Last post on Oct 23, 2006 at 2:23 AM
You are in the Nissan Quest
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Nissan Quest, Mercury Villager, Van
#1479 of 2519 10 years experience with '95 Quest GXE
Jul 05, 2004 (8:19 am)
Our '95 Quest was bought new about the time our 3rd child was born. Here's the car's problem history, mostly resolved, which I offer in case somebody might find it interesting. Our driving history has been a combination of lots of very short urban trips (school, etc.) with heavily loaded long trips (it has reached Fairbanks and Tuscon). We are now at about 97,500 miles.
Our first big problem came at 48,000 miles in 1999. An increase in exhaust noise signalled cracks in both exhaust manifolds. Some of the studs had actually cracked off and were totally gone. We were lucky to have this fixed free under the 5/50 powertrain warantee -- however, I suspect that the significant amount of "monkeying around" in the engine bay to replace the manifolds led to a number of other problems we have had over the years since then.
The most annoying and persistent problems we have had are leaks. It leaked a small but steady (and smelly) amount of coolant for years, and it took 3 or 4 dealer visits ($500 +) to fix. More than one place in and around the engine was leaking. We also had a persistent but intermittent gasoline leak from a fuel line downstream of the filter, underneath the throttle butterfly. This also took several dealer visits and a lot of money to fix. We also have a small oil leak, I think from a crank seal, that we've never fixed. The only fluids we have not leaked are a/c R132a, PSF and ATF.
We had "check engine" light stuck on, sometime about year 2000. This was EGR valve problem. About this time, knock sensor also died, which we have ignored, although it does knock a lot in summer urban driving. No apparent damage so far though.
Despite an ATF drain (DIY) every 40,000 or so, we found lightly toasty trans fluid last year at 85k, and did full flush. No transmission behavior problems, though, clear thru to today. Except the designed-in 4th/3rd/4th/3rd/4th/3rd you get in the mountains.
The brakes have been OK, just a couple of front pad replacements which turned out to have been done with plenty of miles left. They tend to be sqeaky at low speed and take more pedal effort than I'd like though.
The passive seatbelts were hated from day one but still work as designed. Occasionally in cold wet weather (we always park in the street) they fail to move forward when the door is opened, but a jab at the intertia switch reset button (the red button by the parking brake pedal) gets them going again.
Sometime about five years ago, the glovebox wouldn't open. I think the handle got disconnected from the latch. I used brute force and tools to cut the latch, which permanently bruised the dash padding. I then had to also disable the hold-open spring because glued-in velcro would not dependably keep the lid closed.
A constant annoyance for me has been the totally crummy 1960's technology Ford lock cylinders in ignition and doors. Their internal parts, apparently a mixture of steel wool and sandpaper grit, have worn the edges off 4 or 5 keys my wife and I have carried over the years. Long ago, we learned to be careful to check that the ignition was actually locked after we pulled out the key. I realized it was time to take action finally when we started feeling the key wiggle independent of the lock cylinder "ears" as we started the engine last month. It was a pleasant surprise to find that a brand-new 1960's Ford ignition lock is available from the Nissan parts counter for about $40 and it takes only 15 minutes to put it in. Now we have a car that feels like a brand-new 1969 Ford when you turn the key again.
The tailgate window latch rattles a lot. There are a couple of poker chips loose behind the speedometer, or at least it sounds like that.
The rear shock absorbers pretty much fell apart by 9 years / 90,000 miles. I replaced them, and the struts, with new KYB, myself, and they work well except that I didn't properly torque the strut center shaft at first, and we still have some mysterious creaks and clunks somewhere in the running gear.
The air cleaner black plastic box is the most irritating idiotic design I can imagine -- difficult to reach and open, hard to align properly, and prone to misassembly. I wonder how much un-filtered air our engine has breathed over the years.
My wife has reported several false alarms of "low oil" over the years, while I have never seen one. I don't know what's going on, but I somehow think this is related to the old problem of the crummy ignition lock, and pulling out the key not in the "off" position.
Things that have always worked perfectly: power windows, power seat, a/c, power mirrors, power locks, ABS. (We don't have a sunroof.) Our overall average gas mileage has been 18mpg. The best we've ever done is maybe 23.
I can hardly wait to get a Sienna or '05 Odyssey -- 4 doors! More room! An extra 100 or so horsepower! 5th gear! Stability control! More airbags! No silly-seatbelts! Maybe a sunroof and roll-down sliding door windows!
#1480 of 2519 Towing with a 2001 Quest SE
Jul 07, 2004 (9:13 am)
My wife, who I love dearly, purchased a pop-up camper from her aunt yesterday. This, of course, was done without my input.
Well, now I'm a camper owner and was wondering what sort of experience people have had towing with a Quest/Villager. "My" camper only weighs 2070lbs, so it falls well within the manufacturer's recommended towing capacity of 3000lbs. Should I get an oil cooler? A transmission cooler?
Any advice would be welcome.
