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Motormouth: An elusive owner's manual

By Bob Weber, Tribune News Service on

Published in Automotive News

A.T., Chicago

A: Caddy dealers have very sophisticated testing equipment and in the hands of a well-trained technician it can provide a ton of information. Stuff like short term and long term fuel trim. Yeah, it is rocket science. Systems can be observed in real time as well as report older data. Not every problem sets a trouble code, only those that have something to do with emissions. Of course, that covers a lot of ground. If you dealer doesn't have techs with up-to-date training, seek another dealer.

Q: My Toyota Camry Solara convertible has 72,316 miles on it and I'm concerned about when I should replace the timing belt. I've been told in the past that the belt probably won't last for much longer than 72,000 mile and if it breaks, it will cause severe (expensive) damage. What are your thoughts on this?

B.M., Wilmington, Mass.

A: The four-cylinder engines have timing chains and the V-6s have belts, so it depends on your engine. For belts, we suggest replacement sometime between 75,000 and 100,000 miles. It should be stated in your owner's manual, if you can find it.



Bob Weber is a writer and mechanic who became an ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician in 1976. He maintains this status by seeking certification every five years. Weber's work appears in professional trade magazines and other consumer publications. His writing also appears in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest.

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