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Nissan Quest Brakes



  • I was at one point the biggest fan of nissan but up until this latest issue, I have come to the conclusion that Nissan product have a lot to be desired. I currently have an 07 Quest that I lease and let me tell you that once you cross that 30k point, the mini-van will literally fall apart in you hand if not in your driveway. First it started with both sliding doors then it was the strange noise from the undercarriage and last but not least, the brakes.
    The brakes are the hardest thing to have a dealer fix and I don't know why. This was my first mini-van that I leased brand new and I hoped that it would last alot longer than it has with out issues. i have already spent easily over $1200 in supposed repairs to the brakes only to have the problem of shaking and rattling come right back within days of picking the van up. The only answer i have been getting from the dealer is that I need to replace more that just the brake rotors and pads but now it could be the tires or the rims themselves. ultimately after doing all that was recommended, the van still has the original problem of shaking and rattling when you apply the brakes after being being used once or twice.
    So I started doing my own research and i am a little bit of a shade tree mechanic, so what i found out was that if i went out and purchased a performance rotors that are slotted for both the front and back. That would stop the problem of the shakes that comes from the small size of the original rotors and not being able to the heat that is created from the use. quoted price of after market performance rotor front and back $180 with tax.. amount already spent $1200. I think the choice is obvious. I'll will update when i'm done with the upgrade and the overall results.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    How long is your lease? That is a lot of money to spend on a leased vehicle. I wouldn't expect any great results from these rotors. I find it hard to believe the rotors are the problem. Plus the original rotors (same as what the dealership is using now) lasted until 30k miles. So the size and brand of rotors is likely not the problem.

    Since you have so much already invested in this vehicle, I would find a good independent mechanic to look at the entire braking and suspension system. I think you have more going on than just the rotors.

    My 2004 Quest has 78k miles on it. I stopped taking it to the dealer for brakes about 4 years ago. My indy mechanic does a great job and is much cheaper. He used Napa brakes this past spring for the rear brakes. They work great. Plus he doesn't nickel and dime me.

    Good luck and keep us up to date.
  • Did you ever get this worked out? I have an 04 Quest w/ broken CA bushings as well. My independent mechanics have been beating the bushes for two weeks but it they are telling me that Nissan does not make/sell the bushing separate from the LCA so it's a $700+ repair. If you found the bushings, could you let me know where to tell my guys to look for them (possibly w/ part numbers)?

    Thanks so much.

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    The bushings on the front lower control arms are not serviceable. You have to replace the entire control arm (thank you Nissan). I got my control arms from They arrived in two days via ground shipping. I believe they cost me $445 for both front control arms. They are genuine OEM parts. There is only one supplier that makes this part.

    Also do a google search on "Partsgeek discount codes". I found a 5% discount code for my order.

    What's interesting is the bushings for the REAR control arms can be replaced.

    Good luck
  • Update on Raybestos QS Pads:

    Our '04 Quest now has 136,000 miles. After 49,000 miles of regular combined highway / city driving on Raybestos QS pads, the front pads are worn very thin, and the rear pads are worn about 75%. There is a slight shimmy in the steering wheel when the brakes are applied, so early spring I plan to replace the pads all the way around and replace the front rotors. What's the latest on rotors, is frozen still the way to go?
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    It seems that the frozen rotors are the best way to go as the OEM rotors are very small and inferior. I have an 04 Quest with 66k miles. The dealer replaced the rotors at 59k miles under warranty 1 yr back.So the next time the rotors and pads are on me. :cry:

    I also had the steering shimmy after the rotor job. The dealer balanced and aligned them and could not fix the shimmy. I took it to a different Nissan dealer-he balanced them and now the vibration is fixed. So if one dealer can`t fix it take it to a different dealer. :shades:

    Also what tires did you use? I still have the Goodyear eagle LS2 OEM tires. I got the 04 Quest preowned,so the previous owner must have put those. But from what I have read,these are pathetic. The Yokohoma Avid TRZ are supposed to be good. CR rates the Michellin Primacy MX4 which are available for the -04 Quest as the best tires in that class- for comfort,ride,tread life--basically the topmost ranking. So what were your issues with the tires and what did you use??

