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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello --

I just purchased a 2012 Outback 2.5i Premium with 114,500 miles on it. The car is for my daughter, and I'm trying to get it in good working condition because she lives four hours away from me and is somewhat on her own.

This post is focused on the Timing Belt. I know it is scheduled to be changed at 105,000 miles. And I'm talking to a dealership about doing the work. I'm having difficulty communicating with these guys. They don't seem to want to really talk about what they actually do, what they actually replace, when they do the job. And I'm a little fuzzy about what should be done as well as it pertains to a Subaru Outback.

1. Water Pump -- The dealership basically tells me, and I've read here on some other posts, that the water pump doesn't need to be changed for good 200,000+ miles, unless it is clearly a problem. I've always thought that standard operating procedure when changing a timing belt or chain included the replacement of the water pump. So, I'm thinking about perhaps buying one online, an AISIN, and having it available at the shop when they do the work next week. What do you think of this? Does anybody know the actual part number? This is coming at me kind of fast across the board.

2. Idlers and Tensioners -- Same thing here. I've tagged along while doing a few timing chain jobs with some buddies, and they replaced everything including the idlers and the tensioners.

3. Thermostat – I'm new somewhat to Subarus. I take it from the posts that the thermostat is located behind the timing belt cover. Is this correct? In short, replace it now?

So, I'm hoping I'll be able to chat with the mechanic and kind of make a connection regarding what they change and why. But at the present moment it kinda sounds like they change the belt, maybe one tensioner if needed, and coolant (bar standard gaskets). I'm trying to be prepared, especially as regards the water pump.

Any advice on any of this? Thanks a lot. Trying to do a good job for her.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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a 10 year old car may not need to go to the dealership. Finding a Subaru friendly shop near where your daughter lives could actually be a better choice in the long run.

waterpumps are extremely robust. Plus, the most likely failure mode would be some obvious dripping onto the ground. If this car was well maintained, I'd leave it alone.

OEM thermostats are very robust, but, if it is replaced, it matters that an OEM style t'stat is used, aftermarkets will cause problems.

the toothed idler in the timing belt system is the most failure-prone, but, if you are paying someone for all that labor, it's best to swap all idlers, probably the tensioner, adna new belt of course. All japanese sourced. If this car does have all original parts, they are way overdue for servicing. the schedule is 105K miles OR 105 months, w'ever comes first.

The tires must all be the same model/size/ and near each other in wear. She will need to be vigilant with them.

I never owned a Subaru as new as that and I'm sure others will respong, likely with better insight.

That car has the potential to be a good school car. Just needs some TLC.
 

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Yes, find a local repair shop, stay away from the stealership. Have your daughter begin to build a relationship with a good repair shop, ask around to your co-workers to find who they have repair their cars.

I use the same shop my dad did back in the early 1980's when I came back from the USAF, my son uses them too. It should be easy to find a local shop that knows cars. You just have to look while you're driving around your area.


Aisin is the best timing belt kit currently, Gates used to be, but they began using Chinese parts, (junk).


Oh, all my Subaru's get Prestone coolant. use the 50/50 premix.
 
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If you want to replace the pump, use an AISIN timing kit. It will have the Japanese pulleys and tensioner along with a Mitsuboshi belt. You don't need to change the pump unless tap water was run in the car. And if that's the case you will see signs of corrosion in the system.

The thermostat can be replaced as a precaution with the belt and pulleys. Use a Subaru, AISIN, Mahle, Beck Arnley or TAMA. A thermostat other than these will not be made correctly and limit coolant flow which can cause the engine to overheat and then you'll be risking head gasket failure.

Spark plugs are due every 60k miles. They can run to 120k, but I don't suggest it. NGK or Denso plugs.

Should the valve covers and tube seals need to be replaced due to oil leaking into the spark plug tube, use OEM or Mahle gaskets.

Asian Blue for coolant. Pick a brand. The coolant system needs to be burped of all the air correctly or it will cause issues with temperature control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gentlemen --

Thank you for your advice. I've been considering matters and researching. I'll make my final decision on all of this somewhat when I get to the dealership and talk with the mechanic. I probably would have purchased a Aisin TKF-006 Engine Timing Belt Kit with New Water Pump and had them install all new parts, but I can't find anyone who can ship it to me over night (appointment is on Monday morning).

By the way, I'm dealing with a dealership because I can't find anyone locally (SE Ohio) who is a "Subaru friendly shop" who will tackle the timing belt job. Plus, I'm hoping there might be some kind of warranty with the job that might transfer to Buffalo where my daughter lives.

By the way, in my travels I came across two websites I thought were quite good (though you guys probably know of better ones).

Youtube video on timing belt replacement:

The Ultimate Subaru timing belt parts guide! What parts fit your build?: The Ultimate Subaru timing belt parts guide! What parts fit your build? — Blingstrom

Thanks again for your help. I will report back later concerning my experience on Monday.
 

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Be VERY careful with getting the dealer workshop to do the work.

You WILL NEED to be VERY SPECIFIC about what you want done. PUT THIS IN WRITING.

For reliability you should have the timing belt, timing belt tensioner and ALL idler pulleys replaced. You should also have the camshaft and crankshaft seals replaced.

If you have any doubt about the serviceability of the water pump you should also have this replaced. There are numerous reports about a bearing failing in the water pump and causing premature timing belt failure. I believe this is always from aftermarket water pumps (not Subaru water pumps).

The dealer workshop will typically say that some parts are OK and do not need replacing. The response to this needs to be “Will those parts still be OK in another 100,000 miles?” The answer to this question is nearly always No, BUT unless you ask the question the dealer will typically not suggest the replacement of these parts.

Seagrass
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Be VERY careful with getting the dealer workshop to do the work.

You WILL NEED to be VERY SPECIFIC about what you want done. PUT THIS IN WRITING.

For reliability you should have the timing belt, timing belt tensioner and ALL idler pulleys replaced. You should also have the camshaft and crankshaft seals replaced.

If you have any doubt about the serviceability of the water pump you should also have this replaced. There are numerous reports about a bearing failing in the water pump and causing premature timing belt failure. I believe this is always from aftermarket water pumps (not Subaru water pumps).

The dealer workshop will typically say that some parts are OK and do not need replacing. The response to this needs to be “Will those parts still be OK in another 100,000 miles?” The answer to this question is nearly always No, BUT unless you ask the question the dealer will typically not suggest the replacement of these parts.

Seagrass
Thank you. Solid advice. Great question to ask. We will see how it is answered tomorrow morning.
 
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