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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Electrical Problems

Over last few years my door locks have stopped working with the remote control and more recently several locks have stopped working when using the drivers door controls to lock the vehicle. I'm thinking there might be a relay or fuse issue but I don't have a wiring diagram. Any recommendations? Thanks.


  • mowakymowaky Posts: 2
    Answer: I have found that there are four possible causes for the problem:
    1. Lack of debouncing of the switch on the manual door lock
    2. Corroded power feed near the battery
    3. Flaky power smart entry controller
    4. A Pinched wire

    1. Noisy Door Lock Switches/Lack of debouncing on the door lock switches I would expect the Smart Entry controller to have some amount of switch contact debouncing built in, but apparently there is none or inadequate debouncing of the switch contacts. What this means is that if for some reason the switch contacts are broken for a broken at any brief moment the controller thinks that you have activated the door locks through the manual door locks. The switch contacts can be disturbed causing this momentary break through a vibration like opening one of the doors. In my case, the door locks would often activate when we were opening the passenger side front door. Here is fix from Steve Cutchen who fixed his door lock problem by the following:

    I traced the problem to something in the driver's side door mechanical keylock... the literal part inside the door at the keyhole. When locking the driver's side door lock from outside with the key, all of the other doors lock as well. The electrical contact that signals the power locks from the keylock was evidently activating some of the times when the door closed. Mechanically something inside the lock assembly was making the electrical connection when jarred. The proper solution was probably to replace the lock assembly. But that wasn't my solution. I have remote operated locks that came with my alarm system. So I never use the keyhole lock, much less the "lock the other doors for me" feature. What I did was cut the wire, disabling all electrical connection between the key lock mechanism and the power locks. On my '93 Villager there is a green/red stripe wire which goes from the door lock actuator assembly to power door lock module (or the keyless entry module, if you have that). (the modules are in the center console area...) I cut this wire inside the driver's door. I then twisted on a small wire nut on the end coming from the power door lock module to keep the wire from contacting a ground.

    If you find that your wire colors do not match you can cut either one of the smaller gauge wires. There are four wires on the door lock actuator, two to power the actuator mechanism, and two to signal the door lock controller the state of the door lock. Do not cut the heavier gauge wires. Those are the wires that power the actuator. When cutting the wires, make sure that you leave enough wire on each end so that the wire may spliced back together if necessary. There is a module near the latch inside the door. This is the location of the wiring that you need to gain access to in order to modify the wiring.

    Here's the description from the shop manual on how to remove the door panel...
    1. Remove the door latch handle trim.
    2. Slip a clean shop rag between the window crank handle and the front door trim panel, if equipped. Pull the shop rag back and forth to release the window crank handle clip
    3. Remove the two cover caps and front door trim panel screws.
    4. Remove the two front door trim panel capped screws.
    5. Pull out on the panel beginning at a bottom corner to release the plastic push-pin clips.
    6. Pull up on the front door trim panel from the top to release it from the door panel
    7. Disconnect the door lock/unlock switch and power window switch electrical connectors, if equipped.
    8. You now own the front door trim panel.

    To install, reverse the removal procedure.

    Once you get the panel off, you'll find a thin water shield held in place on the door by a rubber adhesive. Carefully pull the shield away from the door without tearing it. You'll be able to just stick it back to the existing rubber adhesive... it stays tacky.

    2. Corroded Power Feed I have had at least two reports from people who have had problems with corrosion of the power feeds near the battery. There is one large gauge wire that feeds the starter and two smaller gauge wires that feed power to other things. One person reported to me that one of these power feeds was corroded so bad that it would sometimes cause the power door lock controller to lose power and then regain power. This power glitch would cause the power door locks to activate. The fix is to repair the corroded power feed near the battery. The reports of this problem have all come from the owners of '97 models.

    3. Flaky Power Door Lock Controller I have had a few people complain to me that their remote keyless entry seems to be locking the doors on its own. This is often characterized by the confirmation honk from the horn like when using the remote keyless entry. Apparently the controller is receiving some phantom signals indicating to it to lock the doors. The only fix I can think of is to replace the keyless entry controller. Some people have just disconnected the connection of between the doorlock controller and the horn in order to suppress random horn honks coming from their van.

