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2001 Forester
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107 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
3 quick questions for the assembled masses:

My 2001 Forester (weekend driver) is no where near the Timing Belt Mileage (it's at 65K miles) but past the calendar replacement interval. Car is a city car, but a significant portion of the miles are long-trip miles (including one cross country drive) so mileage and hours are not that far off.

1) Do I run a significant risk of failure of the belt if I'm over time, but significantly under on mileage? (i.e., should I take the service recommendation seriously and replace the belt)

2) Given the low mileage should I bother with the water and oil pumps?

3) Any recommendations for good shops in the NYC area that can do the replacement for a reasonable cost (I live in Manhattan)? I haven't been impressed by the dealers in Brooklyn or Queens and would be willing to go for a good non-dealer shop that comes highly recommended.

thanks
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
With something as critical as the timing belt, I would say that 5-6 years max, regardless of the milage. Tires are about the same, even though they might be low milage and look great, 5-6 years is the limit for operating them safely. I would change it just to be on the safe side.

It's fairly easy, it just takes some time. Set aside a weekend. I got mine done in a night (about 4-5 hours). Just make sure to have a factory SUBARU manual to aid you with aligning the belt. I had the Haynes and Chilton manuals, and they were worthless. Gracefully, I had a member on here send me the timing belt part of the factory manual and it helped IMMENSELY.

As for the water pump, since it's timing-belt ran, I would go ahead and change it out too. I wouldn't worry about the oil pump as they usually out-live the piston rings.
 

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03X MT
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846 Posts
Since the average driver puts about 12,000 miles per year and Subaru recommends 105,000 for a timing belt service then that would put the calendar at 9.75 years

I can't seem to find anything in the manual about a time consideration.
 

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2001 Forester
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Discussion Starter #4
Since the average driver puts about 12,000 miles per year and Subaru recommends 105,000 for a timing belt service then that would put the calendar at 9.75 years

I can't seem to find anything in the manual about a time consideration.
If you go to the sticky in this forum for the US maint schedules, click over to Subaru, 2001, California Spec (for example) the top row on the resulting PDF is months, row 2 is 1k km, row 3 is 1k miles. This chart shows Camshaft drive belt at 105 months, 168k km, 105k miles (so yes, assumes 12k miles per year).
 

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03X MT
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Yes, I found it. 105 months. So I guess they are calculating as 1,000 miles per month.

I suppose a factor to consider might how the car has/is driven. Slamming the gears, high rpm's. Launching from every intersection etc etc. Then I would replace early.

I figure near 100,000 miles is time to either put away some $ and get it done soon. Or do it when one has time and $. Not a gamble I would want to lose.
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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i wouldn't go much over on either time or mileage.

if doing at lower mileage due to time i wouldn't go overboard and replace too many things. only consider water pump if you have any suspicion that the coolant hasn't been maintained and changed/flushed somewhat regularly. likewise on oil pump - subaru oil pump rotor screws (can't see them without disassembly) tend to loosen but haven't heard this happening at such low mileage. check the timing idlers carefully and consider replacing any that seem a little noisy or loose.
 

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'09 STI
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4,129 Posts
It's whatever comes first. Rubber deteriorates with age as well as mileage. Water pump and tensioner yes oil pump not sure.
 

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2001 Forester
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Discussion Starter #8
It's whatever comes first. Rubber deteriorates with age as well as mileage. Water pump and tensioner yes oil pump not sure.
Thanks. Will probably get it done soon then. Sigh, have a mechanic I trust in LA (used to work on airplanes with him) but no one in NYC. Too bad I'm not back there...
 
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