Toyota Timing belt - Sparrow
My daughter runs a 1989 Corolla, a 1.6 twin cam carb engine. Nothing special, in fact it drives rather nastily, however she's just got away with snapping the timing belt.

Firth thing the car started running rough, lots of misfire. Spark and fuel seemed OK so garage looked at it. Said the ignition timing was out so readjusted it. Car seemed OK but two weeks later it dies when going down the A303. Fortunately she managed to get it to the nearside and the AA kindly brought it home. The timing belt had snapped, however the repair bill was £91! Apparently this engine does not automatically smash pistons into valves and so write off engines. Is Toyota being clever here or is this just luck of the draw? Any advice on choosing a car with similar bombproofness?

By the way the garage that did the repair said that the first garage should have twigged timing belt when the ignition timing needed resetting. Must have "jumped a tooth" I guess. Also, Toyota say replace timing belt at 60K miles, this car had it done at 60K and now has done 115K.

Daughter is over the moon as she is a poor student and could not afford a replacement car.

Toyota Timing belt - Maz
Not sure about the 1989 Corolla, but some cars (eg Mazda MX5) have what's called a non-interference engine. This means that if the timing belt goes, the pistons won't shoot through the cylinder head.

You'll find some earlier discussion on this site.

It's also possible for a timing belt to go at low speed and cause little or no damage to the engine.

Toyota Timing belt - T Lucas
Subaru Impreza pretty safe too.
Toyota Timing belt - SkyMan
My wife owns a Toyota Carib (4WD estate version of the Corolla) - its a 1995 1.8litre and it mentions in the Toyota service stuff that the cambelt doesnt need doing until 100,000Km (i.e. 60,000 miles). The 1.8 schedule also relates to the 1.6 engine (although the 1.8 is an 8 valve unit).

I work with an ex Toyota mechanic who has said that the 1.8 is non-interference, and given the relationship of the 1.8 to the 1.6 in the service schedule, I'd say the same applies...

Toyota Timing belt - Another John H
In my part of the world student transport is likely to be a small FIAT..
Their "FIRE" engine is claimed to be non-interference.
Toyota Timing belt - Soupytwist
The timing belt on my FIRE engined Panda 1000S went in the outside lane of the M2, going uphill and I can confirm that it is non interference.
Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
Toyota Timing belt - cabsmanuk
Maz wrote:
It's also possible for a timing belt to go at low speed and cause little or no damage to the engine

If the engine is an interference engine then personally I would assume that damage HAS been done. It may not be immediately obvious but if for instance one of the valves has been fractured the engine will still run normally until the valve head drops off and catastrophic failure follows. Something very similar happened to me and cost over £3000 to put right.

Keep upright
Toyota Timing belt - Maz
Thanks for clarifying that Mr Cabsman.

Value my car