    4. Pinched wire The pinched wire fix is fromTom in Indiana.

    I just repaired the problem on my '93 Villager, and it was caused when the wiring harness to the driver's side door manual lock was pinched between the interior door panel and some metal part inside the door. The insulation wore through and was grounding the circuit against the metal part. I just taped over the small opening in the worn insulation and relocated the harness away from the source of friction that wore it through in the first place.
  • shiftshift Posts: 10
    1995 nissan quest xe. when i turned on the headlights, the parking lights and dashboard lights will not come on. when i turned the headlight switch to parking lights only and turn on the headlights again, parking lights and dashboard lights will come on. Intermittent problems. Does this sound like a bad headlight switch?
  • laginjalaginja Posts: 1
    The motorized shoulder belt frequently fails to retract as it should when the key is removed and the driver door is opened. I've found that sometimes giving the door a little shove against its stop will activate the belt motor. Is there a switch to the retract mechanism inside the driver door? Thanks. :confuse:
  • mohankmohank Posts: 1
    On the driver side, I need to press down very hard for the window to go down, and sometimes this does not even work, so the window gets stuck in rolled down position. So,this is a intermittent problem. How to remove door panel so that I can see what the problem is. Also, please tell me what might be the root cause of this issue. Thanks
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    While it could be the motor, it sounds more like carbon build-up on the switch. A replacement is around $80 USD.

    You can get to the switch itself without taking the door panel off. There's a plastic cap hiding a Phillips screw. Remove that and you should be able to lift the whole bezel out with the 4 switches attached. You may have to jiggle the door latch a little (my wife has the van at work and I'm doing this from memory ;)).

    Some people have had success cleaning the switch at this point by flooding it with some electrical contact cleaner fluid that you can get at a Radio Shack type of store. I didn't have any luck trying that myself.

    Accessing the driver's switch to manually clean is it a big pain, and I never had the touch to get the case open without breaking stuff. It's easy to unscrew the switch from the bezel and remove the two wiring harnesses. But it's not obvious from there how to access the circuit board and switch parts so I just cut into the case to get to it.

    When I put the switch back together and reinstall in the door, it looks passable enough. My manual cleaning efforts have kept the switch working for a few extra years now.

    I have a couple of pics of the carboned switch in my CarSpace album.
  • It has been a long time since my rear wiper on my Nissan Quest 1995 stopped working. I do not know if it is a burnt out fuse or a broken motor. I you don't mind could you please tell me how I can resolve this issue and can make my rear wiper finally work again. Thank you very much. My Nissan Quest 1995 would appriecate it!! :) Oh I forgot it is an XE!!
  • sb4774sb4774 Posts: 3
    I was backing up and the driver side door was left open. Next thing i knew, it caught on a fencepost and was bent backwards like it wasn't supposed to be. So now the door is bent on its hinges and it will not shut. My question is about the engine. For some reason when I bent the door, the engine shut off, and now it will not start. The starter is working, so there is no battery problem, but the engine will not run. Could this have something to do with an "auto shut off mechanism" built into the car? If someone would offer advice on how i could get this thing started it would be greatly appreciated.
  • vanguy99vanguy99 Posts: 1
    Hi all. I am so glad i found this forum! I have a 99 villager estate and have experienced many of the problems I have read about here. One I have not encountered here is an intermittant crackling sound and flickering of the dash lights when the high beam flash is used by pulling the turn signal switch towards the driver. The crackling sound was traced to a small grey box located on the floor mounted next to the ABS control behind the CD changer. What is this box, what does it do, and how do I fix the problem?
  • donnad1donnad1 Posts: 2
    Hello. My problem/question is.... after I drive for a few miles, my speedometer, which is digital, registers the correct mph and then drops and jumps around to 0, 4, 0, 1, 3, etc. and the check engine light goes on and off intermittently.

    There's a gas mileage indicator on the left side that will show, mpg, average mpg, miles left in tank, temperature, etc. and that will then read 7.7 mpg.... 0 mpg. Anyhow, the numbers go all haywire. The outside temp is okay.

