Oh, no! Broken timing belt on 2002 Subaru Outback 2.5L, now what?


Asked by Apr 12, 2018 at 08:50 AM about the 2002 Subaru Outback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Okay, it happened.  New owner (two weeks) of a 2002 Subaru Outback 2.5L.  with 128k miles.  Timing belt broke yesterday while driving at freeway speed.  What's the most efficient way to determine if valves and/or pistons were damaged before beginning repairs?

8 Answers


If you stopped the moment that you noticed the problem, shut off the engine and had the vehicle towed, chances are that all you need to do is have the timing belt replaced. If you tried to force the engine, then it may be a totally different story.

1 people found this helpful.

Install a new belt. Once you install the belt you can do a compression test but that engine is not interference so you should be good.


Sorry, but, the information above is NOT CORRECT, it's an interference engine, 2002 is definitely one of these, and it's a VERY expensive repair, see this, http://www.scoobyenthusiast.com/subaru-faq/which-subaru-engines-are- interference-what-subaru-engines-are-non-interference/

2 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

http://www.scoobyenthusiast.com/subaru-faq/which-subaru-engines-are- interference-what-subaru-engines-are-non-interference/

1 people found this helpful.

Cost will be $2,500 to $3,000... probably exceeds the valve of the car.... sorry...It's a critical failure...you cannot wait on timing belts...it's either time or mileage.....my benchmark is about 9 years .. Unfortunately, my guess is someone sold you this car with the original belt...and never had it serviced... just my opinion...

1 people found this helpful.

Hi, Markw1952. I'm sorry to say, you are exactly right. Got the news from the garage yesterday. Scrap the car, or replace the engine. Wish I had known when I bought the car that a $52 timing + minimal labor would have been money VERY WELL spent. Sadly, the car was running like a top before this.

1 people found this helpful.

FOR...shame! You let Mark get one right!



Your Answer:


Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 1,170 nationwide Outback listings starting at $2,995.

Postal Code:

Subaru Outback Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
43 Great Deals out of 1,247 listings starting at $1,990
Used Honda CR-V
65 Great Deals out of 3,015 listings starting at $1,999
Used Subaru Impreza
35 Great Deals out of 902 listings starting at $3,795
Used Subaru Legacy
11 Great Deals out of 379 listings starting at $2,995
Used Toyota RAV4
87 Great Deals out of 3,512 listings starting at $4,987
Used Toyota 4Runner
18 Great Deals out of 528 listings starting at $6,499
Used Toyota Highlander
22 Great Deals out of 1,262 listings starting at $3,450
Used Toyota Tacoma
41 Great Deals out of 1,661 listings starting at $5,450
Used Toyota Camry
63 Great Deals out of 1,819 listings starting at $2,000
Used Honda Pilot
37 Great Deals out of 970 listings starting at $3,500
Used Honda Accord
59 Great Deals out of 1,675 listings starting at $1,995
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
90 Great Deals out of 4,376 listings starting at $3,499
Used Ford F-150
168 Great Deals out of 10,883 listings starting at $1,900

Used Cars for Sale

2019 Subaru Outback For Sale
461 listings starting at $29,458
2018 Subaru Outback For Sale
9 Great Deals out of 112 listings starting at $27,995
2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
6 Great Deals out of 67 listings starting at $21,444
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
8 Great Deals out of 133 listings starting at $14,995
2015 Subaru Outback For Sale
13 Great Deals out of 175 listings starting at $12,986

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use. Content will be removed if CarGurus becomes aware that it violates our policies.