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# 214405 9-May-2017 22:07
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Hi There!

 

We have a Subaru Impreza 2005 Auto GX20, how do I tell if it has a belt or chain? I recall being told it had a chain, but we are selling it and someone asked. I was hoping someone might know off the top of their head. 

 

 


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  # 1778833 9-May-2017 22:34
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Have a look at the engine number. But since it is a 2L engine it will most likely be a belt engine. In saying that Cambelts are relatively easy to change on Subaru's. Just remove the radiator and you have good access to the front of the engine to do the belt change.

 

People choosing cars based solely on belt or chain are stupid. As cam chains can and do fail. Cam chains also stretch as well. And when they do the ECU often starts throwing lots of trouble codes due to the relationship between the signals produced by the crank and cam angle sensors changing.

 

There is no substitute for doing planned servicing and researching common faults of a model of car you are thinking of buying before buying it.

 

Post a picture of your engine.






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  # 1778843 9-May-2017 22:56
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Pretty sure that like most manufacturers, the belt replacement will be based on age - not just mileage - so 2005 model - it's (long over)due and a fair question from a prospective buyer.

 

On average on Trademe, my guess is that the typical answer to the buyer is something like "yeah it was done 5,000km ago".

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1778850 9-May-2017 23:36
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I'm pretty sure all the boxer engines have belts.

....stand to be corrected though.

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  # 1778857 10-May-2017 00:15
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Aredwood:

 

People choosing cars based solely on belt or chain are stupid. As cam chains can and do fail. Cam chains also stretch as well. And when they do the ECU often starts throwing lots of trouble codes due to the relationship between the signals produced by the crank and cam angle sensors changing.

 

 

Yep. Earlier this year I had to replace the chains on my VE Commodore. Common problem with the V6 engines was timing chain stretch as they under-specced the chain. Of course they are pretty damn hard to service given they are not expected to need replacing over the life of an engine. Holden wanted $4000 to do the job, but I ended up getting it done at an independant garage for $1500.





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  # 1778858 10-May-2017 00:38

chevrolux: I'm pretty sure all the boxer engines have belts.

....stand to be corrected though.

 

 

 

The EZ30 is definitely chain driven. 3Litre 6 cylinder used in later model legacy's and Outbacks. There is also a 1.6L boxer that uses neither chain or belt. It is single cam with pushrods and rockers. And uses 2 gears to link camshaft and crankshaft together. AFAIK that 1.6L engine has been long out of production.

 

Im not up with the play with Subaru's newest engines. So there could easily be more that use chains.

 

Also (for the OP). Since the EJ series engines have only 4 valves per camshaft. If the cambelt snaps it often won't do any internal damage to the engine, as the camshafts come to rest with all of the valves closed. So often you just have to install a new cambelt and tensioner and the engine is working again. (still annoying as a snapped cambelt will still strand you wherever you happen to be at the time)






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  # 1778867 10-May-2017 06:47
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To be sure call a Subaru dealer with the VIN. The usually know.




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  # 1779697 11-May-2017 15:08
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Aredwood:

 

Have a look at the engine number. But since it is a 2L engine it will most likely be a belt engine. In saying that Cambelts are relatively easy to change on Subaru's. Just remove the radiator and you have good access to the front of the engine to do the belt change.

 

People choosing cars based solely on belt or chain are stupid. As cam chains can and do fail. Cam chains also stretch as well. And when they do the ECU often starts throwing lots of trouble codes due to the relationship between the signals produced by the crank and cam angle sensors changing.

 

There is no substitute for doing planned servicing and researching common faults of a model of car you are thinking of buying before buying it.

 

Post a picture of your engine.

 

 

^^^ agree 100%

 

as owners of audi s4 v8s found out

 

http://jalopnik.com/here-s-why-the-v8-audi-s4-is-an-awful-used-car-1676466510

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 




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  # 1779704 11-May-2017 15:27
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It is a belt. Checked with Subaru. 

 

I understand not buying a car soley based on that, but as someone who had a cam belt sucked through the engine of a 3.5l Mitsubishi Pajero, and the cost being $7000 to fix, I feel it's a benefit nontheless.


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  # 1779706 11-May-2017 15:33
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chevrolux: I'm pretty sure all the boxer engines have belts.

....stand to be corrected though.

 

 

 

All of the current F series boxers are chain driven. Most of the E series 6-cylinder boxer engines post-2000 are chain driven (predominantly being the EZ series). Most of the E series 4-cylinder boxers are belt driven.


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  # 1780174 12-May-2017 13:45
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What happens if a car dealer advertises a car as timing chain, however the internet disagrees, I cross examine it with dealer and his comment is it's definitely a cambelt as end of engine is metal not plastic... Let's say even at point of sale it's well overdue for timing belt, then several years later belt breaks and destroys engine. If one has a screen shot of original listing, do you think dealer would be responsible here?

