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Toyota Echo



  • peacejbmpeacejbm Posts: 9
    I have so few miles (almost 1700 now!) because most days I am able to walk to work and most of my driving is city miles, just tooling around town. I'll probably put more miles on it this summer. Anyway, I guess I will wait a couple more months before I get the oil change.
  • krakatokrakato Posts: 30
    Rick -- I'm 5'8" and I had the same problem as you when I first started driving my wonderful new Echo a few years ago. What I ended up doing was adjusting the seat so my legs were positioned correctly and comfortably and then just getting used to having my arms stretched out more and not so flexed. It didn't take me long to get used to this new position with my arms, and if you look in the driving manuals, they usually depict the driver with hands at the 10 & 2 positions with only a slight elbow bend. Now I prefer driving this way and don't even notice it. Not sure if this will work for you, but it did for me.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Just remember from a safety standpoint, you should be about twelve inches away from the steering wheel due to the airbag.

    From a strictly comfort standpoint, my roommate and I both like the driver's seat of the Echo and she is about 5'4" and I am 6'.
  • echo01echo01 Posts: 19
    After reading the past few posts on seating position, I noticed that my lower leg does sometimes touch the radio console, but it has never bothered me. I never gave it much thought before.

    Don't forget - the steering wheel tilt is adjustable (a little) - this can make quite a difference in how far you have to extend your arms to hold the wheel. Another thing that greatly affects how close you are to the wheel is the seat back tilt. I had to experiment with this a little before I finally got it right for me.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    One thing I did like alot about the Echo (when I rented one) was that the instrument panel was in the middle. I could tilt the steering wheel where I wanted it, and not have to worry about obstructing the gauges. I drove the car for one day (100 miles or so), and never had a problem (after 5 minutes) looking to the right for the gauges.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    I saw a ECHO on the interstate and it only had its right tail light working. God bless it!
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    My new tires have finally been broken in...the ride is very good with excellent turn in and much less torque steer. The only thing is the clearance in the front wheel wells is less now and the tires will rub under full compression (the shocks). There was no difference in the highway mileage as well. btw, tires are Yokohama YK420's 205/50/15's.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    Can you tell me please if your manual says how often the fuel filter should be changed. At my dealership they told me that the fuel filter should NEVER be changed ?? Doesn't sound right to me! Since you have the manual, could you please tell me where the filter is located? And where is the PCV valve?

    Your help is appreciated!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I think it's done at the 30K service interval. Someone in here had that one done, and I could have sworn the fuel filter was replaced then.

    I don't know who told you that you never replace it. That's crap.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Cool, for a second I thought you had seen my Echo on the highway as I was recently told one of my tail lights is out, but then I stopped and thought about it and realized my left one is the one still working.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    I agree with you completely! On my other vehicle ('98 Chevrolet K1500) I change the filter myself every 50000 Km (31 k miles). That's why I was asking "kneisl1" for his help with the location, he has the factory manual.
  • rjgeerjgee Posts: 27
    The fuel filter is part of the fuel pump, and resides *in* the fuel tank. Gas in the tank helps keep the pump cool, which is one reason why you shouldn't run your tank to empty. I believe you have to remove the rear seat cushion to get to it. Don't quote me on this ,but I don't think the fuel filter gets changed on this car as its part of the pump.

    The pcv valve is located near the top right of the valve cover. Remove the 4 screws holding the black vanity engine cover and you'll see it.

    My echo (2000) had *both* tail lights die within 1 1/2 years (at different times)
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    If the fuel filter is where you describe it, it makes perfect sense to me not to change it too often, due to the labor cost involved. Thanks for letting me know the location of the PCV valve.
    My 2001 Echo, aproaching 40 k miles (next week) has been flawless (so far). Other than regular maintenance no extra costs.