    When I turn the vehicle off, start it up again, it's okay and registers correctly for a few miles and the indicator on the left shows the numbers correctly and is racking up the average mpg. Then it wacks out again.

    After I turn it off and put the key in the accessory position, nothing lights up.

    Is this all electrical, or can it be from a bad tranny sensor? HELP, please. Thank you. :sick: :cry:
  • Can anyone help me figure out why my daytime running lights come on sometimes and goes off some times? Also my dashboard high beams light says its "on" all the time when i turn my headlights on when clearly there not on. Any comments???
  • Since my last posted message. My problem has returned. Engine gets warm and it starts to misfire/shake with loss of power. Took it back to the dealer which they looked at for free. And lo and behold they said after spending a kings ransom on parts and labour including a knock sensor that it boiled down to HIGH RESISTANCE on the negative battery cable. Going to have it replaced. Heres a very important site for all villager owners to consider. or go to google- and type in high resistance battery cables or bad battrey connections. hope this is helpful.
  • HMM sounds familiar, check all grounds and make them clean and dry. Also check your negative battrey cable for (HIGH RESISTANCE) if it does replace it and clean both battery post well. hope this helps.
  • While driving, the radio stopped working, as well as the windshield at the very same time. We were in and out of the vehicle and later when starting it the radio and wipers started working. Other odd thins happened today; the air bag light came on then went off, The brake light blinked on and off several times, the service engine light comes on for awhile then goes off. All these things happened today in the space of 8 hrs. One other thing the rear a/c blower doesn`t work any time. Hope someone can help.
  • Hi Bill. Before you take it to the autodealer or garage. Try this, (if your handy) Open your hood and find every ground you can see and unscrew all connections and sand and buff the connections clean. Retighten. Then change your negative battery cable and use new connections on your battery and frame , make sure they are clean and tight. Make sure your battey is clean and has proper water level. Heres a great website on "hallowed grounds" which describes ground degradation as vehicles ages. Bad grounds make strange vehicle

    Hope this helps.
  • We had a somewhat similar incident with our 95 Villager. The engine died, and things like turn signals stopped working etc. It turned out to be a relay. There are two identical relays. They had to order the part, and while we waited, they swapped the relays so the car would run. I remember that the wipers would not work while the faulty relay was still in place. So, check the relays. I can't remember which one it was, and we don't own that Villager anymore. Now have a 2002 Estate.
  • I gave the wrong email address for the bad grounds article.
    Go to Google
    Type in Bad Grounds
    Go to Hallowed Grounds Motor- Find article.

    Very good article on Bad grounds. Hope this helps.
  • briarobriaro Posts: 1
    I recently have had problems with the windows on my 1995 Mercury Villager not opening. The problem is intermittent and very unpredictable. It seems to be happening more frequently recently and I have taken it to a shop twice when it wasn't working but while it is there, the windows work. I took it to the shop today when the windows weren't working but they were too busy to look at it and before I got all the way back home, the windows started working again.
    Has anyone else experienced this problem and, if so, have you found a solution?
  • This is a common problem, and if you read on you will find the answer on how to fix this problem. Carbon build up on the contacts/switch. Just clean and put back. Hope this helps.
  • When I would unlock my doors, they would immediately re-lock before I could get the door open. Then the windows didn't want to go down, then they would, now not at all. Now I have no power to my doors and when I turn my headlights on, the dash lights do not work and the radio goes dark. I have cleaned the wires off the battery and tested the power to the doors (none!!). The fuses are fine. What do I ck next? :sick:
  • Sounds like to me that you may have more than one problem. First thing i would do is this. Remove your battery completly. Disconnect the Neg battery cable because you may have bad corrossion on the connector just underneath the battey to the frame. I had to do this to my 98 villager. Disconnect it from the engine and replace with a new one from a retailer. Be sure to clean/sand the area that it connects to the engine (make sure it clean and dry/shiney) and tighten well, spray with a battery electrical sealer. reinstall your clean battery and check fluid level. Now your windows may be a carbon build up on the switch (common problem on villager/quests) you have to remove door panel and remove switch and clean with a electrical cleaner and reinstall. What i did also made a huge differance is this. I carefully looked at all grounds inside the engine frame area. I disconnected each ground sanded/ cleaned the area well along with the connector ends the metal should be shiney.. reattach and tighten well and spray with a battery/electrical sealer. There is 2 grounds on the fuel injector rail that also need cleaning and others througout the engine area. Hope this helps.
  • I have a 99 Merc. Villager. I am not getting power to the radio. The radio was checked out and is fine. There is power to the fuse box and across the 2 fuses for the radio. Is there an inline fuse between the fusebox and the radio?
    Any suggestions where else to look.
  • I have this exact same problem with my 97 Villager. Just happened by itself (they say) when it was at dealership for routine inspection. No power to doors and when I turn my headlights on, the dash lights do not work and the radio goes dark exactly like yours. Did you fix your problem? :sick:
  • I have not yet been able to find the problem. I have cleaned ALL of the connections and tested most of the wiring. I have no power running to the doors, or back windows. I am awaiting a Chilton book to give me a better overview of the wiring in the villager. Were you able to fix the problem in your vehicle? :confuse:
  • To hillbilly129 and sunnset31:

