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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Starting & Stalling Problems

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Comments

  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    The distributor is what all of your spark plug wires connect to. Round thing on the left of the engine as you look at it from in front of the car.

    There is not much room to insert a magnet. You might be able to just blow out the shavings. Screwdriver is a Phillips. The rotor is underneath the distributor cap. It will be sticking up and is kind of square/triangle shaped. It has one horizontal screw on its base that attaches it to the dist. shaft. There is only one way to install it.

    After that, you will see two screws at about 11 and 5 near the perimeter of the distributor housing. Those hold the brown cover on. Do not remove anything else after this. If this is the problem, it will be pretty evident when you look beneath the white disk. Silver metal shavings should be visible. These are what you want out.

    You did get (spray) lithium grease, right? You don't want a thin lubricant like WD40 or silicon in there because they will shear away pretty quickly. Also, don't go crazy on the lube. About a nickel to quarter sized amount sprayed around the bearings should do it.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Ok I will let you know when done. Thanks for your help! cheri
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Ok I hope your here. I took of the cover and the horizontal screw on the rotor, now how does the rotor come off? do I just pull it straight up? turn it? On the top of this it has the word "screw" with an arrow pointing staight??? It doesn't lift straight up or turn easy. should I apply pressure to lift or turn it? This has to come off inorder to get to the plate below it, right?
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    The rotor should lift straight up. It should not be difficult to remove at all. Once you remove the screw that attaches it to the distributor shaft, I should pull straight up.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Well Bummer! I got the rotor off alright and the cover plate and I was sad to see that there was no metal shavings. I did blow it out with the duster air and ran the magnet around the disk but I didn't ever get any shavings at all. I really couldn't get the magnet down under the washer though. I sprayed the white grease lube in under that big washer under the slotted disk also. I gave it about 3 quick sprays and put it all back together. It still bogs in and out when I hit the first hill. Such a bummer. Can you think of anything else it might be? I suppose it could be many different things. I do appreciate all your help and coaching me through this. Thanks, Cheri
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    Cheri,

    I feel kind of bad after reading back through the posts and discovering that you have a 93 model and I was giving you input on fixing a 99+ model. Completely different engines! I would think checking the coil would be a logical step in diagnosing your issue. Since I don't know what part of the country you are located in, I can't help with store recommendations. Around here, unless it is a special order part, you can usually return a part if you don't damage it trying it out.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Not to worry, it was easy anyway and it was mostly the same as you discribed. But the mechanic asked me if I was talking about changing the distbutor or just the coil, when I was talking to him. Maybe he knew what he was talking about. It this hard to change?
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    In the old days..... typically the coil is connected to the center plug on the distributor and is a piece of cake to change.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Is is just a wire? like a spark plug wire?
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    The center plug wire from the distributor should connect to a box or tube typically mounted on the firewall. I'll look for an illustration online and see what I can find.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Thank you.
  • prez_prez_ Posts: 5
    Posted this here because I was having the same issues with the known distributor bearing problem, knock sensor code & random misfire. My bearing was toasted, only 4 balls left in it, both seals destroyed, and a handfull of rather large metal shavings about.

    Thanks to all of the info here I saved a wad of cash on a new or reman distributor. I instead tore it down, cleaned everything with contact cleaner, and got a replacement bearing from local industrial supply place. After reassembling and reinstalliing the distributor, it fired up & ran with no missing.

    Cleared all codes, and restarted, after a few mins the idle stepped up to 2500 rpm, then it would drop & climb repeatedly and the exhaust manifolds started to glow red. It also has plenty of volume exiting the tailpipe.

    Shut it off, rescanned for codes and only have knock sensor code. I also recall a co-worker of my wife convincing her to try some water remover & injector cleaner...which she did on the way home from work the other day, problem is she was told to only mix additives into 1/2 tank of fuel instead of full tank.
  • thertthert Posts: 3
    After reading much here, I changed the fuel filter and air filter. Things seem much better now, but not completely corrected. The only code was for the knock sensor. I think they said Po325. Parts store guy said it no big deal. It still misses some, still stops performing some, but mostly runs OK. When it acts up, it smells of gas, like it's running rich. I'm sure I should be answering something, but that's all I can think of. Thanks for your help.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    If you think it's fuel related, you may want to run a bottle of Techron in a tank or two to see if that helps.

