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Toyota Echo Maintenance and Repair



  • A K&N drop-in filter does no good whatsoever except make noise. Modern air filtration systems are excellent and besides, all gasoline cars have a throttle plate, so the "air flow" issue is moot. Only at Wide Open Throttle would the K&N even have a chance to act differently, since the throttle plate is not interfering, and the so-called "horsepower" gain is so miniscule as to be statistically irrelevant on a dyno. This is especially true on small displacement engines. On a big honkin' V-8, even with the air filter completely removed, the gain in HP is minimal and not noticeable (again, unless you include a) noise and b) maybe on some cars a bit more throttle response if the stock filter is kinked or restrictive.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    I grew up repairing and rebuilding aircooled VWs. There were a lot of "performance" mods on the market. Most of them resulted in dammage to the engine in one form or another. Yet today many (young) people heavily modify their cars with great gusto. This is a mistake in my experience. Most likely the mods will do nothing or dammage the car in some way. An ECHO is not exactly a high performance vehicle anyway (although the engine is a real gem) and attempts to make it into one are kind of silly. It really is beautifully designed to do one thing and do it well: cheap reliable transportation.
  • I have a different problem. When I hit 45 mph my check engine light comes on and then my car starts to accelerate. When I finally get it to stop and put it in park it accelerates again. My gas mileage is terrible and gas costs $6 per gallon.
    I live on dirt roads in bush Alaska and I have put about $1000 trying to get this fixed. After reading some of the comments I am going to try to clean the MAF but I do not know where it is. I assume it is near the air filter. Someone else suggested cleaning the two wires at, in or near the MAF. I really don't know too much, but it is clear the mechanic in this small town is just guessing at my expense.
    Does anyone have any other suggestions? I changed the plugs, PCV valve and something I think was called the air throttle control valve that cost $200. Thanks in;advance for your comments. My car is 2001 echo.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    The MAF is in the air cleaner. There are two diagonally located phillips screws that hold it in. Also there is an electrical connector to disconnect. Get it out of the aircleaner and look into the end that was in the aircleaner. You will see the FINE wires. If you break them.....poof new MAF! Use spray cleaner and a q tip. But if they aint dirty LEAVE IT ALONE and put it back.
    I dont think this is the problem. Usually this results from using a K&N oiled air filter. Have you had the codes read? If you can tell us what they are we can look them up for you. Did the mechanic tell you what they were? AutoZone will read them for free.
  • Thanks - I will check the MAF and then call the mechanic about the codes. I recall him saying I might need a new computer but he also told me that it had to be that air throttle valve that i bought.
    One thing about the acceleration, when I am in park and it accelerates I can push the gas pedal and usually get the revolutions to come down for a bit sort of like a stuck choke. But it usually reacclerates all on its own.

    I will let you know. Thanks again
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    Sounds weird. Never heard of anything like it. Try to swap a known good computer rather than buying a new one. I trust you have disconnected the throttle cable from the throttle body and checked it for sticking/smooth function?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    My 2004 ECHO I just bought is making a grinding sound when you accelerate. If you listen closely you can also hear it when cruising just a little. It also vibrates loudly at times when in drive and stopped at a light. Vibrates in reverse when stopped with the footbrake. Whn you shift in to reverse it makes a double lurch. Yikes! Both left and right wheel bearings have been replaced. I have a bad feeling looking closely at the underside of the car what it has been "taken apart" at least at the axles area. I should have looked the car over more closely when I bought it but it was cold out.

    Anyone have any of these symptoms and did you fix them? Thanks!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Well, it sure sounds like it has bad engine mounts - that would explain vibration at idle and in reverse, as well as the double lurch when going into reverse.

    The grinding could be a dragging brake? Does it stop when you hit the brake while cruising? Otherwise, I would suspect the wheel bearings just like it seems you did.

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    Yes I called a transmission shop and their initial reaction was its the mounts. I inspected the two side mounts and they appear to be fine. There is another one under the car which I havnt seen yet. Perhaps the eninge/transmission assembly is jambed in crooked.
    Possibly its been removed and replaced. Looks like Ill have to take it to the shop and let them inspect it. That still leaves the grinding noise. I was thinking its the belts or the components they drive. Unfortunately I cant get the lower alternator bolt loose to remove the belt. Toyota wants $200 to do that!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    Dont think its the brakes because it makes the noise upon acceleration. They do need new pads and i got them already. Hey they are bendix pads and guess what? Bendix has a program (supposedly) where if you buy new pads and they wear out, one time they will give you a new FREE set of pads. (ps I have three ECHOs now)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    can eventually begin to make a grinding noise if it's allowed to go long enough. It will do that even on acceleration.