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  # 1780421 12-May-2017 23:06
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Aredwood:

 

<snip>

 

People choosing cars based solely on belt or chain are stupid. As cam chains can and do fail. Cam chains also stretch as well. And when they do the ECU often starts throwing lots of trouble codes due to the relationship between the signals produced by the crank and cam angle sensors changing.

 

<snip>

 

 

Those are strong words. Calling people stupid just because you do not agree with them.

 

Choosing a car with a chain driven cam over one with a belt driven cam is probably an entirely rational choice.

 

The main reason is one of cost. A typical cam-belt needs to be replaced at intervals of 100,000KMs or 5 years. Most used cars travel around 10,000KMs per year which means that the 5 year period is the one that counts and if $800 is a likely cost for a belt replacement, that means that cam-belt replacement is a bigger cost than third party insurance, road tax or tyre replacement for most people driving a used car in New Zealand.

 

Trying to argue that cam-chains can fail is not an impressive line of reasoning. Cam chains stretch long before they fail and that is a graceful failure mode. You may get a misfire, increased fuel consumption or poor performance but you will still get home and you will take the car to a mechanic long before the cam chain will fail. A cam-chain failure that is not preceded by significant stretching is a very unusual event and it would most likely be precipitated by a catastrophic failure in lubrication that would wipe out the engine through other means even if the cam-chain remained intact. On the other hand, a cam-belt failure will be catastrophic by itself. It will certainly strand you at the roadside and, unless you have the good fortune to have a non-interfering engine, it will leave you with huge engine repair costs as the belt failure will be followed by major internal engine damage.

 

Choosing a car with a cam-chain over one with a belt looks like a sensible choice as it eliminates a known cost and substantially reduces the likelihood of a costly failure.

 

 




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  # 1780424 12-May-2017 23:22
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jpoc:

 

Aredwood:

 

<snip>

 

People choosing cars based solely on belt or chain are stupid. As cam chains can and do fail. Cam chains also stretch as well. And when they do the ECU often starts throwing lots of trouble codes due to the relationship between the signals produced by the crank and cam angle sensors changing.

 

<snip>

 

 

Those are strong words. Calling people stupid just because you do not agree with them.

 

Choosing a car with a chain driven cam over one with a belt driven cam is probably an entirely rational choice.

 

The main reason is one of cost. A typical cam-belt needs to be replaced at intervals of 100,000KMs or 5 years. Most used cars travel around 10,000KMs per year which means that the 5 year period is the one that counts and if $800 is a likely cost for a belt replacement, that means that cam-belt replacement is a bigger cost than third party insurance, road tax or tyre replacement for most people driving a used car in New Zealand.

 

Trying to argue that cam-chains can fail is not an impressive line of reasoning. Cam chains stretch long before they fail and that is a graceful failure mode. You may get a misfire, increased fuel consumption or poor performance but you will still get home and you will take the car to a mechanic long before the cam chain will fail. A cam-chain failure that is not preceded by significant stretching is a very unusual event and it would most likely be precipitated by a catastrophic failure in lubrication that would wipe out the engine through other means even if the cam-chain remained intact. On the other hand, a cam-belt failure will be catastrophic by itself. It will certainly strand you at the roadside and, unless you have the good fortune to have a non-interfering engine, it will leave you with huge engine repair costs as the belt failure will be followed by major internal engine damage.

 

Choosing a car with a cam-chain over one with a belt looks like a sensible choice as it eliminates a known cost and substantially reduces the likelihood of a costly failure.

 

 

 

 

A good, calm, rational response. Well done. 

 

 


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  # 1780435 13-May-2017 00:03
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5 minutes on google found plenty of examples where chain driven designs didn't fail gracefully. The usual causes being sudden failure of chain guides or tensioners. Several cases where the manufacturer redesigned those components after early failures.

Even without belt or chain problems the water pump will spoil your day sooner or later.



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  # 1780438 13-May-2017 00:08
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Bung: 5 minutes on google found plenty of examples where chain driven designs didn't fail gracefully. The usual causes being sudden failure of chain guides or tensioners. Several cases where the manufacturer redesigned those components after early failures.

Even without belt or chain problems the water pump will spoil your day sooner or later.

 

Sure, if you google something, no matter how obscure, by definition, you will find it, it's what search engines do. 

 

I'd suggest if you asked 100 people if they knew anyone who had a cam belt fail, vs the same group, if they had a cam chain fail, I think you'd find significantly more people in group 1. 

 

The whole reason chains were invented, was to lessen the problems from a belt. It's the reason for it's existence. 

 

 


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  # 1780442 13-May-2017 01:14
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networkn:

 

The whole reason chains were invented, was to lessen the problems from a belt. It's the reason for it's existence. 

 

 

Except the chain was around first. :D (after the gear drive).


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