Toyota Echo Maintenance and Repair



  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    From what you describe I think we can rule out a belt. (although replacing the belts would be cheap and it "might" work!) It does sound like its the transmission. But it might not be. If it were my car I would just drive it and see if the noise gets worse or if I can figure out what else it might be. I assume the transmission is shifting Ok and otherwise works fine?
  • Thanks for your help, its much appreciated. The one thing that I have noticed is that this noise is much louder when the engine is cold. The car does not need to be in gear for the noise to be there. I can be in park and hit the gas and hear it. When its cold out, its real noticeable. Conversly, In the summer months I fire the car up and dont even hear it.
    Is there a valve adjustment that Echo's need at a certain mileage? Could this be a valve adjustment issue? Any input you have is greatly apprciated.
  • I had a similiar problem at 125,000 miles...turned out that the belt noise, a subtle kind of grinding noise was my water pump going out including the hoses and belts needed to be replaced...the cost at sacramento auto shop was 425.00 for everything to be replaced...After the repair was done, the engine light came on and was off for awhile because a friend of mine told me that if i put the cigarette lighter in the hole made for it that it might go out and sre enough it went out for a while and then only to return back on now permanently....on yellow light...mechanic told me not to worry about it that it means that an automatic signal was sent to tell me it needs to be adjusted to pass the smog test...but that the yellow light signified nothing like an be fixed right away.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Yes there is a valve ajustment CHECK at 60,000 miles. ADJUSTING the valve clearances (if they need it) is pretty involved and requires removing the camshafts. Its the same system used on high horsepower, high performance motorcycle engines. I wonder if Toyota mechanics are up to doing it, frankly. The good news is that these sysems rarely need adjusting.
  • Is there a blue light illuminated in the dash? If so it is normal. Once your engine gets warm this blue light will extinguish and your transmission will shift normal.It is like a protection to the gears. Report any other detail and we'll see if I can share something. Safe driving.
  • My compressor clutch seems to be whinning quite loudly, and power is being drained from the engine. The car sputters and jerks and the lights dim. Has anyone experienced this with the 2001 Echo? I am desperate for advice!
    Thanks in advance to all!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    You could test it by removing the belt that runs the waterpump and AC and run the engine like less than five minuntes and see if the problem goes away. One problem Ive always seen with the ECHO is you need a functioning AC compressor (or at least a turning pulley). I doubt you can sunstitute a smaller belt and leave the AC out of the picture if it goes bad.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    You do NOT want the AC compressor to seize up! This will contaminate the entire AC system and cost a lot of money to repair, as in new compressor, dryer, expansion valve, condensor and all AC lines replaced or removed and flushed. You need to deal with this pronto. Little bits of metal from the compressor destroy the rest of the system.

    So act now (if indeed the compressor is the culprit and not an idler pulley) or be prepared to fork over a thousand or more later.
  • I had my oil changed by a dealer quick lube (not Toyota) a few days later I noticed a funny noise. Kind of like when you are low on power steering fluid (happened with other cars). I opened the hood and lost it. They had left the oil cap off.

    They filled the oil back up and cleaned my engine, but the noise is still there. It is not constant, but is bothering me a lot.

    Any ideas?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    How much oil did they add? How long before you discovered the cap missing? Save the reciepts for the work they did. If anything is really wrong I doubt the engine will run much longer and you can get them for a new engine.
  • To be quite honest .... I do not know. The light was not on. I had driven it quite a few miles (200or so) before the noise told me something was wrong. I was only a few blocks away and fuming at that point. It is hard to say if the noise just started or it was there and I did not notice it.

    The noise is worse when the engine is idle. Like I said, it is like when a car is low n power steering fluid. When idle it will go away, but if I barely tap on the gas it starts.

    Two thoughts ..... could the wrong oil cap cause this? Sounds strange to me, but I thought I read it somewhere. Could the oil have contaminated something.

    Just for the records before you go to a FORD quick lube .... or atleast the one in my town. "we aren't used to these kinds of cars" (from the service manager) ....BTW they sell Hyundai.
  • I need to clarify "the noise". Now that I have listened closer, it is more like a moan. If I just barely press on the pedal it does it and then goes away. I have not had a chance to test it with anyone, but when I do it myself, it is either over by the time I get to the front of the car, or it is just louder inside.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I gues its possible oil got on the power steering belt and the waterpump/alternator belt. With the engine OFF feel what you can of the belts and see if they are oily. They put a new oil cap on right? If it fits then it should be OK. Possibly they just stuck something on there they had in the shop! With the engine running with someone revving it up while you look, see if oil/smoke comes out where the oil cap is.If the oil light didnt go on that is good news!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    last night I was out on the freeway and hit an exhaust pipe, muffler and all, that dropped off a car just ahead. Now my little car is leaking oil. I hope this hasn't done it in! It is at the shop today to see what damage the collision caused. I am crossing my fingers...

