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Toyota Echo Maintenance and Repair



  • jmrbkjmrbk Posts: 18
    I don't remember all the details (when, how many miles) on what I've replaced, but I have a 2002 sedan, purchased new on 12/12/01. I presently have just shy of 114,000 miles. I had to replace the alternator about a year ago and have replaced the battery twice. I had to replace the struts twice early on in the life of the car. Once it was covered by the warranty but I think the second time I had to pay for it.

    All in all it's been a great car for me and I do love it. I am starting to become tempted to get something new though, but not having car payments for the last 6-7 years sure has been nice!
  • echofanechofan Posts: 20
    Thanks for the info. Just to clarify my earlier post, I bought the car in August '10 with 68k miles, so there may have been other parts changed before that (pretty sure the brake pads are not original, for example).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    edited October 2012
    When I replaced my '02 this year, it had about 170K miles. I had never repaired anything.

    It was on its third battery by then though, also the third set of tires, third set of spark plugs. I had never had to replace brake pads or the clutch. I gave the car to a friend, who did have to replace the front brake pads a couple of months ago, at about 175K.

    Apart from that, ummm?? I replaced the drive belts once. Fluids and air filters certainly came and went a bunch of times over the years. I never checked the valve clearance, and it was never a problem that I didn't. Never did the water pump, alternator, starter, or CV joints - those were all original when my friend took it.

    If you want a car that will run forever with the absolute minimum of attention, I think you have found it with the Echo!

    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 has ~ 180k on it. New belts. New brakes (once) Air filters, oil changes. No valve adjustments. Couple of CELs. New MAF fixed that MAF common to fail. Current CEL. Dont know what it is.

    Nothing else. Son and GF have driven to Seattle and back from NJ the past two summers.

    I bought the car for them five or six years ago for $3000 with 117k miles.
  • mykimyki Posts: 2
    brand new front brake ,rotor ,pads, JUNE 2012
    oil service + inspection,
    replace drivebelt
    replace front exhaust gasket

    Ya it's a very good car still have the original battery and no problem in winter
    no big repare on this car
    love toyota
    they are good
  • Thanks for the replies. Have been making 500 mi round trips for work every other week. Sometimes wondered if I oughta just go ahead and replace a few things, to reduce the chance of having to fix something in a parking lot far from home.

    But I think I'm about convinced that my odds are pretty good for now, so I'll just keep driving! Of course, I do the basics, like oil and filters, and I did change the transmission fluid & screen last year. But the only thing that has broken so far is a couple of cracked hubcaps. I can live with that!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Replacing perfectly good parts on a vehicle just because you are paranoid isnt going to save you from inconvience its just going to cost you $$$$.

    Now, if you could accurately determine whats going to fail youd be on to something. ; )
  • Hello.I have a 2001 ECHO sedan 5 speed.145,000 kilometers.The clutch all of a sudden has become very lite in feel,like it's losing pressure.Seems to drive okay.No lights on.
    Any idea's?I also have the engine shake sometime's at idle.Motor mounts?And intermitten squeling or chirping also.When clutch is engaged it goes away,but when clutch is released it comes back.

    I just bought the car 2500 bucks ,safety e-tested,no claimed accidents.original miliage on engine.
    Please help. I heard the clutch is lite in the ECHO but it seemed tighter when i first got it.
    thank you Bryan in Ontario Canada
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Squealing when the clutch is released (in neutral) sounds like a pilot bearing going bad. When you replace the clutch that can be replaced at the same time for the price of the part.

    If you meant squealing when the clutch is released in gear and the car begins to move, that would be different.

    As for increasing lightness of the clutch, you will know when it is not properly releasing any more because the gears will begin to grind as you engage them with the stick shift.

    A lot of what you describe could be attributed to a failing clutch.

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

  • Yes the squeling disapears in neutral when clutch is lightly engaged.When going through the gears it seems fine.No grinds or anything in any gears.I don't wanna increase the lightness of my clutch.
    I meant that its to light of a feel.Its like a drum pedal for a set of drums.I mean thats pretty light feel.
    It seemed the clutch was tighter when first getting the car,so thats indicating a problem to me.
    But maybe the car wasnt driven much before I got it.Sittin on the lot.
    Any other input would be great thanks.:)
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    As long as the clutch doesnt slip under acceleration its 95% allright.

