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Discussion Starter #1
On a 2009 OB, about to do 1st replacement of the two drive belts, ALT & P/S and AC comp. The existing OEM belts are:

ALT/PS - Mitsubishi 809218370
AC comp - Mitsubishi 809214500

Both existing belts are showing some cracked ribs and glazing after 55k miles. Question is do I replace with OEM or go with another brand? On the Rockauto.com site, I'm seeing ACDELCO, DAYCO, GATES, GOODYEAR, and ROADMAX. On another site, BANDO, CONTINENTAL CONTITECH. Any of these brands any good or do I stick to OEM, which they don't have? Thanks.
 

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The well-known brand aftermarket belts are probably fine as belts go and price might be the overriding factor. But if you can get the genuine Subaru-supplied belts at a reasonable cost (check out the on-line dealers such as subaruonlineparts.com and subarupartsforyou.com) then that might be the way to go to ensure the specs and size will be right the first time.

There were some threads here in the past couple of months where aftermarket replacement belts that were listed as being for the particular car were actually too long by a fraction of an inch. This caused the alternator tensioner bolt to get very close to the edge of the belt, and as I recall in one case, to actually rub against the belt. The fix was to find a similar (width, grooves) aftermarket belt that's slightly shorter in overall length than the one listed by that supplier for that car but that shouldn't be needed if the belt is the Subaru part.

See this poster's findings: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/40587-alternator-belt-tensioner-too-close-belt.html#post448992
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The well-known brand aftermarket belts are probably fine as belts go and price might be the overriding factor. But if you can get the genuine Subaru-supplied belts at a reasonable cost (check out the on-line dealers such as subaruonlineparts.com and subarupartsforyou.com) then that might be the way to go to ensure the specs and size will be right the first time.

There were some threads here in the past couple of months where aftermarket replacement belts that were listed as being for the particular car were actually too long by a fraction of an inch. This caused the alternator tensioner bolt to get very close to the edge of the belt, and as I recall in one case, to actually rub against the belt. The fix was to find a similar (width, grooves) aftermarket belt that's slightly shorter in overall length than the one listed by that supplier for that car but that shouldn't be needed if the belt is the Subaru part.

See this poster's findings: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/40587-alternator-belt-tensioner-too-close-belt.html#post448992
Probably a good idea to go with OEM. The difference in price is not that much and I'm already saving a bundle over the $150 the dealer wants to do the job.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it too much. I usually stick to bigger name brands, like the first list you made...but honestly I don't think it much matters with drive belts. So of course OEM is a great fit too.
 
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