    I have to say that given the size of the thing I hit and the small size of the Echo, I was gratified to find very little in the way of loss of control. The Echo just kind of rode up over the top of it and kept on going. There was an eardrum-popping CRUNCH when it went over the muffler, and something sprayed up in the air behind me, which I guess now was probably oil. :-(

    I hope it doesn't cost too much to repair and hasn't caused any permanent damage. They should let me know later today.

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    How far did you drive after the hit? If your oil pan was holed you would have very quickly lost all your oil. Which might be Ok. Or it might not. Dammage might show up later. If they replaced the oil pan (pretty easy) that was it. Good luck, an ECHO is too good a car to lose!
  • good luck!...keep us posted!...if anything can survive anything, i'd put my money on an the ever ready bunny....
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    after the hit. Oil was leaking slowly out of the oil pan, so I left it at the shop and walked home.

    The oil pan took such a bad whack that parts that sit inside the pan (something called an oil strainer? Also others which I forget) were also damaged. The car will survive, they say, but I won't have it back until the middle of next week at the earliest. They will have it apart on Monday and then they will know if there was additional damage not evident at first inspection.

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    The only thing under the oil pan is the oil strainer/pickup pipe. Which is held on with two nuts (not staked in) so its easy to replace. There IS a lower crankcase (the oil filter screws to it) much bigger than the steel pan which could possibly be cracked however. The steel oil pan is pretty small and theres a lot more to hit under there besides that. You really want the entire car from front to back examined (brake lines, exhaust pipe, fuel lines, CV joint boots, etc) checked too.
  • door locked do i remove the door handle? Broken white plastic piece on locking mechanism broke causing the door to jam and not able to open with key or inside door handle...where do i get replacement part and how to take inside panel off the door? Thanks 2002 4 door echo.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    The lower crankcase is one of the things they are worried may also need to be replaced. My insurance is involved now and needed to inspect it first, which is why work cannot begin until Monday.

    I have instructed the shop to inspect everything, stem to stern. It looks so far like the damage is limited to the engine.

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Remove the window winder. Remove the power window switch if you have one. Pry it out with a screwdriver. There are 2 clips. Remove the screw from the door pull and take it out. There is a screw near the inside handle to remove and three pop clips. After that it says pry the panel off with a screwdriver wrapped in tape. There are six internal clips around the lower edge of the door.
    I cant make heads or tails out of how to remove the inner door handle. However its probably a linkage broke somewhere you should be able to fix wout removing it.
    I have to believe Toyota would have the parts. However, when Ive had door window issues in the past i find an automotive glass company knows how to fix things like this for a lot less. Good Luck!
  • jumjum Posts: 1
    hi when my wife takes off in her car it splutters and loeses power like it is being flooded or not getting enough fuel it doesnt do it all the time but is very annoying its 2001 4 door has anyone else had this sort of problem
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Check to see if the air intake hose is cracked. If it is, taking off from a stop will cause the engine to move in its mounts and open the crack in the hose, flooding the intake with air and causing the engine computer to back off.

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    What has the verdict on the ECHO been at the shop?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Your question has perfect timing - I finally got my little Echo back yesterday after two weeks in the shop waiting on parts. In the end, it was the best-case scenario: they replaced oil pan #2 plus gasket, the oil strainer and associated parts, and put in fresh oil and filter. The total cost was almost exactly $700, of which the insurance paid all but $50.

    I am so glad to have it back! I really missed that little car. My Matrix uses about 20% more gas than the Echo does, and the more frequent fill-ups were noticeable and annoying. I drove the Echo all over the place last night, and it seems there were no ill effects from sitting in the rain not being driven all that time. No dash lights, no leaks, funny smells, or funny sounds are in evidence, so I'm glad. I think it's cured. :-)

    I hope that is its only injury for the next 100K miles...

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Phew! For a while there I thought we were gonna lose you!
  • My door lock jammed about 2 weeks ago, when i used my key alarm, which i hadnt used for along time, since i lost it and then refound it...anyway, while unlocking the car with my key lock( fob) the car door jammed and couldnt friend took the door apart and found a piece of the lock which is plastic broke..we joined an online parts and repair website called and it was a year membership which costs 25 dollars to join, you put information on what year and model you want help we go there and find some diagrams and parts for that door lock...but the diagrams are not detailed enough or there is no exploded view of the door lock to be helpful in helping to take it out and replace it...can anyone help us with diagrams of door lock? It is a 4 door regular lock system (not keyless) 2004 echo..thanks for any help!...
  • Hi all. I would appreciate a bit of feedback concerned a repair that my local mechanic just made on my 2003 Echo (55,000 mi.) I brought the car in for an inspection and he said that I needed 2 new front struts and 2 new rear shocks.

