2003 Toyota Echo 5 speed Automatic - Page 2 - Fuelly Forums

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Old 01-10-2015, 04:15 PM   #11
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I have an automatic Echo and hope I can provide some insight here.

The vibration is normal on an Echo; the 1NZFE engine idles low (ca550-600rpm warm in drive), and it is consequently pretty vibey at idle. I have driven newer Yarii which exhibit the same behaviour. Manual transmission Echos do not have the vibration as when you sit at a light, it is equivalent to being in N on an automatic model, and the lower load keeps vibration from popping up. There should be no worry about the timing chain; Toyota publishes no service interval for the timing chain on these, which is their implicit way of saying it is a -life-of-the-car item. One member at a Toyota forum I am on has over 400k miles on his with the original chain. I have heard of no one who had had timing chain troubles on this car, either. When spark plugs were replaced, dd you replace with OE type Iridium plugs? Toyotas tend to be picky about their spark plugs.

50mph is a bit high; I drive very conservatively and it shifts into 4th gear at ~30mph and allows the torque converter to engage lockup at no less than 38mph. If it's doing either of those at 50mph, try slowing down your acceleration and see if those shift points don't come down for you.

The car is a natural talent for MPG, but with an automatic you'll have to work much harder for your mileage. I have a display for live data from the engine computer. I use this to determine my throttle input, and do a lot of coasting, etc. just to earn 40mpg in mine. I can go in-depth if you like, and although I'm hardly a hardcore hypermiler, my set of techniques is probably beyond what most people are at all willing to do. 28 is abnormal for an Echo, 30+ should be a bare minimum unless there is a considerable amount of idling or rocketing away from a stop.
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:37 PM   #12
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28mpg is the new EPA adjusted city rating, which is still based off granny driving style.

What have been the daily temps, and what is the air pressure in the tires?
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:20 PM   #13
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EPA ratings are for the birds. I find the old ratings to be more accurate than the new ones for the Echo. Doubly so for vehicles tested on the old regimen, as they simply math'd the old ratings down to resemble the new ratings; they didn't retest at the new higher speeds and extra a/c use. My VVTi is out and I still manage right at 30 in near-freezing temps, and I can't really apply my hypermiling techniques with the way the car runs right now. Look at Fuelly ratings as well as MyMpg at fueleconomy.gov. 28 is not right unless as I said there is an undue amount of idling, or lots of hard acceleration.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:27 AM   #14
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28 is not right unless as I said there is an undue amount of idling, or lots of hard acceleration.
Which is how the majority of Americans drive. So even the math adjusted ratings are a better representation of what the majority will do. I didn't have much trouble hitting or exceeding the original EPA for my 2005 Prius, but people complaining about not doing so was part of what started the revising process.

What we know from the OP:
Their daily drive is 75% around town.
Their previous Echo had the manual.
This Echo got new plugs and filters. So appears up to date on regular maintenance.

The auto Echo appears to be new to them, and they may not have adjusted their driving style to get the best fuel economy from it. Their results with the manual Echo suggests they know how to drive efficiently, and the high shift point that they haven't gotten that down yet for an automatic.

We don't know exactly where in the US the OP is, but it is winter in most areas. Low temperatures drop fuel economy. The EPA city cycle starts with a cold engine, but the cold engine of a car sitting in a 68F to 86F lab. It also takes over half an hour to go a simulated 11 miles. The engine should quickly get up to operating temps, and will at least get there before the test ends.

A personalized combined EPA for the 2003 Echo with 75% city is 30mpg. Depending on how cold it is where the OP is at, and whether their trips are long enough to get the engine up to temp. Their results might be quite good. My daily results from the Scangauge are around there, and I go 30miles one way with 33% city.

They got better with a manual, but a manual gives more control to the driver to overcome some of the penalties from their drive. I also suspect a manual transmission's fluid could warm up faster than an automatic's. But we can't rule out the OP comparing the manual's result from under better operating conditions.

