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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Starting & Stalling Problems

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  • I have a '96 Nissan Quest with 224,000 miles on it. I've had it for years and have a friend who is an amateur mechanic. He has worked on it for years and keeps piecing it back together for me. Right now, we're a little stumped as to what the problem is.

    The van has a loud knocking noise and "almost" stops but never quite does. I'm scared to drive it with this vibration and LOUD, shuddering, knocking noise, though. It does this in reverse or drive, not neutral or park. When I put the van into reverse or drive, the RPMs drop noticeably. It runs worse when it idles.

    We thought it was just bad gas and so added Heet (dry gas) to the tank, but that didn't change the problem. We also changed the plugs and wires. I have had a fuel pump and fuel filter change less than a year ago.

    I took the van to Advance and had them hook it up to their computer, even though the check engine light is not on. It came up with codes that said there is an EGR Flow Malfunction. It also said there is an oxygen sensor circuit malfunction on "bank 1, sensor 2." The guy at Advance said this didn't necessarily mean that the EGR valve needed to be replaced, just that something was restricting the flow.

    Should I replace the oxygen sensor? What about the EGR valve? I have had both of these replaced within the last four years. Any ideas? :confuse:
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    Have you tried using Engine Restorer? If it is gas with water, it does not have loud noise; it just that engine may lose power.

    My Nissan Quest 94 had loud noise, and ever since I added a can of Engine Restorer into the crankcase (make sure do not overfill), it became quiet and quiet till very quiet like new engine.

    I got a 6 cylinder can from Walmart, but I felt smaller can for 4 cylinder may be good enough. Since I did not change engine oil and filter for 3 years, simply top up the engine oil with 5w30 ever now and then, so I had some room for me to pour a can of Engine Restorer to crankcase to test.

    However, if your loud noise sound like this one, then it is distributor problem.

    ---------------------------------------------
    The van has a loud knocking noise and "almost" stops but never quite does. I'm scared to drive it with this vibration and LOUD, shuddering, knocking noise, though. It does this in reverse or drive, not neutral or park. When I put the van into reverse or drive, the RPMs drop noticeably. It runs worse when it idles.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 111
    I would check the condition of the vacuum hoses connected to the EGR valve and the EGR valve itself before jumping into oxygen sensors.
  • EGR valves do not normally require maintenance or replacement for preventative maintenance. But the valve can become clogged with carbon deposits that cause it to stick or prevent it from closing properly. Dirty EGR valves can sometimes be cleaned, but replacement is necessary if the valve is defective.
  • Thanks for the help. We finally figured it out. It WAS bad gas!. After taking just about everything pertaining to the fuel system off and inspecting and not finding anything wrong, we ended up adding another bottle of Heet. Then I went to a local gas station that sells 100% gas (the one I normally use is 10% ethanol). Within about 30 miles it started running fine - better than it had before, actually. No more problems and my old van is running just fine!
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    That's great! But then you said originally "We thought it was just bad gas and so added Heet (dry gas) to the tank, but that didn't change the problem."

    When I used yellow bottle Heet 12oz when I sense knocking and losing power image, but if it gave me a good response yet not lasting effect, I normally add another red bottle iso-Heet 12oz because the red bottle claimed to have 5 times more power removing water. image

    Also, due to the % of water, so the easiest quick solution is to get the gas tank filled up, but then the water is still not out, as gas using up, more % of water, the knocking may reappear, and I often add Heet or iso-Heet at that time so it shall give me good power till very empty of the tank.
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    Amazing! when I went to Walmart tonight trying to get iso-Heet 12oz red bottle for my Nissan Quest 94, it was SOLD OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So, I got a red bottle of STP Gas Treatment instead image since I used STP red bottle for gas treatment image for other cars and never got water problem.

    Wow! It worked for my Nissan Quest 94 too, the power recovered and driving like added iso-Heet 12oz. It says will treat up to 21 gallons.

    Btw, some one says can get free STP red bottle by getting $2 coupon if click like in their facebook ...etc. Any one got this free bottle before? If it can be free, that will be wonderful!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    If you insist on putting unnecessary junk in your tank, at least go to NAPA and buy denatured alcohol. It's a lot cheaper by the gallon or half-gallon than HEET.

    Big waste of time and money in my opinion.

    The fact that Walmart ran out of something on the shelf means nothing.

    Power recovered? Unless you are putting your Quest on a dynamometer, you have no basis or baseline for any of your claims.

    And please stop wasting bandwidth with the photos. If I want to look at ads, I'll go to Amazon.

    Steve, visiting host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • If you insist on putting unnecessary junk in your tank, at least go to NAPA and buy denatured alcohol. It's a lot cheaper by the gallon or half-gallon than HEET.
    //
    // Cool! I will check out Napa nearby; I passed by often and saw Napa auto
    // parts deliver cars running around.

