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Villager/Quest Knock Sensor



  • tester1tester1 Posts: 33
    Got the code P0304 Cylinder#4 Misfiring.
    Will first try to replace the spark plug, then wire.
  • haughhaugh Posts: 12
    I had that problem (99 Villager Sport). My learning experience was placing my hand on the distributor and got a nice shock. I took a test lead cable with an alligator clip mounted to ground and placed the lead over each cap point. The one bad cable threw a spark across to the test lead. Replaced the entire set.

    My Villager also had rough idle problems (also showing knock sensor code) and after replacing distributor cap, spark plugs, checking cat, O2 sensor, vacuum leaks, it turned out to be the distributor (ordered on eBay from California). I also changed the fuel filter which also helped smooth hesitation and low RPM surging problems.
  • Hey guys, I had the same lingering issue with my Villager. I posted earlier that I ended up replacing the entire distributor even though that was a major problem but not entirely it. The distributor gear was worn but what it also turned out to be was the fuel injectors! Because I was getting cylinder #5 or #4 misfire, the check engine light would come on occassionally. Also don't be fooled by the knock sensor code. It's just telling you it's knocking because the fuel mixture is off. So I took it to a mechanic and he figured it out. The injectors were working but what I didn't realize is they were running too rich. The van would run great when it was cold, but as soon as it would warm up, it would idle rough, chug, and buck at lower speeds (around 25-35 mph especially when letting off the throttle). It would smooth out when I touch the gas but it would always return to a rough idle. The long and short of it is, check your injectors. The easiest way is to check (the front ones since you can get at them) with an ohm meter when it is cold. Then check them when it's warm after leting it run about 5-10 minutes. They should read 12-14 ohms warm or cold. If not, they're not functioning properly. Mine were all over the place, 6-18 ohms. They were dumping too much fuel and the computer kept trying to lean it out. My fuel trim was at the lowest level possible but still couldn't lean it enough. I have a strong suspicion, this is the same issue with yours. I guess these are notorious for bad injectors. It goes undiagnosed because the injectors work..just not properly. It runs better when it is cold because it is in closed loop status, when it gets to open loop status, that is when the PCM notices the issue and the misfire returns. I put three new injectors in the front, and the van runs awesome. I finally get better gas mileage and no more rough idle or chugging. The best deal on injectors is to buy them through They have rebuilds for 1/3 the price and they work good.
  • jrvillagerjrvillager Posts: 7
    Hey pcsbob,

    I'm wondering what you did to fix the P0325 code. I've got the same thing plus an oxygen sensor code on my 2002 Villager. Actually the check engine light has been on for a couple of years, with no difference in performance of the engine, which is why I never bothered to fix it. Now I have to pass the emissions test, so it has to be fixed. I'm about to tear into it to replace the Knock Sensor, but I'm seeing differing info on this site and others that say that the sensor might not be the real problem. Took the van to a mechanic, and he wanted to replace both sensors, at a pretty high cost. I'd hate to do all this work myself and have it not really fix the problem. I did just replace plugs, wires, dist. cap and rotor. Plugs looked good except one was black. Van has 98,000 miles.
  • pcsbobpcsbob Posts: 5
    Not sure i can offer much help. My guess is that your probllems are more involved than mine. My check engine light was never on.

    I took a 1000 mile trip during which the car ran fine. Not the greatest gas milege, but no performance issues. When I reutnred, I removed the air filter and sprayed carb cleaner in throught the opening . this provided some cleaning of the air mass screen. I then checked for codes again. Everything was cleared. Maybe I am jsut lucky

    I have a new knock sensor that was never installed. I would be happy to sell it to you at a great price if you need one. Let me know!

