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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Starting & Stalling Problems



  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited June 2011
    According to Heet's website, "HEET contains special additives and methanol. When HEET is added to the gas tank, it sinks to the bottom and mixes with any water. Since both HEET and water are heavier than gasoline, they go to the bottom of the gas tank. HEET absorbs water and keeps it from freezing, and blocking the flow of gasoline through the gas line and fuel pump. When the vehicle is started, the additives, methanol, water, and gasoline are consumed during combustion inside the engine." So, the power of "water removal" comes from "methanol" which is well known.

    In Wiki Methanol, it says "One of the potential drawbacks of using high concentrations of methanol (and other alcohols, such as ethanol) in fuel is its corrosivity to some metals, particularly aluminum. Methanol, although a weak acid, attacks the oxide coating that normally protects the aluminum from corrosion:
    6 CH3OH + Al2O3 → 2 Al(OCH3)3 + 3 H2O
    The resulting methoxide salts are soluble in methanol, resulting in a clean aluminium surface, which is readily oxidized by dissolved oxygen. Also, the methanol can act as an oxidizer:
    6 CH3OH + 2 Al → 2 Al(OCH3)3 + 3 H2
    This reciprocal process effectively fuels corrosion until either the metal is eaten away or the concentration of CH3OH is negligible. Concerns with methanol's corrosivity have been addressed by using methanol-compatible materials, and fuel additives that serve as corrosion inhibitors."

    In other words, you need to have "high concentration" of methanol to cause corrosion, and Heet seems to contain corrosion inhibitors. That's why we do not just pour "methanol" into the gas tank to remove the water in tank.

    It also says "Low levels of methanol can be used in existing vehicles, with the use of proper cosolvents and corrosion inhibitors. The European Fuel Quality Directive allows up to 3% methanol with an equal amount of cosolvent to be blending in gasoline sold in Europe."

    Heet website also says "One bottle of HEET treats up to 20 gallons (75.7 L) of gasoline. You should not use more than 2 bottles in a 20-gallon (75.7 L) gas tank, 3 bottles in a 30-gallon (113.6 L) gas tank. HEET and Iso-HEET are safe to use in every tankful, in all seasons, all year-round." In other words, each bottle is 12oz and one gallon is 128oz and 10 gallon is 1,280oz; with one bottle Heet in 1,280oz gas, it is under 1% of methanol concentration, much less than European Fuel Quality Directive allows.

    Anyway, since I am using yellow Heet bottle 12oz to remove water from my Nissan Quest 94, I am wondering if any of you ever encountered any problem using it with your cars or vans?

    #410 of 411 Re: How many miles do you change oil and oil filter with you Nissan Quest? [nissanquest94] by steve_ HOST
    Jun 29, 2011 (8:04 am)

    Replying to: nissanquest94 (Jun 28, 2011 1:13 pm)


    When I lived further up north, my wife would buy a bottle of yellow Heet now and then. After I yelled at her a couple of times, she quit putting it in the tank. Always heard that the yellow stuff was bad for hoses or something like that.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I check the oil about every time I fill up, and I don't remember ever adding oil. Probably stays topped up from the water condensation getting in the oil. :shades:

    Never seen the oil light come on except at start up when all the idiot lights come on.

    Filters are cheap so while I'm under there changing the oil, I just change it at the same time. Don't trust the quickie places all that much, and if I get lazy, I have a regular mechanic I'd rather trust for working on my van.

    And, like HEET, I don't believe in adding any additives to the engine oil either. Haven't checked my manual, but I know that GM and other manufacturers specifically warn against doing that. Plus I don't care if the oil smells like roses since I'm not sniffing the dipstick. :D

    About the only additive I trust is Techron, and while I'll buy Chevron gas now and then (it has Techron in it), I won't go out of my way to get a bottle.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    Oil is cheap. Filters are cheap. I do my own oil and filter change every 7500 or 8000 miles, that way I let it drip the old stuff at my heart's content.

    I never add anything to gasoline but I can't argue pro or against it. That 10% ethanol/gas mix has kept my throttle body clean so I have not had to clean it in a while.

    _Rusty 99 Quest :cry:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited June 2011
    Now that you mention it, it has been a long time since I've had to clean my throttle body. Hard to believe that the ethanol laced stuff is good for anything but there you go. The ethanol free station here is usually twenty cents a gallon higher and isn't convenient anyway.

    Probably doesn't matter much, but it is kind of satisfying to pull the oil plug and let it drip for an hour or two. :-)

    An oil and filter change usually runs around $14 for me.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    Wow, $14 is really a bargain. I can't make it for less than $20.
  • When you check the oil every time you fill up, did you check BEFORE drain the oil? or AFTER fill up the new oil? How does it look like? and did you check the dirty oil that you drain out of the oil tank? I mean, did you notice the "volume" of the dirty oil actually shrink? and how much loss? for that 15,000 miles. Yours may not have loosed too much because you said you never got low oil light on, but it may be useful to know how much quart loosed.

