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Toyota Echo



  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    Many thanks for the advice.

    Yes, I believe it is better to change the belts before they fail.

    As to the used oil, IMHO oil that has not been extracted and does not need burning or disposing of is much better.

    I shudder at the thought of contaminated oil being burned in a furnace and the chemicals released into the air. I would prefer to see 100% of used engine oil re-refined and reused.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    There is very little in the service manual about changing the belts. It says there is a 17mm and a 14 mm bolt to loosen on the alternator then pry same out of the way and remove the belt. I dont see the 17mm on my car. It helps on some cars to see the belt as you put it on to jack up the right side of the car and remove the right front wheel. USually there is a plastic splash guard to remove also then you can really see the pulleys and belts.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    I am now at 106K miles, and I should change the plugs I suppose. I bought some at Napa today, I was looking for the NGK iridium plugs which is what came with the car, I believe. Napa doesnt carry that anymore, and they said that the OEM plugs now are double platinum of (I forget the brand, a familiar one.) The Echo still runs great, but I notice on a hill at highway speed I used to could push beyond 70 in 4th gear. But now it seems to get stuck at 65 and there is a bit of roughness. So I dont stay on it. Maybe that is due to the load on the electrical, and the new plugs will help? I think I will ask my mechanic friend to install them, I am a bit nervous about the proper torque and any difficulty pulling the old ones out after such long service. I remember pulling plugs once on a used VW beetle and getting a sleeve out with the plug. Seems some prior user had stripped it before. Any thoughts? I do change oil and filter at 6K intervals, I have found that to be just fine. I wonder about changing the manual tranny fluid or the power steering fluid or the brake fluid? I took the car in for a major service at 65K miles, but I would not be surprised if they changed very little altho they charged me $600. I didnt purchase the car at the local dealer cause I saved 1000 going elsewhere. Typical issues I suppose.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    The plugs might help but probably not. I doubt very much you will have any trouble getting the old ones out because they are very protected from the elements. Cars like the beetle had very exposed plugs and in the beetles case oil dripping on them. I would buy a very nice sparkplug socket which grips the plugs very nicely because thats the only way to get them out of the deep hole theyre in. And you dont want the new ones dropping out of the socket. Bring a plug with you to check the fit. Dont worry about torqueng them. Just screw the new ones in until they stop and then half a turn more. You might want to look down in there with a flashlight to check for crap before removing them. A can of Dust Off will fix that.
      Changing the brake fluid would be an excellent idea. I suck the old stuff out of the master cylindar with a suction pump I got at Pep Boys and refill with clean brake fluid. Check your owners manual for the type to get (Dot 3 or Dot 4) Then i got a pieve of clear aquarium tubing which fits over the bleeder bolts. I remove the rubber caps from the bleeders and put the tubing over it so it fits snuggle. Then open the bleed and drain the old stuff into a screw top jar until it runs clean and tighten the bleeder. You can preloosen the bleeder before you put the tubing on if necessary. Changing the transmission oil would be great. Make sure you get it nice and warm by driving around on a hot day first. I dont know the size of the drain and fill plugs but youll need to measure and buy a socket. If you dont change it MANDITORY that you check the level every year from now on. Also keep an eagle eye on the axle boots every oil change or at least twice a year. If they crack and you dont catch it in time youll need new axle for $1000 whereas Toyota gets $400 for just the boots. I plan to write up a proceedure for the 30k service which is mostly inspection soon.
  • geezergeezer Posts: 1
    Some of the participants are well into dealers.etc and I have a nagging question,. What kind of paint does Toyota use??? I know GM and Ford both use water base paints instead of the old enamels or lacquers. They have been doing this for several years and since GM used to own 20% of Toyota and they are very engineering related I suspect that Toyota also uses water base materials, The real strength of the finishes is the final clearcoat.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    Thanks for your good feedback, kneisl.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I am sure that GM did NOT ever own 20% of Toyota. Toyota could buy just about any company they want to with all the cash they have. And there is no "engineering relationship", other than GM may try to copy Toyota. Don't know about the paint thing.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    There are two parts to the 30k maintenance. The first are things you actually replace, and the second are things you inspect. Today Ill go over what you actually have to replace at 30k miles. Ill discuss some other things to do that the manual doesnt call for, and also modify some of the things they tell you to do.
