Nissan Quest Transmission Problems

jr714jr714 Member Posts: 24
Help! I just had a transmission flush on my '02 SE with 32K miles only to learn today that I may have permanently damaged my transmission. Should I do a regular transmission oil, filter and gasket change now or will that only make it worse? Or should I just wait another 30K miles and worry about it then?


  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Member Posts: 1,019
    Why do you think your transmission is damaged?
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • jr714jr714 Member Posts: 24
    Because of this article:

    And a few other posts on the Villager/Quest problems thread.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    If the transmission is shifting fine, you are probably Ok. Also I have learned that service centers use differnt terminology. Some shops refer to the procedure described in the article as a "power flush". a normal flush is simply running fluid through the transmission until it runs clear.

    Not unless your transmission is shifting funny, relax and enjoy the vehicle.
  • jr714jr714 Member Posts: 24
    Thanks for the reply.
    The shop told me they had a new machine to flush the fluid. After it was done I mentioned it to my brother-in-law and he said they probably didn't change the filter or gasket. So I called the shop and they said that newer transmissions are more advanced and don't need the filter or gasket changed until the vehicle has high miles or if there is a leak. He also told me the machine they use goes directly through the dipstick. I imagine it must have been a "power flush".
    My transmission does seem to be shifting OK. Does your Quest shift very quickly at low speeds? In normal acceleration mine is in 2nd gear at 10-15 MPH an in 3rd by 30. Unless you think there is a chance the trans was damaged due to the machine forcing clogged particles in the wrong places, I won't worry.
    On the other hand, maybe its worth doing a regular trans oil filter and gasket change somewhere else to be sure.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I don't believe in power flushing the transmission. Here's some threads that may be of interest:

    amigo_john, "Isuzu Trooper" #8070, 30 Jun 2003 6:46 am

    steve_, "Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute: Problems & Solutions" #3411, 30 Jun 2006 8:09 pm

    goodcrd, "Jeep Liberty Diesel" #7562, 26 Aug 2006 6:59 pm

    This is about the best rebuttal post on the benefits of flushing around here:

    electricdesign, "Ford Explorer: Problems & Solutions" #5215, 20 Jul 2006 6:41 pm

    I guess I'd want to nail down whether your procedure really was a power flush or just a fancy fluid change without any pressure. Plus if your tranny doesn't fail in the first week after flushing, that's probably a good sign. ;)

    Steve, Host
    SUVs and Speed Shop
  • jr714jr714 Member Posts: 24

    Thanks for the posts.

    This is all I needed to know. Now I will check my Haynes manual to see if it has a screen or filter. If it has a screen, I'm OK. If not, I will have another change done to replace the filter.

    Luckily I'm doing this at 30K. At 70K I'd be a lot more worried.
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Member Posts: 1,019
    Could you let me know if your Villager has a screen or filter and what the interval for the fluid change is? (Maybe Steve would know this also) I haven't done anything with the tranny on my '01 Villager withe 54K and was considering changing the fluid and filter. The owner's manual covers like every ford transmission for the maintenance intervals and I don't know what transmission I have.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    The maintenance schedule in my service manual says to inspect the fluid every 12 months/ 15,000 miles for normal service (schedule 2). Same interval for schedule 1 but if you tow, use a camper or car-top carrier(?) or drive a lot of rough, muddy roads, then change the fluid every 30,000 miles. I don't know where they cut and pasted the camper/car-top stuff from since you can't put a camper shell on a minivan (unless you want to be a YouTube star!).

    I don't see anything about being able to clean or replace a transmission (or automatic transaxle) filter or screen. A couple of the diagnostic flow chats have you remove the pan to check the condition of the fluid and the book also says that if you change the fluid and it's dirty, to change it again until the fluid is clean.

    There is a magnet in the tranny pan.

    The owner's manual may say something different?

    Steve, Host
    SUVs & Speed Shop
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Member Posts: 1,019
    Thanks for the info Steve. I checked my fluid and it looks clean and red. I'll probably change it next spring. I see by the dipstick it uses Mercon/Dexron 3.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • supernetsupernet Member Posts: 1
    Howdy all of you,

    I have a problem (maybe more than one) that I am trying to troubleshoot on my '99 Nissan Quest GXE (111 000 km/69,000 mi). The MIL is on.

    The engine has begun abnormal harsh shifting during 1-2 and 2-3 upshift and 3-4 (overdrive) doesn't engage while driving at 70-80-100 kph (43-50-62 mph) and even more excessive speed. I fact shifting occurs at abnormal higher speed. 2 weeks ago, another problem occured. I was not able to drive because rpm was fluctuating between 2000 and 2200 with a speed limit of 20kph (12 mph) even if I step on the accelerator.

