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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Starting & Stalling Problems

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Comments

  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    Same distributor. Just clean out the shavings and spray in a bit of lube.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Thanks for the info. I wrote your instructions down and will take them to our mechanic. I hate to spend money on cars!!! Take care, Cheri
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    You really don't need a mechanic. There are a total of 5 screws to remove. Just remove the two bolts that hold on the distributor cap and set the cap to the side. You don't even need to remove the plug wires. Next, remove the screw that holds the rotor on to the distributor shaft. You can now remove the two screws that hold the brown plastic cover in place over the bearings. I used a can of "keyboard duster" to agitate the shavings around so that I could remove them with a pencil magnet. After you get out the shavings spray some lube onto the bearings and put everything back together. It will only take you 15 minutes at most.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Way cool, Im going for it! Thank you thank you. I'm gonna pick up the stuff today and do it tomarrow morning. Heck, I can turn a screwdriver.
    That sounds easy! I' ll keep you posted on the outcome. Have a nice day! Cheri
  • thertthert Posts: 3
    I have a 1997 Nissan Quest. For a second time in about 6 months, it started acting up, and then the check engine light came on. We had driven about 40 miles, stopped at a grocery store for about 15 minutes, and when I came out and started the van, it started rough and begin to miss. We drove up the street and stopped at another store for about 30 minutes. This time, it didn't want to start. I had to hold the pedal to the floor before it would start. It smoked heavy white smoke and smelled strongly of gas. The 35 mile drive home was a long drive. The further we went, the better the engine ran. The next day, the problem was right back full strength. The first time it happened, I took it to the shop, spent almost $400, changed the plugs and wires, not sure what else. Any thoughts would be appreciated. :cry:
  • jwoodenjwooden Posts: 5
    Just so I understand this - is the bearing under the slotted disk - not sure what I'm looking for. I've had the dist cap, rotor, & the metal covering that goes over the disk with all the slots in it. But where is the bearing located - do I have to remove the disk? Or am I to get the little metal pieces out from under the disk. I didn't see that mentioned. Another thing in the Dist. that I'm wondering about is - To clean that photo eye - is it ok to take out the two little screws that look like they hold it on - don't want to mess up some thing more than it is.
    Thanks a lot.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,966
    Sounds like it could be a sensor maybe.

    Try to get to an auto parts store and ask them if they can pull the codes. If any show up, they can read them for you or you can come back here and someone should be able to tell you what they could indicate.

    Steve, visiting host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Hello, I haven't gotten to doing this yet so I myself am not sure about the slotted disk you are talking about. But I do think I read some where that people just clean or dust off the photo senser. I don't remember hearing that they took it out. If this helps any! But good luck and please let us know the outcome. Im going to try this but Im a little nervous. Thanks, Cheri
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    Once you remove the rotor, you then remove the two screws that hold the brown cover and remove the cover. That is the end of removing parts. Under the white disk you will see the bearings surrounding the shaft. There is a thin washer that rides atop the bearings. Compressed air shot into this area will agitate loose any shavings and a thin magnet will remove them.

    As far as cleaning the sensor/lens, I just hit everything with air and put it back together.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Hello, ok I am ready to go do it. I got the aircleaner, lube and a magnet. Yesterday you said pencil magnet. Does it have to be pencil thin. I got the smallest one they had at the auto parts store. Will this work? Then last question, for now, where is the distributor and what does it look like? Once I get there I can do it. Thanks, Cheri-oh ya, does it take a phillips or flathead screwdriver?
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    The distributor is what all of your spark plug wires connect to. Round thing on the left of the engine as you look at it from in front of the car.

    There is not much room to insert a magnet. You might be able to just blow out the shavings. Screwdriver is a Phillips. The rotor is underneath the distributor cap. It will be sticking up and is kind of square/triangle shaped. It has one horizontal screw on its base that attaches it to the dist. shaft. There is only one way to install it.

    After that, you will see two screws at about 11 and 5 near the perimeter of the distributor housing. Those hold the brown cover on. Do not remove anything else after this. If this is the problem, it will be pretty evident when you look beneath the white disk. Silver metal shavings should be visible. These are what you want out.

    You did get (spray) lithium grease, right? You don't want a thin lubricant like WD40 or silicon in there because they will shear away pretty quickly. Also, don't go crazy on the lube. About a nickel to quarter sized amount sprayed around the bearings should do it.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Ok I will let you know when done. Thanks for your help! cheri
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Ok I hope your here. I took of the cover and the horizontal screw on the rotor, now how does the rotor come off? do I just pull it straight up? turn it? On the top of this it has the word "screw" with an arrow pointing staight??? It doesn't lift straight up or turn easy. should I apply pressure to lift or turn it? This has to come off inorder to get to the plate below it, right?
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    The rotor should lift straight up. It should not be difficult to remove at all. Once you remove the screw that attaches it to the distributor shaft, I should pull straight up.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Well Bummer! I got the rotor off alright and the cover plate and I was sad to see that there was no metal shavings. I did blow it out with the duster air and ran the magnet around the disk but I didn't ever get any shavings at all. I really couldn't get the magnet down under the washer though. I sprayed the white grease lube in under that big washer under the slotted disk also. I gave it about 3 quick sprays and put it all back together. It still bogs in and out when I hit the first hill. Such a bummer. Can you think of anything else it might be? I suppose it could be many different things. I do appreciate all your help and coaching me through this. Thanks, Cheri
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    Cheri,

