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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager problems



  • kc1kc1 Posts: 1
    Hello all,
    I just bought a 2001 villager. The dealer handed me a ford license plate bracket to put the front license plate. However, I'm not really sure how to install it. It came with four plastic push up type screw/fastners. I see two holes under the bumper (there are no holes on the front of the bumper). These holes are not threaded, so probably the plastic screws somehow need to go in there and hold the bracket.
    However, I'm not really sure how it would work. Could somebody look under their bumper and let me know how the bracket was installed.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    Front plates are not required in Kentucky. I removed the bracket from my car (it was holding the dealers advertising plate). There are two holes in my front bumper that I just pushed the plastic screws back into. You may have to mark where these go and drill them to get the plate to stay in place.
  • pda97pda97 Posts: 91
    This is just for the records. As a not so proud owner of a 99 Quest with 65K, I've suffered another annoying failure of the van. After acting flaky for 8 months, my driver side window switch finally died. It was bad when the weather was cool last spring. Bad meaning I had to pull it up hard and wiggled it around in order for the window to close. It got better in the summer when the weather was hot. And now that the weather has cooled down again, it finally died.

    So after spending $78+tax for a new switch, she is now buzzing beautifully again. The parts salesman told me that this problem is very common with all Nissan models. And not unique to the Quest alone. When asked, he blamed it on the suppliers, and not on a bad design. He said window switches are the best selling items in his entire inventory, closely follow by hubcabs. Sheesh, why doesn't Nissan fix this stinker ?

    Anyway, the replacement job was easy. Let me know if anyone needs help with this.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Well, it's easy enough to change out the part yourself if yours is out of warranty. Or did you already get it diagnosed and fixed? What year is yours?

    Steve, Host
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    We got our first snow of the season on Halloween after dark, and to acknowledge this, my 2000 Merc Villager (just under 24K) turned on the dash light that means the window washer fluid level is low. Of course, it is actually full. I recall some distant past time, a series of posts were made concerning this. Can someone of better memory than mine direct me back to the posts, and/or rebrief me on the matter and its solution? Can one extinguish the light and just do away with this feature? It is obviously more trouble than it is worth. I'll replace the switch if I have to, but as I recall, it was described as being hard to get to for exchange. Just a couple months ago, I changed out the $86.00 drivers window switch group. This car is almost new! I'm getting displeased...
  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    I'll repeat my solution to the low coolant light - Remove right front wheel. Remove inner fender liner (front of fender) to get to fluid reservoir. The low-coolant sensor is at the bottom of the reservoir. You can either replace it at this point, or just unplug the wire going into the sensor like I did. If you unplug the wire, put a piece of electrical tape over it to keep it safe from the elements in case you ever want to replace the sensor.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Many, many thanks for getting right to the pragmatic solution. I do not recall your directions beyond the hard work of getting access to the culprit area. Unplugging the sensor then, I assume, turns out the light and effectively removes the vehicle from having a "reminder" circuit. That is exactly what I had in mind. Many thanks again. I'll likely wait for the 18°F temperature here to elevate a bit before proceeding.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    The weather warmed a bit so I proceeded with the job of turning out the dash light, ref: #1602. I discovered that I had removed screws and retainers a bit higher in the wheel well than I needed, as adequate access was available from below the front of the fender and a little of the vertical shielding above it. I removed the sensor altogether and taped the plug to protect it. I then slid the taped plug into the cavity that the sensor had previously occupied and used a plastic pull-tie to hold it there. I then replaced the fender skirting where it had been and anchored it in place. Many thanks again, kymike. Your instructions were invaluable.
  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    Glad that I could help. I have a shop technical manual which helped me to locate this to begin with. Let me know if I can be of any further help.

    Removing the sensor did not leave a hole in the reservoir for washer fluid to leak from? I didn't remove the sensor as I have no desire to replace it. The reservoir is big enough that I should never run out of fluid if I check it once or twice a month.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I'd say the idea of the "fallible" detection unit is a bad one. It is a liability, considering it is a common item of failure on these vans. I agree, checking the fluid is just one of several little chores I perform on all my vehicles.
    By the way, the detection unit operates right through the plastic on the bottom of the tank, to determine the presence of "enough" fluid. The pocket the unit occupies makes a good storage spot for the plug to be stored, when you remove the detection unit from the car.
  • I have 70,000 miles on my 2001 SE. I realized that I have never replaced the fuel filter. How often should it be replaced? Do I have to go to a mechanic or can I do it myself?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I'm pretty sure I'm on my original one at 98,000 miles on my '99.

    I don't see anything about replacing it in the Edmunds Maintenance Guide</A either.

    Steve, Host
  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    I have the factory service manual. There are two filters - one in the tank and one inline. The manual says to replace the inline filter when it becomes clogged. How's that for preventative maintenance?

    I would suggest replacing at 5 years / 60,000 miles to be safe.
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 1,004
    My 2001 Villager has 32000 miles on the original General Ameri tires. They seem pretty worn, especially on the edges. Are these just crappy tires, or does the weight of the van wear them? The vehicle sees mostly city driving, lighty loaded.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    That's pretty typical for the OEM tires - the Generals on my '99 didn't do any better and it was a pleasure to put new shoes on the van.