    I'm planning to keep this car for 300 k miles (7 years of use for me). We'll see if it holds up well. At the inspection done a few weeks ago brake pads front and rear had only 15% use. Apparently my first brake service will be near a mileage of 200 k miles, unbelievable (I will visually inspect them every 3 month when I rotate the tires).
    By the way, the tires's proyected life is 130 k miles, at present rate of usage.
  • geegee1958geegee1958 Posts: 29
    I know I put little mileage on my Echo (I live 1.4 miles from my office) but didn't realise how little! I got my 2000 Echo in June of 2000 and only this week, 23 months later, I will just barely hit the 10,000 mile mark. Better start driving more since I guess too few miles can be as bad, if not worse, than too many!!
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Have you seen what the cost of a cab is? Around here, it is a $1.50 just to get in. And then add the per mileage charge.
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    figuring monthly payment, depreciation, insurance and maintenance how much is the Echo costing geegee per mile.My math skills are challenged but i'm figuring around a $1.00 per mile at best.Anyway it was a flippant remark on my part-I get so few chances to use that word.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Remember to warm the car adequately before driving in the winter. The condensation lying inside your muffler and tailpipe will rot it from the inside out if you are not careful. I heard a guy go through this at a Midas dealer, and it was not covered under warranty either. Granted, it was a 1980s S10 truck, but still.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I know you were being flippant. So was I.
  • geegee1958geegee1958 Posts: 29
    I live in southern Florida, so "winter" here is not too bad- in fact in the 10 years I've been here, the coldest it has been is 44 degrees, with a "wind chill" of 37. Definately better than NY, where I lived before!! But the hot sun does do it's share of damage, and the high humidity and salt air from the ocean don't help any either, considering my car is not garaged. Everyone down here uses those silver foil sun shades, and we hope for the best!
  • mccallrmccallr Posts: 19
    I purchased a 2001 4-dr, 5-sp Echo this past October and haven't used the air conditioning much yet. I did notice on a few hot days that the A/C didn't work too well unless I put the vent on recirculate. Is this normal? Also, I pretty much needed to keep the fan on the highest setting. I just purchased an air conditioning thermometer. Does anyone know what the temp should be relative to the outside temp?
  • mltomekmltomek Posts: 24


  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    I think folks around Houston (like me) appreciate the miracle of air conditioning better than anywhere else in the United States. Here's my strategy for maximizing the effectiveness of my car's A/C:

    The number one rule is that the cooler the air going into the A/C, the cooler the air will be when it comes out. Let's say that it's a 95F day, and I have had the ECHO sitting out in the sun for several hours with the windows rolled up. When I first get in the car and start driving, I will set the A/C on "fresh air."

    Why? Because thanks to the greenhouse effect, the inside temperature will be around 140F. It's better to feed the 95F air from the outside into the A/C than the 140F air from the inside. When I think that the car interior has cooled down to reach the same temperature as on the outside, I switch over to "recirculate."

    If I can get the car up to cruising speed, I can also just simply open the windows as an opening move. The cooler air from the outside will be able to rush in and displace the hot air even faster. . . .
  • echorickechorick Posts: 27
    When I bought my Certified Used Toyota 2000 ECHO in 2001 I thought the A/C was a little weak. It was especially weak while idling. I took it to the dealer and they checked it out and then, under the warranty, they replaced the compressor. You may want to have yours checked.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Sorry I could not respond in a timely fashion to a request for help with this question. My computer doesnt do cookies at home so I cant respond to Edmunds which needs cookies. If you have a question email me at and Ill get back to you.
    Basically you dont need to change the fuel filter unless it gets crapped up. The best way to keep that from happening is to buy only from brand name stations with good fuel for sale. Getting fuel from unmaintained stations will ruin the fuel system and fuel cleaners wont help fix it either. Neither will "injector service for $80 Toyota offers.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I have come around to being a big believer in synthetic oil. I swapped out the factory oil for Mobil 1 as soon as I got the car - $26 at Walmart. I did this for two reasons: first, oils have not been progessing as fast as motor technology due to resistance, by the oil companies, to the necessary price increases better oil would require. Because oil specifications lagged behind (they are set by negotiation between of two different industry associations, the petroleum refiners vs. the car makers), Ford, VW, Mercedes, and the entire Japanese auto industry had to overlay the "basic" API SJ/Ilsac GF2 standards with an alphabet soup of additional requirements (that is why some oils say "meets Japanese valve train wear standards" or VW standard so and so, and other stuff - if your oil doesn't say this, it probably doesn't). A year or two ago, the auto makers prevailed and got the oil institute to recognize a vastly improved grade of oil which came on the market earlier this year, SL or Ilsac GF3. This stuff still isn't as good as a true synthetic, however, which will stand up to high temperature and pressures when you drive a small engine like this hard and fast. Mainly because although the auto industry association worried about valve train and other engine wear, there was also a strong focus on increased fuel economy to get CAFE up. Synthetics seem to qualify for fuel efficiency, but they are first and foremost "ultra protection" oils. They stick well to metal surfaces and don't break down as easily.

    Second, run a web search on "Toyota sludge" and track down the story on oil sludge buildup in some Toyota engines (the Echo was not cited, but it may be too new to have a track record). This is either due to owners not changing oil often enough (Toyota's view) or due to some apparently high temperature areas in those particular engines that "cooked" the oil down to sludge. (Allegedly Toyota wanted higher cylinder head temperatures to achieve lower emissions status, made some oil circulation passages smaller, and the temperatures run too hot in those areas; an alternate story is that there is a greater than industry standard temperature variation between the cylinder head and block and this causes the problem.) Toyota's solution, at the dealer level, seems to be to recommend not more than 5,000 mile oil changes regardless of individual driving habits, while the auto repair press recommends synthetics, which won't "cook" since it has a higher temperature spec.

