Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 6, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Timing belt versus the timing chain

Niagara Gazette — A few questions and answers this week.

MONICA FROM PEORIA: I own a 2005 Toyota Camry 2.4L. Is there a magic 75,000-mile event that requires the expensive replacement of timing belts and chains or the engine will self-destruct? I hear stories to this effect, and my Toyota dealer hedged the question. Help!

TOM: Your car has a timing chain, therefore there’s no timing belt to worry about. The chain should last the life of the engine. Earlier Camry’s (’01 and ‘02) with the 2.2 liter engine had a timing belt. However, in 2002 Toyota did away with the 2.2 and started using a 2.4 liter engine that uses a timing chain, which does not require regular change intervals, as does the engine with the timing belt. Tell whoever is scaring you with these old wife’s tales that he/she knows not of what they speak and to stifle themselves!

•••

ANGELITA FROM LUBBOCK, TEXAS: I own a 2009 Cadillac DHS and in between oil changes I have to add 2-3 quarts of oil because of the size of my engine. I purchased a case of 30W motor oil on sale at a local department store. When I got home I noticed that the oil had an expired expiration date. Is the oil still good?  I kept my receipt; I don’t want to harm the engine just to save $15.

TOM: I checked my ALLDATA database and the manufacturer states that 5W30 synthetic motor oil is required for that car, so return the case of cheap straight 30-weight oil. If you use straight 30-weight you are asking for engine trouble. However, the thing that concerns me most is the fact that you have to add 2-3 quarts of oil between changes. This is too much oil consumption. Have your car evaluated and find out what’s going on. Best to you.

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