Re: Suspension life expectancy
I replaced the shocks & struts at about 140k.
$1400 is insane for that work, unless you have a non-stock setup, like coilovers. Then I have no clue about cost - I'm running stocks springs & cheap aftermarket shocks & struts.
I call absolute BS on "adjust brakes." Unless your rear drum brakes are malfunctioning or someone did a crappy job of replacing the shoes, all the brakes self-adjust. Replacing shocks & struts all the way around and a one-time alignment should be about half that, maybe a bit more.
I don't know how much you're able or inclined to DIY, but the rear are stupid simple to replace - 1 nut at the top, 1 bolt at the bottom, remove, put old bump stop etc. on the new one, install the new one, repeat on the other side. Fronts are a little more involved, but can go much easier if you use the KYB Strut Plus for the Echo (strut, spring, and strut mount, all pre-assembled). To have a shop do it would probably run $500-800, depending on labor. A one-time alignment around here runs about $80.
Call around and get quotes. Ask friends & co-workers to recommend a good independent mechanic.
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