Not every customer automatically knows who should service their Subaru, many don’t do any research at all prior to making appointment somewhere.
I often stress that you should have a good relationship with your service provider, so that when its time to have something done you know where your going. This can eliminate situations where you are calling around and making a decision based on price rather than quality and expertise.
Pictured below is what happens when someone doesn’t fully understand all of the proper adjustments and repair procedures when replacing the timing belt on a Subaru.
You can see in the picture that the timing belt has been severely damaged. The reason for this is the person who replaced the timing belt didn’t adjust the guide over the crank sprocket to the proper specification and as a result the belt rubbed into the guide.
The guide over the crank sprocket is there to prevent the the timing belt from skipping or jumping especially if the vehicle is in gear and the car rolls backward. This came about when Subaru switched timing belt tensioner types in the late 90s. I have seen and repaired Subaru’s that didn’t survive a trip from Japan on the barge before this guide was implemented. It can and will cause valve damage if the cam shaft sprockets are allowed to spin out of time with the crank shaft sprockets.
The guide is installed on most to all Subaru engines with a Manual transmission from 1998 on. The DOHC Turbo models also have guides over each camshaft sprocket as well.
There is a gap that must be established and a specification for that gap so the belt wont rub as it expands and wont jump or skip either. If the guide is not installed on a manual transmission equipped Subaru it can ruin the engine under the right circumstances, and if its not installed properly the same is true.
You should really only take your vehicle to a specialty shop for important repairs. Its not the same as buying a pair of shoes where you can gravitate to the lower price with out to much consequence. Whenever there is service work involved the skill set, knowledge of the platform and ownership of the proper tools and literature are required. This is the same reason that there are eye specialists, orthodontists, and vascular surgeons. You wouldn’t make an appointment to see the surgeon when little Johnny has the sniffles and you surely don’t expect your family doctor to perform a triple bypass. What I am trying to point out is there are to many variances between a Subaru and a Audi and all of the makes in between to know enough about all of them. Its why we specialize, its why I suggest wherever you are you take your car to a specialist, unless that isn’t an option for you.
Thanks for reading