Last post on Nov 01, 2013 at 11:29 AM
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Nissan Quest, Mercury Villager, Van
#373 of 513 Re: 2006 Quest 3.5 SE - Battery/Electrical Problems [frankarthur]
May 17, 2011 (4:51 am)
When you have the problem: the engine would rev-up, but no acceleration. It often tells your transmission may have problem. That's why the towing guy tried to shift to reverse to see if it work. Nonetheless, it may work sometime and not working sometimes depends on if transmission gear up, and that all needs "strong electricity". When your battery not supplying enough electricity, any good car may start behaves odd.
Therefore, always keep in mind that "electricity" is often the root cause of problems came from "no problem car", and it seems you problem all came from a "dead battery".
The "dead battery" not necessarily a dead one, it often because the charging system not charge enough or died, i.e. the alternator. In any case, you can check yourself very easily, saving all the trips.
You get a voltmeter at auto parts store, very cheap, and do the following simple measurement.
1. just measure the battery voltage to see if it is 12.66 at cold.
1a. measure the battery, put one plug on "connection to red pole" and another on battery black pole. (if red connect bad, you see it is not 12.66)
1b. do the same thing but on black pole connection.
1c. if you see your voltmeter do not have steady reading, that means your connection is not fully connected or corroded, need to clean. If you only got about 50% connected that will give you non deterministic result, sometimes car work, sometimes not, also your charging system (alternator) may not be able to charge 100% back to your battery, soon or later, your battery will die, but it may take a long time. (it will make you feel somewhere "leaking electricity", but is NOT).
2. turn on the engine and do the measure again to see if your alternator is charging your battery. If it does, the reading should be something like 14+ depending on temperature and state of your battery.
2a. b. again measure the way stated above to see how stable your charging system charges your battery, or at all. The alternator is NOT that easy to die (e.g. my Nissan Quest 94 still has original alternator; I bought it new and 17 years passed!), but is expensive to replace, so many inexperienced or dishonest auto services love to direct you to change your alternator at your panic.
3. You may often find your alternator is good and battery is bad because your "connection" is corroded and not 100% conduct the electric current either from your battery to dozens places in your car that need it, or not allow alternator 100% charging your battery, eventually run low the battery. Even worse, that creates non deterministic behavior of your car. e.g. when battery low, you may see your dashboard half lighting, half ok, and/or your left turn signal light not flashing ...etc. Keep in mind, nothing wrong with your car, just not enough electric current.
3a. get an electric charger from auto parts store, very cheap, and charge your battery for 15 minutes or so, it is back to normal but run low. Better charge overnight and it became a good one again. If you let your car charges your battery back full, it may take over 2 hours of highway run in day time, without letting headlight on.
p.s. I went to UC Berkeley both under and graduate major in electrical engineering and computer science. I got top score at Circuit Theory there.
#374 of 513 1995 Villager GS - Stall - Please Help.Thank you.
May 31, 2011 (10:38 pm)
My 1995 Villager GS just around 125,000k runs good during winter or cold weather ,but in summer if i turn my A/C for few times(20 minutes every hour) or/and drive around busy traffic Van will stall with out any shake or reason !!! Van never over heat , have full battery power, coolants,enough gas . it will start again but die in few seconds with symptoms of spitting,chocking . if engine start to runs again but won't move as i shift to drive or reverse and seems like not getting enough gas or power to move. Then wait 15-20 minutes without trying to start any more then Van runs fine again. Did Changed spark plugs and wires,distributor cap,new fuel filter,air filter but it still happen every time if use A/C in hot days. Some day its runs fine but its not all the time.I really have no luck to figure out and when ever i take it to mechanic its runs fine ! Family with kids its really scare me all the time when i drive . Please help me out if you know what i am trying to explain about my Van and the symptoms. Thank you all for your time,help and advice.
#375 of 513 Re: 1995 Villager GS - Stall - Please Help.Thank you. [sam1995]
Jun 01, 2011 (4:59 am)
It seemed to me your van is good, except your battery is NOT fully charged. During winter time when day time is much shorter and people drive to work or back from home need to turn on headlights that did not allow more charge to battery, so when spring comes, especially after a few winters, battery may be low, and when summer comes and a/c turned on, may cars may have battery died, use up the last bid of saving of electricity.
Now, coming to the van, when my Nissan Quest 94 battery with low reserve, it often can still crank, but it will kind of prioritize which part to use the electricity and which part to wait like PSE&G in NJ to maintain electricity use. For example, the turn lights may blink very fast and normal when sufficient electricity, but when lower, it may blink slower, and when even lower electricity, it will just blink a few times and at the very lowest electricity, it just light up once and no blink.
It may sounds non deterministic or fell like lighting system problem, but it is not, it is all because low electricity in the battery. So, to cure it, I just get an electric charger to charge the battery for a few hours, the battery gradually coming back normal, and all other problem all gone. If you charged a barely die battery to a full normal, it may take 4 or 5 overnight charge.
Now, coming back to your description. In winter time, you did not need to turn on a/c which drain lots of electricity from your battery which may need to charge. In summer, not only you start using a/c, the busy traffic also cause lots of electricity on "brakes", when you hit break, say, at traffic light, you use lots of electricity, e.g. your 3 break lights all ON, and continually ON as long as your break not release, say, at red light, and, you may not realize that your "alternator" is not generate back electricity as low RPM at idle.
When you say you have "full battery power", I believe you only got enough to crank your engine, just like a bank account has only $100 all the time, it is sufficient to do simple shopping, but when you need to do big ones like a/c, you are not enough, you may charge it up to $10,000, as when it is new. Battery really need maintenance to charge back every year before winter and after winter to keep it up like cell phone battery that you never want to run at just one bar, but regularly charge up to full or 4 bars.
