2000 Echo shuts down intermittantly

I have owned a 2000 Toyota Echo since new and all maintenance has been done at the same Toyota dealership. It has been a reliable drive but it is over 20 years old.

There is one intermittent problem. When driving, it will stop and the engine will not restart. This behaviour is completely at random. It has happened when it was cold at a stop light. Today it happened just driving down the road. It occurs less than once a month. Leave the care to sit for 5 to 10 minutes and it will start. There are no other symptoms.

It has been taken to the dealership and they were unable to find anything wrong. And because it is intermittent, taking it out for a test drive has not been helpful.

My wife is the primary driver and the car stopping unexpectedly distresses her a great deal.

Any suggestion would be appreciated.

Thank you.

That can be caused by a faulty crankshaft position sensor.


And that may not cause the Check Engine light to turn on.



While we are in the subject of the Check Engine light, is it on? What codes are set? If you don’t have a list from the dealer, you can get them read at a chain parts store. Call first to make sure they have a working code reader.

This is one of those statements I don’t understand . If we had a vehicle that did that I am finding something for my wife to drive until this is fixed. I might drive it myself but I will try to stay in places where I can get off the road . I might even have a shop replace something that might be a guess if they think it may solve the problem .

I agree with Tester’s idea. What’s now the CPS used to be a similar component located inside the distributor. When they fail, there is no signal to fire the coil(s) and spark plugs. It failed on my 1979 Toyota truck, intermittently at first, when it was about 18 years old. Luckily, I was at an auto parts and repair shop and they were able to fix it within a day so I could drive 300+ miles back home by Sunday night.

Thank you for your comments. The car is going back to the dealership for diagnosis later in the week and I will ask them to read the code.

We only have one car in the family and it is shared. Purchasing another, or a replacement vehicle is out of the question as we cannot afford it.

Does your wife have a lot of keys and/or trinkets on her key ring? The weight could be causing a problem with the ignition switch.


Since the dealership has not been able multiple times to diagnose the problem, consider getting a second opinion from a reputable independent mechanic shop.