    I had him do the job.

    1. It seems to me that these parts went too fast - the car is not driven over bad roads and it is never driven aggresively - is this condition usual after only 55,000?

    2. He charged me for 4 hours of labor - $340.00. Is 4 hours in the ballpark here? Seems like a lot of time to me (but who am I to say).

    Anyway, any feedback here would be appreciated. Thanks - Rich
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Yes, 4 hours is in the ballpark.

    No, it is not usual to replace them at such a low mileage, and I would SERIOUSLY QUESTION what caused him to conclude they needed replacement.

    Just the age/mileage of the car? Or did he actually witness all four leaking? Did he see tire wear that would indicate the need for replacement? What was his clue?

    Otherwise, I would have gotten a second opinion. A lot of places boost their bottom line by recommending replacement of items like these that generate a good income for the shop while being an unnecessary expenditure for the customer.

    FWIW, my Echo is on its original shocks and struts at 93K miles, without any of the symptoms I mentioned. Mine is an '02. YMMV.

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

  • kosarinkosarin Posts: 14
    i also question the '00 echo w/130k has only had oil changes, brakes, battery, and tires replaced...check out mechanix files on for good local garages/mechanics
  • The oil change & tire places are the biggest rips. Lure you in with cheap oil changes or tires and hit you with a thousand uneccessary things to do to boost their bottom line.

    Firestone tried to sell me on tire rotate and allignment plans. I said "my last set of $200 tires lasted 70,000 miles with no rotation or allignment, and I get over EPA estimated gas mileage. Why do I need to pay $150 bucks for this plan?"

    You know you have a good mechanic when they tell you one of the following: (1) "your brakes squeak but they are fine. Bring them back in 20,000 miles and we'll check again." (2) "There are a bunch of things wrong with your car, but they're not safety related, and your car isn't worth investing the cost of the repairs in. Drive it until it stops and junk it." I have been told this twice by mechanics (in two different states) and was fiercely loyal to them while I lived near them. I can't imagine how much they saved me.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    much more minor collision with flying road debris on Thursday - this one was some large plastic item that had been squashed flat. It was large enough to get caught under the front bumper, and I dragged it for a bit before I was able to get over to the side of the freeway. At that point I was just to pull over and remove when it dislodged itself and I was able to go on.

    Anyway, it smashed a hole in the gravel shield and ripped off the connectors for the inner fender lining, which was causing the tire to rub against it on right-hand turns. So my little Echo made a second unscheduled collision-related visit in a month to the dealer yesterday, and for $81.20 they reattached the fender lining. Gosh, am I ever getting tired of hitting stuff that has come off peoples' cars! At least this one was cheap to get fixed.

    The little car is not far off 100K miles now, I should be there by spring.

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I also ride a motorcycle so debris on the road is a big issue.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    has replaced their original shocks, and at about what mileage did you do it?

    It's hard to tell when shocks are getting worn on the ride you drive every day, because the changes are so gradual you don't notice them. But I am thinking of changing at least the fronts out on my car, which is now at 96K. It feels a little loose going over bad pavement where there is a sudden drop - the front end seems to struggle to regain its composure more than it should.

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

  • dakedake Posts: 131
    The general test with shocks and struts remains the same. Go out and press down heavily on a corner of the car and then release. It should be pretty tough to push down and the car should come back up quickly and stop. If it's very easy to compress and then the car comes up and bounces more than once, your struts are getting worn.

    Assuming you aren't out four-wheeling all the time though ;) it's perfectly normal for struts to last over 100k.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Actually I have been told (and also seen in print) that the "bounce the corners" test is not very informative. Quite simply, you can't reproduce all the forces that act on the car's suspension just by jumping up and down on the corners and seeing how many times it bounces.

    I do remember that tire cupping or feathering can be signs of worn shocks, and I don't have cupping but I do have a little feathering. Nothing serious yet.

    I was merely trying to get a sense of when others had replaced theirs. I know that in general OEM shocks should last out to 100K or more, but that the durability of shocks can vary a lot by the price of the car, and of course the Echo was the cheapest car Toyota was selling in its day.

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

  • dakedake Posts: 131
    No, it's not scientific in any way, but it's still gives a general feel. There really shouldn't be much of any bounce at all. I'm not saying if there is, to run out and spend a bunch of money - more like if there is not, you're probably good for a bit yet. I'm right at the 100K mark myself, and they're still good all around. The Echo has Macpherson Struts on the front and shocks on the back, so the front end is more expensive to have replaced.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I would imagine replacement costs would be in the ballpark of $500 front, $250 rear, or something like that? Plus the cost of an alignment.