    And did you have any other problems after 65k miles?? Thanks for the help. But as far as rotors--from all Quest discussions forums I have read here and elsewhere the Frozen rotors are supposed to be the best choice. Hope this helps.
  • I see someone else posting that control arm bushings may contribute to the shimmy as well; our shimmy is extremely slight so I'll replace rotors alone first and see what happens. It appears that one person had frozen rotors warp at 15K, and someone else was having good luck with Raybestos rotors....Raybestos does have a higher grade rotor available, maybe that'll be worth a try.

    We got our '04 at 49K about 4 years ago. At that time it had the LS2 tires which absolutley sucked, and there was no other replacement available in that odd size. So, being in snow country I found a second set of rims and bought a set of 235-70-16 Blizzaks for winter (sized per someone's suggestion here) and those are fabulous in snow. After a couple of years Tire Rack had some other brand tires available (in tandem with the volume needed for new Chrysler minivan) so I went cheap and bought General brand. I'm not entirely happy with them, they don't seem to balance out very well, so would suggest spending extra on some better tires than General.

    Other than that, for what it is the van has been good. We had a transmission module replaced under warranty almost right after we bought it (traced the symptoms down right here on the forum). A new battery. The brakes. New belts (the alternator belt tensioner is a weak design, if yours breaks ask for the Altima replacement parts, otherwise they'll try to sell you an entire tensioner assembly for Quest). At about 120K, a cam sensor for the rear cylinder bank went out, symptoms are not serious (hard starting, runs a bit rough) and the check engine light code traces it down easily. Part is about 80 bucks at Nissan, and very easy to replace yourself. It's had all of the recalls for rattles and stuff. It still has rattles but for the use it gets we don't care. This tank will get us 29mpg on a good day doing about 60mph. Come to think of it, it's appearing that some rust is starting to pop thru down low on the right rear wheel well. Rust holes on something that new would really suck.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Thanks for the reply. Regards frozen rotors-- I am pretty sure they have a lifetime warr on the rotors. So if the rotors wrap,they will send you a replacement free. Not sure on the warr on the Raybestos rotors.

    And yes - now there are much more options on the tires. Michelin Primacy is supposed to be the best but most expensive followed by the Yoko Avid TRZ. Michelin is supposed to be the quietest and the longest tread life. I still have about 25k tread left on the Goodyears..And as you said,it is good for it is. It is not my main commute- I just needed a spare minivan and it fits the bill perfectly. Got a great deal used as these depreciate horribly due to the quality problems.

    Minor rattles present--acceptable,not too disturbing... But if I had gotten the van brand new I would be extremely mad and disappointed as these problems should not occur in a 30k van. :shades:
    And right now I am getting 17mpg as I mostly do city stop and go driving and very rarely drive on the highways.

    But these forums have been so informative and useful--You pretty much read every problem that happens with the Quest and it`s solution. :P
  • I hear you on getting the good deal on the Quest used. The '04+ is actually quite the diamond in the rough for the used minivan buyer. Because of the bad raps it does depreciate rapidly, and we bought into this thing cheap, knowing full well about the rattles and other potential problems. It's a big minivan, but second to none in cargo space, and the "fold somewhat flat" second row seats are great. I agree that if a person paid major money for a new '04 then rightfully they'd be livid about the problems, but for the 'used' money this thing has been great.
  • 1998 quest driver side rear drum brake dragging and not releasing causingwheel to heat up. Releasing fluid frees brake until brakes applied again and tne the same happens. Took off wheel cylinder and manually pushed in pin and seemed ok. Any advice greatly appreciated..
  • exploder750exploder750 Posts: 159
    I bought Raybestos Advanced Technology (upgrade from standard quality) front rotors and Raybestos Advanced Technology ceramic pads front and rear from, $184 bottom line shipped. Installed them this past weekend, and with approximately 51,000 miles on the previous set of Raybestos pads they appeared to have about 1/4 life remaining before going totally metal to metal. So, not bad compared to the OEM pad life. The front rotors had a couple of hot spots on them, and the steering wheel did shake a bit when applying the brakes, so it's certain they were warped. the stopping is smooth as silk now and we'll see how long these rotors last. the van has 139,000 miles and is nearly paid off, we'd like to run it well over 200,000 miles.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    The pads are not the problem with my 2004 Quest. it's the rotors. It seems like each year I'm replacing either the front or rear rotors. I currently have 80,000 miles on mine. I just want to reach 100k without a major repair.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Yes,as dtown said-the problem with the 04+ Quests are the rotors.. So did your Raybestos rotors also last 51k miles?? If they did ,then that is a very good number..I had my rotors last replaced at 56k miles.Now I have 70k miles and these are OEM ones...I am just hoping they last atleast another 20k-25k miles.. So any other problems you have had with your Quest recently??
  • exploder750exploder750 Posts: 159
    Actually, the 51K miles were for Raybestos pads only. We bought the van used with 49K miles (it now has 139,000 miles) and when I replaced the pads the first time 51K ago, I left the rotors as is; speculating that they had been turned at least once. Doing that, it was about 10k ago that I started to notice a slight shake in the steering wheel when braking. It's smooth as silk now with the new Raybestos rotors up front, same original rotors in back.

