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Toyota Echo



  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    In my experience, extended warranties are not worth the money. Usually good for only defective items and even then there is a deductable.
    When I bought my ZX-2(Ford), it was a brand-new model so I bought the additional coverage. Big mistake! The only time I was able to use it was for malfunctioning sensors but they charged me $50 deductable everytime I had it fixed(3 times). While it did save me money on the fix(the job would've been $150)the warranty was $1250 extra!
    When I bought my Echo the salesman went on and on about Toyota reliability and when I asked why Toyota didn't offer roadside assistance, he laughed and said, "because it's a Toyota". Well, when it came time to draw up a contract, the 'finance' guy said, 'you never know what might go wrong'. It's just a way for them to make money on you IMHO. If there was a defective part in your car it surely would make itself known in the first couple of years.
  • I NEED TO SELL ASAP!!!!!!!! 125 USD + shipping, thats half of what i paid! and they are in good shape, still have the glossy coating! only used them for a couple of months! i wanted more drop! gives a sporty 1.25 inches of drop! looks real nice! especially if you have the cladding! no scrubbing what so ever! =o)
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Not all warranties are the same. Warranties offered through insurance companies or other entities besides the people who built the car are rarely worth it. Getting claims through can be a nightmare. I know of a few cases where the company was intentionally run into bankruptcy to clear the books of outstanding claims.

    Toyota's Gold level policy has a ton of exclusions. I wouldn't touch one. Things like the CD player are not covered, neither are ground wires, key lock sets, tape decks, thermostat, speedometer, charcoal canister, shift levers, seat back adjusters, coil springs and a host of other items. The Gold policy does cover the basics of the car, but honestly, those are the things least likely to have problems.

    Further, I don't think extended power train warranties are worth the money on a Toyota product. Your chances of being stranded by a defect are pretty slim.

    Toyota's Platinum warranty though covers just about everything short of belts, hoses, fuses, light bulbs and floor mats. The $0 deductible warranty is only $50 more than the $50 deductible plan. I've known plenty of people who needed an alternator on a 6 year old car, and I've seen plenty of CD decks fail. Starters, power door locks, CV boots, EGR valves, power steering pumps and AC compressors are things that can cost a lot of money out of your pocket. If you don't think you can afford these problems and you think there is a chance that you would spend more than the cost of the warranty, buy the warranty.
  • After two years of reading this msg board, we finally decided to get the Echo. She's a white 4-dr automatic w/pwr steering and a/c. Although the cost was substantially higher than that which Edmunds tmv suggests, we are happy. Final price with tax & license was $13,500. Here on Oahu we are hostage to the whims of Servco Pacific; we definitely do need more competition. By the way, our salesman 'threw in' free carpeted floor mats and a genuine toyota key chain (which is very nice.) I'd like to thank the Edmunds folks and all of you for your postings. It truly was an indispensible part of our decision to buy the Echo.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Congratulations! I have only seen a handful of white Echo's in LA but I think they look great!
    I grew up in Hawaii and had a few new cars through high school. I remember seeing that "delivery charge" tacked onto the sticker!
    Have fun in your new Echo!
  • smonk59smonk59 Posts: 13
    Hi, Has anyone had problems with a creeeeek coming from the trunk when making a left or right hand turn up or down a hill or uneven surface? this happens to me multiple times a day, and the dealership has looked at it twice and not been able to fix it, any ideas?
  • Tom'r we take our new Echo in to get her black 3/4" half-round side mouldings and buy a black steering wheel cover for her. Then we'll be enjoying her for the next 10+ years!
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Most people do not realize that the temp gauges in most cars are not even accurate.
  • britton2britton2 Posts: 305
    I have a '01 Corolla LE which I really, really like - but I thought you all would be interested in knowing that the April 2002 Consumer Reports Annual Auto issue (which I received in the mail today) has the 2002 Echo listed as the small car they predict will be the most reliable - the car at the bottom is the Ford Focus - this is on page 26 - the Toyota Prius was #4 - this is a list of 14 small cars - I did not test drive an Echo - but I see quite a few of them where I live and I think they are really cute - but I am very happy with my Corolla!
  • I know this topic has been covered previously on this board, but would you answer one question for me: automatic transmission, mostly city driving under 40 miles per hour, stop and go - do I or do I not disengage the O/D?
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    I was out teaching driving to my daughter yesterday. She was going up a mild incline at about 50 mph in 4th gear as we approached a curve. I suggested that she slow up somewhat and shift down to 3rd ahead of the turn. By the time she had slowed to about 40 she pushed it into 1st and let out the clutch. The engine revved extremely high and pulled car speed down quickly before she got the clutch back in. But there were no worrisome sounds or anything else and the Echo seems to have no bad memories of it. Nice to know that this situation is tolerated nicely, although certainly not recommended.
  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    I have an automatic ECHO and the day I picked it up off the lot, the sales manager showed me all the buttons inside and explained that the overdrive button should always be on, but I was so excited about my new purchase (my first car) that I really dont remember why its to be on.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    I'll start by saying that, 99.44% of the time (maybe even more), you want overdrive (O/D) enabled on your automatic transmission. When you hit that switch, and the light goes on in the gauge cluster, what you have done is instruct the ECHO to refrain from using fourth gear.

