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2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? #4598415
12/08/17 07:40 PM
12/08/17 07:40 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2
Wheat Ridge CO
johnnyv38 Offline OP
johnnyv38  Offline OP

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2
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?

Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38] #4598420
12/08/17 07:45 PM
12/08/17 07:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,469
Lyndhurst NJ
Audios Offline
Audios  Offline

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,469
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.


2002 VW Golf TDI-Mobil 1 5/40 TDT
2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI- M1 0/30 ESP
2005 BMW M3 BMW Twin Power 10/60
2003 BMW M5-Fuchs 5/40
1998 BMW M3/4/5 Fuchs 5/40
Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38] #4598440
12/08/17 08:02 PM
12/08/17 08:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 505
North of you Idaho
KneeGrinder Offline
KneeGrinder  Offline

Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 505
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


08 Tribeca 86k PUP 5w30 wix
06 Accord Hybrid 134k PPHM 0w20 wix
02 Chevy k3500 99k Delvac 1 esp 5w40 wix
00 F350 136k Delvac 1300 15w40 wix
Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38] #4598446
12/08/17 08:07 PM
12/08/17 08:07 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,595
Slovenia EU
Kamele0N Offline
Kamele0N  Offline

Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,595
Slovenia EU
Keep that water pump (if you want to go cheap) but change a belt with a tensioner...


2008 Toyota Yaris 1ND-TV 1.4 D4-D Elf FullTech FE 5w30
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD Shell Rimula R6M 10w40
Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38] #4598472
12/08/17 08:32 PM
12/08/17 08:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline
Merkava_4  Offline

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
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.

Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: Merkava_4] #4598492
12/08/17 08:45 PM
12/08/17 08:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,426
NE,Ohio
Rand Online content
Rand  Online Content

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,426
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.


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: KneeGrinder] #4598728
12/09/17 07:38 AM
12/09/17 07:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,192
Kennett Square, PA
artbuc Offline
artbuc  Offline

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,192
Kennett Square, 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.

Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38] #4598755
12/09/17 08:36 AM
12/09/17 08:36 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,446
The land of USA-made Subies!
SubieRubyRoo Offline
SubieRubyRoo  Offline

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,446
The land of USA-made Subies!
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.

Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38] #4598833
12/09/17 10:09 AM
12/09/17 10:09 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11,342
Phoenix, AZ
Nick1994 Offline
Nick1994  Offline

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11,342
Phoenix, AZ
Id change it asap.


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 92k STP Synthetic HM 10w30 & Wix
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 233k Mobil Super HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 148k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38] #4598860
12/09/17 10:50 AM
12/09/17 10:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,177
Occupied Virginia
Bottom_Feeder Online content
Bottom_Feeder  Online Content

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,177
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.

Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: Bottom_Feeder] #4600400
12/11/17 07:14 AM
12/11/17 07:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,192
Kennett Square, PA
artbuc Offline
artbuc  Offline

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,192
Kennett Square, 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 friends 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.

Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38] #4600595
12/11/17 12:18 PM
12/11/17 12:18 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4,341
New England
madRiver Online content
madRiver  Online Content

Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4,341
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.

Re: 2003 Subaru Legacy Wagon low mileage timing belt? [Re: johnnyv38] #4604528
12/15/17 02:35 PM
12/15/17 02:35 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,446
The land of USA-made Subies!
SubieRubyRoo Offline
SubieRubyRoo  Offline

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,446
The land of USA-made Subies!
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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