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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager problems



  • I am considering purchasing as a second car for local use a single-owner 1994 Quest with 81,000 miles from a dealer; seems clean, quiet, and has performance. (1) Anyone know any reasons why this vehicle will not make 125,000 miles or better? (2) What particular problem(s) I should have my mechanic look for? (3) I have read about manifold problems are this board, are these detected visually or are diagnostic tools required? (4) Any major replacements required shortly (due to mileage) such as timing belts, etc.? Any input is appreciated, and thanking you in advance. KWJ
  • If your 94 quest was manufactured after Oct 93 then it will have the 105,000 mi Timing belt... any thing before Oct 93 will be a 60k mile timing belt...Be sure to check the fuel vent hose.. Our 1994 Quest GXE has just triped 100,000 miles and is still going...
  • robfilmsrobfilms Posts: 5
    looking at used 94 quest gxe w/60k miles. need it as 2nd vehicle so not frightened by miles. could use some thoughts on "sore" points w/this model.

    engine reliaabilty? transmission? brakes? electrical? a/c?

    at 60k there should be a major service, right? what would that involve?

    all sharing is appreciated


  • lmeskerlmesker Posts: 2
    97 Villager, AC not working. Looks like compressor clutch isn't kicking in. Thanks for any help.
  • imohammedimohammed Posts: 6
    I am considering to buy a used 1995 Mercury Villager GS. It is a nice clean Van and drives pretty good. Is there any suggestions on anything special I should look on this Villager model before buying?

  • lmeskerlmesker Posts: 2
    The Low pressure switch was bad
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    The big issue with these vans are the manifold bolts. Here's an archived discussion you may want to look through:

    Mercury Villager Manifold Exhaust Bolts

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • thegrymethegryme Posts: 1
    Hi All.
    We just purchased a used 95 quest.....nice van but it has a coulple of monor problems. The drivers side rear brake light is out....I changed the bulb.....twice...and it is still out. All the other lights are working fine.....Am I missing something? A fuse or? The other problem is the alarm code. We didn't get there a way to reset it to a default set of numbers or figure out the combo that is in it now?


    Any help will be appreciated.

  • rutger56rutger56 Posts: 12
    The light for the HVAC controls went out a while ago. The dealer says that the only way to change it is to put in a new control unit,not just a bulb. This sounds strange to me. Any ideas? Is there just a bulb behind the controls? Is it easy to change?
  • rutger56rutger56 Posts: 12
    Yes, I have had the local Mercury dealer pick up my previous cost for replacing the filler hose,only about $70. A refund check was received about 2 weeks after my request.
  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    The dealer will tell you they have to replace the whole panel, but there is a bulb in there you can replace yourself. It's not a bulb you will be able to go to Wal-Mart and pick up though.

    Check out this link for a discussion of how to get the bulb:

    I would suggest that anyone with a maintenance or repair question on the Villager or Quest check out the Villagerquest archives at (Not that I have anything against Edmunds!) There is a wealth of information to be found there.


  • toolsellertoolseller Posts: 1
    First time user... am considering purchasing a Quest minivan...40k...8000.$.... what should I be wary of... what typical problems... gas mileage... give me your opinions please.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Well, check out the True Market Value guide for pricing while you're waiting for other advice.

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • jazzerjazzer Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 Quest GXE with 114,000+ miles on it. The van is going strong and the only problems that I have had are related to bulbs. I have replaced the famous brake light bulbs but also the dashboard illumination bulbs (2 times). I am still having an issue with the front A/C little green light that tells you if the A/C is on or not. Seems like I have to replace the entire circuit board to get the light to work.

    I want to thank y'all for the information on repairing the rear heater blower. While I was not able to solder the bad connection, I followed the instruction on bypassing the relay and jumpering the car side of the plug. Rear blower works fine now. Hope the fix lasts.


  • mandipmandip Posts: 1
    I have a 1997 Mercury Villager, 41, 500 miles. It runs okay so far with no problems but lately check Engine Light came on. Anybody had this problem. Do I really have to go to Dealer or a routine mechanic shop can find the code. Help
  • wojnawojna Posts: 1
    Our 96 Quest has 50K miles on it. About 2 months ago, we started having difficulty starting the van. We'd have to crank the engine 2 to 3 times before it would start. After 3 weeks of this problem, we took it to the dealer and it wouldn't act up for 2 days. Dealer's diagnostic tests found nothing wrong. Apparently this Quest has a sense of humor. After 2 months of starting right up, the problem is back again. The van requires several 2 to 4 cranks to start, hot or cold engine. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • Sulfur smell in a 95 Villager GS. Seems I saw a service bulletin refer to this, but don't know where to see a copy of the actual details. What to do? How do I make the smell go AWAY!

  • rsmith757rsmith757 Posts: 1
    The rear a/c and heater fan motor stopped working over a period of a couple of months. At first you could get it to work by cycling and tapping on the forward panel rear seat fan control switch, Then it just quit working altogether. I have checked all fuses,replaced the rear seat fan control switch on the front panel and bench checked the fan motor and it is fine. I checked the power leads to the rear control panel and it's not getting any electrical power. Any ideas, thanks.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    So many questions, so few answers. Guess interest in Quests and Villagers has waned since they are going to be orphaned soon.

    mandip, wojna, erikandbrenoh, and rsmith757 please check out this link for some notes on check engine lights, hard starting (in hot weather anyway) gas (not really sulfur?) smells and the rear A/C blower.