    When my knock sensor went out on my '99, the Check Engine Light came on immediately.
  • thertthert Posts: 3
    I did put a bottle of Lucas injector cleaner in the tank when I changed the fuel filter. I don't think it is fuel related. The only thing I can think of (not knowing how everything works) is that something intermittently causes the engine to run rich. It doesn't seem to be possible to me that something can cause one or more cylinder to miss intermittently, but perhaps it's possible to flood one or more and then not. What function does the knock sensor perform? Any help is sure appreciated.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    AFAIK, it just senses engine knock (and no, I'm not much of a mechanic :) ). Actually it has to do with engine timing, advancing the timing until the engine pings, and then it backs it off a bit for efficient operation. And I think it'll kick in and retard the timing if a cylinder pre-ignites. By kicking in, it'll send a signal to the engine computer and the computer will adjust the timing.

    The other code that was thrown off when the knock sensor code came up for me was cylinder misfire, which would tie in with the knock sensor having to respond to the knock or ping caused by the pre-ignition.

    I wound up replacing the sensor and three fuel injectors, but I'm not sure I trust that my mechanic shop really knew what they were doing with the injectors.

    Intermittent problems can be a pain to trace down. Maybe you just have a poor connection somewhere, like going to the computer. Or maybe the engine computer has a flaky trace or component.

    Beats me - anyone?

    Steve, visiting host
  • petakapetaka Posts: 12
    Not a mechanic here but if the van is doing something now that it was not doing before this might be related to timing. The ECM is probably trying to adjust for the difference in signal form the distributor sensor. It is only a guess, but I would start with a timing light.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    My 93 villager mostly only does this when on a hill and just after. Everyone says this is because of the load on the engine. I took the dist. apart and didn't see any metal shavings but srayed the lube in on the barrings. It didn't solve the problem but I do believe it is somewhat better. Not bogging down and misssing as intensly as it was and seems to have a little more pick up and go to it. I feel like maybe it could have used more lube in the barrings?? Do you think that could be a possiblity?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I don't think more lube is going to help.

    My ideas are about tapped out. It sounds electrical to me, but that could mean anything from wires to sensors to replacing the whole distributor.

    Maybe try asking over in Edmunds Answers - there are some good techs hanging out there and they'll come up with some different angles to think about.
  • petakapetaka Posts: 12
    By replacing ignition wires, distributor cap and rotor on my 99 Quest I got rid of a gremlin that kept me busy for a few months. I used OEM parts from the dealership that came close to 200 dollars because I do not like third party parts on my van, but the same parts can be purchase at Auto Zone for about 70 dollars.
    This is not guaranteed to solve your problem but the job is not difficult to do. In your case I would also replace spark plugs, timing belt and flush fuel system but now we are talking about lots of money and still no guarantees.
  • prez_prez_ Posts: 5
    Well, the timing is right, checked with light. Already ordered a new distributor on ebay. Started thinking my bearing was so far gone, that it had shavings flying about for quite some time, thus damaging the pickup or it's rotor. Not to mention I'd never had the current problem before.