    Big waste of time and money in my opinion.
    //
    // May be you already know all these, but I am still learning and testing ... :-)

    The fact that Walmart ran out of something on the shelf means nothing.
    //
    // Walmart has a very responsive logistics and never let product sold out,
    // especially very hot items. e.g. one night I bought all their sleeping bags
    // and distribute to homeless people, they got many more in the next day.
    // Besides, in our Walmart, there were lots of Heet and Iso-Heet, but the
    // iso-Heet all gone, may be because it is 5 times more powerful removing
    // water than yellow bottle Heet and only dozen cents more for same 12oz.

    Power recovered? Unless you are putting your Quest on a dynamometer, you have no basis or baseline for any of your claims.
    //
    // Yes, as soon as I add STP Gas Treatment red bottle, my Nissan Quest 94
    // run powerful again. I knew when to add iso-Heet or now red bottle STP
    // Gas Treatment as soon as I got honked by cars behind more often.

    And please stop wasting bandwidth with the photos. If I want to look at ads, I'll go to Amazon.
    //
    // I thought a picture worth thousands words ... :-)

    Steve, visiting host
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    All you need to know is in your owner's manual.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • Very true. Unfortunately, I only found Nissan Quest owner's manual online from 2006 to 2011.

    If you can find one for Nissan Quest 1994 online, that would be very appreciated. After all, when I was driving my Nissan Quest 94, I was not able to read, whereas, when I was online, the owner manual in the van is not handy, and I was afraid if I remove it from the van, when emergency I had nothing to refer to. So... I believe an online copy is the best solution.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 111
    edited August 2011
    Are you going to tell me you learned to read after 1994?
    How did you get around?:confuse:
  • Believe or not, you are very correct!

    I bought my Nissan Quest 94 brand new, and never got problem and I drove all over the places. I always used Dealer services till one time for 60,000 miles service they charged me over $3,000 with a book thick of reports!!!

    So I went dispute and eventually reached the general manager who told me "Sir, our labor is very expensive". I asked "How expensive?" He said "$85 an hour", I said, but I only left my van in your place from lunch time to end of day, about 4 hours, so that's only "$85 x 4 = $340".

    Then, the general manager sound like theft got caught and trying to find a reasonable explanation "... you know, because your are VIP, and we want to get your van serviced prompt with highest care, so we threw in 5 technicians, so you need to times 5". Since I went to Berkeley for Math major, I was able to answer immediately "... but $340 x 5 is only $1,700 and you charged me close to $3,000".

    So, the general manager immediately apologized and gave me refund of close to $1,500 back. Guess what? I never returned to that dealer. It has been over 10 years.

    Believe or not, I was just start reading my owner manual not too long ago; in the mean time, I use Lube Express type of services, just drive thru and change oil and oil filter for $19 to $24 with coupon.

    One day, my check engine light on, and I went to a local unamed auto parts store, and the boy told me to put a bottle of magic auto drug or additive, and magically, the check engine light went off after dozen miles of driving ...

    Thereafter, every year or two when I need to get my van to state inspection, I just add a bottle and the check engine light would go off and pass state inspection.

    The old man I mentioned in earlier posting whom I met at Pep Boys was even funnier, he told me that before went to state inspection, he just "remove the check engine light" so that dash board would not see that light, and he always passed inspection. He is now expert on Nissan Quest, and he got 3 identical Nissan Quest 94, all used at little cost, two for his twin daughters going to college. He said driving van is much safer than small cars for young drivers, besides, many college friends did not have car and van is convenient to drive friends around.

    Anyway, after all these time of research, I have found that "all parts needed NOT to be replaced unless necessary" just like human body, "surgery" is normally not necessary so you get 2nd or 3rd opinion before getting one.

    More importantly, at "pharmacy level", many human problem can be cured, and that is also true with cars. So the work "additives" to me is "auto pharmacy". With substantial auto pharmacy knowledge, one's car or van can last as long as or much longer than anticipated.
  • My '96 Nissan Quest runs great in the winter time, but during the summer months it gets a strong smell of gas inside the cab and outside aqs well, stalls out and won't start again for about 10 minutes of sitting. I also get a code of bank 1 lean. I replaced the Ignition Control Module, and did not fix it. Any suggestions or tips :confuse:
  • Basically this means that an oxygen sensor in bank 1 detected a lean condition (too much oxygen in the exhaust). On V6/V8/V10 engines, Bank 1 is the side of the engine that has cylinder #1.

