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#1 2016-06-21 10:45:32

Registered: 2015-10-12
User Number: 33720
Posts: 3

Timing Belt: When is it time??

I've posted this quandary before, so thanks for everyone for bearing with me.

I have a 2005 Saab 9.2x Linear with 114K miles.

I have received somewhat contradictory information regarding the car's head gaskets:

Opinion 1:

I have been told by a mechanic who is a very good friend of mine not to bother replacing the water
pump/timing belt/thermostat without also doing the head gaskets. He feels investing in ONLY the water pump, thermostat and
timing belt is a "complete waste of money."

Opinion 2:

Another mechanic, using a scale of 1-10 for leaking head gaskets (10 being the worst) he gave it a 4.  He said the driver's side is worse (as is the trend
with Impreza's), it isn't dripping but you can tell it has been leaking a while with all the residue below it.  He thinks the car is pretty
clean other than that front lower sub frame and worth investing in. He said if I was going to keep the car for another 3-5 years at
least, it would be wise to do the head gaskets, but if I'm only going to have it for another year or two he said just do the timing
belt and water pump.

I would like to keep the car as long as possible - because I love this car.

I just do not understand the logic of a preemptive replacement of head gaskets, particularly if because when the timing belt goes the thing is cooked.

I would appreciate any input folks might have with regard to this!

Have a great week.



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#2 2016-06-21 12:18:29

Just a dumb 20-somethin' year old
From: Epping, NH
Registered: 2013-10-12
User Number: 11520
Posts: 2021

Re: Timing Belt: When is it time??

I say shoot opinion number 1 giver in the forehead before the gun reform comes.  star

But seriously, he's an idiot. It's a rubber belt that controls the life of your vehicle. And actually quite the opposite. The water pump is a complete waste of money because they do not fail.

HOWEVER, i halfway agree with opinion number two. If you have the extra money and it affect you financially I say do it. Because they will need to be done so better to have it done now when you can and not have to worry about it. Plus you won't have to pay timing belt labor for it. Only head gasket labor which will of course be more. But it will be cheaper doing them both at the same time VS at different times.

2006 Turboless Unicorn. Red. CWP. UEL. HBE.
2016 Subaru WRX. Crystal White Pearl 13.8 @ 100.5

Sellin' Subarus since '13 cool



#3 2016-06-21 17:03:28

From: Central CT
Registered: 2005-11-09
User Number: 890
Posts: 250

Re: Timing Belt: When is it time??

If you have external signs of a HG leak and you want to keep the car then do it right and replace both of them. Do the t belt (along with the tensioner, idler, pullies...) waterpump and thermostat and know it will be well sorted for a long time to come. If it's a manual and you haven't replaced the clutch yet then go for broke and pull the engine and service that too.



#4 2016-06-21 17:53:28

long live R0LO!
From: Fair Oaks, CA
Registered: 2011-10-06
User Number: 6094
Posts: 4963

Re: Timing Belt: When is it time??

Now. Now is time.

2005 Saab 92x Aero 5MT | The basic mods, Stage 2.04
1968 Dodge Charger 383 | WIP, restored almost everything but body work
2014 Subaru Forester | Wife's car



#5 2016-06-21 18:58:45

From: Long Island
Registered: 2006-03-01
User Number: 1046
Posts: 2048

Re: Timing Belt: When is it time??

Do the head gaskets and valve cover gasket, timing belt and all related parts, water pump, thermostat, hoses, radiator. You can drive another 100,000 miles without worry.

2005 satin gray metalic aero, sold.
2005 black aero, rescue project, jdm STi ver 7 drivetrain.
2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i 5 speed manual daily driver.
2006 WRX, smoked, should've never betrayed 2.0L love.



#6 2016-06-24 22:01:52

Registered: 2016-06-22
User Number: 37144
Posts: 92

Re: Timing Belt: When is it time??

Rodman wrote:

Do the head gaskets and valve cover gasket, timing belt and all related parts, water pump, thermostat, hoses, radiator. You can drive another 100,000 miles without worry.

What he ^^^ said. 

This coming from a new Saab 92x owner.....but seasoned 2004.7 STi original owner and track junkie, tink, tink from way back with tons of 2.0l/2.5l timing belt servicing and other repair builds under my belt.



#7 2016-09-14 10:46:15

Registered: 2016-09-08
User Number: 37936
Posts: 46

Re: Timing Belt: When is it time??

I just bought mine at 91k miles. The belt broke, just prior.



#8 2016-09-21 23:46:05

Registered: 2015-04-26
User Number: 30689
Posts: 24

Re: Timing Belt: When is it time??

Head gasket or valve cover?  Valve covers leaking isn't uncommon and is fairly simple, not addressing it will only result in minor oil loss and a dirty engine bay.  Head gasket leaking is a totally different thing and should be addressed asap! 

Having working in a dealership and seeing t-belts at different miles in addition to doing my own t-belts all the time (did my 9-2's at 90k) I recommend changing them by 90k but no more. 

A belt can snap even if it isn't' cracked, honestly I plan to change them by 90k on my own cars so if I go a little over, say 95k it's no big deal but I seem to see more posts about these cars snapping a belt around 90k than other cars...might just be flukes but I'd do it no later than 90.  I told customers to plan on getting it done around 75-80k but that was someone else's car that I didn't know their driving habits, and, if they went over I could have been liable for a snap had I told them 100k, so i told them a bit earlier than I would push my own.

By 90k a thermostat is a good thing to replace, especially if you're going to be right there already.  Be sure to check the heat range and get the right one, I think the one I have now opens a bit earlier than OEM, no harm there but I also don't live in the cold climates...dunno...I noticed it when it DID get around freezing, took longer to get warm inside the car, but I used to drive a motorcycle in the snow so it didn't phase me XD  just something I noticed.

Unless the water pump is difficult to turn, is leaking from the impeller shaft where it mates to the gear that turns it, or the impellers are eaten up, then just replace the seal where it bolts to the engine and you should be good. 

I would replace the cam/crank seals (they are cheap parts) as well as the oil pump gasket and seal.

ALWAYS replace all idlers and the tentsioner

There is no reason to replace a radiator that is not clogged, cracked, bent, or leaking, none at all.

Hoses, at 90k you shouldn't need to replace them, mine are in perfect shape, if they are cracked, brittle, or leaking then yes, otherwise no.

Last edited by NetG (2016-09-21 23:47:47)



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