    Steve, Host
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 1,004
    I think i'll do the same. They seem to spin easily in the rain while accelerating from a stop- and I don't think it's because of the massive torque.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I put Dominator "bargain" tires from Discount Tire on my 2000 Villager, and they cannot be fully balanced. I'd like to have some original equipment Generals back on this van! Hey, maybe one day I'll get tired of the shake at 75-80 mph and get something else...
  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282
    have a 97 Mercury Villager

    When does the timing belt need to be replace?
  • The quality control on the General Amri* tires must be really inconsistent. I had a pair of those on my 1996 Corsica. This may surprise some people, but I was able to squeeze close to 100,000 miles out of my Generals. I chose to replace the tires for a few reasons - 1.) its a little spooky to scoot down the road on tires with 100,000 miles, 2.) the tread was starting to cup which created a vibration and 3.) I ran over something that put a huge gash in the right rear tire. The tires still had an acceptable amount of tread and had near uniform wear. The replacements, some bargain basement shoes from Farm and Fleet, are not wearing as well.

    My 2001 Quest SE came with Goodyear Eagle LS 225/60/16. These were not good in terms of durability. They ended up as power plant food after only 40,000 miles. I replaced them with a set of Firestone Supreme Si all weather tires and have not regretted it for one moment. They are superior in almost every way.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    When I get 40K out of a set of tires, I am satisfied. I just cannot imagine a set of common tires running 100K. That would be amazing...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide should have the service interval for the timing belt. My guess is 60,000 miles for the '97.

    Steve, Host
  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    I'm getting the belts, water pump & coolant changed on our 99 tomorrow. It's overdue at +/- 120,000 miles. Oops. Still running though. And, the way it's running it may last until it needs another timing belt change. I hope it does, having no car payments is nice.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Way to go Dave - maybe I'll let mine slide a few thousand miles too. Just rolled over 98,000 miles here.

    Steve, Host
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Is there an aftermarket source for the "plugs" that act as retainers/connectors for holding the plastic panels inside the wheel wells to the underlying metal surfaces? When removing three of these plugs to reach the "window-washer-fluid-is-low" seeing eye switch, I ruined them. As a matter of expediency, I used some similar plugs intended for upholstery retention in GM vehicles. I hope they hold up, but I may need something a bit more robust for the long haul.
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 1,004
    is idling rough and not starting as quick as it used to. Supposedly the plugs are good till 100k? Would changing them now 33k be worthwhile? Air filter is recently replaced, I"m going to try cleaning the FI throttle body also.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Why not remove a couple plugs for inspection. Check the gap versus what the manual says they should be. If in doubt at all on the condition of the plugs, consider replacing them. A used up fuel filter is another thing to consider.
  • I think this is not a scheduled maintenance item, but is it worth while to replace rotor/distributor cap and spark plug wires after 10 yrs/ 100,000 miles? Thanks
  • razorrazor Posts: 1
    "I changed out the $86.00 drivers window switch group. This car is almost new! I'm getting displeased... "


    This toy van should have come in a kit
    form under the xmas tree. Five years of
    intermittent problems with this Ford/Nissan
    mistake - 1999 villager. I wouldn't trade my wife
    a 1995 escort for this van, which STILL provides
    trouble free transportation after 120,000 miles. This mess-on-wheels (van) only has 49,000 after
    5 years.

    1) wacky factory alarm started going off
    the first week, in the middle of the night of course.

    2)factory over spray (paint) on vehicle. forgot the name my body shop gave to this problem.

    3) LOUSY OEM tires

    4) Hard to remove rear seat. The escort hatchback has proven to be a better/faster method of moving large items.

    5) Truck like ride will make rear seat
    passengers nauseous. Have read something about
    this problem before, which might have something to do with mounts on middle (and rear?) seat.

    6)Red dash panel brake light came on despite full
    resovoir. the dealer had to overfill to get light

    7) Minor, intermittent coolant leak.

    8) Today's project: investigate problem with
    driver side power window. Determined it IS the
    tinker toy switch (confirmed in this forum) instead of the 6oz motor. The "motor" was only
    slightly larger than a D size battery and reminded
    of something you would extract from a radio shack
    remote control SUV.

    8b) Tire shop told me this Hasbro van now needs
    cam bolts up front and shims in the rear to achieve alignment specs - $250.

    9) Catalytic converter cover/shield fell off this summer, after clanking around for a few weeks. Looked like something fashioned from factory reject maxwell house coffee can.

    The drive train has proven reliable so far, but that is expected with only 50,000.

    These are NOT all of the glitches experienced with
    this vehicle, which has been about as pathetic as
    a 1997 buick century.

    NO wonder toyota has so many former Ford and GM
    vehicle owners parading through their showrooms.
  • recently i've had my left brake not releasing/dragging, you can hear it hear it squealing while engaged. dont know what could cause that. any ideas? thanks
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
This discussion has been closed.