Time to change Timing belt?

O

Ohaya

Hi,

We have a '97 Outback Legacy, with about 90K miles on it. So far it's been
fine, and the only major repair was that the last time we took it in, they
had to replace some gasket (between the engine and transmission, I think).

Awhile ago, at about 48K miles, we had a bad water pump, and got it fixed
under warranty (we had the 6yr/60K drive train warranty), and I was
surprised that the dealer suggested that they go ahead and replace the
timing belt. I guess this was because they'd have to pull the water pump
anyway. They also did this under warranty.

Anyway, now that we have about 50K on the current timing belt, I'm wondering
if we should replace the timing belt the next time we take it in for
service?

Obviously, this time, it'd be out-of-warranty, but I had an experience with
another car (not a Subaru) where the belt broke, and it was a major repair,
so I'm trying to be a little conservative here...

What do you all think? Am I being over-cautious? I have the impression
that timing belts generally last about 60K miles...

Also, can give me a guesstimate about how much it'd cost to get the timing
belt replaced? I'd like to get this done at our dealer, and we're in the
Washington, DC metro/Northern VA area....

Thanks in advance!!
 
Anyway, now that we have about 50K on the current timing belt, I'm
wondering if we should replace the timing belt the next time we take
it in for service?

I don't get it. Why would you replace it at only half of its
rated life ?

Besides, if your 97 Legacy OB is anything like mine, the front
cam and/or crank seals will start leaking like crazy pretty
soon, and you can have them and the timing belt done in one
fell swoop when that happens.

John
 
John Eyles said:
I don't get it. Why would you replace it at only half of its
rated life ?

John,

I guess that I have the impression that timing belts are generally
considered to last for 60K. I've read somewhere that the only car that has
a 100K timing belt is a new Honda model, and that's a timing "chain" rather
than a timing "belt".

There was a typo in my original post, and current mileage is 98K, so
assuming the 60K life, and the change at 48K, the current belt has 50K miles
on it, so I'm wondering if it's time to change it before it breaks...
 
I guess that I have the impression that timing belts are generally
considered to last for 60K. I've read somewhere that the only car that has
a 100K timing belt is a new Honda model, and that's a timing "chain" rather
than a timing "belt".

There was a typo in my original post, and current mileage is 98K, so
assuming the 60K life, and the change at 48K, the current belt has 50K miles
on it, so I'm wondering if it's time to change it before it breaks...

As far as I know, they were originally rated to last at least 60k miles on the 2.
2l and 80k miles on the 2.5l engine (which probably is what you have).

Those specs are based on the fact that, except for manufacturing defects,
failures due to wear begin to occur above this rated mileage. In theory,
swapping the belts too often simply increases your chances of installing a
faulty belt which is likely to snap BEFORE reaching the end of its rated life.

OTOH I am pretty sure that there are 200k mile subarus out there running on the
original timing belts.

The belt itself is not THAT cheap ($60 - $80 in the US) but the bulk of the
expense of a change is labor. That's why many recommend replacing the cam shaft
seals, water pump and sometimes the belt tensioner while the timing belt covers
are off for a belt change.

Timing chains don't usually get replaced in regular intervals - the
recommendation by Honda may refer to service intervals.

florian
 
My 2000 Forester 2.5L engine has a timing belt change interval of 105,000
miles and that's when I'll do it unless a water pump goes out. eddie
 
I guess that I have the impression that timing belts are generally
considered to last for 60K. I've read somewhere that the only car that has
a 100K timing belt is a new Honda model, and that's a timing "chain" rather
than a timing "belt".

There was a typo in my original post, and current mileage is 98K, so
assuming the 60K life, and the change at 48K, the current belt has 50K miles
on it, so I'm wondering if it's time to change it before it breaks...

You've been misinformed. As far as I know, chains have NO rated life.
They typically never cause a problem but there are exceptions. Many belts
have a longer life than what you have been accustomed to, apparently, and
not just with Honda. (By the way, the Honda model you refer to is not a
chain, I'm fairly certain.) I can't say what the specs call for on your
engine, but the manual should be easy enough to come by. Your original
dealership saw an opportunity to sell a belt much before it was due, I bet,
and you went along with it. It is common that they use the REVERSE sales
technique, suggesting a change in waterpump when you do the suggested timing
belt change. It's a wise decision to go with that suggestion, I think.
You just got yours done a little early the first time, but that is no
reason to keep on undershooting the limit by that much. I expect to have the
belts and waterpumps changed on our 99 Foresters in the 90K miles range, a
little ahead of schedule.
--
D N
I E T S
Off to R the M __, D H

Reply to group. (Detestible spammers!)
 
