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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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    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.
    robert mencl likes this.
  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....:)
  13. primuspaul

    primuspaul Junior Member

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    Like the Toyota service guy who told me I needed to service the transmission to get all of the dirty fluid out of the torque converter.
  14. robert mencl

    robert mencl Member

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    Hey Strasma, I dunno, I think I'd put a timing belt in it at 90k anyways, just to be on the safe side. LOL!
    If you search 2002 Prius alternator on Ebay you will see 7 of these phantom parts listed for sale too!
    Today I swapped the serpentine flat belt on my 02, and everything related to it at 160k.-tensioner pulley, ac clutch, water pump. Bought all parts on Ebay for $100. from separate vendors, and all arrived in 3 days!
    With only 90k on your Gen 1 you are looking forward to a lot of economical miles. Robert 149_6184.JPG 149_6184.JPG
  15. kutcht1

    kutcht1 Junior Member

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    Why did you replace all of those parts? Was it just at that mileage or did some need replacing? I read earlier that most do not replace these parts until the water pump until it starts leaking, pulley starts making noise, belt has aged and has gotten cracked and so on. Just curious as I usually replace certain parts when they fail and others from age.
    TomK
  16. robert mencl

    robert mencl Member

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    Hi Kutcht, fair enough question...the car is at 160k miles, if I do it at home it's cheap But if even 1 of the belt-related parts goes on the road when I do my fall migration from Maine to Texas, it's a tow, hotel, and repair bill. So I changed everything serpentine-related all at once and saved the old belt for a spare in the trunk, now I expect new-car reliability from that area of the car.
    I had the serpentine tensioner pulley go bad on the road in the past on a Dodge pickup and on a Mercedes 300 SDL...on the Benz I was doing 65 on the highway, heard the bang, and actually watched the pulley rolling straight down the road ahead of my car!
    Wish I had a crystal ball to look ahead on repairs.
    I took less than 90 minutes on the lift to change these parts, shim the ac clutch, and change oil, hardest was the water pump which is a little tight to get at.
    Car runs quieter now, as both the tensioner pulley and the clutch bearing were a little noisy.
    I liked the prices on Ebay parts...$22.00 for a water pump, $8.00 for the belt.
    I am jealous of gen 2 owners who have no belts or pulleys!
    Have you tried listening to bearings, valves, etc. on your car by touching a stick or long screwdriver near the part, and touching the other end of the stick to your skull/jaw just forward of your ear? the sound translates amazingly well, like a stethoscope.
  17. kutcht1

    kutcht1 Junior Member

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    Great to know. I do have an automotive stethoscope for that reason and now I will see if I have any odd noises. I have only had my car for about 15,000 miles and have done just the basics (fluids all around) and have been trying to learn what else to do. This helps and to those ebay parts were they china parts of not? I have had good and bad luck with ebay parts as the price many times is not worth it. I may just go ahead and do the same except the AC clutch as my air does not work but all four window go down! Maybe it just needs a charge. Would just need to find the pressure sensor to jump the clutch and try and put some in.
    TomK
  18. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    G2 is the same as Classic except that the air conditioner compressor is electric, not belt-driven. Hence the serpentine drive belt needs to be periodically replaced while the engine coolant pump and idler pulley need to be examined from time to time.

    How to replace engine coolant pump and thermostat | PriusChat
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
    robert mencl likes this.
  19. robert mencl

    robert mencl Member

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    Hi Tom, When I buy outside of Toyota I just assume they are Chinese, and I know what you mean about trouble there...years ago I swapped front wheel bearings on my Omni with Chinese replacements and tho it ran quiet, it would not pass state inspection due to play in the wheels! I returned the hubs as defective and replaced with more expensive Timken parts and paid for another wheel alignment.
    Of the serpentine lot, I see the Dayco pulley was made in Korea, and Gates in China, continental belt made in Romania, water pump China. I'm gambling that they are more reliable than my old 160k. mile Japanese parts. I carry the old tensioner pulley for a spare, and cross my fingers on longevity of Chinese parts tho I do think their quality on bearing assemblies has improved in the last few years.
    I remember when we were kids we called anything made in Japan "japanese junk"-and it was. Today they make world-class stuff. I hope the Chinese improve manufacturing as the Japanese did, before they take over our country.
    On your AC, contributor Wisco has just gone through jumping the compressor to accept a charge and he would be a good source for info on that.
    Your Prius and mine are about neck and neck for mileage, I like the car a lot, just wish we could get the mpg of the Gen 2. Robert
  20. robert mencl

    robert mencl Member

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    Hi Patrick, I see you used all Toyota parts, saved a bundle on labor and you know you got it right!
    So the Gen2 still has a belt for the water pump, and that only...I think this car would be a good candidate for an aftermarket electric water pump, and get away from the belt totally (I had read on the net that they have no belt)....I used an electric water pump on my last plane, Long Ez with Mazda rotary engine. Pump was triggered by the EFI coolant sensor and worked great. R.
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