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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager problems

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Comments

  • peteapetea Posts: 8
    My '96 Villager with 87,000 miles had a head bolt break. The head of the bolt or the washer lodged itself under the camshaft causing the timing belt to break. According to the dealer, the only thing they can(will) do is replace the engine at a cost of $4000! I have gone to Ford customer care and the district manager, and they refuse to make any adjustment on the price, despite the fact that the bolt was obviously defective and should not have broken and ruined the engine.

    Two questions: Has anyone out there had or heard of a similar problem? Did Ford/Mercury take some accountability and help/pay for the repairs?
  • gmckenziegmckenzie Posts: 1
    I have a 93 Nissan Quest for 4 years, I have had a few electrical problems also now I am having problems opening my side door. It is a smooth running vehicle other than these minor problems.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    I just bought a '94 Villager with 100k miles on it for $4,500. The van is in excellent shape. The previous owner has performed regular oil changes, but that is about it.

    The van has never had a timing belt change, nor can the previous owner remember the last time it had a major service. What items, beyond the timing belt, should I take care of right away?
    I assume this is an interference engine like most Japanese engines?

    Also, there is a smell of coolant in the engine compartment. The PO said that he had his mechanic pressure test the system and they couldn't find a leak. He also said he only tops off the coolant tank about every 6 months, so the leak is small. I'm wondering, are head gaskets a problem with Villagers/Quests of this vintage?

    Any other suggestions more experience members of this list can provide would be much appreciated.

    - Chad
  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    Sounds like you got a good buy on your Quest.

    Your timing belt is due for a change. It would be a good idea to change the water pump and accessory drive belts at the same time. Change the coolant and spark plugs too. The engine was changed around 94 or 95 to be a non-interference engine, I don't know exactly when.

    Head gaskets don't go bad very often on Villagers. More likely it's a coolant hose connection, or possibly a leaking radiator. If you take a light and carefully follow all the coolant hoses, you will find there are a lot of connections and joints. It's likely one of these is leaking.

    Dave
  • tiffbowertiffbower Posts: 1
    My van feels like it has no "cushion" or shocks when I'm driving. I feel every little bump in the road. The middle seats vibrate uncontrollably! I am so upset because I waited 3 years to buy this van! My 94 Escort wagon offers a much better ride. I bought it at Christmas, and I have 10,000 mi. on it. I just found out that all 4 of my tires were bad. They were replaced by Goodyear, no thanks to the dealer!! They told me the tires would pass inspection when two different independent Goodyear dealers told me they were bad!Anyway, it still rides rough even with the new tires. Am I alone here?
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    One of the main reasons I picked the 01-VillSport (equiv of the Quest SE) was that it had a "sport" suspension. The plus is that it gives you better handling, while the minus is that usually involves a stiffer setup. I suspect you are experiencing "road feel/feedback" from the suspension in contrast to the cushy/luxury ride you prefer. Did you road test the GXE/GLE (which might be the ride you want)?
    Are those GY Eagle LSs? What was wrong with them (on all 4)?
  • corsicachevycorsicachevy Posts: 316
    I just bought a 2001 Quest SE as well and, you are correct, it does ride rather harshly. However, I chose to accept this minimal level of harshness in order to achieve better handling. My van actually handles and drives like a car - something that can't be said for many of the other wallowing boxes.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    I think the '94 Villager I just bought does indeed have a leaking head gasket. The previous owner gave me all of the records and I read through them last night. There are mentions of a coolant smell in the engine compartment going all the way back to 1996 when the van was still under warranty. Each time the dealer said they couldn't find a leak, until August of 2000 when there is a note by the dealter stating that they found a "right front engine weep." This leads me to believe it is a leaking head gasket even though I can't see a visable leak myself.

    Everything else on this van is in great shape so I would like to get the timing belt, head gasket, and all of the belts replaced. I have a good independent mechanic I could take the van to, but I'm concerned about the issue of overtightening of the belts causing the crank to break.

    This may be a case where I had better get the job done at the dealer even though it may cost me more. I'm also concerned that if the crank did break after the job that the dealer would still try and weasel out of it because the van has 100k miles on it. I suspect I'll just have to trust that they do the job right.

    As far as the manifold bolt problem goes, the previous owner said he never had any exhaust work done at all. The manifold seems to work fine. The van was manufacturered in March of 1994. Was the bolt problem resolved by then?

    I'm also curious, will Nissan dealerships work on Villagers and Mercury dealerships work on Quests?
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    After the 3rd test drive (from our 3 choices) the wife had the one comment on the VillSport - "it drives like a car", and that got the vote.
  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    You might want ot have your dealer also check the "blind plugs". This is an area that sometimes leaks coolant.

    If I were you, I don't think I'd be too worried about a head gasket leak just yet. A head gasket leak would cause more damage if it was leaking coolant or oil into the combustion chamber. You can get the oil analyzed to check for traces of antifreeze.

    As far as Mercury/Nissan dealers working on other brands, that's probably a dealer-by-dealer decision. What I've generally found is most dealers will work on other brands.

    Dave
  • aleachaleach Posts: 4
    Has anyone else had problems with Mercury Service depts? We have had some severe problems with extreme incompetence and general rudeness! We have a 93 Villager which just turned 90,000 miles. We're wondering if it is time for it to go. Any input would be appreciated!
  • gwr1gwr1 Posts: 1
    I am on the verge of purchasing a '96 Villager with 126K on it. It's only problems are:
    -noisy , rattly ride
    -left power mirror inoperative
    -a front end shudder that comes in small waves at 100k/hr (60 miles/hr)
    -check engine light stays on.