    I borrowed a scantool and code scanned the vehicle and came up with the following fault codes:
    P0105 - Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure Circuit
    P0325 - Knock Sensor 1 Circuit Malfunction (Bank I)
    P1605 - A/T Diagnostic Communication Line
    P0446 - Evaporative Emission Control System Vent Control Circuit
    P1400 - EGRC Solenoid Valve
    P1705 - Throttle Position Sensor Circuit A/T
    P1105 - MAP/BARO Pressure Switch Solenoid Valve
    P1490 - Vacuum Cut Valve Bypass Valve (Circuit)

    I started troubleshooting the Nissan Quest 1999 service manual borrowed from the dealer which I don't have anymore. I checked the absolute pressure sensor power supply.

    1. Ignition switch "ON".
    2. Voltage between terminal 3 and ground with tester is 0.4V (should be approximately 5V).
    3. Detect malfunctionning harness connectors (looks OK).
    4. Detect harness for open or short between ECM and absolute pressure sensor. Short (or continuity) exist between terminal 3 and ground.

    My question are:
    What can cause the harsh shifting problem? What should I troubleshoot first?

    How do I locate the short between the sensor and the ECM?

    Recently, another problem occured: the radiator fan is running continuously (meaning 100% of the time). I think it is related to the thermostat but I'm not sure and would realy appreciate any suggestions/answers any of you could give me.

    I am on my own with this and am seeking some Nissan expertise to try and get my Quest back to running good. Thank you in advance for help you may be able to give.


  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Hey Hugo, I'm not a tech but I have a manual for my '99. The shift is regulated entirely by electronic signals transmitted by the revolution sensor and throttle position sensor. Those signals control a couple of solenoid valves. There's a bunch of stuff to troubleshoot from there, but the throttle position sensor is often one of the first things on the list.

    Check out the Online Repair Manuals links and see if you can access any of them. I didn't see any help at the AutoZone link but I've had good luck with the Auto Repair Reference Center. Maybe a library in your area subscribes to it.

    You may want to check out the Transmission Traumas? and Cooling Systems: Problems & Solutions (Radiator, Fan, etc) discussions too, and hopefully someone knowledgeable will show up in here soon.

    Steve, Host
    SUVs and Speed Shop
  • eric1030eric1030 Member Posts: 1
    hello, can someone help me out on my mercury villager 94 problem. my mechanic had to take down my transmission to replace a leaking freeze plug, so he drained the xmission fluid on the torque converter, then filled it up, when the everything is back in place, I had this reverse problem... evrytime I step on my gas and execeeding the RPM to 1300rpm the RPM/(tacho meter) goes up, even though the brake is already applied, the van will not stop coz' the RPM never drops, so I have to put it to nuetral to be able to brake. But reversing is ok when RPM is below 1300rpm, as long as you don't step on the gas to hard. And also if you are reversing in an inclined position with out stepping on the gas the RPM also goes up. Can someone please help me out. thanks...
  • lorddrago1lorddrago1 Member Posts: 19
    99 Nissan Quest done a T-belt then customer comes back. Now speedo dont work. Replaced VSS. Still no luck. Any advice?
  • lorddrago1lorddrago1 Member Posts: 19
    Forgot to say tach dose not work either
  • unclesonnyunclesonny Member Posts: 1
    Purchased 07 Quest S in May 07.
    Checked mpg for trip only got 20 mpg at 65 mphr.
    What can I do improve mileage or when does it get rated mpg?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    How many miles do you have on the vehicle? How are you calculating the mpg? If it is anything other than total miles driven on the tank divided by gallons of gas pumped, then it is not accurate. The mpg computed by the computer is fairly close if you remember to reset it once you fill up. Otherwise it is giving you the average mpg since the last reset.

    BTW, it took about 7k - 8k miles before I started seeing 24 mpg on the highway. Let's not discuss the city driving.
  • ttghttgh Member Posts: 1
    Just curious. Was the problem described above ever resolved. I am having the same problem with my 2002 Nissan Quest. I have had the TPS sensor replaced and yet the problem still exist. However, I only get the harsh shifting went the engine has time to warm up. I thinking I might have a cold sauder on the EMC. Does everyone known where the EMC is located?

