I own a 2004 H6.30 Outback Wagon with 98,000 miles on the vehicle. I am the original owner and plan on keeping this car for several more years. Do I have to consider replacing the timing chain at some point? What is the life expectancy of Subaru’s timing chains? I am not able to get an answer from Subaru on this matter. Should I have the timing chain replaced at some point?
Chains do not typically need to be replaced ever. If your Subaru has a belt though, they are typically changed around 90,000 miles.
Change the chain when it gets noisy. You will know, they rarely simply fail unless poor oil change habits are involved or sheer bad luck.
Your Subaru does indeed have a timing chain, and it does not normally need to be changed during the life of the vehicle.
Unlike timing belts, which have a finite life span and which require periodic replacement, timing chains typically last for at least 200,000 miles and many of them are still good at 300k. That factor, along with head gasket problems on some of their 4-cylinder engines, is one of the reasons why I chose a 6 cylinder Outback.
And, as andrew stated, if your timing chain is going to fail, you will hear it gving you a warning. If you hear what sounds like a chain beating or vibrating against a metal cover, that will be your warning sign. However, I don’t anticipate that you will ever hear this sound unless you fail to keep up with oil changes and/or allow the oil level to fall dangerously low. The modern Subaru six-cylinder engine is about as bullet-proof as it gets.
The timing chain should last the life of the engine without replacement. That’s why there’s no specified replacement interval. You can ignore the timing chain.
After many years of using rubber belts, sounds like Subaru has finally wised up. Now if we could only get Honda and others to do the same…
Subaru continues to use timing belts on their 4 cylinder engines. Only their sixes use timing chains, and that helped to convince me to treat myself to the six cylinder engine when I bought my current Subie.