  • jrvillagerjrvillager Posts: 7
    Thanks for the offer, Bob. I picked one up yesterday so I'm all set. Guess I'll proceed with tearing apart the engine this weekend to change the sensor. I just have this foreboding feeling that I'll go to all this work and the problem won't get fixed. I'll also replace the timing belt, water pump, belts, and whatever else looks like it should be replaced at 100K miles, so hopefully whatever is causing the error codes will get fixed. I'll test the knock sensor just to see if it really is bad.
    Thanks again.
  • jrvillagerjrvillager Posts: 7
    Well I completed all the work; replaced the knock sensor, oxygen sensor, and other previously mentioned parts (2002 Villager). When I was done, I started up the van and the check engine light was off! Went to get the emissions checked and got a block down the street and the CEL came back on. Boy was I bummed. I did some more research on the net and found something that said that in order to clear the codes, you were supposed to unhook the battery and turn on the headlight switch for 10 minutes. I thought, oh sure, like that's really gonna work! But I did it anyway, while I was replacing the front motor mounts. Afterwards, when I went for a test drive, no CEL. I kept waiting for it to come on, but it didn't. And yesterday I took it for emissions testing, and it passed! So now I can renew the plates. Hopefully it's fixed for good. I had tested the KS before I removed it by applying AC voltage and tapping on the block, but I'm not sure I did it right, but the important thing is that now it works, and with all the work I did, I saved over $1600 in labor by doing it myself. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to post to this site.
  • rjg4rjg4 Posts: 1
    How expensive is it to replace the Oxygen Sensor for a 1996 Mercury Villager?
  • On my 2002, the garage estimated $265.16 for parts and labor.
    I did it myself for $60.15. I think I priced the part at another store for around $120, so it pays to shop around.
    It's not difficult to replace yourself, you just have to crawl under the car. The hardest part was finding it. I replaced the aft OS, which is closer to the front than the rear (I expected it to be toward the rear of the vehicle).
  • Have a '97 Villager with 193,000 on it. One of the many problems we're having lately - when running it in high heat conditions (start/stop with AC on in summer heat), it will suddenly just cut off. Many times it will crank right back up, but missing out badly. If you give it about 5-10 minutes, it will crank back up and run fine - though you have to nurse it through the same environment without using AC.

    Recently, we have replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, EGR Valve - O2 Sensor (twice), cleaned out the EGR flow tubes, and it's still doing the same thing. It seems that every time we hook it up for the "Check Engine" light, we get a new story (like now it shows the apparently infamous knock sensor code - no - I won't replace that).

    After reading a little bit on some of these forums, I'm starting to think that it might be the distributor. Would buying a cap be the answer, or should we a whole new distributor. OR - should we just drive this thing off into a lake and forget about it. It's getting too expensive to drive!
  • 1995 villager, 280k+ miles. Rough idle in drive, not so much in P, N or R. Idle seems slightly worse with A/C on and on hot days 100deg+. Does not stall, accelerates okay, gas mileage 20-21 highway, 15/19 city, have not noticed any recent changes in gas mileage. Tuned up within six months, (cap, rotor, iridium plugs), timing +12BTDC, cleaned EGR valve recently (passed TX emissions test July), EGR works fine, replaced vacuum lines, visually inspected distributer, bearing and optical window, visually and electrically checked MAF. In 2007 had some engine power problems (not idle), problem source turned out to be the keyway on the crank damaged due to key turning sideways. Replace key with larger, better fitting key and, my personal favorite, JB Weld (also replaced idler, timing belt, seals and water pump).
    At wits end with the idle problem. Any suggestions?
  • I've had the throttle sensor replaced, trannie rebuilt, all belts changed, computer changed, motor mounts & trannie mount no avail...still bucks & jumps, dies at intersections, loses power around 60-65 mph, gets crappy gas milage. Any suggestions? My mechanic is getting tired of seeing me....I believe he will ban me from his shop!
  • Hi, I'm not a mechanic, but do all the work on my Villager. I hope this helps.
    Three years ago my Villager had similar problems, rough running, lack of power, etc. I did the usual, plugs, dist. cap and rotor, check for vacuum leaks, I even replaced six studs on my exhaust manifolds that broke, thanks to J.B. Weld (quieter but no change in performance). Anyway, when I checked the timing, I noticed it was retarded badly, so I advanced the timing all to no avail. I decided to change the timing belt, idler and water pump. Well, I pulled off the crank sprocket and found my problem; the woodruff key turned between the sprocket and crank shaft and destroyed that keyway in the crank. I bought a new key from Mercury and realized the problem, OEM Villager Woodruff keys are not tall enough. There is about an 1/8th inch gap between the top of the key and the key channel in the sprocket, hence the key can ride up about an 1/8th inch in the keyway. I suppose this isn’t usually a problem for newer vans, however mine had 250K miles at the time and the tolerances were probably getting a little loose. Anyway, I went to the local hardware store and got the proper size metric woodruff key. It was much taller than the OEM key and fit much better. Obviously, the keyway had real problems, so, thanks again J.B. Weld. The van has 286k miles now without a reoccurrence.
    As to "bucking" from a stop, mine did it for about a year, I just thought it was the transmission and figured it would go soon. Anyway, when I was changing the timing belt (above), I noticed that the driver side front motor mount was broken so I replaced all four motor and transmission mounts – bucking problem solved. Apparently, my neighbor had a similar problem. He saw me working on my Villager and stopped by to introduce himself and mentioned that he just had the transmission replaced ($2100.00). I told him about my experience with the motor mounts and we looked at his, the front two mounts were brand new without any charges for motor mounts on his invoice. He obviously thinks the tyranny was probably alright.
  • Thanks, I'll pass that info to my mechanic. I'm not about to climb under and work on it, I would rather set fire to it! But, I felt pleased when the mechanic rode w/me so that I could show him HOW it ran, bucked, jumped, died...he said I could drive anything if I could drive that for over a year with it doing the way it is doing! I know when to get off the gas to let it shift, and I can have it cranked back up in under 5 seconds when it decides to die. I've got 189K miles on it, I don't want to get rid of it, but dang it's rough on the wallet!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,940
    Wow, for someone who proclaims they aren't a mechanic, that's an impressive bit of detective work. My '99 Quest is running fine but the mpg is slipping so I think my tolerances are creeping up there too (mine's only got 150,000 miles though).

