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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Starting & Stalling Problems



  • Forgot to add that the coil along with all other sensors on the car were also replaced. I think what was happening was that the computer was going into some kind of protection mode and running too lean to keep the car going. The computer was making the Idle control valve crazy (would explain fluctuating rpm's. Injectors running lean because computer got confused because of poor spark from NON OEM distributor cap.
  • Good observation tacobel. When my 99 Quest developed problems with its idle last year I decided to track the problem myself before sinking any money on it.
    The computer did not give out any codes but armed with a service manual and some tools I managed to check and clean lots of components under the hood. Most of the components checked ok.
    The problem was solved by changing ignition wires and distributor cap. I could have saved money by getting aftermarket parts, but instead I decided to buy OEM at the dealership and pay three or four times as much.
    That is nothing compared to the problems that may be compounded by buying cheap auto parts made who knows where. I do not advise anybody to buy aftermarket parts unless it is an old US vehicle.
  • It seems that once the distributor gear eats itself, other sensors begin to fail too. After replacing the distributor the car ran fine for about a month. Then, it began to stutter and die when coming to a stop. This pointed to a faulty IAC valve. I tried cleaning the IAC with no luck. I ordered a new IAC, disconnected the battery, installed the new IAC and the problem has cleared up. I am still kind of amazed that the faulty arrangement in this American/Japanese conglomeration is the Japanese part; the motor.
  • Funny you should mention that the IAC having to be replaced so that the computer could reset parameters and work with the new IAC. If you read my post about the 95 Nissan Altima, those were the reasons I replaced the IAC and computer twice. It was claimed that the IAC became faulty because of the bad distributor and a new IAC needed to be installed along with a new main computer following an exact procedure by a Nissan Tech using a type II Nissan dealer computer. Did I lose anyone yet? Yep, and I fell for it. It was claimed that if the new IAC and new Computer where installed not using this specific relearn method, both would be ruined, not idle correctly and only solution was to start new again. It was also claimed that even following correct relearn procedure using sophisticated Dealer equipment was not fool proof. It was a hit and miss thing. LOL I think thats when I started replacing everything, I was doing the hit and miss thing. I was even eyeballing modifying position of the distributor gear to change timing, some guys had luck doing that. Changing the Transmission was also on the list, but thats another story, LOL I am on this thread because someone has called me about a 2000 Mercury Villager which has the same exact symptoms as the 95 Nissan Altima in my above post. They installed new ignition wires, distributor cap, fuel filter and spark plugs and no change in performance. Over the weekend I will find out what it turns out to be.
  • Just to clarify on what I think is happening many times: Several things are changed at once, new distributor and cap when perhaps only the cap and rotor were faulty. Wires and connectors disconnected and reconnected and moved thus making a good connection when perhaps there was not a good contact before movement of wires and connectors, giving the illusion that an IAC was faulty. (Example, perhaps the distributor, distributor cap, rotor, distributor connector, ignition wires where also moved when the IAC was replaced), giving the illusion it was a faulty IAC. I am not saying this is always true but very possible. This could be true of other components being replaced. When I replaced all the different components on the 95 Nissan Altima, I tested all the components including the IAC,(for movement, was good) MAF (was withing voltage range). EGR (was clear and had movement) etc., but was under the impression that I had to fool, manipulate the car computer to reset itself. I got that impression reading posts from highly trained techs. Go figure.
  • As far as the 2000 Mercury Villager problem, it seems to be the coil. I didn't realize that in this year the coil is integral inside the distributor. Autozone and Kragen do not sell the coil separately, the whole Distributor has to be purchased. Symptoms are this: Van starts perfect and accelerates fine for about 5 miles. After this at about 60 mph Vans start to buck. Will buck when accelerator is applied to keep speed at 60 mph. Slowly and but surely the Van starts to drop speed on the hwy for about 2 miles. Finally at first stop the Van dies. Will not restart. Owner says that it will not restart for about 4 hours then will start perfect. Disconnected ignition wires at the Distributor cap held them a 1/4" away and observed spark (this is during the night) and the spark is very thin and a very weak yellow. Sometimes the spark is intermittent. Trying to find a place that will sell the coil separately to save at least a couple hundred. Oh, by the way it had a new distributor cap from Autozone. I insisted that he still buy the OEM hitachi distributor cap from the Nissan dealer. We installed but no improvement. Seems that the coil is too far gone.