       First of all I believe in using origional Toyota parts in most applications. Their air filters are excellent, much better than anything else availible. I also suggest you use their coolant. An exception would be the oil filter where I recommend you use FRAM because it has a grippy surface on the end that helps you remove and install it. I havnt used an oil filter wrench since I took the origional one off.
       1) Change the air filter 30,000 miles/two years. I recommend you inspect it every year. Certainly you dont need to change it every 2 years unless its really dusty where you drive. I go by the 30k miles.
       There is an excellent proceedure to change the filter complete with pictures here on this forum. But I dont know how to find it. The filter housing is to the right of the battery. There is a fat black hose coming out of the top of it which runs to the front of the car. Youll see a clamp with a philips head screw which holds the hose to the housing. Loosen the clamp and remove the hose. On the housing itself there are two spring clips at the front of the housing which hold it together. The clips are to the immediate right of the negitive terminal on the battery. (the one towards the front of the car) Undo the clips. At the rear of the housing the top and lower halfs of the housing are hooked or hinged together. Seperate the housing halfs and remove the old filter and replace it with the new one. It might be a little tricky to get the housing together where the hook/hinge arrangement is but if you can get the two clips back on its probably right. When the housing is back together, reattach the fat black hose and tighten the clamp. Check all of the other hoses which go into the housing to make sure they didnt come off.
    2) Change the coolant every 30k miles, 2 years. If you use Toyota long life coolant it should last 5 years or 50k miles. I think this spec is meant for the old green stuff. Toyota long life coolant is red so if you have red stuff I would not change it at this time. If you scroll up this forum a ways I explain how I recently changed mine. Its easy.
    3) Replace engine oil and filter. I have explained further up this forum how to do this. I recommend you change the oil three times a year at four month intervals like the manual says regardless of the mileage. If you REALLY drive a lot then change it every 4000 miles. You probably can go 7500 miles but not more than four months between changes. Oil and filters are cheap. It only costs me about $6 to do an oil change. I recommend when you change the oil that you inspect the drive axle boots for wear at that time while the car is up on ramps. ESPECIALLY WHEN THE CAR IS OVER FOUR YEARS OLD AND/OR HAS 60K MILES ON IT. How to do it is explained in the oil change instructions further up the list. Also, at this time check the battery acid level if your battery not a sealed unit.
    3) Change the sparkplugs every 30k miles or 2 years. Forget the two years just change them every 30k miles. You need a very good sparkplug socket (5/8") which will grip the plug as they are down on the bottom of a very deep hole in the cylindar head. Bring a sparkplug to the store and test the socket out on it. You also need a 3/8 in drive ratchet, a six inch expension, and a 10mm socket all in 3/8 inch drive. A spark plug gauge is needed too.
       First remove all the plugs from their packages and check them with the gauge. The gap should be .043 inch.
       Using the ratchet and 10mm socket, remove the four black acorn nuts from the black plastic cover on the top of the engine. It says like VTTI on it and has a hole in it for the oil filler cap. Put the nuts in a tin can and remove the plastic. Now you can see the sparkplug sockets. Each one is held on by a 10 mm bolt you have to remove to pull the wire off the plug. Remove one of the 10mm bolts and pull the socket off the plug. Look down in the hole with a flashlight to check for crap down in there. If you find any blow it out with a can of Dust Off. If your car is older, there might be oil down there from a leaking valve cover gasket. Replace the plug anyway but bring the car in for a new VC gasket. Using the ratchet with a six inch extension on the sparkplug socket, loosen the sparkplug turning counterclockwise. Once the plug is good and loose you can remove the ratchet and turn the extension with your fingers. CAREFULLY draw up the sparkplug. This is where you want a really good socket because you dont want to drop it now and you dont want to go dropping the new plug into the engine. Put the new plug you check the gap in into the socket and extension and lower it down into the engine. Tighten it by hand then when its started use the ratchet. When you feel the plug bottom give it 1/2 turn more with the ratchet. Install the ten mm bolt and move on to the next plugs until you do them all.
    4) Rotate the tires. If you want to.

