Toyota Echo Maintenance and Repair



  • Echo's have no timing belt. Try to change spark plugs to. :)
  • i know they dont have a timing belt i meant chain but found out it was the injectors and have changed the spark plugs as well :)
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Is the CEL on?
  • elecjohn58elecjohn58 Posts: 4
    I have a 2000 echo with 125k on the engine. Engine starts to run rough,looses power and then engine speeds up until computer compensates. first i was told that either the throttle position sensor or the mass air flow sensor could be the problem. Replaced the throttle position sensor and plugs and problem resurfaced. Took it to auto zone and left with a long list of possibilities. Anyone had this problem.Car runs well with service engine light on but won't pass pa. inspection and can't help the gas mpg.
  • realwilkesrealwilkes Posts: 3
    i had this problem as well...eventually found some info on the mass air flow meter...its an easy fix and a good place to start...its located on top of the air filter, 2 screws hold it in, just remove those screws and pull it out, now there are two circuits down in there, i just took some wd-40 and sprayed it down in there until the caked on dust came off and i could see the circuits clearly, let it dry and put it back in( oh yeah, make sure you disconnect it first...also if it runs rough anyways, unhook the mass air flow meter while its running...if it immediately runs smoother, thats your problem) check out these pics
  • realwilkesrealwilkes Posts: 3
    yeah, first thing to check is your airflow meter...i had this code and it was driving me nuts...but found some info...unhooked the mass airflow meter, unscrewed the 2 screws holding it in, pulled it out, looked down in there and saw caked on dust and dirt on the 2 wires that are supposed to be visible....just sprayed some wd-40 down in there till the 2 wires were cleaned off(they also sell a spray MAF cleaner at some parts stores) let it dry, screwed it back on, hooked it up, cleared the po171, but i got a po141 after that and had to change my o2 sensor too, but now runs like a dream no cel.
  • elecjohn58elecjohn58 Posts: 4
    thanks. I'll try your suggestion and hope it fixes my problem.I'll post my results.
  • realwilkesrealwilkes Posts: 3
    i am trying to change my front wheel bearings but am having a [non-permissible content removed] of a time just getting the axle nut cover off(star-shaped thing covering axle nut), was just using a hammer and screwdriver to try to unstake the staked part of the cover, got it up enough but still wont come off, any suggestions?
  • victor13bvictor13b Posts: 3
    i have a toyota echo 2004 with 60.000miles! sometimes the car dont want to start at the moment! yesterday when start the check engine light is oon! and i go to autozone to scan ! the scan said error code p0341! camshaftn sensor ! my answer is i dont know the exact location of that sensor! for check! and what iis the normal sin toms of that sensor when he is bad?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    As you face the engine it's on YOUR right side, stuck into the valve cover.

    You may need to see one on the shelf at Autozone to be able to identify it.

    These "codes" don't really tell you which part is defective, only which SYSTEM is in distress. You could have a bad sensor, or bad wiring.

    You have to remove the sensor, get an OHMETER, and measure the resistance between the two terminals of the sensor.

    cold --between 1630 and 2740 ohms (between 14F and 122F)

    hot -- 2065 -- 3225

    If the ohms are outside these parameters, replace the sensor.
  • victor13bvictor13b Posts: 3
    ok! is located in the driver side? engine air filter side? if i remove the engiine no go out of time ?
  • victor13bvictor13b Posts: 3
    here a picture! please confirm!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I don't know, I've never seen one on an Echo. It should have a little bolt that attaches it to the block.
  • took car to a garage and they replaced the mass air flow, I don't believe he knew how to test it or clean it, new plugs and cleaned the throttle body. light only stayed off for about 20 miles and real runs bad. the cel is on not flashing. have made an appt. with toyota dealer. don't know what else to try. o2 sensors never coded. no engine miss until about 20 miles out. 90% highway travel. notice reduction of power and followed by engine stumble with light coming on followed by racing engine.
  • Have a 2000 echo that makes noise on the drivers side when i hit 35 to 40 miles an hour. When i push in the clutch the noise goes away. Any one have some ideas.Thanks.
  • Hello,
    This 2003 Echo is actually my first car, so my questions are gonna be newbie-ish:

    1) I just passed the 50,000 mile mark; aside from oil changes every 3,000 miles and some kind of maintenance at 30K...what other routine things should I be doing?

