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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager problems



  • jlemolejlemole Posts: 345
    Steve, many thanks for your response. I'm going to try to tackle it this weekend and I'll update on how it goes. If you do happen to get that scanner installed, I would be very grateful for an e-mail of that manual page to jlemole at comcast dot net.


  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I'll see if I can get the dust blown off of it and find some drivers for it. But don't get your hopes up too much - the manual isn't very clear about the whole procedure anyway.


    Steve, Host
  • Hello Everyone. Just got back from 3500 plus miles trip (2 weeks) to midwest and Canada. We live in TX. My 1999 Quest GXE ran smoothly. MPG was 18-19 at 75+ mph and 23-24 at 60-65 mph. Pretty impressive for a van with 73k miles. I have kept up with regular maintenance since day one. Yet to change the timing belt. Just had the oil change, air filter, and coolant flush and fill before the trip.


    Now I like you guys to help me with the O/D light and it's functionality. I have read the owner's manual and understood that at steady 40 or 50 mph, if the O/D button is clicked on the shifter, the O/D kicks in (shifts in lower gear) and the light is on in the dash. It was working as designed. Now on some twisty road in Midwest, I clicked the O/D to have a little more power, but the light never came on. And the van never shifted to the lower gear. That concerns me a bit. Of course in a smooth TX highway it is not an issue.


    Does anyone have the O/D button malfunction? I am thinking there is a spring inside the shifter which triggers the sensor. I may have a bad spring perhaps. I will wait for a response on this board. Then I have to take my van to the dealer. Thanks in advance.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    On my '99, if I hit the button, the overdrive light comes on and the tranny downshifts. I've had it downshift at a wide variety of speeds. Knowing the reputation of electrical switches in these vans, it wouldn't surprise me if yours is malfunctioning.


    Steve, Host
  • mn_patmn_pat Posts: 67
    my 2k gxe has the exact problems, with the steering wheel mounted volume control sometimes changes radio stations and the plastic "chrome" coating on my interior door handlei is peeling. The peeling plastic chrome is actually pretty sharp, it gave my finger quite a little cut.


    At 52k miles its been a pretty decent family vechile. I just wish it got better gas mileage. Last tank was 16.21mpg, yuck!!
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I guess I'm lucky to have the plain-jane stereo with all controls on the face of it. I have had no radio problems-- 2000 Mercury Villager.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    While palming out a small parking lot dent in my front fender, I just happened to notice that my passenger side CV boot is busted -- the fresh greasy grime was the give-away.


    Anyone done one of these lately and what was the cost?


    Steve, Host
  • burta10burta10 Posts: 28
    My '96 Mercury Villager had the CV joints refilled with grease recently. I had the Ford dealer here (Germany) do it. You don't want to know the cost. I'm sure it is much less in the states.

    Actually, I replaced the front boot on my Golf GTI a few years ago, I got the type of boot where you wrap it around the joint and glue the seam together lengthwise. It was relatively easy, cheap, and as long as you have a steady hand it works okay.
  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    I had one replaced about a year ago. I ran over a plastic bag when driving on the highway and it got caught on the cv boot and tore it. Since I went many miles before discovering it, the grease was all gone. The mechanic recommended replacing the CV joint as well as the boot as he really couldn't clean the grit out of it and it would eventually require replacing anyway. The majorityof the cost is the labor to do the replacement. The CV joint generally has to come off to replace the boot anyway, so might as well spend the extra $100 or so for the new part. Total was about $250.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    The glue together boots sound a bit tricky. I don't think the boot has been busted long, but the joint does have 100k on it anyway, so I'm thinking new. It can sit in my garage a while as I mull over my options, so anyone else with opinions, feel free to jump in.


    Steve, Host
  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    I had a torn CV boot on my Quest this fall. I took it to a good local independent garage and had both the axles replaced with remanufactured units, thinking if one goes the other will soon follow (don't know if it's true but that was my theory). It cost right around $500 US, so $250 for one side is about right.


