Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Starting & Stalling Problems



  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    How old is your battery?

    Steve, visiting host
  • My battery is about 3 years old.

    I also talked with the local Mercury Service manager. I told him the first time I tried to start the Villager after the 3 kills, it was like the battery was dead. I red status dash lights did not even come on. I tried again and it started right up. He suggested it may be the ignition key tumbler. As he suggested, I sprayed WD-40 in the lock and it works much smoother now. I have only taken it on a few small local trips without any problem so far.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Interesting; I'll have to remember that trick for my '99 Quest if it starts acting up.
  • Hi Druid, have you tried checking all grounds including HIGH RESISTANCE on the neg battery cable? Check out this web site-

    Bad grounds are notorious for villager drivability problems, i found out the hard way spent thousands and pulled my hair out at inept mechanics. hope this helps.
  • My vehicle did the same thing. Bad grounds! I had HIGH RESISTANCE on the neg battery cable. Change it and clean up all grounds and see if it helps or look for bad grounds.
  • I have had the very same problem with my mer villager.Tell your mechanic to pull out the distributor and clean the debri off the photo sensor and re-install it. I have spent thousands trying to fix this very same problem. hope this helps.
  • I have had the very same problem with my 98 Mer Villager. I have had dirt build-up on the photo sensor on the distributor. The Nissan tech just cleaned it up and re-installed it. He told me if it happens again, the distributor will have to be replaced. This is a common problem with villagers/quests.
  • Been reading all your posts on this issue and so far we've changed the plugs, the wires, the distributor cap, the rotor, the fuel filter and the air filter with no help in the bogging out problems when we're idling. However, have an appointment with the shop friday to check for a loose ground wire at the ECM. Will let you know if that solves the problem.

    By the way, thanks for all the tips, since I'm female it's really nice to have a little info BEFORE I go to the repair shop!
  • Just discovered today problem with 1999 Villager with the same issues, the bearing had failed in the top of the distributor I replaced it and now it runs like new. A Ford dealership could not find the problem.
  • aseitzaseitz Posts: 5
    Still dealing with the same issue. Have replaced the trans computer, the cruise control computer, and the VSS. Have checked the VSS wiring and also the ground for the ECU. Nothing has helped. I have an output speed sensor on order from the local dealer ($28 so why not?) but it won't be in until Friday. Vehicle still runs and drives well except for when it decides to do the hesitation thing. We've take 3 trips of more than 500 miles with no problems. It once went 271 miles before the check engine light came back on - we thought we had it fixed but no such luck. OD light still flashes 16 times on a warm start. Check engine light code is P0500 - vehicle speed sensor malfunction. We need to get this resolved as the state inspection is expired. Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated!
  • os545os545 Posts: 1
    I have had some similar problems with my 97 Quest. I tried the throttle position sensor with no luck. I had already had a new fuel pump and filter installed about 6 months ago so I ruled that out.
    I run it only on premium now and it runs fine. I wonder if it is the timing belt stretched and the timing is off?
  • 90zcar90zcar Posts: 1
    Hello Everyone I have a 95 Nissan Quest with 247k miles has been very reliable with the exception of the vans engine cutting off sometimes when I make a left turn. It starts right
    up.has anyone experienced something similar? any suggestions?
  • Hi all, heres a related problem.
    When we bought or 97 Quest GXE in 2000 with 64k on it and it was pristine but as it turned out a little over done under the hood with the steam cleaning.
    After 2 months the van started bucking and stalling and after a week of that it died...we took it back to the dealer where they found the distributor had a bad (dried and rusty)bearing (cleaned to
    So they replaced the distributor with a rebuilt one and all was well until about a year ago (now 140k) when it started chugging now and then (especially on idle)and with a little hesitation.
    So I did the usual...Fuel pump,fuel Filter and air filter...
    It still was not right,(but a little better) so yesterday it was time for the plugs...the ones (platinum plus)I took out were not bad at all for 50k on them.
    I also cleaned under the cap and used compressed air to blow out any debris before taking out the plugs.
    Felt like a nice clean job.
    When I started it up everything seemed fine...just a little chug on idle (drat).
    It wasn't till I revved up the engine while under the hood that I heard a strange loud whirring (like a worn bearing noise) sound which tunned out to be coming from the DISTRIBUTOR, this sound could not be heard on idle or from inside the van while driving
    I used the screwdriver to the ear trick to make sure that was where the noise was coming from and sure enough.
    So in conclusion I would say that the vibration and probably sticking distributor are to blame for my vans idle chugging and hesitation.
    I hope this was helpful and if anyone else has any input please post.
  • found this too....

    Question: I have a rattling sound that I think is coming from the distributor. Do I need a new distributor?

