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Nissan Quest 2004+: Problems & Solutions



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,586 OD when towing!

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  • samtucksamtuck Posts: 2
    Nope- even with the OD off we still experience the vibration.
  • Good for you. I think the AT Control module is the final fix.
    Update of my van: Dealer finally called the Tech service line (Nissan engineers) after having the car for 5 days. The tech line recommended that they drop the transmission pan. When the dealer dropped the pan, they said that they found and "excessive" amount of metal. The van has approx 15K miles on it, there should not be anything in there but very fine metal. He said that there were small pieces of metal and shavings. He ordered a new transmission and I finally got it back after 10 days at the dealership. When I talked to him about the initial problem, he tried to reassure me that the metal in the pan was the issue and still refused to change the A/T Control Module. We will just wait and see if this was the fix or not. We had the Extended Warranty, so we did not pay anything for the rental car -they had no loaners at the time we brought the car in. If we would have just sat down and accepted their initial answer, nothing would have been done.
  • To: Billy8
    If you have had the rotors replaced 7 times and the tires gone by 7,200, it would appear that you are driving the van like a Ferrari. Easy on the undersized rotors and less stress on the tires will help. On mild days keep the dual control temp as low as possible, fan fairly high, and system on vent and that will stop hot air from coming out at bottom of console. As for towing, I tow 2,500 pounds with factory installed hitch system and have zero problems. I have 20,000 miles on my 04 Quest. Original brake rotors, original tires with good tread, and average 21 MPG overall with 80 to 90% town driving. I rotate tires each 6,000 miles and change synthetic oil each 6,000 miles. Biggest problem still doors not always closing and rattles from sliding doors, rear hatch, and 3rd row seat.
  • Cannot imagine why no OD when towing except possibly when descending steep grades requiring additional engine braking. Also possibly under some conditions the transmission will hunt for the right gear, but I've had this happen when not towing. With the '93 Villager usually used the Power switch to raise the shift points. Our current 2004 3.5S is by far the best towing vehicle I've owned. The extra 90 HP over the Villager is greatly appreciated. I assume current engine management computers are fully capable of deciding what gear to be in. And at highway speeds and automatic transmission lockup there should not be any transmission problem.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,586
    It's an overdrive gear---it puts a lot of stress and heat on the transmission and loads the engine---which is why your transmission's saying "I don't want to be in OD".

    I guess if you are towing in OD and it never downshifts, or rarely, then you have the power and the differential ratio to safely tow in OD

    ---but if you are downshifting a lot and/or you have economy gearing in the differential, I think it's asking for trouble.

    So okay, I'll qualify my statement---towing in OD depends on what you are towing, the level of the road, headwinds, etc.

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  • Hi

    Assuming the engine RPMs go up (i.e. Engine is revving up but transmission will not move beyond lower gear), I would suggest u ask Nissan dealer to check the RPM Sensor. Looks like RPM Sensor is not sending the transmission the correct signal.

    Good luck
  • Thanks for the good wishes. The service manager attempted to get authorization to change the AT control module but was denied. He called me and told me that they would still go ahead and change the part, but he was "sticking his neck out for me" to do this. Should I feel lucky, or is this what the dealer should have done from the beginning?? This van has a horrible record of going to the dealer and was almost a lemon law case, so I assumed(you know what happens when you assume) they might be willing to just fix the problem to keep me happy. Hopefully this will fix my problem because I love the vehicle, and once this is done I can move on to getting all four of my rotors resurfaced so I stop nice and smooth again.
  • I've looked carefully at the 2005 S model Quests and I'm ready to buy one. You can ge them around here (Kansas City) for invoice, then deduct the $2000 dealer cash.


    Seems like we had to run the air conditioning (front & rear) at maximum while we were test driving (90 degrees here gets hotter). What are your experiences with cooling? (other than leakage/malfunctioning).

    What kind of City gas mileage are you getting?

    Here's what we found - Are dealers selling below invoice? (before cash back)
    S Model
    DVD player
    Seat Package
    Splash guards
    Sticker is $27,640
    Invoice is $25000 (+ or - a couple hundred)
    Dealer cash is -$2000


  • pierpier Posts: 79
    The AT control module was faulty on mine too at 30K miles. The service manager replaced mine without a problem - no hassle. Perhaps its because the quality issues with my Quest has turned me from mild mannered and polite to a total SOB.

