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Toyota Repair/strange noise in 97 Rav4


QUESTION: Continuing with the same issue. I pulled it apart last night before I saw your reply. The belt was noticeably lose. I loosened the bolt for the #1 idler (I have the Toyota manual) but this didn't seem to take the slack out. The spring seems fine, probably new as well. Could the belt have stretched? Unlikely, I'd think. When I assembled the motor initially the water pump impeller (recall both pumps are new, Toyota brand, etc) seem to make contact with the inside of the housing. I took it back apart and re-installed and this seem to fix the problem.

As you suggested maybe the belt just got loose. I am assuming because you did not recommend anything more than a re-tighten that this happens occasionally with no other factors at play. What I'd like to avoid it another repeat. I'll opt now to get a new belt. The idlers are both smooth (no surprise). Both pumps rotate smooth and free - no drag or noise out of either one of them. I like working on this car but I've had enough of the timing belt replacement. Thanks Ted. This is a huge help.

ANSWER: You're welcome and best of luck

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Sorry Ted. Above I rambled and implied a question/concern but didn't really ask one.

My intended question is around the belt coming loose. It was loose. And when I assembled it per the Toyota Shop manual procedure, it was not.

How common is it that belt installed with all new parts would loosen up? Is there anything I need to look for or be worried about that caused this to happen? I've got it opened up and now is the time to check/fix other stuff so I don't need to repeat.

Again, thanks for the service you provide. I try to donate a bit to the cause. I know it isn't much but hopefully it helps.

It's quite possible that the belt was not tightened enough when it was installed, as you know these do not have automatic tensioners so once the tension is set and the pulley locked, that's it. It is also not uncommon for the belt to loosen up a little after wearing in and may be simply re adjusted. Be sure to adjust the new belt very tight, even if you have to push against the tensioner spring a little, the springs get weaker over time and maybe a new spring will help.  

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Ted Ritter


I have more than 28 years experience as toyota technician, I will be able to answer most questions related to the Toyota product line up to the present year models,I am located in the US but welcome questions from other regions of the world. When asking a question please provide specific information: year,model, engine,transmission information. Provide as much information as possible including a brief repair history if possible. I have been a volunteer here for more ten years an have answered over 16,000 questions helping Toyota owners with their problems and save thousands of dollars without any compensation, some of my answers are published on many other websites including google and various automotive forums. DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, IF YOU HAVE RECIEVED HELPFUL INFORMATION PLEASE MAKE A DONATION. AS OF TODAY (JULY 22, 2014) ALL REQUESTED GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS, PHOTOS, WILL REQUIRE THE MINUMUM DONATION UP FRONT.


Toyota technician since 1979,expert in electrical systems,OBD systems,engine repair, driveability problems,EFI systems,ASE certified,Toyota master technician.
Certified Hybrid Vehicle technician.

Toyota master technician, ASE certified in eight catagories, Hybrid vehicle certified. Toyota technical training: Engine Automatic transmission Manual transmission Drivetrain Electrical systems Brakes and chassis Air conditioning Engine performance and diagnostics Hybrid systems

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