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Toyota Echo



  • rep5858rep5858 Posts: 45
    Where's your area?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    SF bay area, northern California.

    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
    ...still about 3 weeks out though, and I will be driving this car a little less at Christmas, so probably some time in early January.

    Caved in this week and bought a new battery, the old one was getting REALLY ropy on those crisp December mornings. Also had my drive belts replaced, cost me $150, whew. Still, I wouldn't have wanted to try that myself, there is NO room to work on those belts, they are so close to the right-side wheel housing.

    I still have yet to replace the brakes, which were at 70% according to the shop, last time I had them checked. It's possible they were replaced prior to 50K, when the car was in the hands of its previous owner, but still that would be almost 80K so far without needing new brakes, and not even close to it now. :-)

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    The alternator belt looks doable but the PS belt looks hard. I think you want to remove the right ft wheel and the inner plastic fender to get at the PS belt. Course you could just do the alternator and let the PS break and not have PS and get more MPG! ;)
    My sons ECHO (2000) is at 130k and still 60% of the second set of brake pads is there. I think the PO (only other owner) said the brakes were done at 90k.
  • Both rear outside door handles on 2001 Echo are loose but still work.

    Easy fix?
  • babyboomerbabyboomer Posts: 205
    :sick: Is the fun over for this forum?
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Im still here! My sons 2000 ECHO just passed inspection! 135k!
  • 2004 Echo still going strong. Last long trip 39.1 mpg at 75 to 80 mph. We have owned 2 Echo's. New 2000 Echo & used 2004 we bought with 19,000 miles in 2004. All i can say is wish they wer still makeing Echo
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I had to sell my MT ECHO and get an auto because of back problems. I now have a Yaris. Wish I still had the ECHO cause I took such good care of it...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I enjoy checking in here for new posts on the Echo. But I am no good as a source for repair clues, because at almost 135K miles, nothing has EVER needed repair on my Echo. Not one thing.

    I did a new battery and tires last fall after four years, and it gets new spark plugs and coolant this spring. Apart from that, I don't even do much maintenance. It just goes right on chugging along.

    My wandering eyes noticed a local dealer with a CPO '09 Yaris 'S' this weekend - the 3-door, stick shift, 12K miles, asking $13,5 (so would take $11,5 I'm sure) - tempting for an almost-new car with a 100K warranty. But the logical part of me says why buy a new car when the Echo is still running so well and costs next to nothing in upkeep? Plus Toyota cheaped out on the Yaris S hatch by leaving cruise off. And the 'S' is supposed to be for sport, but the only additions besides leather wraps inside are the rocker extensions etc. It still rides on the very narrow S-rated tires (with plastic wheel covers no less) and still has no rear sway or any changes at all to the suspension. And still has the very lousy factory stereo. So I walked on by after a minute spent debating with myself....

    When you look around today, there really is nothing to replace the one-of-a-kind Echo. When mine finally craps out (or I maybe get too bored of it in a couple of years), I guess I will go check out a new Fit, but it won't be the same.....of course, the replacement WILL handle better. :-)

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Re the lack of cruise control: you can whip up your own homemade cruise control for the Yaris with four switches and some resistors. The cruise in these cars is conpletely run by the computer. So just by adding some switches spliced into the wiring (or removing the steering wheel and adding the cruise stalk) you can have cruise in these vehicles for cheap.
    But by all means take advantage of the $$$$ in savings your ECHO provides by supplying reliable transportation, hopefully for years to come!
  • robotfistrobotfist Posts: 1
    edited April 2010
    I am so close to hitting 200k on my four door 2001 Toyota Echo without ever having to perform a single repair on the car! The only thing I've done is change the spark plugs and perform my regular oil changes. I've been using Mobile 1 since 110k miles.

    The car does rattle at high speeds and the paint is coming off. She's seen some better days for sure. But she still runs PERFECTLY. The transmission doesn't slip and I still get amazing gas mileage. The Toyota Echo has proven to be the best car I've ever owned, by a landslide. I've owned 6 cars prior.

    This week I went and test drove the 07 Honda Fit Sport, the 09 Honda Fit Sport, the 08 Scion XD, the 07 Toyota Yaris, and the 07 Mazda3. They all made me realize just how much I like my ugly, little Echo. Even the Yaris, which is supposed to be a modern Echo, doesn't come close. It's too heavy and therefore acceleration is sluggish. My Echo gets better gas mileage while being FASTER than all the cars listed with the exception of the Mazda3 (which gets abysmal gas mileage and is so-so on reliability).

