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Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager Starting & Stalling Problems



  • jwoodenjwooden Posts: 5
    just 2 cents worth on running your gas down until the light goes on - the fuel in the tank helps to keep the fuel pump cool, when you run it down that low most of it is out of the fuel so it gets hot - and wears out quicker.
    Replaceing the fuel pump isn't cheap even if you do it yourself - and is a lot of work. I fill my tank up when it hits 1/4 tank just to keep it cool - doesn't cost any more to fill up sooner and in my mind - saves me money.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited August 2011
    Yeah, but note the Quest is a 20 gallon tank and I've never been able to put more than 19 gallons in (probably even had some in the tank when I ran out of gas). Per Wiki, it's more common for the relay to oxidize and cause failure than the pump itself actually dying.

    My fuel pump is the original one, going on 158,000 miles now.

    Carrying extra gas around hurts your mileage and costs you money. :shades:
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    I was at Barnes & Noble at Willow Grove Shopping Center in PA, but I could not find the Nissan Quest Repair Manuel; I saw a Pep Boy in that area but did not have time to check the manual.

    What I was so surprised was that the hotel I stayed, a 2* Horshan Homestead that I got at $32, met a gentleman who stayed there for over 7 years of this 10 year new 3 story hotel, and he NEVER had problem with his car.

    This time I did not add gas till after over 300 miles, but still I am kind of not feeling safe when gas tank run low.

    I think change oil should make engine run smoother, especially, after 3 years, but Engine Restorer also make engine run smoother, and quiet the engine, and make smell great, no smoke, higher mileage. image

    I kept on emphasize Engine Restorer is because I could NOT have changed my engine oil nor oil filter this time, after 3 years because I found the fantasy of Engine Restorer. I changed it just was curious if oil change has anything to do with oil line hesitation problem, after all 3 year experiment is kind of unusual. Anyway, it has nothing to do with the problem I had, it is still the "water" problem, and I throw in Heet 12oz $1.37 at Horshan Walmart to treat it. image

    I now use Iso-Heet 12oz $1.99 because it removes water 5 times more, and I want to see if all the water in my "fuel filter" can be removed so that I do not need to replace fuel filter. image

    I think my philosophy is very different from many of others. For one thing, I am on the road all the time, and I do not want to leave my Nissan Quest 94 with auto repairs, or I would be waiting there for the service. So, I often want to use Lube Express like Valvoline if I really need to change oil or oil filter.

    Most of the time, I would just pick up a bottle and added it to gas tank or crankcase and throw out the empty bottle like getting gas from gas station.

    In the past when I bought my Nissan Quest 94 new, I was always wondering why gas station has many additives, as time goes, I finally realize many people with used car and high mileage maintain their cars this way.

    For example, you may drive and drive and never check your engine oil till one day the "low oil" light on and, at that time, the car is still driving fine, just like your "low fuel" light on, till you go get gas, and at gas station, you also get a quart of 5w30 and ask the service guy to add into your crankcase, and both "low oil light" and "low fuel light" off.

    I used to meet someone from India IBM whose brand new van was a lease $600 a month, and he did almost nothing on the van. One winter day, he told me he was going to go far away, and I saw his lights all on "low fuel light", "low oil light", "low air pressure" ...etc. So, I took him to a nearby gas station to fill the gas, engine oil, pump air in tires, ...etc. Light all GONE afterwards.
  • tcriettcriet Posts: 1
    About this random motor behavior, my van is doing the exact same things you described a couple of years ago. Did you ever find out what the problem was? I will gladly pay consulting fees if necessary.

    Villager Two
  • When was last time you replace your "fuel filter" ?

    The van starts and runs fine, but intermittently just dies. It will run fine for weeks with no problem then just shut off while going down the road. Sometimes it will happen only once and at other times it will occur multiple in a day. It seems to be worse in summer. After the van has cooled down in as little as 10-15 minutes, it will restart. At times there will be a slight shudder and others it isn't noticeable, it just quits.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    I used to have an old Corolla that would die going down the road when the engine was really hot. It happened to be the coil.
  • After doing everything under the sun from cleaning the gas tank to changing out coils and plugs, it turned out to be the distributer! Hasn't had problems since! Also, a new battery on occassion will make it run like new -- any problems that seem electrical, change the battery! Good luck!


    P.S. The mercury tech that finally figured out said the distributer is a common thing to go bad on these early model vans -- he was right on!
  • Which year was your old Corolla? Mine is 1990, bought new, and still running very well ...
  • I totally agree that "...a new battery on occassion will make it run like new -- any problems that seem electrical, change the battery!" This is in particular important if your battery ever died and need jump.

