The service manual that came with my vehicle recommends replacing the timing belt at 90,000 miles. It has a note at the bottom of the page though that this is for the 2uz-fe engine only. Apparently that's the 4.7 L, mine is the 5.7 L. I'm not a car guy so didn't really understand the difference between the timing belt and chain and such. Anyway I went to my mechanic and showed him the service manual and asked him how much it would cost to do all the required maintenance. He looked at it carefully and even asked me what type of engine mine was (whether or not it was the 4.7 L, etc). He then said the timing belt was really hard to replace labor wise and that was like 10 hours. He said if the manual said it should be replaced then i definitely should or else the engine could get damaged. I think he said all this in good faith. However, then he called to get a quote on the parts and I heard something mentioned about a chain.
So ... then he quotes me $850 to do the job. I'm reading online and finding out that apparently a chain doesn't need to be replaced when the belt does as the chains are designed to last longer.

So what I'm hearing is that this isn't necessary, is that right? Should I feel like he tried to rip me off? Does the chain ever need to be replaced - any idea when?


  • 4
    So, the guy tells you that you shouldn't need something, but goes the extra mile to quote it to you in case you want him to do it anyways and you start suggesting he's trying to rip you off??? That's called good customer service! He gave you his professional opinion, but also gave you the info you needed should you choose to go ahead and replace anyways (which some people do). That right there is a mechanic you want to keep! Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 15:09
  • No, he didn't tell me that I didn't need it. He called to get a quote, found out it was a chain not a belt, then quoted me to do a job anyway. That seems not so good to me.
    – AZDude
    Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 21:17
  • is the timing chain is covered with gear or motor oil ?
    – user10792
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 23:29
  • Not all people are the same, maybe he wanted to cover his bases in case you decided to inquire how much a chain replacement would entail. If you believe he's wronged you somehow why didn't you bring it up with him?
    – Ben
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 21:16
  • I get what your saying AZDdude, if he, the mechanic, found out it had a chain, he should of said that it doesn't need replacing, plain and simple. On any repairs, you need to do the research before getting anything done. He figured if you don't know better that's a plus for him. I'm not saying he is a crook, just could of gave you more info.
    – Frank Biz
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 19:31

6 Answers 6


The 5.7L engine (3UR-FE) does have a timing chain, while the 4.7L engine (2UZ-FE) uses a belt.

Generally, timing chains are designed to be maintenance free. If your service manual does not recommend a replacement interval, you don't need to plan on replacing the timing chain.


No, from the sound of it you have a knowledgable and trustworthy mechanic, and you should keep him around. Even that price seems low.

  • But my car has a chain and that doesn't actually need to be replaced from what I'm hearing.
    – AZDude
    Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 19:54
  • 1
    According to your question.. you went to your mechanic to ask him how much it would cost, and he gave you a quote. If you're certain yours has the chain, just opt not to have it replaced. Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 20:19
  • I might not have made it clear but what happened was I asked for his advice and showed him the service manual. The service manual says only models with a belt need replacing. When he called to enquire about the parts, he learned that it was a chain system but still quoted me on doing the job. From my understanding he should have said that it wasn't necessary.
    – AZDude
    Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 21:01

I've replaced my timing belt, which is the serpentine belt, at 80k miles. That's all you need to do, the timing chain is designed to last the life of your vehicle as long as you keep up with your routine tune up. The only time I've ever come across a tundra 5.7 that needed a new chain, was when someone neglected oil changes for 2yrs, and drove it until the oil caked up and sludge had built up so bad, which snapped the cam chain, but even then the timing chain was still in tact. Considering this is a rare cases of neglect, you shouldn't have to worry about your timing chain if you keep up with routine maintenance.


The reason a timing belt needs to be replaced is because as the rubber ages it starts to become brittle dry and crack and if it fails your valves will no longer be intime with your crank shaft causing your pistons to crash into the valves and destroy both the valves and possibly pistons and possibly much much more. Essentially it would be a bad day for your engine and your wallet.

timing chains do not have this issue as they are generally made out of a strong stainless steel or similar material which will last a very long time. It should last longer than you keep the vehicle in most cases. I wouldn't opt to replace the timing chain if that is what he had quoted you for.


If you want expert, knowledgeable service for a specific vehicle it's best to go to the dealership for service. They would known immediately which vehicles have belts and which use chains. The have access to the factory tools and documentation to get jobs done efficiently.

I get it that not all dealerships are not created equal, but, knowledge of specific vehicles from a given manufacturer is usually best found at a factory service facility. Asking, what is essentially, "some dude" is not a reliable recipe for success. IMO!

I would also assert that all the information necessary to determine the answer to your original question is available on the internet. Relying on a vendor to keep your best interests in mind is a bit of a stretch on a good day.


Nope...No need to change a timing Chain (5.7L) unless it fails...However, if it did (Very rare, never seen it happen without serious owner neglect of routine maintenance) you can expect a CATASTROPHIC failure has occurred that will be WAAY more in depth a repair than just the timing system....Valve train, Cracked pistons...etc.

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