Camry Timing Belt - Replace Now?

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

My husband drives a 1992 Toyota Camry with 90,000 miles on it. The timing belt has never been changed. I asked him about it and he said that he never has heard of getting this replaced preventively as it is expensive. Should I quit worrying or make an appointment? Will he get any indication that it is going bad? Do they sometimes last for 100,000 miles? My teenage daughters sometimes drive this car. What happens when it breaks?
Pat McM.

Depending on the engine design, what may happen when the timing belt breaks is that the valves stay in the last position at the moment of breakage. But, the pistons keep moving. What will happen is when the piston comes up, there is a valve in the way, and whamo... smooshed valve maybe more than one wrecked piston and possibly a cracked block or head. In most cases, the cost of repair after the belt goes is more than before. And, there is no indication when it will go. Check your owner's manual, but most belts have an expected lifetime of 60,000 miles.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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