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timing belt

How Your Subaru Car’s Timing Belt Works

A timing belt is a belt made of rubber that connects to the crankshaft of internal combustion engines. The belt, which is flat-toothed, controls the timing of internal combustion engines. It works to ensure that the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft are synchronized.

The timing belt is responsible for making engine valves open and close at the right time to allow air to get into the engine and facilitate combustion and energy production. Incorrect timing limits air intake and reduces the capability of the engine to burn fuel. The timing belt also works to regulate the water pump and your vehicle’s power steering mechanism.

If your engine misfires, fails to ignite, or is producing a ticking noise from inside the engine compartment, you might have a timing belt problem. When this happens you need to call your trusted Subaru mechanic for Subaru timing belt service.

How Timing Belts Work

There are four strokes or phases involved in four-stroke engines.


During this phase, the piston moves downward while intake valves open to allow mixed air and fuel to get into the cylinder. At this point, the exhaust valves are closed.


The piston makes an upward movement to compress the mixture of air and fuel, with all valves closed.

Combustion or Power

With all valves closed, the piston goes down to allow the spark plug to ignite the air and fuel mixture, allowing the engine to deliver power to the vehicle.


With intake valves closed, the exhaust valve opens to allow excess air and fuel to escape from the engine.


While all these are happening inside the engine, the timing belt turns the camshaft pulley simultaneously with the crankshaft pulley. A worn out or damaged timing belt can affect the timing or synchronization of the camshaft and crankshaft. This can cause collision of the pistons and valves which could result in bent or completely damaged valves and piston-connecting rods.

You will know when a Subaru timing belt change is coming because bad timing belts don’t go unnoticed. Bad timing belts usually manifest signs such as a squeaking noise, or a rattling sound if your engine uses a timing chain.

If you suspect that your car’s timing belt has a problem, you should act on it at once to avoid costly complications. Watch for the signs, and if you notice any, seek the assistance of a certified Subaru technician for a possible Subaru timing belt service. This is the best way you can prevent severe engine damage which is very costly. You also need to read your user’s manual to know when  the manufacturer recommends a timing belt replacement.

A majority of auto repair and maintenance professionals recommend timing belt replacement every 60,000 to 90,000 miles. Nevertheless, you should have your timing belt checked once in a while, especially if your car has been running for years. This can help to make sure that timing belt problems are intercepted and addressed before they create an issue.

If you own a Subaru, the mechanics at Subaru Clinic can provide you with any type of service your vehicle needs, from simple engine diagnostics to complicated repairs like a Subaru timing belt change.

Visit us or call (720) 420-0656 for any maintenance or repair service you need for your Subaru. We are always ready and happy to give our customers the best service in Colorado.