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Toyota Echo



  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    I would suggest an oil analysis after 7.5 miles and then another one after 10k miles. The results will give you a good idea of your "ideal" oil change interval.

    I use Amsoil not because I sell the product but because I have had outstanding results in several different vehicles. I decided to sign up as a preferred customer ($ 20 a year) and that allows me to purchase at wholesale prices.

    The website mentioned in a previous message provides a great deal of information on oils and the general consensus is that Mobil 1, Amsoil, Redline and a few European synthetic oils are excellent products and, depending on your local price and availability, will save you a lot of time under the car. In addition to that the engine of your car is better protected during extreme hot or cold temperatures.

    There is also a better use of limited resources (less dependence on imported oils) and less harm to the environment. Don't forget that not all used oils are reprocessed. Uncounted thousands of gallons of used oil each year are either burned as fuel oil (air pollution) or dumped somewhere (soil and water contamination).

    So the less we use, the better for the country and the environment.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    How about your oil filter? Do YOU know of a manufacturer who thinks their oil filter is good for 15k miles? Or do you change the oil filter every 8k miles or so? Now, I NEVER said synthetic oil would hurt your car. But if you have engine trouble not related to the oil (entirely possible) and you havnt been changing it often enough the dealer is likely to REFUSE your warranty claim. Do you want to take that chance?
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    Yes, I would take that chance.

    I've owned 18 cars in my life (counting my wife's cars). None of them had engine trouble. All of them were sold with more than 150k miles on them. All of them had a steady diet of synthetic.

    Check the previous message. The dealer can't deny the warranty for an unrelated matter.

    Regarding filters, yes, I change filters every 7.5k. They are cheap, around $ 2 at WalMart. I must have about a dozen in my garage :)
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    What happens when your car gets older and starts using oil? Even a quart in a thousand miles means $4. And synthetic oil, being thinner, will leak past worn rings, valve seals, and engine gaskets a lot faster. On a long trip of 500 miles you could easily get low enough on oil to throw a rod. That would be the end of an old car.
    You say your ten year old car with 400,000 miles on it uses no more than a quart of oil in 15,000 miles? Say do you have a Blue Ox too?
  • rossm2rossm2 Posts: 96
    You just won't try to get the point, will you! Synthetic reduces engine wear problems in three circumstances: extreme heat, extreme cold, and (most importantly for me) the wear caused but cold engine starts. I do a lot of short drives. Use of synthetic reduces engine wear so that the rings, valve seals, etc are NOT worn enough to allow large quantities of oil to pass them. I can tell you from personal experience that I have had the problem you suggest (little oil use around town, 1 litre in < 100 miles highway), but it was with the last car in which I used dino oil. I have NEVER had significant oil consumption under ANY conditions in cars since switching to synthetic.

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Synthetic oil was developed for use in jet engines. The temperatures you mention simply do not exist in a properly functioning automobile engine. Yes, it works well in below 0 temperatures and I would recommend it then. You are kidding yourself if you think synthetic oil makes engine parts last longer. Tales of ten year old 400,000 mile engines burning a quart of oil in 15,000 miles are just that. I can change my oil three times a year for $18 including oil filters. Changing the oil frequently removes acids and contamination that build up no matter what kind of oil you use. Oil filters dont remove it only draining it will. Will your engine last any longer or run any better on synthetic oil? No. Will it cost more money? Yes! Will the engine be dammaged by synthetic oil? No. If you want to waste your money on synthetic oil I cant stop you. :D
  • hilmerhilmer Posts: 10
    Yes, I agree and understand, thanks again for your input. I'm still studying at BITOG, though much of what I read regarding the chemistry is just not something I can understand. Still, there is much to be gleaned from the discussions. I'll be making a UOA check at 2.5 K miles and then probably change it at 4 K with another UOA at that point. The second filling I'll base my first check on what I've learned from the the first fill and analysis

    I have a 75 mile per day round trip to work which begins at 500 feet msl climbs to 1800 feet and returns to sea level to get to work and the reverse in the evening. During the summer ambient air temps can go over 100 for a week or two. Winters see sub freezing temps. For these conditions and the cleanliness issues associated with the synthetic oil is what pushed me to make the switch, and I'm comfortable with this.

