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Q: I am looking at a 2000 Subaru Forester for sale that needs "the timing belt repaired". Advice?

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I am looking at a 2000 Subaru Forester for sale that needs "the timing belt repaired". It runs and the owner says it is a dependable. After seeing the quotes for a timing belt replacement I definitely can not afford to pay that much. What signs can I look for to tell whether this issue can actually be repaired or if a replacement will be required? Does it get progressively worse if it is not addressed or will it ultimately result in being replaced regardless of the measures taken now? The price is right if I'm not looking at a $800+ job just to keep it running! Any additional information would be appreciated to make the right decision. Thanks!

My car has 80000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello, thank you for writing in. The timing belt keeps the camshaft and the crankshaft running together. Without it the vehicle will not run correctly. If the timing belt is on the vehicle and is in poor condition, you may get a few more miles out of it. However this leaves you vulnerable to a breakdown, which is of course a major safety concern. There is no way to repair the belt, it has to be replaced much like the drive belt which powers your accessories. Keep in mind, when a timing belt breaks while the vehicle is driving, there can be major damage done to the engine. If this has already occurred on the vehicle, you should find out if they have inspected for that further damage. Most of the cost for the repair work is labor cost. The timing belts are hard to get to, and have to be done perfectly the first time. For help repairing the timing belt, or to get another quote, contact our service department.

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