    In the past I took my cars to a different garage, and they always wanted to repack and put new boots on the old axles. By the time the labor was done it cost nearly the same as a reman.


    If you are feeling really adventurous, you could try taking out the axle and replacing it yourself. I know people on the Yahoo Villager/Quest list have written about doing this, and they make it sound pretty easy.


    I'm not that adventurous any more, but my hat's off to anyone who is willing to do it.


  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Hey Dave, I've seen references to the Raxles site for the d-i-y, but I'm not ready to tackle it either. Buying one for a shop to put in may be an idea though.


    Steve, Host
  • Hi, I have a 98 Quest, intermittently the engine dies while driving. All gauges die where they are, there seems to be no ignition power at all. All I do to restart is, while the van is still rolling, shift the transmission into neutral, turn off the ignition, wait a couple of seconds and then restart the engine. There are no warning lights before or after, and this does not happen all the time. I have gone days with no problems. As far as I can recall, this has only happened during cruising speeds not in town driving. This van has 120,000 miles and has needed little work. I have replaced plug wires, cap, rotor, plugs, fuel filter, not for this problem but because it was time. Any suggestions?


  • Hello,I found this site while searching for answers to my customer's puzzling problem.I run a repair shop in Ontario Canada,and one of my clients came in yesterday with complaints of engine noise.When I checked it over,it was clear that all the lifters were collapsed.A check of oil pressure showed normal readings of 50 to 60 psi.We then flushed the crankcase,added fresh oil with fortifier,no better.Removedlifter boxes and found that all the lifters were in fact collapsed.

     My question is,is there a common problem causing restriction of oil pressure to the heads that I should be looking for?Thanks in advance,John Koning.Hamilton Ontario,Canada.
  • Does anyone know where to get a service manual for the Quest? I need the wiring diagrams. I have a Haynes manual but need to know more about the wiring.


  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Nissan supposedly sells service manuals, but I didn't see anything earlier than '00. I didn't look very hard either though. Try this link:



    Steve, Host
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Public libraries often have the Mitchell Manual, and/or similar alternatives. You might want to check there for the information you want. I think you can copy the pages you need.
  • kymikekymike Posts: 115
    There are Quest service manuals for 1996 and 1997 on Ebay right now. The big changes didn't come until 1999, so I would think that either probably would work for you. I have the 1999 Villager manual and it has been very helpful to me.
  • My van finally got to the point that the ignition power would not 'reset'. I took it to the local dealer and 45 minutes later the found a problem with the aftermarket alarm system. The alarm was supposedly deactivated when we bought it so it totally slipped my mind. Thanks to all who answered my posts and left tips. I did buy the Haynes manual for the Mercury Villager and it does look helpful. I think I will tackle the timing belt myself and a few other things the dealer pointed out. Thanks again.


  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I think you'll find the Haynes manual to be invaluable as a source of "crypto" procedure information. I have used the manual several times, noting that following the manual is likely a faster way to get something accomplished than working intuitively. An example was when the "low windshield washer fluid" light came on and stayed on, regardless of fluid levels in the reservoir. The manual told me where the sensor was located and how to get at it. I would have spent a lot of extra time without the book, to say the least.
  • Yes I go the same problem. Ever since we got the car used the side door would sometimes make a delayed sound when using the power lock. I am ready to take it in. It never feels safe, especially not to passengers outside the family.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,561
    Learned Friends,

    I have the opportunity to buy a '99 Villager (base) with 79k for a rather attractive price. I haven't had a chance to drive the car yet, but I've given it the once-over in the parking lot... so far, it fits the bill. No signs of paint work or frame repair, fairly clean, non-smoker, one owner, ... just a pretty nice van.

    Until I got to the oil filler cap. With some cars, you can't tell much because of all the baffles, but with others, you can really look at the valve train and see whether the oil was changed as required.

