2000 Subaru Outback Timing Chain (Or Belt?)


Asked by Jul 09, 2014 at 12:35 PM about the 2000 Subaru Outback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I Have a 2000 subaru outback I bought with 98k miles.  It's now at 114k, and I was under the impression that it's critical to change the timing chain/water pump before 120k miles.  Is this a timing belt or a timing chain, and is it critical to change now? If so, what's a reasonable cost to do this?

27 Answers

it is a timing belt I just had my change at 190000 miles I brought the car with 187000 miles on it It is a belt made out of rubber I paid around 600.00 dollars but this include the cam shafts seals, , pullys and also water pump

8 people found this helpful.

Thanks,Keith! I need the water pump and belt I think... as far as I know they've never been replaced on this car... it's good to know I have a little time to get it done.


Did you change your timing belt and water pump? If not, you should do so ASAP. Don't think you have until 190k, that's a critical error. You should have this done around 100,000 to 105,000 mile intervals. You're running the risk of blowing your engine. Seriously, unless you have the H6 engine, which has the timing chain, you're very vulnerable. You cannot assume that in the previous post that it was the first timing belt at 190,000 miles. Ask your mechanic and you'll see I'm right.

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Best Answer Mark helpful

When I brought my car it already had 187,000 miles on it not sure if the previous owner had the timing belt done but i needed the cam seals changed so went ahead and had the timing belt done also


Probably a wise move.... so, how does an Outback perform at this advanced mileage range approaching 200k? Does it run and idle smoothly and get the gas mileage expected for a car of this vintage? Don't know what you paid for this, but, if your car is in decent shape cosmetically it's always cheaper to just fix the car. 200,000 miles is the new normal for most cars and I've read that Subaru's frequently go to 300,000. Check out the Subaru high mileage club. I imagine that it's had a timing belt change already around 100k. Does it burn oil or have any head gasket problems? Be sure that you switch to the multi layered head gasket when you need to do that. Contact Subaru on that one, there are a lot of after market bad gaskets.

1 people found this helpful.

It doesn't burn oil but does leak oil onto the manifold and I get that lousy oil smell I have try pinpointing the leak with that UV dye and will try again I thouhgt it may have been when I did the last oil change I did not chancge the oil pan plug Gasket I installed a new one the other day and will check it when it warms up a little . The car has been leaking since I had it which is why I got the cam seals replaced t i also did the cover gasket and spakg plug gaskets, the oil seems to be leaking on the front passanger side of the engine

2 people found this helpful.

my car with over 2000000 miles runs smoothly, except for the oil leak i really have no complaints I only paid $950.00 for the car


Thanks for the help guys! I recently moved to Springfield and don't have a good mechanic locally- I think I also have another leak- Virginia Tire and auto told me I need a new transaxle. Friend looked at it and said I just need a seal... ??? Have to get the timing belt, water pump and this other thing fixed. Car runs ok but burns a little oil. So, should I fix or trade it? Not sure- and I hate to make car payments!!!!

1 people found this helpful.

I got this information from a website hope it helps I was told by a mechanic that a Subaru is good car to invest in mine has 215000 miles on it and is still running fine and yes it does leak oil , and also i would see how much for the axel seal verus the whole axel From a financial perspective, it's almost always a smarter choice to drive an old car that's paid for than to buy a new car requiring an auto loan. While your old car is getting up there in miles and age, it doesn't really sound like it's requiring a lot of repairs. In reality, you are spending the majority of your dollars (at least what you cited in your question) on maintenance, and that's a big difference. Maintenance, which includes regularly scheduled work when your car reaches a certain mileage as well as wear-and-tear items -- such as tires, brakes and windshield wipers -- are costs all car owners incur, regardless of the age of the car. These costs don't disappear with a new car -- unless you buy a model with a free car maintenance plan, and then they may only be free for a limited time. Even with an inexpensive car and an auto loan at a great interest rate, you are looking at a minimum of about $2,400 annually on car payments alone. It's unlikely your older car will cost you $2,400 in repairs. Either way, you'll likely be paying for maintenance. Instead, don't let the costs of necessary car maintenance on your used car sneak up on you. Put aside some money each month into a car fund, similar to the way you would if you were making a monthly payment on a car loan. Use the money from that fund for your current car when necessary. If you plan it well, you'll have more money in the fund than you need, which you can use for a down payment when you decide to buy a new car Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/fix-old-car-or-buy-new- car.aspx#ixzz3NPGT1TPy Follow us: @Bankrate on Twitter | Bankrate on Facebook

2 people found this helpful.