    I lease a 04 Quest 3.5S. Over a period of 2 years the vehicle has gone back to the dealer for 20 times (6 of them were combined with regular services) resulting in over 24 days at the dealer. This vehicle has generated over 47 warranty-related repairs. The tires lasted only 30K and required new brake pads at 27K miles. Considering I have 2 years left and the current average rate of warranty incidents, the car is projected to return to the dealer another 14 times (excluding scheduled maintenance). After having repeatedly approached Nissan to buy back the vehicle in return for a lease on a new vehicle, I was informed by Nissan Consumer Affairs that they did not consider my case serious enough for buyback. Considering Nissan is committed to improving its 11th position out of 14 auto manufacturers in the J.D. Power and Associates initial-quality survey, this attitude towards quality is hardly encouraging.

    The AT control module was faulty on mine too at 30K miles. The service manager replaced mine without a problem - no hassle.

  • pier,
    After reading this and prior posts from you about your Quest I find myself questioning the content of your complaints. You are very vigorous in posting and reposting of your concerns. It just seems unbelievable that your Quest has this many problems and I wonder about your motivation in posting the same information over and over again. One can't believe everything one reads but if your story is true your service manager must want to run and hide when you pull in the lot with your Quest. Back At Ya
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,586
    47 warranty claims and you haven't contacted a Lemon Law lawyer? What's holding you back? Sounds like a slam-dunk win for you with a rap sheet like that. It's not up to Nissan to tell you if you qualify and they are hardly a dis-interested party to go asking for advice.

    You need a lawyer to solve these issues. This forum is more for those seeking solutions to problems. It really isn't meant to be a Complaint Station.


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  • pierpier Posts: 79

    My motivation is to warn prospective and current Quest owners of the pitfalls of this car. I agree that one should not believe everything one reads however, should you doubt the veracity of my claims, I can email you a copy of the dealer printout of all the repair orders. Bear in mind that it would be incomplete as it does not feature the last two times the vehicle has gone in for steering vibration. I hold my service manager in the highest regard despite the quality problems of the car and he has never had a negative relationship with me due to the fact that I am honest about my claims and that I am willing to bend over backwards to resolve the problems.
  • pierpier Posts: 79

    I am a Business Intelligence professional that deals with all Service Engineering (including Warranty and Buyback) data for a leading German automotive manufacturer. Your statement is rather simplistic. The Lemon Law is bandied around too often. It is applicable to a nonconformity (a defect or condition) which substantially impairs the use, value or safety that cannot be repaired after three attempts by an authorized manufacturer's dealership. This nonconformity must first occur within the first 24 months or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. The Law applies to vehicles that are in the shop for repair 20 or more calendar days during the first year.

    An all cases, the defects did not substantially impair the use of the car, nor did my car spend 20 days in the shop in its FIRST YEAR. In my case, I skirt the Lemon Law. The defects are more of a nuisance than anything however they are frequent and require more time at a dealership than one can afford.

    I maintain my use of the forum is correct based on the accumulated time I have spent discussing the problems with the service manager.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,586
    The forum is meant to exchange ideas and information to arrive at solutions. It is definitely not meant for launching a bad publicity campaign against the manufacturer or to discourage people from buying a Quest, as most members and certainly the newbies don't really want to read too much of this. So think of the forums as a "can you help me?" type of thing, not a "I have a grudge". Any positive results that come of your situation are most welcome but "brand-bashing" isn't appropriate here. No one is presuming any guilt here, just advising you as to a good direction to steer towards in the future.

    Should you wish to continue this discussion please e-mail me!

    Please everyone continue your discussions,


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  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    Sorry Mr. Shiftright...but you and Billy are wrong about pier's post. If you had followed or looked up some of his previous posts you would have seen that he had been asking for help and asking questions to his problems. Questioning how he could get Nissan to buy back his Quest. As an inpartial reader...I think pier's post was more than appropriate for this topic.

    Pier was talking about problems he had with his Quest. Would this not be benefical to others Quest owners? I have seen "grudge" posts and "brand-bashing" posts...and pier's post would not quality for either. I think you both owe him an apology.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,586
    We're not accusing Pier of anything, just asking him to keep us informed of positive results so that we can all share them. He's certainly welcome here. My comments to him were to encourage him to seek legal action. I mean, 47 warranty claims!!

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  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    O.K, well thanks for clarifying Mr. Shiftright. And good luck with getting that Quest straightened out Pier. It is in my opinion a very good van... now that Nissan has gotten most of the bugs worked out from the first years model. Unfortunately, it seems you got the lemon of the bunch. :cry:
  • Since you are questioning the content of piers complaints and motivation, perhaps you could clear up some discrepancies in your own posts.