    Mine Nissan Quest 94 had engine oil leak since dozen years ago, and the dealer I checked wanted over $1,000 from me to repair. Basically, their reason is that it was a gasket needed to be replaced, but it cost huge of labor to reach that gasket and reassemble, and they wanted me to leave the van with them for a few days. I never have them did anything because in my mind, if the auto mechanics can NOT get the job done in an hour or two, they did NOT know how to do it correctly, may be they did not have experience on the problem, or they simply do it brute force. But, it is hard to reason that dealer has no experience nor need to do it in hard way; the only thing I can think is that they want to charge you more by asking you to leave the van there to make you feel they spend more time on doing your car, which they don't.

    Anyway, thereafter, every few months my "low oil" light would come on, depending on how much I drive; it did not seem to leak oil when it is parked still, but it may leak during driving and pull into parking. And, I always had a quart of engine oil in my van, as soon as the light came on, I just add one quart, and the light went off right away. Then I kind of lose the hassle of changing oil because every 15,000 miles when I checked my engine oil, the dipstick always shown very clean. And, of course, I also lost the hassle to change engine oil filter.

    Many years later, I noticed it took longer and longer for the "low oil light" to come on, and eventually it kind of not come on any more naturally. When I mentioned this to a local auto repair owner one day, he said, of course, as the engine oil got thicker and thicker, eventually, it would seal the leaking gasket by itself. So, then instead of adding a quart of engine oil whenever "low oil light" on, now I need the oil change again, and that's why last time I changed in 2008.

    Since I have been so used to not bother with oil change, and I kind of forgot needed to, but it seemed fine, except, every so often, like 3,000 to 5,000 miles, I just top off 5w30 till recently I found this Engine Restorer while search for solution to fix the "water in tank problem", and add the whole can to top off the engine oil and got all the wonderful effects as mentioned in testimonials. I thought at the time the problem may have caused by not changing oil since 2008, but it turned out is not, but I am very happy to the positive effects gained.

    Engine Restorer advises to add every time do oil change; however, I was in the situation either to see auto mechanics or solve the problem myself, so I did not do oil change, instead, I just added a can into my crankcase to top off the engine oil which looks dirty at the time.

    Then, the magic happens immediately. The first try to drive, I felt the engine gets calmer, and through out the way, every day the engine quiet more. Until one day, my wife asked me why our Nissan Quest 94 engine was so quiet, what did I do? And, also another day when my son trying to start the engine when it was ALREADY started; he could not hear the engine sound. Now we have to rely on the RPM meter to tell if engine started or not. While driving on the road, if we open the winter, we, in fact, hear other cars' engine noise, but not ours. How amazing!

    Before using it, every time I pull the van into driveway, my wife noticed the bad smell when engine stopped, but after using Engine Restorer, the bad smell gone. It was not the smell of engine oil, I think it was the bad smell of exhaust. Then, I notice when I started the engine in the morning, I got NOTHING smoke came out from the exhaust pipe but some water about an oz or two.

    From then on, I tried to locate Engine Restorer wherever I went and took down the price. I have found so far the best prices of that same Engine Restorer of 3 sizes, 4 cylinder, 6 or 8, Walmart seemed to be the cheapest. And, that's great! because we travel a lot, about 150 nights in the hotel each year, so any time we had a need to use Engine Restorer to top off engine oil, we know where to find at best price.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited June 2011
    You can't tell anything by oil just by looking at it. It's supposed to hold stuff in suspension so it's not unusual for it to turn dark right after you change it.

    No, don't bother looking at the dipstick when I change my oil.

    And again, I don't believe in putting additives in my van. Testimonials don't really mean squat to me - if you truly want to know the condition of your oil (and thus your engine), pay the ~$20 for an oil analysis.

    With all the restorer links in your post, you sound like you're shilling for the company. Are you getting kickbacks from Heet too? Lot of good your restorer did if you have leaks. ;)

    Steve, visiting host
  • Most people can not tell anything by just looking at it, but I can because I look at it every day. Sometimes, I checked it before my wife needed to drive to work, and sometimes, I just check it for no reason.

    But as you may not realize, when the car is cool down and engine running and after driving 100 miles, the engine oil all look differently. When it is cook down over night, the lighter part of engine oil move up to top like gas on top in gas tank and water down to bottom in gas tank. However, while engine is running, it all mess up together. In other words, the most accurate state of engine oil is when engine is running.

    On the other hand, I never seen engine oil turn dark right after change it. According to my friend who hold Ph.D from Columbia University on Chemical Engineering, the molecule of new engine oil is of pretty good size for engine, however, after heat and a series of chemical reactions, some molecules will be combined to longer ones, yet others may be chopped into small ones, both would reduce the operating power of the engine. Therefore, the synthesized oil is better, in that the molecules were made artificially all in the good same size. It is, therefore, new engine oil should NOT turn dark right after change. If it does, you can be sure the auto mechanics pour into old engine oil from previous guest into yours, or another auto repair shop owner just let go one quart and top off one quart of new clean oil.

    So far, I only used one bottle of yellow Heet 12oz $1.99 bought at Pep Boys, and another yellow bottle of Splash 10oz 99cents also from Pep Boys when they ran out of yellow Heet. I did not buy more yellow Heet as Splash is cheaper, however, for some reason, Pep Boys told me they did not have Splash any more. Advanced Auto Parts got yellow Heet but $2.39 and no Splash. Eventually, I found yellow Heet 12oz $1.37 at Walmart, but I also saw red Iso-Heet there at only $1.99 that Pep Boys wanted $2.99 and Advanced Auto Parts want more. So, I just tried Iso-Heet which claimed to remove water 5 times more.

