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I am going to be buying a Forester, 2000 to 2005, I know Timing Belts should be changed at 105000 miles. I also need to drive the car from WI to WA full of a dorm rooms stuff before I get home. But if a car salesman can't show me a timing belt replacement, when should I not buy because it most likely won't make the cross country trip?
Is there any data on failed belts and when they failed?
maintenance
It would be helpful to see a failure probably curve versus milage on the belt.

Any one seen anything like this?
Richard
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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@RPearson2435 I see this is your first forum post, so welcome to the forum from Oregon! :biggrin:

Since you don't have a Forester yet, but are shopping for one, your thread has been moved to the "Forester Shopping" sub-forum.

This might be a good recent thread for you to peruse: Timing belt & HG based on age? :wink:

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Bobby...

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Chances are that even if the belt was replaced all the idlers (3), tensioner (1), and water pump (1) were not replaced. So you should plan on replacing these ASAP. No one on the planet can tell you if the vehicle will make the trip. All things being equal the belt/idlers would be expected to make it 20+K miles over the change requirement date but you have age thrown here as well.

Cost of the timing belt+ rotating stuff is $1500+ and head gaskets on the years you are looking at have at least a 50/50 chance of going bad.

Older subarus are very reliable after you take care of these issues. As an example my 2008 is on the road. It had those items + 2 alternators, + rear wheel bearing+ engine valve cover gaskets replaced. All known issues at a cost of $5000. Not unusual.

Good luck.
 

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2004 Forester 2.5 XS 4EAT
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I just bought a 2004 with 75k miles and had the original timing belt replaced and all the head gaskets while he was in there. Honestly the belt looked fine but like many have said on here it was a risk I wasn't willing to take.
 

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2005 Forester Automatic
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I am going to be buying a Forester, 2000 to 2005, I know Timing Belts should be changed at 105000 miles. I also need to drive the car from WI to WA full of a dorm rooms stuff before I get home. But if a car salesman can't show me a timing belt replacement, when should I not buy because it most likely won't make the cross country trip?
Is there any data on failed belts and when they failed?
maintenance
It would be helpful to see a failure probably curve versus milage on the belt.

Any one seen anything like this?
Richard
Most 2000 - 2005 vehicles, unless they are very strangely low mileage, will have had the timing belt replaced. Its just that you many not have records of it, and more critically, it may have been done by a dealer that replaced just the belt and no more.

Reading between the lines so to speak, are you asking if its safe to drive across the country and THEN get the work done in WA? Depending on where you are and your time etc, WA is a real good state to have a Foz worked on. WI is probably less so, depending on where you are at.

Judging from the "dorm room" comment, you are a student in college or grad school. And you're thinking a Foz would be a nice car for WA. I'd agree, but Foz's can require some TLC. On the other hand, the TB failure is just about the only thing that a Foz will do to you that causes a critical instant dead on the road breakdown. Avoid the TB failure and Foz's seldom fail catastrophically.

I'd personally play it by ear a little. If the vehicle is overall well maintained and not bleeding badly from the heads, then you might just want to chance it and have the work done in WA. Depends some on how much you need the vehicle at school and what options you have in WI. On the other hand, if your finances are "on the edge" and a blown engine in Montana would really ruin you, then doing the TB, idlers, and waterpump is a kind of insurance policy against catastrophic Foz failure.

Of note, driving it a little longer first will allow you to ascertain if the head gaskets are leaking and thus, know to combine both fixes at the same time.

Finally, do this: Test drive whatever vehicle (even if they have records of HG repair) you want to buy. Run it hard, get it hot. I could get my internal combustion to exhaust head gasket leak only to show signs with heavy repeated acceleration.. I basically would run a loop of interstate on-ramp, off ramp circles, accelerating hard to 70 and then braking hard in a mile to slow back down. THIS would bring out bubbles in the coolant overflow tank. And the prior owner that traded the vehicle likely new this. I bought used and I honestly think the used car dealer did not know. Run it hard, then park, leave running, pop hood and shine a light through the coolant overflow tank. There should be no bubbles. If there are, you are seeing the rarer but more problematic type of head gasket failure. Run, don't walk, away......
 

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Why not just buy a rust free Forester in Washington State and save the hassle of registering an out of Washington State car that might or might not pass the Washington State smog check program when you get there?
 
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