Obit for my Echo - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

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post #1 of 33 Old 03-03-2017, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Obit for my Echo

Last week, my Echo cracked its radiator, and I have decided to let it roam free through the pearly gates. Aged 17 and 263k miles, it was a plucky machine I picked up for free and drove for 5 years and its final 70k miles. It was certainly not a nice car, but it was a good car whose loyalty earned mine. It lasted far longer than I could have hoped given its condition at the time, but fuel and insurance aside, cost me only $800 to keep rolling. It changed my outlook on cars, teaching me that modern cars don't suck, 40+ mpg is a real treat, small cars can be usable, and that a beater can be its own form of fun, among other things. It was also a vessel for learning the basics of modern fuel injection and basic driveability troubleshooting. It will be survived by its driver (me), my wife, whose name the title is in and who drove it before me, the wife's family who still remember buying it brand new in Los Angeles, and its successor which may be a Saab 9-3 with stick.

'00 Toyota Echo - dead 02/17
'67 Mustang Convertible - gone 01/17
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post #2 of 33 Old 03-03-2017, 09:56 PM
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You tossin' an Echo over a cracked radiator???



WHY!




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post #3 of 33 Old 03-03-2017, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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You tossin' an Echo over a cracked radiator???



WHY!



You should see the rest of this thing. Not good!

I'd list everything else but you wouldn't want to read a post that long

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post #4 of 33 Old 03-04-2017, 04:11 AM
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Jcp123. answer this: how old is the echo and mileage. Can you just put a new radiator in it and keep the car going. Why or why not.
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post #5 of 33 Old 03-04-2017, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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That boils down to less of a matter of whether it can be fixed - it can - and more of a matter of whether it's worth it in a car which is already this beat down. The wife and I say no.

'00 Toyota Echo - dead 02/17
'67 Mustang Convertible - gone 01/17
'14 Chrysler T+C - Wifey's hauler!

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post #6 of 33 Old 03-04-2017, 09:25 AM
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That boils down to less of a matter of whether it can be fixed - it can - and more of a matter of whether it's worth it in a car which is already this beat down. The wife and I say no.

It's paid for.. a junkyard radiator and about 1-2 hours of your time will fix it again... so why wouldn't it be worth it..? Ya it might be beatdown a bit, but that engine can go to 400k with Walmart super-tech maintenance... swapping it for a GM/Saab..? Oooh lawdy... that'll show you the difference between a Toyota and a GM in short time... that's for certain..




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post #7 of 33 Old 03-04-2017, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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A few reasons...I drive a truck, so my time at home is precious. It's 100 miles from home which is a hassle. I want stickshift. And allow me to quote myself:

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Wifey admitted to road raging and punching the airbag cover...bent a horn ring or something and it honks when you turn or push/pull on the wheel. I always have to perform some southern engineering with legos to push the airbag cover towards me in order to pass inspection in Texas as is. Cat started when i inherited the car. Had a bad lean running problem. I was a novice at modern cars at the time, so I replaced the cat before finding the cause of the lean condition (dirty MAF), and mostly burned this one out. P0420 stays off if you do all highway but returns after 15 minutes of urban/suburban driving. Bought a cheapy which probably doesn't pass NY emissions anyway, so I think it needs a replacement. MAF gets dirty again every six months or so, not sure what's up with that. It has an amp draw problem, the body is beat beyond imagination and all the exterior trim was taken off by my sister in law's boyfriend to straighten it out...he took off to Mexico when he knocked her up, and the parts went missing. No rear speakers. The radio display doesnt work. No passenger sun visor. Front passenger door can't be opened without holding the jury-rigged wooden door lock peg up as you open it. No lower or top engine cover, so cylinder #1 collects water inside of it and misfires if you cry within 10 yards of it. Shocks are OK but not really good. The rim for the spare tire is bent, needing over 1lb of weights to balance. Front bumper is held on by two bolts and a dozen zip ties. The only straight body panel on the car is a replacement and has started to surface rust because it never got painted and the primer soaks up moisture. The fuel gauge doesn't read correctly. The carpet trim in the trunk is missing on the floor, replaced by a plastic chair mat, and the stuff around the edges is torn and won't stay on the mounting clips...shall I go on?