    The more I learn about oil quality and car engine variables, the more I believe the "3,000" mile oil company / express change "hype" isn't hype after all, but a good idea.

    I am not sure whether I am going to change the synthetic, Mobil 1, that I put in my Echo at 5,000 or 3,000 miles, since synthetics are supposed to last longer. I think maybe the synthetic base stock will last longer, but some degradation is inevitable and I am also worried that the crucial antiwear and antioxidation additive packages in a synthetic will probably wear out just as fast as in a dino oil. Also, the oil filter on the Echo is really dinky, compare it to filters from other economy sedans, so all in all if I have the time I will probably change my synthetic oil at 3,000, certainly at 3,000 for my first oil change to wash out any metal wear particles. This is only made possible by WalMart's economy - $26 for a full synthetic change vs. $50 at an oil shop vs. ? at a dealer.
  • lynnann1lynnann1 Posts: 85
    While my car is in the body shop, I am driving a Saturn. It feels like I'm sitting in hole and it's difficult to climb in and out.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    I have been using Mobil 1 5-30 since 10k miles. Yes it is more expensive but I also do it at 5k intervals instead of 3k. Consumer Reports did a comprehensive study of a variety of oils including synthetics. The tests were done using NYC taxicabs. They found that the only synthetic to show any measurable difference was Mobil 1. The main benefit of Mobil 1 was superior viscosity under extreme heat conditions. They also found that,even under severe conditions, running engine oil 7k between showed NO noticible wear on engine parts or buildup. I do notice a slight drop in mileage near the 5k interval and an increase immediately following the oil change.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    Does anyone know of a higher volume (size) filter for a Toyota Echo?? I would feel better if I could replace the tiny stock (presently using Purolator PL 14476) filter with a bigger one.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The puniness of the filter is one reason I am thinking about changing the Mobil 1 synthetic every 3,000 miles. I think the oil could probably survive to 5,000. The Mobil 1 website says "follow the manual" for oil change intervals - in other words, don't go longer, but presumably unless the "severe" condition as descrivbed in the manual is 3,000, you don't have to do changes as frequently as 3,000 miles either (although I definitely would with "dino" non-synthetic oil). Toyota specifies either 7,500 or 5,000; Ford specifies 5,000 or 3,000; Volkswagen specifies 10,000 or 5,000; Honda is now 10,000 or 5,000. My personal theory is that the higher mileage options are to satisfy environmental concerns and assume automatic transmissions driven "averagely." And that the lower numbers are what gearheads would actually like us to use. Certainly most of dealers seem to push for the lower intervals regardless of so-called driving style. The question then is whether 5,000 or 3,000 is the appropriate change interval. (I can also remember when the intervals were 7,500 and 3,750).

    I don't think I drive "average" but "sporty." Although the Echo automatic has overdrive with resulting low revs on the highway, the little engine is certainly built for high rev's when accelerating or downshifting to merge or to pass - that's why it has that nifty VVT-i valve timing gear on it, why the muffler has the valve that opens up at high rpm, and why the maximum torque and horsepower points are so high in the rpm range - much higher, for example, than the supposedly sporty VW Golf.

    Today, in fact, I got over "beginner's butterflies" and used half to three quarter throttle to keep the engine in lower gears longer. The car really flew, the revs really built up. This kind of driving was fun. This car is an "MG" in Tercel clothing. The flip side is, I think I would feel guilty about not keeping the best oil in there on the most conservative schedule. Hey, it's practically the only maintenance item on the car! It's the least I can do for all the fun I am having. And it's only $27 at WalMart. And the filter is puny....

    Finally, the Consumer Report on taxi usage is a little misleading. There is a lot of stop and go for taxis, which is supposedly harder than steady cruising, but the worst factor is actually the start up from cold cycle, which taxis just never experience. Most wear in an engine occurs at start up! The best way to minimize that wear is to have a very "clingy" oil such as Mobil 1, which offers the front line protection on start up. Also, continuous operation (read: taxi use) doesn't build up as many acids and as much water as the cold start part of a cycle, or short trips. So the additive package can wear longer.

    I especially worry about cold-starting oil performance since I am only able to go about three blocks before jumping on the freeway in the morning to work. That is one significant reason for synthetic in the first place.

    So, I haven't completely decided, but if I can afford the dough I think I'll change at 3,000 miles....
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