    2) There's a scheduled major maintenance at 60K, is that right? Does anyone know what the entails and how to avoid getting REAMED at the dealer?

    3) My trunk can no longer be opened with the lock (key). I tried looking at the lock assembly...but could not figure out what would need to be lubricated...anyone else seen this?

    4) I have a few chips out of the paint on the hood (less than 1 square centimeter of 5 small spots) much would a paint repair cost and where do you recommend this be done? Do non-dealers have the silver paint from a 2003 echo?

  • dakedake Posts: 131
    edited September 2010
    No problem and all good questions:

    1 and 2: Technically, recommended oil service on all Toyotas is 5000 miles or 4 months (I do 5k or 6 months on my '01 Echo and '08 Yaris). The dealer and most oil-change places will write down 3 months/3k miles, but that's b/c they are trying to make money. The exceptions to this are if you drive in very dusty/gritty conditions or tow a trailer (which Canadian Echo's are technically approved to do), and then it's good to change the oil sooner.

    As far as "major" maintenance goes, the Echo is very simple. Every 30000 (so 30, 60, 90 etc) miles the only additions to the normal stuff are to replace the engine coolant and replace the spark plugs, both of which can be done at home if you're even slightly mechanically minded.

    Beyond that, the Toyota Scheduled Maintenance Guide only says to "inspect" other things such as Transmission and Brake fluid levels and whatnot. Bear in mind, the "Dealer Recommended Service Guide" has all kinds of other stuff added on b/c once again, they are trying to make money.

    The Echo has a timing chain and not a belt, so there is no guidance for ever replacing that.

    To be completely honest - I've never changed the engine coolant in my Echo. I'm at about 114k, bought it used at 70k 6 years ago and the previous owner had not done the 60k mx, so I'm guessing it hasn't been changed since the 30k mark. I've had bad experiences in the past with "Radiator Flushes". Every car I've ever had it done to, or have a friend who has had it done to has wound up with a coolant leak after the flush and bam - new radiator. My last three cars have never had a flush AND never had a leak and I had them up to 200k miles - coincidence?

    I just make sure the coolant fluid level is good. I live in Houston and I've never had an over-heat issue even rocketing around at 85 on the highways in the summer. Of course, this is just my experience - you have to decide what you're comfortable with.

    3. That's weird about your trunk lock. You're saying it won't even turn? Did it only recently quit working or did you get it like that? If it's the latter, you may be using the valet key. Those are designed to work the ignition and doors but not the trunk. If you bought it that way and it's the only key you have you might try the dealer. Toyota actually has records of keys for vehicles. A friend of mine used to repo for Toyota and they could actually give him a code to know what kind of key to cut. They might be able to make a new one for you. Beyond that you may be stuck unless you have the lock replaced. As long as you can open it from the inside, I guess it's not that big a deal though. If you bought the car from a dealer, I might hassle them for not giving you the regular key - even if that's all they received, you might be able to talk them in to helping you out.

    If it worked before but doesn't any more, you could try some good ol' WD-40. There's also graphite lock lubricant available at most hardware stores, but some don't recommend using that b/c over time it can build up.

    4)Most auto-part stores carry generic paint touch-up bottles. It's like a bottle of nail polish, with a little brush attached to the cap. It may not be exact, but should be close. You can most likely buy the exact Toyota color at your dealer, but the thing is it will be "new" silver and probably won't quite match an "old" paint job which will have faded at least some. Still, for the small rock chips - either one is good enough.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    edited September 2010
    Very good advice you gave, except if you don't mind I'll take issue with draining the coolant. Coolant wears out over time. This is just chemistry. So changing it is a good idea. You don't need to "flush" the radiator, that's true. Just drop the old coolant, add the new.

    Also, you're right to suggest graphite lock lube rather than WD-40. Don't put WD-40 into a lock.
  • Hi,
    Thanks for the great advice, I appreciate your time.

