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How Long to Keep Your Quest?

rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 112
edited December 2011 in Nissan
Do you still have your 99 Quest? I got 206k miles on mine and facing something like $2k on repairs.

My question is, what would be the tipping point to get rid of the van you have? I know this is a personal matter but I am looking for ideas.
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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575
    edited December 2011
    I have ~168k on my '99 GXE. It's doing okay - did a 5,000 mile road trip in it back in September. But I took my car title with me in case it broke down. We wanted the option to sell it for scrap on the spot and buy a beater to get back home in. :shades:

    Both our vans are likely not worth much more than $2,000 assuming no repairs are needed, okay tires, etc. Worth way less of course as a trade-in. I don't carry collision on it any more either. If I hit a deer and wreck it, I'll likely junk it.

    But -- it still rides good, is comfortable, has good tires, strong AC (the heater, on the other hand....), I have my canoe rack dialed in for it and nothing else out there really appeals all that much to us.

    I put ~$3,000 into the van a few years back when it had around 125,000 miles on it and that was painful, but that's still just 6 or 8 car payments in the overall scheme of things. Now I'm glad I did it of course.

    If push came to shove for me I'm not sure what we'd do. Probably trade it in, and hope we get a good decade or more out of the next one. It's been a gem though.

    Check out To Fix Up or Trade Up, That is the Question - there's a similar debate about a Caravan going over there too.

    What's wrong with yours?

    Steve, visiting host

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  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 112
    edited December 2011
    I am quickly approaching the required 210k miles tune-up: Timing belt, plugs, etc. There's a lot of noise coming out of the front and it could mean water pump or alternator or a pulley or all of the above; transmission shifting funny when cold; it leaks oil from somewhere; uses a little antifreeze, plus rust around the rear door and rocker panels.

    We are in the same situation, I do not see anything out there that could replace this van. Of course things could be different if I had the means to plunk $45k for a new one.
    I am leaning more towards just run it till it dies without spending any money on it, which is probably what you are doing.
    Anyway, this has been by far my best vehicle. Mine is also a 99 GXE.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575
    It's a non-interference engine so you can skip the timing belt, unless you have a heavy freeway commute where losing power if it breaks would be a bit unnerving. Otherwise you'll just get stranded somewhere until you get a tow. I'm on my original timing belt still, got my plugs replaced around 120k. Probably could have waited on those too.

    May not be related but a flaky throttle position sensor can cause hard shifts from first to second.

    Don't know about your other issues.

    Mine has no rust, but I just moved to the UP a year ago, so that's not going to be true much longer. :shades:

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  • That's an encouragement. Thanks for the replies.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575
    Still driving your van?

    Mine's at 180,040. Got a new thermostat last December and that made a big difference in the interior heat. It needs new tires; but I think we're going to try to drive it yet another year. We'll see; we have three ~1,000 mile road trips for sure planned before the end of June and if those pan out, we may drive the sucker to LA in July. That would be a 4400 mile round trip. :-)

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  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 112
    I still have my Quest. It has 222,500 miles and it is still going. I do a lot of highway driving so last August I spent around $1300 to change the timing plus all the other belts, water pump, brakes, etc.

    It is beginning to make some strange noises after I turn it off; it also smells after I turn it off due to slight oil and coolant leaks. Lately I am also getting a whiff of fuel. This may be its last year, but I still don't know what to get. I think I'll rent a Forester for a week to check if I can live with it.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575
    edited March 2013
    My sister likes her Forester but it's an '05 and lots has changed with them since then.

    Good minivan tire-kicking thread here.

    Oh, from what I've read around the net, the fuel smell could be fixed simply by tightening the clamps on the fuel lines going to the fuel rail.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575
    edited April 2013
    My timing belt broke ~3 weeks ago 50 miles out of town on a day trip. $150 to tow it to my mechanic where we left it while we drove the Subaru on vacation.

    Picked it up a couple of days ago. $525 for the belt and a new water pump. My towing insurance paid $100 of the tow, so out of pocket costs are $575.

    Disappointed that the belt didn't get to 200k (have 182k on it now).

    Next up, new tires.

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  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 112
    Nice to know the repair did not cost you much, and I think 182k miles for timing belt might be a record; I would not be disappointed.

    It was kind of scary when you mentioned timing belt failure and bodily damage. It had me thinking and thinking, then I remembered I had a friend - back in the day- who had a Ford Fairmont he was driving back from Virginia to NY, that was late seventies or early eighties according to my hard core memory.
    Well, the thing died on I-95 right in front a semi -- Ford was notorious for fuel problems during those years. All I know is that the encounter made him spent about two months in a DC hospital.
    That's why I decided to change all the belts last year.
    Another thing is that as the temperatures get warmer, most of the other problems have subsided, so my van just keeps humming.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575
    edited April 2013
    I think 182k miles for timing belt might be a record

    I've read about at least one owner somewhere on the net (Yahoo?) who got 300k on his belt.

