Is It Time to Change Your Subaru’s Timing Belt? Spot the Early Signs Now!

Owning a Subaru can be an enjoyable experience. Their engines are reliable, and the overall performance of these vehicles is outstanding. However, like any car, a Subaru requires maintenance to keep them running smoothly. One essential part of the engine system that requires changing is the timing belt. The timing belt in your Subaru helps synchronize the engine’s internal components, which keeps your car running. In this article, we will look at how to tell if your Subaru timing belt has been changed, when timing belts need replacing and signs of timing belt failure.

When Should You Replace Your Subaru Timing Belt?

Subaru recommends that timing belts be changed every 105,000 miles or after 8 years, whichever comes first. The primary reason for this recommended interval is to avoid timing belt failure, which can cause severe engine damage. So, if you have a high mileage Subaru and unsure if the timing belt has been changed, it’s better to err on the side of caution and get it replaced.

Signs That Your Subaru Timing Belt Needs Replacement

It’s essential to pay attention to your vehicle and the sounds it makes. Here are some signs that suggest your timing belt may need replacing:

  • Frayed or Damaged Belt: If you notice any fraying or other types of damage to your timing belt, it’s likely time for a replacement.
  • Squeaking, Rattling, or Ticking Noises: A squeaking noise could mean that the timing belt has become too loose or too tight. A rattling noise usually signifies that the timing belt is coming apart, while a ticking noise means that the tensioner is worn out.
  • Difficulty Starting the Engine: A timing belt that has become too loose could cause poor engine performance, which can lead to difficulties starting the engine.
  • Engine Misfires or Runs Roughly: A timing belt that is no longer functioning well can cause engine misfires or make it run roughly.
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How To Check If Your Subaru Timing Belt Has Been Changed

If you recently bought a used Subaru, you may be wondering whether the timing belt has ever been replaced. Here are some ways to tell if the Subaru timing belt has been changed.

  • Check the Service Records: If the previous owner kept service records, you should be able to tell if the timing belt has been replaced.
  • Look at the Belt: If you are mechanically inclined, lift the hood and inspect the timing belt. Timing belts that have been changed will have a shiny new belt, while an old one will look worn out.
  • Consult with a Mechanic: If you are unsure, it’s best to consult a Subaru mechanic who can tell you if the timing belt has been replaced by looking at the engine, the belt guide, and the overall condition of the engine.

The Benefits of Replacing Your Subaru Timing Belt

Replacing your Subaru timing belt at the recommended interval prevents engine damage and ensures that your car stays in good shape. A new timing belt and the necessary maintenance could potentially save you more money down the road because it will prevent more costly repairs.

How Much Does a Subaru Timing Belt Replacement Cost?

The cost of replacing a Subaru timing belt varies depending on the make and model, and the location of the service. On average, expect to pay between $500 and $800 for a timing belt replacement. This price includes parts and labor for the service.


Q: Can You Drive Your Subaru Without Replacing the Timing Belt?

A: Technically speaking, you could drive your Subaru without replacing the timing belt, but it’s not a good idea. Failing to replace your timing belt could lead to significant damage to the engine, which can be costly to repair or replace.

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Q: How Often Should I Replace My Subaru Timing Belt?

A: Subaru recommends replacing the timing belt every 105,000 miles or after eight years, whichever comes first.

Q: Can I Replace the Timing Belt Myself?

A: If you have the necessary mechanical skills and knowledge, you could replace the timing belt yourself. However, if you are unsure or inexperienced, it’s best to leave this job to a professional mechanic.


In conclusion, if you want to keep your Subaru running smoothly, it’s essential to pay attention to your timing belt’s maintenance schedule. Replace the timing belt according to the manufacturer’s recommendation, and watch out for signs of wear and tear to avoid significant engine damage. If you are unsure about the condition of your timing belt, consulting a Subaru mechanic is always a good idea. Remember, preventative maintenance can potentially save you from expensive repairs down the road.

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Joseph Weaver

With a background in engineering and a passion for cars, Joseph brings a unique perspective to our blog. He's particularly interested in the technology and innovation behind Subaru's advanced safety features, and his articles on this topic are always insightful and informative. When he's not writing, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family.

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