Timing Chain vs Timing Belt: What Does Your 2014 Subaru Car Use?

If you’re a proud owner of a 2014 Subaru car or a potential buyer, you might wonder whether your car uses a timing chain or timing belt. Knowing the answer to this question could save you time, money, and the headache of unexpected engine trouble.

Timing chains and belts are critical components of the engine’s timing system that ensure the harmonious movement of the crankshaft and camshaft. The timing system regulates the opening and closing of the valves and maintains the engine’s efficiency and performance. Here’s what you need to know about timing chains and belts and their implications for your Subaru car.

Timing Chain vs Timing Belt: What’s the Difference?

Timing chains and belts have the same function of coordinating the engine’s operation, but they differ in their material, design, and maintenance needs.

A timing belt is a rubber belt that drives the camshaft and connects it to the crankshaft. Timing belts usually require replacement at regular intervals ranging from 60,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Timing belts are cheaper than timing chains but require a more labor-intensive replacement process, which can cost upwards of $1,000.

A timing chain, on the other hand, is a metallic chain that connects the camshaft and the crankshaft. Timing chains are more durable and long-lasting than timing belts and don’t require regular replacements. Timing chains, however, are more expensive than timing belts and may need replacement after 200,000 miles or more.

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Overall, it’s important to know which timing system your car uses to anticipate future maintenance needs, avoid unexpected breakdowns, and prolong your engine’s life span.

Does the 2014 Subaru Car Use a Timing Chain or Timing Belt?

The 2014 Subaru model year has different cars that use either a timing chain or timing belt. Here’s a breakdown of popular 2014 Subaru cars and their timing system:

Cars with a Timing Chain:

  • Subaru Outback
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Forester
  • Subaru Impreza

Cars with a Timing Belt:

  • Subaru WRX
  • Subaru BRZ

If you’re not sure which system your car uses, you can consult your car owner’s manual or contact a Subaru dealership or repair shop for assistance.

Implications for Your Car’s Maintenance and Reliability

Knowing whether your car uses a timing chain or belt can have important implications for its maintenance and reliability. Here’s what to consider:


  • Timing chains don’t require regular replacements, which means you can save money on the cost of parts and labor. However, timing chains may need occasional tension adjustments, especially if they develop slack or wear over time.
  • Timing belts require regular replacements to prevent catastrophic engine failure if they break. Timing belt replacements can be expensive, and you may need to replace other components such as water pumps and seals while you’re at it.


  • Timing chains are generally more reliable and less prone to break than timing belts. If a timing belt breaks, it can cause severe engine damage and leave you stranded on the roadside.
  • Timing chains, although more robust, can still develop issues such as wear, stretching, and misalignment which can affect engine performance and fuel economy. Detecting timing chain issues early on and addressing them promptly can prevent costly repairs down the road.
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I replace a timing belt with a timing chain on my Subaru car?
No, you can’t replace a timing belt with a timing chain or vice versa. The timing system is an integral part of the engine design, and altering it can damage the engine and void your car’s warranty.

2. How long do timing chains last in Subaru cars?
Timing chains in Subaru cars can last anywhere from 200,000 miles or more with proper maintenance, driving conditions, and oil quality. However, chains that have worn links, guides, or tensioners can develop issues and require replacement.

3. How often should I check my car’s timing system?
You should inspect your car’s timing system regularly, especially if you’re experiencing strange engine noises such as rattling or ticking. It’s best to have a professional mechanic check your timing system if you’re not familiar with how it works.


Knowing whether your 2014 Subaru car uses a timing chain or timing belt can help you make informed decisions about your car’s maintenance and longevity. Timing chains are more durable and long-lasting, while timing belts require regular replacements to prevent expensive engine damage. Be sure to follow your car’s maintenance schedule and consult a professional mechanic if you suspect any timing system issues.

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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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