Last post on Dec 03, 2013 at 4:38 AM
You are in the Toyota Echo
What is this discussion about?
Toyota ECHO, Sedan
#4215 of 5820 Why Echo Sales Dropped
Feb 09, 2004 (12:08 pm)
I bought a Scion xA in September of 2003. I bought it from Longo Toyota, probably the nation's largest Toyota dealer, in El Monte, just east of downtown Los Angeles.
I also bought an Echo from Longo, in April of 2002.
When I bought the Echo from Longo they had about 20 or so in stock. When I bought the Scion, they told me they had no Echo's in stock, they would sell them if they could get them, but they aren't available. I asked them if this had anything to do with Scions and Echos coming off the same assembly line, and Toyota gearing up to sell more Scions than Echos. They just smiled.
Anyway, last week I checked their website and they actually had about 6 Echos in stock.
Certainly the days of stipper, under $10k stick shift, no power steering no aircon Echos seem gone forever.
You might try Enterprise. They have been running nicely optioned Echos as rental cars.
#4216 of 5820 Echo and Scion Performance Mods
Feb 09, 2004 (12:10 pm)
I posted this to the Scion pages, but it may be of interest here. I may rejoin the Echo owners, since my mom is interested in keeping the car I loaned her while I worked on the Echo:
Here is what I posted:
I currently own a Scion xA with stick shift and 5,000 miles, but in 2002 had an Echo with automatic for 7,000 miles. It's been my mother's car for about 14 months and now has only 10,000 miles, but it needed some warranty work from Toyota, so I loaned her one of my cars and brought the Echo back north. While I have it, I can't resist upgrading the Echo, partly for the fun of it, and partly before I do anything to the Scion xA which I might regret, and some of the upgrades are pertinent to this discussion (and to the xA discussion, which is mostly moribund).
I am surprised how responsive the Echo is, even with an automatic. I guess that is the benefit of being about 400 pounds lighter than the Scion xA. Likewise, although I don't have a tachometer to confirm it, the engine seems a lot less "busy" than the Scion xA. One person posted an rpm calculator which indicated 75mph is about 3,000 rpm, which may be right and compares favorably to the 3,750 rpm on the Scion xA.
The Echo seems a tad - but only a touch - noiser than the Scion xA, which is surpising considering a good portion of the 400 pound weight differential on the Scion supposedly went into sound proofing. At highway cruise, the main difference in noise is some wind buffeting of the driver window. Engine noise is low on both cars, noise up through the tires is similar. That having been said, the Scion feels much better - solid, quite, deluxe. The Echo feels a little "tinny." But I can't put my finger on why, because the radio test - how loud I have to turn the radio on to hear it at highway speeds - indicates both cars are similar.
Anyway, I dropped in a K&N air filter on the Echo (also fits the Scion) to see if there was any performance increase, and swapped out the factory muffler for a Dynomax Super Turbo, the 17709 verions which is 7" round and 18" long. This is supposed to breathe much better than factory stock, but is very, very quiet. Truth is, I don't notice much difference in pep after the changes, but the motor doesn't seem to "roar" as much when it throws a downshift on a freeway onramp. In other words, the factory system is not "choking" this motor. I will say this though: the Echo took a long time to break-in, and now the motor and tranny are much more responsive. Also, since I am not worried about thrashing the car, I am driving it more aggressively - getting on the throttle to force downshifts instead of pussyfooting it. Driven this way, the Echo is surprisingly sporty. I wish the Scion were 400 pounds lighter!
One piece of curiosity when the Echo, muffler was removed, is that there was no electrical plug into the muffler. The Echo brochure and website indicate that there is supposed to be an electrically operated "cut out" in the muffler that opens and closes based on engine load and rpm, to allow better breathing when performance demands it. In fact, there is NO electrical lead to the muffler. Maybe it's in the resonator - the resonator before the muffler is about as big as some Civic sport compact mufflers, and almost as big as the stock muffler, and in fact the car wasn't that loud with the stock muffler off altogether (the muffler shop tried Flowmaster and Magnaflow mufflers before I settled on the Super Turbo).
So why am I reporting this? Because on my xA, I get a boom/resonating noise between 65 and 80. It's about the only thing I don't like about the xA (other than the laughable "trunk") and I'd like to get rid of the droning noise. My bet is a Super Turbo will do the job, at a lot less cost (and possibly less noise) than the TRD aftermarket muffler. The overall increase in exhaust noise will be less, and in fact the Super Turbo has a nice "sound" to it.
