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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager problems



  • Thanks for the post. The first clue would have been the rotten egg smell, which is almost always associated with catalytic converter leakage or clogging (from my experience). Secondly, the dealer will always try to screw you, it's just their way. In the future, make sure to get a temp gun and temp the exhaust headers on a regular basis when it is at running temps. You will find they are considerably warmer when the converter becomes clogged. Usually, the problem is worse at higher RPM's, which doesn't coincide with my issue. However, it's nice to see people actually posting! The converter is there for a good reason and are required by the feds to last 100k, or they get replaced free.
  • I am seriously considering getting an aftermarket catalytic convertor. I get so use to smelling that smell from other vehicles that I either hadn't noticed, or assumed it was someone else's. Heck, a muffler shop and a Nissan dealer said it tested fine. I may even be on the wrong page for this post at this point, don't know. I thought I may just leave the old empty hull where it is and add it somewhere down the line. I don't understand the engineering behind one. It looks like it is designed to slowly filter out the carbon etc. In doing so, It would probably get clogged eventually anyways . I've heard of the ceramics inside of them exploding from condensation. Maybe by putting it right by the engine, it only gets rust flake clogging, I'm not sure. Does anyone know if you can do this? I am not afraid to cut out a piece of pipe, say maybe the mid pipe. I just hate to be the guinea pig. Then again, I had no Idea what would happen if I hallowed out the convertor. I just figured that it couldn't hurt it much more since it didn't run worth a crap the way it was. I wasn't even sure it was bad. All I know is that it runs like a champ now. I just think that they designed the original convertor in such a way that you would almost have to go to a dealer to replace it. I just want a plain jane that does the job and makes the Californians and EPA happy. Hopefully not ruining my new found performance and lasting another 100k.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,668
    " It looks like it is designed to slowly filter out the carbon etc"

    No, the cat conv is there to convert most of the harmful gases in the exhaust into something harmless. In the process, "nothing" is left behind, at least in theory, so a cc can last a very long time.

    In reality, soot from the engine can clog it, as you have found out. It also becomes less effective over time, though I believe at 100k it should still be fine, if everything else is OK.

    BTW, it needs to be very hot to do it's job properly, which is why it is where it is and not farther down the line. Many newer cars have a small cc right in the exhaust manifold, where it warms up and begins cleaning a lot faster.

    The main components of exhaust one wants to get rid of are CO, NOx (various oxides of nitrogen), SO2 (sulfur oxide, dunno what happens to the sulfur, but there's your smell) and various hydrocarbons -- in large part, unburned fuel. They are sent past a large area of platinum and -- through a process of magic, I suppose -- transformed in to CO2 and water.

  • bzzzbzzz Posts: 1

    I have the same problem with my '94 Quest! Did you ever get an answer about this problem?

    DON'T fall for a pricey "gotta replace the rack & pinion"... If the fluid is not leaking that is not the problem.....

    I had a mechanic tell me that it just needed to have a Power Steering Flush......that usually when something like this happens, trash in the system is usually the problem.

    I did have that same mechanic do this type of flush (GREAT shade-tree mechanic)..... It did work......for a while. Now, I need to do that flush again (if that is indeed the solution), however, no one knows how to contact him.....

    Can anyone give me some pointers on how to do this flush myself? :confuse:

  • raymurraymur Posts: 29
    I am having this problem with a 94 Quest. I am unclear where the control unit, that is referred to, is located. Are you referring to the control panel with the rear fan controls, located above the radio on the dash?
  • So you are saying that the catalytic convertor was still good, and I beat the crap out of it for nothing other than the satisfaction or getting my vengence out? Are you also saying that I should go ahead and throw a new one back on? I would have cleaned out the intake side except I couldn't get into it. I thought about spraying a bunch of carb cleaner but figured it wouldn't do much if I couldn't get into it to wipe it out. My other option was to soak it in laquer thinner but I was afraid it would damage the inside anyways. I figured if I gutted it, then I knew it would be clean. I suppose a shop could have cut the intake off and cleaned it and rewelded it. Anyways, Nissan wanted to jerk me for 500.00+ for a factory replacement. O'Reilly's quoted me around 130.00 for a new one. Can I trust an O"Reilly catalytic convertor? I am all for saving a buck but I want something thats going to last for another 100k.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,668
    "So you are saying that the catalytic convertor was still good, and I beat the crap out of it for nothing other than the satisfaction or getting my vengence out?"

    No, I was saying a cat conv does not "filter out soot" and tried to explain what it does and how it does it.

    Yours is most certainly shot, and I doubt it fulfils its function. However, if the check-engine light is not on, then maybe it still does work, as there is a second O2 sensor on the far side of the cat that is supposed to supervise the function.

    As far as what you should do; since I'm spending your money,and since a '99 has a lot of life left, I'd suggest buying the O'Reilly replacement and sticking it in there. That shows good faith and it should be effective for awhile.

