1996 Subaru Impreza • 160 miles

I went to change the alternator on my female friends Subaru aside from road salt corrosion and age, the alternator swap was easy. While doing the job I noticed the large cogged or toothed (if you will), belt was loose. I take this is the timing belt. Thank you
December 2, 2011.

What is your question?

Sorry, I typed the question in the subject box or something.
Question: On a 1996 Subaru Impreza, is the large toothed belt suppose to be very slack with the engine at rest? I see two small tensioners/pullies, one is just round and fixed, the other has an eliptical shaped slot around the center mounting bolt. Although they both lightly touch the belt, I can turn them both. The one is fixed, but the other with the slot in it seems like the one that should have a "spring" to it to keep the belt tight but it is firmly in place and does not move either way when using a breaker bar or pry bar to try and "flex" or move it. There is up to 1 inch or more of deflection, or play in the large toothed belt which I have comne to beleive is the timing belt.

Dec 3, 2011.
You are correct. One is an idler pulley without a spring and the other is the automatic belt tensionier. If it is loose, it needs replaced. That is what tightens the belt.