Toyota Echo Maintenance and Repair



  • sentimentaladysentimentalady Member Posts: 1

    2005 Echo Hatchback.....I love mine too!

    Check Engine light came on. Dealer:

    Cause: scanned for codes has P044 evap vent control curcuit
    inspected system and found pressure control vsv faulty
    (vsv at cannister)

    Correction: requires charcole canister

    $373 parts + $90 labour plus taxes

    My question....what if I don't replace it? What difference will it make? Will it cause any damage to anything else?

    Answer.....check engine light will remain on so check engine will be no good for alerting you to anything else. Poorer fuel efficiency. No damage to anything else.

    So I decided not to replace it.

    And in publicly griping with many others about the petty annoyances of Check Engine lights, I learned that you can buy a code-checking device on sale for only $50. Good to know.

    Anyway, sometime after that I had trouble filling up. (Maybe my first fillup?) On an empty tank, it kept clicking off immediately, as though it was full. And on some attempts, the gas would all gush out. I tried a different pump. Then a different gas station. Then my husband tried it and asked if I used to have a little metal flap (sound familiar?) Yes! I did, now that he mentioned it. We figured it must have broken off and gotten pushed inside, and was blocking the tube.

    The guy at the dealership asked if I had the little metal flap, because some did and some didn't. I was pretty sure I did, but began to have doubts. Maybe I was thinking of my old Tercel?

    Long story, back and forth, different theories, odd approach to the problem had me doing some research while they had my car, and I ran across your post.


    Cause: ....Checked fuel lines to tank
    okay - codes P0441 and P0446 present incorrect purge flow
    and vent control curcuit. Checked previous ro - charcoal canister recommended. Still requires canister. Replaced.

    And I filled up just fine today.

    So I guess that was it. Though I'm wondering where the two new codes came from.... And I'm still sure I had a little metal flap. And shouldn't they KNOW which cars had it and which didn't?!

    I look forward to hearing what happens with yours.

    Good luck!
  • sodadoodsodadood Member Posts: 4
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694
    Next time just find one the same year as yours and check it.

    I think they all have flaps?
  • mopar71mopar71 Member Posts: 31
  • mopar71mopar71 Member Posts: 31
    Can someone tell me if the foglights on the echo are turned on with a dashboard switch or the headlight switch? also does anyone know where I can get a wiring diagram? Thanks.
  • albusdalbusd Member Posts: 8
    This may not be exactly related, and you might have already fixed your issue, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in on this one -

    I have a 2000 Echo 4-door that around 95k was having a problem exactly like what you describe, a vibration that shakes the vehicle when driving at highway speeds, except my Echo had not had any work done on the tires prior to the vibration issue starting. I drove it like that for maybe 2-3k miles (I don't drive at highway speeds much) until I finally took it in to the local shop to have the tires rotated and balanced. After the work was done, the vibration was gone.

    The car was also pulling pretty badly to the right side, so I thought I needed an alignment, but the shop said there are sometimes tires they call "puller tires" that just don't track straight. After the rotate & balance was done it also helped the pulling problem quite a bit.

    I'd suggest taking it back and just asking them to take a look at it... there shouldn't be any charge for them to try rotating or rebalancing your new tires if you feel they did something wrong. I would hazard a guess that episodes like these are what keeps the local tire shops in business - otherwise we'd all be getting our tires at the big box store - but I suppose you could argue that the same experienced people with the same tools are working at your big box store... with that in mind, if you don't resolve the problem at your Walmart, I'd go straight to a local tire shop.
  • sodadoodsodadood Member Posts: 4
  • kcdawnkcdawn Member Posts: 2
    i have a 2000 echo automatic and right now my engine overheats, im not sure why though. so i went to a place and they didnt know why either, so my dad told me to turn the a/c on when it over heats and see if that helps and it does. so now whenever the overheat light starts blinking, i turn the a/c on and after a minute or twoo it goes off and everything is okay, thats problem one. now problem two is that when i turn the a/c on, when i am accelerating the car hesistatees for like a 3-4 seconds than it will be okay. but if i turn it off it will be okay right away :s please someone help its my first car and i love it, but the a/c is costing me gas and i dont know what to do :(
  • kcdawnkcdawn Member Posts: 2
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694
    Do not continue to drive the car like that or you will destroy the engine.

