Subaru Outback Timing Belt
I'm looking to by a 2005/2006 Outback. Most have 145K miles or thereabouts. I
will have to check if the timing belt was replaced in the 90K range. What is the
suggested next level/age of the car that one should change the belt again?
Change the belt every 105,000 miles.
You should check the belt yearly for any abnormal wear and replace accordingly. And from what I know with my foresters, you should probably replace all the gears with the timing belt as they don't last forever. Gates has a good kit on RockAuto you can price check. hth
Stop thinking about mileage, as ONLY age and heat-related stress causes the belt to crack. Looking for a receipt for a t-belt repair in a 12 year old Subie is incorrect due diligence. Just INSPECT IT, as walt suggests. Remove the left (driver) side outer polastic cover's top bolt and pull the cover forward about 3cm to inspect the belt for cracks (or oil in the old days); check tension by pushing down on it too. With a small flashlight you can see its teeth on the lower return side...as well the wp behind that. Do this test annually, but I've NEVER seen a cause for worry before ten years age...regardless of mileage. Expected lifespan is 10-15 years, so DO inspect it, and annually when you pop in an air filter and check for oil leaks, busted DOJ boots and oil leaks...and my recommended ATF drain-refill (that's de riguer!).
Since you are buying a replacement car, I would advise you to look for one with the timing belt changed or figure that into the price negotiation as it will be something you have to do sooner or later. Depending upon where you live, the weather conditions will dictate how soon this has to be done. My opinion is to always follow the manufacturers instructions, it's cheap insurance. Look, it's going to have to be changed at some point. Wouldn't you rather schedule it than have a catastrophic failure and lose your engine? I suppose you could extend this if you are really vigilant and check the belt yourself... but, do you really want to do this and have the expertise.....if you don't...then you're playing with fire. If all you want is reliable transportation, just have the bell changed and keep driving. You wouldn't want to squeeze the last miles out of your balding tires and risk a blowout or accident....? Same advice holds true here.... except that, once you blow your timing belt, the car is a total loss. It's a maintenance thing, and should be done every nine years or 105,000 miles.... what's unreasonable about that?
Decaf, Mark.... Jeff, just INSPECT the timing belt rather than hunting for possibly-erroneous prior service data. It's so easy to do....
Ernie, sure, my main point is the price, I would definitely raise the issue to save some money on the purchase.