I paid $165 for parts and installation - $120 of that was a parts charge for the Dynomax 17709 muffler which is no longer current stock (the 17710 is the same size, slightly larger input and output, but easily adaptable to the Echo's tiny pipe size). I found out after the fact that you can mail order Dynomax's for considerably less - the 17710 mail order is only $67!
Any one else done intake or exhaust work yet?
#4217 of 5820 Spark Plugs/Scheduled Replacement
Feb 09, 2004 (12:11 pm)
My 2001 ECHO's Scheduled Maintenance Guide states that at 30.000 Miles or 2 years spark plugs need to be replaced, which is required under the Emission Control Warranty. I would like to know if there are any newer model owners that can share with me if this is the same guideline for their models.
I am puzzled by the fact that it seems to soon to change spark plugs. The Corolla 2004 I just bought requires the same change but at 120.000 miles or 96 months.
#4218 of 5820 Echo Redux
Feb 09, 2004 (12:21 pm)
As you can tell from the immediately prior posting, I am driving my mother's (formerly my) Echo for a few weeks. It has 10,000 miles on it, 195-60 x 14 Bridgestone 950's, a new Dynomax performance muffler (Super Turbo, ultraquiet) and a K&N airfilter. No service work except oil changes every 3,000 miles; currently running Mobil 1 0W-20 oil.
I got rid of this car due to instability in crosswinds and "dartiness" at highway speeds.
Curiously enough it felt plenty solid on the drive home no the interstate; hummed along at 85 mph with nary a complaint, though I tried to keep it down to 76 so I wouldn't get a ticket (posted 70 mph, and the California CHP are in a "write a ticket, raise money for our broke state" mode).
I have ordered Monroe Sensatracs, which are made for European Yaris's but are sold here by Monroe for Echos. The tech support line told me they should be much firmer than American stock and I will let you know when I get them on. However, quite frankly I find stock fairly firm. On my Scion xA, the stock struts and shocks are WAY too harsh, to the point where I was going to dump the car, but after 5,000 miles they have softened up considerably. On the Echo, my goal is to hit midway between stock Echo and stock xA - firm enough to lose the susceptibility to crosswinds, not as firm as the teeth juddering xA.
My interest in the Echo has been rekindled by the Scion. Although the Echo isn't as nicely styled as the xA, it has a certain character and, much more importantly, a TRUNK. The xA has a laughably small space behind the rear seat. The xB has much more passenger space, but the luggage space is equally small. Both the Scions can, of course, fold down their seats and gain lot of luggage space, at the cost of rear seat passengers.
The xA seems more solid, but not a lot quieter, than the Echo. I am wondering why the xA is 400 pounds more than the Echo!
BTW, for the life of me I couldn't get the air filter in. The clearance on the Echo is so tiny unless you disconnect a bunch of hoses. I had to have a shop put in the new air filter.
#4219 of 5820 Spark Plugs
Feb 09, 2004 (12:26 pm)
I don't understand this either, but Echo owners are not alone, Dodge Neon owners use conventional spark plugs (not iridium or platinum) and require replacement every 30,000 miles). Apparently some Echo owners have iridium plugs that go 100,000 miles.
Keep in mind that the iridium plugs apparently sell for $11 each on the internet, while the conventional plugs are 1.20 each. Also, my mechanic cautions against leaving plugs in for 100,000 miles, he says 50,000 miles is enough, or they will be too hard to get out of the cylinder head, in bad shape etc. So maybe the economics of the cheaper plugs in the Echo is not unreasonable.
My dealer doesn't charge extra labor for the 30,000 mile service on the Echo, just the parts for the replacement plugs. Rationale is, service charges on their "packages" are flat rated for cars with or without longlife plugs. However, my dealer told me to wait for coupons to come in, get it done cheaper.
Since my mother's Echo is approaching its two year anniversary, but only has 10,000 miles, I may do the plug change and other 30k services early, at 15,000 miles, just so the car has a good going over before the warranty (bumper to bumper) expires.
Sure is nice to have an additional 5 years, 60,000 miles on the power train. Honda doesn't offer that.
#4220 of 5820 Spark Plugs/ THANK YOU
Feb 09, 2004 (12:43 pm)
Thanks Mr. Webber. It seems your mechanic is on the right track. What did you pay for the 30.000 mile service. Did you also change the engine coolant?
Later and thanks for your help.
#4221 of 5820 spark plugs / ECHO sales
Feb 09, 2004 (6:46 pm)
I'd be a little surprised to hear that an '01 ECHO came loaded with conventional plugs from the factory. My girlfriend's '00 was equipped with Denso Iridiums.