    Any thoughts on these problems?

    Also, what do you make of Phil Edmunston's Lemon Aid Used Car Guide 2002 downgrading of the Villager's ratings? He lists problems that sound like GM and Chrysler vehicles; air bags malfunctions, brake failures etc. He is very grumpy this year about mini vans.

    Thanks
  • janegjaneg Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a 95 Quest with 66,000 miles. After driving around on a day with temperatures in the mid 80's,
    I noticed a very strong gas odor after parking in the garage. I loosened the gas cap and a stream of pressurized air came out for a very long 8-10 seconds. This seemed like excessive build up of pressurized air in the gas tank. Has anyone had similar problems?
  • aleachaleach Posts: 4
    Janeg - I have the same problem with a 93 Villager. It recently was recalled with the fuel filler hose to be replaced. I had it done but I still smell the gas smell when the windows are down. The dealership told me it would go away after the recall, but it has not. good luck.
  • _bothan__bothan_ Posts: 1
    I own a 2000 Quest SE and I've had to replace the tv/vcr entertainment system twice. The system sits on the floor between the driver and passenger seat. The first one would eat tapes, the second one had no sound and would also eat tapes. Does anyone else have the same issues?
  • bwamplerbwampler Posts: 2
    in referece to "saabturboid," My wifes van just lost its coolant last week. It was the upper coolant hose. The leak was not a large one, but enough that it lost the coolant over the course of a couple of days. Luckily, we did not damage the engine, however, my wife was 50 miles from home when it gave out. Thank goodness for AAA! The bad side is that it ruined all of the belts and racked me a $350 bill. Change out your hoses would be one of the first things I would do.
  • bwamplerbwampler Posts: 2
    I just recently had my wife van in last week for coolant hoses (and ruined belts)... and one of the other issues I had repaired was the rear fan. It seams that there is a bad circuit board that has to have the connections re-heated. Needless to say, $150 later it works... but it is the same board still??? Kind of irritating to pay for a Nissan issue!! The fuel smell is the vent hose, I had it replaced last year (per-recall) and the service advisor also said to turn the fuel cap at least a quarter turn AFTER it starts clicking... We do also still smell it if we try to over fill the fuel tank. So the answer is simple, dot over fill the tank and replace the filler vent tube that has been recalled.
  • 123wor123wor Posts: 1
    I have a 1993 Villager with 187,000 miles. This vehicle has been trouble free except for the DEALER!! Early on, first few months, had a problem with automatic seat belts and rear window wiper. After multiple trips to the dealer, who claimed to have solved the problems..did not, one day the Service manager got up in my face and actually told me..."What do you expect, this is a new car, we don't know anything about them." Well, I wrote the company etc. to no avail. After all these years, I do not have working seat belts (they are now manual) nor do I have a working rear wiper....I gave up... which, I suspect, is exactly what they wanted me to do. The dealer is horrible....I would never buy from them again or recommend them to anyone. The Villager, on the other hand, is really a very good vehicle. I've had three timing belts, changed before problems occurred, regular oil changes, and maybe three tune ups. My miles are highway, that helps. The recalls are another issue. After having several episodes of a very strong odor of burning electrical something in the van, the dealer said....can't find anything. Saw in Consumer Reports that they were looking into a possible recall because of this problem. I wrote Mercury and went back to the dealer, who, once again told me...can't find anything wrong. About a month later I got a recall notice for this same thing. Before I could get back to the dealer, one morning the van filled with thick white smoke. I had it towed to another Mercury dealer who did the recall and corrected the problem. But this dealer refused to go back and fix the old problems with the seat belts and wiper because it was now out of warranty. What did I expect! The body looks good, some of the rubber parts are starting to show wear, and little things are starting to break, like the ignition (where the key goes). But with 187,000 miles, I can't complain. Good luck !
  • Just got a 2000 Villager and am having a hard time finding a locking gas cap. Mercury does not carry one and the auto parts stores in my area do not have the correct one (causes my check engine light to come on) Also when I first start the engine in the morning it starts out at 2000rpm for about 5 seconds then drops to 1500. When I put it in drive and it goes to about 1200 until the engine warms up and then is about 750rpm in drive and vehicle stopped. It seems a little high, but maybe I am used to my old 4 cylinder.
  • sschnathsschnath Posts: 5
    I have a '99 Villager with 42K mostly highway miles. It has been serviced by the same dealer until today. We've had very good service there and the van has been virtually trouble free except for the various recalls.

    However, when braking I've noticed over time that the rotors have become warped and have been getting increasingly worse. I've always operated under the notion that aluminum wheels can be prone to this if the lug nuts haven't been torqued properly.

    I questioned my dealer about this when the van first started to exhibit the shake 20K+ miles ago and he told me that they do torque the nuts when they rotate the tires. Of course that doesn't mean the mechanic actually takes the time to do it or do it right.

    I know this is something I'll never be able to prove so I've take the van to my car mechanic and I expect they'll turn the rotors and everything will be fine. I KNOW they torque the nuts there.

    I'm really irritated that I have to spend the money to have this done (never mind reducing the life of the rotors) especially when the van has been OK otherwise. Has anyone else experienced a warping problem?

    I'm just wondering whether it really was bad service or whether the rotors are of suspect quality. Since I won't be letting the dealer rotate the tires any more, I may eventually get my answer but I'm curious about other experiences out there.
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