    With the engine COLD remove the radiator cap and check for coolant. Also, there is a white plastic bottle for coolant on the side of the radiator closest to the resr bumper. If they are empty fill them with coolant.

    Go to the right side of the engine compartment ENGINE OFF> There are two belts. The rear most one is the power steering. The other one that drives the laternator also drives the water pump. See if the belt is really loose. If it is thats why the car is over heating.

    Take the car to a shop. Tow it dont drive it.

    Good luck and tell us what happens or if you have more questions.
  • kilo911kilo911 Member Posts: 1
    Now try this, Does the car vibrate when you let off the accelerator?...and does it seem to happen at a certain speed? If no vibration on letting off .. then check on the left side, front end..first. Take the tire off secure the front end on a set of jacks. OK place your rear park brake, place in gear with someone else carefully accellerate not too fast, your watching the drive shaft on that side. If it seems to wobble ... thats your problem( do this on both sides). You probably Hit a curb or something and it bent it enough to throw it into a harmonic wobble at certains speeds. You will brobably feel it again slightly at around 30mph too but not much until you reach higher speed.... you can do it your self on install but your gonna need a new alignment...
  • joel40joel40 Member Posts: 1
    My 2001 Echo had a trunk leak problem also. My rubber seal was loose in places so I reattached with weather stripping adhesive. I still had a leak but it turned out to be a tiny opening at the bottom center of the back window gasket. I sealed it with clear silicone sealant and it corrected the problem.

  • echofanechofan Member Posts: 20
    When I bought my 2002 a year ago (70k miles then, 90k now) I noticed a rattling sound when accelerating at low RPM. If I push hard enough to let the auto trans downshift, the sound goes away at the higher RPM.

    I know a certain amount of noise is normal, and otherwise the car runs fine. I checked the valve clearances & they're all OK. I suspect (hope?) it's no big deal, and that I just notice it more than in my 06 scion xB (same engine) because the soundproofing isn't as good.

    But I'm curious whether any others on this forum thought the valve train noise seemed worse on your Echo than on other small 4cyl cars you've driven. Would like to compare it to another Echo, but they're VERY rare around here (Dallas/Fort Worth). Don't know anyone who has one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Are you sure it's valve noise? You could have a loose timing chain, or the engine could be "pinging" due to faulty ignition timing. Just for an experiment, see if high test gas cures the problem. A loose timing chain could be detected using a mechanic's stethoscope (cheap to buy at Autozone).
  • echofanechofan Member Posts: 20
    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, compared to timing-belt cars I've driven, it sounds less "tap-y' and more "rattle-y", if that makes any sense. If it's a loose chain, would that get worse under acceleration (low rpm with throttle open)? Maybe when the variable valve timing switches it gets worse or better?

    Is chain tension something I could check with just the valve cover off? (If so, I missed my chance when I was checking the valve clearances :-(
  • echofanechofan Member Posts: 20
    And forgot to mention: I think the timing is okay; it seems to be running very smoothly, just with the noise during low-rpm acceleration. I did try higher-octane gas a while back, with no change.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Timing chain noise usually occurs at very low rpm, when the engine is cold and the chain is not under any stress. The chain is often held taut by a chain tensioner and THIS can often wear out over time. You should be able to locate timing chain noise very easily with a cold running engine and a stethoscope. It'll rattle your brain when you put the probe right over the timing chain area.

    Pinging generally occurs under load--so at lower rpm going up a hill for instance. Pinging can occur even when the engine runs smoothly, and high test gas does not always cure it.

    valve train noise usually gets better as the engine warms up, but worse as the engine goes under load.

    Another similar sound is a leaking exhaust manifold gasket.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694
    Check your valve clearances. If you can change sparkplugs you can do it. (adjusting them is another matter) I wrote a proceedure in this very forum someplace.
  • echofanechofan Member Posts: 20
    I did check the valve clearances a couple of months ago, and they were all ok. BTW, I read your procedure; thanks for posting it!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694

    Must be something other than the valves although it could be the chain/tensioneer.