    Regarding the trunk issue, I have been using my non-valet turns a little bit in the lock, but not enough to do anything (actually I broke a cheap key copy once trying to open the lock)...but before that, yeah, graphite didn't really do much...I think the problem is downstream of the lock mechanism proper.

    Regarding the paint...I still have the nail polish-style paint bottle that I got with the car....would that be sufficient amount to touch up? I'm looking for an invisible effect.

    I'm posting here because I am now officially paranoid about the dealer here....I paid like US$600.00 for my 30K maintenance "check-up" (not to mention getting reamed on tires).

    Love the car, though.
  • dakedake Posts: 131
    Excellent point Mr Shiftright. I've opted to gamble based on past experience but you're right, simply emptying out and replacing - not "flushing" which runs through the system at a higher pressure - shouldn't cause any risk and is probably the better choice. Be careful though if you do go to an auto shop as they will probably recommend a flush, claiming it will be better than just a swap out with new fluid and this is where the possible danger can come in.

    For your trunk lock, that's tough. I'm not sure if the lock is in the same place on yours as on mine but the lock is easily visible inside the trunk lid off to the right. I can operate the little lever mechanism from the inside (that is attached by a bar to the trunk latch itself at the middle) with very light pressure from just my pinky. If it's taking you a lot of force to move the lever from the inside then it makes sense your key is having trouble. Maybe lubing up the lock from that point vs actually inside at the tumblers would help?

    For the paint, "invisible" is a tough goal. The only way to make it truly invisible would involve sanding, priming and painting. The touch ups do a pretty good job though. My wife's Yaris is the Pacific Blue Metallic and the touch up bottle does a pretty good job. There's no hiding it up close, but it looks better than black chips everywhere.

    The key is trying to dab more than brush. Get some on the end of the little brush and just poke that drop into the chip. It will naturally settle out to fill the small divot. If you try and brush it in, you will get far more noticeable brush strokes. Try a couple practice dabs first to get a feel for how the paint reacts - it's typically very thick.

    That's a bummer about your dealer. Some are definitely better than others. They should have given you a break down of exactly what they did during that service. With that try calling other Toyota dealers and seeing if it's about the same everywhere (it seems a bit high to me). Then, if you can show that maybe you got gouged a bit, go straight to Toyota and complain about the dealer - they seem to take those issues pretty serious and maybe you'll at least get some free oil changes or something out of it.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    edited September 2010
    2 notes, just as "by the way"s:
    1. some Echos (including mine) use 60K-mile plugs, not 30s, (which adds $75 or so to the 60K-mile service - those plugs are pricey) and
    2. the dealers no longer carry the exact paint code for touch-up paint for Echos now, as they are too many years in the past and dealers don't keep more than 5 years of paints in stock. HOWEVER, if it is a common color like white or silver, you could get the one for the Yaris which is close and it will be so close you can't tell the difference.

    I have had 140K trouble-free miles by doing oil changes every 5K, tire rotations every 10K, changing the air filter myself if it looks dirty before 30K, and doing the 30K and 60K major services when they are due. The Echo isn't a fussy car though. I bet you could get away with extending those intervals some if you are the type to pay attention to changing noises, behaviors, etc of your car.

    Edit.....oh, and I have never had a radiator flush, just drains and refills at 30K intervals. Still have my original radiator, knock wood.....

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    My sons 2000 ECHO just went on a 10,000 mile trip out west. Check engine light and all on. Its still a good looking car and is solid to drive.
  • Hi,

    I just bought a 2001 Toyota echo 2 days back.

    I notice that when I was parking the car, there is a fan turning on and making a lot of noise. It turns on and off intermittently. Is this normal, it seems I have never heard such a loud fan on other cars.

    I should add that I am a complete newbie in this, and this is my first ever car. I apologize for any stupidity in advance.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsPosts: 11,114
    edited September 2010
    Oh my! No need to apologize. If not for "stupidity", most our our maintenance & repair discussions would close down. :)

    Fortunately, there are a lot of folks here who know what they're talking about. I'm not one of those... I'm like you... but welcome to the Forums, and hopefully someone will have a bit of advice for you soon.

