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2010 Forester
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619 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Service instructions say to inspect the camshaft belt (timing belt) on the 2.5L 4 cylinder engine at 30,000 mi.
I haven't dug into this new car engine yet (4000 mi) but I usually do my own maintenance where practical. I'm wondering if this belt can be "inspected" without unbolting a lot of covers and removing accessories to access it. If so, wouldn't it just be better to replace it at 30K?? Roughly what do they cost?
Bob
 

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'98 Forester
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502 Posts
They recomend changing at 105K or 105 months ( 8.75 years ) .... So to me it would be silly to spend the time to pull the covers to inspect it .... Might be a good idea to take a look at 60K ... 30K is a little soon to even worry about it ...

Even then Timing belts pretty much look the same between 20K and 70K miles , hard to tell unless they are really worn out or cracked ... I guess to make sure there isnt any oil contamination , but then you should be able to see it leaking to the outside ...
 

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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter #3
They recomend changing at 105K or 105 months ( 8.75 years ) .... So to me it would be silly to spend the time to pull the covers to inspect it .... Might be a good idea to take a look at 60K ... 30K is a little soon to even worry about it ...

Even then Timing belts pretty much look the same between 20K and 70K miles , hard to tell unless they are really worn out or cracked ... I guess to make sure there isnt any oil contamination , but then you should be able to see it leaking to the outside ...
What you suggest would likely work out well.......however....IF there was a fluke such as a crappy belt or some misalignment that accelerated belt wear, and the belt fails prior to the end of the warranty, the engine is destroyed and I have no evidence that it was inspected at 30K. Subaru could walk away from that engine replacement claim!!! I know that this would be a rare occurrence, and the belt will likely last 105K, but this is why warranties exist.
If I personally inspected it at 30K I'd have no proof unless I purchased a new one to replace it and had the receipt. This is a dilemma. If this was not an interference engine I would not give it a second thought.

Bob
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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1,373 Posts
You worry too much - have the dealer inspect it. It will cost you $$$$$$$$$$ to replace it at 30K and they or you most likely will break something. Someone will chime in on an inspection procedure. Just follow it and document it. And dont replace the plugs at 30K either!
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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1,525 Posts
IF there was a fluke such as a crappy belt or some misalignment that accelerated belt wear, and the belt fails prior to the end of the warranty, the engine is destroyed and I have no evidence that it was inspected at 30K. Subaru could walk away from that engine replacement claim!!! I know that this would be a rare occurrence, and the belt will likely last 105K, but this is why warranties exist.
If I personally inspected it at 30K I'd have no proof unless I purchased a new one to replace it and had the receipt. This is a dilemma. If this was not an interference engine I would not give it a second thought.

Bob
That being said Bob, I believe that you just have to prove that you have done the work in a journal of some type. Subaru, and I don't think any car manufacturer for that matter, requires you to have your vehicle serviced at a dealer. It is recommended and preferred but they cannot enforce that I believe. So speaking logically I think you will be OK if you do the inspection yourself and log it at the mileage done. I would think it is the same as if you do your own fluid/oil changes, filters, tire rotation. You know the required maintenance. Just remember logic isn't always correct so I can be way off base with this. Someone here should know though.
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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3,319 Posts
To inspect it, you remove the left ( drivers side in the US ) cover. It comes off with 3 10mm bolts. Then, on MY04 5 speed, I put it in 5th gear, put a mark on the belt and slowly push the car with my knees inspecting it until I go a full pass. Then I put on the cover.

With an automatic, I would try with a socket on a breaker bar and use the crankshaft pulley bolt to turn the motor.

But even doing this, I replaced my belt at 105K, inspected it at 135K and failed at 143K due to a loose bolt:
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/every-2-5l-interference-engine-64410/
 

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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter #7
That being said Bob, I believe that you just have to prove that you have done the work in a journal of some type. Subaru, and I don't think any car manufacturer for that matter, requires you to have your vehicle serviced at a dealer. It is recommended and preferred but they cannot enforce that I believe. So speaking logically I think you will be OK if you do the inspection yourself and log it at the mileage done. I would think it is the same as if you do your own fluid/oil changes, filters, tire rotation. You know the required maintenance. Just remember logic isn't always correct so I can be way off base with this. Someone here should know though.
Except for lube fluids and coolant, there are not many maint items that can destroy an engine if not replaced. Except for a timing belt!!!!! When changing oil, filters, coolant, etc., you have receipts. But with an inspection requirement you just have your word. You won't find out until after the damage occurs if Subaru will take your word or not. Kinda risky.
Well, I have another 26K or so to determine how I'll handle this. Thanks for the input and suggestions. Interesting issue!
Bob
 

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2014 CVT
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824 Posts
make a video showing the mileage of the car and the fact that the timing belt is off and that you rotated the belt and inspected the belt and found no cracks or other damage, its overkill yes, but at the sametime just because you have the 30k service at a dealership doesnt mean they are going to do it too, just my thoughts
 

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2010 Forester
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Discussion Starter #9
make a video showing the mileage of the car and the fact that the timing belt is off and that you rotated the belt and inspected the belt and found no cracks or other damage, its overkill yes, but at the sametime just because you have the 30k service at a dealership doesnt mean they are going to do it too, just my thoughts
That's an excellent idea for this and similar maintenance issues. Minimal chance that you'll ever need the evidence, but for the price of a 30 cent CD in your Subaru file you are well covered in the event of an issue or argument over a major repair claim. Thanks for that idea.
 

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2015 Forester X 6MT 6-Gear Manual
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To inspect it, you remove the left ( drivers side in the US ) cover. It comes off with 3 10mm bolts. Then, on MY04 5 speed, I put it in 5th gear, put a mark on the belt and slowly push the car with my knees inspecting it until I go a full pass. Then I put on the cover.

... ... ...
Is it not required to check tension in newton-metre at specific defection at some point? Is there a mark on the tensioner that the tensioner should not be relaxed past showing tell-tale stretch?
 

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2010 Forester
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619 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Where's the belt inspection cover??????

I'm now at 29K+ and have to deal with the 30K service requirements. I took off the engine cover and searched the front of the timing belt cover with a flashlight and can't find any inspection port to remove! :icon_question: I know that accessory drive belts are to be removed to do the actual inspection, but shouldn't I at least be able to see it without doing that step?? I'm building a list of what the dealer should do that is not practical for me to do, and I'd rather do the belt inspection (with video as suggested above).
Thanks,,,,,,,,
 
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