    I'm currently studying about filters at the other site. Any first hand experience that you can share in this regard?

  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400

    I am not trying to convince anybody to follow my practice of using a group IV synthetic oil in their car.

    If you use an inexpensive mineral oil and you change it every 3k you will not harm your engine and it will probably last for 200k, 300k and even more.

    A Toyota Corolla (1987) owner in Alberta (very cold winters) recently completed 1.000.000 kilometers or 621.5 k miles using just that (mineral oil).

    They key to the longevity to a car is lots of highway miles and a careful warm-up of the engine. What I mean is not to rev the engine too high before the oil is really hot.

    You see, taxicab engines commonly last 5 to 7 hundred thousand miles and more between overhauls because they are kept running around the clock in several shifts and the engine and oil stays hot all the time.

    What kills an engine is very frequent starts but even more so frequents short trips and subsequent cool downs.

    Whether you believe me or not regarding my old 91 Caprice its up to you. I just tell it like it is.

    As good as a Toyota Echo is, in your case with the short trips and low miles you put on your car, it is unlikely that you will reach an extremely high odometer reading without having other problems (not the engine).

    Your starter motor, the alternator, the water pump, the power steering, brake calipers, thermostat, etc are likely candidates for causing trouble at some point, way earlier than your engine.

    You will most likely grow tired of your Echo long before it reaches 300k miles.

    For me using synthetic oil is a way to save a lot of time. I would be changing conventional oil every 6 weeks if I followed the big oil companies advice.

    Since I spend about 3 hours on the road every day plus 8 at the office, there is little time left for wasting with oil changes.

    I also like to send in samples of the used oil to find out how spent the additives are and in what condition my engine is in.

    Yes, with oil analysis you will get to know your engine very well. You will be able to tell whether there is a coolant contamination or if it is wearing abnormally.

    If i did conventional oil changes (mineral oil, every 3K) my cost would be 8 times $12 = $ 98 (oil plus filter).

    Synthetic oil changed twice a year = 8qt of oil @ $5 per qt = $40 plus 4 oil filters @ $2 each is about $50. You see, in my case I am saving the time wasted doing 6 oil changes plus I save almost $50.

    When you factor in the oil analysis it all comes to a tie.

    But my car is still better protected than someone else's running mineral oil because it starts easier and is protected a tiny bit better because the oil reaches critical parts of the engine sooner.

    If I factor in the fuel savings (1 or 2%) that's about 7 to 14 gallons, $ 15 to $30 a year saved.

    As you see, the numbers alone do not justify going one way or the other.

    OTOH, few people can justify a tall mocha or latte per day, do they? That would be a waste of hundreds of dollars per year, right? Wrong!

    We can't use numbers to justify what we do. We just do what we do because of personal choices. Thank God we have those choices!

    Keep doing what you are doing and be happy.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    >it is unlikely you will reach a high odometer reading without having other problems<
    I figure the car will be 16 years old before it hits 100k miles at the rate its going. Im MORE worried about my internal parts failing during that time!
    If your car truely has gone 400,000 miles without burning significant ammounts of oil that would be amazing to me. Also, FI helps because the engine never runs rich the way a carburated engine can.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    The car I am talking about is a 91 Chevrolet Caprice that has been used almost exlusively on the highway. The engine's (305 ci) RPM at 60 MPH are extremely low, around 1600. So at 60 or 70 MPH in 4th gear (overdrive) the engine is barely above idle and delivers impressive (for a 2 ton car) mileage. 25 to 27 Mpg was the norm during summer. An yes, the car was (and is) fuel injected, air filter, sparks, belts, etc were replaced frequently. I took extremely good care of the car and that obviously contributed to it's longevity.

    So you see, these are almost ideal conditions for any engine and the explanation for its excellent condition and extremely low oil consumption.

    Few people do that kind of driving and therefore never achieve similar results.