    (no insult intended... *I* have to ask questions about everything more difficult than checking the engine oil level)


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    That's probably just the radiator cooling fan going on and off. What happens sometimes is that when you park a car after running it for a while, and you shut off the engine, there's a phenomenon called "heat sink" that occurs, which means that for a brief time the engine coolant temperature actually goes UP a few degrees, even though the car isn't running anymore. Basically, the hot engine is heating up the coolant, and with no water pump circulating the coolant, it's a natural thing.

    So the coolant temperature sensor, sensing a rise in temperature, signals the cooling fan to go on, which it is allowed to do even if the car is shut off. Once the cooling fan cools the coolant down, it shuts off. Since the "heat sink" might go on for a bit, it's possible that the cooling fan might have to turn on two or three times to get the coolant temperature down.

    The fan should shut off pretty quickly though---if it runs on and on, then the sensor or relay is probably defective.
  • Thanks a lot. Yes it turns on and off pretty quickly. The sound is a little loud though which kind of scared me. Also, I noticed it happens more in reverse, but that can be placebo effect in observation. It happens to me when the car/engine is still on; I was just trying to park the car then. I will look for it more often.

    Just a follow up question on Maintenance now:

    The mileage of my car is 39k. What kind of regular check up should I do and maintenance?

    Thanks in advance
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    edited September 2010
    Edmunds has a nice feature for you here:

    Edmunds Maintenance Schedules
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    check your air filter change every 30k miles
    check sparkplugs change every 30k miles

    look in your owners manual for more things to do

    Check the coolant level in the overflow bottle. I also think your fan going on is normal.

    Good Luck!
  • thanks a lot guys!

    and edmunds schedule is guide is really good :)

    Last question for now : I got my car checked and everything. The mechanic told me may need to change my battery in near future.

    These are the numbers from the test:
    429/500 CCA.
    12.38 V

    Is this something that I should do it right now, or can it wait?
    NY winter is coming in a month, so I dont want to get stranded.

    Appreciate all this.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    How old is this battery? Usually they should be good for at least 3-5 years of hard service.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Hmmm 12.4 volts should be more like 13+ volts at least at rest. But maybe its OK if it was done under load. Was the alternator belt good and tight? (battery wont charge if not)

    Personally I never change a battery until it goes out. My ECHO battery went more than 7 years and its cold where I live. It easy enough to get one at Pep Boys and install yourself.
  • hmm..will look at it. When the test was done, car had not been driven for more than a month. The previous owner had taken the car off the road.

    The battery is original I think, so 8-9 years old. But I am not sure, not asked the prev. owner if they had changed the battery or not.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    If it's really 8 years old, that battery is toast so change it anyway.
  • Any way of surely knowing that I have to change it.

    Even the guys at midas said that I can change it ( not a must in their opinion). I have been driving the car w/o any problems for the past week.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    If it was mine Id just run it. But also take precautions so I didnt get carless!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Well you could have it "load-tested", but nothing urgent. If you live in a very cold winter climate that will test it for you :)
  • My wifes 2001 Echo has a nearly shredded PS pump belt - ridng on the rim of the pulley!. The dealer says its due to bent brackets and is replacing the belt and ordering new brackets which will take 2 weeks to arrive. He says this happens over time and is a common problem with the Echo and Corolla and the new brackets are "upgraded". Looking at the bracket, seems like a 2000 pound gorilla could not bend them! Anyone else have this problem or know about it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    That does sound a bit fishy but any form of bad alignment of the belt with the pulleys that drive it can cause very rapid wear.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I have certainly never heard of it. But I wonder could some kind of impact cause it?That the bracket would just bend due to normal operating conditions seems unlikely.

