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Toyota Echo Maintenance and Repair



  • 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 Posts: 11,025
    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)


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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    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.

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  • 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: 57,595
    edited September 2010
    Edmunds has a nice feature for you here:

    Edmunds Maintenance Schedules

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  • 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: 57,595
    How old is this battery? Usually they should be good for at least 3-5 years of hard service.

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  • 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: 57,595
    If it's really 8 years old, that battery is toast so change it anyway.

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  • 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: 57,595
    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 :)

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  • 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: 57,595
    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.

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  • 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: 57,595
    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.

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  • 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: 57,595
    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.

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