Common Timing Belt Problems For The Subaru Forester

If you have a 2013 or older Subaru Forester, chances are you’ll experience issues with the timing belt at some point. Here’s a list of symptoms related to timing belt failure on the Forester, as well as some diagnostic tips, repair info, recommended parts, and background information.

Subaru Forester Timing Belt Failure Symptoms

  • Engine ticking or rattling noises
  • Engine misfire or rough running
  • Engine overheating
  • Engine not starting

Timing Belt Diagnosis and Repair Tips

Subaru Foresters with a timing belt have interference engines. An interference engine means that if the timing belt fails, the valves will strike the pistons and cause severe engine damage.  Timing belts have teeth that index to the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets. The teeth of the timing belt can wear down with high mileage. The rubber compound of the timing belt can also become less flexible and start to crack with age. The following conditions can lead to timing belt failure and possible engine damage:

  • Lack of scheduled timing belt replacement
  • Timing belt age
  • Timing belt wear
  • Timing belt tensioner failure

Diagnosing timing belt issues at the first sign of unusual engine noises or performance issues is critical. Preventative maintenance and prompt attention to timing belt failure symptoms can help avoid engine damage and expensive repairs.

Recommended Replacement Timing Belts

Check out this list below to find the recommended replacement timing belts GMB has available for the Subaru Forester.

2004 – 2013Subaru Forester H4 2.5L 2458ccTiming Belt Component Kit: 1460-0104
Timing Belt Component Kit w/Timing Belt: 2460-0328
Timing Belt Kit w/ Water Pump: 3460-3328
1999 – 2010Subaru Forester H4 2.5L 2458ccTiming Belt Component Kit: 1460-0105
Timing Belt Component Kit w/Timing Belt: 2460-0304
1999 – 2005Subaru Forester H4 2.5L 2458ccTiming Belt Kit w/ Water Pump: 3460-3304
1998 – 1998 Subaru Forester H4 2.5L 2458ccTiming Belt Component Kit: 1460-0150
Timing Belt Component Kit w/Integrated HydraulicTensioner: 2460-1277
Timing Belt Component Kit w/o Integrated Hydraulic Tensioner: 2460-0277
Timing Belt Kit w/ Water Pump & Integrated Hydraulic Tensioner: 3460-1277
Timing Belt Kit w/ Water Pump, w/o Integrated Hydraulic Tensioner: 3460-0277
1998 – 1999Subaru Forester H4 2.5L 2458ccTiming Belt Component Kit w/o Integrated Tensioner Assembly: 1460-0071

Why Do Subaru Foresters Have Timing Belt Problems?

Subarus often have loyal owners that keep their cars for several hundred thousand miles, and GMB sells many timing belts for these vehicles. Subaru timing belts wear out from age and mileage, like most other vehicles. The water pump life can also be affected by timing belt and tensioner issues and cooling system-related problems. Always perform scheduled cooling system maintenance to ensure long water pump life. Inspect the timing belt at recommended internals. Replace the timing belt tensioner and water pump at the same time that you service the timing belt.

Learn more about the high cost of putting off timing belt replacement.  

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