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Toyota Echo



  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    I was in Las Vegas last week, for the wedding of a brother in law. Exactly a week ago they had pictures on the late night news of a car crash that killed the driver. A car was passing several others at about 75mph when it ran head-on into a large truck. Plenty of pictures, and the car was a green Echo just like mine. Smashed flat all the way back into the rear seat. But the trunk looked as good as new, like you could open it with the key. Haunting. So drive safely, all.
  • It looks like Toyota is recalling the ECHO. Details can be found here:
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    My ECHO has a build date of 8/00 and the recall is well after that. Even so I went out to have a look at the setup. It IS a little funky. I would say the RUBBER HOSE which runs from the supply pipe to the bottom of the control arm is vulnerable to the rotation of the rear wheel should anything become attached to the wheel and rotate with it. This rubber hose is only 2 or 3 inches from the wheel which IME is unusually close. From the fitting on the control arm to the wheel cylinder itself is another metal pipe which does not appear to be vulnerable at all. What is the overall effect of this situation as far as safety? It DOES look possible for dammage to happen. But if it did it would only affect the rear brakes which do only 25% of the braking. The front brakes would still work and you would notice a small loss of braking effect. I might worry about my wife or daughter driving the car, but it would not affect MY safety at all. For even the loss of the rear brakes to happen you would have to say the event would be one in a million. So this problem has nothing to do with the fundamental safety of the car.
    I would be curious to hear from anyone with a recalled car to know what the setup is on THOSE cars and what TOYOTA does to modify it.
    Frankly most recalls are not worth the paper they are written on. They are mostly due to million to one accidents...not fundamental defects in the mechanism. (there are exceptions)Because of lawsuits the companies are forced into recalling the car. Even the Ford Explorer rollover problem probably affected less than one in 500000 vehicals. If we were all held to those numbers for what we do at work wed all be fired by now.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    It's only 2001+ US models, right? My friend just bought a used 2000 ECHO a couple of weeks ago, so I was curious.

    He really likes the car thus far, a little better than the 1997 Sentra he had before it (it was totalled in an accident). He also likes the fuel economy, a little better in the ECHO, even when running the AC.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    The 2000 year model would not be affected. Its a weird recall though. Its from 8/01 to 4/02. Why not earlier? Why not later? Obviously this happned last winter. Why wait till now to recall? Was the car really changed after 4\02? without being recalled until now? Something does not add up here.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I agree, now that I think about it. If all ECHOS have had the same size wheels since they came out (175/65R14 if I am not mistaken), and no suspension changes have been made, you would think all of them would have been recalled since they were introduced.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    could be sourced to a particular lot of parts used from 8/01 to 4/02
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    No I dont think its a matter of parts. My 2001 which isnt specified in the recall has a setup for the way the rear brakes are piped that is not the way I would do it or have seen it done. I dont think that many cars are going to have dammage to the rear brake hoses/pipes, but the potential is there. (then again, with a conventional setup you could very easily have a rock fly up and dammage the metal pipes) Im curious to see what the fix is and what the setup is on cars that were recalled. I question why the cars were (apparently) modified on 4/02 but the recall wasnt for six months later. Either this isnt serious or Toyota is lax in its recall.
  • I drove through a local Toyota dealer parking lot today and they had a 2003 ECHO in the bronze color. I think it has lost that lovable look that it had. Toyota really screwed up by pushing the headlamps into the car. The lenses should have been flush with the hood and grille.
  • 719b719b Posts: 216
    the headlights are subjective, but the tach and 15" wheels are for real. if you found last years model fun to drive, the 2003 will be even better.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Does anyone know if the gauges from the '03 can be retrofitted to the older models?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    What kind of mileage does your ECHO get? Is it manual or automatic? What kind of driving do you primarily do? (highway or local)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My friend's Echo seems to be doing well in the economy department. He reset the trip odometer last time he got gas, and he said it was at 351 miles the last time we talked, and he still had some gas left. So that's about 36mpg or so, not too bad.
  • nodakernodaker Posts: 20
    I drive a 4-door automatic, primarily tooting around a town -- pop. @ 50,000. I get about 33 mpg. in the summer, much less in the winter 25 mpg (but I realize a lot of this has to do with allowing the car to warm up. YES, I will always allow the car to warm up in the winter -- I live in North Dakota. I drive about 4-5 miles a day, and do not consider the gas mileage terrific, but I realize it's due to how I drive the car. On highway driving the gas mileage is considerably better. I've gotten upwards to 51 mpg with a tailwind, and as lousy as 29 mpg with a very strong headwind. Last spring, my husband and I drove from N. Dakota to Kansas with a 50 mph+ headwind. The gas mileage was awful. That was the only time I felt that a heavier vehicle would have gotten better mileage than the ECHO which not only got horrible mileage but was blown all over the road.

    I do wish the gas tank was a bit larger so save having to actually stop to fill up so much.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    To answer my own question: I get 36-38 mpg in town driving in winter and 40-42 mpg town driving in summer. Basically I drive 7 miles to and from work. On long trips in summer Ive gotten 43 mpg. Nodaker that sounds like brutal conditions for driving your ECHO in ! Reminds me of commuting to work in upstate ny in winter in my beetle many years ago.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    I would consider having a block heater installed. Run it on a timer for one hour avery morning and your mileage will be great! It also will be a pleasure to have your heater working full blast immediately.

