Subaru has long been hailed as a reliable and innovative automaker, known for its cutting-edge technology and performance-driven vehicles. One area where Subaru has made significant advancements is in the timing system of their engines. In the past, many Subaru models utilized a timing belt to control the movement of engine components. However, at some point in their production history, Subaru made the decision to switch from timing belts to timing chains. Let’s dive into this transition and explore when exactly Subaru made this noteworthy switch.
Why Timing Chains Matter
Before we delve into Subaru’s transition from timing belts to timing chains, it’s important to understand why the choice of timing system matters in an engine. The timing system plays a crucial role in ensuring that all of the internal components work harmoniously together, allowing for efficient and optimal engine performance.
A timing belt is a rubberized belt that connects the crankshaft (the part that converts linear motion into rotational motion) with the camshaft (which controls valve opening and closing). It requires periodic replacement due to wear and tear over time. On the other hand, a timing chain is constructed using metal links, which offers greater durability and longevity compared to its rubber counterpart.
The Early Days: Timing Belts Galore
When discussing Subaru’s transition from timing belts to chains, we have to go back in time when most cars used traditional rubbery schedule-checking mechanisms – Wuzzah! Do you ever find yourself pondering about what lies beneath your car’s hood? It’s truly fascinating! Well then my friend look no further because today we are going on an adventure deep down into automotive territory!
The 1960s-1970s: Technical Evolution Begins
During this era short on bell bottoms but high on innovation potential (alas obscured by disco beats), Subaru manufactured vehicles boasting overhead valves controlled by pushrods. In those days, timing belts reigned supreme as the go-to method for synchronizing an engine’s internal components. Subaru was no exception to this trend; their early models relied on trusty old timing belts.
The 1980s: Enter the Belt-Driven Revolution
As the automotive industry continued its frenetic pace forward, Subaru wasn’t one to get left in the dust (or exhaust fumes). With newfound vigor and determination, Subaru introduced a number of significant changes to their engines in order to improve performance and fuel efficiency. And yes, my friend – you guessed it! One of these major updates was the switch from timing chains to timing belts, marking a turning point in Subaru’s engineering history.
Subaru recognized that timing belt technology could offer several advantages for their vehicles. Timing belts are lightweight and operate more quietly compared to timing chains. They also require less maintenance since they don’t need regular lubrication like chains do – smoooooth!
The Modern Era Emerges
However — hold your horses — before we continue our journey down memory lane with Subaru (pun intended), let me insert a quote here:
“The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing. ” – Socrates
Hmm. . . Yes, quite philosophical indeed! But what does that have to do with Subaru’s transition? Well, dear reader, it reminds us not to make assumptions too soon!
Behind-the-Scenes Timing Chain Evolution
Now things start getting interesting once again! While most automakers were embracing timing belts throughout the ’80s and beyond (courtesy of pros like reduced weight and noise), there came a moment when technological advancements made branching out seem oh-so-attractive for Subaru engineers.
Let’s fast-forward through time—cue dramatic speed-up montage—and find ourselves immersed into what I like to call “the age of innovation”. Suddenly bam! Turning heads left and right – Subaru announces the comeback of the timing chain! (Insert gasps and applause here)
The 2010s: Timing Chains Return with a Bang
In the early part of this millennium, Subaru embarked on a journey to refine and enhance their engines. As advancements in technology continued at an astonishing rate, they realized that timing chains had evolved far beyond their previous limitations.
The return of timing chains was met with resounding approval from both drivers and enthusiasts. Timing chains offered increased durability, reduced maintenance costs, and improved overall engine performance. No wonder Subaru made the switch!
But wait. . . there’s more! Let’s not forget about one crucial detail—Subaru didn’t adopt timing chains across all models simultaneously.
The Timetable: Which Models Made the Switch?
Now let’s break it down by model to determine when exactly Subaru decided to make this timely change:
Starting in 2012, Subaru fitted some Legacy models with timing chains instead of belts. This transition continued into subsequent years making newer versions even more reliable under the hood.
Just like its sibling —the Legacy— after 2012 we saw various iterations of new Outback models featuring a robust timing chain. Bye-bye scheduled belt replacements; hello long-lasting peace of mind!
Ah yes, our beloved Impreza—the compact city cruiser. From around 2012 as well, it too joined forces with its fellow Subarus by adopting a mighty metallic chain for controlling its valves’ syncopated dance moves.
Now you’re probably thinking – what about other popular Subaru models like Forester? Fear no more my friend because we have arrived at just another heading where we will dive deep into such matters!
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FAQ: When Did Subaru Switch To Timing Chain?
Q: Does my Subaru vehicle have a timing chain or a timing belt?
A: Subarus built before certain model years generally come with a timing belt, while newer models are typically equipped with a timing chain.
Q: What year did Subaru start using timing chains?
A: Starting from the 2011 model year, most Subaru vehicles began to incorporate timing chains instead of timing belts.
Q: Which specific Subaru models switched to a timing chain first?
A: The switch from timing belts to timing chains varied across different models. For example, some earlier Outback and Legacy models transitioned to timing chains in 2010, whereas Impreza models made the switch in 2012.
Q: Why did Subaru decide to change from belts to chains for their engines?
A: Transitioning from traditional rubberized belts to more durable metal-based chains offered several benefits such as increased longevity, reduced maintenance costs, and improved overall engine performance.
Q: Are there any advantages of having a car with a timing chain over one with a timing belt?
A: Yes! Compared to traditional rubberized belts, metal-based chains tend to last longer and require less frequent replacement. They also provide better engine control and may result in fewer maintenance issues over time.
Q: Do I need to replace the timing chain on my Subaru at any point?
A: Unlike the recommended maintenance schedule for replacing a damaged or worn-out. timing belt every few years or miles, most modern Subarus equipped with satisfactory quality-timing-chain systems should not require regular replacements under normal usage conditions.
Remember that this information is general and it’s always best practice consult your vehicle’s specific manufacturer guidelines or consult an automotive professional if you have further concerns about your particular car model.