    On the other hand, my Nissan Quest 94's battery died and I just used electric charger to charged it, and it runs great! What I did was to put it on charge every morning for an hour or two getting 6amp, 5amp, 4amp, ...etc down to 1amp and done. It eventually dropped down to just 5 to 10 minutes to charge good.

    I started to also charge my Toyota Corolla 90, and it runs even better when I started, just crank like a soft touch and it will just start like a new car. Since its battery never died before and last for close to 9 years, so when I charged it with electric charger, it only take a few minutes to go from 6amp down to 1amp, trickle charge.

    I saw this brand new Toyota Prius 2011 has solar panel on the roof to constantly trickle charge the battery; this will sure to save lots of effort on maintenance battery and less likely for battery to be died and need replacement, not to mention every few years when battery aging and getting died to cause all sorts of non deterministic problems like mentioned in the forum.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    When I say old Corolla I mean OLD Corolla, mine was a 1973, which I bought used in 1977 for $500.
  • I have a '96 Nissan Quest with 224,000 miles on it. I've had it for years and have a friend who is an amateur mechanic. He has worked on it for years and keeps piecing it back together for me. Right now, we're a little stumped as to what the problem is.

    The van has a loud knocking noise and "almost" stops but never quite does. I'm scared to drive it with this vibration and LOUD, shuddering, knocking noise, though. It does this in reverse or drive, not neutral or park. When I put the van into reverse or drive, the RPMs drop noticeably. It runs worse when it idles.

    We thought it was just bad gas and so added Heet (dry gas) to the tank, but that didn't change the problem. We also changed the plugs and wires. I have had a fuel pump and fuel filter change less than a year ago.

    I took the van to Advance and had them hook it up to their computer, even though the check engine light is not on. It came up with codes that said there is an EGR Flow Malfunction. It also said there is an oxygen sensor circuit malfunction on "bank 1, sensor 2." The guy at Advance said this didn't necessarily mean that the EGR valve needed to be replaced, just that something was restricting the flow.

    Should I replace the oxygen sensor? What about the EGR valve? I have had both of these replaced within the last four years. Any ideas? :confuse:
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    Have you tried using Engine Restorer? If it is gas with water, it does not have loud noise; it just that engine may lose power.

    My Nissan Quest 94 had loud noise, and ever since I added a can of Engine Restorer into the crankcase (make sure do not overfill), it became quiet and quiet till very quiet like new engine.

    I got a 6 cylinder can from Walmart, but I felt smaller can for 4 cylinder may be good enough. Since I did not change engine oil and filter for 3 years, simply top up the engine oil with 5w30 ever now and then, so I had some room for me to pour a can of Engine Restorer to crankcase to test.

    However, if your loud noise sound like this one, then it is distributor problem.

    The van has a loud knocking noise and "almost" stops but never quite does. I'm scared to drive it with this vibration and LOUD, shuddering, knocking noise, though. It does this in reverse or drive, not neutral or park. When I put the van into reverse or drive, the RPMs drop noticeably. It runs worse when it idles.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    I would check the condition of the vacuum hoses connected to the EGR valve and the EGR valve itself before jumping into oxygen sensors.
  • EGR valves do not normally require maintenance or replacement for preventative maintenance. But the valve can become clogged with carbon deposits that cause it to stick or prevent it from closing properly. Dirty EGR valves can sometimes be cleaned, but replacement is necessary if the valve is defective.
  • Thanks for the help. We finally figured it out. It WAS bad gas!. After taking just about everything pertaining to the fuel system off and inspecting and not finding anything wrong, we ended up adding another bottle of Heet. Then I went to a local gas station that sells 100% gas (the one I normally use is 10% ethanol). Within about 30 miles it started running fine - better than it had before, actually. No more problems and my old van is running just fine!
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    That's great! But then you said originally "We thought it was just bad gas and so added Heet (dry gas) to the tank, but that didn't change the problem."

    When I used yellow bottle Heet 12oz when I sense knocking and losing power image, but if it gave me a good response yet not lasting effect, I normally add another red bottle iso-Heet 12oz because the red bottle claimed to have 5 times more power removing water. image

    Also, due to the % of water, so the easiest quick solution is to get the gas tank filled up, but then the water is still not out, as gas using up, more % of water, the knocking may reappear, and I often add Heet or iso-Heet at that time so it shall give me good power till very empty of the tank.
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    Amazing! when I went to Walmart tonight trying to get iso-Heet 12oz red bottle for my Nissan Quest 94, it was SOLD OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So, I got a red bottle of STP Gas Treatment instead image since I used STP red bottle for gas treatment image for other cars and never got water problem.