    Oh well, if new dizzy fixes it then I'm only out $15 for the bearing and a couple of hours of my time. At the minute cost of the bearing, it was worth a shot.
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    Cheri.... did you try the coil?
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    I did replace the coil. The guy at the auto parts store here actually went out and put it on. It seemed to be running a little better by not missing as bad but did still bogg in and out on the hill. But just this morning I was driving and went up the hill and it bogged out pretty bad. Then about a mile down the road(running fine) I stopped to get a coffee and went back out, started right up and drove out of the parking lot driveway and it abruptly stalled right out on me. All the red lights on the dash came on. So then I tried to start it back up and all it would do is backfire. Really loud! One time it backfired so loud that it sounded like someone shot a gun and a big puff of smoke blasted out the tail pipe. So I finally got ahold of the place I bought it from and he came and towed it back his shop. He would never answer his phone before this morning but I called from someone elses cell phone so he didn't know it was me. He is the one that changed the fuel pump thinking this was the problem just before I bought it from him.... But it will be interesting what he comes up with. I didn't tell him anything about the distributor. Just that I changed the coil wire.
  • vangonebadvangonebad Posts: 7
    Somebody please help! Everytime I press the gas on my van it will stall. The mechanic has had it for months and there are no codes coming up - claims he has checked everything and can't find the problem. Any suggestions????
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    What has your mechanic done so far?
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Prez, did you ever get the distributor replaced and did that fix the problem?
  • vangonebadvangonebad Posts: 7
    Thanks for asking. Supposibly he has checked the fuel filter, fuel pump, catylic converter, changed CAM sensor, checked all wiring, changed plugs, wires, etc. Claims he has done it all with no luck. Also, claims there are no more codes coming up. Doesn't know where to go from here. :confuse:
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    I don't have any answers, I was trying to get you to list your problems.
  • vangonebadvangonebad Posts: 7
    The only obvious problem is that every time you press on the gas pedal, the van stalls. It will restart, only to have the same problem again and again.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Vangonebad, there is many past posts that are similar to yours. They change everything under the sun they can think of and it often turns out that it is the distributor. These vans are notorious for this. The nissan dealer told me that the metal bearings in the dist. give off metal shavings and these shavings get in the way causing the dist. to not work right. They can sometimes be cleaned out and the photo eye sensor in there needs to be cleaned also. Or the bearrings get too small from getting shaved off and they roll around in there causing problems. This is commonly a problem with this van and the stalling issue.
  • vangonebadvangonebad Posts: 7
    I did read alot of this, too and am going to tell the mechanic to check this. Thanks so much for the advice.
  • prez_prez_ Posts: 5
    Just got the new replacement distributor today. Good news is my $12 bearing replacement does work, bad news is problem still exists with new dist. Still lopes at idle, revs to and holds steady at 2500 in gear, haven't run for more than 2 mins so I don't know about the lean cond/hot exhaust. Still has knock sensor code and now has random misfire code, but doesn't miss noticeably (hear or feel).

    Something related to the timing or knock sensor was possibly damaged from operating it with the bad bearing I guess. Or those fuel additives were mixed too strong, maybe. :confuse: Next step is to fill the tank up and see if there are any changes after it gets diluted & circulating.

    BTW, I may have a discounted nearly new distributor (cap & rotor never used) to get rid of in the near future.
  • prez_prez_ Posts: 5
    No change so far from fuel, also cleaned the IAC valve. I've run out of options.
  • markhagenmarkhagen Posts: 5
    this van should have had at least a distributor recall. i hate my villager with passion. i have had it less than 2 years. it was great up until 3 months ago. now everything is falling apart :mad:
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    I thought that by changing the distributor your problem had been solved. Is it acting up again?
    I keep following this thread because I have a 99 Quest. I spent 2500 dollars on repairs last year and it's running fine now but I don't think I'll be sinking any more money on it if something else pops up. The book value is no more than 4k.
  • cheri6cheri6 Posts: 21
    Well the guy that sold the villager to me has replaced the distibutor, o2 sensor and the TPS and no improvement. Still the bogging in and out on a steeper hill. I read an old message on here about the EGR hose connecting to the BPT (Back pressure transducer) and how it corrodes. Well I stopped at a new shop and asked them to check this and here he found the EGR hose flapping in the breeze with a bolt stuck in the end of it to plug it up.He took the bolt out and plugged it into where it obviously should have gone and it now seems better but still somewhat boggs on the longer hills. Not on the smaller hills! He also told me that there is NOT a catalytic converter on this vehicle. Someone took it off!! My question is could this missing catalytic coverter be causing the problem? Any thoughts about this? Thanks.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    You may have problems passing inspection without a catalytic converter. It may also be needed for some back-pressure, but I am not 100% sure on that.
  • prez_prez_ Posts: 5
    Finally got it, the dist was one tooth off. Turns out there is a notch on the inside, with a matching tang on dist side. Ah well, if anyone needs a dist send them my way. Have the new one, only ran for 30 min, cap & rotor never used, gladly sell it for $140 shipped USPS priority.
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    I may take that distributor off of your hands. Van has started acting up again. Once I get it back to the house I'm going to inspect the dizzy again. If it is full of shavings again, I'll likely need to buy a new one.
  • canyonsvocanyonsvo Posts: 23
    No shavings, but only 3 bearings left! I ordered a new dizzy with a lifetime guarantee. We'll see. I will drop the pan to see how many shavings are in there.
  • Where can I find the bearings for the nissan quest distrubutor?
  • Rockmobile,
    do you still have the distibutor for the nissan quest?
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    I do not have a distributor, I think prez has or used to have one. I have seen several of them advertised on ebay for a reasonable price but I have no experience buying anything on ebay.
  • back_drback_dr Posts: 1
    '94 Villager recently started intermittent problem with starting and brief hesitation when accelerating after light turns green. 90% of time it starts and runs great, the other 10% it starts hesitating and then the next time you turn it off you can't necessarily start it back up. We had it checked on computer and they said fuel pump needed replacing. We spent $400 on that, to find out we still had the problem. I have read through this entire forum subject. Does anyone out there think this could be the distributor or speed sensor. I think it is a spark problem somewhere.