      There that is it! THAT IS ALL THAT IS DONE AT THE 30K SERVICE. There are some inspections Ill get to another day, but nothing else is changed or adjusted. You dont really need to do the inspections until the car gets like 60k miiles on it when you should perform them once a years. This is the service Toyota gets like $350 here in NJ to do! Lets do the math. The air filter at Toyota is $12 and the sparkplugs should go $1 each at AutoZone or similiar. A Fram oil filter and four quarts of oil on sale should be 6-7 dollars. Lets see 12+4+7 equals $23 for the 30,000 service!
  • rwgreenbergrwgreenberg Posts: 154
    Hi. Well it finally happened. My 18 yr. old made her first contact with another vehicle while driving my Echo. Just some scratches on the bumper. Anyone know how to get hold of touch-up paint without having to visit the dealer....always a hassle.

    Or...anyone have any idea if there is a product out there that has the ability to shmush the surrounding paint into the scratched part to cover it up. Seems like on the bumper this might be possible, but probably not.

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    When I grazed a pole in a parking lot last year and put black marks in the bumper, I used scotchbrite to get the black off then spraypainted the area with a can of silver paint I got at the hardware store. At least you cant notice it from a distance.
       I was trying out sockets and wrenches on the drain plug for the manual transmission today and I believe a 15/16 inch socket will fit it perfectly. It will need to be a very short socket however as suspension components come within 3 or so inches of the plug. I dont think you could get a wrench on it either. Im thinking the metric equivelent would be 24mm. Its a scurvy plug however in that the head is very thin and undercut. It looks easy to bugger up. Im debating whether or not to change the transmission oil next year at 30k miles. It certainly doesnt NEED to be changed however the oil level needs to be CHECKED once a year or so as the car gets older.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    The NY Times on line has a story about some MORON who bought a Toyota Prius on ebay for $6000 OVER list price after being on a waiting list for 6 months for a new one. He estimates he will save $450 a year on gas at todays prices. $32,000 to save $450 a year.
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    Two descendants of the five dolphins used forty years ago in the TV series Flipper still live at the Miami Seaquarium.

    Their names are Sundance and Echo.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    At least their names arent Scion a and b.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    If youve changed your cars oil, air filter, and sparkplugs youve already done the mechanical part of the 30k mile scheduled maintenance. Now comes the inspection part of the deal. I will also include things to check that Toyota doesnt bother about, but which should be looked at. Also, a vehicle inspection such as this should be done more frequently as the car gets older. (like five years or more) Once a year would be good.
      The first thing we are going to check is the coolant level and cooling system in general. With the engine stone cold, remove the cap to the radiator. Its right there at the front of the engine compartment in the middle. There should be coolant right up to the cap. If there is, look behind the radiator to the left (left is left side of the car) and find the expansion tank. There is a line on it indicating where the level should be when full. If it is there is nothing further to do. If its not and/or the coolant level in the radiator wasnt up to the cap, there is more work to do. Get some antifreeze (I prefer to get it from Toyota) and some distilled water in a gallon container from the drugstore. In a separate CLEAN gallon container (like a milk jug with a screw top) pour two quarts of the antifreeze and two quarts of the distilled water and shake it. Into the half full gallon of antifreeze pour the half gallon of distilled water. Now you have two gallons of antifreeze, enough to add some for now and later and enough to change the antifreeze at a later date. LABEL THE MILK JUG FULL OF ANITFREEZE BEFORE YOU STORE IT.Get a funnel and fill the expansion tank up to the line on the tank and/or also fill the radiator up to the cap level. Put the cap on and start the engine. Drive the around to warm the engine up. Stop the car, put the transmission in PARK and put the handbrake on. In a manual transmission car, leave the transmission in neutral and apply the parking brake. With the engine running, lay on the ground so you can observe whats going on under the engine. You are looking for leaks. The place to look is under the engine on the right side of the car (which is where the water pump is) and across the front of the car where the radiator is. Look for at least five minutes as it may only drip once or twice in that time. If you see dripping coolant youre going to need to take the car in to have it fixed. No leaks? Well, maybe all is OK and maybe not. For the next week or so, whenever you drive the car, look under it for leaks. If you park it in the same place every night, you can put a large piece of cardboard under it and inspect it in the morning for drips. A week after checking the coolant level, check it again. If its OK check it again in another week. Is the level in the radiator and expansion tank full? If so then all is well. If not you have to add coolant and check it again next week. If you are adding coolant on a regular basis you better have a shop look at it. Any or all of the following may need attention. The water pump could be shot (on Toyotas they usually go over 100k miles before going) the coolant hoses may be worn out and leaking, or the radiator itself may be leaking. Have a shop check it out and fix it.
  • natashadtnatashadt Posts: 14
    I am a 20 year old college student. Searching the top ten list for the least expensive cars, I found the toyota ECHO. I am considering buying the echo. I plan to put at least 2500 down as a down payment. I want my payments to be no more than about 215 a month. Am I going about this the right way?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Echo, Scion xA and Scion xB all are based on same chassis and engine. The Scions have more standard equipment and are a better value than the Echo.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    A better value if you can come up with the money would be to snag a used ECHO. $8000 should get you a 2001 with less than 30k on it. New ECHOs are getting scarce at least in NJ. I would stay away from the Scion as they are having quality control issues, as incredible as that may seem for a Toyota. Also a new ECHO will require very expensice insurance payments a used one wont have (if you dont borrow the money)
  • lakelandfllakelandfl Posts: 10
    Yes buy the Echo you will love it . I still love my Echo very very much it has been a great car and for the money it's the best small car on the road .
  • m4priusm4prius Posts: 31
    Kneisl1...can you give me specifics on quality control issues for the Scion???