    Wow! It worked for my Nissan Quest 94 too, the power recovered and driving like added iso-Heet 12oz. It says will treat up to 21 gallons.

    Btw, some one says can get free STP red bottle by getting $2 coupon if click like in their facebook ...etc. Any one got this free bottle before? If it can be free, that will be wonderful!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    If you insist on putting unnecessary junk in your tank, at least go to NAPA and buy denatured alcohol. It's a lot cheaper by the gallon or half-gallon than HEET.

    Big waste of time and money in my opinion.

    The fact that Walmart ran out of something on the shelf means nothing.

    Power recovered? Unless you are putting your Quest on a dynamometer, you have no basis or baseline for any of your claims.

    And please stop wasting bandwidth with the photos. If I want to look at ads, I'll go to Amazon.

    Steve, visiting host
  • If you insist on putting unnecessary junk in your tank, at least go to NAPA and buy denatured alcohol. It's a lot cheaper by the gallon or half-gallon than HEET.
    // Cool! I will check out Napa nearby; I passed by often and saw Napa auto
    // parts deliver cars running around.

    Big waste of time and money in my opinion.
    // May be you already know all these, but I am still learning and testing ... :-)

    The fact that Walmart ran out of something on the shelf means nothing.
    // Walmart has a very responsive logistics and never let product sold out,
    // especially very hot items. e.g. one night I bought all their sleeping bags
    // and distribute to homeless people, they got many more in the next day.
    // Besides, in our Walmart, there were lots of Heet and Iso-Heet, but the
    // iso-Heet all gone, may be because it is 5 times more powerful removing
    // water than yellow bottle Heet and only dozen cents more for same 12oz.

    Power recovered? Unless you are putting your Quest on a dynamometer, you have no basis or baseline for any of your claims.
    // Yes, as soon as I add STP Gas Treatment red bottle, my Nissan Quest 94
    // run powerful again. I knew when to add iso-Heet or now red bottle STP
    // Gas Treatment as soon as I got honked by cars behind more often.

    And please stop wasting bandwidth with the photos. If I want to look at ads, I'll go to Amazon.
    // I thought a picture worth thousands words ... :-)

    Steve, visiting host
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    All you need to know is in your owner's manual.
  • Very true. Unfortunately, I only found Nissan Quest owner's manual online from 2006 to 2011.

    If you can find one for Nissan Quest 1994 online, that would be very appreciated. After all, when I was driving my Nissan Quest 94, I was not able to read, whereas, when I was online, the owner manual in the van is not handy, and I was afraid if I remove it from the van, when emergency I had nothing to refer to. So... I believe an online copy is the best solution.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    edited August 2011
    Are you going to tell me you learned to read after 1994?
    How did you get around?:confuse:
  • Believe or not, you are very correct!

    I bought my Nissan Quest 94 brand new, and never got problem and I drove all over the places. I always used Dealer services till one time for 60,000 miles service they charged me over $3,000 with a book thick of reports!!!

    So I went dispute and eventually reached the general manager who told me "Sir, our labor is very expensive". I asked "How expensive?" He said "$85 an hour", I said, but I only left my van in your place from lunch time to end of day, about 4 hours, so that's only "$85 x 4 = $340".

    Then, the general manager sound like theft got caught and trying to find a reasonable explanation "... you know, because your are VIP, and we want to get your van serviced prompt with highest care, so we threw in 5 technicians, so you need to times 5". Since I went to Berkeley for Math major, I was able to answer immediately "... but $340 x 5 is only $1,700 and you charged me close to $3,000".

    So, the general manager immediately apologized and gave me refund of close to $1,500 back. Guess what? I never returned to that dealer. It has been over 10 years.

    Believe or not, I was just start reading my owner manual not too long ago; in the mean time, I use Lube Express type of services, just drive thru and change oil and oil filter for $19 to $24 with coupon.

    One day, my check engine light on, and I went to a local unamed auto parts store, and the boy told me to put a bottle of magic auto drug or additive, and magically, the check engine light went off after dozen miles of driving ...

    Thereafter, every year or two when I need to get my van to state inspection, I just add a bottle and the check engine light would go off and pass state inspection.

