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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Starting & Stalling Problems



  • The problem turned out to be a bad fuel pressure regulator. $125.00 for the part and $275.00 labor = $400.00 total parts and labor.
  • :confuse: Hello,
    Searched though this site and did not see my exact "problem". I have a 97 Villager I bought a year ago and it's run fantastic ever since. Except now. I have discovered that if it is parked with the nose lower than the rear it will not start and I can smell gas outside the car. Pump runs like a champ, fuel pressure is spot on. How on earth can a fuel injected engine flood out tike this? The only way we found to get it started was pushing it into the street and waiting an hour or so and she started up but of course belched out a cloud of smoke due to being flooded. Otherwise runs and drives just fine. I'm thinking it has to be the pressure regulator leaking. Anyone found this issue before? Thanks in advance for your time.
  • My 2000 Villager recently had both ac hoses replaced, new tires, fuel pump, brakes, the list is endless. Driving the expressway it just stalled. It would turn over, but not remain started. Mechanic couldn't find the problem. It drives rough now and I am sure it will happen again. It has under 85000 miles an been pampered. Over $2500 in repairs in the last 2 years. I can't afford to keep it, or let it go!
  • I found this same problem with my 97 Quest (except for the gas smell)
    when parked nose down on quite a steep hill.
    I found that less than a quarter of a tank caused this problem especially when it was cold.
    The pump is situated near the back of the tank so thats easy to figure.
    my 2 cents.
  • Ummm,
    Anyone else have an idea on this issue? As stated in my orginal question, the pump and pressure check out fine. It just floods if left sitting nose down at even the slightest angle, with any amount of gas in the tank. I also noticed this week that milage has gone down the tubes on this van but the engine seems to run fine and no blue or black smoke either. Throttle response is fine as well??????
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Are you sure it is flooding? I never heard of fuel injected engine flooding before?

    since you are smelling gas and losing gas mileage, you should have your mechanic look at your van.
  • eewayeeway Posts: 5
    My 1999 stalls out after about an hour. Just had a tune up done, problem persists. Local mechanic stumped. Fuel pressure is ok, new battery installed. The rear window wiper was doing crazy things when he started it up. I relayed the distributor information posted in this thread, but haven't heard back yet. Any other suggestions would be most welcome.

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,971
    Since you just had it tuned up, I'd suspect the wiring. Ask your mechanic to check all the grounds. I've seen reports of the throttle position sensor getting intermittently flaky due to a bad ground. Maybe that's related to the flaky rear wiper.

    But who knows - these kinds of problems can be hard to figure out. If it's been unseasonably cold there, maybe you have a bit of water freezing in a fuel component somewhere. A bottle of gas-line antifreeze would be a cheap thing to test.

    And I've also read reports of the torque converter locking up and stalling the engine. Maybe put a transmission fluid change and pan cleaning on the todo list?

    Steve, visiting host (and lousy mechanic :))
  • First, the problem. on my 97 Villager I drove about an hour to work. Just before I arrived, the RPM started to drop and recover every 5 seconds or so. It got faster until it RPM was down up down up. It tried to stall, but I gave it gas and made it to my parking spot. After work it started like nothing wrong. I made it 45 minutes and the issue returned. This time it bucked severely until it stalled. Felt as if trying to shift 2nd to 3rd back to 2nd... jerk jerk jerk. Done. No start. I waited about 5 minutes and it started, but VERY rough and bucking. I made it about 50 feet and stalled. Let it sit this time for 15 minutes. Started but rough, though less than last try. Made it about 100 feet, and died. Left it overnight then no trouble getting it home.

    I changed the PCV valve, fuel filter (fuel pump is less than 2 weeks old). Took a test drive and after about 20 minutes it started to chug again. RPM down up down up. Made it home without stall by keeping the gas down a bit more than usual. Changed the (much needed) distributor cap and rotor. Ran fine over a week. On my way to work, fine. After work it made it 20 feet across the parking lot and... RPM down up down up stalled. VERY hard to restart. Let it idle for about 15 minutes, the drove home with little noticable issue. Only a slight dip in RPM then back up when decelerating around corners or at lights. I'm going to check the distributor photo eye tomorrow, and maybe the Idle Control valve/relays. If neither, off to the shop. I'll post what I find when I find it.
  • Search this forum for the word "relay" or "will not start" and you will see some references to relays under the hood that cause similar symptoms
  • For those searching for the "two identical relays" I have a bit of help. I have a '97 Villager/Quest, but the placement is similar to many years. The relay for the Air Idle Control is identical to the relay for the Air Conditioner. Under the hood on the passenger side front is a relay box (long black rectangle). After removing the cover, the layout of the relays is printed in the cover. There are actually two sets that are identical, and a otal of five relays in the box. If your lable is missing, the layout is relay, relay, gap, relay, Air Idle Control Relay, A/C Relay. Hope this is able to help someoone.

