The frequency of scheduled inspection and maintenance services required on Subaru vehicles is minimal when compared with vehicles of the past. While the number of items requiring regular replacement has decreased, the number of items needing periodic inspection has not. Periodic maintenance offers an excellent opportunity for engine belts, hoses and other parts to be checked for wear. Old tune-up standbys like spark plugs, fuel and air filters are still on every Subaru vehicle, and they still require periodic inspection and replacement.
The same applies to the other items on the Subaru maintenance schedule. The important thing is to carefully inspect each item. If additional corrective action is required, now is the time to find out. In this article, we’ll concentrate on some of the items on the maintenance schedule that tend to be over-looked.
Drive belts certainly last longer than they used to, but they don’t last forever. That’s why they should be inspected at the 30 month or 30,000 mile intervals and replaced at 60 month or 60,000 mile intervals. If inspection reveals that any of the belts is cracked, frayed or worn, they should be replaced. Proper belt tension, for both new and used belts, must be observed. Refer to the service manual for vehicle-specific belt tension information. Most Subaru vehicle employ sliding-bolt adjusters, which makes drive belt adjustment simple and precise.
Camshaft Drive Belt(s)
Most late model 49-state Subaru vehicles have a 30 month, 30,000 mile camshaft belt inspection recommendation, with a 105 month/105,000 mile replacement recommendation. Different Subaru vehicles have employed differ-ent camshaft drive belt configurations; consult a vehicle service manual for belt inspection and replacement recommendations for the particular Subaru vehicle you’re servicing.
Inspecting the belt(s) before the recommended replacement interval involves removing the accessory drive belts, then removing a protective cover to get a look at the belt(s). Manually crank the engine through four rotations while checking the timing belt’s back surface for cracks or damage. A loose belt, or one that is cracked or has been damaged by oil or coolant should be replaced. Measure the timing belt width, then compare this measurement to the service manual specifications. Misalignment of the idler pulley, tensioner, water pump pulley and cam sprockets may cause the edges of the timing belt to wear away. Any other visible signs of wear would make the belt a likely candidate for replacement.