2005 Subaru Forester harmonic balancer related to timing belt?

Hi, My harmonic balancer needs to be replaced. About 9000 miles ago I had the timing belt replaced and am wondering what are the chances the mechanic messed up the balancer in the process?

Slim to none.


Things break on a 13 year old car.
9000 miles later and you want to pin it on the guy that worked on it 6-12 months ago!!!



Some harmonic balancers require special pullers for removal.

Without the proper puller, the harmonic balancer can be damaged.


The harmonic balancer is part of the crank pulley ass’y probably and it has to be removed to replace the timing belt. It is possible it could have been damaged during the removal process, as the removal process can be a little tricky. For example, the pulley has to be pulled off with a puller tool. To do that you have to insert the bolt part way in, so the puller has something to push against. But once the puller has loosened the pulley from the crankshaft, then the puller should be removed, the bolt removed, and the pulley removed the rest of the way by hand. If the mechanic keeps applying the puller, eventually the puller will be pulling the pulley against the bolt, and that could damage the pulley/harmonic balancer. Seems very unlikely a pro mechanic would do that though. A diy’er or inexperienced mechanic might however.

What sort of damage did the harmonic balancer have?

Thanks for the response, lots of bits of rubber coming out of the balancer.

Thanks for the response, pretty much what most everyone else is saying as well.

Relax Yosemite. I’m not ‘wanting’ to pin it on anyone.

It’s possible but also just as likely it failed on its own. If you look around, you’ll see people on either side of the fence for this one-

one example- https://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/crank-pulley-failure-beware-7969/

Then why ask if the mechanic could have messes it up.


That sounds more like just a normal HB failure mode. Rubber parts tend to deteriorate with time and temperature. If it was damaged during removal, more likely see some misalignment between the two parts, possibly the pulley would wobble during rotation, or chips removed where the puller contacted the pulley, bends in the metal, etc. The kind of failure you are seeing however is a little unusual in so youthful of vehicle. Still, if I had to venture a guess, unlikely related to the timing belt work. More likely a manufacturing defect or materials & design problem.

There’s an unusual spec I’ve never seen before regarding tightening the bolts that hold the pulley on. It says the “tightening angle” of the bolt must be more than 65 degrees. I think what that means is once the bolt becomes hard to turn, it should still turn another 65 degrees before reaching the spec’d torque value. If it doesn’t, either there’s a problem with the bolt or the threads that the bolt screws into which must be addressed.

From what I see, to replace w/an oem part on the turbo version, $200 parts cost plus 1/2 hour labor, not that big of deal.