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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
My 2011 3.6R has recently had its 90k mile service, during which the dealer replaced the auxiliary timing belt and tensioner. Since then, whenever I turn the wheel at low speed, the steering makes a groaning sound. I've checked the power steering fluid levels on several occasions and there are no signs of any leaks. Is it likely that the power steering pump is about to go or could there be another issue?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,146 Posts
Maybe the belt just needs to be tightened...Typically Subarus like about 1/4" deflection where other cars can live with 1/2"
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 Limited
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1,018 Posts
OP - I assume you meant "auxiliary belt" (i.e. serpentine belt) AND "timing belt", not "auxiliary timing belt"?

So... in other words you have a new serpentine belt with a new tensioner (in addition to a new timing belt and whatever tensioners/idlers they happened to replace)?

If the issue started after they did the job but didn't exist prior I'd say just take it back to them and state your concern. If the new tensioner isn't keeping it as tight as it should (to traildogck's point) it could cause slippage and squeal.

Other than that - if the power steering fluid hasn't been replaced and you have 90k on it even if the fluid level is fine it's not a bad idea to get it replaced. A full synthetic Dexron IV or VI based fluid is great for this application. You can do it yourself with a syringe or turkey baster - do a few drain-and-fills with running the engine in between to get most of the old fluid out. A more involved procedure would be to flush it - gets more of the contaminants out. Even so - the fact that you didn't have an issue before the service and now you do.... I'd start with getting that part addressed by the shop since they did the work.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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950 Posts
The 3.6 engine has a timing chain, not a timing belt. Not sure what the OP is attempting to say unless he is referring only to the serpentine belt. 90,000 miles is typically a good service interval at which to replace most serpentine belts. On the other hand, timing chains can often go 250,000 miles before a replacement may be needed.
 
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2012 Outback 2.5 Limited
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The 3.6 engine has a timing chain, not a timing belt. Not sure what the OP is attempting to say unless he is referring only to the serpentine belt. 90,000 miles is typically a good service interval at which to replace most serpentine belts. On the other hand, timing chains can often go 250,000 miles before a replacement may be needed.
Ha good point. I keep forgetting since my 2012 2.5 has a timing belt.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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Discussion Starter #6
Just to clarify - I had the serpentine / auxiliary belt changed, along with the tensioner. I apologize for any confusion. I'll go back to the dealer on Monday and see what they say - although I am somewhat reluctant to go back there as they aren't cheap - $1500 for a 90k service, belt and tensioner replacement.

If it does turn out to be the pump then I might try and replace it myself - although I'm not too sure how complex a job it is.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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$1,500 for that job is ridiculous. If you cannot DIY, then find a good indie shop to do it for you.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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Discussion Starter #8
The $1500 was with them giving me some kind of discount as well - I wasn't impressed at all. I've bought a load of stuff to do DIY work - DeWalt mechanic set, ramps, jack, creeper trolley and axle stands, and all the oil changing accessories - so plan on doing all routine maintenance from now on. From looking online it seems fairly straightforward to do an oil and filter change so will start with that and then work my way onto harder stuff. One of my work colleagues races a Subaru WRX in his spare time and he has offered to help me with some of the maintenance.
 

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DIY is always the best choice, especially if you can get some experienced help. Remember - no one will take better care of your vehicle than YOU will.
 
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