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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Starting & Stalling Problems

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  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 112
    edited August 2011
    Before you spend any money google and research 'vapor canister and check valve' for you vehicle. It is something usually neglected that can cause some emission problems. Not sure if that would be the problem but it's something you can look into.
  • No, I did not say you have a defective PCV valve which is just one of three places to apply Seafoam, the other two are crankcase and gas tank. This is just general cost effective cleaning of lots of things that could have caused subtle problems.

    Last time, my Nissan Quest 94 had similar problem, when I used Engine Restorer, all the bad smells all gone, in addition to have very quiet engine and higher millage ...etc. image

    If you suspect the evaporative system, it often includes an incorrect or defective gas cap which you said you have replaced but not fixed the problem.

    It could also be a sticking open or closed evaporative "canister vent" control valve, or a canister coming apart inside, allowing charcoal to be distributed throughout the evap system - plugging up the evap "canister purge" control valve and the evap "canister purge volume" control valve.

    Disconnected, plugged or cracked vacuum lines can also result in evaporative system codes being set.
  • Lots of good tips from you wonderful fellas!
    I will check them all out, and put the additives that are recommended by all.

    When I finally get this problem solved, I will post the fix so that others
    can benefit from this problem. This 97 Villager has just 87,000 miles on it.
    This problem started about maybe 2 years ago or less. Can't remember
    for sure.

    Thanks again, guys!!
  • I often went to Pep Boys, Auto Zone or Advanced Auto Parts to just describe the problem and ask them which additives should be used and how to apply, and you will learn a lot. In many cases, the problem is common to many cars and the solution is unbelievably simple and cost effective.

    If you go to auto mechanics first, they may tell you to replace this and that, and that cost a lot and may or may not solve the problem. Auto mechanics is like "surgeon" and "additive" is like "pharmacy". In general, you would consult 3 docotors for 2nd or 3rd opinion before having "surgery", and I do the same for my nissan quest 94 too. However, just like human body, many health problem can be cured by "drug", in the car is "additives".
  • A while ago, I finally went to Valvoline drive thru to have my oil and oil filter changed after 3 years, but the problem came because although they used 5w30 Valvoline oil, I forgot to ask them to add Engine Restorer which I had it in last tank of oil image

    After all these months, my Nissan Quest 94 finally shows some room for my oil crankcase, and I just add a can of Engine Restorer. As planned, I just add the smallest one for 4 cylinder, not 6 cylinder, cheaper and not much room needed. image

    Wow! I got that magic power immediately back. Engine quiet down, much more power, no noise, no smoke, good smell. I thought it would be good to let everyone know.

    Now, I even carry another can of Engine Restorer in my Nissan Quest 94, and whenever I saw old cars on road or parking lot with not so smooth engine, I just introduce this wonderful magic to them.

    I even went out of my way to make sure people do not over change their engine oil and filter. e.g. Every time I would ask people for their driver's manual, and I showed them the page where the manual said change oil and oil filter at 15,000 miles, not 3,000 miles. I found myself read so many driver's manuals of all kinds of cars, and, believe or not, NONE says change every 3,000 miles or 3 months, just NONE!!!!
  • pluiplui Posts: 5
    My van ran fine at beginning. It started hesitation and service engine light came on after I ran the vehicle for 5 or 6 miles. I had to keep it running in 20 mile mph to a safe place and remove the negative cable, turn head light on for 10 minutes before I put back the cable. I went on to go home after half hour and the engine cooled down a little bit. I had a mechanic to remove the intake manifold and sprayed the throttle cleaner to housing of throttle, but it won't work. The car is still ran rough after 5 or 6 miles. I replaced fuel pump, fuel filter, rotor, spark plugs already, but the problem is still existed. Please give me an advise.

    Kindly Regards,

    Peter L
  • Have you tried to put a bottle of yellow Heet 12oz into your gas tank image Normally, for cars old enough, the gas tank may have accumulated enough water to make your engine hesitate at higher speed, so a dry gas like Heet may works right away.

    See if the problem repeats when you "fill up the gas tank" with Top Tier Gas such as Exxon, Mobile, Shell ...etc. The reason is because only exceed certain % of water in your gas tank will cause the problem, such as 4%, and when you fill the gas tank, the % drops, and your van good again. Just "regular gas" will do.

    Then, you keep a bottle of dry gas additive such as above mention yell bottle Heet 12oz in your van, and when your gas tank dropped to give you hesitation, you pour the bottle in to remove the water from gas tank.

