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Toyota Echo Maintenance and Repair



  • albusdalbusd Posts: 8
    2000 echo sedan auto trans 128,000 miles on it. My question is how many of you have had the valve clearances checked as part of the regular maintenance. There isn't anything wrong with mine, just wondering if I can skip this part of the maintenance. (also skipped most of the 90k tuneup).

    I am looking for someone to say, either yes, I had the valve clearances adjusted and it made a huge difference, or no, I haven't ever had that done, and my echo has a million miles on it and is still fine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    Sure you should check it...they may not need adjustment (which is a bit complicated, requiring shimming). Improper valve clearance can lead to engine damage down the line.

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  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    As far as I know almost NO ONE does this check or adjustment. Because this valve arrangement is patterned after high performance motorcycle engines (and almost NO other car engine has it) I doubt very much if your typical Toyota mechanic knows how to do it or has ever successfully done it.I wouldnt trust them to do mine unless they could prove to me they know how and have done it. My sons 2000 ECHO has 180,000k miles on it now and runs like a watch. All its had is a new fan belt, a set of brakes, a MAF sensor (it has the one from my Yaris and I installed a rebuilt one in the Yaris) oil changes, new sparkplugs at 120,000 miles, and maybe something else.

    Its never had an adjustment check and at the rate its going it probably never will.

    Years ago I wrote a proceedure for CHECKING the ECHOs valve clearances in this very forum! I ride motorcycles and have done it twice myself.
  • meatball7meatball7 Posts: 4
    Jeese, ... My apologies for taking so long to respond to the helpful responses from all of you here. My email pgm was sending my edmonds emails to my spam folder. .... Anyway, thanks to your help I did find the ACC fuse, after finding the instrument panel fuse box, which I had not seen before you put me on track to it. Thank you for that. ......... So my ACC fuse is good, so I assume I will have to replace the lighter. ... I am pretty sure I can pull that off, but if I run into a problem I will ask here. ...... Thank you again folks for your help with this.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    Be sure to check the fuse with a simple ohm meter if you have one--visually checking a fuse can fool you sometime.

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  • meatball7meatball7 Posts: 4
    edited May 2012
    Actually, I did replace the fuse with one of the spares of the correct amperage and the lighter still did not work, so I assume that is a pretty good indication that it is the lighter. ........... Thank you for the tip about the visual check however. I was not aware of that.
  • albusdalbusd Posts: 8
    That is exactly the advice i was looking for. No disrespect to Mr. Shiftright and his response that it couldn't hurt to check it, but I will simply forget about it. I would think the engine would start running differently, mpg would decrease, or it would throw a check engine light if there actually was a problem with the valve clearances.

    Glad to hear your son's Echo is still ticking along nicely. Thanks again for the help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    no offense taken! I suggested it because that's what Toyota engineers put in the owner's manual. I'd be remiss if I didn't at least point people to the recommended services coming from the factory. If it were a dealer suggestion only, I'd be more inclined to forget it.

    Actually though, just as a point of information, if your valve clearance was too loose, you'd hear it, you're quite right, but if it were too tight, you probably wouldn't notice it, and tight valves could cause valve damage.

    If you're in for the long haul, you might consider checking the clearance at some point in the future.

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  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Just to help you in your descision about the valve clearances...

    Valve clearances do not get looser....they get tighter. The valve wears down into the valve seat in the head. This results in the clearance getting less not more. The clearance can get really loose with no harm down other than noise. But if the clearance goes to zero then the valve burns, the engine loses compression and the only way to fix it is an expensive valve job.

    Problems with the clearances will NOT throw a CEL code. Yes mpg and power will go down. But by the time you notice that the dammage is done your car needs $$$$ work.

    Although it is common to let the clearance inspection go, and truly in most cases that is a safe decision, to play it really safe an inspection would be the safest bet. In this economy a car like the ECHO can be a godsend. They are cheap to run and reliable as they come. If you are heavily dependent on your ECHO finanically wise you might consider CHECKING the clearances. I have a proceedure buried somewhere in all these posts. Its not much harder than changing sparkplugs. If the clearances are good than so is your engine. If they are not haveing them fixed could be a lifesaver.

    Just FYI!
  • ktbugs87ktbugs87 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Toyota Echo Sedan and I have had trouble with my belts squealing for a long time. I have had both serpentine belts replaced but the problem has not stopped. If I have the A/C on in the summer or the heat/defroster in the winter, I get a squealing that only stops when I turn off the air/defroster and my headlights. I only need to turn them off for a second and then I can put them right back on, but I wait until the car is moving again. This usually occurs when my car is 'warming' up. I only have a little blue light to tell me if the engine is cool. Even after the cold light goes out, I still will get squealing if I am stopped or at a light for a few seconds. I turn everything off before I have to stop now to prevent the noise.
    I also get a rumbling/ticking noise when my car is accelerating up to 40mph. It stops if I go faster than that or keep accelerating, but the noise is constant if I am going less than or around 40mph. I did have to have my alternator replaced along with my battery, which it drained. I know that these occurrences happen in other Echoes as well. The AutoCare center I have been taking my car to for the past few years has no idea how to fix my problems. They just charge me for new parts. I was hoping someone might know what things I should ask my other mechanic to look at. I'm hopelessly car illiterate. :cry: Thank you!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    squealing means that the belt is slipping--so either it's the wrong belt or they didn't adjust it using the right tools.