    Message# 1488-Aug 19, 2005(04 Quest Problems & Solutions)- I would not hesitate to buy an 05 Quest. I own a 05 with 4000 miles on it. I've been back twice to the dealer- ONCE FOR WARPED ROTORS, a 1 hour repair & a MINOR A/C PROBLEM.

    Message# 1835 Aug 25, 2005( Quest 04+)- Hi, Pier, I would buy your van from you in a NY minute. Compared to my 05 Quest yours seems trouble free. I HAD MY ROTORS REPLACED BY THE DEALER 7 TIMES IN 8650 Miles. You then go on to explain your unfortunate accident( I hope you are o.k.) and finally mention that you live in NORTHERN ALASKA and don't know about the a/c problems because it rarely gets above 60 Degrees. You also mention you are in the market for a new van.

    Message#1435 Aug 6, 2005(04 Problems & Solutions)- My dealer is Morries Nissan in Brooklyn Park, MN.

    Between 4,000 miles, when you had your first rotors repaired, and 8650 miles you had your front rotors replaced by dealer 7 times? All this happening in 6 days?

    You live in Northern Alaska, but your dealer is in Brooklyn MN, which is located near Minneapolis???

    In the spirit of trust and good faith that we all should have with each other I'm sure you have an explanation for these discrepancies. If you'd like to share your explanation so we can understand the true nature of the problems you are facing with your Quest, so those of us experiencing similar problem can possibly better help you.
  • I don't know if that is the proper term or not but I am talking about the black stripe that runs down the side of my van. I have the coral sand 2004 Quest. The stripe is starting to come off. It is happening at the end of all of the stripes. Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem. I don't guess it would be covered under the warranty. Any input would be great! Thanks.
  • pierpier Posts: 79
    As the primary driver of "Pier's Quest" I can substantiate his reports of quality issues. My "new Perpective" has been the inside of the service center and countless loaner cars. The level of frustration exacerbated each time I had to cancel appointments, move two child seats and drag an infant and five year old back and forth. My 5 year old has something to say about it every time we go to Nissan. I love the practicality and styling of the car. I get over 20 mpg most weeks and I think the engine is wonderful. Our service manager is a saint and we hold each other in very high regard.

    Thanks to those who agreed with Pier and yes we hope it gets sorted out.

  • pierpier Posts: 79

    Astute observations. I had earlier expressed my concern for billy8's recovery from the traumatic experience of having his windshield suddenly and inexplicably implode on him. I also urged him to report the incident to NHTSA. Shared information of this nature is vital in the prevention of repeat incidents with perhaps more dire consequences. This is ultimately the purpose of this form (as has been pointed out to me). NHTSA requires this information in their TREAD initiative to independently detect possible safety-related quality issues.
  • I have not posted in a while, but read regularly. As some people noted Lemon Law concepts are bandied around with great regularity. I have gone through the process, as some others have - Now I would like like to pass the wisdom of what I have learned.

    1) Every state is different. There is no national law so quoting something like "it must be three attempts, or 20 days", etc. is not nearly correct. visit for local laws

    2) In every state having a car go into the shop for a warranty issue counts as one day and one attempt to fix. Bringing it back a week later (because now they have the part) counts as a second attempt and second day. The preceding is per the NJ Attorney General's office, but I'm told is consistent in all states. Some states note that a reasonable time must be given for delivery of parts, so this can be diminished.

    In My case I had multiple part failures (Sliding doors, radio (4 visits), switches) for a total of 23 days. in NJ weekends count, this is not true in NY - so states vary for days in shop. Recalls count as well.

    3) If the factory agrees there is a problem, but will not / cannot fix then they are in violation of the Magnuson act, which legislates Warranties. You must honor what you sell.

    4) Lemon laws are designed for repeated serious issues OR chronic problems. It is for the Judge / Arbiter to determine qualification. It is also not a Lemon vs. non-lemon decision. You can be awarded a monetary settlement for the general nuisance. Each state has various time frame / mileage conditions, but I have yet to see a state where a consumer pays any amount for any part that fails during this lemon law period.

    All the above said. Keep good records, Contact a lawyer if you really have more then 20 repair attempts/ visits to the shop. I have yet to see a firm that wants any money other then what they know they will be paid for a legitimate / possibly win-able case. To be frank if you know someone that has had dozens of issues (not a list of parts for one repair) and they still say "I don't trust lawyers." then they are either a foolish consumer or like to hear themselves complain. Fix the problem or get off the soap box, but quit complaining.

