Timing Belt Replacement Video Tutorial

Changing a timing belt can seem intimidating, but it's a job you can tackle. If you're unsure where to start, watch this video and let The Car Care Nut show you how to change a timing belt like a pro.

In this video, The Car Care Nut shows how to replace a timing bent on a Toyota 1MZ-FE 3.0-liter V6 engine. But regardless of the type of engine in your Toyota, these steps apply and are basically the same.

How Often Should I Change My Timing Belt?

Toyota timing belt replacement

Depending on the engine or the model of your Toyota, the timing belt should be replaced between 60 and 100k miles. In addition to the timing belt itself, it's a good idea to replace any other wear and tear items at the same time, like the following:

  • Belt tensioners and idlers
  • Waterpump and waterpump gasket
  • Timing cover gasket
  • Serpentine belt

In some cases, these parts are sold in a timing belt kit. But if you have questions about what parts you need, you can always contact us.

What Tools Do I Need To Change A Timing Belt?

At a minimum, changing a timing belt requires the following tools:

  • Socket set
  • Screwdrivers
  • Drip pan
  • Shop towels
  • Gloves

Additionally, these tools will help make the job easier:

  • Torque wrench
  • Breaker bar
  • Timing belt puller

 Finally, it's a good idea to have a shop manual for your car. This manual will include steps and tips that will help you replace the timing belt on your particular Toyota.

How Do I Change A Timing Belt?

First, you'll want to park on a flat spot in a driveway or garage. You won't need to lift your car off the ground, but it will make some steps easier. Then open your hood and perform the following steps in order:

Timing Cover Removal

  1. Disconnect the motor mount next to the timing belt cover. Typically the motor mount is held in place by 14 mm bolts.
  2. Remove the drive belt or serpentine belt. On most cars this can be done by loosening the bracket for the alternator.
  3. If your vehicle has a separate power steering belt, you'll want to remove it by loosening the power steering pump.
  4. Remove any other wires or hoses interfering with your access to the timing belt cover.
  5. Then remove the timing belt cover.

Timing Belt Removal

Once you have removed the timing belt cover, the next step is to set your engine to the top dead center. Do this before removing the timing belt. This can be done by rotating the crankshaft bolt until the markings on the crankshaft pulley line up with the markings on the block. If it is difficult to see the markings, clean them or use paint to mark them so you can see them better. When the engine is at TDC, you will be able to rotate each camshaft slightly, which makes belt installation easier. Then perform the following steps:

  1. Remove the timing belt tensioner and idler.
  2. Remove the timing belt.

Water Pump Removal

Replacing the water pump is not required but is strongly recommended. To remove it, follow these steps:

  1. On some vehicles, you'll need to remove the tensioner pulley to access the water pump.
  2. Place your catch pan or drain pan under the water pump. When you remove the water pump, it will also drain the coolant out of the engine block.
  3. Remove the bolts holding the water pump and remove the pump.

Replacing The Timing Belt

  1. Install the new water pump.
  2. Reinstall the crankshaft pulley.
  3. Install the timing belt, ensuring the front of the belt is facing away from the engine. There are arrows marked on the belt to guide you. Then line up the markings on the belt with the markings on the camshaft pulleys and crankshaft pulley. Use a small clip to hold the belt in place on the camshaft pulleys as you install it. It is very important that the markings on the belt line up with the marks on the camshaft and crank pulleys.
  4. Install the timing belt tensioner and idler.
  5. Double-check your marks on the timing belt and the camshaft pulleys, ensuring everything is still aligned.
  6. Tighten any remaining loose bolts and double-check them to ensure they are tightened correctly.

Once you have completed the above steps, re-install the timing belt cover, followed by the power steering belt, the serpentine belt, and the motor mount.

Olathe Toyota Parts Center Is Your Source For OEM Parts

If you want to replace the spark plugs on your Toyota car or truck, we have the parts you need with up-front wholesale pricing. We also offer helpful resources like a free Toyota VIN decoder, diagnostic info for common Toyota trouble codes, and even a guide to popular grille swaps and engine swaps just for Toyota and Scion owners.