    Note: I have an Echo and love it...however was considering getting another vehicle like the XB since it had loads of space for folks in the back and has similar mechanicals as the ECHO.

    Has it been confirmed that this is the last production year for the ECHO??


  • m4priusm4prius Posts: 31
    A Scion Review from a Web Posting on XA:

    "I think most consumers equate Toyota with high quality, which is why we were both surprised to see some flaws in our test car. There were noticeable gaps at the top of the A-pillars and wavy rubber gaskets around the rear windows. We were also a bit dismayed by what was under the hood. Our Scion came equipped with a twin-cam 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 108 horsepower and is linked to a five-speed manual transmission. The engine is noisy, especially at highway speeds, and it's short on power, particularly when you're trying to overtake or merge into heavy freeway traffic. We both thought the suspension felt stiff and harsh, and the front bucket seats, while stylish looking, need more lateral support. Basically, you get out of the xA shaking your head and wondering how the xA and the xB, from the same brand, could deliver such different impressions."
  • natashadtnatashadt Posts: 14
    New Echos or just Echos period are scarce here in Mississippi. Why do you think that getting a used Echo would be a better value other than insurance? How much do think I should expect to pay for insurance new or used?
  • katetxkatetx Posts: 5
    Used is usally an excellent way to go...especially with a reliable car such as a Toyota. You are letting someone else take the hit on the depreciation instead of you. My first car was a 1991 Toyota Corolla back when I graduated from College. I found that car to be very reliable. I just kept up with the basic maintenance such as oil changes etc.. and it ran great. I kept this car for 9 years and had over 100,000 miles when I sold it. I think you will be happy with the Echo also because of the mpg rating.
    I think the Echo is definetly a contender in value, reliability etc..
    Whatever you decide good luck.
  • natashadtnatashadt Posts: 14
    What do you think about getting a car from a private car auction?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    This survey of initial quality found the Scions had a defect count of 181 per 100 vehicles, the HIGHEST of any car.
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    What was the defect count for the Echo?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I didnt see any defect count for ECHO. I suggest trying the Powers website, Ill look there today.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I got some results for the ECHO, but i could not find the latest survey data. The results that were there are a little strange. For instance, the ECHO scored higher on STYLING than it did on anything else. Makes you question the whole thing. I note there is a lot of fuss recently about Korean vehicles scoring higher in initial quality than European vehicles. That is misleading because on quality over time they score the WORST of any vehicle. Which is what matters. I CAN tell you that my 2001 ECHO has had ZERO defects even after three and a half years and 22k miles.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    That is misleading because on quality over time they score the WORST of any vehicle.

    Well, that is misleading also. What kind of time frame are you referring to? What scores are you referring to?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    This was from an article in the NY Times about the report itself, quite some time ago possibly a month. It was the NY Times on the web if you care to search it. You could also search the JD Power site.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Based on the 2004 JD Power VDS (based on 2001 vehicles), your statement is incorrect. Some Korean vehicles in that study did better than non-Korean vehicles. Based on other studies on long-term reliability, e.g. CR's study of 2001 vehicles, your statement is incorrect. There, the Korean vehicles rated in the study were just below the survey average, ahead of many other makes.
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