    How much $$$ is all this stuff costing?
  • Total bill for the parts would be about $60, and I think at least that much additional for labor to install. There is a new belt on now (using the old brakets) and it seems to work fine while Im waiting for the parts. No visible sign of wobbling or fraying. No visible sign of damage to the brackets, and they are in a very protected area. I.m still wondering if its gonna be worth it to spend over $100 to install the new brackets. Maybe the old belt just stretched (its over 4 years old) and allowed it to ride up on the pulley rim?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Hmm if the belt is not wobbling/looking like its wiggling with the engine running i would think you are totally OK there. For the life of me I cant figure out why they would say the brackets are dammaged.
  • Yeah, I think Im just going to leave it as is unless I see some sign of impending belt failure before the parts arrive. No way the brackets could get bent, unless this is a problem with the original manufacture. But if it was, my original belt would not have lasted 6 years.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Well let's break this down a bit....IF as they say the brackets were bent, then that must mean that the alignment of the belts was off, causing the failure. This is the only reason to worry about a bent bracket.

    Now then, if you look at your car and the alignment of the belts seems satisfactory, with no or very minor deviation from true, then problem solved, or no problem.
  • Well, I cant see any wobbling or out-of-true problems with the engine running. Looks just fine to me. I suppose a VERY slight deviation might not be visibly detectable, but probably would not aaffect the belt much either - after all, they are flexible, to a point anyway. I thought of trying to place a sraightedge across the two pulleys to check alignment, but the durn thing is just too inaccesable and I only have one good arm to do it (just had rotater cuff surgery). I am coming to the conclusion that they are feeding me a line over there. Best guess right now is the old belt just stretched too much and got itself up on the pulley edge. It was running very tight (hope it didnt wreck any bearings!) but I could push it back onto the PS pulley but it wouldnt stay there with the engine running. Belt was actually shredded into two parts in places with light shining thru it and squealing like a stuck pig. But, as I say, the new belt seems to work fine, so far....
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I suspect your belt was worn but good. These belts have multiple V ridges in them unlike the belts I am used to from the 70s and 80s which had a single V. Because the Vs are so small they can strip right off when worn. You get a few Vs stripped off and you get an asymetrical pattern in the belt and off the pulleys it goes. That is my theory and Im sticking with it. :D
  • dakedake Posts: 131
    edited October 2010
    Here's the thing in my mind. If the last belt lasted six years before it needed replacing? I'd be ok with replacing it again in another six years. Heck, even four years down the road if it is actually getting worse.

    Now if it shreds a belt in a few months, then yeah - but six years is not bad.
  • I have a 2002 Echo that has been driven intermittently over the past couple of years. I have mostly kept up on the oil changes. It has been driven more this past year than in the past, and I have been trying to get it back to tip top running condition (new tires, struts, etc.). Yesterday, I left the house and drove about 4 miles. The check engine light came on, and there was a ticking sound in the engine. The sound does not go away when idling, rather its speed varies according to the rpms of the engine. It got louder the longer the engine ran. The check engine light never went off. I went back home and parked it, and am now trying to figure out what it is. Advice? Comment? Where do I begin? :cry:
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    There are error codes stored in the computer that need to be read. I believe autozone will do that free. Or you can get a code reader for 50 dollars and read them yourself.

    Once you know that the codes are record them and get back to us.

    Good luck!
  • neal3480neal3480 Posts: 8
    edited December 2010
    I bought a 2001 Echo (4-Dr, Auto tranny, 66,000 miles) last spring and I enjoyed this little peppy car very much ever since. Recently, I noticed that the blue temperature light stayed on for about 5 minutes or so after I started the engine in the morning when the outside temperature was around/below freezing. Btw, the echo is parked outside.

    The blue light went off quickly in the summer but it did not do the same thing recently unless I drove it for about a mile. In fact, I have to warm up the car for 2-3 minutes to remove the frost on the windshields before driving it in the morning. The problem is I need to drive on a 50-mile speed-limit road immediately after I pull out of my driveway while many people are going 60+. How long does it normally take for the blue light to go off in the cold weather so that the tranny can shift into the 4th gear? Thanks.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Everything sounds normal to me. I would just get on the road and drive the speed limit until the light goes off--if people exceeding the speed limit are tail gating you, just ignore them. After about 1 minute warm-up, just go, you can't hurt anything by driving normally. If you want a faster warm-up, you'll have to consider an engine heater to plug in, or even a light bulb under the oil pan.
Sign In or Register to comment.