    Now, why would you want to do that? Well, you might want to do this if you are towing a heavy trailer. Forcing the car to stay in third (or lower) will give you more torque. You may also want to do this if you are on a steep hill. Older automatic transmissions would get confused on hills and "hunt" from gear to gear; disabling overdrive stops the hunting.

    The hill scenario doesn't happen too often anymore though. Today's automatics can usually tell if they are on a slope (or "grade") and cope accordingly. Honda calls this their "Grade-Logic" technology. I forgot if Toyota attached a catchy name to theirs.

    Now I'll end this long treatise by saying you'll want to keep O/D active just about all the time. Your car's engine is quietest, least strained, and most fuel-efficient when it has the opportunity to choose fourth gear. Hope this clears things up!
  • Thanks for your responses. It did clear up my mind. Our salesman told us when you go on long stretches, over 40mph to engage overdrive. We took this to mean whenever we go <40mph in city driving to turn it off. Needless to say, the past 3 days, we've been driving with it disengaged. Now it's easy, I don't have to remember to disengage! By the way, I love our new Echo, especially the smoothness of the ride and the nooks and crannies.
  • I bought my 4dr ECHO in December 2000. It has 24k miles on it now, no problems, except a trunk lock that broke. It was replaced free of charge when I went in for regular service.

    I was driving a 1991 Chevy S-10 pickup before I got the ECHO.

    Is it boring to drive? I don't think so - I think it is the perfect city car. I can zip in and out of parking spaces that the SUV crowd can't get into with an 8-point turn. That's important in Honolulu! It sips gas, which is not cheap in Hawaii. It has plenty of room inside for my 6' 250 lb. self, and my family, and a trunk full of junk for a day at the beach.

    I like the seating position - the visibility is great.

    My only complaint would be the outside mirrors - they're too small. I have to look over my should er for lane changes, etc.

    Oh, and leave the O/D on all the time. The only time I come out of O/D is when I downshift like I would a manual trans - usually slowing up coming down a hill.

  • And I was so impressed with the ECHO, my first Toyota, that I'll probably replace my wife's '93 Chevy wagon with a Matrix around the end of this month. I like the Matrix a lot - I've been saying for two years that if Toyota were to bring the Yaris Verso (ECHO wagon) to the US, I'd buy the first one off the boat, sight unseen. The Matrix is close.

  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    I read somewhere that a typical owner keeps a car an average of seven years before buying again. Seems that smart buyers should get a very reliable car if they want to keep it until the wheels fall off. The Echo fits that description. My other Toyota is a Cressida, a 1990 Cressida, and after twelve years it keeps on being very reliable.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Just checked the tire pressure today 17 pounds in all four tires. It stayed at 32 for six months after I bought the car so I got lazy. MPG fell to 34-36 from 38 plus perhaps that is why.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    That was probably an ideal pressure for sand traction. Maybe your ECHO was quietly asking for a Spring Break trip to the beach? ;-)
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    I just spent the better part of the afternoon installing slim profile halogen driving lights. They mounted perfectly under the bumper next to the license plate. I bought a remote kit for it so I wouldn't have to drill through the firewall. Well, the first thing you notice is that the Echo's engine bay doesn't have many open spaces! After mounting the receiver and transformer for the lights they went on for a minute then something made them short out! :p I bought another remote kit and will try again next week.
    17psi kneisl??? omg! :)
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    At 32 psi mileage is now back to 38 with just the first tank.
  • rjgeerjgee Posts: 27
    Haven't posted in a while, so here are a few goodies to munch on:

    To those experiencing the 'squeaking' sound, usually more prevalent in the cold and wet weather, change (or tighten) your drive belt. I just did mine; no more squeaks :)
    You only need to loosen two bolts on the alternator to remove the belt; the job takes about 15 minutes.

