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Toyota Echo



  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Great post! Its a little depressing for me because I almost never drive the car for any longer than it takes to get to work, about 20 minutes away. Even in the winter. Excess fuel in the oil should not be a problem however. With a carburated car yes but with fuel injection the engine always gets exactly the fuel it needs, no more no less. Its even OK to let a FI engine idle. It wont hurt it (except for it taking longer to warm up!) because with FI the engine wont run rich.
    Whats an A Post anyway?
  • tsnooktsnook Posts: 18
    I was caught off guard last night when I noticed that the left light on my instrument panel went out. (134K Mi) I figured it was a LED that would last forever, but I guess not. The right light still works so I can see the gas guage and the speedometer, which gets dimmer as you move left. I don't plan on doing anything about it though, since the only thing that's not lit is the oval, which has backlit symbols anyway. I just hope the other one doesn't go out.

    Also, I'm taking a trip south to San Francisco, and I'm hoping to get better gas mileage then I did last time. When I drove to sacramento I only got 33 MPG at 80 mph with the ac on, which I was a little disapointed with. I'm going to try to keep it around 75 this time get a little better gas mileage. Two things:
    1) What PSI do you suggest I inflate my tires to?
    2) Any advice for driving in SF with a 5-speed?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    It pretty easy to get the instrument cluster out. I imagine you can get the bulbs out pretty easy from there once its out. Ill look in the service manual tonite if you want.
    I keep my ties at 32 psi which is what the manual says.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Unless you are an ace veteran with the clutch, avoid the steepest hills like driving up Nob Hill from Chinatown, and up across Pacific Heights. If you do drive there, don't feel bad about using the hand brake to get started from a stop on the steepest parts - you will roll back VERY QUICKLY if you try to do a normal take-off with a quick move from the foot brake to the gas, and you can break traction trying to do it - I have seen countless people do it.

    kneisl1: the A pillar is the plastic divider between your driver's side window and the front windshield. Lots of folks mount gauge packs there, as scjfan has. I like the idea of having oil pressure and temp gauges as well as volts - I wouldn't mind getting a 3-pack of those and mounting it below the bottom of the center stack, removing the ashtray I don't use anyway.

    As for a tach, I was considering scj's words this morning as I came in to work. Behind the steering wheel probably would be a good spot to put it - I was kinda checking it out to see how it would mount. I dunno. Call me crazy, but I may just ask the dealer how much it would cost to retrofit the stock unit from the '03 in there, and I might even do it if it's not outrageously expensive - I prefer the stock look inside the car, you know?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Besides youd be giving up the benefits of the center mounted speedo!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Well, it would be kind of like the Mini which has exactly the same arrangement: big (BIG!) speedo in the center, small tach behind the steering wheel. It would be acceptable to me as long as it was fully visible through the top part of the steering wheel. But I would rather the manufacturer IP have a tach, DARN Toyota on this one!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • scjfanscjfan Posts: 9
    I am not sure I will agree that no extra fuel present in the oil with fuel injected engines during star up. Besides, water from condensation is also present in the oil. You really need to heat up the oil to burn off water to prevent engine corrosion unless you want to install a toilet paper oil bypass filter like I did to aborb the water. BTW, toilet paper can not absort fuel.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Your right about the water. That will be interesting to see the long term effects because I almost never run the engine long enough to boil off the water. At least I dont think I do. Muffler is six years old with that treatment so far so good.
    Im right about the fuel. Assuming of course Fi is working right. You WOULD get increased carbon buildup, assuming a cold start. Once the engine is warm idleing wont hurt anything from a fuel contamination standpoint.
  • scjfanscjfan Posts: 9
    I would suggest the use of OEM engine block heater with the additions of heat pads for oil and transaxle pans in the winter. This will cut down the time of rich fuel/air mixture to reduce carbon buildup. In 40sF use the block heater for 30 minutes, and in 30sF for 1 hour is sufficient.

    The automatic transmission will be greatly benefitted with warm ATF in the winter. I was incorrect in my earlier post abbout the ATF temp. It actually takes 30 minutes of driving on a 76F day for the ATF to reach 100F instead of 120F. I measure the ATF temp after ATF exiting the OEM cooler built inside the radiator. Since I installed the temp gauge this spring, I do not know how high the ATF temp could reach in winter. But, when I touched the canister of my ATF bypass filter several times after 35-mile drive to work in winter, it felt warm and never hot. I think the OEM ATF cooler is working too well.