    My present Echo (March 2001) just turned 179.000 kilometers today (111.249 miles) and has never consumed any measurable oil between oil changes. I use a block heater every morning for 1 hour (yes, even in summer) and when I start the little critter the engine is already warm. This is easier on the engine, starter and battery than starting with a cold engine.

    The plan is to reach at least 400k miles before I sell it, without major repairs.
    No repairs so far. NONE.

    Time will tell if it is possible. I will post the details form time to time.

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    You too!
    Thats a good idea about the block heater.
  • lostwrenchlostwrench Posts: 288
    Make sure the parking brake is fully releasing. Dragging brakes will lower mpg.
  • lostwrenchlostwrench Posts: 288
    "Getting the plugs out is easy". Not after they have been in there for 125k miles. He will be lucky just to get them loose. They will probably be fused to the head.
  • ldlopezldlopez Posts: 13
    I love it.
    drove it from Philadelphia to Suffern, NY,
    to NYC, back to Suffern, back to NH.
    Been driving it every day 106 miles.

    It has the 2 things I wanted, air & 5 speed.
    Ok, it doesn't have 4 doors.

    I'ts silver, 14" wheels, about 110,000 miles, and $4000.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Another happy customer! Good luck with your ECHO! did you really travel all the way to Philly to buy one?
  • ldlopezldlopez Posts: 13
    Summary: Yes, I flew into Philadelphia, and drove back to NH.

    Well, it was weird, the New England Astronmy Forum was in Suffern, NY that weekend, and my 40th High School Drama Club Reunion was Saturday.

    So I flew in (for $60) into Philadelphia, they picked me up and drove me about 40 minutes to there shop, I did a test drive, then went to Walmart to get a tire presure gauge, found all 5 tires low, some really low, went to pep boys for an oil change where they didn't fill the tires as I asked, when down the road for some fre air.

    I gave myself 2 days for misadventure - Thursday and Friday.

    I found a small motel up toward Trenton and stayed over night on Thursday.
    Drove up to Suffern, NY the scienic route, went to the show,
    Saturday drove to NYC for the reunion, drove back to Suffern that night,
    and then drove home Sunday.

    I researched the guys I was buying it from as much as I could, they were
    in the Chamber of Commerce List, they had excellent ratings on ebay,
    and I found a referance or two.

    They were skimping every way they could to keep there costs down.
    The detailed the car but didn't change the oil or check the tires.
    It was a wholsale car and the paint looked really really good.

    The Engine on an echo is often < $300 on Ebay.

    So even if it blew up, I figured I'd be ok.

    I know I didn't take any greater risk than buying from a dealer.

    In both cases it as is where is good luck.

    In this case the made the car presentable but it was always
    being sold wholesale to me.

    I'm very happy with the price.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I would also check the air filter and sparkplugs. The coolant should probably also be changed. And the manual transmission oil changed and the trans checked for leaks. I would change the brake fluid also and bleed out the hydralic clutch. The clutch is more important to do than the brakes because it is used constantly. How was the mileage?
  • Hello Everyone

    I am looking into buying the ECHO, I love it!! I lived in Europe for about 13 years and I obviously wanted the Yaris (the European Echo) since it came out... But anyways now that I am in Canada it seems like everyone is telling me to look for a bigger car especially because of the snow and in case of an accident.. Can somebody please reassure me that the ECHO is a solid car, it is durable and it handles the snow very well... I need to know from people who have experienced driving in the snow with the ECHO that I have nothing to worry about... Oh and by the way how good is the car's heater.. Honda's heaters are excellent how about Toyota?? and if the car is sitting outside in the snow does it get frosty inside .. I saw some disturbing pictures and I just wanted to make sure.
    hope to be a future echo owner
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    The ECHO is by all accounts an excellent car both for driving and for durability. Go back and skim these posts and youll see a lot of positive comments. Mine has not proven to be all that great in snow. It has poor traction and holds the road poorly at least for me. Others say theirs is great in snow. Perhaps if mine had snow tires at all four corners it would be better. Which I imagine a car in Canada would be equiped with. I would put synthetic oil in it for winter driving there. Also it should get outstanding gas mileage something a big car wont and with gas prices today do you really want to be driving something that only gets 25 mpg? (American) Buy the ECHO you wont be sorry! And in Canada theres a hatchback!(icing on the cake)
  • ldlopezldlopez Posts: 13
    I have had no expecience with the Echo in snow.