    Some people claimed to be able to use pure methanol instead of yellow Heet and it is less than $20 for 5 gallons, about $4 per gallon, or 40 cents per 12oz. I am new to this "Auto Pharmacy" field, but I intend to be one of the best, not only on prescribed auto pharmacy (or additives, the generic term you used) but also "most cost effective" as the 100 year economic situation, over 14 millions people lost job and yet no car is not an option in this country. If we can help just a few % of these people, we helped lots of them.

    For example, they can get a really used unwanted car for just a few hundreds, and pour some correct "auto drugs" into the cars, and boom, it running great again!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited June 2011
    Yeah, the tribologists talk about how the molecular tails are all broken off by 3,000 miles. Big whoop.

    Even the fleet owners won't mess with that stuff; they get their best bang for buck by doing an oil analysis and extending the intervals as much as they think they can get away with.

    And you know what? For us poor slobs just driving around it's not going to matter one whit.

    If you want to be an oil change hobbyist, fine, just remember that few hobbies are cheap. Big waste of time and money for the rest of us.

    You might enjoy this discussion btw:

    Engine Oil - A slippery subject Part 2
  • Pep Boys this week in our area has promotion $14.99 for a set of 5 quarts Castrol GTX engine oil and Purolator oil filter which is $18.99 after $4 manufacture rebate, and I also see this in their website, so I believe it is corporate wide, or by manufacture promotion.

    I believe the price shall continue dropping because people start realize "3,000 miles or 3 months oil change" is a way outdated Auto Historic number. In the good old days, many many years ago, the engine oil tank is NOT 5 quarts like our wonderful Nissan Quest 94. It was only ONE quart. That is to day, if one quart of engine oil lubricates engine for 3,000 miles or 3 months, then we need 5 quarts of engine oils if we do not want to bother changing oil every 15,000 miles. And that's what manual says.

    Unfortunately, people kept remember that "3,000 miles or 3 months" phrase but did not realized the oil tank has been increased to 4 or 5 quarts along many decades. On the other hand, people who do not know all this theory and history may still change oil frequently as long as the cost is kept low.

    I passed Good Year the other day, the oil change now $9.99 as opposed to many who charged $29 these days. And PepBoys also gives you up to $10 on oil change service this week.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited June 2011
    I paid $10 for a jug of Supertech at Walmart not long ago, and the Fram filter went for ~$4.

    $10 at a quick lube is cheap. Just check their work before you drive off. :shades:

    Your "one quart" theory looks good, but my daddy had a '53 Buick - a Special I think it was. Chiltons says the oil capacity for the Series 40 and 50 was 9 3/8 qts dry, 11 3/8 quarts dry for the Series 70. 10 quarts for a drain and fill. Same for the 1940 Buicks.

    The Model T held 4 quarts standard. Apparently some drivers used 5 quarts if there were a lot of hills. :) The 1928 Hudson held 7 quarts of oil in the reservoir only, 9 qts. counting the troughs. (link and pfd link)

    One theory I always heard was that the 3,000 mile interval was adopted by the Army motor pool back in the First World War. Never seen any verification for that theory either.
  • Since you mentioned Techron is the only one you trust, I went checked on it, but it was very expensive, $8.29 each at Pep Boys; however, I am glad to see it has promotion of $5 this week. I am going to get one and try it out on my Nissan Quest 94.

    What I was not sure about is, can I add this Techron 12oz into my gas tank which already has yellow Heet bottle 12 oz, Splash bottle 10oz and Iso-Heet red bottle 12oz ? and it says combine with Chevron gasoline, do I need to get Chevron gasoline while adding Techron? But you also mentioned that "Chevron gas has Techron in it", so you did not need to get a bottle ??? So, should I just go get the Chevron gas ???

    Anyway, I am going to give it a try as the Top Tier Detergent Gasoline says, Demonstration of Performance. A demonstration of injector fouling shall be done first. At least five out of six injectors (with Option 1) or at least four out of six injectors (with Option 2) shall be inoperative for the test to be valid. A demonstration of additive performance shall be done after the fouling tendency demonstration; no other test shall be conducted on the vehicle in the interim. A demonstration of additive performance shall be conducted using the same vehicle (including the fuel drain and flush procedures and installing new injectors) with the same batch of base fuel, but now containing the same amount of deposit control additive as in A pass is defined as no more than one inoperative injector.

    and Chevron gasoline with Techron seemed to pass it.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Yeah, never bought it. Used to buy Chevron a lot. No stations around me now. If my throttle body got gunky, I might try a bottle.

    Top Tier is okay I guess, but really it's mostly marketing. There's at least one competing organization that makes similar claims.
  • I wanted to get Chevron gas tonight, but no stations around me either, so I searched for the list of Top Tier Detergent Gas Stations and with the help of Gas Buddy, I found an affordable Exxon gas station for $3.39 a gallon which is pretty good. At the gas station, it says "containing ethanol", so I think it may deal with water problem.