    Good luck and tell us what you find out!
  • echofanechofan Member Posts: 20
    edited March 2012
    Was a long time ago that I first posted on what seems like valve noise under low-rpm acceleration, but figured I'd update in case it's useful to anyone... Pretty much ruled out loose timing chain, because I only hear the sound under specific brief conditions, and can't get the noise at all under no-load with the hood up & me listening for it. Also noted no change with premium gas, and valve clearances all OK.

    Took it to a local Toyota dealer & drove around with a mechanic to see what he thought. It wasn't making the noise quite as much on that drive (of course!), but he didn't think it was worth worrying about. Had wondered about it being related to the variable valve timing gizmo, but he said that would probably generate a code. So I've decided to ignore it!

    Incidentally, the dealer (Freeman Toyota in Hurst, TX) refused my offer to pay for the mechanic's time. Have had some bad experiences there in the past, but hafta give 'em credit for this one.

    Just got back from a 2500 mi roundtrip with my daughter, and it ran great - over 40 mpg (it's an automatic). Pretty good for a car I got for effectively $3000 a year and a half ago (an even trade for an older minivan). And I was making no effort to get high mpg; was as much over the speed limit as I thought I could get away with. High gas prices didn't bother me too much...
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694
    A wise decision in my opinion. Prolly run a long time and it might be nothing.

    But keep the problem in mind and your ears open for others with the same issue.

    The answer may come to you yet.

    How many miles on it?

    tHE echo IS ONE OF THE BEST CARS EVER built in terms of function and reliability.

    Keep a hold on your like grim death. I paid $3000 FOR MY SONS echo WITH 117K ON IT FIVE YEARS AGO.

    It has 185k PLUS on it now.

    Except for a MAF sensor nothing HAS GONE WRONG WITH IT.
  • echofanechofan Member Posts: 20
    I noticed that I've been avoiding throttle/rpm combinations where the noise occurs, without really thinking about it.

    The car (an '02) had about 68K in August 2010 when I bought it. Pretty low mileage; I think it may have been the stereotypical "little old lady's" car, as my wife found some kind of hair net in the glove compartment that she says is used mostly by older ladies.

    Forgot to mention that I also paid $400 to get a dent fixed after I bought it, plus about $100 on various partially successful attempts at removing a cigarette smoke smell. So it's about a $3500 car, and may be my favorite of all the cars I've owned.

    It has 95k miles now, and I hope to keep it until parts become unavailable, or a combination of cheap plug-in hybrids and $8 gas occurs (the gas price I could see, but...)
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694
    Food For Thought:

    A Prius only saves $2000 on gas over 100k miles compared to an ECHO and it costs nearly $30,000.

    Unlikely you will ever be unable to get parts for it.

    I would gladly pay you $3500 for it!
  • echofanechofan Member Posts: 20
    Yeah, you're right about needing forever to make a hybrid pay for itself. Before I got the Echo, I was thinking of buying a used Prius, and adding an aftermarket battery pack so I could commute to work and back without using any gas (on back roads, since I'd be limited to about 40 mph before the gas engine would start).

    Knew there was NO WAY that would ever make financial sense, but figured I'd enjoy the energy-geek thrill of driving around without using gas.

    Fortunately for my finances, I stumbled onto the Echo...
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694
    I would LOVE an electric car like the Leaf. I mostly drive 6.5 miles to and from work.

    But NO WAY I can pay $30,000 for one.

    What are those freaking MORONS thinking?
  • echofanechofan Member Posts: 20
    Yeah, I'd really like a Leaf, too, but it's about twice what I'd pay. I hear the new Mitsubishi one is a little cheaper, but not much. Too bad!

    I doubt they're getting rich selling them even at that high price, since they're such low-volume products. We need for lots of other people to buy them for a few years, then later decide they hate the car, so there'll be cheap used ones available...
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694
    I suppose thats a possibility...

    But I doubt they will sell enough of them to make that possible.

    What we need a CHEAP good SMALL cars.

    Smaller than the ECHO even.

    We're going to have to take a hit on safety and prolly emissions for that to happen.

    At present i dont see it happening...
  • echofanechofan Member Posts: 20
    Hey, on another subject: Have you changed the water pump on your son's? I see you got it with 117k; if it had the original at that time I'm guessing you've needed a new one by now.

