some questions about a 1999 avalon....

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My fiancee drives a 1999 avalon her parents gave her after her CR-V was totalled. The car has about 170,000 miles on it. Her dad has owned it since new. It got regular 3k OCIs and runs well. I know it had new tie rods recently and we just put new tires and aligned it last night. I was wondering what the maintenance for this car would be like? The antifreeze is red, and manual calls for ethylene glycol only. Should this last 5 years between flushes? What about transmission maintenance? Is this v6 sludge prone? I think it has a timing belt, but not sure, when would it need to be changed if it does have one? I'm going to look through all of her receipts again tonight to see if i missed anything that has been worked on already, but any kind of things to watch out for would be appreciated. We are trying to figure out if it would be more financially feasible for us to keep this car until it dies or if we should trade it in for around $5,500 and get a nice used/program car with 30k or less miles on it that would also get at least 35mpg.
 
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I thought this engine had a chain, but I could be mistaken. At 170K, the timing belt should've been changed at least once, although sometimes people get lucky.... I've never seen one last that long. Definitely look for service records that indicate mileage and date of the belt change, and if it hasn't been done, don't wait another day. Pay $200 - $300 now for the belt and water pump, or a few thousand later when the belt breaks while driving.
 
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The '99 Avalon has a timing belt. I'm not sure of the recommended service interval for it but if it hasn't ever been changed, I would do it now without delay. Without looking it up and knowing for sure, I would imagine Toyota recommends replacement at 100,000 miles or so but don't quote me on that.
 
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Just as an example, my Mom received a letter in the mail reminding her to get her timing belt changed at 85K on her Accord. They're not something to mess around with.
 
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quote:
I no longer buy cars that have belts.
Changing the belt is likely easier than changing a chain. A belt runs probably smoother, quietly and more efficiently than a chain. I prefer a timing belt on a non-interference engine over a timing chain on a non-interference engine. On an interference engine, I prefer a chain, even though a timing chain or chain tensioner can also fail. Of course, my car has a belt on an interfence engine, so I'm driving on borrowed time anyway! [Big Grin]
 

badtlc

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Thanks for all the replies. So nothing else to keep a close eye on except for the timing belt and water pump?
 
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Baltimore, MD
T-belt due at 90K, the water pumps dont often go bad, and can go till the second belt change if all is ok when inspected with the belt off. Coolant is due every 30K or 36 months. Stick with toyota red, its good stuff. Some will tell you this engine is a sludge monster. DON'T listen to them! I have desludged/rebuilt or replaced dozens of these engines, however, I also have seen the internals of many well kept ones that are squeeky clean! All you have to do is stick with toyota's recommended interval of every 5K miles and use a quality oil. So you should be golden if it was done every 3K.
 

badtlc

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Ok, the timing belt was changed at 92,000 miles along with the water pump, phew. So the only thing i can think of right now is possibly some new spark plugs. Thanks again for all the replies.
 
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