Take the 2-minute tour ×
Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for mechanics and DIY enthusiast owners of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I know very little about motor vehicle maintenance and repair, so please forgive me if this is a stupid question.

Recently my car started making a puttering sound ("puh-puh-puh..."). I took it to the Toyota dealer, and they said it sounds like it's coming from the timing belt, but I didn't ask them to fix it because I wanted to do more research on this problem. I have a 2005 Toyota Camry with 60,000 miles. The manual says to get the timing belt replaced at 90,000 miles.

Should I get the timing belt replaced, or should it be fine until around 90,000 miles?

share|improve this question
    
Most modern engines will be badly damaged if the timing belt fails. What did the Toyota dealer recommend? Replacing the belt? Replacing the belt tensioner(s)? –  William Cline May 1 '11 at 12:35
    
The person at the Toyota dealership just did a quick 5 minute assessment and didn't provide a recommendation. They didn't do a full investigation of the problem because I didn't schedule an appointment when I spoke to them, and they were fully booked for the day. I don't mind bringing it back though. –  Alec May 2 '11 at 5:49
    
Puttering and other rhythmic sounds are typically combustion related (plugs, exhaust leaks, etc.). Timing belts, belts, pulleys, and wheels typically squeal or make other more solid "tone". One way to narrow it down: Does the noise change with RPM or vehicle speed? Does it appear when in park/neutral and can you vary it by revving the engine then? –  Nick Nov 25 '12 at 1:35
add comment

2 Answers 2

Most modern car engines are "interference" engines, meaning the pistons and valves will collide if not kept in synchronization by the timing belt. I don't know whether your Camry has an interference engine; maybe someone who knows Toyotas can provide a better answer.

If closer inspection by the dealer or another mechanic indicates that the belt or its tensioner is failing, then yes, it should be replaced. That said, I'm not sure how definitively they'll be able to trace the noise.

share|improve this answer
    
AFAIK, all Toyota engines are non-interference, but I don't know every detail of every single model. There may well be some of them that are interference models. An engine model number (or even more specifics on the car) and we could look it up... –  Brian Knoblauch Jun 2 '11 at 18:04
add comment

Purely based on the description of the sound (and ignoring the tech's comments), it sounds like a bad gasket. Mostly likely exhaust manifold, but possibly intake manifold gasket (especially if it's the 1.8L model, which is prone to failures there).

share|improve this answer
    
+1, To the OP, does the sound get louder when you are accelerating? Mash the gas in neutral (or in a high gear on the road, if you can hear it), and if the puttering gets more pronounced it'd definitely by an exhaust leak. –  Nick Nov 25 '12 at 1:31
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.