Belt Issues

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Dec 10, 2007
lawrence, ks
Guys- Help!
I did a search to no avail, but if I am missing a thread on the issue you could simply point me in that direction.

Right then. I have a 1996 LX450. Over the past three months, I have had belt failure three times, killing four belts. All three of the belts have failed- both the alternator belts and also the AC.

After the first time, I had it assessed and the tech thought it was a bad pulley, so they replaced the pulley and the belts and I was on my way.

Second time it happened, I lost two belts, the alternator belt and also the AC belt. At that time I was able to take it to a lexus dealership, who found that there was a missing spacer behind a pulley, causing the pulley to run at an angle, thus causing the belt to fail. They replaced the spacer and the belts, and I was on my way. They made it sound as if this would fix the issue.

Come home today, get out of the vehicle, and see one of the two alternator belts hanging from my engine bay.

Is this a common issue? What, on earth, could cause such a constant issue with poor belt tension/routing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I really need to get this fixed, as I am a 20 year old college student (female), and the first time it happened it left me stranded in rural Missouri. You think that sounds bad? My parents are now telling me to sell it and get something "newer'!! HELP me prevent this, I cannot part with her.
Hmm. The accessory drive belt system on these vehicles is considered pretty much bulletproof, so to me someone has done something wrong for you.

One important thing to know is the dual alternator belts must be new and in my opinion, they must be Toyota belts. This is because the dual belts must be exactly the same. When you buy them from Toyota they actually come as a carefully matched pair HAND TIED together for installation. That's how important it is. If they are the smallest amount off, or a pair of non-Toyota belts are installed then they will fight each other.

So. I'd think the Lexus dealer would have done this right. You can answer if they're Toyota belts because they'll say Toyota/Mitsubishi on them. I've heard of mechanics running the belts on the wrong side of the tensioner pulleys, missing altogether tensioners, etc. So, something's rotten in Denmark here. I'm also unaware of any 'spacer' and have replaced literally dozens of 80 belts. What's chances you could post some digital pictures of things? Of interest would be: The alternator's label to see if it's a non Toyota alternator, the numbers on the belt, and then a couple of the front of the engine to show the position of the pulleys, etc.

If someone in your town with knowledge can take a look to be sure they're being installed correctly (or install them) then it would be great. Anyone? I think it's something a mechanic has done incorrectly and I'm sorry you're having an issue with such a reliable machine.

Doug- REALLY appreciate your speedy response. I will post pictures of the situation for you tomorrow, and I will call Toyota/Lexus in the AM and let you know what they tell me.

Once again, really appreciate it.
Let 'er rip.

Ok, waiting for Lexus to return my call. So, here's the pictures... best I could get! it's crowded on that side of the motor. Also, i couldn't detect any numbers on the belts, :(






That's strange, you would really hope Toyota/lexus would have a belt diagram. Does anyone have an image of the proper routing?

So, the belt should be going under this pulley rather than over it?

I see, thanks a lot Ruadhrigh.

I am actually kind of excited to explain to Lexus how they screwed up, and now left me stranded 200 miles from their dealership, at a cost of $200.

I mean, I typically try to be very kind and respectful because I know they have a tough job with a lot of complaints, but belt service is a little different. Furthermore, when I took it in, I explained how this was an ongoing issue, and that I could leave the vehicle there for a week and would pay additional costs to have it researched and fixed to a high standard that I could trust.
It is very upsetting that a dealership could not properlly install belts. But sadly it is less surprising than upsetting. The thread I borrowed the picture from has good instructions and part numbers if you are inclined to do the work yourself. Or just print it out and ask the Service Manager if he could read it aloud to the tech.


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Hard to understand why a stealership would put on a non-factory belt!
Unbelievable. Just as suspected - didn't use the correct factory matched pair of belts, and of course they routed the belts wrong. Someone post the part number for the belts for her. If they give you any crap, I'll personally call the dealership and discuss it with them for you if you'd like. They owe you a set of TOYOTA belts installed properly.

Appreciate it Doug! It's just a pain in the ass as I live 200 miles away from them, and the nearest Toyota dealership is 30 miles away.

I'll keep you updated, that is, once I speak with them.
Wow, I am astonished. After years of cooperation with our local Lexus dealership and 3 different Lexus vehicles always taken there, they totally drop the ball on me.

I called, let them know what they did wrong and how it really put my safety at jeopardy, they said they could only refund their work. So, basically, they refused to help me get the vehicle to a dealership that they approve of, and then get the vehicle fixed, and not in worse shape than when it came in.

Wow, I am just appalled. If it was the part that failed or other mechanical failure, it would be one thing. But when you neglect to use proper service manual protocol, use after market, generic belts and fail to come through on your word, you would hope an extra $100 tow fee would be "protocol." The $100 to a college student is rather significant, and it's next to nothing to them. it's about customer service.

I'd take the truck to the local Toyota dealership now that you know the belts should be matched Toyota belts, and call Lexus to speak with their Customer Service Department. That's inexcusable. I used to be a Lexus District Manager.

sheesh.... and some wonder how come car dealers have a bad reputation....
correct belt part number (set of 2) is 90916-02353-83. or at least it is for my 93. i believe they are the same. sorry to laugh but i actually managed to wake up my cat i was laughing so hard when i saw your posted pictures. good luck. avoid dealers like the plauge (with the exception of cdan, of course).

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