  • carzzzcarzzz Member Posts: 282
    My Quest is experience shifting flare. when shifting in 2-3, the rpm spikes up by 100-300. It is a 4 speed and I have only put slightly over 10k miles on it. Has anyone experienced similar issue?
  • 2005questdrive2005questdrive Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2005 Quest that has until today had no transmission issues. This morning I was unable to shift out of park. I looked up the issue in the manual and was directed to use a screwdriver to depress the "shift lock" lever (accessible after removing a small plastic cover on the shift block). I did that and could then shift into drive, but apparently I will have to do this same thing everytime I try to shift out of park -- plus, the manual says the depressing the lever can also affect the brake lights. Has anyone had this problem? What did you do? thanks
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I haven't had the problem on my Quest but have seen similar reports on other models. I've never heard the warning about affecting the brake lights, but often the shift interlock and brake lights are on the same circuit. In fact, if the brake lights aren't working, that could cause the shift interlock to malfunction.

    You may have a burnt out brake light or a bad fuse. If the fuse and lights are ok, the brake switch could be flaky or you could have a bad interlock solenoid.

    Steve, visiting host
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    Has the problem continued? If so I would get it checked out by the dealer. The powertrain is covered by 5 yr/60k mile warranty.
  • jeffgcjeffgc Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1994 Mercury villager with a Nissan 3.0 V6. There is a disconnected vacuum hose laying on top of the intake manifold that goes to what appears to be a vacuum switch of some sort mounted to the firewall behind the EGRC valve. This switch(?) has 2 wires going to it, one vacuum hose that goes into the left side of the intake manifold and the one vacuum hose that is disconnected. It appears that when this switch is activated, it connects vacuum from the intake manifold to something. There is not much room to "feel" behind the manifold and I cannot find a place where this hose can be plugged into. Does anyone know what this switch is or more importantly, where the vacuum hose plugs into?
  • dek0621dek0621 Member Posts: 2
    i have a '04 nissan quest se, i am experiencing some transmission problems and would like for someone to give me a little advice. the quest is apparently shifting into high gear and staying there no sooner than i drive down the road a has a little spontaneous jump or buck to it when it shifts. if i am getting on the highway i have no acceleration power unless i pull over turn off the car, turn it back on, then everything functions normally.when i get to a stop light, the car is still in high gear simply put its like driving a manual trans starting off in 3rd gear. now i know having 120k miles and never having a major issue, i am going to start experiencing some, but please tell me i dont need to buy another transmission. its very frustrating because going from highway back to city, if there is a stop light at the end of the exit ramp the quest is still in high gear....i am thinking that i could just replace the computer chip for the transmission (if there even a chip to replace), but then again i dont know what i am talking about. also should i replace the timing belt at this time, motor mounts, i havent ever replaced in the life of the vehicle...

    thank you in advance for any help you can offer me...
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    What you are describing sounds like a sensor issue as opposed to a bad transmission. Try to determine the conditions this happens so your mechanic can try to duplicate it.

    Also check the transmission fluid.
  • ejv1ejv1 Member Posts: 1
    My '04 quest has just started to exhibit the same problem. dek0621, can you let me know how this was resolved for you?

  • dek0621dek0621 Member Posts: 2
    i havent resolved that issue yet, i have to, because its seemingly getting worse, but have been financially strapped...will do soon and will get back to you
  • narrowcasternarrowcaster Member Posts: 2
    I have 2004 Quest that intermittently will refuse to do anything when shifted into drive or reverse. When shifted into gear the vehicle will very slowly roll in the appropriate direction, but no matter how much I press on the accelerator the engine just idles as if I am not touching the gas pedal at all. So far I can shift the van into and out of gear, abruptly hit the brakes and finally it starts behaving normally.

    Anyone have any ideas as to what is going on?
  • marsha615marsha615 Member Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2004 quest in 2005 with a significant amount of mileage. Haven't had any "major" issues until now. Should I be having transmission issues? If not, is there any recourse for me? A new transmission is $2500. A used one at the junk yard is $900 not including labor. I no longer have a warranty and cannot afford to pay outright to have it repaired. The van was not purchased at Nissan but at a lot. Is there some type of lemon law to protect me? Is there a statue of limitation? Or am I stuck with the bill. I'm a single mother of four and can barely afford gas much less a new or used transmission. Will it pay for me to buy into one of those "extended warranty" programs. PLEASE someone advise. I cannot go much longer without a vehicle.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    First, how many miles do you have on the van? Second, did a mechanic actually say you need a new transmission?

    If you are over 60k miles (the powertrain warranty for Nissan), you really have no recourse. Also it sounds like you bought it used, 4 years ago. Not unless the van was sold with a warranty.....