    As predicted, short while after I left Exxon gas station, the power restored and idle much smoother at stop and traffic lights, and when going to high way, it runs much more powerful, and transmission smoother, especially from gear 1 to gear 2, not need to be too high RPM to switch, so everything back to normal.

    The magic of red Iso-Heet 12oz I got the other night at Walmart seemed to be phasing out as the gas tank approaching 1/3 and miles over 200. I think, after all, even the 5 times of water removed was only about 60oz, about half gallon that only gives me about dozen miles of magic. That also explained why yellow Heet 12oz gave me an even shorter magic because 12oz of water removed, only burn about a few miles. Not to mention the 10oz Splash.

    If the First Tier Detergent Gas can also clean "fuel injectors" as can make most inoperative fuel injectors back to operative, then, it is true that no need to get a bottle of STP fuel injection cleaner or other brands' similar product.

    So, I think, this is at "Auto Nutrition" level; i.e. charge battery with electric charger, get good gas, and get clean air into throttle ...etc.

    So far, not quite sure of the magic of Exxon except knowing the % of water is sure to drop below the threshold after fill up, and with Exxon gas "containing ethanol", more water will be mixed and burned, and since Exxon is also in First Tier Detergent Gas list, the fuel injectors should be all operative soon with no misfires on that part. I expect the "check engine" light should go off any time soon ...
  • This is very interesting! Why old cars need that many quarts of engine oil? I need to check with my friend holding Chemical Engineering Ph.D from Columbia University. May be I heard it wrong at the first place. But, it makes sense that military always set higher standard like government or emergency vehicles or police...etc. They change battery every 3 years, no matter what.
  • True. I checked that forum on engine oils ...etc. Lot's of detail and exceptions, but kind of lose focus. I think, I need to focus on Nissan Quest vans, and the goal is really simple. Try to do minimum work on oil change at minimum cost while keep the van running well.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    May be I heard it wrong at the first place.

    I think there's a lot of wrong info out there.

    And I don't think you can fill up, drive off, and immediately notice a difference in how your car drives. That's seat of the pants stuff and like a lot of those testimonials you read, it's a self fulfilling prophesy kind of thing. If you don't have a baseline to begin with and some method of actually measuring improvements (other than your gut), then it's all hogwash.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    nq94, I think your Quest is old and tired and needs a little Redbull for automobiles, though I hope you can keep it running for ever.

    But, I was thinking that by switching to a higher octane you could get the same benefits you get from all those additives, although at this time it may be cheaper to increase power with the concoction you are putting in the tank.

    Can you tell us how many miles it has and how many you run in a year?
  • I got over 135,000 miles on this Nissan Quest 94, I run many miles in the early years, and gradually reduced each year, so for past 17 years, it average less than 10,000 miles a year as you can see.

    I am going to take your advise to switch to higher octane next time when I get Exxon. The 87 regular was $3.39 I got last night, but 93 super was $3.79, so I did not get higher octane, but as said, my van already did very well right after I drove off Exxon gas station. This time, I did not add Heet nor Iso-Heet as I saw it says "containing ethanol", and since Exxon is also in the Top Tier Detergent Gasoline, it seems I do not need to add "fuel injector cleaner" and other additives, assuming it already has them.

    Today, I drove another 40 miles, and it ran very well, so I think good gas does make some difference, and next time I will try higher octane that my Nissan Quest NEVER had the luxury to add them.

    According to Wiki, higher octane will prevent fuel vapor to burn prematurely and therefore reduce the "knocks", and of course, will make knocks sensor happier and may be get "check engine light" off. Normally, new car does not need high octane, but older cars does need it. Why?

    Because, in general, the senors of fuel system tend to be able to monitor and ECU got the info and rearrange the time for all adjustment, whereas, as cars get aging, all these sensors may be getting dirty and the info sensed NOT as accurate and therefore not able to reduce all knocking. So, higher octane gas, by nature, less like to burn prematurely. It shall burn at the optimal spot right at the highest pressure of compression stage, and not loss power this way.

    So, with that knowledge, I can tell by adding different gas to see how clean my fuel sensors are. Otherwise, auto mechanics would just blindly ask you to replace at your expense, whereas, many can be just clean, or not even dirty.
  • What I did has been change ONE thing a time, so I know EXACTLY which is which.

    The savvy father I met at Pep Boys got 3 Nissan Quest, and, now he is expert on Nissan Quest. His way of learning is very simple. If one has problem, you would ask opinion of auto mechanics, and if they say need to replace new sparks, he would just come home and SWAP spark plugs with two vans, and see what happen.

    If problem of problem van remain, he knows that suggestion was NOT correct. Soon or later, he shall know which auto mechanics knows more, and eventually, he knows how to replace all these parts as well.

    And, eventually, his comment is that Nissan Quest is very good van, and most guess from auto mechanics, at least the local ones he went, was INCORRECT.

