Why has my Subaru broken three timing belts in five months?

Thursday April 23 2020


By Paul Kaganzi

Hello Paul, I drive a Subaru and in five months, I have replaced the timing belt three times. On the last occasion we also replaced a piston which was damaged. I wonder why the timing belt keeps breaking. Seguja

Hello Seguja, your Subaru engine may have suffered more mechanical damage to the cylinders, corn rods, valves or camshaft than has been seen or fixed.

Subaru engines are the interference type which means the crankshaft (which turns pistons) and camshaft (which pushes valves) are synchronised by the timing belt.

In the event that a timing belt snaps, there is most likely ensuing damage from collision of the pistons and valves as they get out of sync.

The mechanics who replaced your timing belt ought to widen the inspection scope to ensure that the components I have mentioned above are not damaged.

Also, ensure that you replace the timing belt, tensioner and roller with genuine Subaru parts from an approved Subaru parts outlet.


Timing procedure in the workshop should consider the approved timing guide and reference marks. A timing belt ought to last 60,000 kilometres after the first replacement.