    If yellow bottle Heet 12oz is not powerful enough, you may consider red bottle iso-Heet 12oz which claims to have 5 time more power to remove the water. image

    Not sure why you remove the negative cable and turn on head light for 10 minutes? But, one thing I often check is if my battery has sufficient voltage, need to have 12.66v, even if you still got 12.30v, that is only 40% electricity left, may be able to crank the engine, but may have problem later such as hesitation when you turn on headlight or turning signal, or even brake at traffic light (at that time, your 3 brake light on consuming already weak electricity)

    Your throttle should have been clean enough, other wise, you can not even start your van at the first place. Remember, you need air, gas and electricity to run your van well, and since you could start and run 5 to 6 miles fine, meaning all three were good till then. Air intake often more consistent, but electricity may or may not depending on how much in your battery; that's why I use "electricity charger" to charge my van every morning just like charging cell phone. When I did this initially after winter when my Nissan Quest 94 started having similar problem, it took about 2 hours to charge to good level, then it drops to 1 hour, to 30 minutes, now it often just take 5 minutes; in other words, I now change to charge it every few days, and may be just every weekend. Your auto mechanics replace spark plugs and rotor seemed to because of this suspicion. On the other hand, if your van can drive 5 to 6 miles fine, they should be fine.

    So, the only suspect is gas, so your auto mechanics replaced your fuel pump, fuel filter, but, as you know it has nothing to do with that. Just like if you eat something bad with stomach pain, would you go surgeon and replace your stomach? No, you want to go toilet to get all the bad things out asap. In this case, you may have got the water in your gas tank from some very cheap gas station, which is fine usually, but do not get it right before gas station refilled by oil tank truck as the level of gas at reservoir is low and more likely to get water.
  • you have leaky injectors the vales that seal them internaly when you turn off your vehickle hang open alowing the fule to drip into cylinders causing premature flood out. Run a heavy injector cleaner through the system after aweek the deposits should clear from the injectors and the problem should disapate if not look into replacing various problem injectors, good luck
  • On the one hand, your description sounds like the flood issue. On the other hand, may be your battery is weak; how old is the battery?

    Always keep in mind, many subtle problems often came from weak battery, so the first thing I did was always "use electric charger" to charge my battery for an hour or two and see the improvement.

    If you drive local often (under 10 miles one way) as many people did after Economy problem or van getting older, your van battery may not get fully charged, so it may help to charge a few hours every week or two.

    Fuel injector cleaners into gas tank also help; I found it often help injection system consume less electricity and more electricity generated by alternator charged back to battery or for other use such as head lights and brake and brake lights.

    I also found Engine Restorer image fantastic, when pour into engine oil crankcase, the van immediately powerful, quiet, no odd smell, more mileage and the battery seems to get charged much better ...
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,012
    Funny, you're responding to a post from 2008 with an ad for a product I'd never waste a dime on for my '99 Quest.

    You must own stock in the company. :P

    Steve, visiting host

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  • Well, it is Christmas Time, and I had nothing to do, and this forum sent me an email, so I just take a look at some old message and problems during cold winter times, and hoping to be able help my wonderful Nissan Quest 94 and others.

    Besides, many posting from people with their van problem always start saying they have read all the message but not found the answer to their problem, so I just document something I know and know very well.

    Your Nissan Quest 99 is 5 year newer than my 94, and I am very sure you may not have to buy this Engine Restorer if you sold your van before it reach my state; otherwise, if you start using Engine Restorer, just once a year, you may end up keep your van running like mine.

    I bought mine brand new and still running every day.

    I did not own any stock of the company, just like I post here but I did not own stock of Edmunds. The stock I bought was ALSK because it gave 20% of dividend; however, it dropped its dividend from 21.5 center per quarter to 5 cents, and now I only got 6%.

    The good thing is that if I buy more by Dec 28, the ex-dividend date, I would be able to catch that 6% in January just in time. I personally think it is good price because it dropped from $11+ to $3+ just because the CEO wanted to keep more dividend to expand the company, nothing else changed.

    I would buy lots of Engine Restorer if for any reason, Walmart dropped the price from $11 to $3, and the more the price drops, the more I will accumulate.

    If you look at Corporate USA hog record high cash, they will do lots of M&A; that is Merger and Acquisition and way under priced stocks will be acquired in the near future. Just like many Americans keep lots of cash in hand, what would they buy? I bought 6 dozens of eggs every time supermarket drops the price from $3 to 99 cents, and I feel Engineer Restorer is even better to store.