    Our belt broke in a "good" spot. Would have been better if it had happened at home, but we were in a small town just at the city limits, 40mph speed limit, 4 lanes, wide shoulders, little traffic. I knew immediately what had happened, coasted to the side and put the flashers on, and gave it a couple of test cranks.

    But yeah, could be dicey in heavy traffic on a freeway. But other stuff can break and disable you, and my sweet wife is pretty tolerant of my "experiments" (I'd discussed the potential scenario with her many times in case it happened with her driving).

    Within a minute of popping the hood, some guy did a U-Turn, got on his cell to call his wife to get the number of the one tow truck in town and we were set. While waiting for the tow, I called my insurance company and two other locals stopped to offer help, as did a state trooper.

    You meet the nicest people broken down on the side of the road. :-)

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  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 112
    edited December 2013

    Things are not looking good. I think this might be the end of the road for my beloved 99 Quest and I still don't know what to buy, which is why it's still around, but I don't think is worth putting any more money on it. The drivetrain is still holding up but the hardware decided to fall apart almost all at the same time. Last night I could not even roll the windows down.

    Walmart refused to give it an oil change due to the fact that it leaks oil from everywhere and they did not want to be held accountable if they touch it. Pulleys or something around that area is producing a lot of noise, and that came out after I replaced the blower motor and resistor board; a cheap blower from Auto Zone that makes a lot of noise. 232k miles and 14 years I think is good enough so after I get another vehicle I'll be back for my final sayonara...... and start in another forum.

    Merry Christmas.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575

    All good things must come to an end. :(

    We've been "shopping" but not too hard. We can drive the old Outback for a while if our Quest really bites the dust. Thinking about a Prius v but we haven't even sat in one.

    Nothing leaks on ours, the heat and AC are good and all the power windows and stuff work. Mostly the cosmetics are taking a beating; dings, dents and the Michigan salt can't be helping any.

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  • I test drove a Nissan Frontier a couple of days ago, but at my age I don't think my ribs can take the beating of a small truck and then I can't justify buying one of the large ones to pick up a couple of sheets of plywood at Home Depot, so I'm kind of stuck. Next in line are Traverse, Flex, Equinox and maybe a used mini van (mini Greyhounds now), but I don't need all the seats and rolling I-Max theaters. Did I mention I'm stuck?

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575

    My older brother's F-150 has a comfy ride, but you literally need a step ladder to access the bed. Some of the gizmos are pretty nice though; I'm looking forward to the heads up display and the back up camera in my next car.

    The editors here all seem to be liking the Mazda CX-5 that's currently in the long-term fleet.

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  • Thanks for the link to the CX-5 and long term road tests. Got a lot of reading to do about several of those vehicles. I did test drove an F150 a couple of years ago, but my wife had a hard time climbing and driving it.

  • I recently acquired a 97 Villager a few months ago with 230k. I did a lot of work on it myself....timing belt, a/c compressor, drive belts. Recently I had a knock sensor failure, and throttle position sensor problem. Installed a new knock sensor and worked out the bug in the throttle position sensor. I saved a lot by doing all the work myself...maybe saved myself $1400. But it feels like I'm working on the minivan every other month. I don't do transmission work...so if my tranny goes that'll be my tipping point to toss in the towel.

  • @ctankobu said: I recently acquired a 97 Villager a few months ago with 230k. I did a lot of work on it myself....timing belt, a/c compressor, drive belts. Recently I had a knock sensor failure, and throttle position sensor problem. Installed a new knock sensor and worked out the bug in the throttle position sensor. I saved a lot by doing all the work myself...maybe saved myself $1400. But it feels like I'm working on the minivan every other month. I don't do transmission work...so if my tranny goes that'll be my tipping point to toss in the towel.

    My van seems to be developing a new problem every week. I can tackle a lot of minor problems myself but this is winter and I'm getting kind of tired. I've decide I'm not spending any more money on this one.

  • I can relate to that... I've spent more time on my van than what it's worth. The previous owner threw in the towel and just gave me his van. He put new Michelin tires, new windshield, and $1400 for a tune-up, brakes....etc.... I put in $300 in parts, and $1400 of my own labor... So this van of mine has at least $2800 in it...and is worth about $1000. My limit will be $200 - $300 more in parts. If not I'm going to start selling parts or parting out this car to recoup my cost.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575

    Yeah, but a new one will cost $300 or $400 in car payments every month or a big chunk of your savings. You can go used, but you may get one of "those" cars that needs work. You're ahead of most of the rest of though, since you can do your own labor. But it's about 7° in my detached garage right now. I don't even want to think about an oil change, much less a real repair if I did have the skills.