    The old man I mentioned in earlier posting whom I met at Pep Boys was even funnier, he told me that before went to state inspection, he just "remove the check engine light" so that dash board would not see that light, and he always passed inspection. He is now expert on Nissan Quest, and he got 3 identical Nissan Quest 94, all used at little cost, two for his twin daughters going to college. He said driving van is much safer than small cars for young drivers, besides, many college friends did not have car and van is convenient to drive friends around.

    Anyway, after all these time of research, I have found that "all parts needed NOT to be replaced unless necessary" just like human body, "surgery" is normally not necessary so you get 2nd or 3rd opinion before getting one.

    More importantly, at "pharmacy level", many human problem can be cured, and that is also true with cars. So the work "additives" to me is "auto pharmacy". With substantial auto pharmacy knowledge, one's car or van can last as long as or much longer than anticipated.
  • My '96 Nissan Quest runs great in the winter time, but during the summer months it gets a strong smell of gas inside the cab and outside aqs well, stalls out and won't start again for about 10 minutes of sitting. I also get a code of bank 1 lean. I replaced the Ignition Control Module, and did not fix it. Any suggestions or tips :confuse:
  • Basically this means that an oxygen sensor in bank 1 detected a lean condition (too much oxygen in the exhaust). On V6/V8/V10 engines, Bank 1 is the side of the engine that has cylinder #1.

    In other words, your fuel did not seem to be pump into the place in time. When was last time you change your "fuel filter" ? If you got new and good "fuel filter" already, there could be a vacuum leak downstream of the MAF sensor. The MAF (Mass Air Flow) Sensor maybe dirty or faulty. In the vast majority of cases, simply cleaning the MAF sensor does the trick.

    You may get this Gumout® All-In-One®
    Fuel System Cleaner
    image and fill in your gas tank to see how much the situation improved. I have spoken to many Walmart auto mechanics who drive really old cars; they also use this additive to clean their fuel system.
  • Surprisingly, this time Walmart in town also got STP Gas Treatment sold out image, but I already got the STP coupon from this website, just $1, instead of $2.

    So, I decided to try something else, and I found this grey bottle STP Complete Fuel System Cleaner image that my $1 coupon also applies.

    Since it says has to have at least half tank full and treat up to 21 gallon, so I waited till I fill the gas tank again, and this morning I added the whole bottle. After a few hours letting it mixed with full tank of gas, I found it is great! It seems to make engine start easier and restore much more power. Will see more cleaning in the next days to drive.
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    I was wondering what would it happen if I use "electrical charger" to charge my Nissan Quest 94 battery EVERY DAY just like I charge my cell phone. So, I charged it every morning the first thing I did when I get up.

    Amazing! It starts with 6amp charger to charge and the meter gradually goes down from 5amp, 4amp to 3amp ...etc to 1amp for trickle charging, and it took an hour or two to reach that state. May be because my batter died after winter. People often just replace a brand new battery; I did not.

    After a few weeks, the charging time reduced, and now it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to go from 6amp to 1amp, and last time when I went change oil and oil filter (after 3 years!), Valvoline Express gave me a good battery check on the report.

    Only when it rains or bad weather, it took longer to charge up the battery.

    Recently, I notice, amazing! the two posts of the battery have no corrosion; it seems all reversed. So, I did not need to clean the posts and they all gone by themselves.
  • lorenajacklorenajack Posts: 3
    edited August 2011
    In hot weather, after running this vehicle for a while, I smell a strong gas odor.
    It is coming from the gas filler area. When I remove the gas cap, vapors literally
    roar out of the tank. It takes a minute or more for all to escape. Seems like there is
    a buildup of gas fumes that are not being (recycled) or purged from the system.

    I installed a new gas cap a while back, but the problem still exists.
    I have to part the van outside for a couple of hours to keep the gas vapors from
    filling up the garage. What do I need to fix or investigate? Thank you !!!!
  • nissanquest94nissanquest94 Posts: 81
    edited August 2011
    Have you tried to put some Seafoam into your gas tank, PCV valve and engine crankcase to clean the van? image

    The blowby vapors that end up in an engine's crankcase contain moisture as well as combustion byproducts and unburned fuel vapors. The crankcase is sealed to prevent the escape of these gases into the atmosphere, but the vapors must be removed to prevent oil contamination that leads to sludge formation. The positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system siphons these vapors from the crankcase and routes them into the intake manifold so they can be reburned in the engine.