#1481 of 2519 2002 Quest/Villager vs. MPV
Jul 08, 2004 (2:04 pm)
I had (sigh) a 2000 MPV that I loved. It unfortunately was the victim of a red-light runner (I think -- insurance adjusters haven't gotten around to looking at it yet). It would appear that we're going to have to get a new van.
Ours was a LX with touring package. It had 91,000 miles on it and was scrupulously maintained. What would be a fair value for that car? Second, is a replacement Mazda the best choice now that we are forced into a replacement. Our Mazda was paid for as of June 15. I'm not finding anything comparable at our local CarMax. I did, however, find a couple of low-miles Mercury Villagers that were loaded... However, the offset crash results are giving me pause. I spoke with insurance agent and our rates would actually go DOWN with Villager. Why is this?
Anybody with experience comparing the two vans, please let me hear... I remember when we bought MPV, I was dismayed to see all the bad reviews -- but it's now (and has been) a CR recommended buy. I absolutely loved it when we lived in Florida. We later moved and encountered hills where the lack of power that was never even a factor before came into play at times.
Our other car is a 1994 Toyota Corolla (next in line for replacement until MPV crash). I'm trying to keep payment reasonably low as I figure Corolla won't last forever. So far, though, pretty good.
Thanks for any help / insight.
#1482 of 2519 To "my two..."
Jul 08, 2004 (5:20 pm)
The original series of Villager/Quest, which is no longer being made as a joint venture, is an outstanding vehicle with a great engine. My wife drives our 2000 Villager, and we both think very highly of it. We bought it brand new. They generally require little to no upkeep beyond routine maintenance such as oil changes. Ours was one of the best automotive bargains we have ever acquired. There are probably some good used ones still available.
Jul 09, 2004 (6:44 am)
Does the "poor" rating for offset crashes not bother you? It's what's making me hesitate ... I test-drove one and loved it (a 2002 with 15K). Our old MPV was an excellent car and we had no plans to replace it... I could just be extra-skittish at this point because of the crash. My side air bag (Does Quest/Villager have one?) deployed. I don't know that it really made a difference in survival or injury -- it was the first time I've ever had anything deploy. Mazda rated "acceptable" for offsets, but I'm not sure how much better that is.
#1484 of 2519 Re: Towing with a 2001 Quest SE [corsicachevy #1480]
Jul 09, 2004 (4:15 pm)
I have a 2k Quest. I just got back from a 4th of July camping trip with our popup camper. My camper only weighs 1000lbs and the van pulled it ok. If I was in traffic or driving within city limits I turned off the overdrive. All in all I'd say the Quest worked ok as an occasional tow vechile. As far as the Xmission oil cooler I'm not sure if that is necessary for occasional tow jobs, I'd like hear opinions on that as well.
#1485 of 2519 ownership update
by steve_ HOST
Jul 11, 2004 (11:48 pm)
I just updated my gas and maintenance logs tonight.
93,330 miles (purchased my '99 Quest GXE 12/31/98).
Cost to operate:
$862.66 for taxes and registration.
$3,141.70 for insurance.
$7,860.85 for gas (est. $1.80 a gallon - 6373
$2,617.16 expenses (service/tires/accessories)
$7,675.00 TMV (clean, private party)
$15,106.00 depreciation (paid $$22,781)
So, 16 cents to own and operate; 32 cents a mile with depreciation included in the cost of ownership.
My mpg is at an all time high of 21.3 combined, and I had two tanks in a row back in March of 29+ - one was 29.95 so I almost broke 30 for the first time!. The worse tank in the last 10,000 miles was 15.21.
Non-scheduled maintenance includes front brakes and a battery. $1,138 was for scheduled maintenance and $293 was for aftermarket stuff and $956 was for 9 tires, a rim and a few flats.
My driver's side power window is still balky (JimZ? <g>) and I had to reglue the side mirror for the 5th (?) time the other day from where I dropped a canoe on it. I haven't had to clean the throttle body for a while now.
Otherwise no problems to speak of. I'm looking forward to a big bill for a new timing belt and plugs, fan belts, hoses and fluids in the next year or so.
#1486 of 2519 Changing spark plugs
Jul 12, 2004 (8:11 am)
Looking at my 2000 Villager's engine, the changing of the plugs should be straight forward. I had essentially the same engine in a Pathfinder I owned a while back. I did serious acrobatics changing the plugs at 60K miles. It has everything to do with the layout of the engine-- front to back versus side to side.
#1487 of 2519 Nissan Quest Cupholder
Jul 12, 2004 (10:07 am)
I have a 2000 Nissan Quest and on the front cup holders one of them no longer will hold its position a keep a cup stable. Is there anyway to repair this, or how can I replace it myself?
#1488 of 2519 Re: Changing spark plugs [wtd44]
by steve_ HOST
Jul 12, 2004 (10:33 am)
On my '99 Quest, I can't even find one of the plugs. Looks like a big pain to replace three of them. I don't think I have enough socket extenders and swivel joints (or knuckle skin) to attempt it.