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Villager/Quest Knock Sensor



  • thank you for the info. it is kind of you to share. will let you know what i decide to do.
  • i really like the villager i bought a year ago, looks rides and is cool, however i started having problems , it would quit running in a heavy rain or after driving thru a car wash? light would come on, then it would run rough for a while and get okay.. problem got worse. replaced plugs, plug wires, condensor and cap.. run okay but still had problems,, ran better though so we took it to myrtle beach (600 mile ride) did fine,, on the way back,, no rain , just shake and rattle, finally gave out in north carolina, would not start at all.. towed to king nc and they said,,distributor, 600bucks.. okay,, they did it fast 2 hours,, and we were on the road,, did great, never ran so good, a week after being home,, it acts up randomly , wants only good gas now and it okay.
    so,,, distributors are cheaper at home,, if your van is doing this,, consider getting it done where you live,, intead of on the road,,
  • curby_13curby_13 Posts: 2
    edited June 2011
    I hope you all can help. I've had this vehicle three weeks. When I picked up the vehicle I filled it up and figured I was getting 11.86MPG. I took it to my mechanic and he found a knock sensor code. He also saw the bank 1, sensor2(O2 sensor) was reading lean. He replaced the O2 sensor and my fuel economy went up to 14MPG. He thinks all that left is the knock sensor. I just want to know if that truly is the problem or if it's elsewhere?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    You didn't mention what year your van was, but I have a '99 and the vans of my generation (and the first generation) are notorious for throwing off a knock sensor code when the sensor is okay, but simply indicating something else is wrong.

    I'm not enough of a mechanic to tell you what else to look for though. :blush: But I'd keep digging before replacing the sensor. That's a pricey job.

    Steve, visiting host
  • curby_13curby_13 Posts: 2
    The van is a 2000. I've seen around where some say to get a tune-up and see if it helps. Sonme say it's a distrubutor issue. I guess I'll try a tune-up before anything. My mechanic already told me $558 for the knock sensor.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    It's funny, but if you visit the Yahoo Villager/Quest group, they have a big red warning there saying "Message # 1 DO NOT CHANGE THE KNOCK SENSOR!!".
  • tony2005tony2005 Posts: 2
    edited June 2011
    I suggest cleaning or changing ($12) the rotor first. The rotor is inside the distributor. I posted my experience on the other thread.

    My 99 Villager had P300 random misfire, P301 Cylinder 1 misfire, P303 Cylinder 3 misfire, P0325 Knock Sensor Malfunction on various occasions.
  • ccuppccupp Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Villager that runs very rough all the time. The OBDII says P0300 (random misfire) and P0325 (knock sensor). The van is hard to start and it used 1/4 tank of gas in 25 miles driving in town. It has an exaust leak but it is a rusted muffler. I changed the wires, plugs, cap, rotor and tried another distributor. If I pull a wire off the cap while its running it makes absolutely no difference on how it runs. The van has 109k on it and other than routine maint nothing has been done or changed (owned the van since new). The van started getting poor gas mileage for the last few weeks but it all of a sudden started missing. When driving the CEL flashes most of the time. When at idle the van shakes and the CEL is solid. Any suggestions? Thanks
  • Hi, two possibilities, 1 the distributor, tons of folks have had problems with distributor bearings, 2 in my villager, the crane gear key sheaf causing the crank/cam timing to shift.
  • ccuppccupp Posts: 2
    Well I broke down and took it to the dealer for their 'expert' diagnosis instead of throwing parts at the van. They had it for 4 hours and told me that the Number 1 fuel injector was bad. They wanted $780 to replace it. I paid the $90 diagnostic fee and brought the vehicle home. I found all six injectors on Amazon for $200 and spent 4 hours replacing them. Started the van and immediately the van started missing. It seems to run better than before, but not by much at all. So far now I have replaced: 6 fuel injectors, cap, rotor, wires, plugs and fuel filter. I swapped the distributor with a junk yard distributor but it ran exactly the same so I switched it back to my original. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • haughhaugh Posts: 12
    1999-2002 Mercury Villager/Nissan Quest

    So the distributor was definitely a big one. Unfortunately it was never timed correctly. It sounded fine and seemed to run ok but there was always a hesitation (the timing was retarded from 15 degrees).

