Does My Toyota Have A Timing Belt or A Timing Chain?

Wondering whether your Toyota has a timing belt or a timing chain? You came to the right place. We’ll cover each part and then help you figure out which one you have in your car.

The Differences Between a Timing Belt and a Timing Chain

Even though both parts serve the same purpose (which is to help time the engine correctly), they have a few differences.

Belt chain

The most obvious difference is the fact that one is a metal chain, and the other is a rubber belt. The chain has been around longer than the belt. The rubber belt came into existence in the mid-1960s, but the chain belt still stuck around because of its efficient design. Today, some cars have a timing belt, while others have a timing chain.

Here are some more main differences between the two parts:

  • The timing chain is louder than the timing belt.
  • The timing belt is located outside of the engine, and the timing chain is located on the inside, where it’s lubricated by the engine oil.
  • The timing chain has tensioners that are controlled by the engine oil pressure. The timing belt tensioners aren’t controlled by anything.

How Often Each Part Needs to be Replaced

Timing belts are made of rubber, so they’ll degrade over time. It’s normally replaced between 60K and 120K miles. Timing chains last much longer, often times the life of the vehicle.

Which Part Does Your Toyota Have?

Since timing belts generally need to be replaced sooner than timing chains, it’s a good idea to be aware of which one you have. This way, you can practice preventative maintenance if you have a timing belt.

There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to whether a vehicle has a timing belt or chain. So the best plan is to check your owner's manual. The information should be in the maintenance and care section.

Don’t worry if you can’t find your owner’s manual. We have a whole collection of Toyota owner’s manuals online for Toyota vehicles dating back to 2000.

Still not sure whether your Toyota has a timing belt or a timing chain? We’ll be happy to help you out if you contact us!

Written by Jason Lancaster