    My average mileage so far is 41.7 MPG over the last 60k miles (US gallons).
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Have you tried synthetic oil in your Echo in winter? Really and truely you should not have to idle the car in winter to warm it up. It should start and drive off with no trouble. How cold is it there? Im afraid idling the car for long periods in cold weather with cause carbon to form on the ring lands of the pistons and surfaces of the exhaust valves...possibly leading to trouble later on. Ive taken apart a lot of engines with that problem. Starting up and driving right off makes the engine warm up faster than idleing and is what the makers recommend. Carbon formation is why they recommend that. I guess if the car doesnt run ok when it first starts when its cold you have no choice but to idle it.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    On my diesel Mercedes for winter starting a farmer friend gave me a magnetic oil heater you could slap right to the oil pan. Cant remember the name but it worked great and should be availible in farm equipment stores. The stupid one Mercedes sold required removal of a plug in the side of the cast iron engine block. No way I was going to remove that 2 inch plug on a 15 year old car.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    At least in winter you should use a good synthetic oil. Mobil 1, Amsoil and Redline come to mind. Mobil 1 should be the easiest to obtain (Wal-Mart). I suggest using 5W30 or even a 0W30 oil. Look at your manual to see which one is recommended.

    Give your car no more than 30 seconds of idling before starting. Just make sure you use the defogger and crank up the heater. It will warm almost immediately because it has an electric heater element.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    I have a 4-door with 5-spd and get 29-33mpg in town(very heavy traffic w/short distance) and 33-38mpg on the hwy(high altitude driving w/average speed of 80mph). I have never driven on flat or low altitude for long distance with my new wheels/tires...drove from Los Angeles to Ensenada, Mexico on OEM setup and got 38mpg. That trip included going 85-90mph in Baja, Mexico.
  • nodakernodaker Posts: 20
    To all those who have the solution to warming up my car in the winter :)

    1. Block heater is out -- no place to plug the car in when I'm at work. (block heaters (head bolt heaters) used to come standard on cars in North Dakota, but I think someone finally realized that most people don't have a place to plug them in ;~)

    2. I use synthetic oil.

    3. I have an auto-start and start my car about 7-10 minutes before I get into it.

    4. I've seen temps down to -40 below, windchill to -85.

    5. The ECHO runs fine no matter how cold it is, however my body does not. Unfortunately, I have Raynaud's disease and cannot tolerate cold temps. I also weigh about 90 pounds soaking wet so the insulation factor is in the negative numbers :)

    6. Please, no lectures on how unfriendly running my car for 10 minutes in the winter is to the environment. I am a tree-hugging, vegan. I HATE that I even have to DRIVE period, and it goes against my very moral fiber to have to warm the car for a bit before I get into it. If I ever move out of this god forsaken state, I would probably walk or bike EVERYWHERE, EVERYDAY. I bought the ECHO so I would use as little fuel as possible knowing my situation cannot change at this time.

    7. Don't bother suggesting that I move -- not possible until hubby retires. On that day -- I'm heading south -- even if I have to live in Zihuatenajo :)

    BTW, I never use the A/C. All gas mileage I quoted was without A/C.
  • nodakernodaker Posts: 20
    Where in upstate NY? I lived in Plattsburgh for a few years (early 70's) AND drove a VW bug :) I got that puppy stuck in lots of snowbanks! Lots of snow in P'Burgh, but the temps were moderate compared to NoDak. The wind in NoDak is brutal :(

    I hate this place.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    How about buying one of those cheap electric heaters for the cabin of the car and running it maybe 10 minutes in the morning? If this is possible at your home you would at least save some gas (and engine wear).
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I grew up in Cobleskill NY and commuted to work at GE in Schnectady for eight years. (we used to get snow then!) Wish I could buy a new beetle like my 74, I put 250,000k on that car and very reliable. Sorry to hear that you have Raynauds disease and connot tolerate cold temperatures. (and you live in ND!) Come join us in NJ its like Florida here in winter!
  • thooverthoover Posts: 49
    We have 50K miles on our 2000 w. auto and air, 4 door. Here are the stats:

    Current 5-tank average: 44.7
    Average over last 60 tanks: 41.9

    I do try to baby this thing, I love it. But this car is used in all kinds of driving, though mostly rural 45 or 55 mph 2 lane roads.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Todays question is: If you have in fact purchased an ECHO, how old are you? Clueless Toyota research suposedly aimed the ECHO at younger buyers hoping to make them Toyota buyers for life. But I bet NOBODY who is under 30 buys an ECHO (they all want BMWs) Help Toyota marketing get its head on straight about who to design a practical, economical for. Or, if you are under 30 and have an ECHO, prove me wrong.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I will answer for my friend, since he doesn't get into cars enough to read one of these forums. He is 25. Just bought his ECHO about 4 weeks ago, used. It had 35,850 miles on it, it's a 2000 sedan with automatic, AC, rear defogger, rear spoiler, side cladding, aftermarket alarm, and nothing else! He likes it thus far, compared it to looking like a spaceship when he saw it on the lot.

    He paid $8400 on the road, including TTL for it.
  • sfechosfecho Posts: 26
    Those two questions brought 'em out of the woodwork!
    We have two Echo's (two votes):
    Approx 31 mpg around town, San Francisco, lotsa hills, lotsa stop and go. The best on a trip:
    41 MPG (automatic). Ages: fifty something
    Another tough question: tire pressure.
    I use 36 psi for all four. Rougher ride, better mileage.
  • Reference message #3411: Where is Zihuatenajo?
  • nodakernodaker Posts: 20
    Zihuatenjo is about 10 miles from Ixtapa which is about 150 miles north of Alcapulco, Mexico. Zihuatenjo is still relatively undeveloped and not the huge tourist mecca that Cancun is... yet :( Nice weather year around (hot in the summer, but I love hot weather), pacific ocean, great sunsets, beach...
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