Ohaya said:
Hi,

We have a '97 Outback Legacy, with about 90K miles on it. So far it's been
fine, and the only major repair was that the last time we took it in, they
had to replace some gasket (between the engine and transmission, I think).

Awhile ago, at about 48K miles, we had a bad water pump, and got it fixed
under warranty (we had the 6yr/60K drive train warranty), and I was
surprised that the dealer suggested that they go ahead and replace the
timing belt. I guess this was because they'd have to pull the water pump
anyway. They also did this under warranty.

Anyway, now that we have about 50K on the current timing belt, I'm wondering
if we should replace the timing belt the next time we take it in for
service?

Obviously, this time, it'd be out-of-warranty, but I had an experience with
another car (not a Subaru) where the belt broke, and it was a major repair,
so I'm trying to be a little conservative here...

What do you all think? Am I being over-cautious? I have the impression
that timing belts generally last about 60K miles...

Also, can give me a guesstimate about how much it'd cost to get the timing
belt replaced? I'd like to get this done at our dealer, and we're in the
Washington, DC metro/Northern VA area....

You ought to check your owners manual for the recommended
interval. My '99 Outback Legacy manual says 105k miles.
I changed it at 83k because everything was apart. The belt
looked brand new. I can't recall *anyone* on the group
claiming a timing belt only failure from age.
 
D H,

I may not have been clear in my earlier post. When they changed the belt
earlier, they did it under warranty (no charge to me)...
 
Ohaya said:
John,

I guess that I have the impression that timing belts are generally
considered to last for 60K. I've read somewhere that the only car that has
a 100K timing belt is a new Honda model, and that's a timing "chain" rather
than a timing "belt".

There was a typo in my original post, and current mileage is 98K, so
assuming the 60K life, and the change at 48K, the current belt has 50K miles
on it, so I'm wondering if it's time to change it before it breaks...

If it breaks it can destroy your engine. Replace it. Its reaching the end
of its servicable life.


Rob
 
If it breaks it can destroy your engine. Replace it. Its reaching the end
of its servicable life.


Yep. I know that. That's why the original post :)....

BTW, now I'm really confused. So far:

1) Someone said belts are rated 105K miles
2) Someone else (linked page) said 60K miles
3) Someone else said don't change it just because of rating

Plus :(,. now that I'm researching this, I checked that last repair, and
noted that part of what they did was the separator plate and valve cover
gaskets, and I think that I probably should've had them replace the timing
belt since they had to pull the engine anyway :(!!!

Darn!!!
 
Ohaya said:
Yep. I know that. That's why the original post :)....

BTW, now I'm really confused. So far:

1) Someone said belts are rated 105K miles

That was me. It's in my '99 legacy outback
manual. What's yours say?
 
tomcas said:
Here is a good listing of recommended replacement miles.
http://www.gates.com/downloads/down...folder=brochure&CFID=1749920&CFTOKEN=64602712
More importantly the listing indicates if the engine is an interference
design. Note that all of the Subaru's are of the crash proof design. Of
course nothing was better for life than the old Subaru's that had gears
instead of belts or chains.

Thanks for the link to that nice document. However, something seems amiss
to me here with none of the Subaru engines being marked with an asterisk to
denote interference engine. I thought that some of these are, but maybe
there was some other caution that folks referred to which was not
technically "interference" but still could be bad news for engine parts. Can
anyone else shed some light on this? Or am I just befuddled here?
--
D N
I E T S
Off to R the M __, D H

Reply to group. (Detestible spammers!)
 
If it breaks it can destroy your engine. Replace it. Its reaching
the end of its servicable life.

This is hogwash. The 2.5 motor is a non-interference engine. The worst
that will happen is that you'll be stranded somewhere and need a tow.
Replace your timing belt at its recommended interval, which should be
stated in your maintenance manual.

-S.S-
 
Ohaya said:
Yep. I know that. That's why the original post :)....

BTW, now I'm really confused. So far:

1) Someone said belts are rated 105K miles
2) Someone else (linked page) said 60K miles
3) Someone else said don't change it just because of rating

Plus :(,. now that I'm researching this, I checked that last repair, and
noted that part of what they did was the separator plate and valve cover
gaskets, and I think that I probably should've had them replace the timing
belt since they had to pull the engine anyway :(!!!

Darn!!!