    Steve, visiting host

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • Thanks for the compliment, no not a mechanic, just cheap.

    I’m afraid I’ve never really been in a position to track my mileage regularly, in town one day and on the road the next, but my very best mileage recently has been 20.4MPG: it’s a '95. 3.0L with just under 300k miles; something to compare with yours.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,940
    edited October 2010
    I'm in the middle of a road trip and my load isn't too bad. Ordinarily I'd be getting 26 to 29 mpg, but this trip I'm only getting 24ish or worse. It's been a while since the knock sensor code came up for me. ;)

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • originally had knock sensor code and misfire in cylinder #4 code p0304 on villager 2000 w/96k. totally agree- knock sensor code means nothing. replaced spark
    plugs, distributor cap and rotor just in case (looked worn out). also looked at distributor internal components- looked clean- no sign of apparent wear. it helped only with knock sensor code. misfire in cylinder 4 remained. swapping ignition wire #4 between cylinders didn't make any difference. compared the internal resistance between fuel injectors - injector #4 resistance @59ohm. other 2 injectors in front bank showed 12-14ohm. found it a little hard to replace the injector. soaked the injector assembly w/pb blaster for a wheek. i used wise grips to turn long phillips screwdriver to remove fuel injector cap screws. i used needle nose stile wise grips to get a hold of fuel injector- flush and just above fuel injector bore. i twisted fuel injector as it moved inside the bore just a little bit and started moving it side to side while pulling it up and it popped out. i recomend using very fine sandpaper to clean rusty fuel injector bore. clean it up and use engine oil to lubricate fuel injector o-rings and inside the bore before installing new one. not sure what those nissan tech's do, but it worked for me.
  • Hi. I own a villager and it appears that a couple of exhaust manifold studs have broken/not there. Would you please explain how you replaced the studs on your vehicle.

  • Sure, you’re in for a trip. This is one of those projects that if you’re not committed, don’t attempt it. I replaced mine because the exhaust leaks made a ton of noise going down the alleys between my neighbor’s houses. I was really, really loud. Replacing the studs didn’t do anything for performance or gas mileage.

    First thing to mention is that on my Villager, I could see 3 broken studs with the upper part missing, but when I got working on it, five more were cracked that just hadn’t yet fallen off, so I actually had 8 broken studs. Oh, if you’re wondering, every stud broke in the same place, right at the head so there was no chance to get a grip on it with vice grips locking pliers. .