I agree with you, maintaining an older car is less expensive than purchasing a new or even late model CPO model. On average, it should not cost more than $1,500 in actual car repairs per year. Notice I said car repairs, not maintenance like oil changes, tires and brakes. After you've paid for a car and keep the body and interior in good condition, this is important, you should have a solid investment. Once you've passed the 6 or 7 year mark, your car should start paying for itself. The key is to keep up with all maintenance and fix everything that goes wrong with your car when it happens, That way, you'll enjoy driving your car. It doesn't matter how old it is, rather that everything works. Today, with the price of newer cars, the tax you'd have to pay just to get a new one would probably pay for the repairs you'll have to make. However, there are a few caveats; No matter how much money you sink into an old car, you cannot dramatically increase the fuel economy, safety and other new features found exclusively on newer cars like collision prevention, lane departure, etc. Also, there comes a point in time when there's not much you can do to improve ride quality if the suspension has settled. Finally, and this is a major downside, if you invest a lot of money in an old car and it gets totaled, your insurance company will likely fight you on the value you have into the automobile, so, be careful.

2 people found this helpful.

I can not afford to make car payments so I have to pay cash for my cars , which severly limits on what I can buy I am pretty handy so can do a lot of repairs and maintence work myself I expect to have to put upkeep cost in my vechicles I have always had collision on my vechicle and so far I have "totaled" 4 cars each time I have gotten more for the cars then I have paid for them BTW My insurence company tells me i have an excellent driving record Who can Figure??? I always paid way less than book value and the cars are so old the insurance company would paid more to have them repaired than to just total them ( they always take the cheaper way )


I understand. You're lucky that you know how to work on your own cars, most newer cars are like rolling computers these days and if you don't have the skills or diagnostics equipment to do the work yourself, then you have no alternative than to find a good mechanic. I'm lucky I have an honest mechanic here in LA. I also agree with you and always keep collision on my cars. Good for you on the excellent driving record, If you did not know, you can call your insurance company and get the rate reduced if you're retired and or drive less than 7,500 miles per year. A lot of people don't know that. I always keep my cars in top mechanical and cosmetic condition. For example, my previous car was a 1995 Honda Accord EX wagon that I sold for $3,000 with 150,000 miles on the clock. Everything worked perfectly on this car. It takes a lot to keep a car going, but, like I previously said, no matter what it's cheaper to maintain than replace. I needed this newer Subaru to better tow my trailer and had ground clearance issues with the old wagon. There was nothing I could do to remedy those two problems other than replace the car. Yes, it's great that you can purchase the cars for below book... a lot of people just don't know what they have or are unwilling to hold out for a better price. My Honda was in remarkable condition and those 95 EX wagons are rare, so, I got top dollar. KBB is about 1/2 the price listed. It's all about condition in a used car.


One more thing, most insurance companies will only pay the blue book price on "totaled" cars, so, you're extremely lucky or bought those cars at rock bottom prices. Who is your insurance company anyway, I'm with State Farm and while they're good, they would have never paid what I had invested in an old 85 T-Bird years ago. Fortunately, I have never had to experience a total loss, but, know people who have and it's not a pretty picture.


kelly blue book on my car is about $2300,00 i paid$ 950.00 put about $800.00 in repairs , timing belt,cam seals water pump , pulleys etc so I am still ahead


i have my insurance thru Arbella with a local agent


oh yeah I used the "fair" conditon for the kelly blue book value, i plan on keeping the car till it dies a horrbile death so am not to concern with the cosmetics i am not planning on selling it at all


Thanks for the info. I see that Arbella is a regional insurance company. OK, so, you are not concerned with cosmetics, I understand. Define "horrible death", you mean another total or engine blow. I'm concerned with both mechanical and cosmetic condition. My thought is I don't care how old my car is as long as everything works and provides a level of safety. Good thing for you that you purchased those cars in fair condition at a low price.


