Driving home from work today (and fortunately, very close to home!), my Roo made what I would describe as a “pop” or “snap” sound. After that, no power even when stepping on gas peddle. RPMs dropped off and car coasted down hill. After letting the car sit for a few minutes, attempted to re-start and the car made a “whirring” noise but did not turn over. Don’t think it is the alternator (have had that happen before on a previous roo…) Any thoughts? Timing belt?

You are attempting to connect a failed alternator to a “Pop” noise and a loss of power and additionaly a failure to crank, I don’t think you will be this lucky.

Another rubber belt car bites the dust…

Timing Belt Is A Good Guess.
The whirring noise would be the engine cranking, minus the valve train and compression.

What model year is this vehicle and approximately how many miles on it?

Has the timing belt been replaced at the recommended miles / years ?


Timing belt sounds likely. How many miles on your car and how many past the recommended timing belt change is it? :slight_smile:


Do you love the car enough to have replaced the timing belt on schedule?

At this point, I am also leaning toward a snapped timing belt, but you have not really given us enough to go on–so far.

Please provide the missing details (model year, odometer mileage, maintenance history) that will enable us to give some advice that actually has validity.

Thanks for all the responses – I appreciate the insight and this is my second Roo, thus am familiar with all the “ups and downs” of owning a Roo (mostly ups in my experience, especially when there’s 2-3 feet of snow on the ground).

It is a 2003 Outback Wagon and has just over 122K miles on it. (Mostly highway miles.) Bought the car with 80K on it.

(My previous Roo finally had to be retired with 210K miles, so I know these cars are built to run for awhile!)

Thanks again

You didn’t answer the key question. Do you know when the timing belt was last changed? (Both length of time and mileage).

The timing belt was due at 105,000 miles. It possibly has failed from the sounds of it.

The cars do run a while but Subaru’s with the 2.5L(yours) are interference whereas the 2.2L was non-interference so timing belt was not as critical.

It is relatively inexpensive to replace it on Subaru, ($300-$400) so keep in mind if that is not the problem currently.

I am guessing that the lack of a response from the OP for over 24 hours gives us an answer to the question that I posed above.

Just as the expression, “well-maintained”, frequently turns out to not be an accurate description of someone’s approach to car care, I am guessing that this automotive love affair was not actually consummated by giving it appropriate maintenance.

I hope that I am wrong.

Maybe what cars need is a maintenance reminder that covers ALL the items in the Owner’s Manual, not just oil changes.
A small alpha-numeric display that also blinks and beeps when maintenance is due.
Resettable with an OBD-II scanner

While that is probably a good idea, even if cars had a screen that displayed messages such as Timing Belt should be replaced at 105k miles, I can guarantee that we would still get questions such as:

Do I REALLY have to replace my timing belt just because the car’s message center says I should?

My car’s message center told me to replace the timing belt last year, but I didn’t do it. Today, the engine made a loud noise and then quit running. Do you think that the timing belt might be the problem?

In other words, “you can’t fix stupid”, and no attempt to totally idiot-proof a car will ever be successful.