2000 Echo: check engine light and noise with fan

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My 2000 automatic Echo (78,000 local miles) has two problems other than that it is 13 years old. The check engine light started coming on all the time over a year ago. My well-regarded Toyota-only independent mechanic reset something so it went off, but it returned very quickly. He is not concerned about it at all. I have been assuming it might be due to the gasket around the gas tank being detached and deteriorating. Is there something else I should know?

Also, in the past year, when I turn on the fan for either the a/c or the heat, it makes a rapidly repeating noise, as if the fan were hitting something. This is especially true when the car is not fully warmed up, or when accelerating after stopping at a traffic light. I noted on a 3 hour highway trip that I had no trouble with it. My mechanic says he has no clues as to why. Anyone else?

I know that he doesn't particularly like Echoes, but I also know that he is very practical and has kept my cars going pretty well for 23 years.

I'll add one more question---is 33 mpg on the highway (going around 65-70) a reasonable gas mileage for an automatic Echo? I've always thought that the engine sounded a little "breathy".

Does anyone still remember what an Echo is?!

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Hi, the fan trouble is endemic to the cars, I think, ours did that for quite a while, and it got so bad that at one point we thought it would actually burn a hole in the dash... the issue is the drive motor which is located behind the glove box, you need to get that out and inspect it, and this problem does indeed surface when it is cold but ours got so bad, as I say it ran like that almost all of the time.

The CEL coming on might indicate your plugs need to be changed and/or the ignition coil(s) need to be replaced. Your mileage is actually lower than it should be, you should be up in the 35 to 39 mpbs range or even higher. The culprit is your CEL and like I think, it is related to either your plugs wearing down (replace with iridium or platinum) and/or you might have a bad coil (a quick diagnostic will tell you what the code says, if it is misfiring then the plus or coil are the culprit)


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Thanks, Dan. I will keep what you wrote in mind.

An update on my car's behavior---in October, while on the road in Wisconsin, my car's serpentine belt broke and I had to have it towed. The repairmen who fixed it up there (about 200 mi from home) put on a new belt that afternoon and I was on my way. I began to notice that there was a screeching/chirping sound sometimes when I turned the wheel. Then the noise I had previously heard when the fan was on or when accelerating from a stop changed from a sh-sh-sh sound to a screech/chirp sound. Then when the weather got cold, it started making a racket all the time. It was always much better when the engine was really warmed up. I took it to my regular repairman who said the other repairmen in WI had put on a serpentine belt that was made of inferior materials. He ordered a proper Toyota belt and put it on, and ALL the previous problems went away. Even the check engine light stopped (hope the light bulb isn't out!). It cost me, but it was one of those rare times when a persistent problem actually gets solved, so it was worth it!

I will pass on your information re my low mileage to my repairman. Thanks.

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