    As long s the gears shift quietly ditto.

    I think you are fine!
  • Great little commuter car. I drive about 95 miles round trip total each day and still get about 40 MPG going 70-75 on a car with 220,000 miles.

    I did a full exhaust due to aftermarket cat converter (bad at 140K) not matching OEM muffler (go figure, I got to due the muffler also). The replacement Bosal muffler had a bad seam that I thought was the connection to the cat so went to the shop. Went to Menike and they showed me the bad seam for free and I drove to AZ and they ordered a replacement. I reinstalled the replacement and still could not get the joint to seal so I went to Menike again and had them cut and weld. 80K later I got a engine code showing possible cat failure. Up and downstream O2's replaced with previous cat. Got a new cat via warranty replacement. Installed and codes cleared, I could see evidence of seam failure on the cat by the residue.
    New platinum plugs about a year back.
    Oil change every 3 - 5 K.
    Air filter, engine and cabin, once a year.
    Brakes front about every other year (bought a spare set of rotors for a half-hour driveway break swap), Rear first time just a couple of months back.
    Clutch still nice and tight.

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    How many miles between front brake pad changes? It sounds to me like you are replacing them very frequently. Which means you are using the brakes too much.

    Im afraid you will have an accident driving like that.
  • That's a lot of miles - hope mine gets that far without too much trouble. I'd be thrilled to own a car for that long, where the worst thing that ever happened is exhaust system problems.

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Owning an ECHO is a huge thrill, certainly!

    Maybe the biggest in the industry and not just for longevity.
  • I recently bought an 01' Echo with 132000 miles on it and am finding expensive problems.
    Rear Shocks
    Motor Mounts
    Rear Brakes including rotors.
    rear speakers
    Hope that I don't find too many more problems
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    What did you pay for it?

    ECHOs have drums on the rear.

    Hows the gas mileage?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,468
    Aside from the speakers, those sound like normal wear items for a high mileage car. Not the car's fault really--more about poor maintenance. Brakes can be done at 50K, shocks at 80K, motor mounts at 100K.

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  • I have a 2001 Echo with about 114,000 miles on it (yeah, I don't have that long of a commute!). I'm going to be needing to change out the shocks/struts in the rear due to a lot of squeaking going on. Has anyone gotten this done recently on their Echo - and how much did you pay for it?

    Also, my front speakers have a loose connection somewhere since sometimes they'll come on. I'm only getting sound in the back. Is this a quick and easy fix - or will I have to pay some big money to get this fixed?

  • If you have a garage and a few tools you can do it yourself for only the cost of the shocks.
    The hardest part is accessing the top bolts located under the Rear deck. You will need a good long extension for your socket wrench.
    I did mine in under an hour.
    I do not recall the cost but under eighty for two shocks and bellows from AZ or AA.
  • Appreciate the response. I'm not very handy at all. I'll have to pay a garage to do it.

    So, if anyone knows a ball-park figure or maybe just had it done themselves, I'm just curious as to how much this is going to set me back.
  • This isn't going to help you figure out how much a shop would charge for your rear shocks, but I am curious how you figured out that they needed changing? I have a 2000 Echo 4-door with about 140k on the clock and have never even thought about changing out suspension components. Is it a really obvious squeaking or has the ride quality become terrible or something?

    And about the speakers, my echo has an aftermarket stereo system/cd player and has the same problem you describe, where going over a bump might cause the front speakers to come for a few seconds and then they go dead again, so I'd be interested in knowing if you find the culprit. For now, given the spartan nature of the Echo, I'm just glad it even has a radio!

    Always glad to hear from other Echo owners out there!
  • When I go over a bump, or when I take heavy bags of groceries out of the trunk, I can hear a groaning/squeaking noise coming from the back end. So I'm not sure if it's new shocks I need - if they even have them, or replacing the back struts.

    I've pushed down on the back end to see if it "bounces" - but it doesn't do that.

    Maybe I don't need something changed out? Or maybe I do?

    I've already had the front struts replaced (and bushings), changed out the steering fluid, changed out the front brakes, have had tires replaced, and a tune-up done.

    I was mistaken on the mileage. I've actually only got 104,000 on the car!