    I replace the toilet paper (TP) of my oil bypass filter every 3k miles, and notice the used TP is dirtier (blacker in color) in winter than in summer. For those using dino oil I would recommend changing oil every 3k miles in winter to reduce water/carbon buildup in the oil and engine.

    To further reduce carbon buildup I would recommend putting a 12 oz of Techron in the fuel tank every 3k miles, and then changing the oil. For those who are more adventurous try a 32 oz bottle of MMO in the gas tank once a year followed by an oil change.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Filled up today after driving 293 miles over three weeks. It took 6.9 gallons of gas to fill the tank ($20) This works out to 42.46 mpg. 220 of those miles were trips involving distances of less than 7 miles of stop and go at a time, while the remaining miles were pretty much non stop freeway travel at 65 mph.
    Gee if Scjfan is right about cold weather affecting automatic transmissions then people who drive n places like South Dakota must have drastically reduced transmission life.
  • tsnooktsnook Posts: 18
    I was surprised to see when I turned on my lights that the second instrument panel light came back on. Maybe it's a loose bulb? I ended up only getting 34MPG with 90% AC usage on my SF trip. I didn't really stick to my 75 MPH plan though. I wonder how much, if any, the high mileage on my echo might affect gas mileage. I read about the 3 cylinder Geo Metros from the 90's that got decreased gas mileage as they got more miles on them. I hope that doesn't happen.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I would say you definately are not getting the mileage from your ECHO that others are. Finding out why will take some effort on your part. Its possible its your personal driving style. (although I doubt it) You arent lugging around 500 pounds in your ECHO for instance? At what point are you shifting gears speed wise?
    After that there are some mechanical possibilities. Are your sparkplugs and air filter in good shape? Are you looking after your tire pressure? You havnt installed wider/larger tires and rims have you? Do you have a seized brake drum/caliper? Have you done a compression test/leakdown teat on the engine to determine its state of health? Are you using gas from cheapo gas stations? How is your wheel alignment?
    Im thinking of more.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Well another thought occured to me about why your car might not be getting all the mileage it could be. The engine in your ECHO is a VTTi which stands for variable valve timing (with) intelligence. This means the engine LEARNS the owners way of driving and adjusts itself accordingly. I suspect your engine has learned soome bad habits, at least as thery relate to mileage. So, are you a lead foot? Do you wring the living #$A%^ out of your engine? If so its possible your engine has said to itself "OK this guy wants maximum performance, so thats what hes going to get!" Of course, this comes at the expense of fuel economy. When I drive In MY ECHO I almost never exceed 45 mph. I cruise around the neighborhood in 4th at 25 mph. I shift into 5th at 35 mph. I drive as though the gas pedal is an egg shell that will break if I step on it too hard. I accelerate as SLOWLY as I possibly can. I also slow down for traffic lights when red so they will turn green by the time I get there.
    Id be willing to bet you can train your ECHO to get better mileage. I thought of this because I just bought a Mazada Miata. I was suprised how much difference in performance there is between the ECHO and the Miata, and the engines are only like 25 hp apart. And the ECHO has VTT which the Mazda doesnt. I think the "i" part of the VTTi might be the reason.
  • My wife really, really wants a Toyota Echo.

    I really, really don't want to become a widower if she gets in an accident with a Navigator.

    So we've been looking for an Echo with ABS and side air-bags.

    Supposedly these were available options, but we have yet to find one.

    Do they really exist in the U.S., or this just a tailpipe dream?

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    My guess? Tailpipe dream. I never saw one on a dealer lot with those options, and I was looking from time to time. Perhaps if someone special ordered one, but that will be the needle in the proverbial haystack. :-(

    But lots of Scion xAs have side airbags, and all of them have ABS. They have been around a couple of years now, and have the same powertrain and approximately the same price (when new) as the Echo. They also look similar to the Echo from the front, and are decently cute in ther own right. Perhaps you could look for one of those?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • tsnooktsnook Posts: 18
    That's an interesting thought. I drive pretty modestly 90% of the time, but it really depends on what roads I'm on. I always try to keep my RPM's at a low when I'm not accelerating, but I'm no conservationist while accelerating either (a couple times a day).

