Timing belt


Asked by Ken Sep 10, 2019 at 08:57 AM about the 2002 Subaru Outback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I'm looking a buying a 2002 Subaru with 113,000, if the belt has been changed
would it have a Subaru marking and read made in America?

3 Answers


Replacement belts are not necessarily made in the US. Inspect the belt for cracks and missing teeth.


As long as you get the precise OEM timing belt it doesn't matter where it came from. Be sure to get all of the other stuff done, tensioner, etc. Look, it's cheap insurance to have this done. Good luck.


Mark, you're wrong again, but in a minor way this time. OEM means "original equipment manufacturer", but you're correct that in this case Subaru of course just uses a belt correct for their app from myriad suppliers for both OE app and aftermarket service. Before plunking money down on this dinosaur unnecessarily Ken should simply LOOK at the old belt (loosen the top left front plastic cover and pry back an inch and inspect for tension and especially cross-cracks or missing teeth). Given the age the t-belt may have been replaced already...especially as part of a head gasket job earlier. If the belt looks godd, and doesn't "slap" at idle due to a worn tensioner, I'd leave it alone and reinspect annually. They have a mean life of about 10 years, independent of mileage, as time and temp cycling ages the rubber. If you DO get in there, Ken, have your wrench feel the idler and tensioner, as they, too, may be perfectly fine. Do NOT change the water pump unless noisy or leaking, as they're extremely robust, and you don't want to go looking for trouble cracking the coolant system. Note that you can inspect the ENTIRE length of the t-belt by cranking for fractions of a second to see newly exposed surfaces. You can also push down on the (stationary!) belt with your finger or tool to test the tensioner. Obviously, if the belt is floppy the tensioner is shot, but usually this flop is heard as the loose belt clacks intermittently against the plastic case you just loosened. Report back your findings. Ern

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