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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Starting & Stalling Problems



  • I just went back and check the statement given by Valvoline Lube Express and found out that they only add 4.2 quarts of new engine oil to my Nissan Quest 94, whereas it was supposed to be 5 quarts.

    But, when I checked the oil dipstick, it shows full of the engine oil and very clean and clear. Where was the 0.8 quarts gone?

    By the way, as time goes, the engine running much smoother with newly change 5w30 engine oil and Valvoline oil filter.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 109
    Are you sure? My 99 Quest has a 3.3 liter engine and it does not take 5 quarts.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,017
    Me too - my '99 takes 4 and 1/4th quarts with a filter change. 4.0 liters exactly.

    Steve, visiting host
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited July 2011
    Wow! Thanks a lot! That's great to know!

    I was wondering why 4.2 quarts; I thought it may be something left in my oil pan because I did not change oil and oil filter for 3 years.

    In the past, the Lube Express, now bought by Valvoline Express, always told me the oil pan was dirty and need to pay them extra to clean up the oil pan, but this time before oil change, I added a can of Engine Restorer image that not only turned my Nissan Quest 94 engine very quiet but also turned dark engine oil clean and clear. I guess if there were any sludge in oil pan, they could have been cleaned out.

    Somehow, I did not add another can of Engine Restorer after oil change this time as suggested, but my engine still very quiet and no smoke come out in tail pipe, but mileage seems to drop a bit back to original.

    I thought I did not add Lucas Fuel Injection Cleaner 5.25oz $4.84 in our Walmart image and mileage dropped a bit, so I squeeze some from my 32oz bottle image $9.89 at Walmart that I actually fill up from this 128oz Lucas gallon image I got from Pepboys $29.98 because our local Walmart did not sell this gallon 128oz Lucas Injector Cleaner, but small ones which is much more expensive. e.g. the 5.25oz bottle is about $1 per oz, and 32oz bottle is about 30 cents per oz and 128oz gallon is only 25 cents per oz.

    On the other hands, my local Walmart now had 32oz bottle SOLD OUT, and over 2/3 of Lucas 5.25oz bottles sold, only dozens left.

    So far, I found the best price is this one only $21.95 per gallon 128oz and on eBay also $21.95 but with flat shipping.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 109
    nq94, I have an old Haynes Repair Manual for Mercury Villager and Nissan Quest, models 1993 thru 2001.

    Most of the stuff on it is for model years like yours. It costs something like $15 and is available at places like Pep Boys.
    It might help you see with more clarity what you got under the hood and also maintenance schedules.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,017
    edited July 2011
    Pretty pictures aside, all your Quest really needs is a simple oil and filter change every 7,500 miles and fresh 87 octane gas when the low fuel light comes on. The additives required by federal law in all gasoline have plenty of detergent to keep your injectors clean.

    Everything else is just a waste of time and money.

    Did I mention that my '99 has 158,000 miles on it? Lifetime mpg is 21.53. My maintenance costs per mile are running .04 cents a mile.
  • That's impressive! Did you only add gass after "low fuel light comes on"? At that moment how many more miles can your Nissan still go? Have you tested it?

    My brother-in-law always brought a gallon of gas with him when he bought a new car and test it out how many miles will go till "ran out of gas" and how many more miles can go after the "low fuel light came on" so that he knew exactly what to expect and never panic!

    Unfortunately, he did not have van, so I have no idea what those numbers would be.
  • That's good to know. Thanks. I may check it out next time I am there.

    By the way, do you still need your copy?
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 109
    I will keep my repair manual as long as I have my van. Next time you go to Pep Boys instead of buying Engine Restorer, get yourself a copy of the Haynes manual. It specifies fluid capacities and things of that sort.

    Also, at one time I think I drove something like 10 or 15 miles in the Jersey Turn Pike with the low fuel light "ON". The light turns on long before the needle hits the end in the display.

    I kept reading your posts because I think you are a test of endurance for those engines. Three years without an oil change is a real test, but you taught me a lesson: an oil change will make my engine run a lot smoother than using any additive out there.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,017
    edited August 2011
    I'm pretty casual about fueling up. I use the trip odometer and when the gas gauge gets low and I'm around 300 miles on the odometer, I start thinking about getting gas. Often the light comes on, but it's more convenient, I may just buy gas early. Even then, my usual fill over the 499 tanks used to date averages 15.6.

    And I did intentionally run this van out of gas early on. There was plenty of reserve after the light came on. The most I've ever been able to cram in the tank was 18.9 gallons. But I don't think I'll intentionally run it empty anymore. Cars don't like being run out of gas. Occasionally you'll read about someone who ran out of gas and their car won't restart even after filling up.

    I don't remember how far I went when it was new when I ran it out of gas. That was twelve years ago. :blush: Easily 30 miles though. Sometimes the light will come on and I'll ignore it, and the next day the light doesn't come on for a while.

    Btw, I got an official factory manual when my Quest was new. Paid $100+ for it. I used it for a front axle change and a lot of interior trim messing around. Most of it is way over my head though. If you search around on the net, you can find them free for downloading. Try the Villager/Quest group at Yahoo; might be a link there.

