If you’re in the market for a new or used Subaru, you may be wondering whether it has a timing belt or chain. Here are the key takeaways about Subaru’s timing belts and chains:
- Most newer Subaru models, starting in 2013, have a timing chain instead of a timing belt.
- Older Subaru models, particularly those made before 2011, typically have a timing belt.
- It’s important to know whether your Subaru has a timing belt or chain so you can properly maintain it and avoid costly repairs.
In this article, we’ll explore the differences between timing belts and chains, why Subaru switched to timing chains, and which Subaru models have timing belts or chains.
Subaru Timing Belt vs. Timing Chain
A timing belt is a toothed belt that connects the crankshaft and camshaft in an internal combustion engine. As the name suggests, it’s responsible for ensuring that the engine’s valves open and close at the proper times. Timing belts are made of rubber and require regular replacement, typically every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
A timing chain is similar to a timing belt in that it connects the crankshaft and camshaft, but it’s made of metal instead of rubber. Timing chains are more durable and longer-lasting than timing belts, and they don’t require regular replacement like timing belts do.
Why Subaru Switched to Timing Chains
Subaru made the switch from timing belts to timing chains in 2013. The company cited several reasons for the change, including:
- Improved durability: Timing chains are longer-lasting and more durable than timing belts, which means they require less maintenance and are less likely to fail.
- Reduced noise: Timing belts can make a whining noise when they’re worn or loose, which can be annoying for drivers. Timing chains, on the other hand, are much quieter.
- Better performance: Timing chains are stronger and more precise than timing belts, which can lead to better engine performance and fuel efficiency.
Overall, Subaru’s switch to timing chains was a smart move for the company and its customers. Timing chains are more reliable and efficient than timing belts, which means Subaru drivers can enjoy a longer-lasting, better-performing engine.
Subaru Models with Timing Belts
While most newer Subaru models have timing chains, there are still some older models that use timing belts. Here are some of the Subaru models that have timing belts:
- Subaru Legacy (1990-2012)
- Subaru Outback (1995-2012)
- Subaru Impreza (1993-2011)
- Subaru Forester (1998-2010)
- Subaru Baja (2003-2006)
If you own one of these Subaru models, it’s important to check your owner’s manual or consult with a trusted mechanic to determine when your timing belt needs to be replaced. Failure to replace a worn or broken timing belt can cause serious damage to your engine and result in costly repairs.
Subaru Models with Timing Chains
Most newer Subaru models, starting in 2013, have a timing chain instead of a timing belt. Here are some of the Subaru models that have timing chains:
- Subaru Impreza (2012-present)
- Subaru Legacy (2013-present)
- Subaru Outback (2013-present)
- Subaru Forester (2014-present)
- Subaru Crosstrek (2013-present)
If you own one of these newer Subaru models, you don’t need to worry about replacing your timing belt. However, it’s still important to properly maintain your engine and follow Subaru’s recommended maintenance schedule to ensure that your car runs smoothly and lasts as long as possible.
FAQ: Subaru Timing Belt or Chain
Q: Do all Subarus have timing belts?
A: No, most newer Subaru models have timing chains instead of timing belts. However, some older Subaru models, particularly those made before 2011, have timing belts.
Q: How often do timing belts need to be replaced on Subarus?
A: Timing belts on Subarus typically need to be replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on the model and year.
Q: Do timing chains ever need to be replaced?
A: Timing chains are designed to last the life of the engine and don’t typically require replacement. However, it’s important to properly maintain your engine and follow Subaru’s recommended maintenance schedule to ensure that your timing chain lasts as long as possible.
Q: How can I tell if my timing belt or chain needs to be replaced?
A: If your engine is making unusual noises or running poorly, it’s possible that your timing belt or chain may be worn or broken. It’s important to have your car inspected by a trusted mechanic to determine the cause of the problem.
Q: Is it expensive to replace a timing belt or chain on a Subaru?
A: The cost of replacing a timing belt or chain on a Subaru can vary depending on the model, year, and location. However, it’s generally less expensive to replace a timing chain than a timing belt, as timing chains are designed to last the life of the engine.