    Good luck,
  • I have nissan quest XE 96 ,check engine light is on,I go to dealer service deparment and they say knock sensor fail,I want to replace it by myself,can you show me where knock sensor located?thanks all
  • I am having the same problem! I just had a complete brake job and now the rear brakes intermittently seen to grab and the van starts shaking. They get very hot. I bring it back to the shop and everything works just fine. Hove you been able to solve the problem?
  • I need to fix my drivers side power window master switch. The local Nissan dealer wants $116.00 for this part. Does anyone know of a less expensive source for the part?
  • Several things may be at fault but lets start with the obvious.
    Brake shoes- are they clean and how are they wearing. Any grease will cause a lock up so check the rear axle bearing grease seal [you must remove the seal to remove the drums]. Also the drums must be checked for true , not out of round or egg shapped.
    The system is easy there are the wheel cylinders , look at the rubber boot for leakage if none your probably good. The shoes, as I mentioned look for discoloration from grease which will cause lock up. The Hardware, AHA. The hardware is rarely changed but it consists of springs that pull the shoes off of the drum when released. I had done a brake job on a 1995 Olds with old hardware ,my own car and I was doing the cheap job, and found the return spring had broken in the past, unsure of how long ago but it was abraded from rubbing. Most shops do not change hardware. Then ther are the obsecure things like a hose that has a "bubble" in it letting the fluid go to the wheel and not return, or a proportuning valve sticking or even a valve in the master cylinder locking up but these are the rarities.

    Most likely it is the hardware and if not then the shoes innundated with grease [rear axle bearing seal leaking] the other things are the oddities that could be present but not too likely to check.
    As for the heat. The cars brake system translates speed to heat from friction to slow the car. Under off braking condition the shoe should not rubb hard on the drum and should develop no heat. I have seen cars that had the druym actually glowing cherry red from a dragging brake or have seen drums that showed signs of being overheated. An overheated drum should be replaced as it has the basic metalurgy of the drum changed by the heating.
    Some food for thought. GOOD LUCK and hope all works out. The cheapest fix is another brake job with new shoes and new hardware and to truely check the "true of the drum" for out of round. Out of round may not be seen but in the 1/1000 inch it is significant
  • For a Cat [Catylitic Converter ] to be sold it must meet Federal Standards. Look on the box for anything mentioning that it meets or exceeds federal std. For any emmission part to be sold it must meet the federal standard and this will be on the box or available from the company.
    When I worked for a GM/Toyota dealer basck in the mid 1980s no one made Cats besides the original manufacturer but now there are a lot of manufacturers out there. Around 1985-1990 more companies started making replacement emmission parts [like the Oxygen sensor]. The Original part was probably made here as the Ford tie in for production . By the way any thing that states meets or exceeds manufaturers specs is fine. Around 1980 Toyota had engine problems [design flaw] that led to failure, Toyota balmed aftermarket oil filters but they were tested and meeet Toyota Std. The courts made Toyota pay for the engines saying they meet or exceed the origianl specs. The Oil Filter mentioned was made by an aftermarket company who after research also made the original replacement filters sold by Toyota.
  • My Quest has the same thing with the headlights. While driving the headlights wink out for around 10 seconds or so then come on and are fine. The battery cablers get a lot of corrosion on them. A drop from 14.5 to 13.5 should not cause the lights to wink out. As a former mechanic I know voltage drops are normal as the regulator kicks in and out but even with 12 volts the headlights should work. I had it happen just a week ago and have not had a chance to look it over. I did find thet the headlight on the drivers side did blow. After 2-3 years [approximately 30,000 miles or less a vacation vehicle] I had to replace the pass side bulb now at 48,000 miles and just over 6 years the drivers went. I neverr had this frequent failure of light bulbs. By the way the dash lights wink out too. I am thinking light switch or probably timer. I have an SE with the option for the lights.
  • I did a cheap brake job but didn't resurface the rotor and got a chatter from the fronts, definitely a warped rotor so I waited and did another job but replaced the rotor with the cheapest ones from AutoZone [$30 each or so cheap].
    To replace the rotors.
    Remove wheel
    Loosen caliper bolts [2 per caliper]
    Take Caliper off and while off replace the pads
    Slip the rotor off
    Replace the Rotor, caliper and pads, tighten the caliper
    Put 2 wheel lug bolts and tighten
    Hit the brakes 2 or 3 times when both sides are done
    Either hold the pedal down or release and remove the 2 lug bolts holding the rotor in place.
    Put wheels on and RE TORQUE THE WHEELS look in manual for specs

    I like to hit the brakes 2 or 3 times with tight wheel lugs in place to set the rotor. GM used to have a aluminium star type washer from the factory to hold drums on in the back when built so I feel the initial setting of the postion of the Rotor To Pads is important.