    Thinking I might change mine around 100k. Read that it's a pain, with not really enough clearance on the side.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694
    No it has not been changed. In fact the only things that were changed were the front and rear brakes by the PO, the accessory drive belt, and the defective MAF sensor. As a heads up CR lists the MAf sensor as a failure point so you might want to make a note. (although personally I do not believe in changing things just in case. I wait until they fail)

    Basicially all we have done is change the oil, filters, and sparkplugs every 30 k miles.

    Yes I think you want to put a jack with a board over it under the engine on the right side and undo the right side motor mount and lower the engine slightly for clearance.

    Loosen the three bolts in the middle of the wp pully before loosening the belt.

    If it were me I would leave it alone. Theres reports of Yaris wp's failing early (mine did( but the ECHO doesnt have that.
  • echofanechofan Member Posts: 20
    Thanks. It's been 30 years since I changed a water pump that wasn't done at the same time as a timing belt, so I don't remember how long they're supposed to last. Have looked all around the shaft with a mirror, & don't see any leakage, so I guess I could wait a while - a long while, if it'll last close to 200k like yours has...
  • jcoolkitty1979jcoolkitty1979 Member Posts: 1
    My 2000 Echo with 204,000 miles in the past year the heat/air only works 50% of the time. When this 1st started happening, I could switch the knob off/on fast and it would come on. This no longer works! I am thinking it is the fuses. Any thoughts?

    just a note: the check engine light is ALWAYS on, for like the last 3 years! (of course it has been in the shop during that time) I've disconnected the battery and it never goes off.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    usually when a switch does that, it does indicate some electrical resistance being overcome in some connection or component---so yeah, could be a cruddy fuse, a bad switch, etc.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694
    You mean the knob for the fan speed? I would guesss a bad switch if that were the case.

    Most CELs do no harm to the car but some do. Have Auto Zone read the code for free and we will tell you what it is and what to do.

  • meatball7meatball7 Member Posts: 4
    edited April 2012
    I was happy to find this site and forum for the Echo. I just bought a 2001 echo with 114,000 miles on it in sweet condition and I love the car. The only problem I want to address is that the cigarette lighter is dead. ... The radio and AC etc are working fine, so without checking for a blown fuse (which I have not done yet), I am assuming that the lighter needs to be replaced. .. If I am mistaken about that and it could be the fuse, please let me know. ................. Assuming I have to replace the lighter itself, I was hoping someone could tell me how to go about doing that.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member Posts: 1,694
    Look in the owners manaul and find the fuse for the cig lighter.

    That is definately the first thing you should do.

    Also it is the likely suspect.

    Tell us what you find and good luck!
  • meatball7meatball7 Member Posts: 4
    Thank you for the response. Unfortunately the owners manual does not show any specific fuse locations and when I looked at the map that is given on the inside of the fuse box cover, it strangely gives very little indication as to what each specific fuse is for, apart from some codes. There is no fuse indicated for the cigarette lighter. ....

    I checked the individual fuses in the box to see if any are blown. The tiny individual fuses all look good however the larger box like fuses just unplug and I cannot see any way to determine if one is blown, although the largest one of these does have a small hole in one side of it that looks like it's not supposed to be there. I doubt such a large fuse would be for the cigarette lighter however. .... Any ideas??
  • echofanechofan Member Posts: 20
    I looked at my service manual (free download at, BTW), and it didn't show any fuse labeled as lighter either. Had one called ACC (accessory?) in #13, and one called PWR in #2 (don't have owner's manual here but guessing they have the same numbered chart).

    These are in the inside fuse block near your left leg; there's one under the hood too, and it has a couple of spares in #'s 1 & 2 that you could try swapping with your suspected bad one if they're the same size.

    I'd bet Auto Zone would check the fuse for you if you don't have a meter to measure electrical resistance. Should be 0; will be infinite if blown.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yes, it's the fuse marked "ACC" in the instrument panel fuse box. Left hand row of fuses, second from the bottom.
  • albusdalbusd Member 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, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member 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 Member 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, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Be sure to check the fuse with a simple ohm meter if you have one--visually checking a fuse can fool you sometime.
  • meatball7meatball7 Member 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 Member 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, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Member 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 Member 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!
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