    I am doing the same thing to try out every one in the forum may suggest, and I would be able to tell which are the solutions, and which are just guess. But, to me, I am trying to fix the van at "auto Pharmacy" level (or additives) and "auto nutrition" level (i.e. right gas, right electricity, right air ...etc).
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    To quote Mr_Shiftright around here, premium gas isn't like a doggie treat for your car. :)

    In fact, in the compression is a bit less than when it was new, you'll probably get worse performance than using regular gas. Premium resists knock because it's harder to ignite than lower-octane fuels. As a result, some engines won't start as quickly or run as smoothly on premium. (USA Today)

    Read your manual; your car runs best on the fuel it was designed for.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    nq 94, I have always used the cheapest gas: BJ's, Wa-Wa, etc. with the lowest octane, 87, and my van has never complained. I was just trying to put two and two together and find a logic for all those additives.

    Steve has a lot more knowledge than I about fuel, so I would not be spending a lot of money on high octane gasoline.

    Let me ask another thing:

    When was the last time your van had a real tune-up? New plugs, air filter, timing belt, ignition wires, cap and rotor, etc.? I would add oil change but I don't think that's in your vocabulary.
  • Thanks a lot! This is a very good article. I think I would just get the regular as I always did.
  • Last year I got new plugs, plug wire, cap, air filter, ...etc.

    So, I think I may need to do an oil change, more precisely, an oil filter change. over 3 years are kind of long if 15,000 miles 1 year is about what Nissan Quest manual suggests. I thought about that, but I just wanted to do an experiment of adding this Engine Restorer, which worked very well.

    One thing I kept on forgetting was that the oil dip stick shows only the status of top one quart, so when it shows clean does NOT mean the whole oil tank is clean, especially the bottom parts. When the vehicle is parked and cool in the morning, the cleaner and lighter oil moved up to top like fuel in gas tank moved up to top and water went down. However, once the engine start, it all mess together because the crankshaft motion, unlike the gas tank where no part to stir it constantly.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I don't think oil separates like that. Can't find a link saying that either.

    One of the jobs of oil is to hold contaminants in suspension so they can be removed by the filter. I don't think that stuff if going to settle out overnight and sludge up the oil pan.

    Okay, since you like additives, check out Seafoam. :shades:

    And if you really want to get into it, look up the Inttellistick oil dipstick that has a sensor on it for supposedly constant monitoring of your oil viscosity and additive status.

    You really should head over to that oil discussion though, since this is the start/stall board.

    Steve, visiting host

    (btw, I updated my spreadsheet and my lifetime mpg is 21.53 and my cost per mile is running around .18 cents. Call it .30 cents with depreciation.)
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited July 2011
    I don't think oil separates like that. Can't find a link saying that either.
    // This local auto service owner with over 30 year experience told me that they only let go the bottom 1 quart of dirty oil and add 1 quart of new oil in crankcase when they change oil for their customer in New York City. And Lube Express or Valvoline when I drove thru and changed oil while I was in the driver seat, at the end, their people would show me my dip stick that engine oil is CLEAN and FULL to make me the customer feel they did do the oil change. There is really no way to tell if they change all 5 quart or just 1 quart because the dip stick only shows top 1 quart.
    // I just went out to check my dip stick, and the engine oil was CLEAN, even after 3 years, not yet changed oil, but top up cheapest Walmart 5w30 every now and then, and recently add image also got from Walmart. But, I am always wondering where did those "dirty things" go?

    One of the jobs of oil is to hold contaminants in suspension so they can be removed by the filter. I don't think that stuff if going to settle out overnight and sludge up the oil pan.
    // So, I guess the dirt must have gone to oil filter as you said. If it accumulates for over 3 years or even longer, would it make oil flow slower? especially in the morning when first start up engine? but later when engine warm up for 3 minutes, everything back to normal?

    Okay, since you like additives, check out Seafoam.
    // Seafoan is a brand, which product do you recommend? I have no problem to try it out as long as it does not cost much. I would not let auto mechanics doing guess work any more, it often cost more than the van itself.

    And if you really want to get into it, look up the Inttellistick oil dipstick that has a sensor on it for supposedly constant monitoring of your oil viscosity and additive status.

    You really should head over to that oil discussion though, since this is the start/stall board.
    // I think I have eliminated all problems of my Nissan Quest 94, except the start and stall problem, it only happens at the first start of the day. Any idea? other than my not changed oil change for 3 years?

    Steve, visiting host

    (btw, I updated my spreadsheet and my lifetime mpg is 21.53 and my cost per mile is running around .18 cents. Call it .30 cents with depreciation.)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I'm pushing "60 years of experience" and I keep finding out that I'm wrong about a lot of stuff. :P
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    edited July 2011
    nq94, I don't know if you are familiar with this website: Villager Quest FAQs. If you click on the subtopics you can find a lot of info on older vans like yours.

    Hope that helps.
  • Yes, I have gone thru it, and that's why I am sort of Nissan Quest expert now ...

    I am working very hard and I spent 14 hours a day on learning all these; that's why I was able to decipher all sorts of "fraud" or "guess work" from auto mechanics ...

    For one thing, if your Nissan Van can change oil 15,000 miles, why they would lie to you to change "3,000 miles or 3 months"? We are not talking about 5% to 15% difference that often is tolerable. We are talking about 500% "error". Not to mention, many members here were "tricked" to change all sorts of parts unnecessarily, yet, the problems remain ...

