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2011 Forester
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

First time to post here-please let me know if the question is not appropriate.

I have owned a 2011 non-turbo Forester for nearly 8 years, mileages is around 59,500 miles. After finishing the oil change and road testing, the owner of the auto repair shop said the serpentine belt is "dry" and may need to be replaced soon.

While he is not suggesting he should be the one to replace it, I just wonder what he meant by "dry". In your experience, how do we know that the serpentine belt is going bad and needs to be replaced ? I searched around the internet a bit and some symptoms are mentioned (e.g. squealing noise, steering is turned all the way to one side), but I'd like to hear the opinions of the experts here as well. Thanks very much for your information.


jjw
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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2,815 Posts
Your mechanic is probably seeing cracking in the surface of the belt. Considering the age of the belt I would probably change it.

P.S. Your question IS very appropriate.
 

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(2013-2020) 2011 2.5x (2020-?) 2018 2.5i pkg #2
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25 Posts
I changed mine at 84 months/105K. I've seen 105 months/105K recommended.
I went ahead and replaced the two idler pulleys at the same time.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Premium 6-speed manual
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177 Posts
The repair shop owner means that the belt was old enough that the rubber in the belt was becoming brittle and cracking. In short, the rubber is "drying out" and losing its flexibility due to age, weather, engine compartment conditions, and environmental pollution. This is a common reason to replace any rubber based drive belt, even tires, be it a traditional "V-belt" or the Poly-V belt that Subaru and others use.

Because the drive belt has to be removed to replace the timing belt the Subaru Factory Service Manual for my 2010 Forester requires replacement every 105,000 miles or 105 months whichever occurs first. You should have the FB engine which uses an internal timing chain. The drive belts are essentially the same, though.

You can download a Service Manual like I did from Subaru, but, as with my Owners Manual, I would expect something similar in your owners manual under "Drive Belts" in the maintenance chapter. So check there.

For example, quoting my owners manual: "The rear side belt is a stretch-type belt, therefore the deflection does not need to be checked. If there are cracks or wear confirmed on the belts and a squeaking sound is heard from them, contact your Subaru dealer."

Sound like your drive belt needs to be replace due age.
 

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2021 Forester Limited auto
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65 Posts
the serpentine drive belt should be changed around 60K. It takes 10 minutes, make a diagram of the belt routing or take a picture. Their is a tensioner that will put slack in the belt then slide it offinstall the new belt
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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1,363 Posts
I just changed mine yesterday. Pretty sure it was the original with 256,000 km. Its not quite a 10 minute job, and getting the belt on is a bit tricky. Its tight and there is not that much slack even with the tensioner loosened. I wanted to change the pulleys at the same time, but given how tightly they are on and the fact they are not making noise, I decided not to and to deal with them when and if they become a problem.
Word to the wise with the FB engine be careful not to wedge your ratchet up against the fan housing bracket, better to just use a 14mm wrench. I somehow ended up with my ratchet stuck and I could not release its direction. I had to basically drain the rad to undo the top cooling hose to be able to remove the ratchet socket from the tensioner. A 20-minute job finally took 2 hours.
 
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