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#4598415 - 12/08/17 06:40 PM 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt?
johnnyv38 Offline


Registered: 12/07/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Wheat Ridge CO
I have a 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon with 43k miles. The timing belt/water pump have not yet been changed. Should I wait for the miles to change it or should it be changed based on the age of the car?

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#4598420 - 12/08/17 06:45 PM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38]
Audios Offline


Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 888
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
No do it now, better safe than sorry. I think usually the interval is 7 or so years, 100k. Probably less for Subaru though.
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#4598440 - 12/08/17 07:02 PM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38]
KneeGrinder Offline


Registered: 11/28/17
Posts: 221
Loc: North of you Idaho
Good advice, 7 years, 10 max, for all belts and main upper and lower radiator hoses. Do the thermostat also. See what you started...lol
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#4598446 - 12/08/17 07:07 PM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38]
Kamele0N Online   sick


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 2042
Loc: Slovenia
Keep that water pump (if you want to go cheap) but change a belt with a tensioner...
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#4598472 - 12/08/17 07:32 PM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
The answer to that question depends on how much money you got and whether you're going to hire the work done or do it yourself. The other criterial would be whether the engine is an interference engine or not.

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#4598492 - 12/08/17 07:45 PM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: Merkava_4]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12650
Loc: NE,Ohio
yes the engine goes boom if it goes.. and since its now 15 years old and its recommended at 105 months/105k miles IIRC.

I'd also do all the pulleys, tensioner, and water pump. the extra labor and parts are minimal..

and you dont want a pulley bearing going in 20000miles and killing the engine.
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#4598728 - 12/09/17 06:38 AM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: KneeGrinder]
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1162
Loc: West Chester, PA
Originally Posted By: KneeGrinder
Good advice, 7 years, 10 max, for all belts and main upper and lower radiator hoses. Do the thermostat also. See what you started...lol


Would do radiator hoses only if they showed signs of deterioration. Modern hoses are good for way more than 10 years, probably good for the life of the engine.

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#4598755 - 12/09/17 07:36 AM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38]
SubieRubyRoo Offline


Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 1137
Loc: Winchester, Indiana
There are three pulleys, the tensioner, and the water pump that should ALWAYS be done when doing the timing belt. Rand is correct... you don't want a reused pulley blowing up 500 miles into your new belt and requiring a full rebuild... especially with only 43k. I would also do the thermostat and housing gasket at the same time as coolant since it couldn't be any easier (Subaru t-stat housings are on the bottom... just crack the housing bolts loose over a drain pan and you'll fully drain the system). Be sure to use the Subaru Coolant Conditioner and Subaru Green coolant is a good, safe bet. At this time in its life, new drive belts and hoses are wise too.

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#4598833 - 12/09/17 09:09 AM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10118
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Iíd change it asap.
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#4598860 - 12/09/17 09:50 AM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38]
Bottom_Feeder Offline


Registered: 12/07/08
Posts: 3013
Loc: Occupied Virginia
I agree that the belt should be changed due to age, but personally I would gamble that the rest of the components are fine up to the recommended 105K. I would check the idlers and tensioner for anything out of the ordinary and the water pump for leaks, but if it all looks/feels/sounds good I would just replace the belt. It would be a quick job and you wouldn't even have to open the cooling system to do it.

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#4600400 - 12/11/17 06:14 AM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: Bottom_Feeder]
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1162
Loc: West Chester, PA
Originally Posted By: Bottom_Feeder
I agree that the belt should be changed due to age, but personally I would gamble that the rest of the components are fine up to the recommended 105K. I would check the idlers and tensioner for anything out of the ordinary and the water pump for leaks, but if it all looks/feels/sounds good I would just replace the belt. It would be a quick job and you wouldn't even have to open the cooling system to do it.


Just did my friendís 07 Outback with 92k miles. One of the smooth idlers rattled a little but everything else was perfect, including the Yamada water pump. I totally agree with just doing timing belt although at 43k you should replace coolant...add conditioner to help you sleep better.

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#4600595 - 12/11/17 11:18 AM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38]
madRiver Offline


Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3538
Loc: New England
Ever try using an old rubber band? They break and are brittle. While not as severe your timing belt the same thing happens due to age.

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#4604528 - 12/15/17 01:35 PM Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38]
SubieRubyRoo Offline


Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 1137
Loc: Winchester, Indiana
Broken timing belts and running without coolant are about the only things that will kill an NA EJ25. Don't take a chance with such a low-mileage example. It's pennies in the long run, in cost avoidance on repairs and for piece of mind. Do these things and it will be super reliable for many, many moons to come.

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