My DD before this was a formerly show-winning '67 Mustang droptop, so maybe that'll add a bit of color as to why I am eager to get an experience different from what I have now...
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post #8 of 33 Old 03-08-2017, 09:52 PM
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Well, it's all in what you want or think you deserve. I buy cars off craigslist VERY CHEAP that are just like yours. Somewhat neglected, nothing repaired that didn't have to be, dirty, etc etc, and with some elbow grease I get them back to usable condition and drive them on my job. I let the previous owner buy something new and spend THEIR money on a newer car, while I use their car to save and make money with...lol.

Not knocking you, because I went from an Infiniti to a Protege, back to an Infiniti, and then back to an Echo, which I really like. This time though, I also bought a Craigslist reject "nice car"...an '06 Fusion with a trans problem that I fixed in my own driveway for nearly nothing. I drive the Echo until I'm tired of it, then swap out for a couple days.

BTW the Echo was mashed in a deer strike, that's how I got it. I just replaced a radiator for it and it was about $37 off eBay. So...no, that isn't the "reason" for being retired, it's newcaritis..haha. PS make sure you read reviews and reliability reports before you buy a Saab 9-3. You may be wanting that Echo back after feeding that European car's appetite for repairs in a year.

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post #9 of 33 Old 03-09-2017, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Oh I absolutely won't lie, new caritis is definitely present and accounted for.

I've chucked the Saab idea. If the mediochre-at-best reliability reports weren't enough, the dealer didn't even bother replying to my email.

I've found a load of cars I'm interested in, even at my $3k budget. Top of my list, coincidentally, is a 5-speed Fusion. Hopefully it'll still be there when I roll back into town.

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'67 Mustang Convertible - gone 01/17
'14 Chrysler T+C - Wifey's hauler!
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post #10 of 33 Old 03-13-2017, 12:36 PM
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Oh I absolutely won't lie, new caritis is definitely present and accounted for.

I've chucked the Saab idea. If the mediochre-at-best reliability reports weren't enough, the dealer didn't even bother replying to my email.

I've found a load of cars I'm interested in, even at my $3k budget. Top of my list, coincidentally, is a 5-speed Fusion. Hopefully it'll still be there when I roll back into town.
How are the headlight lenses on it looking for a set

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post #11 of 33 Old 03-13-2017, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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One is pretty good, it was replaced a few years ago. The other is yellowed pretty badly.
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post #12 of 33 Old 03-17-2017, 04:40 PM
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One is pretty good, it was replaced a few years ago. The other is yellowed pretty badly.
I have a 02 2 door that I just picked up anything you can tell me to get and keep it running

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post #13 of 33 Old 03-19-2017, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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I have a 02 2 door that I just picked up anything you can tell me to get and keep it running

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Any particular problems on yours? These cars seem to take care of themselves pretty well, provided you don't abuse them as my in-laws seem to have. Stick to scheduled maintenance. Use good oil and a good oil filter - I used Pennzoil Platinum with Wix filters, but there's lots of good stuff out there and I wouldn't be too dogmatic. Keep good fuel in it. I used Chevron or Texaco almost exclusively because they have the Techron additive, but again you won't really go wrong using any good top tier fuel and a dogmatic position here wouldn't really be of big help. Issues are few, my only bugaboos were that the ignition tube over cylinder #1 kept getting waterlogged, which is a sometimes-issue for these cars. If it happened, I carried a 10mm socket and removed the #1 coil to let it evaporate naturally, which usually worked. Also, I seemed to have a mass-air sensor which seemed to get gunked up about once a year. It can be removed and cleaned with a can of mass-air sensor cleaner and a dental pick.