    Answer: You probably don't need a new distributor. A rattling distributor on these motors is usually an indication that the timing belt is loose. The timing will stretch and become loose with age. This is a sign that you need to replace the timing belt. The early model Quests and Villagers were specified to have the timing belt replaced at 60,000mi. intervals while the later model Quests and Villagers are specified to have the timing belt changed at 105,000mi. intervals. I firmly suggest you keep up with the timing belt maintenance. The good news is that the Quest/Villager does not have an interference engine and will not suffer major engine damage should the belt break. The bad news is that will be stranded and have to call a tow truck if the belt breaks. Click here for information on a DIY timing belt change. Also, be aware that the 3.0l V6 engine in the Nissan Pathfinder and Maxima IS an interference engine.
  • aseitzaseitz Posts: 5
    Our issue was in the speedometer head itself. The signal from the speed sensor was not getting to the engine computer. The dealer had to replace part of the speedo. Ended up costing a little under $700 ($200 parts) :) but everything seems to work correctly. What a relief!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    How many miles are on your '00? (it is an '00 iirc?). You probably needed to replace most of that other stuff anyway before finding out that it was the speed sensor connection to the speedo was bad. Sounds like an unusual issue though.

    I'll wind up doing the same parts replacement thing one of these days since most of the parts are original on my '99 (just passed 120k miles).

    Still, when it does break down, it'd be nice to get it fixed on the first trip to the mechanic.

    Steve, visiting host
  • cbc3cbc3 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 96 mer villager which does this exact same thing. The fuel pump was replaced a year before we bought this. We just replaced the fuel filter and it still stalls. My question is, what is the speed sensor is this something only a mechanic can place? Can they check it first?
  • (97 GXE)replaced My timing belt,(and the water pump) the old one was like a flag in the wind and now no whirring from the distributor.
    I must say this was no easy job mostly because of the lack of space to work in and the time it took this novice to peel away the layers to get to just the belt.
    Anyways short of replacing the fanbelt(s) tensioner bearings she is running sweet.
    excellent forum.
  • Have the mechanics pull off the distributor and clean the photo electric eyes on it. Sounds like to me just a dirt build up on it. good luck.
  • My 98 mer villager did the same thing, cost me thousands before the nissan dealer found "dirt build-up" on the photo sensor on the distributor, he just cleaned it off and re-installed it, runs fine now.
  • Hello: 90Zcar

    I have similar issue with 96 quest. I donot know where to start either.If you would know please share with me. I would share if I come across some kind of resolution...W eshare the same issue....Thank you....Naren
  • Hi Jaggi...Can you explain in some detailas to what a interference engine is. I have a 98 mercury villager 3.0Ltr. thanks, E
  • E, as far as I know it is the same engine.
    The Villager is just a re-badged Quest.
  • Here is also something I posted before that I found..........

    The Quest/Villager does not have an interference engine and will not suffer major engine damage should the belt break. The bad news is that will be stranded and have to call a tow truck if the belt breaks. Click here for information on a DIY timing belt change. Also, be aware that the 3.0l V6 engine in the Nissan Pathfinder and Maxima IS an interference engine.
  • for about a week it acted like i had put bad gas in it spitting and stalling this went on for about a week then it finaly just shut of and will not crank at all can some one help , tell me what to check?
  • johnny23,
    I have the same problem on my 95 villager with the engine not turning over at all when you let it sit for a short while. Came back a few hours later and it started and ran normal. Did you ever figure out what was the problem?
  • My wife has a 95 Villager GS. She recently went to a non-dealer service center for a complete tune-up - plugs, distributer, fuel filter plus other stuff. Shortly after this, it started stalling when accelerating briskly from a start, maybe one time out of 10. If you just start VERY slowly, no problem. After the stall, it would start right up again. She went back to the service center, they said it was timing. It wasn't. She went back again, they said it was the mass flow air sensor, charged her $368. That wasn't it either. Now she won't drive it, and it's my problem.

    Oh, yeah - the Mercury dealer went out of business.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I've seen a few posts about the throttle position sensor (TPS) getting out of whack, especially for intermittent issues. Here's one example:

    cmitchell5, "Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Starting & Stalling Issues" #113, 16 Jan 2006 8:09 am

    And there's always the Nissan dealer since the '95 Quest is a twin.
  • My advice would be to take it to the Nissan dealer. These engines are nissans not Fords. Ford techs may not know the codes. I learned the hard way on this. I have had a lot of problems with my 98 villager and found it payed to have it diagonsed once at the Nissan dealer than to take it elsewhere and play the "replace game" which is costly. To me it sounds like a distributor problem , maybe dirt on the photo sensor on the distributor. hope this helps.
  • Landon3

    Did anyone figure out what those relay where. Im having the same problem with my 95 villager. After about two weeks now the car has not started. thought it was the starter. The list so far i read are: fuel pump, two identical relays under the hood, grounding.
Sign In or Register to comment.