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Toyota Echo Maintenance and Repair

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  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    No timing belt on an ECHO its a chain. ECHOs as they come from the factory (or at least my 2001) do NOT come with 100k mile spark plugs. It says right in the owners manual change the plugs every 30k miles. Of course if someone has installed platinum plugs they are good for 100k miles. If you use brand name gasoline then in my experience you dont need injector cleaner. Also people tend to have injector problems if they dont drivethe car regularly. DEFINATELY change the oil in the transmission. At the very least check the level in it once a year. As it is older now its possible to have a leak and if the level falls below a certain level she'll blow. If your fan belts are origional yes its time to change them most likely. At least look at them once a year and see if the tiny Vee's are disintegrating. If the coolant has not been changed I would change it with Toyota long life coolant and have it flushed. Hows the air filter? Something you didnt mention which is very important. Sounds like your ECHO is a great car for you!
  • Greetings All,
    I have a 2001 Echo with 89,000 miles. I have noticed during cold temperatures the engine ticks more than normal. It's not severe, but there is a slight ticking noise in gear and while idling. When it is warm out, this noise is not there. I'm just wondering if this is common and if there is any way to have this ticking eliminated. A few people have told me that this is common with Toyotas and 4 cylinders in particular. Just curious if anybody has any input on the matter. Thanks all!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    Are you using 5w-30 oil in winter?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    Toyota changed the spec for the plugs right in the middle of the model run. The 2000s and 2001s use the regular old 30K-mile plugs. Some of the '02s do as well, then they switched to the long-life platinum plugs for all remaining Echos until they went away.

    Mine uses the long-life plugs, and you can easily tell the difference as there is a sticker right on top of the engine that tells you to use only the platinums on models so spec'd (at least on the '02s there is). I changed the platinums at 60K and plan to do it again at 120K miles as I like to run a clean machine and old plugs have so much to do with your car producing excessive smog-forming emissions.

    You should change the manual transmission oil at least once every 100K miles - I am just coming up on doing that myself. It's really something you probably ought to do every 60K miles also, but I have found that on Toyotas you can get away with 100K intervals. :blush:

    I tend to change out coolant and brake fluid every two years (about 30-40K miles for me) to avoid rust and water build-up respectively. You could let that slide some, but not too much. Toyota says every 30K for a new air filter, and no, there's no timing belt in the Echo. Thank goodness it's a chain!

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    Oh one bad thing about platinum plugs I forgot to mention. Actually theres nothing bad about the plugs themselves. But if you leave them in there for 100k miles and years and years you might not be able to get them out! The threads can corrode and weld themselves to the head. So its very easy to strip the thread removing them, if its possible to get them out at all. My wifes Camry has them and I remove them every once in awhile, clean the threads, and put them back.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    good tip! And you can use "anti-seize" compound on the threads before you screw the plugs in. That works great.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    You are right!

    Removing and reinstalling spark plugs unnecessarily may cause dirt to enter the engine and that is not good.

    Anti-seize is the way to go!
  • The noise appreard to be coming from the transmission. When I start the car, the noise isnt there but when I put the car in neutral or in drive, there is a noise that is hard to explain. It isnt a click, its more like a clink. a metallic noise. It is much more apparent during cold temperatures. Actually in the summer, I never even heard the noise. Now that its colder out, the noise is apparent. Any ideas?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    You got me on this one. I dont have a lot of experience on auto transmissions. I would check the oil level in the tranmission per the owners manual to be sure you are doing it right. Also, you could start and run the car and look underneath it for a leak. If you see one put a large piece of cardboard under it. Transmission oil is red. I dont think youll find anything wrong but who knows? Your next choice is take it to a mechanic you trust OR just drive it! If you DO go to a mechanic, be prepared for them to go over the car and find fifty things "wrong" with it that need immediate attention and need to be fixed "right away". Get ready to say NO JUST FIX THE PROBLEM I TOLD YOU ABOUT! How many miles on the car now?
  • Right now, I have 89,000 miles. I have noticed that this noise is only present when the car is in gear. I am thinking this noise may be a belt. The noise isnt there when I fire the car up or have the car in neutral, but as soon as I put the car in drive, the noise is there. It is much more prevelant when I have my foot on the brake pedal and its in gear (red light). This noise is also not there when the weather is warmer, only when its cold out. Any ideas? I definitely dont have any leaks under the car and always have my fluids changed regularly. Thanks!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    From what you describe I think we can rule out a belt. (although replacing the belts would be cheap and it "might" work!) It does sound like its the transmission. But it might not be. If it were my car I would just drive it and see if the noise gets worse or if I can figure out what else it might be. I assume the transmission is shifting Ok and otherwise works fine?
  • Thanks for your help, its much appreciated. The one thing that I have noticed is that this noise is much louder when the engine is cold. The car does not need to be in gear for the noise to be there. I can be in park and hit the gas and hear it. When its cold out, its real noticeable. Conversly, In the summer months I fire the car up and dont even hear it.
    Is there a valve adjustment that Echo's need at a certain mileage? Could this be a valve adjustment issue? Any input you have is greatly apprciated.
  • I had a similiar problem at 125,000 miles...turned out that the belt noise, a subtle kind of grinding noise was my water pump going out including the hoses and belts needed to be replaced...the cost at sacramento auto shop was 425.00 for everything to be replaced...After the repair was done, the engine light came on and was off for awhile because a friend of mine told me that if i put the cigarette lighter in the hole made for it that it might go out and sre enough it went out for a while and then only to return back on now permanently....on yellow light...mechanic told me not to worry about it that it means that an automatic signal was sent to tell me it needs to be adjusted to pass the smog test...but that the yellow light signified nothing like an emergency....to be fixed right away.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    Yes there is a valve ajustment CHECK at 60,000 miles. ADJUSTING the valve clearances (if they need it) is pretty involved and requires removing the camshafts. Its the same system used on high horsepower, high performance motorcycle engines. I wonder if Toyota mechanics are up to doing it, frankly. The good news is that these sysems rarely need adjusting.
  • Is there a blue light illuminated in the dash? If so it is normal. Once your engine gets warm this blue light will extinguish and your transmission will shift normal.It is like a protection to the gears. Report any other detail and we'll see if I can share something. Safe driving.
  • My compressor clutch seems to be whinning quite loudly, and power is being drained from the engine. The car sputters and jerks and the lights dim. Has anyone experienced this with the 2001 Echo? I am desperate for advice!
    Thanks in advance to all!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    You could test it by removing the belt that runs the waterpump and AC and run the engine like less than five minuntes and see if the problem goes away. One problem Ive always seen with the ECHO is you need a functioning AC compressor (or at least a turning pulley). I doubt you can sunstitute a smaller belt and leave the AC out of the picture if it goes bad.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    You do NOT want the AC compressor to seize up! This will contaminate the entire AC system and cost a lot of money to repair, as in new compressor, dryer, expansion valve, condensor and all AC lines replaced or removed and flushed. You need to deal with this pronto. Little bits of metal from the compressor destroy the rest of the system.