    I wonder how long a time frame we're talking about for the "learning" of the engine. I always assumed that if it did any learning, it was just adjusting based on a very short term basis, such as being in the city vs the highway.

    I don't think I'm getting too much rolling resistance. I can put in the clutch in and roll extremely well - with the MPH not decreasing much at all.

    I can get about 38MPG driving to school and back at ~40-50MPH with a few stops, (11 miles each way) it's just the freeway that really kills me. Do you know if outside temperature has an effect on gas mileage besides air-conditioner usage. It sounds like you're all in cooler climates than I am.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I would imagine high temperatures would if anything tend to increase your mileage because the car will take less time to warm up to operating temperatures. I would try to find out more how the VTTi works and the best way to program it. My ECHO is a veritable slug now perhaps because its been taught to be that way. (and Im not complaining one bit!)
  • geosephgeoseph Posts: 2
    Can you tell me the procedure required to remove the lens? i have a 2005 Echo and have a small piece popped out of it. I think it can be glued, but I need to remove the lens first

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    It been a while Since I did mine and the details are a little fuzzy. But as I recall the tail light is held on by nuts from the inside of the trunk. You have to get a little of the carpet out of the way to access the nuts. Ill look at mine and the service manual when I get home and fill in the details later.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Hmm either its not in the service manual at all or I just cant find it. (not unsusal) But you need to remove 2 0r 3 fasteners that hold the carpet to the area in back of the turnsignal. The lens itself is held on by four nuts I believe. It isnt hard to change. Its an excellent design which allows good sealing for the bulbs even if there is dammage/rust to the body.
  • rep5858rep5858 Posts: 45
    SOME 2001 and 2002 echos have a problem with the crankshaft position sensor. It may become disconnected. If this happens engine can stall at any speed.
    So Toyota has issued a recall for ALL echos 01 and 02.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    1. Slow down. I get a chuckle every time I read where people want to know how they can increase their fuel economy and in the same sentence they admit they spend most of their time driving 80 MPH. You're probably going to increase your highway mileage a significant amount by slowing down by 10-15 MPH.

    2. Keep your tires inflated to 4-5 psi over what's listed as the recommended pressure on the driver's door. Not only will fuel economy increase, it'll increase the life of the tread, reduce road noise, and improve handling. The recommended pressure is purely for ride comfort.

    3. Keep a clean air filter installed.

    4. Make sure the spark plugs don't need to be replaced, and if so, replace them.

    5. Run full synthetic oil if you aren't already. This won't make a huge difference in mileage, but it'll double or triple the amount of miles you can go on an oil change, which in the long run saves time and money.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    synthetic oil:

    "wont make a huge difference in mileage" RIGHT!
    "triples the ammount of mileage you can go on an oil change." WRONG if your cars under warranty. Toyota wants the oil changed whether its dino or synth. Same interval for either oil.
    "in the long run saves time and money." Hard to figure. An oil change with synthetic will cost $20 just for the oil. I can get oil at Pep Boys for 59 cents a quart on sale and Purolator oil filters for 49 cents on sale. Thats an oil change every four months for a year for about $9.
    One thing synthetic oil WILL DO is leak out of your engine where dino will not (or less so) This is especially true as the engine gets older. Something to think about. Certainly if you are using a quart of oil every thousand miles you just spent $5 to have synthetic vs 59 cents for regular.
    If you live where it is very cold in the winter for long periods of time (like below 10 degrees) yes you have my blessing to use sytthetic oil. "I" would use synthetic oil under those consitions. Yes Sir.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    If you want to stick to the rule of the warranty, use dino and change at the recommended intervals. If you want to go with a full syn and extend your intervals, in the event you do have an engine problem while under warranty, Toyota or anyone for that matter is going to have a tough time proving the problem was caused by neglect. All you have to say is that the oil has always been changed at the Toyota recommended interval. There ain't much they can do about it. After the warranty expires, all bets are off and you can do anything you want.

