Does a 2000 Subaru Forester have a timing belt / chain?

Asked by Guru2KS1W Mar 01, 2020 at 04:58 PM about the 2000 Subaru Forester

Question type: General

Does a 2000 Subaru Forester have a timing belt / chain, and if so, when should
it be replaced?

2 Answers


Belt. Change it every 105,000 miles. If the car has low miles but is old it should probably be changed.

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By now it may already have been changed, as they last 9-12 years. It's easy to inspect: Remove the small 10mm front-facing bolt securing the top of the plastic cover over the driver's side front corner. You can then pry forward the cover and see the belt underneath. Push down on it with a long finger or blunt screwdriver to feel its tensioner push back, and look at a few places in the run (restart and stop the car to shift position) to see if there are any cross-cracks or deterioration. Then start the car and watch the belt as it idles. It should run smoothly and not HOP up and down (possibly intermittently clacking against its black plastic cover you loosened). If all looks good leave it alone! Note that the OE t-stats and waterpumps are really durable, so if you DO replace the belt just replace it (Gates makes them all) along with its idler pulley and tensioner pulley. If the idling belt is jumpy your tensioner pulley's tiny internal hydraulic shock is shot (probably seeping a bit of wetness), and must be replaced. Some wrenches can replace this tensioner without disturbing the belt's calibration, but it really is better to replace with a new belt and both pulleys. Do NOT let anyone tell you you can't inspect the belt on your own in 5 minutes. It's easily done, as I show my clients to do annually after about the 8th year (mileage independent, as it's AGE that cracks the belt...not mileage!). That said, not sure I'd ever bother to put a new t-belt in such a dinosaur, eh? Best, Ern

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