same way that any other car’s timing belt or chain does.
The timing belt/chain is a belt/chain kit that synchronizes the timing for the engine’s moving parts, as the name implies.
Between the crankshaft and the camshaft, to be precise.
If you’re not familiar with automobiles, here’s a quick rundown of how the timing belt or chain works:
The crankshaft is a series of cranks that move up and down in response to the piston movement in the engine.
The camshaft, on the other hand, is a spinning mechanism with metal lobes that controls the valves of the engine.
Furthermore, the engine has two types of valves: intake valves for allowing fuel and air into the engine, and exhaust valves for allowing exhaust gases to exit the engine.
The camshaft is connected to the crankshaft by a timing belt/chain, which ensures that the camshaft opens or closes the correct valves at the precise moment.
The camshaft, for example, will open the exhaust valve when the piston in cylinder one is on the exhaust stroke, allowing exhaust gases to escape.
The camshaft then closes the exhaust valve and opens the intake valve when the engine begins the intake stroke.
Because of the timing belt/chain, the engine knows when to do this.
What Happens If The Timing Belt Or Chain Doesn’t Work Properly?
As you can expect, if your timing belt or chain breaks, your engine’s components will be out of sync, and your engine will most likely not start at all.
It may also cause Toyota engine damage, which is especially true in cars with interference engines.
An interference engine is one in which the piston travels all the way to the point where the valves could extend.
It’s termed an interference engine opposite to non interference engine since they’re basically interfering with each other.
This is why it is critical for the timing belt or chain to run smoothly in order for the pistons and valves to avoid loose timing chain and colliding.
The two components are likely to come into contact if the timing chain/rubber belt is off or breaks, damaging the valves in the process.
As a result, you’ll need to repair the valves, as well as maybe other engine components.
A non-interference engine, on the other hand, is the polar opposite, with the pistons not traveling to an area where the valves might expand.
Why do interference engines exist if this sounds so much better?
Because interference engines allow engine builders to optimize the compression ratio of the engine, they are popular.
Because the engine has a higher thermal efficiency and can extract more power from the fuel and air mixture, a higher compression ratio is preferred.
Are There Timing Belt Or Chain On All Toyota Vehicles?
No, they’re only found in Toyotas with internal combustion engines.
As a result, there is no timing belt or chain in a Toyota with an electric motor, such as the Mirai.
In fact, electric vehicles require extremely less regular maintenance in general.
This is due to the fact that they have fewer moving components, which means there are less things that can go wrong.
Toyota equipped with a timing belt/timing chain
That’s how the timing chain and belt function.
Which one, though, does your Toyota use?
Here’s a basic rundown of what Toyota automobiles employ in their engines:
If you have a Toyota 4Runner from 1990 to 2000, the timing chain was used if the engine was a 4-cylinder, but the timing belt was used if the engine was a V6.
The four-cylinder engine in all Toyota 86 vehicles from 2013 through 2020 is equipped with timing chains.
Timing belts were utilized until 2004 on Toyota Avalons, after which they moved to timing chains.
Timing belts were used on all Toyota Camrys manufactured between 1990 and 2001.
The four cylinders converted to timing chains between 2002 and 2006, but the six cylinders remained on a timing belt.
Then, starting in 2007, they went back to using timing chains.
The Corolla made the changeover to timing chains a little earlier than previous models.
The Toyota Corolla timing belts was in use from 1990 to 1997.
Timing chains were used in all Toyota Corolla vehicles after 1998, regardless of engine type. A timing belt was employed in a Toyota Corolla IM, however.
The four-cylinder Highlander engine utilized a timing chain from 2001 to 2007, whereas the V6 used a timing belt.
Beginning with the 2008 model year, all of these vehicles will be equipped with a timing chain.
The hybrid version was nearly identical, with the exception that hybrids switched to chains in 2011.
Timing chains are used in all Toyota Prius model.
The RAV4 used a timing belt from 1996 to 2000 before switching to a timing chain.
The timing chain for the V6 didn’t arrive until 2006.
Because the RAV4 EV is an electric vehicle, it does not require either.
The V8 Toyota Sequoia used a belt from 2001 to 2009.
After that, it transferred to the chain.
From 1988 to 2006, the V6 Toyota Sienna used a timing belt.
Following that, it moved on to the timing chain.
Since 1995, the Toyota Tacoma’s four-cylinder variant has employed a timing chain.
Until 2004, the V6 used a timing belt, after which it switched to a chain.
With belts and chains, the Toyota Tundra has been all over the place. In the early 2000s, the V6 and V8 used belts, but by the middle of the decade, they had switched to chains.
Since 2007, the Toyota Yaris has employed a timing chain.
Cost of a Toyota Timing Belt Replacement
While a timing belt may appear to be a simple piece of technology, the expense of changing one is typically far more than most drivers think, especially if they’ve never had the problem before.
Timing belt replacement for timing gears might cost anything from $500 to $2,000.
The cost of replacing a timing belt in a Toyota Camry is typically between $400 and $900.
A Toyota Tundra, for example with bad timing chain, may set you back more than $1,100.
Even if you buy the replacement belt yourself, the labor expense alone could cost you at least $600 to $800.
Because so many recent Toyotas use metal timing chain rather than timing belt breaks, you won’t have to worry about difficulties with newer models.
That isn’t to suggest that a timing chain can’t have issues; nevertheless, they are significantly less common than timing belt problems.
If you’re not sure whether your car has a timing belt or a timing chain, see the list we supplied above.
This can aid in the diagnosis of any difficulties you’re having with your car, as misfires or rough idling are less likely to be caused by a faulty timing chain than by a faulty timing belt.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What year did Toyota switch to timing chains?
From models introduced in 2010 and after, the timing belt was replaced by a timing chain on most Toyota models.
Timing chains are more durable than timing belts.
Does Toyota use timing chains or belts?
Your Toyota’s timing belts
The timing belt in your Toyota is critical to the smooth operation of your vehicle.
It connects the crankshaft to the two camshafts, allowing the valves to open at the appropriate times and allowing air into the engine.
Which cars have timing chains instead of belts?
What vehicles use timing chains rather than belts?
The majority of BMWs.
The majority of Mercedes.
They’re all Cadillacs.
The Alfa Romeo 159
Duster, Sandero, and Sandero Stepway
Mazda is equipped with a Skyactiv-G engine.
John Valdez - Passionate Car Enthusiast and Accomplished Writer
Meet John Valdez, a dedicated car lover and seasoned writer whose passion for automobiles is as vibrant as his words are eloquent. With a keen eye for detail and a heart that beats to the rhythm of engines, John brings a unique blend of expertise and enthusiasm to the world of automotive journalism.