    Kaz, you can run wires through through the firewall without drilling holes. Follow the wiring harness through the existing hole in the firewall. The plastic 'gasket' can be pushed and pulled until it comes out of the car's frame. Run your wires through the hole in the gasket, then push it back in place. There is plenty of room to add your own wiring. (I've done this on my Echo when running heavy duty wires to power an inverter.)

    And a note on the Echo shop manual available from Toyota. This the 1st time I've purchased an actual dealer manual. I'm a bit disapponted. Not that there is anything wrong with the manual, but for $120, I expected more. There doesn't seem to be much more detail than a Chiltons manual. Maybe a little more detail on troubleshooting sensors, but not much more on the actual 'work' diagrams.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I think the ECHO is a very simple car apart from the fuel injection, perhaps thats why the manual seems a little short on repair proceedures. Theres no wiring diagram either, a serious ommission for $120. AND the manual states that the block drain forthe coolant is on the FRONT of the block, where as I found it on the drivers side of the block. DEFINATELY dont expect that from a factory manual...usually Chiltons is good for at least serveral mistakes. I like reading the manual however, very comforting somehow.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Thanks for the info! I already bought another remote unit so I will go ahead and use it. I already found and drilled holes for the remote cradle. There's a panel next to the dimmer knob for the instr. panel that comes out. Perfect location as it is near the light stalk.
    As far as the 'squeak' noise...don't know if it is the belt but will try it. I say I don't know because it only makes the sound when the car is in gear and moving. It doesn't make it when idle and the throttle is pressed. If it were the belt it would make the sound anytime the throttle is pressed. I still feel it's the pcv valve leaking or something like that. My prior car made a similar sound and it was found to be coming from the pcv valve which was cracked. At any rate I'll wait for the 30k check to have it investigated further.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Looked over a Matrix at the local Toyota dealer.Was umimpressed. It seems like they put too much effort into styling the car and not enough in that Toyota quality. It WAS roomy inside but seemed cheesier than the ECHO. Actually it has rather large tires and is kind of a largish vehicle. I thought the plastic covered cargo area and storage bins are chintzy looking compared to the usual Toyota feeling. I much prefer the ECHO...definately better build quality.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    That plastic on the seat backs is much more durable than cloth when that area is used for larger cargo items.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    My mother works with this woman who recently just bought a brand new ECHO. Just these past few days ago she had a wreck in it on the interstate. A large semi pulled in front of her and she had to swerve to not get hit. Supposedly her little ECHO hit the guard rail and flipped over it somehow. Here's the great part...she only broke her arm when she could have easily broken her life!
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    When I bought my Echo two years ago I was hearing how puny the tires looked, in the automotive evaluations. So I kept in mind that I might move to a size larger when it came time to replace them. To not affect the circumference more than necessary I moved to 185/60 from the stock 175/65. My original tires were Bridgestne Potenzas, and I had been unhappy with how they behaved on very wet pavement. However I didnt find any Michelin replacements in the size I wanted and therefore got a new set of Bridgestone Potenza RE 930I with Uni-T, whatever that is. Size is P185/60R14. I want to report here that these replacements are great. We have had a ton of rain here lately (5 inches yesterday) and I am very glad to have these tires. My sense is that the big difference is not primarily the size, but that these Bridgestone models have much superior wet weather capability. They cost me about $75 each, including mounting, which seemed high, but well worth it. I hope this suggestion proves helpful to others.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    More info can be found here:

    The bottom line seems to be that this is Bridgestone's indicator for its premium tires. I recently replaced the tires on my CR-V with Bridgestone Dueler H/Ls with Uni-T and noticed a big improvement over the Dueler H/Ts that came stock with the vehicle. Thanks wrgraham, I'll keep those Potenzas in mind as replacements for the S.O.'s ECHO.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I rented an Echo today from Budget car rental in Baltimore, Maryland. It's black automatic sedan with Package 1, AC, and the CD/cassette combo. So they do rent them here.

    My impressions: I drove it today in the rain all day (about 60 miles), and it's not a bad little car. Pretty good pickup, but not what I am used to (I have a 180hp Jetta turbo though!). The brakes are good too, and I only slid once without ABS in hard braking. It's a little noisy though, but most lower-priced cars are.

    I didn't have enough room to get comfortable in the driver's seat though, but I like to stretch my legs way out when I am driving too.

    The car truly did surprise me though. I didn't think they drove as nice and sporty as this one did.
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