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Toyota Echo Maintenance and Repair



  • jmrbkjmrbk Posts: 18
    If you've been following my story, I have had the rotors replaced on my 2002 ECHO twice! Both times I had it worked on at the dealer. After the second time, I wrote to Toyota wondering if the rotors are a known problem; doesn't it seem odd that an ECHO with such low mileage should have gone through two sets of rotors; and wondering if the dealer is screwing me (I put it more delicately, of course!).

    They (Toyota HQ in CA) called and sent a letter. I then called them back, talked to a rep, again expressed my concerns and they are giving me $400 in credit (rotors and brakes cost me ~$500) towards future service at any Toyota dealer (good for 1 year). I don't really want to go back to the dealer, but ....

    My brothers both told me to have my calipers checked, so I'm bringing it in tomorrow.

    Will post more with caliper results.
  • jmrbkjmrbk Posts: 18
    Well, the Toyota dealer insists that there is nothing wrong with my calipers, that the damage to my rotors and brakes is simply because I do mostly city driving. I guess I should start saving my $$$ to get the rotors replaced every 18,000 miles.
  • echo_gurlecho_gurl Posts: 2
    Has anyone had any luck finding a repair manual for an 01 Echo or does anyone know how to change the water pump and fan belt?
  • aussieechoaussieecho Posts: 22
    I paid $ 300 for a 3part manual on E Bay. Its indespensible for working out the hidden tricky attachments, and puzzle clips that hold things together.
  • kosarinkosarin Posts: 14
    when i first got my 2000 echo, sensor kept going kept re4setting and/or replacing, but problem kept occurring...finally, there was a techical service bulletin on the sensor and since the re-designed sensor was put in, never had this problem...ask your dealer to look up tsb...might get a new sensor free
  • pbflapbfla Posts: 2
    285,000 miles on my 2000 Echo and I've never replaced the rotors. front brake pads replaced every 120k or so, rear shoes just recently replaced for the first time. admittedly I do mostly highway driving. Warped rotors are typically caused by overheated brake pads, when you brake hard and frequently the pads get very hot, then you press the hot pads down hard against the rotors the heat warps them. So it probably is caused by city driving, you could get more out of your rotors by braking less often and more gently but that would compromise your safety.
  • pbflapbfla Posts: 2
    my sensor was going off for 2 years and 100,000 miles giving me code 171 System Too Lean (translation: you need a new oxygen sensor). Because my car was running fine and O2 sensor jobs are ridiculously overpriced I ignored the light. eventually it stopped coming on, possibly because it burnt out.
  • cranetechcranetech Posts: 1
    Bought my 2001 echo brand new. Around 12K miles the throw out bearing were replaced under warranty. Now there is 76K miles on the car and the noise is coming back but not as bad. I have the 100K mile warranty. Went to dealership and said bring it in in a.m and we will check it out. Is there anyone out there that has this problem with 01 Echo. This is the only problem this car has.
  • aperianaperian Posts: 2
    i have a 2000 echo. at 100,000 miles my engine check light came on on a day when the temp was over 115deg outside. the light had never come on before. i replaced the air filter and cleaned the MAS with electrical cleaner (non residue only) and then reset the check engine light.

    after this happened i realized that i had had the same cold slow speed stalling situation for a couple of weeks. this resolved the stalling and the check engine light.

    a year later the stalling started again. also it is really bad if you have a cold engine and have the a/c on. anyway i checked the air filter and it was dirty. i cleaned the MAS and everything is fine again.

    i think the older engine is more sensitive to dirty air cleaners and old MAS units. my o2 sensor also may be old and that might be part of the problem?

    also i dont know if you had the 'stutter problem' around 30,000miles but i had the head replaced on my engine under warranty. the stutter would take place cruising on the highway. acted like the engine shut off for a second. it was the computer sensors on the valves.

    also never touch the MAS sensors just spray them. the wires will break really easily.
  • aperianaperian Posts: 2
    FYI - i have a fairly expensive dc2ac converter which worked well in my jeep but when i started using it in the echo i has blown the tail lights and several fuses. i think the echo is a bit sensative. the converter is the type that plugs into the cig lighter.

    watch the power drain on the accessories you plug in!
  • I have a 2000 Echo -- my little green baby! -- with 87K miles. I adore this car more than I ever thought I could love a car, and it has been basically bullet-proof in the maintenance department, but I have been having a sudden and drastic mileage issue.

    For the past several weeks, I have been getting *terrible* mileage. For example, I was at full yesterday morning. I went a couple miles down the road to drop my son off at day camp, drove the maybe 3 miles to work, repeated the process at the end of the day, and now I am at 3/4 tank. This is absolutely insane. For the past 5+ years, I have just waved at gas stations as I drove by, and only stopped at them occasionally.