    Also follow the link there to Steve Cutchen's page for more info on most of these questions. Steve sold his '93 minivan, but he collected some good stuff there and it's still on his page. Maybe one of you will hit a home run and find an easy fix.

    Please let us know how it works out.

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • pvinhpvinh Posts: 2
    Our 99 Villager has been acting up lately. The brakelights would not turn off by themselves until the brake pedal is pumped a few times. The problem tends to get worse when the road is wet. Would appreciate any insight. Thanks.
  • peteapetea Posts: 8
    My '96 Villager with 87,000 miles had a head bolt break. The head of the bolt or the washer lodged itself under the camshaft causing the timing belt to break. According to the dealer, the only thing they can(will) do is replace the engine at a cost of $4000! I have gone to Ford customer care and the district manager, and they refuse to make any adjustment on the price, despite the fact that the bolt was obviously defective and should not have broken and ruined the engine.

    Two questions: Has anyone out there had or heard of a similar problem? Did Ford/Mercury take some accountability and help/pay for the repairs?
  • gmckenziegmckenzie Posts: 1
    I have a 93 Nissan Quest for 4 years, I have had a few electrical problems also now I am having problems opening my side door. It is a smooth running vehicle other than these minor problems.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    I just bought a '94 Villager with 100k miles on it for $4,500. The van is in excellent shape. The previous owner has performed regular oil changes, but that is about it.

    The van has never had a timing belt change, nor can the previous owner remember the last time it had a major service. What items, beyond the timing belt, should I take care of right away?
    I assume this is an interference engine like most Japanese engines?

    Also, there is a smell of coolant in the engine compartment. The PO said that he had his mechanic pressure test the system and they couldn't find a leak. He also said he only tops off the coolant tank about every 6 months, so the leak is small. I'm wondering, are head gaskets a problem with Villagers/Quests of this vintage?

    Any other suggestions more experience members of this list can provide would be much appreciated.

    - Chad
  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    Sounds like you got a good buy on your Quest.

    Your timing belt is due for a change. It would be a good idea to change the water pump and accessory drive belts at the same time. Change the coolant and spark plugs too. The engine was changed around 94 or 95 to be a non-interference engine, I don't know exactly when.

    Head gaskets don't go bad very often on Villagers. More likely it's a coolant hose connection, or possibly a leaking radiator. If you take a light and carefully follow all the coolant hoses, you will find there are a lot of connections and joints. It's likely one of these is leaking.

  • tiffbowertiffbower Posts: 1
    My van feels like it has no "cushion" or shocks when I'm driving. I feel every little bump in the road. The middle seats vibrate uncontrollably! I am so upset because I waited 3 years to buy this van! My 94 Escort wagon offers a much better ride. I bought it at Christmas, and I have 10,000 mi. on it. I just found out that all 4 of my tires were bad. They were replaced by Goodyear, no thanks to the dealer!! They told me the tires would pass inspection when two different independent Goodyear dealers told me they were bad!Anyway, it still rides rough even with the new tires. Am I alone here?
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    One of the main reasons I picked the 01-VillSport (equiv of the Quest SE) was that it had a "sport" suspension. The plus is that it gives you better handling, while the minus is that usually involves a stiffer setup. I suspect you are experiencing "road feel/feedback" from the suspension in contrast to the cushy/luxury ride you prefer. Did you road test the GXE/GLE (which might be the ride you want)?
    Are those GY Eagle LSs? What was wrong with them (on all 4)?
  • corsicachevycorsicachevy Posts: 316
    I just bought a 2001 Quest SE as well and, you are correct, it does ride rather harshly. However, I chose to accept this minimal level of harshness in order to achieve better handling. My van actually handles and drives like a car - something that can't be said for many of the other wallowing boxes.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    I think the '94 Villager I just bought does indeed have a leaking head gasket. The previous owner gave me all of the records and I read through them last night. There are mentions of a coolant smell in the engine compartment going all the way back to 1996 when the van was still under warranty. Each time the dealer said they couldn't find a leak, until August of 2000 when there is a note by the dealter stating that they found a "right front engine weep." This leads me to believe it is a leaking head gasket even though I can't see a visable leak myself.

    Everything else on this van is in great shape so I would like to get the timing belt, head gasket, and all of the belts replaced. I have a good independent mechanic I could take the van to, but I'm concerned about the issue of overtightening of the belts causing the crank to break.

    This may be a case where I had better get the job done at the dealer even though it may cost me more. I'm also concerned that if the crank did break after the job that the dealer would still try and weasel out of it because the van has 100k miles on it. I suspect I'll just have to trust that they do the job right.

    As far as the manifold bolt problem goes, the previous owner said he never had any exhaust work done at all. The manifold seems to work fine. The van was manufacturered in March of 1994. Was the bolt problem resolved by then?

    I'm also curious, will Nissan dealerships work on Villagers and Mercury dealerships work on Quests?
  • gasguzzgasguzz Posts: 214
    After the 3rd test drive (from our 3 choices) the wife had the one comment on the VillSport - "it drives like a car", and that got the vote.
  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    You might want ot have your dealer also check the "blind plugs". This is an area that sometimes leaks coolant.

    If I were you, I don't think I'd be too worried about a head gasket leak just yet. A head gasket leak would cause more damage if it was leaking coolant or oil into the combustion chamber. You can get the oil analyzed to check for traces of antifreeze.

    As far as Mercury/Nissan dealers working on other brands, that's probably a dealer-by-dealer decision. What I've generally found is most dealers will work on other brands.

This discussion has been closed.