I'm not sure why it would be necessary to change them any sooner than necessary. If I was just worried that they may be hard to extract after 100k-mi, then I'd just take them out after 30k-mi, slip a little anti-seize grease on the threads and torque them back in. Assuming that they aren't fouled or worn, why throw out working iridium plugs?
On the topic of sales: There's hardly any marketing, so it's not surprising that the car is not selling. A few months ago we went to a Rockets game in Houston's new Toyota Center. During the game the arena-encircling scoreboard would periodically scroll ads for every Toyota model -- except the ECHO. On the concourse, there are showroom-like displays of every Totota model -- except the ECHO. I get the impression that Toyota would't mind seeing this car just fade away.
#4222 of 5820 A Shocking Report
Feb 10, 2004 (5:08 pm)
I put the Monroe Sensatracs on the Echo this afternoon. These are the shocks and struts made in Belgium presumably to European Yaris specs.
The first thing I noted was more noise from the body of the car. The new dampers are sufficiently "stiff" to transmit more noise into the body. However, the ride doesn't feel appreciably stiffer. Like the Scion, though, it is now a little "choppy."
I will report back on whether handling has improved and wind resistance has improved (the goal by going to replacement dampers). The stock Echo is an excellent handler on the street, its deficiencies only come out at higher speeds, where the body rolls a bit and doesn't dampen out fast enough in transitions (left-right-left).
Quite honestly, on this second visit to the Echo, I am impressed by what a good little handler it is, in stock form.
I'll let you know whether the Echo has been "scioned" and is now too harsh, or is just firmer enough to eliminate the cross wind issue I had with it last year.
BTW, I like the muffler and K&N filter a little better now. Noise level is not up from the air box or exhaust, but the engine seems to rev easier and not sound as thrashed when it downshifts on hard acceleration (it sounded like it was working pretty furiously, before).
#4223 of 5820 Open Letter To Edmunds
Feb 10, 2004 (5:28 pm)
As you know, your reviews of ECHO have not been as positive as they could be. This in spite of almost nothing but good vibes about the car from us, the owners. I would like to ask you to revise your estimate of ECHO. It seems to me that there is a catagory of car which you do not appear to recognize. That is, a practical, economical, and durable car which is inexpensive. In the past this mantel was worn by the VW Beetle. Thirty years ago, Beetles were bought by the millions by Americans who appreciated being thrify and getting a good value. Also, the car was a symbol for those who valued preserving our ecology. Clearly this mantel has passed onto the llittle ECHO today. Unfortunately the buying public, probably reflecting your negative comments, has not taken to ECHO the way they did the Beetle. As is all too apparent in your reviews of cars, todays public wants bigger, more expensive and wastefull cars. The benefits of large segments of the populations owning cars like ECHO would be huge. It would allow us to dictate oil prices to OPEC for one thing, instead of the other way around. (I understand they are brazenly raising oil prices again, cashing in no doubt on the greed of American consumers) For another it would greatly help to conserve natural resources. How long is it going to be before we will reap the bitter consequences of our out of control consumtion habits? It gives me a great sense of well being to be driving my ECHO and not being a part of this wastefullness and making ourselves slaves to others. Couldnt you stress that a little more in your review of ECHO? You would be doing a great service to our country and its people to push cars like ECHO instead of panning them. Thankyou.
#4224 of 5820 Spark plugs etc.
Feb 10, 2004 (8:21 pm)
Hey everyone, I've lurked on this board a while and learned a lot thanks to all of you but this is my first post. I've just got a few questions.
1) I've got a 2001 Echo with 25K miles. I changed spark plugs at the request of the dealership at 2yrs (only 15K miles). Should I change plugs every 2 yrs regardless of mileage? I do a lot of city driving in cold weather.
2) My Echo has been mechanically perfect but now the horn failed? Any ideas? Luckily still under warranty but I've gotta make time to get it into the dealership.
3) My Echo has Goodyear Integrity tires. When did people first have to get new tires? Are Michelin X-Radials from a warehouse club any good?
4) Once the car is off warranty, I was going to do even more of the maintenance. Other than "inspecting" a variety of components, anything that I should replace other than oil (mobil -1 synthetic every 5K) and oil filter (puralator-pure one) and the air filter every 2 yrs. Is there anyway to do more work on the Echo without lifting it up on jacks? I'm afraid of the thing landing on me. I've seen some bad accidents.
5) Anyone found any decent wiper blades for the Echo in the appropriate sizes that don't sqeak? I've never replaced wiper blades myself, any advice on how to go about it?
Thank you all for your help!
I fully agree:
MORE ECHOs in America = fewer GIs in Mid-East