    The reason I ask that second question is the Quest has had software problems with their transmissions that has caused numerous issues. If you need to replace the transmission, you may want to go the used option if money is tight. Also ask your mechanic about rebuilt transmissions. They are cheaper than new and come with a modest warranty.

    Don't buy the extended waranty programs. They are too expensive for what they cover. Basically you are paying for your repairs upfront for limited coverage. Also some of these programs have horrible consumer ratings. I wouldn't trust any of them. They are preying on people's fear.
  • questproquestpro Member Posts: 2
    Hi Hugo,
    there' re 2 problems:
    1/ TCM = transmission computerized module. Need to be replace.
    2/ Lay down on the floor in front of vehicle at the driver side, you will see the trans.
    fluid pan. Check for dents or damage. It so visible you can't miss it.
    If dented on pan, take your tools out and unscrew 10-12 bolts, the gasket should
    comes out with pan. If gasket broken, buy another.
    Put pan on flat surface , use a piece of wood to knock flat the dent. Do not damage
    surrounding pan lip which the bolts connect to trans housing.
    Clean the fluid residue.
    Check the filter, if damage, replace or use tool to straighten out the metal mesh.
    Put bolts in order when remove pan then put back together in order.
    Check manual book to see how much fluid to fill in. Done. Good luck. BTW,
    not too difficult to do, don't panic and do it slowly.
  • questproquestpro Member Posts: 2
    Hi Aderik,
    lay down on floor at driver side to see any damage, dent on trans. fluid pan.
    Big black pan, won't miss it.
    If dented, take it off from trans. pan from trans. housing and flatten the dent by
    mallet or piece of wood. Try not to damage the bolt holes and gasket.
    Gasket should comes off easily with pan, if broken, replace it.
    If no dents, then replace the TCM = transmission computerized module.
    Problems will fix. Not too expensive to have new TCM. Good luck.
  • vinniesgirlvinniesgirl Member Posts: 1
    my nissan is cutting out when ever it is warm outside, even though the motor is not over heating. Now im having trouble getting the speed over 45 mph. ive had it to two reputable mechanics and the nissan dealer mechanics, still no-one can fix. any ideas?
  • nissanowner1nissanowner1 Member Posts: 2
    I'm having very similar problems in my 2004 Quest. Earlier, I used to have situations where it seemed to get stuck in a higher gear and it looked like all the power wasnt getting transmitted to the wheels. After pulling over and putting it back in park, it seemed to fix itself. Dealer had typical response "Could not reproduce the issue reported". I had a transmission flush done some months ago try and fix this issue.

    Now it seems to be getting worse - on three / four different occasions, the gas pedal would just not work - you pump it and it was just coasting. The most recent ones were the most scary - not only did it stop transmitting power, but the brakes LOCKED UP !! It's coasting and I cannot brake - all lights on the panel came on, almost as if I was in park, but I am in motion, in the highway, and I cannot stop. Luckily, I rolled to a stop without too much traffic on the multi lane highway, put my hazard lights on and switched off/switched on a few times and it seemed to fix itself. Guess what the dealer had to say? "Cannot reproduce the issue on test drive".
  • nissanowner1nissanowner1 Member Posts: 2
    It's getting critical as a safety issue for me, since my wife drives this most of the time on major highways. If anyone has found a solution, please post it ???
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    About the only thing you can do is pressure the dealer to take a look at it further. Or try another dealer.

    Another idea is call Nissan consumer Affairs (number is in the owner's manual) and log a complaint with them. Be very, very specific with details.
  • erinpierceerinpierce Member Posts: 1
    would a faulty knock sensor cause my quest to shift hard as it changes gears?
  • sparks16sparks16 Member Posts: 1

    I have a 99 Nissan Quest and it is doing the same thing, when it is in gear Drive or Reverse, it idles and makes a lot of noise and won't drive at all, right now it is parked and not driveable. Did you find out what was wrong, and could you share with me what the problem was please!

    Thank you!
  • narrowcasternarrowcaster Member Posts: 2
    My issue ended up being the ECM was rotten and had to be replaced. I think that issue was unique to the 2004 Quest because prior to that the van was completely different (same as a Mercury Villager) and after that year Nissan moved the ECM to a different place under the engine that wasn't so exposed.

