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Hi! I own a 1999 Toyota Camry sedan. It has 88,000 miles on it. As I understand it is recommended that the timing belt be replaced at 90,000, the dealer said that to "save money" I should have the water pump replaced at the same time. Could I wait until perhaps, 100,000 miles to replace the timing belt? Would it matter? Thanks!

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jenny Trostel, Partner at Anderson of Hunt Valley I would have the work done now. If the timing belt breaks, it can do extensive damage to the engine. The reason that the dealer is recommending that the water pump be done at the same time is that it will save you additional cost of labor to have the work done in the future. If you do both at the same time, it will save on labor cost but you will pay for the parts. If you are planning to keep the car for a while then do the preventative maintenance to keep the car is excellent running condition. Good Luck!

Patty Streeter,  at Trudy, If the water pump is not leaking or causing a problem there is no "need" to replace it. However if it begins to leak prior to the next timing belt replacement interval the labor to replace the water pump will be same as it is now when it is readily accessible during the timing belt replacement. Hence you double your labor cost of the repair. The manufacturer recommends the timing belt replacement at certian intervals because they know the average life of the belt. if you wait until 100,000 miles to replace it you run the risk of the timing belt breaking and leaving you stranded at any time. P.S. It is also cheaper to replace your engines outer or accessory drive belts at the same time you replace the timing belt as this also saves labor expenses down the road.

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