'00 Toyota Echo - dead 02/17
'67 Mustang Convertible - gone 01/17
'14 Chrysler T+C - Wifey's hauler!
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post #14 of 33 Old 03-19-2017, 08:56 PM
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I was a novice at modern cars at the time, so I replaced the cat before finding the cause of the lean condition (dirty MAF), and mostly burned this one out. P0420 stays off if you do all highway but returns after 15 minutes of urban/suburban driving. Bought a cheapy which probably doesn't pass NY emissions anyway, so I think it needs a replacement.

1. MAF gets dirty again every six months or so, not sure what's up with that. It has an amp draw problem,
2. the body is beat beyond imagination and all the exterior trim was taken off by my sister in law's boyfriend to straighten it out...he took off to Mexico when he knocked her up, and the parts went missing.
3. No rear speakers.
4. The radio display doesnt work.
4. No passenger sun visor.
5. Front passenger door can't be opened without holding the jury-rigged wooden door lock peg up as you open it.
6. No lower or top engine cover, so cylinder #1 collects water inside of it and misfires if you cry within 10 yards of it.
7. Shocks are OK but not really good.
8. The rim for the spare tire is bent, needing over 1lb of weights to balance.
9. Front bumper is held on by two bolts and a dozen zip ties.
10. The only straight body panel on the car is a replacement and has started to surface rust because it never got painted and the primer soaks up moisture.
11. The fuel gauge doesn't read correctly.
12. The carpet trim in the trunk is missing on the floor, replaced by a plastic chair mat, and the stuff around the edges is torn and won't stay on the mounting clips...shall I go on?


First car was a 73 Chevy.

1. Suspension was hammered. Front springs were sagging so bad the previous owner put little plastic gadgets in between the coils. Didn't help. Rear left springs were hammered. Lower A arm bushings were shot. I replaced the ball joints (I think they're as modern as King pins). The ride was decent just the same.
2. Heavy body rust I replaced entire sections with sheet metal or sheets of fiberglass/resin.
3. Messed up emissions control system. Ran rich, ran lean. I used to leave a trail, other times the exhaust manifolds would glow orange.
4. Leaked oil from the motor. Handled most of it, except the rear seal.
5. Leaked coolant. I got it mostly handled.
6. Ate front tires. Ever six months I had to replace them. See #1.

Good points - Tranny was great.


Fun moments in it....

One day the throttle acquired ice. Fucker stuck open. When I stepped on the gas it did not return... Did I mention that the exhaust manifolds glowed orange? Pretty neat on a winter night, to watch the glow emitting from under the body.



My second Chevy.... also ate tires. I had to replace seals all over the place. I finally scrapped it, and the rear leaf springs crumbled.

If this your Echo.... I'd sell it to some kid "As Is".

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post #15 of 33 Old 03-19-2017, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcp123 View Post
Any particular problems on yours? These cars seem to take care of themselves pretty well, provided you don't abuse them as my in-laws seem to have. Stick to scheduled maintenance. Use good oil and a good oil filter - I used Pennzoil Platinum with Wix filters, but there's lots of good stuff out there and I wouldn't be too dogmatic. Keep good fuel in it. I used Chevron or Texaco almost exclusively because they have the Techron additive, but again you won't really go wrong using any good top tier fuel and a dogmatic position here wouldn't really be of big help. Issues are few, my only bugaboos were that the ignition tube over cylinder #1 kept getting waterlogged, which is a sometimes-issue for these cars. If it happened, I carried a 10mm socket and removed the #1 coil to let it evaporate naturally, which usually worked. Also, I seemed to have a mass-air sensor which seemed to get gunked up about once a year. It can be removed and cleaned with a can of mass-air sensor cleaner and a dental pick.

I got a Yaris entering its middle age. I change the oil every 5,000 miles. I change the Air Filter every time I change the oil. Seems wasteful but the oil comes out looking like maple syrup instead of runny tar. I figure it'll reduce engine wear.

I changed the ATF at 35,000 miles. I beat it a bit but don't do a lot of hard stop/start driving. Mostly jackrabbit starts to make the light. Otherwise I cruise along.

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