    All of the "normal" causes don't seem to be panning out here. I am religious about oil changes, and air filter changes. My plugs were just replaced a year ago, and re-checked this weekend. My injectors and such did need to be cleaned again, and they did a full chemical cleaning on them this weekend along with the throttle body and boot around it. No change. The only other things I can think of would be maybe an O2 sensor, but that should throw a code and my engine light has not come on. My step-dad thought that maybe the thermostat could be bad, which would cause the computer to think the engine was colder than it really was, and give it more gas. But the shop I had it at this weekend said they wouldn't be able to tell by checking it if anything was wrong with it.

    I just can't think of anything else... and with gas as expensive as it is now, I have really got to figure this out. Does anyone have any ideas?? :(


  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Your stepdad has probably hit the nail on the head - does your little blue light stay on or suddenly take much longer to go out?

    Any halfway decent shop can check the coolant operating temperature for you to see if it is getting hot enough. My guess is, it isn't - not even close.

    Now I would also be suspicious of the work done recently if your problems started right after - are all the plugs properly reconnected, and were any of the electrical connectors broken in the process? A plug not firing would cause a significant drop in fuel economy.

    Also check that you are not LEAKING gas - a rock thrown up by the road perhaps, or a leaking fuel line. If the drop in mpgs is as enormous as you say, underhood possibilities may be insufficient to explain it, and you may have to look at other things.

    Finally, if they messed with the throttle body boot, check that they didn't crack it. If air can get in through a crack, it will cause the engine computer to make the mixture super-rich to compensate for all the extra air, which can waste a lot of gas in a short timespan.

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

  • Thank you very much for the reply! To clarify, I had the spark plugs changed out over a year ago, and this problem has just started recently. I had the injectors and throttle body cleaned this past weekend in an attempt to correct this problem, but as of this morning it's just as bad.

    As for the cool temp light, it still comes on for a few seconds when I start the car, and then that's it. The possibility of gas leaking definitely scares me... how would they check for that? I just like going into a shop armed with a bit of knowledge. Sad to say, but most shops still see dollar signs and think "easy prey" when they see a girl walk in. My dad raised me better than that, though. :-)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    when gas is leaking, it's pretty apparent. That's because everything stinks like gas! Whether the leak is in the body or under the hood, you would smell it.

    The little blue dash light will turn off as soon as the coolant warms up even a little, so the fact that it is going out does NOT mean that the car is reaching normal operating temperature.

    If you told this shop that you had an enormous drop in fuel economy, and their response was to do an injector and throttle body cleaning? (!!!) Go to a different shop. They are just trying to take your money.

    Have the new shop check for codes on the computer, just to make sure the check engine light is not malfunctioning. Have them warm up the car and check that the coolant is coming to normal operating temperature. Almost certainly, your culprit will lie in one of those two.

    Perhaps you could try going to the dealer? But wherever you go, be very specific: you have brought the car in because ALL OF A SUDDEN, your gas mileage has gone WAY DOWN.

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

  • Thanks again for your detailed thoughts. It helps a lot! I don't smell gas at all, I can say that for sure. I'm going to try a different shop, a neighborhood one that has done some work for me before. I can't afford dealer prices, and their shop hours couldn't be much more inconvenient. I'll post again with any updates!

    Thanks again!
  • what is a ballast resistor ?
  • my tires for my 03 echo are 185/60R15 and last week i had a flat tire a gutter nail went through the tire..and this week my passenger side tire is going flat...what is the best brand of tires to buy for my car?...ive only had the set i have now about a year. how often should i change my tires?
  • laellael Posts: 1
    My 00 Echo just reached 100k miles and I am having that same problem. I have replaced both o2 sensors and the problem still exist. I will replace the air filter also. What is an MAS unit and how do you clean it? What did you use to spray the MAS sensors? Thanks.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Your tires should generally last a good three years or more, depending on how much you drive. Unless you get one of those long-life tires, the tread is usually good for 40K miles or so. You can check it by sticking a penny upside down in the middle tread of each tire - if the top of Lincoln's head shows, the tires are done for and need replacement.

    As far as the best brand, there is no single answer. I like Michelins and Toyos - Michelins are more expensive but will pay you back in lots of little ways like lasting longer, losing less air in normal operation, while providing a good balance of handling, traction, and noise. Toyos are a less pricey brand, but still a good tire, and that is the brand I have on my Echo. They make a Toyo Spectrum which has great traction and decent handling, isn't too noisy, and has a 65K-mile treadwear warranty.

    I generally avoid the Korean tires (Hankook, Kumho, and others) because they were less than great years ago, but I hear they have improved their act in the last few years, and you will be able to get a better price on those usually.

    I believe a lot of Toyota cars are sold from the dealer with Bridgestone tires, which is another decent middle-of-the-road brand where you should be able to find a lower price and hopefully a sale.