Is rust a problem for you, I see your in Massachusetts. Southern California is a haven for old cars as you know.


HI mark I do have some rust on the rear wheelwells which i repair with Bill Hearsh Miracle paint hardens like a rock , and i try to keep it looking good , so far all the cars i have had gone by the wayside because of accidents , my 2001Chevy Cavalier was total when I hit a patch of black ice, I was about 20 feet from my driveway going down the hill when i hit the ice I try to find a softplace to stop and i pulled unto a small hill I was only going about ten miles an hour I tore out the whole supension and had to climb out the passanger window to get out of the car like a nascar driver I look behind me and here comes the sanding truck sanding the road , my 2000 Ford taurus was backed into by someone, they total that one too , my stepson smash my oldsmobile into a bunch of tress they also total that one the only car that died a horrible death was my cutless ciera it had a cracked frame and had to be put to sleep it was unsafe to drive ,( I think when I brought that car it may have been in a prior accident it only had 3000 miles on it and was my favorite car, untill i got the Subie which is in grreat shape except for the oil leaks

1 people found this helpful.

Your t-belt is 15 years old...but so is the Subie! So inspect it! It's easy: remove LF plastic cover 10mm screw (rip it off if stuck); pry cover forward one inch to inspect belt with flashlight; ush belt down 1/4" with finger, noticing it gently springs back; is everything dry? Belt look ok (tears, nicks, threads loose)? If all good and there are no clacking noises from a loose belt at warm idle then LEAVE T ALONE, as the water pump is most probably ok too. Yet this is a 3 hr job by a good wrench, so $400 is fair. But don't get in there unless necessary, as the risk of putting the new belt incorrectly (off a tooth on a cam pulley) is significant. Spend your money on good plugs (plat/iridium), wires, brakes, wheel bearings, struts, etc. Most importantly drain and refill the autobox...maybe TWICE if black or gunky. Good luck.

3 people found this helpful.

Thanks SubaruGuruBoston. What is the autobox in a Subie? Maybe transmission? Anyway thanks for explaining. I'm about to buy a 2008 Subie Outback with 113K 2.5i, however the local dealership and car lot I'm buying from are suggesting I get the 105K mile work completed with tbelt change. I think I'll look at it when I arrive and then drive it back home about 4 hours away. ~mike


BigtimberIndy-. Did you purchase the 2008? The automatic transmission is a 4 speed electronic automatic transmission. I respectfully disagree with Ernie about the timing belt, water pump and thermostat.... Plus all the other belts. It's cheap insurance to just change them ALL out. Think of it this way, compared to a new car or failure, what could be less EXPENSIVE. And, don't forget to have them check your head gaskets.


Correction, it's a 5 speed electronic automatic transmission.


A 5EAT in an '08 2.5? Keep screwing up, Grasshopper....


Five-speed Edit Subaru released the 5EAT w/ SportShift in 2003 based on the Jatco JR507E transmission. Well, apparently Wikipedia got this wrong.... 5EAT Edit Gear Ratios: 1st 3.540 2nd 2.264 3rd 1.471 4th 1.000 5th 0.834 Rev 2.370 Usage: 2005+ Subaru Legacy GT, Subaru Outback, Subaru Tribeca

1 people found this helpful.

Still not quite right, Grasshopper. Only with the 6 cyl...not the 2.5i. Don't believe everything you read...and ESPECIALLY don't pass it along as an "alternative" fact, eh? Too much of that goin' around....

1 people found this helpful.

Ernie, thanks....They should have clarified that the H6 only had the 5 speed transmission.

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