    So act now (if indeed the compressor is the culprit and not an idler pulley) or be prepared to fork over a thousand or more later.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I had my oil changed by a dealer quick lube (not Toyota) a few days later I noticed a funny noise. Kind of like when you are low on power steering fluid (happened with other cars). I opened the hood and lost it. They had left the oil cap off.

    They filled the oil back up and cleaned my engine, but the noise is still there. It is not constant, but is bothering me a lot.

    Any ideas?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    How much oil did they add? How long before you discovered the cap missing? Save the reciepts for the work they did. If anything is really wrong I doubt the engine will run much longer and you can get them for a new engine.
  • To be quite honest .... I do not know. The light was not on. I had driven it quite a few miles (200or so) before the noise told me something was wrong. I was only a few blocks away and fuming at that point. It is hard to say if the noise just started or it was there and I did not notice it.

    The noise is worse when the engine is idle. Like I said, it is like when a car is low n power steering fluid. When idle it will go away, but if I barely tap on the gas it starts.

    Two thoughts ..... could the wrong oil cap cause this? Sounds strange to me, but I thought I read it somewhere. Could the oil have contaminated something.

    Just for the records before you go to a FORD quick lube .... or atleast the one in my town. "we aren't used to these kinds of cars" (from the service manager) ....BTW they sell Hyundai.
  • I need to clarify "the noise". Now that I have listened closer, it is more like a moan. If I just barely press on the pedal it does it and then goes away. I have not had a chance to test it with anyone, but when I do it myself, it is either over by the time I get to the front of the car, or it is just louder inside.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    I gues its possible oil got on the power steering belt and the waterpump/alternator belt. With the engine OFF feel what you can of the belts and see if they are oily. They put a new oil cap on right? If it fits then it should be OK. Possibly they just stuck something on there they had in the shop! With the engine running with someone revving it up while you look, see if oil/smoke comes out where the oil cap is.If the oil light didnt go on that is good news!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    last night I was out on the freeway and hit an exhaust pipe, muffler and all, that dropped off a car just ahead. Now my little car is leaking oil. I hope this hasn't done it in! It is at the shop today to see what damage the collision caused. I am crossing my fingers...

    I have to say that given the size of the thing I hit and the small size of the Echo, I was gratified to find very little in the way of loss of control. The Echo just kind of rode up over the top of it and kept on going. There was an eardrum-popping CRUNCH when it went over the muffler, and something sprayed up in the air behind me, which I guess now was probably oil. :-(

    I hope it doesn't cost too much to repair and hasn't caused any permanent damage. They should let me know later today.

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    How far did you drive after the hit? If your oil pan was holed you would have very quickly lost all your oil. Which might be Ok. Or it might not. Dammage might show up later. If they replaced the oil pan (pretty easy) that was it. Good luck, an ECHO is too good a car to lose!
  • good luck!...keep us posted!...if anything can survive anything, i'd put my money on an echo...like the ever ready bunny....
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    after the hit. Oil was leaking slowly out of the oil pan, so I left it at the shop and walked home.

    The oil pan took such a bad whack that parts that sit inside the pan (something called an oil strainer? Also others which I forget) were also damaged. The car will survive, they say, but I won't have it back until the middle of next week at the earliest. They will have it apart on Monday and then they will know if there was additional damage not evident at first inspection.

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    The only thing under the oil pan is the oil strainer/pickup pipe. Which is held on with two nuts (not staked in) so its easy to replace. There IS a lower crankcase (the oil filter screws to it) much bigger than the steel pan which could possibly be cracked however. The steel oil pan is pretty small and theres a lot more to hit under there besides that. You really want the entire car from front to back examined (brake lines, exhaust pipe, fuel lines, CV joint boots, etc) checked too.
  • door locked up...how do i remove the door handle? Broken white plastic piece on locking mechanism broke causing the door to jam and not able to open with key or inside door handle...where do i get replacement part and how to take inside panel off the door? Thanks 2002 4 door echo.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    The lower crankcase is one of the things they are worried may also need to be replaced. My insurance is involved now and needed to inspect it first, which is why work cannot begin until Monday.

    I have instructed the shop to inspect everything, stem to stern. It looks so far like the damage is limited to the engine.

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

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