    So, I posted this topic and question, and that is also I used to screen auto mechanics. For every auto mechanics I interview, if they start bragging "changing oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months", I know I am talking to people either "doing lots of guess work" or "fraud".
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I don't know about the first generation, but the second generation vans, like my '99, go by a 7,500 interval for normal service.

    Defining "severe service" is a whole 'nother topic of discussion.
  • I have found this Seafoam video that seems to be very clear showing how to do it, and it is pretty simple.

    What I was wondering was that most additives I used before, they either add into crankcase like Engine Restorer or fuel tank like Heet, iso-Heet, Lucas fuel injector cleaner, ...etc. But, this Seafoam seemed to be able to add into both fuel tank, crankcase, and thru PCV, and 1/3 of the 16 oz Seafoam bottle.

    However, this another one doing his Seafoam on his Honda 99, he pour 1/2 into his vacume line that going to intake manifold, and the rest into fuel tank.

    This Seafoam on Nissan Quest 95 and #2 look really scary and produce lots of smoke. My neighbor may complain if I do this.

    I am wondering can I just add Seafoam into fuel tank? and not use it for crankcase, since my Engine Restorer has "proven" to me that it did a wonderful job that engine is now so quiet and engine oil so clean and smell so nice ...
  • I went to this Valvoline lube express today, but so many cars, besides my $10 coupon has expired, so I just left, not experiment if oil changed and in particular oil filter changed after 3 years, my Nissan Quest 94 would solve the problem of initial start.

    So far, all problems seem to be gone with all these additives, here and there, people advised. The only one left is that when it first time start, whether cold morning or hot afternoon (it is 93 degree now), it can be easily crank and start and RPM went up, but then immediate going down RPM and stall unless press the throttle, and about 2 to 3 minutes "warm up", it is perfect, and through out the day, it can be easily start and run, and engine so quiet (Thanks to Engine Restorer), and power pick up, throttle response faster (thanks to Heet, Splash and iso-heet)

    Last night, I met a person at Barnes & Noble who selling some additives so ofter me to tried out the additive he claimed he used for his Nissan Maxima 2000 that keep his engine running great. I asked him how low the fuel tank he got before filling up the gas, he said, he often waited it till E (empty), then add his additive and run for another 50 miles before refill the gas.

    That's amazing! That implies his gas tank may not have much "water", although his car is relatively new. Anyway, I just invite him to go get his magic bottle he wanted to sell for around $12 and claimed to be able to use for dozen times, i.e. one squeez of about 2oz for just $1 and good for a tankful of gas. So, he squeezed 2 oz into my fuel tank and assure me will feel different immediately.

    It DID! My Nissan Quest 94 ran good and powerful on the way back. When I checked the bottle instructions, it says something like "oil system treatment" but did not see "remove water" or the like. His enthusiasm was just like every now and then I squeeze "Lucas Fuel Injectors Cleaner" to neighbors cars or whoever complained gas price hike, ...etc. I even squeeze some for people on the parking lot of Pep Boys. Why not? It is free!

    I started getting one 5.25oz Lucas Fuel Injector cleaner by accident at Advanced Auto Parts when they had a 99 cent sale at casher. Wow! amazing! much better than STP red and white bottle I jused before. So, I decided to switch to Lucas and got the 32 oz bottle for only $10 at Walmart because that small bottle went up to $5.99 and even $5 at Walmart. So, every now and then I squeeze some into my cars and others. Later, I found the one gallon 128oz Lucas at Pep Boys for only $29, so I started buying gallon Lucas Fuel Injector Cleaner, and fill them to the 32oz bottle for easily squeeze.

    From then on, every time I drive far or long trip, I would squeeze some Lucas into the fuel tank, in addition to pumping some air to tire, check all liquids, ...etc, and of course, charge battery for a few hours.

    What I really want to learn is like medical doctor when you go see them with a problem, they will "prescribed" some drugs for you to go to pharmacy to pick up and take, and magically cure the problem. Instead of general advise of "taking some vitamin" ...etc.

    For example, I would like to know "what additives should I pour into my van"? to cure my initial start and stall problem ? Your guess work is very welcome! I would just try and test one at a time to see which is the right one... and I want to become an expert level of "Auto Pharmacist". If I can guess or Diagnostics correctly at the very first time, I would be very famous and able to help many many people to fix their headache in a few dollars. Otherwise, a few try and error would still be much cheaper than the "guess work of auto mechanics" to replace parts here and there, every time hundreds to thousands, yet problem persist.
  • Somehow, they sent me another $10 coupon, so I just went changed my oil and oil filter there at Valvoline. With coupon about $22.

    Then, I felt better, but I also knew that oil and oil filter has nothing to do with other problems. At least, I do not have to worry about change oil and filter for next 3 years.

    What I really need to remember to do is add Engine Restorer because, ironically, after new engine oil and oil filter, the van was supposed to be running smoother, but it does not. I think the chemical in Engine Restorer in the crankcase were also flushed out.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    You may have other problems, I've never heard of an oil change making a car run smoother, unless of course, it was filled with molasses.
    Then again, I've been wrong many times before.
  • Yes, every time after I changed engine oil even not replace oil filter, I could feel engine running smoother even before I tried Engine Restorer.

