Which Toyota Models Have Timing Chain? (Answered)

Which Toyota Models Have Timing Chain

The majority of the popular auto brands like Toyota have a timing chain, this is because of its durability and strength among other benefits. However, which Toyota Models Have Timing Chain?

A list of Toyota models with timing chains are:

  • 4Runner
  • Avalon
  • Camry
  • Camry Hybrid
  • Celica
  • Corolla
  • ECHO
  • Fj Cruiser
  • Highlander
  • Highlander Hybrid
  • Land Cruiser
  • MR2 Spyder Matrix
  • Matrix
  • Previa
  • Prius
  • RAV4
  • Sequoia
  • Sienna
  • Solara
  • T100
  • Tacoma
  • Truck
  • Tundra
  • Venza

What is a Timing Chain?

A timing chain is a heavy-duty metal that controls the valves and pistons by ensuring their operation is precise inside the engine’s cylinder during a spin cycle.

The timing chain controls the rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft. By precision, we mean the valve opens and closes at the right time to meet up with the position of the pistons.

In some cycles, you can have up to four strokes, with all four taking place in a cycle. In this case, you will have the power stroke, intake stroke, exhaust stroke, and compression stroke.

For a timing chain to work effectively, there is a need to keep it lubricated, an inadequately lubricated timing chain will cause the piston and valve to move out of turn or not move at all. If this happens, the engine will be affected and it may even suffer serious damage.

A timing chain and timing belt are said to perform the same functions in the engine but with slight differences. The timing chain is made of metal and is heat resistant unlike the timing belt made of rubber that can freeze at low temperatures.

The timing chain is also designed to last the life span of the engine all things being equal.

Which Toyota Models Have Timing Chains

Like some other brands of vehicles, Toyota also uses a timing chain in its engines, however not in all its models. Therefore, if you are considering getting a Toyota car but your preference is one with a timing chain instead of the timing belt, below are some listed Toyota models with timing chains:

  • 4Runner: The 1990-2000 and 2010 4-cylinder Toyota 4Runner are known to use a timing chain. From 2003-2012, the 4Runner also use timing chains for its v6 engines.
  • Avalon: Toyota Avalon manufactured from 2005 to 2012 with V6 engine Avalon also uses a timing chain.
  • Camry:  2002-2012 4-cylinder Toyota Camry uses a timing chain, then the 2007-2012 V6 engine Camry also uses a timing chain.
  • Camry Hybrid: In all years of production from 2007 to 2012 4-cylinder Camry Hybrid uses a timing chain.
  • Celica: The 2000-2005 4-cylinder Toyota Celica uses a timing chain.
  • Corolla: 1998-2012 4-cylinder Corolla uses a timing belt.
  • ECHO: The 2000-2005 4-cylinder ECHO also uses a timing chain.
  • Fj Cruiser: FJ Cruisers with a V6 engine manufactured between 2007 to 2012 uses a timing chain.
  • Highlander: 2001-2008, 2010-2012 4-cylinder Highlander uses a timing chain, then the Highlander with a V6 engine and produced between 2008 to 2012 uses a timing chain.
  • Highlander Hybrid: Highlander Hybrid manufactured with V6 engines uses a timing chain.
  • Land Cruiser: 1993 to 1997 L6 engine Land Cruiser uses a timing chain, Land Cruiser also manufactured between 2008 to 2012 with V8 engines uses a timing belt.
  • MR2 Spyder: MR2 Spyder manufactured between 2000-2005 uses a 4-cylinder engine and also a timing chain.
  • Matrix: The 2003-2012 matrix has a 4-cylinder engine with a timing chain.
  • Previa: Previa manufactured between 1991 to 1997 has a 4-cylinder engine and a timing chain.
  • Prius: The 2001-2012 Prius uses a timing chain with a 4-cylinder engine.
  • RAV4: 2001 to 2012, 2006 to 2012 RAV4 uses 4-cylinder and V6 engines respectively coupled with a timing chain.
  • Sequoia: 2010-2012, 2010-2012 use 4.6 V8 and 5.7 V8 respectively with a timing chain.
  • Sienna:  The 2011-2012 Sienna has a 4-cylinder engine with a timing chain, then the 2007-2012 Sienna also has a V6 engine with a timing chain.
  • Solara: 2002 to 2008 4-cylinder Solara uses a timing chain.
  • T100. T100 manufactured between 1993 and 1998 with a 4-cylinder engine also uses a timing chain.
  • Tacoma:  The 1995-2012 Tacoma model has a 4-cylinder engine and a timing chain, then the 2005-2012 model also uses a V6 engine and timing chain.
  • Truck: The 1990-1995 Truck model uses a timing chain with a 4-cylinder engine.
  • Tundra: Tundra manufactured between 2005-2012 with V6 engine have a timing chain and also those manufactured between 2010-2012,2007-2012 with 4.6V8 and 5.7 V8 engine respectively.
  • Venza.: All Venza manufactured between 2009-2012 have a timing chain.

How Do I Know If My Toyota Has Timing Chain?

Knowing whether your Toyota has a timing chain or timing belt is important, it helps you know when to replace it although the timing chain tends to last as long as a car’s engine.

The first place to check in trying to get this information is the owner’s manual, this manual has all information as it pertains to the car.

If you got the car pre-used and don’t have access to the owner’s manual, your car’s auto shop should have access to this information and will be in the best position to give answers.

You can also check online. Some sites may have information on various car models and brands.

Benefits of Timing Chain

Many people are of the opinion that the timing chain is much better than a timing belt, are they right to say so? Let’s take a look at some benefits of the timing chain

1. Highly Resistant to Temperature Change

A timing chain is made of metal, therefore, is able to resist different changes in temperature. It works effectively under low or high temperatures, unlike the timing belt that freezes under low temperatures.

2. It Lasts Long

A timing chain is designed to last as long as a car’s engine and be in use for a long period if it is properly maintained and lubricated. Lubricant is important for the proper functioning of the timing chain.

3. No Routine Maintenance is Required

Unlike the timing belt that needs to be changed once it gets worn out, you do not have to change the timing chain at intervals because of the strong metal it is made of.

4. It Doesn’t Slip

A timing chain hardly moves or shifts out of place once it is properly positioned and fixed, this has contributed to its ability to cope with a higher power.

The same cannot be said of the timing belt which can easily slip out of place if lubricants get in contact with it.

5. It Gives a Lot of Signs before Going Off

Metals make noise, therefore if the timing chain needs to be replaced or fixed there will be signs and symptoms like weird noises coming from the engine.


Before you buy that model of Toyota, be sure to make your findings on whether it uses a timing belt or chain. This knowledge will help you in scheduling regular maintenance and also help you know when it needs to be changed or running out of lubricants.