    On a long distance trip towing a pop-up trailer, our rear exhaust manifold developed a crack and we lost a lot of power. The van was always having to run at high RPM to get up hills, even when not towing a trailer. After the rear manifold was replaced (Apollo muffler/Speedy brake), our van sounded like a truck. They did not know why.

    Eventually the van had a knock sensor code. It was the only code and kept coming back. I figured I had to do some more tweaking. Reading that hesitation could also be a result of blocked EGR, poor timing and a bad knock sensor, I first bought a timing light, set the timing and the truck noise went away, the van had a tremendous amount more power (also likely due to the new distributor). However, I still had the knock sensor code. I could never get access to the knock sensor wiring, let alone the knock sensor so I had to go to the ECM located behind the glove box. That meant pulling the lower dash apart on the passenger side.

    Gaining access to the ECM I measured the knock sensor at 20Mohms. A far cry from 500-600 kohms.

    My first attempt at tearing the engine apart found me with only one of the two lower intake gaskets thanks to a parts clerk who seemingly knows very little about engines. The part took several days to order and I could not order another so I stopped at the upper intake. I at least had the opportunity to really clean the deposits from the throttle body and upper intake manifold. I also found my EGR valve loose. That probably didn't help. The EGR valve was pretty clean and working properly so that was not causing a problem.

    Not being able to replace the knock sensor in the stock location, I just finished relocating it to a position on the top left of the engine just behind the A/C compressor. I had to run new wires back to the ECM and splice in there (pin #64) versus the engine compartment. This proved to be much easier.

