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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
New member here. I have a bit of a problem and nerves are getting the best of me. I bought a 2006 Forester at a pre auction sale in January. It had only 73k mi but was an upstate VT car so a bit rough. Low price so i figured i would chance it. Daily driver..no issues until last week...now 78k. Fast forward to last week the engine started to make a squeak noise, only at idle..only sporadic..then became a bit louder. The squeak would go away when you either were at speed(engine above idle)...or when you moved the steering. So i thought it was probably a drive belt and scheduled an appt to drop it off tomorrow while on vacation. Today i drove it an hr away for a business meeting. Nothing unusual this morning...minor squeak at idle. When i was set to.leave this evening...engjne was very hard to start...then was missing badly. I popped hood and drive belt to power steering is badly shredded..but still on there somehow. I thought maybe power steering pump locked up..or failed. Called for tow. When tow truck driver arrived..he tried to start it once...it ran for about 10 sec..very rough ..then stalled. Tried a second time would not start. I honestly didn't even think timing belt..but now i am worried. Would engine still run with accessory belt failure? Would that cause timing to be off? Could i have two issues? Car only has 78k...no inducations of timing belt issue..no ticking missung, weird noises from timing belt, etc. But i am almost sure it is original. Any reason why a drive broken drive belt would cause car to run rough or not to start? Btw..i did not hear any clanking or grinding when engine stalled out..it just stalled. Any thought here? Mechanic will look tomorrow..but should i be worried about a timing belt or engine damage?

Thanks
 

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‘14 FXTT; '15 Legacy FB25
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That tow truck driver is an idiot for starting it with a shredded drive belt!

You likely need to replace the drive belt and possibly the battery. Check all pulleys with the drive belt off to determine if any are seized.

Seems far-fetched that the drive belt would look the way you describe it, which explains your symptoms, AND the timing belt decided to go at the same time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So i guess my question...would a broken drive belt alone(no issue with timing belt) cause engine to miss, stutter, possibly stall(or no start). I thought loss of drive belt would knly cause loss of power steering, a/c, alternator etc...but engine would run OK. But this is my first subie...so i may be very wrong
 

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G'day & Welcome @greenne

The shredded drive belt could be an indication that "something" has seized as in itself it would not cause the symptoms you describe. The timing belt will need to be checked as will the pulleys as gathermewool has suggested. There is an inspection hatch on the left-hand side at the top of the engine. If the timing belt is OK I would suggest the timing cover needs to be removed to inspect fully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey guys,

I wanted to give everyone an update.

The timing belt was inspected and A-ok. No evidence of wear and all pulleys, bearings, etc checked for play.

The drive belt(power steering, alternator was shredded and replaced. Once it was replaced, check engine light reset and after one minute or so of running everything went smooth again(smooth idle). No problems with drivability since.

Apparentely a non functioning drive belt will do something to the timing, or maybe electrical system that causes engine to run extremely rough and/or stall. I always thought accessory drive belt had no bearing on engine cycle(just simply you would have no power steering, battery would die without alt, etc)..but apparently on the boxer engine it does something with how the engine runs.

Good to know....
 

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Thanks for the update @greenne - I've added SOLVED to the title

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Originally posted by greenne
Hey guys,

I wanted to give everyone an update.

The timing belt was inspected and A-ok. No evidence of wear and all pulleys, bearings, etc checked for play.

The drive belt(power steering, alternator was shredded and replaced. Once it was replaced, check engine light reset and after one minute or so of running everything went smooth again(smooth idle). No problems with drivability since.

Apparently a non functioning drive belt will do something to the timing, or maybe electrical system that causes engine to run extremely rough and/or stall. I always thought accessory drive belt had no bearing on engine cycle (just simply you would have no power steering, battery would die without alt, etc)..but apparently on the boxer engine it does something with how the engine runs.

Good to know....
I can't see that being an issue merely with boxer engines...

Everything you describe can be caused by a low battery situation with a positive indication of that in the 'engine was very hard to start' phase. As you learned in the long run. With a new belt to drive the alternator and put the power back into the battery you're right to go.

The computer reset is something that only relates to modern cars, it can be achieved through the coupling under the steering column or by disconnecting the battery for a short time and then hooking it back up again.

We all have our reasons, but I wouldn't have thought to drive it so far with the belt in a bad state. But it's true that I'm thinking from the perspective of someone who would simply go to a parts shop, buy a belt and fit it. Half an hour of fiddling around. Not of someone who takes everything to a mechanic.

That said, I'd love to have a Forester with such low mileage for its age!
 
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