    But... as much as I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Echo, I need a car with cruise control now, and I feel like the time to sell her is approaching. I am going to be so sad to let her go. When I lost my job due to the recession, she saved my butt. I even slept in her a few times. I drove her across the country 4 times and when gas prices peaked she didn't dent my wallet. If I'd have had to deal with repairing a transmission or an engine two years ago I would have ended up homeless and riding the bus. I remember when I moved from LA to Oklahoma and loaded her up to twice her weight capacity via a temporary roof rack. Her wheel wells almost completely covered the back tires and I was sure I was ruining her transmission climbing those Arizona hills. But she plowed right through without whining at all. My Echo has stood by me, and despite how hard I've been on her, she hasn't asked anything of me but a little gas and some fresh oil every now and then. The Echo has been a wonderful investment.

    I suppose, if I had to choose right this minute, I'd get a Scion XD as a replacement. The Fit, while closest in handling and overall "driving feel" to the Echo, is just too dang slow! The Echo has just the right amount of acceleration. It's not fast, but it's fast enough. The Fit feels quick at low speeds, but as soon as you hit that on ramp, you realize you're flooring the accelerator and just barely catching up with the cars on the freeway. The XD feels like a hunkering monster compared to the Echo, but the 1.8 engine counters it's bulbous weight. The XD seems like it accelerates about the same as my Echo, if not a tad quicker.

    Honda Fit - Handles Like an Echo
    Scion XD - Accelerates Like an Echo
    Yaris - Feels Like an Echo (on the inside)

    I sure wish all those cars would merge together into one... oh, wait a second... they did, 10 years ago.
  • wayo13wayo13 Posts: 2
    can you help and tell me where is the O2 sensor on a 2000 echo
  • wayo13wayo13 Posts: 2
    can anyone tell me where the O2 sensor on a 2000 echo is at
  • Sorry Wayo13... :( our Echo runs beautifully, so we haven't ever had to worry about 02 sensors! Why...what's your problem?

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    edited April 2010
    I "Echo" all your thoughts!!!!

    My '02 is only at 135K, but I also have not had a single repair. Original clutch too, with no sign of impending failure.

    It's also a very cheap car to maintain, with 60K-mile plugs and a timing chain.

    I have also contemplated the marketplace for possible replacements and come up empty-handed. I am hoping the upcoming CRZ will fit the bill, but it will sure cost a lot more than the Echo did to achieve the same fuel economy and acceleration (with much better handling thrown in to account for that price premium!).

    Other options include the Fit you mentioned, which is slower AND thirstier (what a combo! :sick:) and the Mini Cooper, which will have it all - 40 mpg (for me with my driving pattern, matching how th Echo does for me), speed, and handling - but will also cost more than $20K.

    Who knows. The only one of those three that will have the open interior design of the Echo - which I love, it makes it feel like a much bigger car inside than it actually is - is the Fit.

    There are some new cars coming on the market, Mazda2 and Fiesta initially, which may do a better job of filling the Echo's shoes, but they are tough shoes to fill and for now my Echo isn't going anywhere.... the way, my Echo has the Rostra cruise control which has worked flawlessly all these years. Like you, I wouldn't be without cruise in my car. Perhaps instead of replacing the Echo you shoudl consider installing cruise? The Echo really is one of a kind.

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

  • rep5858rep5858 Posts: 45
    the O2 senors are right upstream and downstream of the cat. converter. Yes there are two. I just had the cat con replaced, first real repair after 234,000 miles, other than regular maintenance. Battery finally died today after 9 years of service.
    Question. I have a rattle between battery and fender only rattles at idle. Any ideas?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    and I decided to keep the little Echo at least one more year, so I spent $400 on it - new platinum plugs (the last ones went 70K!), coolant, manual transmission oil, brake fliud, dual air filters (inside and underhood), front-end inspection, and a bunch of other stuff I forget.

    Still haven't ever replaced the brake pads, although this time they said the fronts were down to 3 mm, so if I keep it longer than next spring I will probably end up replacing those too....