    I'm not going to run out and do anything just yet. When tire replacement time gets nearer, I will take a longer harder look at their condition than I did this weekend. Once they are very worn, the tires' remaining tread can tell you a lot about the car's alignment and suspension condition.

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

  • a_na_n Posts: 1
    my partner and i are thinking of driving melbourne to sydney and back in june (roughly total 2000kms) in our 2002 echo, currently has 58000 kms on it, regular serviced and no problems. anyone done similar distances or thinks it may not be the best of ideas?
    thanks :)
  • jkittlejkittle Posts: 5
    165,000 miles (257440 kms) on mine and I'd take it anywhere.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Go for it! The ECHO is about the most reliable car made. I predict a successfull trip!
  • When I sold my 2001 Echo at 180k miles it was still going strong. Not even a light bulb failed in 5 and 1 half years. Go for it!
  • Just got back from 1890 mile round trip from AR. to SC. coast. 2004 Echo 50,000 miles 70 to 80 miles per hour with cruise on. Averaged 41 miles per gallon. The Echo is great little car. GO ON YOUR TRIP & HAVE FUN! :)
  • gmg016gmg016 Posts: 2
    I own a 2005 Toyota Echo RS Hatchback with 53000km on it. purchased new and very satisfied with its fun value and practicality. After a recent service the dealer advised me that the clutch is slipping, particularly when passing at highway speeds, and that I should replace the clutch cover, clutch disc and release bearing. They had previously said the same thing at 35000km. I can't say that I have noticed any difference over the past 18000km so am somewhat concerned what is going on. Has anyone else had similar clutch problems? I have driven a manual shift for over 40 years and this is the first time I have ever had such a problem. I am tempted to replace the clutch, if I have to, with a TRD street performance unit. Comments are welcome!!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Is there an oil leak between the engine and transmission? That is the only way I know of to cause this problem. Since you report no problem yourself, I strongly suspect the dealer is full of it. I would get the car away from them if I were you.
  • gmg016gmg016 Posts: 2
    there doesn't appear to be any oil leak externally and I have not needed to add oil to the engine so I don't think that there is an internal leak. I am concerned that the problem, if there is one, may be caused by a faulty release bearing and believe that the whole situation should be covered under warranty. The dealer is saying that I would have to pay for everything. I expect that I will continue to drive the car and see if anything develops. Thanks for your comments.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I dont see how a release bearing could cause this problem. Generally if there is a genuine problem with the clutch then YOU would know about it long before the dealer sees it. Good luck and I seldom hear about problems like that in an ECHO!
  • kosarinkosarin Posts: 14
    i agree w/previous poster that you should find a new mechanic...try "mechanix files" to find a good one close by (and to see if others have had problems w/yours)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Any clutch that was truly slipping at 35K would not still be slipping at 53K, it would have given up the ghost long before now. And if you have been driving a stick for 40 years I am sure you know what a slipping clutch feels like, no?

    Take it up to 45 or 50 mph, put it in 5th, and floor it. If the engine revs jump way up with no appreciable increase in speed, the clutch is slipping. If the engine just drones at a low rpm and speed begins to increase, it's fine. In the second case, you should discontinue patronage of that dealership as soon as possible.

    My Echo has its original clutch at 100K miles, and gives no subtle messages that it might be thinking of dying any time soon...

    PS if you discover that it really does have a slipping clutch, then you pull out that paperwork from the 35K service and you go after warranty coverage aggressively. For the throwout bearing to quit after only 35K kilometers, it would have to be pretty lousy and probably a defective part.

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

  • echo2003echo2003 Posts: 4
    I have an '03 Echo, my first car. Just curious about costs of periodic maintenance.
    Today I did my 30,000 mile scheduled maintenance at the Toyota dealership. I assume that a dealer will be more expensive than other options...just curious if the following are reasonable:
    1) Replaced Front Brake pads [Parts+Labor=$140]
    2) Four-Wheel Alignment [Parts+Labor=$80]
    3) Exterior Drive Belt Replacement [Parts+Labor=$56]
    4] Lube Oil and Filter Service [Parts+Labor=$43]
    5) Oil [Parts+Labor=$23]
    6) Tires replaced (had dry rot?) and Installed (Bridgestone) [Parts+Labor=$369]
    7) Fuel Induction Cleaning Service [Parts+Labor=$130]

    Total Cost (including misc fees): $970.

    Just curious is this is typical, Thanks :confuse:
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