    I feel kind of bad after reading back through the posts and discovering that you have a 93 model and I was giving you input on fixing a 99+ model. Completely different engines! I would think checking the coil would be a logical step in diagnosing your issue. Since I don't know what part of the country you are located in, I can't help with store recommendations. Around here, unless it is a special order part, you can usually return a part if you don't damage it trying it out.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Not to worry, it was easy anyway and it was mostly the same as you discribed. But the mechanic asked me if I was talking about changing the distbutor or just the coil, when I was talking to him. Maybe he knew what he was talking about. It this hard to change?
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    In the old days..... typically the coil is connected to the center plug on the distributor and is a piece of cake to change.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Is is just a wire? like a spark plug wire?
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    The center plug wire from the distributor should connect to a box or tube typically mounted on the firewall. I'll look for an illustration online and see what I can find.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Thank you.
  • prez_prez_ Posts: 5
    Posted this here because I was having the same issues with the known distributor bearing problem, knock sensor code & random misfire. My bearing was toasted, only 4 balls left in it, both seals destroyed, and a handfull of rather large metal shavings about.

    Thanks to all of the info here I saved a wad of cash on a new or reman distributor. I instead tore it down, cleaned everything with contact cleaner, and got a replacement bearing from local industrial supply place. After reassembling and reinstalliing the distributor, it fired up & ran with no missing.

    Cleared all codes, and restarted, after a few mins the idle stepped up to 2500 rpm, then it would drop & climb repeatedly and the exhaust manifolds started to glow red. It also has plenty of volume exiting the tailpipe.

    Shut it off, rescanned for codes and only have knock sensor code. I also recall a co-worker of my wife convincing her to try some water remover & injector cleaner...which she did on the way home from work the other day, problem is she was told to only mix additives into 1/2 tank of fuel instead of full tank.
  • thertthert Posts: 3
    After reading much here, I changed the fuel filter and air filter. Things seem much better now, but not completely corrected. The only code was for the knock sensor. I think they said Po325. Parts store guy said it no big deal. It still misses some, still stops performing some, but mostly runs OK. When it acts up, it smells of gas, like it's running rich. I'm sure I should be answering something, but that's all I can think of. Thanks for your help.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,966
    If you think it's fuel related, you may want to run a bottle of Techron in a tank or two to see if that helps.

    When my knock sensor went out on my '99, the Check Engine Light came on immediately.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • thertthert Posts: 3
    I did put a bottle of Lucas injector cleaner in the tank when I changed the fuel filter. I don't think it is fuel related. The only thing I can think of (not knowing how everything works) is that something intermittently causes the engine to run rich. It doesn't seem to be possible to me that something can cause one or more cylinder to miss intermittently, but perhaps it's possible to flood one or more and then not. What function does the knock sensor perform? Any help is sure appreciated.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,966
    AFAIK, it just senses engine knock (and no, I'm not much of a mechanic :) ). Actually it has to do with engine timing, advancing the timing until the engine pings, and then it backs it off a bit for efficient operation. And I think it'll kick in and retard the timing if a cylinder pre-ignites. By kicking in, it'll send a signal to the engine computer and the computer will adjust the timing.

    The other code that was thrown off when the knock sensor code came up for me was cylinder misfire, which would tie in with the knock sensor having to respond to the knock or ping caused by the pre-ignition.

    I wound up replacing the sensor and three fuel injectors, but I'm not sure I trust that my mechanic shop really knew what they were doing with the injectors.

    Intermittent problems can be a pain to trace down. Maybe you just have a poor connection somewhere, like going to the computer. Or maybe the engine computer has a flaky trace or component.

    Beats me - anyone?

    Steve, visiting host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • petakapetaka Posts: 12
    Not a mechanic here but if the van is doing something now that it was not doing before this might be related to timing. The ECM is probably trying to adjust for the difference in signal form the distributor sensor. It is only a guess, but I would start with a timing light.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    My 93 villager mostly only does this when on a hill and just after. Everyone says this is because of the load on the engine. I took the dist. apart and didn't see any metal shavings but srayed the lube in on the barrings. It didn't solve the problem but I do believe it is somewhat better. Not bogging down and misssing as intensly as it was and seems to have a little more pick up and go to it. I feel like maybe it could have used more lube in the barrings?? Do you think that could be a possiblity?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,966
    I don't think more lube is going to help.

    My ideas are about tapped out. It sounds electrical to me, but that could mean anything from wires to sensors to replacing the whole distributor.

    Maybe try asking over in Edmunds Answers - there are some good techs hanging out there and they'll come up with some different angles to think about.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • petakapetaka Posts: 12
    By replacing ignition wires, distributor cap and rotor on my 99 Quest I got rid of a gremlin that kept me busy for a few months. I used OEM parts from the dealership that came close to 200 dollars because I do not like third party parts on my van, but the same parts can be purchase at Auto Zone for about 70 dollars.
    This is not guaranteed to solve your problem but the job is not difficult to do. In your case I would also replace spark plugs, timing belt and flush fuel system but now we are talking about lots of money and still no guarantees.
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