2005 Subaru ForesterTiming Belt change

Is this a job better left to a dealer or can an independent and competent shop do it?

What else should be changed or checked at same time? Water pump?, bearings?

It is very possible that the dealership’s price on this job will be no more expensive than an independent’s price.

Something to consider is that most mechanics do not perform a timing belt change on Subarus frequently, while the dealership’s service department does this job on a very regular basis. The Subaru timing belt is much longer and wraps around more pulleys and tensioners than the timing belt on I-4 engines, thus making it a somewhat more complex job than changing the belt on the engines that mechanics work on most of the time.

Personally, I would have it done by the dealership, and I would recommend that the water pump be replaced at the same time. However, if you know a foreign car specialist who regularly works on Subarus, you might want to compare his price with the dealership’s price.

Incidentally, if you had the Subaru credit card, you could likely have this maintenance done free-of-charge at the dealership, as I did. When you are at the dealership, pick up an application for that card!

Both can do a fine job. Depending on your locale a Subaru may be a rarer site or a pretty common occurrence(eg New England or CO). Water pump is usually prudent as you likely have hit 105k miles. Also experienced shops usually check your tensioner out (may be bearing you refer to).