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2001 Toyota Corolla LE timing belt/chain?
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April 9, 2007, 10:02 PM
I wanted to do some work on my in-laws 2001 Toyota Corolla but cant locate their owner service guide. Can someone let me know whether a 2001 Toyota Corolla LE, 4 speed automatic have a timing belt or chain and what the recommended service interval is for that part.

Thanks much!


April 10, 2007, 4:24 AM#1
It uses a chain - under normal operating conditions, does not need servicing - ie. should last the life of the engine. Because it is a chain make sure that the car follows a regular oil change interval with the appropriate viscosity of oil. Chains tend to be a bit tougher on the engine oil.

July 16, 2009, 6:17 AM#2
I am looking to buy a used 2001 Corolla from and individual and they say that their Toyota Dealership recommends that they have the serpentine timing belt chain replaced. Are they talking about the 2 different belts or just the serpentine. I think the chians are suppose to last the life of the car. Is this a red flag for buying it?

July 16, 2009, 3:07 PM#3
Probably not a red flag on the car - more likely a red flag on the dealership for not knowning what there are selling, servicing. The 1998+ North American market Corollas all use a timing chain instead of a timing belt. If the engine code is 1ZZ-FE (will be on a tag on the cylinder head, side closest to the serpentine belt) - it uses a timing chain.

Correct, normally the timing chain will last the life of the engine. The lifepan on the timing chain all depends on previous maintenance on the car, how it was driven, and a little bit of luck. Timing chains on the 1ZZ-FE engines have been seen running as short as 40K miles (owner ran it low on oil too often, stretched the chain out) to over 300K miles and still counting.

The serpentine belt on the other hand, should be changed on a regular basis for piece of mind, but even they can last well over 60K miles. For my driving conditions on my 2002 Corolla - I've run my serpentine belt over 90K miles before it started showing too many large cracks, wear on the belt.

If in doubt - ask for a Carfax report and have the car inspected at an independant garage (one that specilizes in Toyota or are very familiar with this family of engines/drivetrains) or trusted Toyota dealership.


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