  • You can find the distributor new on Ebay for between $140-$180. I think I paid around $150 with shipping included. The symptoms you list sound just like what the faulty distributor causes.
  • Thanks for the info. Looking on Ebay as you suggested I found a company that will sell the coil separately that goes inside the distributor for about $60 shipped. Could be worth a try even though paying $150 for a new complete distributor is a great deal. The person I am helping has hit hard times and is on a tight budget.
  • No problem. I would not even mess with trying to rebuild the distributor. The bearings are likely gone. Just get the new dizzy and forget about it. It took me about 10 minutes to swap out the old for the new. Good luck.
  • do you still have distributer for sale
  • Do you know if theres a differance between remanufactured distributor or a new one from Autozone? Should I just buy a brand new one from somewhere else? Having same problems you stated and fixed all you fixed. Down to distributor. And do you know where to clean metal shavings from? Thank you very much.
  • You can also check ebay for OEM distributors.
  • bgraggbgragg Posts: 4
    edited February 2010
    I read tacobels distributor cap problem, I put an oem dist cap on it. Ran great for 10 minutes and went right back to poppin and not wanting to run. Almost stalled. Pulled out dist, the gear was fine, could it still be the distributor or could it be the coil? there is a small crack on tplug in part of the coil. This is a 1997 villager.
  • If you can not find any info at CarSpace, then try this old forum for a 97 Villager: Villager/Quest FAQs The drop down on the left displays lots of issues with these vans.
  • thanks 4 all the info went to take off yourself junkyard paid 20 bucks for distributer oem cap and coil runs great i did put 500 bucks of uneeded stuff but still happy
  • LONG STORY: Borrowed a code reader for our van that misfired, and got worse when it was wet outside. It got so bad, the van barely ran. It said knock sensor bad, so I took off the two intake manifold and all that other stuff and replaced the sensor. The sensor case was cracked open about 1/16", so I could see why it would cause problems when wet (shorting out). Put it back together...started right up, but idle high. Book said possible vaccum leak. So I tore it all off again, and yep, lwr intake seal leak. Gooped it up w/high temp silicon and put it back together. Then would start but die after 5 seconds. Took it apart again (3rd time), and major leaks...worse than 1st time. Book has torque values too low, I think (12-20 ft lbs). Tried to start it up...same symptoms. Dies after 5 seconds. Fuel to injectors aok. Book says computer is supposed to kick in pwr to fuel pump after 5 sec. Book says some device w/in distributor (CMF sensor?) that should assist in sending code to fuel pump. Crazy story, I know...but before I give up and take this to a dealer...any suggestions? :sick:
  • Oh, this is a 1997 Villager with about 195,000 miles on it. :confuse:
  • autodummyautodummy Posts: 1
    1.My wife's 2000 Quest stalls after the engine warms up,with the air conditioner on.The engine starts right back up.Its just started doing this about a week ago as it has been hot as hades here (Mid. Tennessee heat index today 105f) talked to the backyard mechanic we know and he says it could be the timing belt and would need to check the tension,or something to that effect (I wasnt there).2.Also does anyone know where to find the driver side exterior door handle and driver side sliding door handle.Thanks for any help.
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    If the stalling is occurring only with the a/c running, I would suspect the IAC valve needs to be cleaned or replaced. I would not suspect the timing belt. I have had good luck finding parts on Ebay.
  • I have a 99 mercury villager that wont start. it started up just fine this morning when i left for church. when i got ready to leave church again it started just fine however about 20 minutes later i pulled into the bank and turned everything off, went in for about 2-3 minutes and came out and it wouldnt start. I tried to jump start it but nothing happened. what should i look for next?
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