    Other than that, no other problems to speak of. I did a radiator drain and refill, and at 139K the original antifreeze was still like new. There is a nickel sized rust bubble forming on the wheel well just to the front of the right rear wheel. Pretty disappointing,
  • vrmvrm Posts: 303
    My 2000 Quest GXE failed the state safety inspection due to rear brakes.

    The price difference between genuine Nissan brake shoe pads and generic 3rd party pads is more than 100%.

    I hope my brakes dont start squealing if I use brake pads bought from Auto Zone.
    Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,963
    How many miles? My '99 just rolled over 138,000 yesterday and it's still on the original brakes.

    We don't have inspections here otherwise mine would be in the shop. My ebrake died last month, so I'm due for a complete brake job back there I'm sure.

    I'd go with aftermarket pads too. You know Nissan is just sourcing them from some outfit anyway, and just putting their brand on them. Who knows if the OEM ones are really any better.

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  • cirrusscirruss Posts: 87
    To recap the history and update on recent brake status:

    33626 miles (11/19/2006):
    original front rotors warped
    installed front Frozen rotors
    installed front Raybestos QS ceramic pad
    installed rear Raybestos QS ceramic pad
    kept the factory rear rotors and did not machine them

    54000 miles (11/02/2008):
    rear rotors started warping and causing the back end to rumble when braking

    57400 miles (3/8/2009):
    front Frozen rotors warped causing shimmy when braking
    installed front Raybestos Advance Technology rotors
    installed front Raybestos Professional Grade Ceramic pads (Raybestos replaced the QS model with PG)

    64250 miles (4/24/2010):
    the rear rotors are really warped at this point but they were the original factory ones that never got machined - ever
    installed rear Raybestos Advance Technology rotors
    installed rear Raybestos Professional Grade Ceramic pads

    At this point, I have Raybestos Advance Technology rotors, and Raybestos PG Ceramic pads on all 4 corners, front rotors are still silky smooth, and good braking with very little wear on the pads. With the new brakes on the rear, the entire van stops like the first day I got it. For those of you who is not familiar with Raybestos, they have been around for a very long time in the brake business. I have been using their products for 20 years now. I find their stuff to meet or exceed the performance factory brakes, and very affordable. As for the ceramic pads, the main benefit is less brake dust. I purchased them from

    My thoughts on the Frozen rotors are way overpriced and more hype then anything else. For the price of a set of Frozen, you can get 3 sets of Raybestos. My other concern is where they are sourcing these rotors. I don't think they manufacture the rotors themselves. They just dunk them in a frozen bath and then charge you 3X the price.

    For those of you who are DIYs, the rear caliper bracket bolts are a lot easier to remove than the fronts when removing the rotors. You will however need to jack the van up, then jack the rear suspension to get access to the lower caliper bolt.

    I am feeling pretty good with the setup I have right now. I will keep you guys posted with any future findings.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,963
    I should clarify that I'm on my original rear brakes.

    Any issue with the parking brake setup back there?

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  • cirrusscirruss Posts: 87
    edited April 2010
    The parking brake should not have any wear on it since it's only used to hold the wheel in place when the van is parked. It should never be used when the van is in motion unless you accidentally drove around with your e-brake engaged. Also many people don't use the e-brake in an automatic vehicle when parked on a flat surface. Mine definitely looked new. I didn't bother making any adjustments to e-brake.

    Here are some pics showing the removal of the rotor and exposing the e-brake.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    cirruss: Great pictures! I remember when you bought those Frozen rotors. I thought they would prove to be expensive. Unfortunately, I think the 2004 Quest are cursed with bad brake design. I generally go with whatever my mechanic is comfortable with. I think he uses Napa Gold (or something like that).
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