    The main component in the PCV system is the PCV valve, which is usually located in the valve cover. A hose connects the PCV valve to the intake manifold. A second hose between the air cleaner and crankcase or other valve cover (V6 or V8 applications) provides fresh air to help flush the vapors out of the crankcase. Some engines have a separate air filter for the PCV breather hose located inside the air cleaner.

    The PCV valve is a spring-loaded valve with a specific orifice size designed to restrict the amount of air that's siphoned from the crankcase into the intake manifold. This is necessary because air drawn through the valve from the crankcase has a leaning effect on the fuel mixture much the same as a vacuum leak. So air flow through the valve must be controlled within certain limits. At idle, air flow is reduced because little blowby is produced. When the engine is cruising and vacuum is high, airflow through the PCV valve is at a maximum to purge the blowby vapors from the crankcase.

    It's important to note that PCV valves are sized for specific engine applications. The wrong PCV valve for an application can flow too much or too little air causing driveability problems. Varnish deposits can clog the valve, so replacement for preventative maintenance is recommended (every 50,000 miles usually).

    Not all engines have PCV valves. Some (like Ford Escort, GM FWD cars with the Quad Four engine, etc.) ventilate the crankcase with a small breather hose and calibrated orifice. There is no spring-loaded PCV valve. On these applications, no maintenance is usually necessary.
  • I have replaced PCV valves in the past, so I am familiar with them and
    their purpose.

    But wondering if a defective PCV valve would cause very high pressure
    buildup inside the gas tank itself? It almost seems like some gas
    vapor recycle system is not kicking-in and purging this buildup of gas
    vapors back into some engine intake mechanism.

    When I remove the gas cap, raw gas vapors REALLY roar out which
    leads me to believe some pressure regulator (?) is not kicking in to reduce
    this gas tank pressure.

    Does this make sense to you??
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 115
    edited August 2011
    Before you spend any money google and research 'vapor canister and check valve' for you vehicle. It is something usually neglected that can cause some emission problems. Not sure if that would be the problem but it's something you can look into.
  • No, I did not say you have a defective PCV valve which is just one of three places to apply Seafoam, the other two are crankcase and gas tank. This is just general cost effective cleaning of lots of things that could have caused subtle problems.

    Last time, my Nissan Quest 94 had similar problem, when I used Engine Restorer, all the bad smells all gone, in addition to have very quiet engine and higher millage ...etc. image

    If you suspect the evaporative system, it often includes an incorrect or defective gas cap which you said you have replaced but not fixed the problem.

    It could also be a sticking open or closed evaporative "canister vent" control valve, or a canister coming apart inside, allowing charcoal to be distributed throughout the evap system - plugging up the evap "canister purge" control valve and the evap "canister purge volume" control valve.

    Disconnected, plugged or cracked vacuum lines can also result in evaporative system codes being set.
  • Lots of good tips from you wonderful fellas!
    I will check them all out, and put the additives that are recommended by all.

    When I finally get this problem solved, I will post the fix so that others
    can benefit from this problem. This 97 Villager has just 87,000 miles on it.
    This problem started about maybe 2 years ago or less. Can't remember
    for sure.

    Thanks again, guys!!
  • I often went to Pep Boys, Auto Zone or Advanced Auto Parts to just describe the problem and ask them which additives should be used and how to apply, and you will learn a lot. In many cases, the problem is common to many cars and the solution is unbelievably simple and cost effective.

    If you go to auto mechanics first, they may tell you to replace this and that, and that cost a lot and may or may not solve the problem. Auto mechanics is like "surgeon" and "additive" is like "pharmacy". In general, you would consult 3 docotors for 2nd or 3rd opinion before having "surgery", and I do the same for my nissan quest 94 too. However, just like human body, many health problem can be cured by "drug", in the car is "additives".
  • A while ago, I finally went to Valvoline drive thru to have my oil and oil filter changed after 3 years, but the problem came because although they used 5w30 Valvoline oil, I forgot to ask them to add Engine Restorer which I had it in last tank of oil image

    After all these months, my Nissan Quest 94 finally shows some room for my oil crankcase, and I just add a can of Engine Restorer. As planned, I just add the smallest one for 4 cylinder, not 6 cylinder, cheaper and not much room needed. image

    Wow! I got that magic power immediately back. Engine quiet down, much more power, no noise, no smoke, good smell. I thought it would be good to let everyone know.

    Now, I even carry another can of Engine Restorer in my Nissan Quest 94, and whenever I saw old cars on road or parking lot with not so smooth engine, I just introduce this wonderful magic to them.