    As for my issue, the van went to the shop for repairs Friday. After three seperate shops suggested the same issue, I decided to try it. All said it was a bad Crank Position Sensor (CPS) though my issues don't seem totally consistent with it's function. I've not had trouble starting which is a typical symptom of a bad CPS. The repair was made late Friday, and it seems to be driving OK over the weekend. I'll have to see how it does with my hour drive to work Monday. I'll update when I have a conclusion.
  • eewayeeway Posts: 5
    Turned out to be a bad distributor bearing. Replaced distributor, new problem. It doesn't stall anymore, but if the car is in drive or reverse, there is a noticable vibration when standing still with my foot on the brake. Once I release the brake and give it some gas, the vibration goes away.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,971
    Thanks for the follow-up. How's the idle when you are standing still? But even if it was a bit high, I guess it would be racing more than vibrating.
  • engine missed,drove 2 miles turned day drove 5 miles engine acts like not getting gas.stopped,would not start for 5 mins. drove 1 mile towed it home.would start cold than stall out. as it warmed up giving it gas made it stall will barely start same stall out problem with giving it fuel .fuel pressure good, got spark,distributor checks good any thoughts? thanks
  • eewayeeway Posts: 5
    OK at idle in neutral or park.
    Took it to a Nissan dealer who found play in the rebuilt distributor. Will exchange for another next week.
    He also said that the spark plugs weren't NGK, the preferred brand. (they are Bosch)
    Tried to sell me a new set of these, but I said that at $240. for the package, I wasn't interested.

  • eewayeeway Posts: 5
    Would recommend a disgnostic check of the engine to see if any codes come up. Sounds like a sensor somewhere.
  • thanks eeway,all electrical checked good so i pulled distributor discovered bad bearings.trip to junk yard $200.00 later the van is on the road. I would like to say thanks to all that have posted and replied to this forum.The information here has helped me tremendously.WHEN IN DOUBT, PULL DISTRIBUTOR.
    Thanks, RLD
  • I'm test driving a 98 villager, had a 94 for 212,000 and looking to get one with fewer miles. When I'm on a hill or accelerating it seems to be surging a bit. Not enough to show on rpm put you can feel it, on/off, on/off with a rhythm to it. It is suppose to have had new plugs and wires recently. I've checked over vacuum hoses and look good. Checked air filter, and mass airflow screen - clean. I've ran Lucas injector cleaner through also. There are no check engine lights coming on either.
    Sprayed cleaner in throttle body and sea foam in intake but nothing so far seems to help it. I don't want to buy it if it is something major that I don't know about. Seems to idle fine and has plenty of pick up in acceleration, the surging is just annoying at this point but don't know if it would get worse or cost a lot to fix.
    The van has 128,000 on it. I put a new fuel filter on it last night though the old one was only on for about 10,000.
    Seemed to help some, but when you step on it for freeway entrance ramp the up and down is still there. There is a slight rpm change, but not drastic. Auto parts fellow thinks it is possibly throttle position switch but at 98.00 hate to put it on just to see, especially when it's not mine yet. Wonder, could you get one at the junk yard to see if it changes things? Pulled one plug - only 10,000 on them too - seemed a bit black like it's running rich. I'm going to try and get the codes read today if I can find a place to do it. Pulled vac hose off of fuel regulator and not gas coming out - so hopefully that is ok. Have no idea of what they get to check codes on trans.
    Replaced the fuel filter the other night - seems to help a little bit on the surge
    Had a mechanic drive it, thought it was the throttle position sensor, so got that and put it on. Still surges somewhat - would like to get if fixed so I know I don't have some other big issue waiting to go bad after I buy it. I'll try and check the optical sensor for dust tomorrow. Any other ideas - would be appreciated.
  • dapodapo Posts: 1
    My 1997 Nissan Quest will start nicely and ride good for about 10 -15 minutes and then dies . All attempt to restart it will fail. If left over several hourd (5-6 hours) or overnite, it will start and runs beautifully for 10-15 minutes and then dies again. This is a reoccuring problem. Any solution to this nagging problem?
  • nag3nag3 Posts: 2
    hello everyone this is a great forum it's really informative. There was one post here I read someone found out that when he/she tried to fix there quest from dying on him/her when hot but when cold it would start up nice and smooth, but after a couple of few feet it would start chugging like is was out of gas but it had gas.
    Well i have the same problem but only thing is, i changed the fuel pump thinking that was the problem and the fuel filter and took it to my Neighborhood Mechanic to check the fuel pressure and the regulator, well the mechanic said everything checked out good , But he also said that he ran a diagnostic and electrical check it came back saying the it was an electrical Problem, and he told me to "Replace the PCM or Powertrian Control Modual or the computer.
    But when i came to this forum to read up i found a gay/gal saying that when they replaced the distributor everything was fine? i think my self it also is the distributor , cuz the PCM is hard to break down am i right? and the PCM controls alot of sensors which would also show symptoms if the PCM went bad? Please guys/gals help me figure this one out i would really appreciate it Thank You :)
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