Since the vibration is likely normal, I think the OP will see better results as their technique improves with the automatic and warmer weather arrives. I would check the tire pressure, it could be too low with the cold, and the fluid levels. Levels too high can reduce efficiency from higher resistance. Too high or low could affect how the automatic operates.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:45 PM   #15
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I suppose...I just have never seen anything approaching 28mpg in either mine or pretty much any Echo/Yaris/Vitz of the same vintage. Hence why I'm a bit dubious...maybe it's driving style, maybe it's mechanical. 28mpg from an Echo raises flags in my mind.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jcp385 View Post
I suppose...I just have never seen anything approaching 28mpg in either mine or pretty much any Echo/Yaris/Vitz of the same vintage. Hence why I'm a bit dubious...maybe it's driving style, maybe it's mechanical. 28mpg from an Echo raises flags in my mind.
I just checked, it's only a 1.5 litre, that's the same size as mine and I get a minimum of 60 MPG (ok I know it's a diesel) but 28 MPG from an engine that size does seem a tad low to me!
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:41 AM   #17
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The nly thing we know about the OP's commute is that it is 75% around town. What people think of as city is worse than the EPA test, and warm up times and temperature can play a big part. Short trips of a few miles will drag the Prius economy of an easy near 50mpg to the low 40s or under. It was a balmy 32F today, and I got 34mpg coming in to work by the Scangauge. Last week, when it was 11F driving in, I was getting 30mpg.

I have the impression that I have is that the OP just got the car. With the temperatures and winter blend gas, which is likely E10, this is the worse time for fuel economy. The shift points need to be watched in case there is an issue with the trans, but this is the time when the worse mpgs are returned on any car. The mild climate of the South makes driving for fuel economy easy compared to places with real winters.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:37 AM   #18
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I just checked, it's only a 1.5 litre, that's the same size as mine and I get a minimum of 60 MPG (ok I know it's a diesel) but 28 MPG from an engine that size does seem a tad low to me!
Once again with the comparing UK MPG to US MPG. You are aware these are different units, right? Actually, I know that you know they're different. The fact that you have been doing it on this forum for 5 years now is why I have resorted to publicly calling you out for deceptively misleading people.

I won't even give you a hard time for "contributing" to the thread by comparing a malfunctioning 1990s-era gasoline engine to a modern diesel. You should be commended for putting real effort into advancing the cause of internet trolls everywhere.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:20 AM   #19
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Once again with the comparing UK MPG to US MPG. You are aware these are different units, right? Actually, I know that you know they're different. The fact that you have been doing it on this forum for 5 years now is why I have resorted to publicly calling you out for deceptively misleading people.

I won't even give you a hard time for "contributing" to the thread by comparing a malfunctioning 1990s-era gasoline engine to a modern diesel. You should be commended for putting real effort into advancing the cause of internet trolls everywhere.
Yes of course, 60 MPG works out close to 50 US MPG, theres 3.78 litres in your gallon, V's 4.54 in mine. I do try and convert it when I can as the majority of fuelly users are based in the US. You do have a bit of a stinky attitude though, you should try and get along, im a very friendly guy and I have no interest in misleading people.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:37 AM   #20
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Thanks everyone for responding. I did get the car about 2 months ago. I do drive like an old lady & at 62 yrs old, I guess I can claim that. Lol.
I replaced the spark plugs with 4 New NGK G-Power Platinum Spark Plugs BKR5EGP # 7090, about 3000 miles ago. I live in Kentucky, so right now the weather is cold. I do warm the car up before I drive it & it does shift a little easier when warm. I do keep the overdrive button pushed in all the time. Not sure if I should do that. Don't know if it makes a difference.
I am going to check my tire pressure. Any advise as to how much I should pump them up to?
Also the car came with a Mobile 1 synthetic oil change & when I am due to get another, I'm going to put in Quaker State synthetic oil. I use to use Valvoline regular oil in my other Echo & switched to Quaker State regular oil & got 6 more miles per gallon.
Does anyone know about Bestline Engine Treatment?
Also, Jcp385,I would be interested in your techniques for hypermiling.
Thanks
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