    The van is back up and running and I have to wait to see how it performs on a long drive as well as if it shows the knock sensor code any more.
  • Dear ccupp,
    I can only give you my experiences with Villager vans. Firstly, I regularly work on two of them, a 95 (mine) and a 98. So temper my answers accordingly. Mine is pre OBDII so I do it all without OBD codes.
    1. Not that you don’t already know this, but if your van is missing and the missing is noticeable, the problem is likely electrical/electronic in nature.
    2. A Trick. Another thing I’m sure you know is to start the van and then unplug the plug wires at the distributor, one at a time. The idle speed should drop each time you unplug a wire to a good cylinder. If the problem is static on only one cylinder, the idle will remain relatively constant when you unplug the plug wire to the bad cylinder. If you can identify a bad cylinder, you can check everything associated with that cylinder until you get it. Get ready for a little pain, cause you are gonna get zapped.
    3. Plus, plug wires and distributor cap. Okay, this is gonna suck some. A parishioner at my church was having ignition issues with her 98 Villager. She spent $400-$500 at Firestone without any resolution. They changed everything (plugs, wires, cap and rotor). She claimed she was still having troubles, but the fine folks at Firestone could never find anything after she spent all that money. Pastor asked me to look at it. I got it late in the day and it was running fine. It was after dark and I was getting read to close the bonnet, without finding anything, and I noticed a blue hue from the engine, the distributor to be exact. Turned the lights off and could see random sparks across the distributor cap. Anyway, I checked the cap, noticed that some of the plug wire connections did not seem to snap firmly into the distributor electrode, at least not completely. Apparently, the tension from the distributor wire boots was enough to unplug the connections, at least somewhat. I bent the brass electrodes on the wires for more resistance. When I do ignition work, I apply a dielectric compound around the insulated parts, boots, plug wire, plugs, etc. So I put the compound around the distributor boots and started the engine. I could still see a random flash so I started unplugging the wires from the plugs. These babies where really stuck to the plugs. What’s more, I could feel a distinct ‘snap’ within the extension barrel of the plug wire extenders when I unplugged the wires from the plugs. After investigation, I noted that some of the plug conductor connectors within the barrels of the extenders did not seem to be close enough to the plug boot, but they seemed to click on the plug. Anyway, I coated the top of the extender and plug wire with dielectric and was able to get the plug wire to move relative to the extender. I then realized that the boots and extenders were clicking onto the plugs but the conductor was slightly off of the top of the spark plug electrode, so there had to be arcing between the plugs and plug wires. Anyway, I repositioned the connectors deep in the extenders and replaced them on the plugs, being careful that then click I felt was the connector snapping on to the plug electrode. I restarted the engine and the random sparking had stopped. I retuned the car to the owner, I see her about every other Sunday and she claims that I am a genius. I’ve worked on her van for other things but no ignition issues. Funny thing, I checked my van a few months later and some of the plug wire connectors to the distributor were not snapped in AND some of the plug electrodes in the extenders did not be snapping fully onto the plugs. I fixed it all, but never noticed any performance problems.
    4. Rebuilt fuel injectors: Here again, I have not had any problems with injectors, but other folks definitely have. One thing I’ve seen on the message boards is damaged/defective rebuilt injectors (most folks believe their rebuilt injectors are merely old but tested injectors with the new o-rings). If you suspect the replacement injectors are having problems, there are some good deals on eBay for new ones. I always try to bargain with the seller before paying their Buy-it-now price. Also, the injector rail bushing seals have caused one guy some problems, I think he replaced his injectors and injector o-rings, but not the big rail seals. Just a thought.
    5. If you think you still may be having injector issues, one thing you might try is a fuel injector test light (noid). These are relatively cheap, but specific to the type of injector harness you have. I have used them to check the signals to the fuel injectors to eliminate the wiring and ECM problems.
    6. Distributor. I have never had any distributor issues, but the Internet is full of horror stories about the bearings on the distributor shaft causing all sorts of electrical problems due to wobble and metal flakes from the bearing in the distributor electronics. If you’ve checked it, and the dealership passed on it, sounds like your distributor is probably okay.
    7. Plugs: I’m sure you new plugs are fine, but once I replaced my plugs with Bosch +4 (the four platinum electrode plugs), the van ran awful. Went back to AutoZone, and the manager told me that they have had similar experiences with other vehicles. Replaced with NGR iridium 2, no problems.
    8. Major mechanical issues: I have not had any problems with compression, valves, cross-threaded plugs or head gaskets. However, one fellow on a message board posted about problems similar to the ones you described. I figured it was an electrical problem, but when he finally diagnosed his problem it was a massive compression leak. Not sure what the source of the leak was, he was hoping it was a valve because a rebuilt head was only $150 or so on the Internet.
    9. Keyway on the crankshaft cracked. I had this problem, it was really difficult for me to detect because I adjusted the timing before realizing that the timing was a symptom and not the cause of my problems. A cracked keyway allows the key and the crank sprocket to shift by several degrees (perhaps 30) on the crankshaft. This caused severely poor performance, especially accelerating, but the engine did not seem to miss. I found the problem because my timing was off, a lot, too much to be a normal adjustment. I initially thought the timing belt had stretched or possibly skipped a tooth (very, very unlikely). I found the crack when I replaced the timing belt. I did not feel like replacing the crank or the entire engine, so, dare I say it, J.B. Weld to the rescue. Worked fine, acceleration fine after fix. JB Weld has held the key in place for 3-4 years.
    10. Clogged EGR port on the intake manifold. This resulted in my check engine light illuminating occasionally, but I never experienced and loss of power or reduction in gas mileage. The county in Texas where I live is under an EPA mandate, so emissions testing are required. My Villager failed for high NOx. From the charts, it appeared the pro
  • Dear haugh:
    Okay, you are the ballsy-est guy I ever heard. Never ever heard of someone repositioning a knock sensor. Also, I would have suspected from your description that the exhaust manifold has some broken studs or the connection pipe between the manifolds is misaligned and leaking, but not the timing. Also, my timing was really off once and it turned out that the keyway on my crankshaft had cracked. JB Weld to the rescue.
    Also, as to the EGR, if the problem persist after you run it for a while, check the EGR port on the intake manifold for clogging, not just the EGR valve itself. Mine was clogged up solid. This resulted in my check engine light illuminating occasionally, but I never experienced and loss of power or reduction in gas mileage. Remove the EGR valve and insert a wire from the EGR port into the intake manifold. The hole is pretty big, 1/8 – 3/16 dia, I think.
  • ba2002dongba2002dong Posts: 1
    edited November 2011
    in tank fuel pump, probably..BUT check and replace the fuel tank fuse (cubical fuse?) first under the hood; just to the right of the radiator when you're facing the engine.
  • Check engine light on. Codes P0325 knock sensor and P0300 random cylinder misfire. Went and checked codes a week later and added P0138 HO2S12 heated oxygen sensor 2 circuit condition and P0139 identical to P0138. Since P0300 is a random misfire not a specific cylinder, this steered me to the distributor. Changed spark plug wires, spark plugs, distributor cap and rotor before reading this thread. P0138 & P0139 probable cause 3 is engine misfire. Measured resistance between white wire to knock sensor in 41 pin plug and got infinite resistance. This is not good but I let it go. Timing light showed spark to #1 cylinder periodically stopping, causing engine stumble. This was the most convincing evidence of distributor problems. New distributor on ebay $90, free shipping. Cleared all codes immediately.
  • haughhaugh Posts: 12
    Ok, I have a new one.