    I even went out of my way to make sure people do not over change their engine oil and filter. e.g. Every time I would ask people for their driver's manual, and I showed them the page where the manual said change oil and oil filter at 15,000 miles, not 3,000 miles. I found myself read so many driver's manuals of all kinds of cars, and, believe or not, NONE says change every 3,000 miles or 3 months, just NONE!!!!
  • pluiplui Posts: 5
    My van ran fine at beginning. It started hesitation and service engine light came on after I ran the vehicle for 5 or 6 miles. I had to keep it running in 20 mile mph to a safe place and remove the negative cable, turn head light on for 10 minutes before I put back the cable. I went on to go home after half hour and the engine cooled down a little bit. I had a mechanic to remove the intake manifold and sprayed the throttle cleaner to housing of throttle, but it won't work. The car is still ran rough after 5 or 6 miles. I replaced fuel pump, fuel filter, rotor, spark plugs already, but the problem is still existed. Please give me an advise.

    Kindly Regards,

    Peter L
  • Have you tried to put a bottle of yellow Heet 12oz into your gas tank image Normally, for cars old enough, the gas tank may have accumulated enough water to make your engine hesitate at higher speed, so a dry gas like Heet may works right away.

    See if the problem repeats when you "fill up the gas tank" with Top Tier Gas such as Exxon, Mobile, Shell ...etc. The reason is because only exceed certain % of water in your gas tank will cause the problem, such as 4%, and when you fill the gas tank, the % drops, and your van good again. Just "regular gas" will do.

    Then, you keep a bottle of dry gas additive such as above mention yell bottle Heet 12oz in your van, and when your gas tank dropped to give you hesitation, you pour the bottle in to remove the water from gas tank.

    If yellow bottle Heet 12oz is not powerful enough, you may consider red bottle iso-Heet 12oz which claims to have 5 time more power to remove the water. image

    Not sure why you remove the negative cable and turn on head light for 10 minutes? But, one thing I often check is if my battery has sufficient voltage, need to have 12.66v, even if you still got 12.30v, that is only 40% electricity left, may be able to crank the engine, but may have problem later such as hesitation when you turn on headlight or turning signal, or even brake at traffic light (at that time, your 3 brake light on consuming already weak electricity)

    Your throttle should have been clean enough, other wise, you can not even start your van at the first place. Remember, you need air, gas and electricity to run your van well, and since you could start and run 5 to 6 miles fine, meaning all three were good till then. Air intake often more consistent, but electricity may or may not depending on how much in your battery; that's why I use "electricity charger" to charge my van every morning just like charging cell phone. When I did this initially after winter when my Nissan Quest 94 started having similar problem, it took about 2 hours to charge to good level, then it drops to 1 hour, to 30 minutes, now it often just take 5 minutes; in other words, I now change to charge it every few days, and may be just every weekend. Your auto mechanics replace spark plugs and rotor seemed to because of this suspicion. On the other hand, if your van can drive 5 to 6 miles fine, they should be fine.

    So, the only suspect is gas, so your auto mechanics replaced your fuel pump, fuel filter, but, as you know it has nothing to do with that. Just like if you eat something bad with stomach pain, would you go surgeon and replace your stomach? No, you want to go toilet to get all the bad things out asap. In this case, you may have got the water in your gas tank from some very cheap gas station, which is fine usually, but do not get it right before gas station refilled by oil tank truck as the level of gas at reservoir is low and more likely to get water.
  • you have leaky injectors the vales that seal them internaly when you turn off your vehickle hang open alowing the fule to drip into cylinders causing premature flood out. Run a heavy injector cleaner through the system after aweek the deposits should clear from the injectors and the problem should disapate if not look into replacing various problem injectors, good luck
  • On the one hand, your description sounds like the flood issue. On the other hand, may be your battery is weak; how old is the battery?

    Always keep in mind, many subtle problems often came from weak battery, so the first thing I did was always "use electric charger" to charge my battery for an hour or two and see the improvement.

    If you drive local often (under 10 miles one way) as many people did after Economy problem or van getting older, your van battery may not get fully charged, so it may help to charge a few hours every week or two.

    Fuel injector cleaners into gas tank also help; I found it often help injection system consume less electricity and more electricity generated by alternator charged back to battery or for other use such as head lights and brake and brake lights.

    I also found Engine Restorer image fantastic, when pour into engine oil crankcase, the van immediately powerful, quiet, no odd smell, more mileage and the battery seems to get charged much better ...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Funny, you're responding to a post from 2008 with an ad for a product I'd never waste a dime on for my '99 Quest.