    And I stored lots of Lucas Fuel Injector Cleaner image and give it out as Christmas gift to young adult to help their used cars. If you buy just one bottle, they charge you $5 to $6 for this $5.25 oz one tank use bottle, so it is about $1 per oz. However, if you buy the 32oz bottle image at about $10, the cost drops a lot down to 35 cents per oz. Our Walmart, for some reason do NOT sell this 32oz bottle any more; they are good at making money. But I often go to Peg Boys to buy 128 oz for $32 dollars, the cost down to about 25 cents per oz. image Unfortunatly, I never saw this big gallon Lucas in Walmart, and recently Pep Boys often sold out; I am glad I stock enough for another year to come.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,012
    I had a new '82 Tercel that I drove for 17 years and I never put any junk in it either. You don't need to waste money on dubious additives to be able to drive them forever. Since '82, I'm on my 4th car - for two people. Still have two of them.

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  • So, what did you do to maintain your car? to last for this long?

    My Nissan Quest 94 years after I bought new started leaking engine oil and Nissan Dealer want over $1,000 to replace a gasket or some sort. They said the part is very cheap but the labor was very expensive and advised me to leave my van there for a week.

    Well, what they told violate two of my principles dealing with auto mechanics:

    1. If it is too hard to service and take lots of labor, it often means the car is FINE! Why? If you are auto engineer, you would design "frequently serviced parts" to be easy access and replace. If auto mechanics want to "remove lots of your auto parts", it means either the mechanics LIE wants to rob you or knows little about your car. e.g. Toyota mechanics may not be familiar with Nissan and may take much much longer to just replace your Nissan and cost you double or triple labor, or even more.

    2. If auto mechanics want your to leave the car in their garage for extensive time, it often means they do not know how to do and need time to try and error. Sometimes, they want you to feel the job is big and pay more than needed.

    Well, I fixed the problem by pouring into my engine crankcase a can of "stop engine oil leak", just a few dollars.

    Of course, I agree that you do not need to waste money take Tylenol if you do not catch cold; however, if you do, I may save money. On the other hand, you may never catch cold like myself because I know how to prevent it from happening.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,012
    edited December 2011
    Nothing special. I change the oil around 7,500 miles, like the manual says, but I've pushed that off a few times, once out to 14,000 miles. The Tercel lived outside in Anchorage all 17 years and it really got ignored. Just sold it because we moved and downsized to one car. It only stranded me one time. Never been stranded in the van.

    I buy whatever oil is on sale; usually SuperTech at Walmart and a Fram filter. Replace the air filter every 15,000 miles or so (usually a Fram there too; whatever is cheapest). I used to get Chevron gas a lot but when gas went up I went to the cheapest stuff. Keep good tires on it (I still manage to get more flats than the norm). Wash it maybe once a year.

    Over the years, I've had a CV joint go bad, 3 fuel injectors and a sensor replaced (still not sure I trust what the mechanic did on that one), several bulbs, turn signal stalk under warranty, a windshield, two batteries, a rear hub, one set of plugs, wires and distributor, a blower resistor, and a few brakes jobs and one brake fluid flush. I've cleaned my throttle body maybe four times. Ignored the recommendation to change the timing belt at 105k. About $7,000 worth of maintenance all told. Tire were $1,665 of that. Looks like .04 a mile for maintenance.

    There's a mechanic posting over in the Right To Repair discussion who recently said that sometimes the fastest way to fix something is to see how the factory built the car around the part and work that way. That may mean simply pulling the engine and transmission as a unit instead of going "by the book".

    Stories are legion about how auto engineers didn't take into account maintenance needs. Forget the make/model, but on one rig, you had to jack the motor up a few inches to get enough clearance to remove one of the spark plugs. Wonderful planning.

    Thanks for asking. :)

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  • Off topic but seventeen years in Anchorage? wow! I watch Alaska State Troopers just to see how people live up there. I wonder how cops drive those Crown Victorias year round, although at one time I saw somebody driving an old Chevette around Juneau, amazing.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,012
    edited December 2011
    Well, it was actually 20 winters all told. Lots of beaters running around up there. Don't really need AWD or 4WD if you have decent tires and don't go up steep roads or driveways much (I mostly had FWD rigs but the best snow car was a 70ish VW SuperBeetle).

    After a decade thawing out in Boise, we landed in the UP of MI on Lake Superior; even more remote than Alaska in some ways, but it's nice being able to hop in the Quest and get to America in a half day instead of taking three or four days just to drive down the Alcan. :D

    Haven't needed them, but at least there is a Nissan dealer sort of near me.

