A couple weeks ago ai stopped in at a place where a guy has been selling
used Subys for about 15 years. The girl behind the desk came running out
and said, "I had one just like this!"
Picking the guy's brain, he mentioned that the timing belts one these cars
were good for about 50,000 miles, because they were barely bigger than a
fan belt. He also said, you can tell when they're going, because the
distributor shaft will make a chattering noise that will get louder as the
This morning (2AM; for those of you who don't know me, I deliver
newspapers and bought the Suby just for this mission) it was 12 degrees; I
started the car and after about 10 seconds I heard a chattering noise from
the engine; it lasted about 10 seconds and then stopped. I didn't hear it
again the rest of the run (about 3 hours).
So, I guess we're looking at replacing the belts. Of course, it happens
during the coldest part of our winter here. I was kind of hoping to wait
Only estimates I have so far are ~$300.
The real question I have here is, do I have much time before having to
replace the belts? He seemed to indicate the chattering would be
continuous when the belts need replacing; this is the first time I've
heard the noise in a month of driving the car. I'm hoping it's just
because of the cold, however I have started the car on colder mornings and
not heard the noise.
He said the good thing was that this engine will just coast to a stop when
a belt lets go, but my 'paper route' is in the middle of East Overshoe
and "coasting to a stop" at 3AM at this time of the year isn't my idea of
And my AAA isn't paid up, either...