    You must own stock in the company. :P

    Steve, visiting host
  • Well, it is Christmas Time, and I had nothing to do, and this forum sent me an email, so I just take a look at some old message and problems during cold winter times, and hoping to be able help my wonderful Nissan Quest 94 and others.

    Besides, many posting from people with their van problem always start saying they have read all the message but not found the answer to their problem, so I just document something I know and know very well.

    Your Nissan Quest 99 is 5 year newer than my 94, and I am very sure you may not have to buy this Engine Restorer if you sold your van before it reach my state; otherwise, if you start using Engine Restorer, just once a year, you may end up keep your van running like mine.

    I bought mine brand new and still running every day.

    I did not own any stock of the company, just like I post here but I did not own stock of Edmunds. The stock I bought was ALSK because it gave 20% of dividend; however, it dropped its dividend from 21.5 center per quarter to 5 cents, and now I only got 6%.

    The good thing is that if I buy more by Dec 28, the ex-dividend date, I would be able to catch that 6% in January just in time. I personally think it is good price because it dropped from $11+ to $3+ just because the CEO wanted to keep more dividend to expand the company, nothing else changed.

    I would buy lots of Engine Restorer if for any reason, Walmart dropped the price from $11 to $3, and the more the price drops, the more I will accumulate.

    If you look at Corporate USA hog record high cash, they will do lots of M&A; that is Merger and Acquisition and way under priced stocks will be acquired in the near future. Just like many Americans keep lots of cash in hand, what would they buy? I bought 6 dozens of eggs every time supermarket drops the price from $3 to 99 cents, and I feel Engineer Restorer is even better to store.

    And I stored lots of Lucas Fuel Injector Cleaner image and give it out as Christmas gift to young adult to help their used cars. If you buy just one bottle, they charge you $5 to $6 for this $5.25 oz one tank use bottle, so it is about $1 per oz. However, if you buy the 32oz bottle image at about $10, the cost drops a lot down to 35 cents per oz. Our Walmart, for some reason do NOT sell this 32oz bottle any more; they are good at making money. But I often go to Peg Boys to buy 128 oz for $32 dollars, the cost down to about 25 cents per oz. image Unfortunatly, I never saw this big gallon Lucas in Walmart, and recently Pep Boys often sold out; I am glad I stock enough for another year to come.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I had a new '82 Tercel that I drove for 17 years and I never put any junk in it either. You don't need to waste money on dubious additives to be able to drive them forever. Since '82, I'm on my 4th car - for two people. Still have two of them.
  • So, what did you do to maintain your car? to last for this long?

    My Nissan Quest 94 years after I bought new started leaking engine oil and Nissan Dealer want over $1,000 to replace a gasket or some sort. They said the part is very cheap but the labor was very expensive and advised me to leave my van there for a week.

    Well, what they told violate two of my principles dealing with auto mechanics:

    1. If it is too hard to service and take lots of labor, it often means the car is FINE! Why? If you are auto engineer, you would design "frequently serviced parts" to be easy access and replace. If auto mechanics want to "remove lots of your auto parts", it means either the mechanics LIE wants to rob you or knows little about your car. e.g. Toyota mechanics may not be familiar with Nissan and may take much much longer to just replace your Nissan and cost you double or triple labor, or even more.

    2. If auto mechanics want your to leave the car in their garage for extensive time, it often means they do not know how to do and need time to try and error. Sometimes, they want you to feel the job is big and pay more than needed.

    Well, I fixed the problem by pouring into my engine crankcase a can of "stop engine oil leak", just a few dollars.

    Of course, I agree that you do not need to waste money take Tylenol if you do not catch cold; however, if you do, I may save money. On the other hand, you may never catch cold like myself because I know how to prevent it from happening.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited December 2011
    Nothing special. I change the oil around 7,500 miles, like the manual says, but I've pushed that off a few times, once out to 14,000 miles. The Tercel lived outside in Anchorage all 17 years and it really got ignored. Just sold it because we moved and downsized to one car. It only stranded me one time. Never been stranded in the van.

    I buy whatever oil is on sale; usually SuperTech at Walmart and a Fram filter. Replace the air filter every 15,000 miles or so (usually a Fram there too; whatever is cheapest). I used to get Chevron gas a lot but when gas went up I went to the cheapest stuff. Keep good tires on it (I still manage to get more flats than the norm). Wash it maybe once a year.