    Had a free loaner while they were doing the service - a 2010 Yaris automatic. Not a bad piece of work for $15K.....don't like the brakes though, the brakes on my Echo are much more confidence-inspiring. I notice that even with the weight gain and height reduction, the Yaris still gets blown around in the wind on the freeway just like the Echo. The thing I most dislike is that where the Echo's central instrument pod is canted toward the driver, the one in the Yaris just faces straight back, so all the instruments are angled away from the driver. Not a good design, the Echo was better. And I much prefer the analog fuel gauge in the Echo to the LCD thing in the Yaris. But the Yaris has the edge in looks, as do most cars when compared to the Echo! :-P

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

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Yes the whole gas gauge/ODO thing on the Yaris is a disaster. Its so far away from the driver and the characters are so small its very difficult to read. The speedo is goofy too. The mph lines are too close together. The ECHOs is perfect.
  • while driving with AC on, the red light turned on,then I turned off the AC and after few seconds the red light went off, after few minutes of driving even with AC off the red light popped out again for couple of seconds...???
  • dakedake Posts: 131
    Which red light? The one shaped like the oil can or the one shaped like the thermostat? Check your oil level and coolant level for starters. If they are both fine and it's the temperature one, maybe your fan isn't working (it's a simple electrical switch that could go bad). Running the AC makes the engine work harder which will cause it to overheat faster.

    If it is a potential overheat and you absolutely must keep driving to get home or to a garage, open the vents and turn the heat up - this will move hot air out of your engine and into the passenger compartment. Roll your windows down to keep from cooking yourself and get your car shut down as soon as possible.

    If it's the oil light, add oil.
  • its the red thermostat that turned on, could the light turn on because the AC cartridge is off? what can I do to fix the problem, where is that switch located that could be bad? thanks for the answer to my previous question.
  • butler83butler83 Posts: 14
    I just picked up a nice camry, but the board is dead there to my question.

    So I'll give an update on my Echo I picked up 1.5 years ago on the good message board. 2001 auto trans with 40k when I purchased it. It has been flawless with great mileage. I'm up to 60k and I'm shooting for 200k.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Have the valve clearances checked per the manual at 60k to get that 200k miles.
  • butler83butler83 Posts: 14
    Thanks Kneis - I haven't looked at the manual for awhile. I'll get on that a see what else is in there for 60k that makes sense.

    I changed out what I think were the orginal plugs in the fall. I get the oil changed about every 4k and the little guy runs like a top. It appears I still have the orginal battery(it has a blue eye for the charge like the old delco's did in green).

    140k to go!!!!!
  • thegreyonethegreyone Posts: 24
    Why ONLY 140k to go!!!! We have well over 260k and we're STILL going! ;)
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Well the coolant should be changed...very easy to do just open the radiator drain. No need to drain the block. If its a manual tranny change the oil in it too. Theres a fill plug on top of the trans under the battery to make it easier. Battery has to come out. Theres a level plug in the side you can fill it there too.
    The ECHO is just an amazing durable little car and I have no doubt youll get another 140k out of it. Maybe a little something will go but just fix it and keep going forward. It would help if you drove it like 35k each year though!
  • dakedake Posts: 131
    Unfortunately I don't have a service manual - hopefully someone on here does and can look it up for you.

    That being said, it should be easy to tell if your fan is turning on or not as it's very easy to hear. Do you hear the front fan turning on periodically (the one in the engine compartment attached to the radiator)?

    You might check fuses (simplest things first) to see if there's something burned out (there's one inside and one under the hood). If that's not the case, and no one can look it up for you, you might try following the wires from the fan to see where they go.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I drive mine quite a bit and EVEN SO it would take me another 3-4 years to get to 200K! Which probably won't happen, as I rarely have the patience to keep a car past the 10-year mark, which for my Echo will arrive in October 2012. Should have about 180K at that point, then I can give it to a relative for free.

    It just got dinged up while it was parked, so it's no longer the pristine car it once was....with 140K on the clock, I didn't figure it was worth putting a ton of money into fixing something cosmetic. Luckily there was no damage to anything functional. People need to be more careful entering parking spaces! I got 2 estimates just to see how much it would cost to repair, neither one was under $2300. For a dent the size of my hand in front of the rear wheel well. Must be good to be in the auto body biz.....

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

  • dakedake Posts: 131
    Yeah, I was shocked way back when I first bought my Echo and got the price for insurance. St Farm said it's because the car is easily damaged and expensive to repair. Nevermind that I've since been sandwiched - hit front and rear - and the only damage was a couple of scuffs and a ding in my license plate.
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