    In other words, your fuel did not seem to be pump into the place in time. When was last time you change your "fuel filter" ? If you got new and good "fuel filter" already, there could be a vacuum leak downstream of the MAF sensor. The MAF (Mass Air Flow) Sensor maybe dirty or faulty. In the vast majority of cases, simply cleaning the MAF sensor does the trick.

    You may get this Gumout® All-In-One®
    Fuel System Cleaner
    image and fill in your gas tank to see how much the situation improved. I have spoken to many Walmart auto mechanics who drive really old cars; they also use this additive to clean their fuel system.
  • Surprisingly, this time Walmart in town also got STP Gas Treatment sold out image, but I already got the STP coupon from this website, just $1, instead of $2.

    So, I decided to try something else, and I found this grey bottle STP Complete Fuel System Cleaner image that my $1 coupon also applies.

    Since it says has to have at least half tank full and treat up to 21 gallon, so I waited till I fill the gas tank again, and this morning I added the whole bottle. After a few hours letting it mixed with full tank of gas, I found it is great! It seems to make engine start easier and restore much more power. Will see more cleaning in the next days to drive.
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    I was wondering what would it happen if I use "electrical charger" to charge my Nissan Quest 94 battery EVERY DAY just like I charge my cell phone. So, I charged it every morning the first thing I did when I get up.

    Amazing! It starts with 6amp charger to charge and the meter gradually goes down from 5amp, 4amp to 3amp ...etc to 1amp for trickle charging, and it took an hour or two to reach that state. May be because my batter died after winter. People often just replace a brand new battery; I did not.

    After a few weeks, the charging time reduced, and now it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to go from 6amp to 1amp, and last time when I went change oil and oil filter (after 3 years!), Valvoline Express gave me a good battery check on the report.

    Only when it rains or bad weather, it took longer to charge up the battery.

    Recently, I notice, amazing! the two posts of the battery have no corrosion; it seems all reversed. So, I did not need to clean the posts and they all gone by themselves.
  • lorenajacklorenajack Posts: 3
    edited August 2011
    In hot weather, after running this vehicle for a while, I smell a strong gas odor.
    It is coming from the gas filler area. When I remove the gas cap, vapors literally
    roar out of the tank. It takes a minute or more for all to escape. Seems like there is
    a buildup of gas fumes that are not being (recycled) or purged from the system.

    I installed a new gas cap a while back, but the problem still exists.
    I have to part the van outside for a couple of hours to keep the gas vapors from
    filling up the garage. What do I need to fix or investigate? Thank you !!!!
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    Have you tried to put some Seafoam into your gas tank, PCV valve and engine crankcase to clean the van? image

    The blowby vapors that end up in an engine's crankcase contain moisture as well as combustion byproducts and unburned fuel vapors. The crankcase is sealed to prevent the escape of these gases into the atmosphere, but the vapors must be removed to prevent oil contamination that leads to sludge formation. The positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system siphons these vapors from the crankcase and routes them into the intake manifold so they can be reburned in the engine.

    The main component in the PCV system is the PCV valve, which is usually located in the valve cover. A hose connects the PCV valve to the intake manifold. A second hose between the air cleaner and crankcase or other valve cover (V6 or V8 applications) provides fresh air to help flush the vapors out of the crankcase. Some engines have a separate air filter for the PCV breather hose located inside the air cleaner.

    The PCV valve is a spring-loaded valve with a specific orifice size designed to restrict the amount of air that's siphoned from the crankcase into the intake manifold. This is necessary because air drawn through the valve from the crankcase has a leaning effect on the fuel mixture much the same as a vacuum leak. So air flow through the valve must be controlled within certain limits. At idle, air flow is reduced because little blowby is produced. When the engine is cruising and vacuum is high, airflow through the PCV valve is at a maximum to purge the blowby vapors from the crankcase.

    It's important to note that PCV valves are sized for specific engine applications. The wrong PCV valve for an application can flow too much or too little air causing driveability problems. Varnish deposits can clog the valve, so replacement for preventative maintenance is recommended (every 50,000 miles usually).

    Not all engines have PCV valves. Some (like Ford Escort, GM FWD cars with the Quad Four engine, etc.) ventilate the crankcase with a small breather hose and calibrated orifice. There is no spring-loaded PCV valve. On these applications, no maintenance is usually necessary.
  • I have replaced PCV valves in the past, so I am familiar with them and
    their purpose.

    But wondering if a defective PCV valve would cause very high pressure
    buildup inside the gas tank itself? It almost seems like some gas
    vapor recycle system is not kicking-in and purging this buildup of gas
    vapors back into some engine intake mechanism.

    When I remove the gas cap, raw gas vapors REALLY roar out which
    leads me to believe some pressure regulator (?) is not kicking in to reduce
    this gas tank pressure.

    Does this make sense to you??
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