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09 Outback PZEV, H4, 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #1
Background: 2009 Outback PZEV 2.5 automatic. Driven in rainy Vancouver, BC. One owner. 69,000 KM (43,000 miles), age on engine 116 months. Suspension modified (springs, lifts, shocks) to carry wheelchair on external lift. City/Highway 50/50, wheelchair carrying 30%. I don't do silly things with it - it's my only car!

Obviously I'm over time on changing the timing belt, and that's with the recommendation of both the dealer and an independent Subaru specialist.

Planning to do the belt at the end of March.

Question: I'm inclined to change every moving part (except the water pump) including the serpentine belt, since the dealer says they "check the idlers/tensioners and change if needed". I'm not convinced one can detect impending failure based on "feel" but I'm willing to be told I'm wrong!!

I'm 70+, btw, so I'm not doing it myself!

Your opinions would be valued on this question....thanks!
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,627 Posts
if you are paying dealer labor rates, change ALL idlers and the tensioner.

you could check online dealer prices and ask the shop to match parts prices.

subarugenuineparts.com

fredbeansparts.com
 

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09 Outback PZEV, H4, 4EAT
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166 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That's my initial thinking, yes. The cost of parts pales in comparison to the labour! Quote is somewhere between $700 and $1000 - they don't (at last asking) have detailed parts prices. The 700 is inline with other shops, and the specialist wants $1000 and does everything including the water pump with "performance rated" parts.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I did the TB system on my WRX myself at around 9 years but under 70K miles, 2 idlers were very dry/noisy and one of those was slightly wobbly. The tensioner had oil on top of it (note , some say that's normal)

it gets very hot here and my car stays outdoors, in BC, things may last longer.

I have no regrets.
 

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2008 3.0R
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73 Posts
Ask for OE subaru parts and a part list breakdown of what will be ordered, then compare with what subarugenuineparts.com says for part numbers and prices

this shouldn't be hard info for them to provide you
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
Replace the timing belt, tensioner, and 3 pulleys.

The pulleys loose grease over time and I can't imagine assessing any accurate failure probability on them. Those that have held 100's of pulleys could probably make good guesses, but it's not worth it and they're business model financial motivation is time and 12,000 mile warranties.

modern Subaru water pump failures are extremely rare. There's probably no appreciable failure rate difference between 70k-140k and 0k-70k water pump failures or original verses replacement labor induced failures. but they're still easy, cheap, and a reasonable "while you're in there thing".

i don't always replace the water pump because they so rarely fail. i've actually yet to see *any* EJ water pump failures even on old high mileages 1990's EJ's. the short pump shaft lends itself to less wear than older style long shafts of the EA/ER series engines.
 

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09 Outback PZEV, H4, 4EAT
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166 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
My thanks to all who commented. You've confirmed my thinking. One question left, though -- what about the serpentine belt?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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accessory?

belts are very robust but - they are rubber/fabric - subject to 100s of thousands flex cycles and thousands of heat/cold cycles with the seasons and engine operation.

no reason the shop shouldn't swap it out.

I have a friend who always kept his old belts in the trunk(s) of his cars as an emergency replacement. I don't think he ever used one - likely because he was just that diligent with maintenance!
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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It'd be worth the few extra bucks in parts cost, but there should be ZERO extra labor charge. They have to be removed/installed as part of the timing belt change anyway.

IIRC, there's an ~5 year change interval on serp belts anyway. Cheap, and is cheap insurance.
 

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09 Outback PZEV, H4, 4EAT
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166 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, Rough Diamond et al - that's again what I thought. I'm going to ask for all the parts back, just out of curiosity! :)
 

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09 Outback PZEV, H4, 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #12
Followup -- Just got the beast back. I used the local dealer and had him replace all moving parts that touch the timing belt (other than water pump and crankshaft pulley!). $350 labour and $730 parts. I calculate that the extra parts (tooth idler, tensioner, Idler bearing) were about $425 of that total cost. I thought the labour cost was pretty reasonable, actually.
It looks as though they drained the rad (put fresh antifreeze in) and probably pulled the rad hoses, but otherwise just worked in the space available.

I have the old parts here, and they look to be in great shape. I can't feel any unevenness to the bearings and the belt looks quite newish. I reckon I could probably have gone on for some considerable time but I'd have been worried the whole time! :)
 
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2008 Outback 2.5
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954 Posts
Missed the earlier posts. I would have also had the camshaft seals replaced. They are only a couple of dollars each and you are already down that deep. However, mine were pristine and bone dry on the outside when I replaced them so they obviously were holding up. The upper and lower radiator hoses can be changed in 15 minutes other than draining, catching and refilling the coolant and the parts are less than $30 and can be replaced at any time although you won't want them failing on you during a long drive.
 
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