    The 3.0 in the Villager/Quest is different from anything I've ever seen. You CAN look into the head, but all you see is black. It's as if there were another complete lid over the valves, the top of which you can see through the oil filler. It appears to be the same material as the valve cover itself, i.e. black painted steel. Is this true?

    Secondly, there is a thin layer of black slime covering everything in there that I can reach. This is not a good sign, but I don't really know if it means anything, since this area does not appear to need any lubrication anyway. So if a film of oil just sits there, of course it's going to turn to sludge.

    When I pull the dip stick, the oil is old alright, but there is no waxy buildup on the stick or any other signs of crud. It just looks like it's high time for an oil change.

    If I buy this puppy, I'll have it checked out properly for engine wear. But I'd like to know what the heck I'm looking at. After 15 years of looking at used cars, I was under the impression I knew what to look for... but this thing has me stumped.

    Thanks in advance for any light y'all might be able to shed on this,
  • aaron3aaron3 Posts: 1
    Has anyone heard ANYTHING about advantages or disatvantages of buying certain years of villagers/Quests? I've seen 98 have a better report in numerous consumer reports for some reason.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    The early ones had manifold bolt problems that are expensive to fix. I've heard that the problem went away in the '96 model year but some owners here had the issue. Issues with the '99 through '03 seem to be mostly electrical - phantom wiper switch and failing power window switches. Sticky throttles are common too, but an easy fix.

    Steve, Host
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    They all require some maintenance, and repairs are usually pretty easy, provided you have the Haynes manual! Mine being a 2000, I'd feel fairly comfortable recommending that year and newer.
  • billyp67billyp67 Posts: 1
    My 96 villager all at once developed a problem, when I turn the car ignition to "off" the front defroster motor turns "on". Even if I havent been using the defroster/blowers ect this happends. If you turn the key forward from off just until ya get power to the systems the blower returns to off?? Anybody have any clue? Im no mr fix it as you could probably tell.. thanks in advance for any help!
  • cordeliacordelia Posts: 2
    I carried my Quest 97 in to Nissan dealership to fix a check engine problem and to change timing belt, tensioner and water pump. Old serpentine belt remained. Since the change there has been loud noise coming from the hood in the area. 3 mechanic friends said that the serpentine belt was adjusted too tightly but Nissan mechanics are saying the noise is normal and due to new timing belt and tensioner and will get quieter as belts are worked in. Does this make sense to anyone?

    Also since TPS switch was changed there is a rough shifting as van goes into higher gear. Nissan says the old switch was causing overlap of gears so they appeared to shift smoothly but with new TPS the gears shift right away hence apparent jerking.
    Is this true?
  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    First of all, it probably would have made sense to replace the serpentine belt when having the timing belt done. The serpentine belt has to be taken off to do this, and it a $35 US part at most.

    Having said that, I think the Nissan mechanics may be trying to avoid some work. If the belts are making noise it is quite likely they are adjusted too tightly. The problem with this is, on this engine, if the belts are too tight your crankshaft can break.

    If I were you, I'd take your van back to the dealer that did the work and let them know that you aware of the potential of crankshaft breakage, and that they should readjust the belt tension so they don't have to pay for a new engine for you. Believe me, they are aware of this issue, and I'm surprised that they would suggest the belt would get quieter with age. Did your van make this noise when it was brand new? No. I just had my timing and serpentine belts replaced and they don't make noise.

    Regarding the TPS, it needs to be adjusted correctly or it will cause jerky shifting. There is a procedure listed in the service manual for this, but it takes some finesse to get it right. The explanation they are giving you on this is incorrect as well. I think you need to have a serious discussion with the service manager.

    Good luck, hope this helps.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    How much was your timing belt, Dave?

    Steve, Host
  • kelvinkelvin Posts: 1
    heater controls in the back do not work. It's not a fuse. Blower also does not work in the back. Any advice?? Thanks
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