    I cannot divulge the settlement I was given (per my agreement with Nissan) I can say it was in my favor, I still have the car, and I bring it back to the dealer if / whenever I see something I do not like.

    BTW for Alaska I see the law is more then 3 attempts to fix (that means the fourth visit, not fourth break) or 30 business days for the first year. No charges can be assessed for ordering parts, including special delivery, but you must allow a reasonable (unexplained) timeframe for delivery. Additionally this law notes it is designed for issues that "substantially impair either the use or the market value of the motor vehicle..." Market value = Consistent problem that reduce re-sale because you should be honest in telling a prospective buyer all the problems you had - they would therefore pay you less.
  • pierpier Posts: 79
    Mr Shiftright

    Thank you for your well-meant advice. I admit that I am frustrated and I probably am partly guilty of using this forum as a grudge forum however I wanted to do it in such a manner that others may benefit from my experience.

    My latest issue with the Quest is excessive vibration being transmitted through the steering column. Over a long drive the vibration was so bad it caused numbness in the hands. It occurred just after 4 tires were replaced at 30K miles (excessively poor tire lifespan, in my opinion). This is the current path to the resolution:

    Alignment was discounted because the wear on the old tires were even. Front tires were re balanced twice and the rotors checked for warping. No resolution. Front tires were replaced at 3.3K miles and balanced. No resolution. 4 new wheels were swapped from a new Quest. No resolution - in fact the problem was worse! The steering rack play was tightened and the front wheel assembly was disassembled. The surfaces between the hubs, rotors and wheels were cleaned. 80% of the vibration has gone (for now). Nissan regard the issue as resolved, accounting the remaining vibration to less that ideal tire quality.

    Has anyone heard of such a case?

    I am considering writing directly to the CEO of Nissan and pleading my case. I don't want to rid myself of the Quest. I would not mind leasing an 06 model in its place. Does anyone think that's a good idea?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,586
    harmonic vibrations can be a really bear to fix. it's one of the hardest problems to solve sometimes with a car.

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  • Sorry about your luck. Your experiences (and attempted fixes) sound a lot like mine. I finally got the problem solved after my dealer called in Nissan Tech Support. I won't get into the details here, but if you check my post #1364 hopefully it might give you some things to check with the dealer. Hope it helps.
  • Pier,

    For the record, I have never, in my mind, questioned the validity of your issues and concerns regarding your Quest.

    Regarding your steering wheel vibration problem, when you refer to them balancing your wheels are you talking about just a regular balance or a road force balance? I don't no the technical aspects of it, but road force balance seems to be designed to eliminate high speed steering wheel vibration.

    In my case at 14,000 miles I began to experience exssesive high speed steering wheel vibration. Dealer couldn't balance the tires and didn't have a road force balance machine. They reccomended I take it to a shop that has one. I went to discount tires and they did road force balance on all four wheels. The two rear wheels couldn't be balanced, so I had them replaced ( $42.00 each prorated under warranty.) All vibration gone. Had alignment checked. They had to do some adjustments. After that driving it felt even better.
    Two weeks ago I took my van in for its 15,000 mile service. One of the things they do is balance the tires. Well, after the service, when I went out on the highway I started to feel the vibration again. I took it back to Discount tire and they said all four tires were out of balance, again. Presumably because of what ever the dealer did. Discount road force balanced all four again, for free, and all vibration is now gone.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    i'm really surprised a dealership would balance tires at a scheduled maintenance interval. rotations sure, but balancing? you might want to inform your dealership that if they are balancing tires, they are actually doing more harm than good. maybe it's just one tech that isn't doing the job properly, or maybe it's their machine...or both.
  • pierpier Posts: 79

    Thank you for your reply. Let's put the validity issue behind us.

    In all cases where I mentioned balancing the wheels, I meant a road force balance. The dealership I go to (route 23 Nissan, Butler, NJ) possesses one of those devices. Interestingly enough, the service manager even had his machine recalibrated before checking my wheels. It took 40 extra minutes but it was worth the wait to be sure. That's how conscientious this service manager is.

    Incidentally, the vibration has returned to 100% at 65 mph or higher. A possibility of a lemon law is beginning to become increasingly probable. Comments?
  • pierpier Posts: 79

    Thank you for your valuable advice. In your opinion (or anyone reading this) would unsolved harmonic vibrations be regarded as a serious issue and/or chronic problem?
This discussion has been closed.