    Let me ask you this; have you ever done a UOA on that $.59 Pep Boys oil? How long are your OCI's? Do you even know if that cheap oil is good for that long? Most dinos are only good for 3-5K miles, whereas there are many good syns that'll go 12-15K easily. Also, there's the time and effort of having to crawl under the car every 3-5K miles to change that oil. Then you have 2-3 times as much to dispose of. Get the picture?

    You're also about 5 years behind with your syn-oil-causes-leaks theory. That may have been true years ago, but not any more. Syns today have much better seal conditioners. The result is far fewer leaks then before. Now days you're not any more likely to experience leaks with syn than with dino.

    Your only valid point is about the car burns a lot of oil. In that vehicle I would also run dino.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I used to have a business rebuilding VW engines. Many of the engines were from people I knew. (so I knew how they were maintained...some not so good!) I did an awefull lot of them. Ive seen the cows come and seen the cows go and I know all the stories. I also know from experience looking at torn apart engines what happens to them where oil is involved.
    Synthetic oil was developed to be used in turbine (jet) engines at temperatures and pressures that do not exist in an automobiles engine. Yes it can do some pretty amazing things. It wont make your engine last any longer or get any better mileage. How a vehicle is driven pretty much determines that, everything else being equal.
    In 2000 I started putting a quart of (synthetic) oil in my 1975 BMW R90/6 along with a quart and a half of regular oil for winter (below 20 degree F) use. I did it so the egnine would start better. It did indeed, but it also made the gaskets between the cylinders and the crankcase weep oil! Something that hadn't happened in 25 years! Snythetic oil is just thinner than regular oil under the same temperature so its gonna find places to leak out of conventional oil wont. Doesnt have anything to do with seal conditioners. Its not a big deal unless youre like my daughter and dont check your oil when you should.
    Yes I hear that stuff about less oil going into the environment. Seems to me like million gallon oil spills make that pretty much a moot point. I understand CA had proposed legislation a few years ago that would have sealed crankcases so only the dealer could change your oil! Nuttyest thing I ever heard!
    As for crawling under the car three times a year Ill take every chance to crawl under my car I can get! While its up on ramps Im checking my CV joint boots, brake lines, exhaust pipes, ball joint boots, tie rod end boots, radiator hoses and connections for leaks, bleeding my clutch cylinder, and so on.
    You ever do that?
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    ... to do with your seals and nothing to do with how thin the oil is. If you have a bad seal, it's gonna leak. Period. It just happened to start leaking sooner with the syn. You would've had a leak eventually even with the dino. I've used syn in several of my vehicles and never experienced a leak. Guess I didn't have any bad seals.

    And yes, I do check all of those things on my vehicles, only not every 3-5K miles, which is overkill.

    You never answered any of my questions about the cheap Pep Boys oil.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Sorry but there was a lot to answer. Cheap Pep Boys oil. I should explain that every Christmas shopping season Pep Boys has a special on a case of oil. One year it was 12 quarts of Pennzoil for 49 cents a quart. (that includes a rebate) Lat year it was Castrol GTX 49 cents a quart. Otherwise they have Mobile and Exxon (now the same) oil for 59 cents a quart. I think its higher now maybe $1.09 a quart after rebate. You can still get Purolator filters for 49 cents though.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    ....haven't answered my questions.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    You mean the oil tests? Basically they are moot. In a properly oil changed engine (assuming you drive it responsibly) the internal engine components basically wont wear out. Thats using conventional oil.Oh you might need a valve job, but your auto transmission, the body integrity, will go long before the engine will. Or the car will be 15 years old and who wants to drive a 15 year old car? Not me! How old is you car?
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    You can't determine what a proper OCI is until you know when the oil needs to be changed, unless you're just changing it every 3K miles, which as I pointed out earlier is a waste of time and resources. Even the 3K rule isn't a sure thing. I leased a brand new Dodge Intrepid in '98 with the intentions of buying out the lease. I changed the oil promptly every 3K and the engine started using oil heavily at 60K. Was this a poorly designed engine or did the oil cause this? I have no way of knowing because I never did any UOA's. We currently have 3 cars. An '03 MPV, a '99 Corolla, and a '93 Tercel.
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