Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Central KY
Car Year: 2004
Car Model: Forester XS
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Getting ready for new Timing Belt, Coolant Flush, etc.
Hey guys. I've been a VW guy for a while, and have done various repairs on my vehicles over the years from oil changes to timing belts and clutches. Suffice it to say I've done plenty of work and feel comfortable with any maintenance I have coming up, but wanted to clarify a few points before I begin.
We bought our 2004 Subaru Forester XS with about 185k miles, and it's now closing in on 200k. If the timing belt was done at the last proper interval I should be good for about 10k miles longer, but I don't know how long ago it has been, and I'd rather change it now than chance it. There doesn't seem to be many Subaru-Specific parts sites like there is for Volkswagen, so am I pretty much fine sourcing parts from RockAuto and local B&Ms? RockAuto isn't coming up at the moment so I can't link to a kit, but can someone point me toward a good one with quality components? I want to do water pump as well.
I've also seen various things about bumping the starter to break the crank bolt loose, etc. Is it recommend I buy a special high-mass socket for it or is it really all that bad?
I've over-researched this to death. Pretty sure my car still has the blue OEM coolant in it, but I want to flush it all with the timing belt change. I have loads of pink Pentofrost SF laying around (red cap), could I flush my system out with a hose and refill with Pentofrost just to use the same in both my vehicles? Or should I just buy a gallon of whatever concentrated blue coolant I can find?
My driveshaft just crapped out completely, and I managed to find one in a pick-a-part with 136k miles for $100. I went ahead and installed it with a marked improvement in road noise and smoothness of acceleration. I'm planning to replace the old U-joints in my stock drive shaft per a YouTube video I found with an appropriate P/N for new joints. The new shaft is much better than the old one, but is still a bit noisy. I'd like to at least have a spare around if and when I need it.
While I had my car on the rack for the driveshaft, I checked all four wheels for play and found none. My tires are pretty crappy, so those will be up for changing soon. I don't need anything too grippy, we've had some decent snow in KY over the last two winters, but our Subie did fine with the road tires. But suggestions are welcome for something that will have good traction and still maintain decent fuel mileage.
If I'm not getting engine codes for emissions, should I just leave everything alone? The exhaust on this thing seems more complicated than it should be, and I can't help but think it would help things along to cut out everything not completely necessary and put in a more free-flowing cat. But I'm used to my straight-piped diesels.
I replaced my rear struts immediately after buying the car to fix the clunking issue. Is there any reason to replace the fronts yet if they pass the bounce test and don't make any noise? And should I get it re-aligned before new tires?
I think this is it... I'm sure there are loads of threads I haven't read yet, but I would also like to dampen down the road noise a bit more. The plastic tubes in the window seals helped, as well as the new driveshaft, but there's definitely more wind noise to take care of. I'll keep reading, but tips are still appreciated.
Thanks for hosting such a great forum - I've been reading a lot here over the last couple of years, and now it's time to really dig in on some stuff.
2004 Forester XS
1997 VW Passat Diesel