    Steve, visiting host
  • jwoodenjwooden Posts: 5
    just 2 cents worth on running your gas down until the light goes on - the fuel in the tank helps to keep the fuel pump cool, when you run it down that low most of it is out of the fuel so it gets hot - and wears out quicker.
    Replaceing the fuel pump isn't cheap even if you do it yourself - and is a lot of work. I fill my tank up when it hits 1/4 tank just to keep it cool - doesn't cost any more to fill up sooner and in my mind - saves me money.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,017
    edited August 2011
    Yeah, but note the Quest is a 20 gallon tank and I've never been able to put more than 19 gallons in (probably even had some in the tank when I ran out of gas). Per Wiki, it's more common for the relay to oxidize and cause failure than the pump itself actually dying.

    My fuel pump is the original one, going on 158,000 miles now.

    Carrying extra gas around hurts your mileage and costs you money. :shades:
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    I was at Barnes & Noble at Willow Grove Shopping Center in PA, but I could not find the Nissan Quest Repair Manuel; I saw a Pep Boy in that area but did not have time to check the manual.

    What I was so surprised was that the hotel I stayed, a 2* Horshan Homestead that I got at $32, met a gentleman who stayed there for over 7 years of this 10 year new 3 story hotel, and he NEVER had problem with his car.

    This time I did not add gas till after over 300 miles, but still I am kind of not feeling safe when gas tank run low.

    I think change oil should make engine run smoother, especially, after 3 years, but Engine Restorer also make engine run smoother, and quiet the engine, and make smell great, no smoke, higher mileage. image

    I kept on emphasize Engine Restorer is because I could NOT have changed my engine oil nor oil filter this time, after 3 years because I found the fantasy of Engine Restorer. I changed it just was curious if oil change has anything to do with oil line hesitation problem, after all 3 year experiment is kind of unusual. Anyway, it has nothing to do with the problem I had, it is still the "water" problem, and I throw in Heet 12oz $1.37 at Horshan Walmart to treat it. image

    I now use Iso-Heet 12oz $1.99 because it removes water 5 times more, and I want to see if all the water in my "fuel filter" can be removed so that I do not need to replace fuel filter. image

    I think my philosophy is very different from many of others. For one thing, I am on the road all the time, and I do not want to leave my Nissan Quest 94 with auto repairs, or I would be waiting there for the service. So, I often want to use Lube Express like Valvoline if I really need to change oil or oil filter.

    Most of the time, I would just pick up a bottle and added it to gas tank or crankcase and throw out the empty bottle like getting gas from gas station.

    In the past when I bought my Nissan Quest 94 new, I was always wondering why gas station has many additives, as time goes, I finally realize many people with used car and high mileage maintain their cars this way.

    For example, you may drive and drive and never check your engine oil till one day the "low oil" light on and, at that time, the car is still driving fine, just like your "low fuel" light on, till you go get gas, and at gas station, you also get a quart of 5w30 and ask the service guy to add into your crankcase, and both "low oil light" and "low fuel light" off.

    I used to meet someone from India IBM whose brand new van was a lease $600 a month, and he did almost nothing on the van. One winter day, he told me he was going to go far away, and I saw his lights all on "low fuel light", "low oil light", "low air pressure" ...etc. So, I took him to a nearby gas station to fill the gas, engine oil, pump air in tires, ...etc. Light all GONE afterwards.
  • tcriettcriet Posts: 1
    About this random motor behavior, my van is doing the exact same things you described a couple of years ago. Did you ever find out what the problem was? I will gladly pay consulting fees if necessary.

    Villager Two
  • When was last time you replace your "fuel filter" ?

    The van starts and runs fine, but intermittently just dies. It will run fine for weeks with no problem then just shut off while going down the road. Sometimes it will happen only once and at other times it will occur multiple in a day. It seems to be worse in summer. After the van has cooled down in as little as 10-15 minutes, it will restart. At times there will be a slight shudder and others it isn't noticeable, it just quits.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 109
    I used to have an old Corolla that would die going down the road when the engine was really hot. It happened to be the coil.
  • After doing everything under the sun from cleaning the gas tank to changing out coils and plugs, it turned out to be the distributer! Hasn't had problems since! Also, a new battery on occassion will make it run like new -- any problems that seem electrical, change the battery! Good luck!


    P.S. The mercury tech that finally figured out said the distributer is a common thing to go bad on these early model vans -- he was right on!
  • Which year was your old Corolla? Mine is 1990, bought new, and still running very well ...
  • I totally agree that "...a new battery on occassion will make it run like new -- any problems that seem electrical, change the battery!" This is in particular important if your battery ever died and need jump.

    On the other hand, my Nissan Quest 94's battery died and I just used electric charger to charged it, and it runs great! What I did was to put it on charge every morning for an hour or two getting 6amp, 5amp, 4amp, ...etc down to 1amp and done. It eventually dropped down to just 5 to 10 minutes to charge good.

    I started to also charge my Toyota Corolla 90, and it runs even better when I started, just crank like a soft touch and it will just start like a new car. Since its battery never died before and last for close to 9 years, so when I charged it with electric charger, it only take a few minutes to go from 6amp down to 1amp, trickle charge.

    I saw this brand new Toyota Prius 2011 has solar panel on the roof to constantly trickle charge the battery; this will sure to save lots of effort on maintenance battery and less likely for battery to be died and need replacement, not to mention every few years when battery aging and getting died to cause all sorts of non deterministic problems like mentioned in the forum.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 109
    When I say old Corolla I mean OLD Corolla, mine was a 1973, which I bought used in 1977 for $500.
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