    Over the years, I've had a CV joint go bad, 3 fuel injectors and a sensor replaced (still not sure I trust what the mechanic did on that one), several bulbs, turn signal stalk under warranty, a windshield, two batteries, a rear hub, one set of plugs, wires and distributor, a blower resistor, and a few brakes jobs and one brake fluid flush. I've cleaned my throttle body maybe four times. Ignored the recommendation to change the timing belt at 105k. About $7,000 worth of maintenance all told. Tire were $1,665 of that. Looks like .04 a mile for maintenance.

    There's a mechanic posting over in the Right To Repair discussion who recently said that sometimes the fastest way to fix something is to see how the factory built the car around the part and work that way. That may mean simply pulling the engine and transmission as a unit instead of going "by the book".

    Stories are legion about how auto engineers didn't take into account maintenance needs. Forget the make/model, but on one rig, you had to jack the motor up a few inches to get enough clearance to remove one of the spark plugs. Wonderful planning.

    Thanks for asking. :)
  • Off topic but seventeen years in Anchorage? wow! I watch Alaska State Troopers just to see how people live up there. I wonder how cops drive those Crown Victorias year round, although at one time I saw somebody driving an old Chevette around Juneau, amazing.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited December 2011
    Well, it was actually 20 winters all told. Lots of beaters running around up there. Don't really need AWD or 4WD if you have decent tires and don't go up steep roads or driveways much (I mostly had FWD rigs but the best snow car was a 70ish VW SuperBeetle).

    After a decade thawing out in Boise, we landed in the UP of MI on Lake Superior; even more remote than Alaska in some ways, but it's nice being able to hop in the Quest and get to America in a half day instead of taking three or four days just to drive down the Alcan. :D

    Haven't needed them, but at least there is a Nissan dealer sort of near me.
  • Ran out of gas (new vehicle to me, gauge wasn't at the bottom yet). Put gas in. Wouldn't start. Pounded gas tank. Started, ran fine for a couple of weeks, maybe a hundred miles. Stopped at a convenient store for a soda, came out, no start. Walked to an auto parts store next door, bought starter fluid, sprayed it in, engine started and ran until the starter fluid ran out.

    Checked fuel pump switch by driver's left knee; was not popped out, but pushed it down to be sure it was properly engaged. Crank, no start.

    Had Villager towed home, dropped tank and pulled pump. Bench tested, bad. Put in new pump, checked function: key on, gas squirted out onto the garage floor. Connected hoses, put tank back up. Still, no start. Just for grins, re-tested old pump, and it ran fine. Scary. Identified a ground in the engine compartment with a meter, pulled the coil wire, set it next to the ground, cranked engine in the dark: no spark. Pulled the connector to the distributor, turned key on, checked: one of the wires showed 12 v. Reconnected to the distributor, cranked, no start.

    Pulled distributor cap, cranked, watched rotor turn. Replaced cap.

    Checked all fuses and relays involved; all good.

    Now what? I'm Desperate. I need this van for my business, not to mention that survival itself is a problem in this country without wheels. Does anyone have a clue?
  • It sounds your battery may not be good, so you had inconsistent state each and every time you start your van. In general, battery should have 12.66 volt with 6 parts each contribute 2.11 volt. When you measure and has 12 volt, it is less than 30% electricity left. Your gauge was not at bottom, meaning your did not run out of gas, so even if you added gas at the first place, the state of your van not changed.

    The battery may have died before, and, once jumped, it needs to take a long way to recover, such as 2 full hour of high way ride without head light on (say, during day time), or get an electric charger to charge over night each weekend for 4 weekends ...etc. Or just replace a new one, or Pep Boys may charge your battery free for you with their higher power charger, faster.
  • Btw, to check your fuel pump, just turn the key half will do. In other words, if your fuel line has water and frozen in winter, the fuel may not be able to flow to enable start. What you need to do is turn your key half way before start your engine, and leave it there for a few seconds, and you shall here the homing sounds, that just tells you that your fuel pump is working, no need to go through hard way to check further.

    If your fuel line or gas tank has water, which is normal for old cars, you may get a bottle of Heet of 12 oz to put into your gas tank image and anti-freeze the water and get out the water of your fuel line and gas tank.

    My Nissan Quest 94 had problem the other day when it went down to 9 degrees, and I pour in a bottle of 12 oz iso-Heet (5 times more powerful than yellow bottle) image and it runs fine right away.
  • orc96orc96 Posts: 2
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