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I have a 2013 Outback with about 96,000 miles. I want to replace the timing chain and was wondering what else anyone can recommend while at it?? I am also doing spark plugs and wires, upgrade headlights and covers. Was thinking about water pump, transmission fluid, and any other belts, etc.

Thank you!!
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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yes chain, both the 3.6 and the FB 2.5 use a chain.

OP why are you wanting to change the chain?
 

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exactly, the chain is 'supposed' to be 'life-of-the-engine' part.

what is the problem you're experiencing?
 

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'17 OB 3.6 , '11 OB 2.5 , '11 Legacy 2.5
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If you have extra money laying around, and you're wanting to just throw parts at it, the Timing Chain is NOT where I would be spending my money at this point. Not at 96k. Fluids are always a good start (don't forget the diffs), and plugs aren't a bad idea either (pull a few first, and see if they have oil on them). Save your $ for the wheel bearing(s) that will be failing. Any symptoms, or just preventative maintenance?
 
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'14 Subi OBW, '02 Subi OBW (gone now, but well loved), '15 Toyota Sienna, '13 Honda CR-V
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I have to assume that the OP is running on some info provided by another well meaning Subaru owner that is used to the idea of replacing the Timing ___ and the waterpump at 100k miles.
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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No plug wires on fb engines. Coil on plug.

Add a pcv, rad cap. And stat, all OEM only! With Ngk plugs.
 

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2006 Subaru Outback Wagon 2.5L XT Limited
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exactly, the chain is 'supposed' to be 'life-of-the-engine' part.

what is the problem you're experiencing?
That is a myth. Timing chains stretch just the same as the Timing Belts. I always recommend replacing the chain every 100,000 miles. From looking at the photos of a timing chain, the guilds-to-me appear plastic. We all know what happens when metal rubs past plastic. Even metal on metal, eventually leads to Timing Chain Stretching. Plus the engine is being pulled multiple single points of contact. So over-time those single points start to widen, which cause the chain to stretch and jump. Which brings me to me next point. Oil. Oil is only for lube, not to sand-down metal to make it smooth. Metal will never be smooth, there is always that potential of metal striking metal or plastic. Overtime that metal barb will destroy gears and glides inside. As far as oil, now there is another potential leak. Since timing chains have to be lubricated, they have to put a timing chain seal to prevent the car from leaking oil. Problem with Subaru, their gaskets have never been the best quality. So after 40,000 miles the timing chain seals starts to leak. Replacing that gasket is not easy either. By the time you get to that seal, you might as well replace everything in there like; water pump, thermostat, glides, gears, and tensioners. It does not make sense to go all that way, just to continue using the same chain/belt. I know plenty of people who have lost their timing chain and engine right after 100k miles on the car. One was my dad, back in the 70s. My friend lost his engine two years ago after 117k miles on it, after failing to replace the timing chain. The chain stretched and jumped a tooth, just enough to cause the valves not to open and close properly. My dad drives conservativity and my friend drives spiritedly. Their driving styles are at opposite ends of the spectrum. My mechanic told me, Timing Chains and Belts have the most stress startup/stop. The more we keep starting and stopping our engines the more damage to the timing chain/belt. Now with this start/stop technology, don't be surprised if more and more people are losing their chain/belt. However most people now-a-days are leasing, so that problem is basically solved according the manufacture. The main reason why car manufactures made the switch back to chain is for Sales. They know that if they raise the cost of a replacement engine or chain, that you would rather buy a newer vehicle then to spend money to repair a broken one. Chain vs Belt is a game to these people. Their end goal is to make money, not to keep your car running after the warranty is expired.
 
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^ yes timing chains stretch but it is typically a life time component. Chain on an engine that is properly designed and properly maintained should last the usable life of the engine. you want to spend the big and I do mean BIG money to change it, fine...not going to stop you. I am at 150K no chain rattle and timing is within spec for the motor at idle, car companies like Honda Toyota and Subaru absolutely have a vested interest in their products lasting as they know used car buyers directly translate into new car buyers.

If you beat the pee out of your car and are late on oil changes all the time then yes your timing chain will suffer. If you drive conservatively/normally and change your oil when due, the engine should last a very very long time.. This includes the timing chain as well.
 

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in general, I think there are a lot of chain-driven camshaft cars that seem to last. Doesn't mean of course that Subaru will match Honda, Toyota or anyone else in chain longevity, but there are some H6es over 200k+, I suspect exhaust valve stems stretching may be a bigger concern than chain stretch but it's just speculation....
 

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2006 Subaru Outback Wagon 2.5L XT Limited
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^ yes timing chains stretch but it is typically a life time component. Chain on an engine that is properly designed and properly maintained should last the usable life of the engine. you want to spend the big and I do mean BIG money to change it, fine...not going to stop you. I am at 150K no chain rattle and timing is within spec for the motor at idle, car companies like Honda Toyota and Subaru absolutely have a vested interest in their products lasting as they know used car buyers directly translate into new car buyers.

If you beat the pee out of your car and are late on oil changes all the time then yes your timing chain will suffer. If you drive conservatively/normally and change your oil when due, the engine should last a very very long time.. This includes the timing chain as well.
Well New Yorkers tend to beat on their cars. That is basically all New Yorkers by the way. I have also have seen car chases and they are just as bad. Turns out, the south states has a lot of car/police chases. I've conducted an experiment, which I am making my new driving skill. My subaru has a turbocharged engine and I've found out the the maximum spot on the accelerator petal, before my vacuum goes to 0. At the moment with my existing turbo, If I want to stay out of boost, I cannot go above 14 percent accelerator pedal. Everyone else, goes right to 20+% on a N.A. motor. So if I want to make everyone happy behind me, I would always will be in boost mode. I've found out to make the people behind me happy, I would need at lease 10lbs of boost. In my N.A. car, once again I keep the RPMs at 2,000-2,500 while accelerating, this makes people unhappy. People want acceration speed, from traffic light to traffic light. Well the reason why I bring this up, Peoples driving/maintenance style does not all follow you and me. We both maintain our vehicles, we both love to save gas, so we tend not to beat on our cars, unless we are in a spot and have no choice. I am speaking for the majorilty of what I have seen. I drive around 30,000+ miles a year. My conclusion, I drive my turbo-charged car more eco-friendly, than someone whom does not have a forced induction engine.
 
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