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

  • My recently purchased 2003 Echo has 2 known intentionally designed major maintenance problems. #1, the mechanical valves are NON-ADJUSTABLE. When the valve-cam follower gap inevitably widens with normal wear, it will eventually exceed specified limits. This happened at 78,00 on my Echo, with an exhaust valve gap exceeding .016". THE CAMSHAFT MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE ENGINE AND NEW "BUCKET" CAM FOLLOWERS INSTALLED TO DO THIS! The dealership in Gilroy, Ca. quoted $718.00 for the job. The usual design is a set screw-jam nut adjusters, and a 1/2 hour labor time, about $50.00. The only solution is to buy a Hyundai Accent instead of an Echo; the Accent has permanently self-adjusting, no-maintenance hydraulic valve lifters.
  • My recently purchased used 2003 Echo has 2 intentionally designed maintenance problems, both costly to the consumer. #1, non-adjustable valves, was covered in a prior posting. #2 is the non-adjustable headlights. There are no obvious adjustable mounts on the headlight assemblies, contrary to every other car that I have ever owned. Toyota of Gilroy, Ca., where I bought it, told me that special tools, procedures, and such were needed, "Bring it in". After the dealership did some disassembly-reassembly of the headlight housings with a lot of labor time, the lights aim was good. THE BILL WAS $150.00! This is "planned obsolescence", discouraging the proper maintenance of the vehicle by artificially inflating labor costs. After $718.00 estimates for needed valve "adjustment" and $150.00 for headlight "adjustment", it has become plain to me that I bought the wrong car.
  • I have the Echo Workshop Manual on CD and could send you a copy.
  • My 2001 Echo with about 65,000 miles has the clutch starting to go. I now have to literally depress the clutch all the way to the floorboard or else I will ruin the gears when I shift.
    Rather than wait until the clutch totally fails to work, what can I do? What should I tell my mechanic, what is needed for parts and labor, and how long should it take? You help is appreciated. Thank you.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    You need a clutch kit, the parts are cheap but the labor is expensive. Around here, there used to be clutch replacement ads running for $500 or less at independent shops, but I haven't seen any recently. Figure on at least $500 for an anywhere-near-decent type of job. I don't know f you normally go to the dealer for maintenance, but this is one where you should probably give the dealer a miss and save some bucks. It is a perfectly routine repair, and the dealer will just charge you more for it.

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

  • Hi. I just had my front brake pads and rotors replaced on my 2003 Echo. It has 40,000 miles. Cost...about $260.00 I drive quite conservatively in a mostly suburban-type environment. Does 40,000 miles on a set of pads/rotors sound about average for this vehicle? I thought they would last quite a bit longer. Thanks for any feedback.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Automatic or manual?

    Even on a small light car like this, 40K miles would be pretty darn good if it's an automatic, especially for mostly suburban use without a lot of highway miles. Even for a manual it is decent, but not outstanding in that case.

    Why did they replace the rotors as well? That's a pretty good price for pads AND rotors, but I wouldn't expect the rotors to need replacing after only 40K miles, UNLESS you let the pads go until they were gone and it was metal on metal.

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

  • jmrbkjmrbk Posts: 18
    Hi! I had to have by rotors replaced at 18K (under warranty) because the dealer said they had warped. At 36K I had to have them replaced again because the dealer said the brake pads rusted and caused the rotors to become grooved. They claimed that I must not drive much, that the car sits a lot, therefore causing the rust. Not the case! I drive it daily.

    I contacted Toyota HQ to see if this was a known problem (I have a 2002 ECHO that I bought new in 12/01) but they said it isn't. I wrote them a lengthy letter and they agreed to reimbuse me $400 of the $500 I spent to have the work done at the dealer (I will be reimbursed when I spend $400 at the dealer in a one year period and send them copies of my receipts). At this point I am only continuing to have service done at the dealer long enough to get $400 worth of work done and then I will never use the dealer service dept. again.

    Anyhow, if you look back in archives in April or May, you will find my story. :-)
  • Yes, I had the same trunk leak problem with my 01 Echo. My trunk gasket had come unglued from the channel. I pulled the gasket loose on the upper part of the trunk, cleaned it and the gasket channel with isopropyl alcohol. I bought a tube of the black silicone adhesive sealant and reattached the gasket to the channel base. It's been about a year now and still no leaks!

    Hope this helps,

    JW :)
  • Hi I have a 2002 echo with 171,000 kms on it. Recently when i back up when i put my foot on the brakes i get a high pitched squeal. I have replaced Pads and Rotors, Shoes and Drums. Anyone have any ideas
  • would this echo workshop manual be ok for my 2004 echo,i am interested in getting a copy off you for im am running my self raggered trying to look for some visual information on this vehicle for i intend of keeping this car for quite some time,i am an automotive electrician by trade and information is what live for and willing to swap for any information from my 15 years experience in the trade that you need to find out.
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