timing belt on a 97 outback

20

Asked by Oct 12, 2015 at 02:58 PM about the Subaru Outback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My Subaru mechanic says I need to replace the timing belt, and head gaskets which show minor leakage on my 97 outback, which has only 98k miles, which I know is the right thing to do. But, can I do a 600 mile round trip first? I have it scheduled, but mechanic doesn't have time till the following week. Car has been regularly maintained.

6 Answers

23,235

I wouldn't advise the 600 mile trip. Look at it this way, you're going to do the timing belt soon, just do it now and not worry about it. It's like someone saying that they want to get the last 600 miles on their tires before they replace them. Plus, if your mechanic told you to do it, and he's seen the cracks and wear on these parts from age, he probably knows what he's talking about. I'll bet that this is your first timing belt replacement and you know that you have to replace the water pump as well, cheap insurance. It's all labor. And, you need a head gasket job as well. See if you can get the head gaskets replacement with the multi layered head gaskets, newer design. You shouldn't have to revisit these items for another 100,000 miles. It's likely going to cost you about $2,500 for all this, but, you cannot buy a new car for that price and it wouldn't even be more than the sales tax on a new car. Hope this helps. http://www.felpro-only.com/blog/sealing-subaru-2-5l-engines/

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
20

Yep, I figured as much. Mechanic suggested renting a car for the trip (this weekend) but also said if I took it easy - not 4 hours of non-stop 65mph driving, and paid attention to not overheating, perhaps it would be OK, and he does know the car after a lot of years. Now I think I will see about borrowing a car for the trip, and get the work done when I get back. Always good to have another opinion, and be safe rather than sorry. Those new Outbacks do look pretty tempting, but as you said, it is a serious difference in cost. Thanks.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
23,235

Sammers- glad to give you another perspective. You might be able to get this done for around $2,000 , depending on where you live. I imagine that you have a good independent mechanic and he's honest. I hope he's aware of the the multi layered head gaskets issue. By the way, you can save a lot of money purchasing a CPO vehicle lease return that's three or four years old. It saves a lot on depreciation, that's how I purchased my car. And get the extended warranty to 100,000 miles. In the meantime, yes, the rental car sounds like a good idea. So, was this your first timing belt, etc. If so, you've gotten great service from your car. Are you the original owner and have you had any other serious problems? If my answers have been helpful, please mark them best answer. Thanks and enjoy your car. I love mine.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful
20

Yes, it is my first timing belt, and have had very few issues with the car over the years. I love my Outback, and my local mechanic, who only works on Subarus. His estimate was 2,000. for the work. I have a friend with a 2015 Forester who is going to loan me her car while she is out of town. What luck! thanks for the tip on a lease return vehicle if I change my mind in a few years, but frankly there are a lot of things I still like about my 97.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
23,235

Sammers, thanks for marking my answers, I appreciate it and glad I could help you. Great to hear that your 1997 Subaru Outback has served you well. Soon, you'll be joining the Subaru high mileage club at 100,000 miles, they'll even send you an emblem you can put on your car. Just call them at the 800-782-2783 number. Sounds like you purchased this car new, is that correct? You know, I purchased my 1995 Honda Accord EX brand new and it was a great car, but, after I got my teardrop trailer, it was apparent in the first six months that my Honda was not up to the task and I had to sell the car. A friend of mine convinced me to consider the late model CPO car and I couldn't be happier, it was the best decision. I have a couple of friends with Subaru Forester models, they're nice, but, they drive more like trucks, the Outback feels more like a large sedan in the station wagon form. It's also on the Legacy platform, larger chassis, more comfortable ride. And, it's just physics, the Forester and Outback have the same 2.5 Four engine, but, the towing capacity of the Outback is 2,700 pounds while the Forrester has only 1,500 pounds capacity. And, you can get the 3.6 H6 engine in the Subaru Outback if you really need more power. Funny thing is, the 3.6 H6 engine can only tow 3,000 pounds, a mere 300 pounds more than the Four. Anyway, hope your trip and repairs go well. It's always less expensive to fix your car than get a replacement. That's why I kept my Honda Accord EX station wagon for 19 years with almost 150,000 miles. And when I sold it, I got $3,000 for the car.

23,235

Sammers, by the way, I have 73,000 miles on my 2010 and it runs like a new car. Keep logging the miles, Subaru cars are known for going a long way.

Your Answer

Outback

Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 36,920 nationwide Outback listings starting at $1,000.

ZIP:

Subaru Outback Experts

  • #1
    Markw1952
    Reputation
    8,720
  • #2
    TheSubaruGuruBoston
    Reputation
    2,920
  • #3
    F_O_R
    Reputation
    2,910
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
402 Great Deals out of 39,150 listings starting at $1,000
Used Subaru Legacy
237 Great Deals out of 15,238 listings starting at $1,795
Used Subaru Impreza
202 Great Deals out of 22,982 listings starting at $1,505
Used Honda CR-V
931 Great Deals out of 60,465 listings starting at $1,368
Used Subaru Crosstrek
73 Great Deals out of 9,776 listings starting at $16,998
Used Toyota RAV4
810 Great Deals out of 54,150 listings starting at $1,600
Used Toyota 4Runner
328 Great Deals out of 27,093 listings starting at $1,800
Used Toyota Highlander
598 Great Deals out of 37,981 listings starting at $2,500
Used Toyota Tacoma
713 Great Deals out of 45,876 listings starting at $2,500
Used Subaru XV Crosstrek
84 Great Deals out of 1,949 listings starting at $9,888
Used Toyota Camry
1,104 Great Deals out of 87,563 listings starting at $995
Used Honda Pilot
754 Great Deals out of 41,357 listings starting at $998
Used Honda Accord
1,111 Great Deals out of 74,387 listings starting at $1,100
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
1,069 Great Deals out of 72,617 listings starting at $1,195
Used Ford Escape
1,257 Great Deals out of 104,496 listings starting at $895

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.