    This time Valvoline did not leave room for me to add Engine Restorer image as months ago I added it to my crankcase after 3 year not change engine oil and filter. Maybe I have got used to the smoother and much quieter engine that Engine Restorer brought me.

    Now I have to wait till engine oil shrink in the crankcase to add some Engine Restorer, may be I will just buy small bottle for 4 cylinder rather than 6 I added last time. It took about 3 to 6 months to shrink 1/4 quart when others may change oil and oil filter, I often just top off with 5w30 recommended by Nissan Quest 94 manual.

    I did have other problems because the "check engine light" on, and I just adjust idle screw after start engine and idling to tune it to most smooth position. Now, it can idle well, especially when stopped at traffic light.

    When I started the engine first time of the day, the engine will stall unless I push the gas pedal, and about two minutes later, it will idle normal, and through out the day.

    Someone I met on the parking lot asked me when was last time I replace "fuel filter", and I said I never replace "fuel filter", should I? He said fuel may be clogged by dirty fuel filter. Is that right? May be I should change a new fuel filter ... How much would it cost?
  • some engine restorer additives are like molasses so beware, your engine may likely full of sludge!
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    edited July 2011
    I don't know how much a fuel filter would cost for your van but a good mechanic can give you an estimate and take care of it.

    See if you have any of these symptoms: Bad Fuel Filter Symptoms
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited July 2011
    Which engine restorer additives would you suggest to avoid? Or, even better, which ones that you have used for your Nissan Quest and work great?

    So far, I only used Engine Restorer once, and it seemed to give me immediately great effects of the following:

    1. As soon as I start the engine, I notice the engine quiet down, and it quiet more each day for the following few days I drove till very very quiet.

    2. I noticed the smell used to came out of under hood when engine start were all gone, instead, it smelled very good, like the smell of early morning in the forest.

    3. No more smoke came out of the tail pipe, in fact, it came out some water drips when it starts and warm up.

    4. The engine oil turned from dark brown into very clear like new engine oil.

    5. The millage increased unexpected.

    Basically, what they testified in their website in line with my own experience with Engine Restorer. And, every time I revisit their FAQ section, I understand it better with more insights.

    For example, I have set up a schedule to wait till my newly changed engine oil to shrink 1/2 quart to add Engine Restorer of 4 cylinder (rather than 6 cylinder) instead of use Engine Restorer every time I changed engine oil and filter (because I only would change engine oil and oil filter every 3 years, other time, I would just top off the 5w30 engine oil as recommended by Nissan Quest manual), and as I top off Engine Restorer rather than 5w30 from now on, I would have more of it than just bigger can for 6 cylinder. This also came from my own experience on adding Engine Restorer 3 year after previous engine oil and filter changed. I feel it does not need to be replace Engine Restorer every time change oil and oil filter.

    If from most auto mechanics "myth" of "3,000 miles or 3 month" change oil and oil filter and Engine Restores' suggestion of add it every time change engine oil. It would be too much waste. However, if add it every 3 year when I changed oil and oil filter, it may be too long (yet to be seen, and I will find out). The thing is that I do not change oil and oil filter myself, instead, I drove thru to get them changed and replaced by places like Lube Express or Valvoline Express, so it is hard for me to bring a can of Engine Restorer to ask them to add for me.

    So the perfect timing to add Engine Restorer may be wait 3 to 6 months when engine oil shrink dark brown to about 1/2 quart to top off with 4 cylinder Engine Restorer. One thing that bothers me is that their design is like coke, you either open and use the whole can or not open or waste. Ideally, if it can be squeeze into crankcase a few oz every so often or whenever needed like Lucas fuel injector cleaner that I squeeze into gas tank every time I going to go long trip.

    Another thing I need to find out is to see if there is gallon container of Engine Restorer. e.g. the 5.25oz Lucas fuel injector cost about $5 at Walmart, where as 32oz, about 6 times more, only cost $10, and I found 128oz the gallon size (4 times more) of Lucas fuel injector at Pep Boy only $29, so I use the gallon size now. Every time I bought the gallon, I filled the two 32oz bottles, and every so often when I go long trip, I just squeeze a few oz into fuel tank depending on how much gas left, NOT need to worry about fill the tank right after.
  • I found one place selling Nissan Quest fuel filter for only $12.40 and I have been able to identify the location of the fuel filter; it is on the right side (drivers side) right in front of firewall; very easy to reach.

    According to this website, it seems "fuel filter" causes the problem, and that are in line with what you suggest Bad Fuel Filter Symptoms.

    I also found this wonderful clip showing how to replace fuel filter on Honda Civic, but not yet found one for Nissan Quest.

    If you know where there is such clip of changing Nissan Quest 94, it would be very helpful ...
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited July 2011
    Ok, here I found a video clip that shows how to replace fuel filter for Nissan Maxima which is very informational because Nissan Maxima 94 is the same engine as Nissan Quest 94, and I have checked the layout of under hood of both cars; they look so similar.

    I also went talk to STS who gave me an estimate of the job was $120 plus tax, may be more, depending on the parts.

