DIY Guide: How to Tighten the Timing Chain on Your 2007 Subaru

As a Subaru car owner, your engine’s timing chain is an essential component that needs to be checked regularly. A loose timing chain can lead to engine damage and even failure, so knowing how to tighten it is crucial. In this DIY guide, we will provide a step-by-step process for tightening your timing chain on a 2007 Subaru.

What is a Timing Chain, and Why is it Important?

A timing chain is a critical part of your engine that synchronizes the movement between the crankshaft and the camshaft. It ensures that the opening and closing of engine valves are timed correctly. A loose timing chain can cause the engine’s valves to open and close at the wrong time, leading to a host of problems.

Symptoms of a Loose Timing Chain

If you suspect that your timing chain is loose, watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Rattling noise from the engine
  • Difficulty starting your car
  • Rough idling
  • Reduced power or acceleration
  • Check engine light is on

If you experience any of these issues, you need to check your timing chain and tighten it if necessary.

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How to Tighten the Timing Chain on a 2007 Subaru

Before starting, make sure the engine is cold. Here are the steps for tightening the timing chain:

  1. Remove the negative battery cable.
  2. Remove the valve cover.
  3. Remove the front timing chain cover.
  4. Loosen the timing chain tensioner locknut.
  5. Tighten the adjusting nut until the slack from the timing chain is gone.
  6. Hold the adjusting nut in place and tighten the locknut to secure it.
  7. Reinstall the front timing chain cover and valve cover.
  8. Reattach the negative battery cable.

Tools Needed for the Job

To tighten a timing chain on a 2007 Subaru, you will need the following tools:

  • Socket set
  • Timing chain tensioner tool
  • Torque wrench
  • Gasket scraper
  • New gaskets (if necessary)

Precautions to Take Before Tightening the Timing Chain

Here are some precautions to keep in mind while tightening the timing chain:

  • Always disconnect the battery before working on your engine.
  • Only tighten the timing chain after the engine has cooled down.
  • Use the correct tools for the job.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended torque specs.
  • Don’t overtighten the timing chain.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid the following common mistakes when tightening your timing chain:

  • Not using the timing chain tensioner tool properly.
  • Forgetting to loosen the timing chain tensioner locknut.
  • Not following the manufacturer’s recommended torque specs.
  • Overtightening the timing chain.

Consequences of an Improperly Tightened Timing Chain

An improperly tightened timing chain can lead to serious engine problems, including:

  • Damage to the valves or pistons
  • Reduced engine performance
  • Engine failure
  • Costly engine repairs or replacement
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Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I check the timing chain on my 2007 Subaru?

It’s recommended to check your engine’s timing chain every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

Can I tighten my timing chain without removing the engine?

Yes, you can. But you need to remove the valve cover and front timing chain cover.

Will tightening the timing chain improve my car’s performance?

Yes, it will improve engine performance and fuel efficiency.


Tightening the timing chain on your 2007 Subaru is an essential part of your car’s maintenance. Keep in mind the symptoms of a loose timing chain, the precautions to take, and the common mistakes to avoid. Regularly checking and tightening your timing chain will ensure that your engine performs at its best and prolong its lifespan.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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