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  • I've been test driving a few cars this past week..... speaking of "sticker shock". I was so shocked I came back home, pupped-up the hood of the Quest and armed with a lot of courage kept telling myself it could get fixed. I started it up, popped-up the hood to check for noises but I had to step back. A cloud of smelly steam kept rising from the engine compartment while warming up, vaporizing oil and coolant from its surface. And that little nagging voice once again from inside the garage.... " get a new car".

    Tested so far: Ford Escape with a 2.5 liter engine, the thing could not get out of its own way; Ford Flex, nice vehicle but kind of pricey, I may be looking at a used one today. My saga continues.

  • @Stever@Edmunds said: Yeah, but a new one will cost $300 or $400 in car payments every month or a big chunk of your savings. You can go used, but you may get one of "those" cars that needs work.

    What's the verdict, buy new and take the depreciation in stride or buy used and add an extended warranty? I bought a used 1980 Mustang at one time that was a real pain; bought a used 1995 Corolla at another time and had no problems with it, that's my average. I've been buying new ever since.

    Right now I'm debating this issue because of sticker shock. I did not fathom rear view cameras would increase the price of a car so much. :D

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575
    edited December 2013

    Yeah, new cars are pricey. But we're into year 14 now so we can sort of justify buying new (up to a point). Not having car payments for a long time helps, even if we haven't been stashing $300 a month into a "car" account. The depreciation won't be too killer assuming you don't get a lemon and like the replacement - drive the next one forever too in other words.

    We've had good luck with our used Subaru but we knew the car and the owner.

    So we intend to go new next time. I want the tech and I've really liked the back up cameras in the rentals I've had. Gotta have that and as many air bags as they can cram in.

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  • You may be right to justify a new car expense, we've got just about all usefulness from our vans. Wished I had a little more time, hopefully till Spring to do more tire kicking. No fun to shop for cars in 30 degree weather. The next car may be my last..... don't want to rush it.

    The amount of tech in new cars is amazing, sat on a Santa Fe yesterday and as with the others I was confounded with so many buttons. Love the rear view cameras though.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575

    More expensive stuff to break but I still want it. :p

    We're around 5°F so any shopping we're doing is strictly online. And I'd like to hold out for the 2015 models to show up.

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  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 112
    edited January 24

    The days are numbered; I just got a replacement for the venerable Quest. Lots of repairs. I changed the heater blower and valve cover gaskets when the outside temperature hovered above the forties, but right after that the coolant temp sensor failed and I can not discern the noise coming from the belts area. I can easily change the temp sensor but the belts stuff would be a crapshoot, a pulley or alternator ......who knows, and with outside temperature in the teens there's no much I can do.

    I decided to buy a 2011 Forester with the antiquated 4 speed automatic to avoid the CVT, but after doing some research I've found out the CVT has a metallic belt, not the rubber I though it had. Oh, well...such is life. And then my wife is already after the Forester as she loves the heated seats. I guess I'll drive it for a couple of weeks before I lose it.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,575

    Our Quest has been parked a lot lately because it keeps snowing. Just got back from an overnight trip in our '97 Outback and it has those heated seats. Nice rides, my sister has an '05 Forester. The way the weather's been, heated steering wheels would be nice too.

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  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 112

    You've got that right, this Forester has a very smooth ride for its size, and of course I have to get used to other things this car does. In the morning it starts like a diesel but after it warms up it gets really quiet. At any rate I'm beginning to frequent the Forester forum to keep abreast of the issues. My Quest is parked in the driveway so I'll be around for a while.

  • ctankobuctankobu Posts: 7

    Just replaced the oil pressure sender because of a leaky sender (switch). I just replaced the ignition wires, distributor, ECM, knock sensor, A/C condensor, timing belt, engine belts, spark plugs, pulleys, etc.... I've now spent more than what the mini-van is worth. Please, please, please....no more repairs.

  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 112

    @ctankobu said: Just replaced the oil pressure sender because of a leaky sender (switch). I just replaced the ignition wires, distributor, ECM, knock sensor, A/C condensor, timing belt, engine belts, spark plugs, pulleys, etc.... I've now spent more than what the mini-van is worth. Please, please, please....no more repairs.

    What year is your van, and how did you arrive at the conclusion that you needed pulleys? My van is making a lot of noise around that area but I can't pinpoint as to what component is making the noise. It could be pulleys or alternator but I don't have the ear to discern which is it.

  • ctankobuctankobu Posts: 7

    Got a 97... I used a cheap $5 automotive stethoscope from Harbour freight. It works really great. But you can also use a LONG screw driver and cup it to your ear...it works just as good. So with the stethoscope you just probe around until you can isolate and hear grinding noises or ??? My A/C condensor was making grinding noises so I replaced it. Now the NEW A/C clutch makes intermitent noises...I was thinking about putting the old A/C clutch back on. But it's too much work. A little WD-40 sprayed into the A/C clutch temporarily gets rid of the noise.

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