    Go check your brake lights. I know it sounds strange, but the 1157 lamps in the brake/tail light sockets can cause strange electrical problems like this. Remove the lamps and look at the base. Normally you should see 2 round solder blobs on the base of the lamp. Sometimes they get so hot they melt and fuse together. Also it's possible that someone inserted the lamp backwards. Note that there are 2 pins on the side that engage the lamp socket. Make sure the lower pin goes into the longest slot in the socket. If in doubt, replace the lamps. These lamps can cause problems with brake lights, headlights, turn signals, cruise control, dash lights, and radio.
  • You may also wanna try removing your battery completely and change your negative battery cable. This may be a bad grounds problem. I changed mine because the battery sits on top of this cable and it becomes dirty/corroded. Ever since i changed it my dooors no longer lock themselves and some of my radio/light problems dissappeared also. Worth a try.
  • sk0rsk0r Posts: 1
    2002 Mercury Villager. In cold weather, the interior lights come on and off at random, seems to have something to do with the side door connectors. I have tried cleaning them with numerous different problems, but nothing seems to fix it permanently. I was wondering if anyone could help, as it would be most appreciated. PS: The problem seems to worsen as the outside temperature drops.

    Thanks in advance!
  • While my wife was coming home one night her van started acting funny, the steering wheel became extremely hard to turn and the brake pedal would not depress, the gas would not depress, she had to use the parking brake to stop the van. We had it towed home, and now the vehicle will not start. I can hear the fuel pump engage when the key is turned to the run position, it cannot be jumped off, and the alternator is working, any ideas? Your help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Hi,
    We seem to have a broken alarm control unit (per our repair shop people) on a 99 Mercury Villager
    They have deactivated the alarm yesterday as we did not (yet) want to replace the unit. Today on a Saturday (the shop is closed) the alarm is active, not allowing to start the engine and with horn signal going off.
    We do not have a remote control (it is broken too)

    So how can we deactivate the alarm system at least temporarily ?
    Any advice is welcome.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    In theory, opening either side door or the back hatch using the key is supposed to disarm the alarm system. Try locking one of the doors and then unlocking it with the key. Then stick the key in the ignition and turn it to the ACC position.

    But I'm guessing you've tried that.

    There are a bunch of sensors and switches and maybe one of those is bad, Check the door locks, especially the rear hatch lock to make they look oriented correctly and aren't loose. And tap on all the courtesy light switches in the doors. Open and shut the hood. May as well retighten the battery connections too.

    I have a '99 Quest factory manual and I don't see any override buttons like my Subaru has that will let you crank the car in spite of the alarm having been triggered.
  • Hi Steve,
    thank you so much for your help.
    the trick is the rear hatch lock. I did not try that before (tried only the drivers door) - It did the trick.
    Interestingly even the people @ the Ford/Mercury dealer did not have this advise.
    Thanks again
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