    The special tools I used for the extractions were: 1. good brand of penetrating oil (Wal-Mart); 2. a good fine file (Wal-Mart, Harbor Freight, Sears); 3. a good hard small point center punch and an automatic center punch, the spring loaded type of punch (Harbor Freight, Sears); 4. a good right angle drill (I have a 19.2 volt Craftsman that DID NOT do the job, I purchased an A/C electric one from Home Depot (Harbor Freight, Sears, Home Depot); 5. left twist drill bit set, probably two or three sets (Harbor Freight, Sears); 6. stud extractor set (Harbor Freight, Sears); 7. Replacement studs (I replaced all of the suds, even the ones that weren’t broken, I can’t remember the size, they are metric, get the grade 8 metric equivalent) (NAPA Auto Parts); 8. high temp anti-seize compound (on-line eBay, NAPA, AutoZone); 9. a good light with an aim-able beam (I have a Craftsman 19.2 volt flashlight that worked great); 10. an adjustable, telescoping mirror (Wal-Mart, Harbor Freight, Sears); 12. J. B. Weld epoxy (Wal-Mart); and a treaded tap set (Harbor Freight, Sears). Be prepared to buy thread repair inserts and appropriate taps and drills if things go really bad. All of this stuff is much cheaper online if you’ve got time. Harbor Freight is next best for price if you have one local, maybe Northern Tools, some place that sells cheap Chinese one-time use tools (hopefully you’ll never do it again).

    Fair Warning, on mine I attempted to drill out the studs with the exhaust manifolds in place. Some folks may be more talented than me, but in my case, I made the project much worse by not removing the manifolds before attempting the extract the studs. The studs are Hard, Hard, but the head is soft. If the bit spins off the stud and onto the head, you’ll have a hole, I did. I suggest you take the exhaust manifolds off the heads to extract the studs, HUGE PAIN IN THE [non-permissible content removed]. You’ll also need to remove the radiator.

    If you’ve ever removed a broken stud, it’s really straight forward. First, make a punch mark in the EXACT center of the broken stud. Drill with a left twist bit into the punch mark EXACTLY parallel with the stud. If you’re lucky, the stud spins out with the left turning bit. If not, you insert the bolt extractor and break the stud free. HOWEVER, where you are going to be working there is absolutely no space.

    Before starting the project, I suggest you liberally spray all the studs with penetrating oil, each day for a couple days before you intend to start the project. Jack the van up and get the rear (right) head studs good too. Because the studs break across the thread line, they never break flat, so it’s usually difficult to start a drill on the broken stud without a good punch mark. Getting a good punch mark on the broken stud is really difficult because of the angle you’ll be at and the lack of space. This is the toughest part. Whereever I had space to work, I used a small, fine file to polish flat some the broken studs to get a good punch mark. Use the mirror to verify the punch marks are exactly centered. This is a lot tougher that it sounds due to the space restrictions. Then, I used the right angle drill with left twist bits on the punch mark. DRILL EXACTLY PARALLEL WITH THE STUD ON THE MARK. If a bit dulls, un-[non-permissible content removed] it and get another, dull bits will kill you here. This is really difficult, again because of the space. Start with a small bit and drill out with a larger one until the hole sized is sufficient to get an extractor in. Be careful, it’s really tough getting broken bits out of the studs.

    Okay, the good news, every stud that I didn’t screw up by attempting the drill out with the manifolds on, and even some that I did, came out with the drill. No extracting was necessary. If you drill into the head, all bets are off, and it is a lot more difficult getting the stud out. If you are good, just apply the anti-seize compound on the studs and replace them. If you’re not, and I wasn’t, you’ll need to re-tap the threads, maybe install repair threads, and fill the gaps with J. B. Weld. Believe me, that J. B. Weldstuff works, I have two gosh-awful holes that I got studs in and torqued.

    I did this because I don’t give up on anything. My van had 260k+ mile when I did this. In retrospect, if I had it to do over again I’d probably buy a good low-milage used engine, replace the seals, valve cover gaskets, timing belt, idler, water and oil pumps and all of the exhaust manifold studs, and maybe the injectors, and switch motors. It would be more expensive but not take any more time that what I went through.

    Good luck,
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