    I have had lots of experience with a '99 VW Golf in snow,
    a '87 Toyota Fx in snow.

    There are two limitations:

    1. traction, you need good tires, some nice studded Nokian Hak10's would
    be nice.

    2. ground clearance, you are not going anywhere in 12" of snow. You just
    don't have enough ground clearance.

    If your driveway is plowed and the roads are plowed then item 2 is not a problem.
    For me my driveway could get 8" of snow and it's up hill so many times cars
    of similar size could not get up the driveway.

    So if you have to make it down the road that has not been plowed in 8 hours
    I would say you will get stuck.

    Otherwise I would expect it work out fine.

    Call up the local Toyota dealer and ask them.
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    My son thinks the Echo is not macho enough to impress the ladies and others. He wants something with more power and prestige and luxury that will imply that he is someone of importance. I explained the advantages of the Echo, and I realize that the emotions when driving a particular car are important to his happiness, but he still thinks bigger is better. Any suggestions?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    There is also the thought that the guys who drive around in big, fast cars are overcompensating for other "shortcomings". ;) Those who drive an ECHO or similar cars are confident enough about themselves that they don't need a macho car to impress the ladies. If a lady were only interested in me for my car, I wouldn't think much of that lady.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Well you might point out that at least he will be able to afford to drive it. Hows he going to drive some 15 mpg babe magnet when gas is $3-5 gallon? Its like $6 in Europe now so theres no reason it couldnt get to that here in the future. Hey the broads will be lining up to date him if hes the only one with a moving vehicle.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    What have people heard that Toyota is going to do with the ECHO? Are they going to discontinue it or do they plan to keep making it? Are they going to make a hatchback version avilible soon? How about a diesel option? Can anyone tell me a source I could monitor or interogate whjo might know about such things?
    The reason is Im considering selling my ECHO at some point. The ugly truth is that its probably at the peak of its used car worth now. Its value will only go lower in years to come. Sadly, I can no longer do repairs to my vehicle anymore. Having Toyota do them will be $$$ and there arent any other mechanics around here I would trust to work on it. It makes economic sense to sell it in the near future and go with a new car. But what car could ever replace an ECHO? A hatchback diesel ECHO sure could. i wonder if there are any plans to make them? Does anyone know of plans by Toyota or any other carmaker to produce a car like ECHO?
  • rossm2rossm2 Posts: 96
    You might wish to read this thread: lexi4life, "2006 Toyota Echo" #55, 30 Apr 2005 10:39 pm. There is also a strong suggestion that Honda will be introducing their highly successful Fit/Jazz, probably early in 2006.

  • snifflessniffles Posts: 34
    Check this site out. Scroll down to the bottom of the list to see the Echo replacement. They just updated it a couple weeks ago and now it looks like the sedan and hatchback will hit the US shores in March 2006. I can't wait. I want to get rid of my Hyundai Accent hatchback.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Hmm so it looks like 05 is the last year for ECHO, but maybe not because theres a replacement. I hope they bring the diesel here.
  • reba05reba05 Posts: 36
    I have a question on traction - I find that on the freeway at high speeds, my ECHO will start to feel unstable, as if I have no grip on the road. It can be scary especially when at around 70 mph. The roads can be totally dry too. Is is because wind is getting underneath it giving it uplift or something??
    I think the handling in high wind has been the most nuisance with this car. Would it help to put weight in the trunk??

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    No this is not normal. I go 80 with mine all the time and its OK. Ive even been up to 106 briefly. First thing to suspect is the tire pressures. Then the tires themselves. After that you have to look at the struts and alignment. How are the tires anyway?
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