    I think with the stereo it may be a loose wire somewhere. I'll be checking out some local auto stereo shops this weekend. I really miss not having that "surround sound" in the car. It's a "treat" when I sometimes I get a day of it when the front speakers decide to pop on! LOL
  • My echo is at about 230k miles and I did the rear shocks about 3k miles back. I know the shocks were weak and you could see where the hydraulic fluid was leaking on the side of the shock body.
    After removing the shocks I could compress and extend them by hand. The new ones took more pressure and it was tougher to compress them.

    I am planing on replacing the stock radio and was just looking on line for a replacement. I got the Echo used with about 30k miles on it back in 04 and the previous owner must have damaged the tape player. I had no idea until recently after trying to use a converter with a smartphone to listen to podcasts.
    I had the radio out for some reason a few years back and I recall it has a single large connector.
    You probably need to reseat the connector. As a first check. If it is still glitching you probably need to check for a loose connection at the speakers.
  • aries65aries65 Posts: 7
    I stopped in at a mechanic today. They took my car out for a test drive, bounced the car on the back, and put it up on the lift to check out everything. He said my struts and shocks are fine! He sprayed some lube on the bushings all under the car and told me to have a nice day - no more squeak and no charge!

    As for the stereo, one of the guys there said it would be best to take it to the Toyota dealership since they have all the schematics for the wiring and all - and would be able to figure out where the loose connections were. So I may have to bite the bullet with that.

    But at least I found a really nice mechanic to go to. They'll be getting my business in the future.
  • cselwitzcselwitz Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Echo, 200k miles. I have had it since it was new. Last week I started it and found gas spraying around inside the hood. The culprit is a hose up against the firewall just under the hood. The hose is rubber exterior, appears to be metal inside. The end nearest the firewall had a squeeze mechanism to release it, the other end has a metal bell shape to is where it connects to a small tube going into the engine. I can't figure out how to release that end of the hose to remove it, nor can I find any reference to what the hose is online to purchase a new one. This is the most accessible and seamingly inexpensive repair I can imagine and it woudl be very frustrating to have to tow the car to a repair shop to complete it

    Anyone have any experience with this?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    No but I will look in my service manual tonite and get back to you.

    Does the hose go to the fuel rail the injectors are on?

    If worst comes to worst tow it to the mechanic. Its too good a car to lose!

    If it was me I would drive it spraying and all to the mechanic if it wasnt too far away. Maybe at night to avoid traffic and delays....
  • ktealkteal Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm new here and was hoping someone could help me out. My echos headlights are out of alignment and I was hoping to take care of this myself but have so far been unsuccessful.

    After taking a look at the car and the service manual I am still at a loss. The plastic nobs that were supposed to adjust the headlights seem to have fallen off. I can sort of adjust the lights by pushing or pulling the bit of nob I can grab with pliers, but there has to be a better way that won't be messed up by a bumpy road.

    Anyone know how I can still adjust the headlights without buying a new assembly? or where I can purchase some replacement adjustment nobs?
  • albusdalbusd Posts: 8
    My factory service manual for the 2000-2002 models says something like the horizontal direction cannot be adjusted, and you adjust the vertical direction with an adjusting "bolt". It doesn't mention knobs?

    At least one other website says that there is no adjustment since they are set at the factory.

    You could always add a sandbag or two to the trunk to make them point higher... sorry I know that ain't much help.
  • I too have a Toyota Echo (4-door sedan). I went to a gas station (Snyders Exxon in Carnegie PA) where they replaced the sensor, the engine line went on 5 minutes after driving it away from there, and when I returned it to them they persisted in claiming that my gas cap wasn't on tight enough. Long story short, I went back to get my car inspected and they are now claiming I need a catalytic converter. Which is hilarious considering they made this claim with the previous car I had. Whatever you do, don't go to anyone but a Toyota Repair place. And don't ever go to a gas sta/repair place unless you just want your tires rotated or an oil change. And check your oil after they change it out because they might forget to put some back in after draining your car.

    They charged me $60 for the so-called "inspection" and left it as not passed and got belligerent with me when I tried to explain to them that the engine light has been on because of their not correcting a bad installation of this particular part.

    Go to a Toyota repair place before a minor repair becomes a deliberate misinformation campaign conducted by mechanics that can't ably work on today's cars.
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