2014 Subaru Forester -- camshaft replacement

Has anyone had problems with check engine light coming on and the cause was 3 camshaft gears that needed replaced? Engine has 100,000 and I just purchased it; no warranty, big bucks to repair. I don’t see any recalls on this.

What is the code that caused the light to go on?

Too bad the CEL came on after you bought it, but that is water under the bridge now.
I would not be surprised that the failure was due to lack of maintenance, ie timely oil&fliter changes with the correct oil.

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I did not get the code from the Subaru dealer. Seems ironic that the lights (ck. Engine, hill assist, traction control and tires came on shortly after having a battery replaced at Pepboys. Subaru reset the codes, but as soon as we drove out of the parking lot came right back on.

Eventhough this car was sold to you without warranty,you could bring the seller to court if it was a hidden defect.

Without knowing the code I can’t help you. Is it drivable? If so, go to a car parts store and have them read the code.

Take it to a auto parts store such as Autozone and have the codes read.
From your post it seems your car is running. Why do you think it is camshaft gears. Have it checked by an independent (not chain store) mechanic.

If your check engine light comes on, the computer disables traction control and cruise control and causes the brake light to flash. The brake light is to get your attention, there is nothing wrong with the brakes except that I think it also disables ABS. The items disabled cause the other lights to come on.

There is nothing wrong with the camshaft gears either except they maybe out of time. If the head gasket was replaced, that could be one cause for them to be out of time. Other things that could cause this is a defective chain tensioner or variable cam timing valve. Most likely the tensioner caused by the wrong oil being used (0w20 synthetic only) or poor maintenance schedule.

You could try for an oil change with the correct oil but that is a long shot. Once the tensioner sticks, it must be manually cleaned out or replaced. This is not uncommon for DOHC engines using a timing chain instead of a timing belt.

You’ve got the 2.5L DOHC non-turbo engine, right? That has two timing chains, one for the left side cylinder head, and one for the right side. Each side has three timing gears (one for the crankshaft, and two for the camshafts). So I presume you are having trouble with just one side of the engine. Think positive, better to have problems on one side than both sides. There’s a tsb that might be related for the camshaft position sensor spec. If that part isn’t positioned within a certain distance of the thing it senses it won’t work reliably, and that could cause hard starts, poor running, etc, and could be mistaken for a camshaft timing gear/chain problem. So good idea to have that checked to spec. tsb 11-130-13R. Associated diagnostic codes for this problem are P0340, P0341, P0345, P0346, P0365, P0366, P0390, P0391, P030x.

Did you proceed with the repair? How much did/will it cost? If we’re talking thousands of dollars, perhaps it might be best to disconnect the battery long enough to clear the CEL, then trade it in toward something else. It sounds like that’s what the previous owner did, so no need to feel bad about doing it yourself.