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  • Ran out of gas (new vehicle to me, gauge wasn't at the bottom yet). Put gas in. Wouldn't start. Pounded gas tank. Started, ran fine for a couple of weeks, maybe a hundred miles. Stopped at a convenient store for a soda, came out, no start. Walked to an auto parts store next door, bought starter fluid, sprayed it in, engine started and ran until the starter fluid ran out.

    Checked fuel pump switch by driver's left knee; was not popped out, but pushed it down to be sure it was properly engaged. Crank, no start.

    Had Villager towed home, dropped tank and pulled pump. Bench tested, bad. Put in new pump, checked function: key on, gas squirted out onto the garage floor. Connected hoses, put tank back up. Still, no start. Just for grins, re-tested old pump, and it ran fine. Scary. Identified a ground in the engine compartment with a meter, pulled the coil wire, set it next to the ground, cranked engine in the dark: no spark. Pulled the connector to the distributor, turned key on, checked: one of the wires showed 12 v. Reconnected to the distributor, cranked, no start.

    Pulled distributor cap, cranked, watched rotor turn. Replaced cap.

    Checked all fuses and relays involved; all good.

    Now what? I'm Desperate. I need this van for my business, not to mention that survival itself is a problem in this country without wheels. Does anyone have a clue?
  • It sounds your battery may not be good, so you had inconsistent state each and every time you start your van. In general, battery should have 12.66 volt with 6 parts each contribute 2.11 volt. When you measure and has 12 volt, it is less than 30% electricity left. Your gauge was not at bottom, meaning your did not run out of gas, so even if you added gas at the first place, the state of your van not changed.

    The battery may have died before, and, once jumped, it needs to take a long way to recover, such as 2 full hour of high way ride without head light on (say, during day time), or get an electric charger to charge over night each weekend for 4 weekends ...etc. Or just replace a new one, or Pep Boys may charge your battery free for you with their higher power charger, faster.
  • Btw, to check your fuel pump, just turn the key half will do. In other words, if your fuel line has water and frozen in winter, the fuel may not be able to flow to enable start. What you need to do is turn your key half way before start your engine, and leave it there for a few seconds, and you shall here the homing sounds, that just tells you that your fuel pump is working, no need to go through hard way to check further.

    If your fuel line or gas tank has water, which is normal for old cars, you may get a bottle of Heet of 12 oz to put into your gas tank image and anti-freeze the water and get out the water of your fuel line and gas tank.

    My Nissan Quest 94 had problem the other day when it went down to 9 degrees, and I pour in a bottle of 12 oz iso-Heet (5 times more powerful than yellow bottle) image and it runs fine right away.
  • orc96orc96 Posts: 2
    My van has always ran great. I guess im lucky. Aa few weeks ago I noticed there was a slight hesitation thenall of a sudden it started to almost die at lights would studder or hesitate. I replaced fuel filter seem to help somebut still have miss in it.
    I then changed cap and rotor and plugs. I took it to parts store ran test I had no engine light come on and it said knock sensor was only code.i was a it was running alittle funny but was still driveable. The next day I stopped and put gss in and drove 200 feet and it died in intersection it always starts right up. Made it up street to friends house and parked sence I had done every thing else I thought it was fuel pump.cause when it was running fuff where I parked my friend got out a baseball bat and hit the gas tank it seemed to run better . I shut it off and restarted it it ran bad repeated the baseball bat test it seem to smothe out. So I pulled the tank out and changed fuel pump.it seems to run fine for a few minutes as soon as I left to drive home it started not started missing again and stuttering.made it back to friends house and park itthat was for the night Monday morning I took it to the dealerand they said that that alpha code or something said it was running rich. I do have aexhsust leak where the back manifold goes in to that flex line over trany. They want to charge me 8oo to fix. Thats before they try something else.they couldnt tell me what was the problem. Said maybe o2 or Maf but didnt know for shure. I dont wsnt to give them the ok to just start throwing parts at it hoping some thing will work any help would be appreciated.
  • jwpinesjwpines Posts: 2

    We have a 1996 Nissan Quest - but only 72000 miles (we bought it from our daughters' 90 year old piano teacher who only used it for camping trips with 45K miles 3 years ago) I have an intermittent stalling problem. Only at low speed, sometimes going up hill or into a turn, but it's also happened going straight on, I get a compete loss of power. Still have steering, (not power) so I wrestle the beast over, and it restarts right away. No check engine light. This has happened about 6 times. Not low gas level, usually 1/2 + tank.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,012

    Any codes?

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