2003 Subaru Legacy - Timing belt trouble

Timeing belt shredded

Yeah those have to be replaced from time to time as part of your preventive maintenance program…

How many miles are on the vehicle and how long since the last one was replaced??

Well, you can look at it this way, you will get those pesky, prone to leak/blow head gaskets replaced now…

Sorry you are having to deal with this issue, it sux and hurts the bank account if not prepared for it…


Ask your shop to make sure after replacing the timing belt that there’s nothing leaking on it. l When coolant or oil get on the timing belt, it makes it slippery, and it can then skip over the cogs, damaging the belt, or worse. Cross your fingers there’s no internal engine damage from the belt shredding and un-synchronizing the valves from the pistons. .

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Another vague post from that worthless Ask Someone section . I think that all 2003 Subaru engines were interference so this thing is probably on it way to a salvage yard.


Your engine is destroyed. Scrap the car or start looking for a remanufactured engine… it WILL be expensive and likely more than the car is worth to replace the engine.


Your engine is what is known as an “interference” engine. When the timing belt breaks, it causes the valves to crash into the tops of the pistons doing large amounts of internal damage. That is why the timing belt needs to be replaced periodically.

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I wonder whether the OP (or the previous owners) followed the maintenance schedule for that very vital part. It should have been replaced (along with the tensioners) 3 times, based on elapsed time. Can the OP tell us whether this was ever done?

The cost for that job would probably be somewhere in the area of $600, and skipping that maintenance item can have an extremely high cost when the engine has been trashed.

Just an additional comment…

Is it really the timing belt? If it is the uncovered belt that you can see that wraps around the alternator, AC and such, that is NOT a timing belt, it is an accessory drive belt. Much less expensive and likely shredded because SOMEthing quit turning while the engine was running. You need to make sure all the components and idlers turn before you replace it.


If I were to hazard a guess, it would be no