    GOOD LUCK the brakes are easy to do almost too easy
  • I have a mercury villager estate 2000 model! My radiator fan is doing the same thing on off on off at an idle, at first I thought it might have been the mass air flow sensor adjusting to the new climate! (we had moved; then it stated to do it) I have a little over 62K miles on the van every thing else works well! I am a certified A/C technician and I've checked the pressures on my head and suction side of the compressor! I found no problems there! I also checked for any restriction in the refrigerant lines as well as the blower box! No problems there either. The radiator relays (there are three of them) I have checked resistance and ohm they seem to be working properly! I spoke to a technician at the mercury place and he said that it is perfectly normal! I just do not believe that! (you can't make me believe that) Someone please help me! please
  • I have a Nissan Quest 2000 SE. The stop lights (All three) remain on all the time, even after I shut off the engine. I pull the fuse (20ma), then the lights go off. I replaced the fuse, but problem remains. Please help.
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 1,019
    It sounds like the switch that activates the brake lights is stuck or defective. On older cars it was on the pedal itself,under the dash. I'm not sure on this one, though.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Hopefully this isn't not too late - I just ran across Jerry Rome Nissan online and they sell the switch for around $70. Click on the Order the Parts You Need box. Free shipping right now too.

    Usual disclaimers - I haven't done business with them before.

    Steve, Host
  • Please folks...
    i'm also victim to a non-functioning speedo-odom-cruise control on my '99 Quest. Is this clearly a Variable Speed Sensor problem as well? If so, where does this thing reside so that i can identify and replace it? Also, are the parts any cheaper as Nissan or Villager? Seems like a great disparity in price for the VSS ... Postings indicate dealer price of $35 vs. $165.
  • Greetings ...
    i was thinking that 73K miles and $3.50/gal. gas might make this a good time for a tune-up on my "99 Quest SE (best mileage now is highway at 20mpg). Is it time for the distrib cap, rotor and wires to be replaced in addition to the plugs?
    (i thought all these newer vehicles have electronic ignition?) Also, my local R&S Strauss tells me that double platinum plugs are the way to go... Is that OEM and is it really better? They are pricey at about $10 each.. Also, any thoughts on new rotors and ceramic pads as an overhaul?
  • I notice the smell of gas when it is cold outside/until the engine warms up. On a recent summer trip to Colorado, I drove to the top of a mountain and smelled the fresh gas smell as temps dropped outside the van. I think there may be a bad seal on one or more fuel injectors. Has anyone else had a similar problem? I have a bad back and little cash, so I am looking for answers before I actually work on the van. Thank you in advance for your help.
  • I have recently fixed my radio display problem. But when I took out the radio, I lost my 4 screws that are used to fix the radio. Now I am not sure, what size of screws to buy to fix my radio.

    Any help is really appreciated.
  • Steve,

    Thanks. I'll check it out.

  • Just returned from service in a local garage for my 99 Mercury villager with 63000 miles on it. Performed following service:
    1. changing oil, oil filter
    2. changing fuel filter
    3. change spark plugs
    4. changing ignition cap and rotor
    5. flush radiator
    6. replace rear brakes (drum)
    7. flush transmission fluid
    8. injection cleaning
    9. replace batter connector
    10. replaces alternator belts (two) and ac belt (one)

    I think the technician did a great job, he explained to me about the service and the bill totaled 950 which kind above my expectation.
    Does this 950 sounds right with all these services? Comment anyone?
  • My Villager (144,000 miles) began to lose power after it warmed up. Cleaned throttle body, new plugs/cap and rotor, but problem persisted. It turned out to be the cam sensor on the distributor. The sharp mechanic noticed that after the engine heated up, two plugs lost their spark. The new distributor remedied the problem Hope this helps someone else.
  • sia1sia1 Posts: 4
    I have a Nissan Quest SE 99. Recently I experienced that driver's side window goes down but then has a hard time to come up and now it does not come up.
    Could you tell me what the problem is? is it the motor, switch or regulator?
    Where could I get the part and how difficult is it to change it?
    Thanks very much,
  • sia1sia1 Posts: 4
    I have the same problem, please tell me where to buy the part and how to change it?
    Thanks a lot
  • It is easy to change. I got my part from Nissan dealer, same part but ten or twenty dollars cheaper. Just remove the screw cover then unscrew the whole control unit will come off. It cose me around 90.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I agree that it's mostly likely the switch and not the motor or regulator. A new one costs $70 to $100 depending on where you find it. A couple of us have managed to dismantle it and clean the carbon out - mine's still working several months after I did this.

    Use the Search This Discussion box at the bottom right for "power window" and you'll find other posts about how to remove the switch. It is easy to replace yourself.

    Steve, Host
  • ebussebuss Posts: 12
    I don't think you will find a leak in the injectors. So one posted a problem with the tube in the fillup area, getting older and cracking. There was a recall on this problem I think. Do a search on gas smell, you will be enlightened to this and other situations. This is a very interesting forum. Just my two cents Earl
This discussion has been closed.