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Hi, ,I have a 2005 subaru forester 2.5l, in good nick, 133k on clock, had it for 2 years with no issues, last cam belt change was at 118k miles but 5 years ago, should i change it as its 5 years old even though its only done approx 15k miles since last time. Ive been quoted approx £750.00 to include water pump etc, does that sound fair? The garage I use does seem ok. Its the Boxer engine of course so a bit more complicaed than normal. Thanks for any advice.

Regards Motty

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No, that not fair, top price on that for japanese parts (mainly oem) would be £450 .
They very easy/quick to do on boxer engine, if do water pump it MUST be a top quality part (japan only) which means original or Aisin .
You can get all idlers and tensioners oem for sensible money, dayco belts or Aisin are good, avoid likes of Gates kits and and any euro or chinese parts as all you be doing is spending money to reduce reliability/longevity .

you probably could go longer due to minimal mileage on current parts but what was done/replaced and what quality of work and parts !
Cheap parts and fitted poorly and not replacing critical idlers makes it a gamble unless check it or know what level of job done last time .

I seen lot of issues from garbage timing belt parts & not replacing idler pulleys, water pumps on non turbos tend last couple decades and couple hundred thousand miles as original FHI made pumps are extremely well made as they knew it critical concern in timing belt design .

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Hi MR B, many thanks for your reply, I may have mislead you over the price Ive been quoted, The breakdown was £275 for parts which included belt, pump tensioners etc and labour was quoted at £350 plus vat making the total  £750, does that still seem unreasonable to you? Last belt was from a reputable garage that I used to use a lot myself but Ive now moved too far away to use again sadly.

Regards, Motty

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No that not reasonable .
It a 3 hour job on average as they super easy access .

Don't be fooled by " it a boxer it hard to do"
These cars are very easy work on for most common jobs, far nicer deal with as a mechanic than euro garbage .
You mainly get high bills as garage really got minimal experience working on them so you paying for their education hours .

Hard say how good part price is as that totally depends on parts brand being supplied .
I use all oem idlers, oem tensioner, aisin pump and dayco belt and part price including coolant would be 220 currently .

One thing I will highlight is YOU MUST know exactly what part brand being used (on any repair work) and if all idlers/tensioner being replaced, if lower quality parts being used you generally better off not having work done as spending good money to reduce quality is reason so many people have lot of problems as they thrown better quality/original parts in bin .
Part quality in aftermarket has never been so poor, you got educate yourself and do some research if want good work and sensible pricing .

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Many thanks for the info and advice, I'll ring around, I have found out that the last belt etc was of high quality so I dont think there is any need to rush with it and i'll make sure when I do replace it will be be of good quality.

Once again, many thanks, regards, Motty

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Hi Nimpy, thanks for that, sadly I'm in somerset now. I did find a former Subaru dealer in somerset who quoted £375 and he reckoned there was no need to change the original subaru water pump and or tensioners unless they were faulty as like Mr B had said earlier you could be replacing good quality with lesser but as my car has had previous cam belt changes the chances are they have already been replaced. So when asked to replace the whole lot the bill went to over a thousand. Ive had two quotes near me now, one of £750 and the other for just over £600, both claim to be using japanese parts so I gues I'll go with one of them after a further chat about parts quality.

Thank you for your reply though, kind regards


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