    Your issue sounds like a transmission problem to me. Especially all the noise that it makes and it is consistent.
  • mustqalandermustqalander Member Posts: 1
    Hi Folks.
    I have 2002 nissan quest se. Its transmision is working like manual transmision, car does not move in drive mode. First I have to put it in #1 gear, when it moves then I put it in 2nd gear and when it reaches above 30 miles per hour then I put it in drive. it runs fine. If speed reduce to under 30 then I have to put it in 2nd gear. Is there any body who can help me with this matter.
  • pdldriverpdldriver Member Posts: 1
    Hey Sparks16,
    The problem you posted about your 99 Quest sounds exactly like my 99 Villager. It groans when I try to put in Reverse; feels like it gets into Drive but doesn't really move; also feels like it goes into Neutral but the wheels still locked.

    What did you find out about yours? Thanks!

    or if anyone else may have any info, much thanks.

  • edjordanedjordan Member Posts: 1
    Transmission is shot in my 95 Quest. Found one on Craigslist for a 95 Maxima for a great price. Before I buy it could someone who knows please verify that it will work? They are both listed as a RE4F04A. This is time sensitive, I don't want to lose this Maxima transmission if it will fit, so please respond ASAP.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited August 2012
    No idea, but most auto salvage yards have big cross reference books. Maybe you can get one of those places to look it up for you.

    Although the first generation Quests weren't all that big, I'd still be a bit concerned about whether the sedan transmission is beefy enough to handle the extra bulk of the minivan.

    I'm not a mechanic and I don't know why your transmission is shot. If mine went, I'd be looking first at the solenoid pack. There's some guys keeping these older vans going over on Yahoo so look there too.

    Steve, visiting host
  • disneyf1disneyf1 Member Posts: 2
    The van intermittently has no pull but simply revs when the pedal is pushed. Usually when going up a hill, but sometimes on flat. If I let off the pedal it will 'catch up' and engage.

    I can also go the whole day without it happening, though. It will also sometimes start from a stop in a very high gear and I'll have to put it into low to get it going at normal speed. This one is cured by turning it off and back on again.

    I've seen this problem in the posts but not my other one. Are they related?

    I've noticed that when the check engine light is not on the car acts normally. A code scan while the light was on produced the following:
    PO744,PO7880,PO797(came up twice!)PO420,PO430. There's no cam sensor code as mentioned in some other posts, though.

    Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    Here's some information on the codes in case you are still looking:

    P0420 -

    P0430 -

    P0744 -

    P0780 -

    P0797 -

    I've never had any of these codes but have experienced the "no power" issue. Like you mentioned, turning off the van and turning back on normally cures it. The best I can tell there might be a problem with the TCM. Mine is so intermitent and I don't have any codes, so I haven't addressed it.

    Good luck.
  • sdabrowskisdabrowski Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2012
    I've got a 2000 Quest. When going up hills, the engine stays in low gear and moves really slow. If I press on the gas, the engine jumps into high gear, and whines, but the van goes faster, then falls back into low gear. I've broken a couple of engine mounts due to this all of a sudden, violent acceleration. It's like it jumps into passing gear.

    Basically, the van doesn't shift into higher gears when under load, unless I smash the gas pedal. On the freeweay, it's fine, though, and goes through all the gears automatically.

    I've been told this is probably a computer problem. Does this mean an 'engine' computer, or a 'transmission' computer problem? Are both/either easily replaceable by the do-it-yourselfer? Does either/both have to be programmed by the dealer.

    Thanks in advance.

  • rockmobilerockmobile Member Posts: 115
    As far as I know there is only one computer that also controls the transmission. It sits on the wall behind the glove compartment on the passenger side of the vehicle. I would be looking at the electronics on the transmission before replacing the computer.
  • ginat2ginat2 Member Posts: 1
    I took my 05 Quest in to a transmission shop yesterday only to be told I was looking at a rebuild. I started having a problem about a month ago. When I put the van in drive after having it in the park position, it hesitates for about 5 seconds before going into drive. It seems to happen only after being driven and putting it in park. It does not seem to do it in the morning, or on any start up, but only after being driven. It shifts out fine. I bought it used and it has 138,000 miles on it.
  • jimmer1973jimmer1973 Member Posts: 1
    Hi, my 01 quest made a clunk/bang sound yesterday when my daughter was backing out of the driveway and then it wouldnt move after that. I jacked up each front wheel and was not able to move them so i assume the cv axles are ok and not the problem. is there something else i should check before replacing the trans? Also will the trans from a 99 Nissan fit? Please let me know. Thank You
  • rockmobilerockmobile Member Posts: 115
    Your van is of second generation, 1999-2002, so I assume you could fit a 99 transmission on it.
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