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Toyota Echo

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Comments

  • Hello,
    I hit a short iron marker thing in the parking lot which has messed up my bumper real bad, there is a big dent on one side.
    Does anyone know any place in NJ where I can get this fixed?or some site/shop where I can get a new bumper if need be?
    I am a bit sceptical about going to the dealer as it might cost 2 or 3 times more:(
    Any suggestions?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    Go around and get estimates. I think youre right about the dealer, but go there too. They probably subcontract out. Is the car driveable and inspectibile with the dammage? Once you see what its going to cost to fix (maybe $2000) you might just want to accept it as part of your ECHOs ageing process.
  • Is it ok to tow a 500 pound trailer/boat 1,000 miles from philly to florida? I just go around the region now with no problems
    thanks
    rick
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    I towed a 16 foot aluminum boat with a VERY heavy trailer with absolutely no problem. Im not sure if this weighed 500 pounds but it must have been close. As long as you dont have the car heavily loaded otherwise I would do it. Tell us what happens if you do!
  • I will . Going south in July . Thnaks for your response
    rick
  • I understand that on some cars the air induction is mounted low on the engine. This may cause water to get in when you go through water/large puddles.This in turn can damage the engine Is this true? Where is the air induction on the echo?
    thanks
    rick
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    The air intake is about the same level as the valve cover. There have been no complaints about that sort of thing happening on the ECHO. I think its unlikely that is a problem for the ECHO.
  • I sprayed the dull black plastic molding on my Echo with WD40 to give it more of a shine and it seems to be working. Did I do wrong?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    Armour all is traditional for that sort of thing.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    WD40 kind of too runny for that purpose? You would either avoid runniness by putting on a very small amount, which wouldn't have much effect, or if you put enough on to have an effectm, it would run all over the place. Also, you would want to use something with a sealant, like ArmorAll. WD40 is a very light mineral oil - the first good rain and it will be gone.

    But if you are asking if you damaged anything, no, I don't think you did.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • reba05reba05 Posts: 36
    Sorry, I don't know about NJ, but I was rear-ended earlier this year. Dealer sent me to a repair shop they use and the cost was $3200. Insurance covered it though so I was not concerned by cost.
  • I always make sure my tires are rotated and balanced at the recommended times on my 2001 Echo. After 66,100 miles I realized that I have never had the car aligned. A defective tire was replaced this week so I asked him to check the alignment too. The technician said it was off by very little. Not enough to be noticed but maybe saved some wear on the tires. The mechanic recommended and I agreed that the transmission be serviced too as preventive maintenance. Do you think I wasted money?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    About the only thing that is adjustable alignment wise on the ECHO is the toe-in. My son just had a drive shaft replaced on his 93 Altima (complete disassembly of the suspension)and it drove just the same after as before (which is excellent) Ive put front ends together that WERE adjustable, brought them to the dealer to be aligned and been told "Its fine." (no WAY it could be fine...) So I dont put much trust in people aligning my cars. Its probably a good idea every year to check the tie rod ends, ball joints, and steering rack for wear at this point in the cars life though.
    What "maintenance" did they do on the transmission?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Of course, toe-in is the most important adjustment in terms of reducing unnecessary and uneven tire wear. It is worth doing once in a while, like maybe once every two sets of tires! :-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • I assume he replaced the transmission filter and fluid. Mechanic said he sees many cars with transmission problems that never had this done. Toe-in was off a little. I think the money spent on preventive maintenance is not wasted but sometimes I hear about cars that are driven forever without PM. Paying for PM is like an insurance policy or seeing a doctor for a routine check-up. Even when no problem is found, it gives peace of mind.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    The owners manual says its not necessary for normal service to change the oil in either the manual transmission or the automatic. I agree, although because it only cost $15 I did change the trans oil on my manual at 30 k miles. This guy who "changed" the oil on your automatic, how many quarts did he use? Its impossible to change ALL of the oil in an auto without special equipment. If he just changed the filter then he only put in like 2 quarts of oil. I believe the auto in an ECHO takes 8.
    More and more the mechanics I see are rip off artists. My wife recently took a car to a mechanic to have a single fuel injector changed. The guy said she needed new windshield wipers and charged her $40! I mean WTF he was told to change an injector and he pressures her to get wipers too! PLUS he said the car need new spark plugs (not so they only had like 12k miles on them) and for this he would charge her $70! Those plugs probably cost him like $1 each and take ten minutes to install. If you yourself dont know anything about your car and its requirements you are completely at the mercy of these people. Its not a pretty picture.
  • So the moral of listening to the mechanic's recommendations is to always check with the owner's manual first, and get a second opinion.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    I would say the moral is: do your own maintenance. Its not hard and you will learn a lot about your car in the process. Thats will help when it comes time to get the services of a "professional" mechanic. And you can always ask me if you need any help. :)
  • Hey kneisl1, I have a 2002 with about 70,000 miles on it. No problems up to this point. I performed the 30K mile service myself, because the dealer wanted between $450 and $700 for the service. The manual calls for checking the valves at 60K. How important is that? MPGs are still high and again no problems noted. Should I go ahead and check the valves or just leave well enough alone?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    You can CHECK them yourself. Its much harder to ADJUST them. In fact if you search back a few hundred posts I wrote a series of DIY articles on how to check the adjustment yourself. The arrangement Toyota uses for the valve train is the same as for many modern motorcycles. I have checked (and adjusted) the valve clearance on many (all) of the motorcyclrs I have owned.
    Because this is a VERY uncommon system to have on a CAR, I am very suspicious about the ability of even Toyota trained mechanics to PROPERLY adjust (or even check) the ECHOs valves. CHECKING the adjustment is definately within the abilities of the home mechanic. If you can change the brake pads on front wheels of your car I would say you could tackle the checking of the valve clearances.
    In my experience the system for adjusting the valve clearances on the ECHO is very stable. It was not unusual for my motorcycles to go over 100,000 miles WITHOUT a valve adjustment. I suspect the same will hold true for the ECHO. BUT every once in a while there IS an adjustment necessary. What you are looking for are tight clearances. That is, the gap between the cam lobe and valve follower is LESS than specified. This can cause the valve to remain slightly open when combustion takes place and result in a burned valve and the engine will need a valve job. If even ONE valve gets burned that will mess up the engine. Now, the other thing that can happen is a clearance that is GREATER than specified. This will result on some valve train noise, but will not harm the engine unless carried to extremes. So if you check your valve clearances, you are looking for clearances LESS than normal. If you find that, then you want to adjust it.
    Here is what I recommend. For the vast majority of ECHOs out there, the current adjustment will last the life of the car. Even if the gaps get larger over time and the valves become noisy, that shouldnt be a problem. Its a pretty sound stratagy to leave it alone. BUT there will be a small percentage of ECHOS that get tight valves and need valve jobs. Certainly if you are at all handy, you can CHECK the clearances yourself. If you find a tight valve then you can have Toyota adjust it. (Or sell the car if there are other problems). This might cost like $700! I dont know. There can be a lot of labor involved. And I have a feeling these mechanics dont have a lot of experience doing it because so few ECHOs were sold and almost no other car I know of uses this arrangement.
    Personally I myself will be checking my adjustment at 60k miles. At the current rate I am driving my ECHO, that wont happen until the car is like 11 years old! If all is well otherwise with the car at that time, I will check it myself. If it needs an adjustment, I will do that myself also. (although I will need parts from Toyota and who knows if they will have them then!)
    In any case if anyone checks the valves I would like to hear about what you find. I can also offer advice on what course of action to take. Good luck!
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