    Just a about a week ago, the van started idling really rough. Code Reader said #1 Cylinder misfire (and of course the knock sensor). Replaced the cap and rotor and spark plugs (needed to be done anyways). Still there.

    I checked the #1 injector and sure enough it was an open circuit. Checked the #3 and it was 16.8 ohms (on its way out). Checked #5 and it was about 12 ohms. #5 was ok but I figured it is a bit of a pain to pull the collector manifold so I would replace all three (rebuilt and all measure identical impedance).

    While I had it open I cleaned out some major deposits with Sea Foam spray and a stainless brush. I put some light oil on the o-rings as directed and inserted each one carefully.

    Put the van back together and it ran ROUGH while blowing LOTS of white smoke. Figured it was due to the Sea Foam. Van was initially reading Cylinder #1 misfire which eventually changed to multiple misfires. The smoke kept coming and the van kept reading multiple misfires as well as the service light blinking. Smelling the white smoke I could tell it was not coolant and it smelled something like the cleaner.

    Eventually the van was dripping what appeared to be oil on the driveway (figuring maybe I blew an oil seal while goosing it to get rid of the Sea Foam). Turns out it was a combination of dissolved engine residue, carbon from the exhaust AND gas.

    I checked the #1 through #5 spark plugs and #1 and #3 were wet. #5 was dry. Apparently I was not careful enough when installing the injectors. I pulled the three new injectors and found the #1 and #3 injector o-rings got torn and the #5 injector was only pinched. The #1 and #3injectors were dumping fuel into the cylinders, hence the rough idle and multiple misfire code.

    Apparently this is quite common when installing injectors on these engines and ironically nobody local stocks injector o-rings. So my engine sits open and my injectors await new o-rings.

    Bottom line is injectors are a cause of rough idle and knock sensor code. Take your time when installing injectors and this time I will use a heavier oil when installing.

    As a side note, when your injectors are out, you may notice heavy carbon buildup in the fuel rail. This should be cleaned out for those performing this work.

  • haughhaugh Posts: 12
    Followup: Finally got the replacement fuel injector o-rings and used a combination of 5W-30 and vaseline. This time the injectors popped in with relatively little effort. I installed new upper plenum gaskets as well and removed a bit more carbon from the throttle body while at it.

    Got the engine back together, turned it to ignition to prime the fuel rails and then started it. It ran rough for a little while blowing white smoke. It took about 15 minutes of driving for the computer to "recalibrate" and eventually the idle smoothed out, the chugging was gone and no more excessive white smoke from the tail pipe. Problem solved. Changed the oil and its good to go.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    Thanks for the report.

    Reminds me that I need to clean my throttle body soon on my '99 Quest.
  • Hi I have that same problem with my mercury villager. Please tell me you fixed it so what was the problem. Thanks in advance
  • littleman5littleman5 Posts: 1
    The knock sensor is probably not your probably not your problem check connections on battery, if they are good check to make sure battery is of correct size, if so replace vacum lines and delete code and see if that solves the problem, if you have bad engine mounts this will set off the knock if motor is moving alot, most of the time the vacum lines are the problem
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