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    When they had the front end apart to change the wheel bearings on my new 2004 ECHO, I saw the brake pads were pretty shot. Today I changed the drivers side brake pads. Guess what? You may know the piston side pad has a metal spring on it. This serves to rub against the rotor when the pad is nearly worn out simulating the screech of metal pad on rotor. Well....the pad thickess on the piston pad was THICKER than the non piston side was! Which means the one pad will wear out and make metal to metal contact with the rotor BEFORE the spring on the other pad has a chance to warn of wornout pads! There was about .125 inch of pad on the piston side and .070 inch on the non piston side.
  • goetchgoetch Posts: 2
    Help Please I have had this problem for 3 years now. After driving for a while the speedometer starts to go crazy (up and down or just goes to 0 while driving) After this happens the car sometimes (not all the time) looses power or just won't go anymore. This has been an on going problem, the thing is the car can run great for months then I get this problem for a few weeks then I can run great again so on and so forth. The dealerships has been a nightmare, I paid them and they replaced some sensor 3 years ago, bring it back they tell my wife she went through a puddle and got her sensors all wet the dried em off and charged me. I complain to toyota cause the next day we break down. Go back to the dealer ship they tell me the transmission fluid smells burnt, I smell it it does not. I take it to a local mechanic he can't seem to find anything wrong. The codes that come up say speed sensor and general transmission failure, yet the dealership told me its the the speed sensor or anything else they told me to flush the fluid and maybe it will be ok.... Can anyone help me ????
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    What are the codes? I assume the check llight is on?
  • goetchgoetch Posts: 2
    The codes were for 2 sensors and a general transmission failure.... I think it was the speed sensor and one other sensor ... .. I 'll have to locate the slip from the last time I went to the shop.... But the dealership said that its not the sensor it has to be the transmission. Could it be a sensor and not the transmission? The dealership didn't want to change the sensor because I said I wasn't going to pay if it didn't fix the problem.....
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    The fact that the trans works properly at times woud be a powerfull arguement that its a sensor issue. Could you get the sensors from a junkyard?
  • 205,000 mi, new radiator Feb 2008 after collision with coyote.

    About 4 months ago... red engine light on, radiator leaking coolant, took to mechanic. He found radiator half full, but fill reservoir full. Radiator pressure tested, no problems. Mechanic could not find leak again after running, returned car.

    Car ran fine for a few months; last 7 days, I've noticed small coolant leaks under car, I topped it off the radiator this morning, fill reservoir read full. Then today the car overheats again after 100 mi drive, spewing coolant from somewhere near bottom of radiator - definitely not the cap or the fill reservoir cap. But the fill reservoir level had actually gone up, so it's apparently not feeding the radiator. I've been carrying coolant in trunk, so I added about 1/2 gallon to radiator and drove home.

    What's causing this? My brother seems to think the thermostat (coolant temp sensor?) contacts may be sticking and causing continuous coolant flow - - which (for some reason?) then causes a coolant relief valve to open and release the coolant. But I really don't understand that and have no clue. I'm not sure I want to return it to the mechanic and am willing to try minor repairs on my own - pretty sure I can handle a thermostat or something similar.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    Were the hoses changed when the radiator was?
  • Thanks for the response. I don't know. There's nothing on the old invoice about hoses. The radiator replacement was done by a body repair shop. The mechanic I just took it to for this said he'd inspected and pressurized the whole thing and found no problems. And indeed it ran fine for quite some time. He also said the thermostat appeared to be functioning properly at that time - of course the car wasn't leaking at that time either.

    Today after the overheating, I peeked around and saw nothing leaking from the top, just some substantial oozing of coolant from the very bottom, underneath the radiator, and onto the plastic cover below it.

    Thanks again.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    With the engine cold start it up and wiggle/pull on all the hoses to see if you can make them leak. It helps to have one person pulling and another looking. Obviously you have to stop when the engine gets hot, but you can let it cool down and repeat this several times.
    You can get a can of "stop leak" in a car parts store and add it to the raditor (follow dorections on the package). That might fix things for a while if the leaks are small...
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