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Does the "timing belt" on a 2002 Prius also serve the water pump?

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by strasma, Jan 18, 2010.

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  1. strasma

    strasma Junior Member

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2002 Prius
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    Arlington (IL) Toyota just did the 90K miles service on our 2002 Prius at 88.5K miles (early due to a check engine light that turned out to be for the issue for which we got an extended warranty letter from Toyota last summer.) In the process, they noticed and replaced a leaking water pump and its v-ribbed belt (at my expense.) Their summary of the 90K work done also had this "note: timing belt recommended every 90,000 miles." I have a question in to them as to whether that note means the timing belt was already replaced or that they now want to replace it as additional work.

    From elsewhere on this forum, it appears at least some newer models of the Prius have a timing chain rather than a timing belt, so what if anything does the above warning mean, and if it does mean anything, did replacing the water pump's v-ribbed belt resolve the potential issue?

    As for the warranty work, they cleaned the throttle plate, and said if the check engine light returns for the same issue, they would next replace the gas tank. Seems to have worked. The car was having trouble staying running beyond about 10 seconds when first started while very cold (below freezing), but no longer needs an extra start or two since their work.
  2. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    I don't think you have a timing belt, the Prius engine has chain driven camshafts.
  3. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

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    Just a second confirmation here - The Prius (all models) use a timing chain and does not need to be changed.
  4. mlibanio

    mlibanio Member

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    Yeah, I had a mechanic guy tell me that one time. I went in for a simple oil change, and he advised me on the condition of my timing belt as being poor. I was impressed at his ability to check my "timing belt" in so short a time. When I informed him that I refused, he said well pal, don't look at me when it snaps. I just replied, well if my "timing chain" were to snap, trust me "pal", there is going to be a lot more damage than a few valves and pistons slapping together.

    Don't worry about it. As for the accessory drive belt, my car has 180,000 on her, and its still going great. If it looks worn then replace the belt, otherwise leave it be.
  5. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    After 9 years and 180K miles (or do you mean 180K km?), I would say that your serpentine drive belt is past-due to be replaced. If you remove it and take a look at the inside, I am sure you will find lots of cracking in the rubber. The outside surface that you can see is probably really shiny.

    A new one only costs $20 or so. Why wait for it to fall off, which means that the engine water pump will stop spinning and the engine will overheat?
  6. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

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    I agree. I just replaced mine this weekend. Car has 157,000 miles on it. The belt didn't look too bad on the outside other than it was "glazed" according to my mechanic friend. But when I took the belt off and looked at the inside of it it was falling apart. I'm glad I replaced it and it wasn't that hard or expensive.
  7. strasma

    strasma Junior Member

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    Thanks everyone. When the dealer's service writer called back today, he confirmed that text about the timing belt is just boilerplate from their computer billing, and has nothing to do with the Prius.
  8. mlibanio

    mlibanio Member

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    Sorry I should clarify, when this story happened, it was about 120,000 kms on it. I have replaced it a long time ago, probably around 150,000kms.
  9. jhknight

    jhknight Junior Member

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    Thanks, was wondering if my 2002 Prius had a timing belt since there is nothing about it in the owners' service manual. My 90,000 mi service involved changing spark plugs.
  10. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The Prius engine has a steel timing chain, not a rubber timing belt.
  11. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

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    Funny story. I think if that happened to me, I'd go ahead and tell him to change it out, then bring me the old one for me to inspect. Then he'd be faced with two choices:
    1) Looking like an idiot when he came back and said he was mistaken and it doesn't have a timing belt.
    2) Trying to risk following through with the lie by bringing me some old timing belt, and hope I didn't know the difference.
  12. zebelkhan

    zebelkhan Member in good standing

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    Or he/she would bring you a chain and say, sorry, it was a chain not a belt. We replaced it as you asked and here is your bill for two grand....:)
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