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Brand new member, hey guys
Hope I’m in the right spot for this, if not please point me in the right direction.
I just picked up a 07 forester with 226,00km at the auction today. I have a couple questions, one is regarding the timing belt. I don’t know if it’s ever been done, should I do it right away?
And the other is, it seems to leak a bit of oil and I’ve read that they have head gasket issues. Is it true they all leak oil? And I shouldn’t be alarmed?
Any advice is a huge help, cheers!
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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@Dthut welcome to the forum from Oregon! :biggrin:
I don’t know if it’s ever been done, should I do it right away?
Yes, I would have it done if it was my Forester. Also note that the timing belt maintenance should replace all the wear parts & not just the timing belt. The engine is interference fit, so a failed timing belt = serious engine damage & costly repairs! :icon_eek:
It seems to leak a bit of oil and I’ve read that they have head gasket issues. Is it true they all leak oil? And I shouldn’t be alarmed?
Oil leaks are not normal, some seepage is normal. The source of the leak should be found & addressed if it's serious or if it bothers you. :wink:

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2016 and 2020 Foresters
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At least inspect the timing belt, pulleys, tensioner, etc. If it doesn't look new, replace it all.

Ok leaks are a bit more subjective. They are a bit more normal than you'd think on the N/A EJ engines. A head gasket can seep oil for years before they go 'bad'. If they are losing oil more rapidly, or actually dripping enough to notice on the dipstick over time, then they should be done.

That's in the context of externally leaking oil.

If there are ANY signs of coolant leaks, externally or especially internally, it's time to do the head gaskets.

I've had 4 N/A EJ powered Subarus. 3 seeped oil for years, never did the head gaskets on any as I moved on to other things. 1 externally also leaked coolant for longer than I probably should have let it, but was totaled before I had the gaskets done.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limitd CVT
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Our 07 Forester never leaked oil until the head gaskets began to fail. Oil leaked then and there was also some coolant leak. I had the head gaskets replaced and since then no leaks. Also if replacing the head gaskets thats a good time to replace the belt and check all other parts the belt turns for wear and replace any that are problematic.
 

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1999 A/T - 235,000 mi. WA state
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I'd do the timing belt, since it's an auction car you it wouldn't have come from local dealer nor have access to prior owner for history.

On the oil leaks - they come with 90% of old cars and I just let them leak. Negligible oil loss can still leave a real drip mark over the course of a week / month. Measure the oil loss over time / miles would be my suggestion.

Welcome to subaru!
 

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2016 Forester Premium 2.5
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I have owned Subarus since 1993, with several approaching 200,000 miles. I have seen several oil leaks, but never from a head gasket. Don’t assume the worst first. Inspect for where the leak is coming from. Replace the timing belt even if it looks new if service records are not available. They often look new when they’re due to be replaced. Replace the tensioner‘s and idler pulleys, Water pump and thermostat. Always replace the cam seals and the main seal when you do this. They are cheap, and you are right there. They are often your source of leaks. Good luck!
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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Many shops document a timing belt change with a sticker on the underneath side of the hood. Take a look.
 

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2003 Forester 4EAT
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Most of our old Subaru's leak oil (none from headgaskets- our '97/ '98 Legacy's all leave oil drips- valve cover gaskets, rear seal/ separator plate mostly. Many pof the EJ253 engines (2005- 2010) will begin tpo seep a little form the headgaskets but may take years before it gets bad. W ehad an '05 Impreza that had a slight amount of seepage by 150K miles but not enough to drip on the ground.
 

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2011 Forester 2.5X Automatic
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Definitely do the timng belt, tensioning pulleys and the water pump. Usually you can score a "timing belt kit" with all the needed stuff. Make sure you replace the water pump because it's driven by the timing belt; labor to replace belt is about the same as replacing the water pump ...do both at the same time.

Oil leaks are common on the older Subies ...probably dried out valve cover gasket. Head gaskets are also prone to failure but I'd wait 'til it does before you spend the bucks on repair..
 
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