    Side note -- radiator blew all over the place about two months ago -- possibly affected a sensor or something??
  • I'm trying to help my parents diagnose and repair a problem with their 98 Villager w/3.0 v6. I've read through all 17 pages in this section and seen similar post but not identical.
    The van starts and runs fine, but intermittently just dies. It will run fine for weeks with no problem then just shut off while going down the road. Sometimes it will happen only once and at other times it will occur multiple in a day. It seems to be worse in summer. After the van has cooled down in as little as 10-15 minutes, it will restart.
    At times there will be a slight shudder and others it isn't noticeable, it just quits.
    It is pre 99, so the coil is outside the distributor, and he has had the ICM (ignition control module) replaced.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  • about that rough 1-2 shifting, have heard from an old life transmission
    specialist that it could be due to a small spring broken inside a pressure cumulator (valve). my villager 95 have that problem but
    not sure on the know how to do that job and where to look inside the oil transmission pan, i think i could to do such repair by myself as normally i do, i just need some confirm and few tips !!
    thanks !!
  • Hello, it has been a while since I have posted on this but I wanted to get back here and let everyone know what the problem was for me and my 93 villager that was losing power & misfiring. We have changed EVERYTHING under the sun trying to fix this and finally I talked to an retired diagnostic/design rep. for these vans and he told me to clean the mass air flow senser. Took about 10 minutes, costed about three buck for the can of MAF sensor cleaner and Volia, fixed!!!

    This sensor reads the temp and airflow for the computer and if there is a speck of dirt on it, it reads the info incorrectly relaying wrong info to the computer. The computer uses this info to regulate the gas flow and it gets all messed up.

    He said that any time you change your air fliter you should always clean your MAF sensor also. It is located just beyond the airfliter housing, right on top of the engine and is simple to clean.

    I cant believe I have driven this van this way for so long and all the money that was spent trying to fix the problem and all it was was this!!!
  • my wife bought a quest,an when she got it, it had a small problem, it would take two or three times to start it,, so here as of two weeks ago, she was at work an went to lunch,an the thing would not start,so i had ask if she had checked the batt cables,she said she did,an fond out it was cracked,so we bout a new one,put it on,an(long pause),she would not start,this is just the begining of our QUEST,so i rechecked everything all i did was change a batt cable (?)), so after finding nothing, an it still not starting,she tested the starter an batt,both good.so i put them in an tried to start it, an it did start,WOHO,that was short lived cause she went out to go to store an it would not start,so after calling an talking to some mechanics,they said it could be the relays,the ignition switch,or the neutral saftey switch,so i bout new ones an a new batt just so we would not have any problems.well got all that done an WOHO,it started,wife crying cause she was over joyed after catching rides to work for a week,an my son missing the bus,this is a differnt story,an not being able to go to store for food,so any got off track there,but whent to restart an nothing(bummer dude),so called AAA,to come an tow it,an after spending 95$ for a mechanic to tell me the things i already knew, we had it towed home,an i went an bought a new solenoid an put it on an it started WOOOHOOO,an then after wife crying harder this time cause this was the third week of the catching rides an relieing on outher persons having to take us places..THEN went to restart an you guessed it, the damn thing would not start just as befor nothing,nauta zip, no sound nothing, so know i'm bald an no more exsedrine, an know wife is crying cause she has to do the car thing for another week or more, this is our only car,an we have twins (18month) an a 5 yr,so any one who has kids knows it's hard.. so the only thing i ask is PLEASE HELP,,,, :confuse:
  • What year is that Quest and how many miles?
  • Hello: My 2000 Villager has 37000 miles and to this point has run flawlessly. I had taken on a trip on the expressway and it ran fine. Then a couple days later I used it again and about a half mile from home it started running rough. After a four mile trip I returned home and it was really running rough, on the verge of stalling at traffic lights, and the check engine light would flash on and off mostly when accelerating.

    I have read many of the posts and multiple things could cause the engine to run rough but what would cause it to go from perfect to horrible so quickly?
    Thanks for reading. Gene55
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