A timing belt is operated by the camshaft, and it is a gear belt that opens and closes the cylinder head valves. It is part of your maintenance schedule. The timing belt in your Toyota Highlander should be changed around every 60,000 miles. Improperly maintained belts can become loose or stretched out of shape, which can cause engine damage.
You will need these tools to change the timing belt in your Highlander:
- ½ inch drive socket set
- ¼ inch drive socket set
- ¼ inch drive ratchet
- Metric wrench set
- ¼ inch drive air gun
- Wheel puller
In order to replace the timing belt, you will need to remove other parts on your engine. Here are the instructions for changing the timing belt in your Toyota Highlander.
How To Replace A Timing Belt
- Take off the accessory drive belts, the cooling fan, and the pulley. Take off the alternator and its bracket. Then you will remove the crankshaft pulley bolt and use the puller to remove the pulley. Take off the upper and lower covers to the timing belt. Loosely re-install the crankshaft pulley.
- You will need to turn the crankshaft clockwise until you see the timing marks on the camshaft pulleys are pointing straight up. The mark on the crankshaft sprocket should be lined up with a mark on the block. This should be straight up as if they were pointing at the 12 on a clock. Take the tensioner under the engine off. The bolts will be straight up. Take off the timing belt.
- Use a vise and carefully compress the auto-tensioner. The top hole of the rod should be aligned with the holes in the tensioner body. Compress it until they are lined up. Then insert a cotter pin into the rod and the tensioner body. This will keep it compressed.
- Start on the right side and install the timing belt counterclockwise going away from the tensioner, which is by the crankshaft sprocket. Move to the water pump, then around the right sprocket of the camshaft, thread it underneath the idler pulley, and over to the left side cam. Install the tensioner pulley. You need to torque the bolts using 20-foot pounds. You can now remove the cotter pin from the tensioner.
- You need to rotate the engine clockwise two times. Then recheck all of your timing marks. As long as the marks are lined up, you can install all the components you removed to get to the timing belt. When you have them all installed, torque the crankshaft pulley bolt. You need 155-foot pounds.
If for any reason the marks are not lined up, you will need to remove the timing belt and repeat the installation steps over again.
When you are ready to replace the timing belt in your Toyota Highlander, you need OEM part 13568-09080.