    Somehow, I found this $3.66 fuel filter that seems to be the correct price because a fuel filter is no more complicated than an oil filter with similar size.
  • I just went back and check the statement given by Valvoline Lube Express and found out that they only add 4.2 quarts of new engine oil to my Nissan Quest 94, whereas it was supposed to be 5 quarts.

    But, when I checked the oil dipstick, it shows full of the engine oil and very clean and clear. Where was the 0.8 quarts gone?

    By the way, as time goes, the engine running much smoother with newly change 5w30 engine oil and Valvoline oil filter.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    Are you sure? My 99 Quest has a 3.3 liter engine and it does not take 5 quarts.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Me too - my '99 takes 4 and 1/4th quarts with a filter change. 4.0 liters exactly.

    Steve, visiting host
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited July 2011
    Wow! Thanks a lot! That's great to know!

    I was wondering why 4.2 quarts; I thought it may be something left in my oil pan because I did not change oil and oil filter for 3 years.

    In the past, the Lube Express, now bought by Valvoline Express, always told me the oil pan was dirty and need to pay them extra to clean up the oil pan, but this time before oil change, I added a can of Engine Restorer image that not only turned my Nissan Quest 94 engine very quiet but also turned dark engine oil clean and clear. I guess if there were any sludge in oil pan, they could have been cleaned out.

    Somehow, I did not add another can of Engine Restorer after oil change this time as suggested, but my engine still very quiet and no smoke come out in tail pipe, but mileage seems to drop a bit back to original.

    I thought I did not add Lucas Fuel Injection Cleaner 5.25oz $4.84 in our Walmart image and mileage dropped a bit, so I squeeze some from my 32oz bottle image $9.89 at Walmart that I actually fill up from this 128oz Lucas gallon image I got from Pepboys $29.98 because our local Walmart did not sell this gallon 128oz Lucas Injector Cleaner, but small ones which is much more expensive. e.g. the 5.25oz bottle is about $1 per oz, and 32oz bottle is about 30 cents per oz and 128oz gallon is only 25 cents per oz.

    On the other hands, my local Walmart now had 32oz bottle SOLD OUT, and over 2/3 of Lucas 5.25oz bottles sold, only dozens left.

    So far, I found the best price is this one only $21.95 per gallon 128oz and on eBay also $21.95 but with flat shipping.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    nq94, I have an old Haynes Repair Manual for Mercury Villager and Nissan Quest, models 1993 thru 2001.

    Most of the stuff on it is for model years like yours. It costs something like $15 and is available at places like Pep Boys.
    It might help you see with more clarity what you got under the hood and also maintenance schedules.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited July 2011
    Pretty pictures aside, all your Quest really needs is a simple oil and filter change every 7,500 miles and fresh 87 octane gas when the low fuel light comes on. The additives required by federal law in all gasoline have plenty of detergent to keep your injectors clean.

    Everything else is just a waste of time and money.

    Did I mention that my '99 has 158,000 miles on it? Lifetime mpg is 21.53. My maintenance costs per mile are running .04 cents a mile.
  • That's impressive! Did you only add gass after "low fuel light comes on"? At that moment how many more miles can your Nissan still go? Have you tested it?

    My brother-in-law always brought a gallon of gas with him when he bought a new car and test it out how many miles will go till "ran out of gas" and how many more miles can go after the "low fuel light came on" so that he knew exactly what to expect and never panic!

    Unfortunately, he did not have van, so I have no idea what those numbers would be.
  • That's good to know. Thanks. I may check it out next time I am there.

    By the way, do you still need your copy?
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    I will keep my repair manual as long as I have my van. Next time you go to Pep Boys instead of buying Engine Restorer, get yourself a copy of the Haynes manual. It specifies fluid capacities and things of that sort.

    Also, at one time I think I drove something like 10 or 15 miles in the Jersey Turn Pike with the low fuel light "ON". The light turns on long before the needle hits the end in the display.

    I kept reading your posts because I think you are a test of endurance for those engines. Three years without an oil change is a real test, but you taught me a lesson: an oil change will make my engine run a lot smoother than using any additive out there.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited August 2011
    I'm pretty casual about fueling up. I use the trip odometer and when the gas gauge gets low and I'm around 300 miles on the odometer, I start thinking about getting gas. Often the light comes on, but it's more convenient, I may just buy gas early. Even then, my usual fill over the 499 tanks used to date averages 15.6.

    And I did intentionally run this van out of gas early on. There was plenty of reserve after the light came on. The most I've ever been able to cram in the tank was 18.9 gallons. But I don't think I'll intentionally run it empty anymore. Cars don't like being run out of gas. Occasionally you'll read about someone who ran out of gas and their car won't restart even after filling up.

    I don't remember how far I went when it was new when I ran it out of gas. That was twelve years ago. :blush: Easily 30 miles though. Sometimes the light will come on and I'll ignore it, and the next day the light doesn't come on for a while.

    Btw, I got an official factory manual when my Quest was new. Paid $100+ for it. I used it for a front axle change and a lot of interior trim messing around. Most of it is way over my head though. If you search around on the net, you can find them free for downloading. Try the Villager/Quest group at Yahoo; might be a link there.

    Steve, visiting host
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