I still think you're worrying yourself unnecessarily. I would not be
changing a belt at 50K miles unless there were some reason to think it was
malfunctioning or had otherwise been unduly stressed or showing signs of
visible wear. Probably none of these applies?
--
D N
I E T S
Off to R the M __, D H

Reply to group. (Detestible spammers!)
 
That was me. It's in my '99 legacy outback
manual. What's yours say?


Jim,

Hmm. Interesting.

Ours is a '97 Outback Legacy, with 2.5L engine.

I'm assuming "camshaft drive belt" is the same as "timing belt"...

For the 2.5L engine, according to both the maintenance booklet, and the
Subaru website, they recommend inspection at 30K, 60K, and 90K, with
replacement at 105K.

For the 1.8L, 2.2L, and 3.3L engine, they recommend inspection at 30K, with
replacement at 60K.

So, I have a couple of more questions:

1) Along the lines of what someone else has posted in this thread, is the
2.5L a "non-interference" or "interference" engine?

2) Going back to my original post, and going through our service receipts,
they replaced the timing belt at about 44.5K under warranty. Now that I'm
going through all of this, I recall the situation. We had the water pump
start leaking at that time and took it in to the dealer. They came back and
said they'd be repairing the water pump under warranty, and they suggested
(really) replacing the timing belt (again, under warranty), which I agreed
to. So, given the recommended inspection/replacement intervals (and again,
going back to my original post), do we start the 30K/60K/90K inspection with
105K replacement cycle from the 44.5K mile point? In other words, should we
have gotten it inspected at ~75K, 105K, 135K, with recommended replacement
at 150K?

3) BTW, as mentioned earlier, I thought our last repair (in January) was for
gaskets. This was out-of-warranty. But I just checked our records, and I
found that it was for a valve cover gasket and a "separator plate". What's
strange is that in going through our service records just now, I found that
they had replaced the separator plate in early 2001 also (sorry, I forgot).
Is this separator plate something that is going to keep giving us a problem
(every 2-3 years)??
 
SkaredShtles said:
This is hogwash. The 2.5 motor is a non-interference engine. The worst
that will happen is that you'll be stranded somewhere and need a tow.
Replace your timing belt at its recommended interval, which should be
stated in your maintenance manual.

Skared,

I'm guessing (hoping, really :)) that you're right. As I just posted, the
2.5L is indicated for timing belt replacement at 105K mile intervals (vs.
60K for the 1.8L, 2.2L, and 3.3L), so that kind of leads me to thinking that
the 2.5L is "non-interference"?
 
Although there is still some confusion, this issue has been covered
extensively on the bds. at www.usmb.net do a search there.(probably the
best forum for repair, maintanece questions - www.nasioc.com,
www.subaruoutback.org and www.i-club.com are good too). It is clear that
MOST Subaru engines of newer design (EJ and up?) can theoretically have
valve-to-valve collisions if the TB breaks. Probably most likely at
higher RPMS, can also be troublesome when the engine is being
assembled/worked on sitting on the bench. ALL the DOHC engines seem to
be on this list. A poster from www.ccrengines.com maintains that some
later (higher compression?) 2.2l SOHC engines can experience
piston-valve interference.

There are also documented inspection guidelines for TB. If your car's
manual says 105k miles and you're concerned, have an experience mech
examine the teeth/belt condition at whatever point you wish. Personally,
haveing experienced unexpected early catastrophic TB failure on a Honda
and a Toyota, I would be conservative about changing not just the belt
but evrything that touces it that has a bearing(except crank/cams of
course - and they get new seals) UNLESS I WAS POSITIVE BEYOND DOUBT that
my exact engine was COMPLETELY non-interference in ALL respects. Even
then, it's going to be very inconvenient to be broke down out of town,
on the freeway or have to go rescue a daughter at night somewhere. Not
much consolation, seems to me, for getting that last 150-500-whatever
miles of use outta a car part. Do you drive on your tires until one of
them blows out? If you don't want to inspect and change TBs - stay with
the ones driven by chains/gears.

Carl
1 Lucky Texan
 
I contacted Subaru.com with the question of interference engines and got the
following reply. " ALL 2.5L SUBARU ENGINES ARE OF THE INTERFERENCE TYPE"
Third party info is just that so I went to the source. eddie
 
.. Personally,
haveing experienced unexpected early catastrophic TB failure on a Honda
and a Toyota, I would be conservative about changing not just the belt

What model Toyota engine was that?
I was aware that all Honda engines will crash but I'm very surprised to here
that your Toyota was also damaged. According to an old listing I had there
were only two engines types using belts that Toyota made of the interference
type. One was the Diesel and the other was the 1.5L used on the Tercel model
for a couple of years.
 

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