Subaru Timing Belts

My 2001 outback calls for a new timing belt at 105,000 miles. Forgive my ingnorance, I thought timing belts lasted longer than that?

Not really. some toyotas call for 60K timing belt changes, so this is much longer than those cars.

at 8~9 years old, you’re gonna need it changed based on time regardless. Pay now, or pay a lot later when it breaks on ya.

The belt and the car both were likely manufactured in the year 2000. This means the belt is about 9 years old and subject to snapping at any time.
Belts are time dependent also and just my opinion here, but a belt should never go beyond 6 years of age and especially true of any vehicle with an interference fit engine.

True; OP is driving on borrowed time and miles!!! Belts are made of RUBBER which deteriorates with both age and miles. OP may be confused with timing CHAINS whcih often last the life of the car.

Having said that, I did hear of a Honda Civic owner who drove his car to 150,000 miles on the same belt. That was in Canada where it’s a lot colder. Heat is a real enemy of rubber.

Some good friends of mine here in OK bought a very slick approx. 4 year old Honda Civic from a local dealer here some years ago. The car only had 59k miles on it.

A couple of weeks after the purchase they took off to Angel Fire, NM for a weekend snow ski getaway and the timing belt popped on them about 10 miles outside of Boise City, OK; generally considered oblivion here in OK.
Not a parts house around and they had to rely on the small Ford dealer there I think it was to repair the car. This led to special ordering parts in from Amarillo, TX and really put a damper on things as it took out every intake valve in the cylinder head and ran them a bit over a grand to fix.

And while that belt should not have snapped in theory at 4 years/59k miles it does show that they can go anytime.

Good point, OK. I do a lot of reliability and risk analysis for industry. And yes, even with the best monitoring methods, “random falures” will occur and they represent at least half of industrial maintenance costs. Big plants have critical machines in parallel, so that if one fails, the spare one already installed can take over. The failed one is then rebuilt and re-installed.

My approach to reliability is more like airline maintenance; I proactively tend to replace things as they near the last 10% of their life. Only ever owned one car with a timing belt, a Mitsubishi, and replaced all the belts at 40,000 miles. Replaced one timing chain on on a Chevy small block V8 at 160,000 miles since it was getting noisy.

Can the OP name any cars that have a longer replacement interval for a timing belt change than 105k? I honestly can’t think of any, but I can think of several that specify a change far earlier than 105k.

Regardless, rather than relying on perceptions and misconceptions, it is important to be guided by the Subaru Maintenance Schedule that was provided by the manufacturer. That little booklet will tell you that you are actually late for this vital maintenance procedure, based on elapsed time.