    As for the ticking noise, that's not really specific enough to pin anything down. You need to have a mechanic ride with you, or drive the car. Ticking and rumbling are such different phenomena that it's hard to make sense of it.

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  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    It could also be the bearings in the alternator water pump or even the ac are bad. If you can remove the belts and spin those pulleys by hand you might find bad bearings.

    That happened to my sons ECHO and it was bad alternator bearings.

    Good luck and tell us what happens!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    Well that's a very good observation! It's possible that an alternator or AC compressor is dragging so badly due to bad bearings (hence the noise) that it could be causing the belt to slip as well. The two problems (slippage, noise) might be connected. Worth looking into.

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  • pohhoppohhop Posts: 1

    my friend as an 2004 1.4 echo.
    starting up on idle is sounds likes it's missing, put a few rev on runs smooth. On idle, is sounds like a valves though it's an automatic adjuster loosing pressure, at the exhaust it's chuffing like the mixture is out, not a constant hum.
    He also complains that sometime when he puts the A/c on it stalls the engine. I've never been there when it's done this.
    1. Are they auto tappet adjusters?
    2. how do you adjust the air mixture?
    3. could it be an injector?

    any other ideas. please.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    yes the valves are adjustable on that car. It wouldn't be expensive to CHECK the clearances but it's a bit of labor (over 6 hours) to shim each valve. Your friend should get a quote for this job.

    Possible idle roughness could be a defective Idle Air Control valve (IAC), or just a vacuum leak somewhere.

    If gas mileage has dropped a lot, there could also be an EGR system problem to cause this rough idle.

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  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Unplug the injectors one at a time with the engine running. If the engine doesnt run any different, that injector is BAD. If it runs good the injector is GOOD. Do each one one at a time until you have tested them all.

    Let us know what you find out and Good Luck!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Please disregard the previous two posts by me. Its hot here and I wasnt thinking too good.

    Start the engine. It is running unevenly right? One at a time, unplug the injectors. If after unplugging one of them, the engine runs WORSE, you just unplugged a GOOD injector. Keep going until you unplug an injector and it doesnt run any different. It still runs unevenly just as it has been. You should have three injectors which make the engine run WORSE when you unplug them and one when it doesnt run any different.

    THATS the bad one.

    If one is bad.
  • polo79polo79 Posts: 1
    Hi all, I have a 2000 2dr echo with a manual sun roof, the problem is that the handle to open and close the sun roof isn't working. Has anyone had this problem before?
  • I have at 2003 Toyota Echo. It keeps not starting. Sometimes it will start, sometimes it won't. When I turn the key, nothing happens. All the lights come on, the air comes on, but it doesn't click or act like it wants to start. Sometimes if I switch the car into Drive while it is off and then back into Park it will turn on, sometimes it won't. The battery, starter, and ignition switch and fuses have all been checked and they are all fine. I did some research and I'm thinking it might be the Neutral Safety Switch, but could it be anything else?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I had a VW FOX that did this. The probelm was the relay for the fuel pump. It worked intermittently, causing the very same problem you mention. I will ask elsewhere if this could happen to the ECHO and get back to you.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    neutral safety switch is a definite possibility, given your symptoms or a misaligned gearshift mechanism.

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Echo was not available with a factory sunroof, so I have not had the problem you describe. However, you could try visiting a place that installs aftermarket sunroofs and see if they have any suggestions for you.

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

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    had replacement of brake pads done at Wheel Works before?

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    No not me.

    Next to oil change a very DIY thing.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    who has my Echo now had the front brake pads replaced there yesterday. I hope it turns out OK. He saw a $99 coupon, but of course the coupon fails to include the turning of the rotors for another $79. Deceptive advertising practices, it seems to me.

    Those front brake pads made it to 177K miles before needing replacement - they had never been done prior to that. One of the benefits of a stick shift (and a driving pattern that includes a lot of highway miles). :-)

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    edited September 2012
    Awesome nippononly!

    Couldnt have done it better myself! 177k WOW!

    Turning rotors unnecessary however. ESPECIALLY they way you drive.

    Keep an eye on that guy who now drives YOUR ECHO!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I sure will. :-)

    The reality is he will probably need to drive that thing at least another two years, so he will probably drive it past the 200K mark. If so, I will stick a note in here. ;-)

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

  • mykimyki Posts: 2
    Hi I just want to know How much i can sell my toyota echo hatchback 2004
    brand new front brake , manual transmission, 3 doors, 136000 kl ::
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    Please visit our Real World Trade-In Values discussion. Be sure to provide information about the condition of the vehicle and where you are located.


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    Share your vehicle reviews

  • echofanechofan Posts: 20
    Seems like most of the Echos out there are 10 or more years old. Mine is an '02 with 105k, and the only things replaced so far are spark plugs and one belt.

    I'd be interested to hear from people with higher mileage, about what they've had to replace, and when. Water pump? Alternator or starter? CV joints? Stuff like that.

    Anybody had to adjust valve clearance? At about 80k, a couple of my exhaust valves were within about 2 thousandths of the minimum so I'm wondering if I'll need to mess with that soon.

    Love this car, and would like to keep it as long as possible!
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