When you say your engine spitting and chocking, it is because your battery low and current not flow stably. Keep in mind, it take 3 things to run your engine, "fuel", "air" and "electricity". We run a free AAA function in our town to save every car stall on roadside free, and, once in a while, car died because run out of fuel, but most are due to lack of electricity, i.e. battery die or just connection no good, about 75%, and your battery sounds about to that stage.
Many cars like Nissan Quest has feature to not letting engine move if it detects the battery current is not stable or insufficient. As said, the spart plugs need to fire to burn gas vapor mix of gas and air, and if your electricity is not strong enough, it may spitting or chocking and eventually died, and when it die on the road may or may not start again, so the computer just simply do not let yougo, stay where you are, more safe.
You did good on tuning (i.e. change new spark plugs, wires, and distributor cap) which often make but that would not help much if your battery is weak, if any. Air filter change is often good to give you some more miles and fuel filter to make your fuel flow better, but these two things are like oil filter change, not a dominant factor, only let A become A+ or, in your case, D to become D+.
My solution is simply get an electric charger of, say, $29, do not need fancy one, and do overnight charge every weekend and any weekend you have time for 4 or 5 times, you will see the major difference. I was kind of curious of what the micro change of battery and impact to the whole van, so I just charge 2 hours each morning before I realize my 3 year old battery losing power, and every day it behave better and better. And I realized lots of other facts.
For example, if I only drive the van during day time, because I have extra 2 hour charge, it gets stronger, but if one night I drove a lot, i.e. turning on headlights and a/c, and possibly local, crowd and hit lots of brakes, it became weaker the next day, so after a week or two, I only charge 2 hours in the morning I drove previous nights. When my battery have sufficient electricity, just use volt meter to measure to see if 12.66V before start up engine, I feel everything is normal and great. If you see 12.50V or even lower, you can still crank up engine, but you know not sufficient electricity. Just charge a few hours more.
One other thing about the van is that many family use it a lot in summer time when travel, but winter time often seldom use or just drive locally and due to day light shorter, that implies less charge back battery. And, it is particularly harmful if van not driving for a week or two or longer, even park nicely in garage, and that harmful, one came from electricity not charged back, and many overload circuity in van drain little by little even not turned on. You did not say in your question, but I can guess as it is very normal to many van owners.
You can replace a new battery, but there is no need to, as I have charged my battery from DIE to now alive and strong again. My van had all your symptom and eventually it went even odder. e.g. while driving at night, stop at red lights, the dash board may have half light and half dark, when start again on green, it may not move as it should, did kind of delay move ... Well, now, after weeks of experiments, I know that all because battery low.
When battery low it is hard to tell because when you measure it may be 12.30V vs to normal 12.66V, but that .36V is NOT little lower, if you look at the curve, it is about 90% lower, it can crank and once start, your van use up most new electricity generated from your alternator, but little or none charged back. Imagine charge 2 hours with electric charger while van part in driveway is like charging 2 hours in driving WITHOUT turn on anything to consume electricity at the same time.
#376 of 513 Re: 1995 Villager GS - Stall - Please Help.Thank you. [sam1995]
Jun 01, 2011 (5:29 am)
Just a FYI: My 1999 Villager with the same miles had the same major problems that your describing- I don't know about the winter part because we never made it that far!! After months of checking everything, and changing, replacing and cleaning everything.....it still didn't work. FINALLY, a Nissan dealer said it was the distributor.....a common problem, he said, with this particular van. It has ran wonderful every since I had that simple part replaced. Just a thought....just in case everything else fails. Good Luck!
#377 of 513 Re: 1995 Villager GS - Stall - Please Help.Thank you. [nissanquest94]
Jun 04, 2011 (10:36 pm)
Thank you very very much for your time and very helpful details advice. I really appreciate the time you took for me to answer step by step .its nice to have a good and well informed person like you to help us all. I will sure give a try about battery maintenance and charging steps. It was hot close to 95 degree Temp today and i had to turn the A/C ,cus couldn't bear anymore .well 12pm to 3pm Van was running fine with on and off using A/C but around 3:30pm Van stalled. I just waited around 10 minutes then turn the key on ,van ran good for next 10 more minutes without A/C on then stalled.Then i wait 20 more minutes ,no more A/C on and Van ran fine till i back home 7pm. I use this van for local delivery which means i drive 20 to 40 mins then 5-10 break(parked) then again for 7-8 hours everyday.
I seen another post /advice about my Van to change distributor ! I sure will try to look at battery maintenance 1st to avoid $200 for new or rebuild distributor.
Well thank you again for all your help and i do really appreciate your time and advices.Wish you all the best.
#378 of 513 Re: 1995 Villager GS - Stall - Please Help.Thank you. [vangonebad]
Jun 04, 2011 (10:52 pm)
1st of all i really appreciate your time and advice and thank you very much .I just read the post form a nice person who step by step explain lots of things about the problem.I will give a try to follow his battery maintenance methods hope it will solve my problems. i faced same situation this hot after noon ,Van stalled then wait 20 mins then it ran fine with out using A/C any more.
Yes i would like to change the distributor as you mention you had same problem but it cost over $200 which is kind of out of my reach now but if i have to then i might do it in future . Wish i knew how much you paid for the distributor and the place or site you bought it from. Its 95 degree almost everyday here in summer , i am just praying the Van will not stall when kid and family in the van. Just one thing hard to figure out , why the Van start back after stall but won't move a single inch and stall again till wait 10-20 minutes?
Well thank you again and all the good people here who you all helping us with your time and advices. I really do appreciate every one's kindness and help.Wish you all the best.
#379 of 513 Re: 1995 Villager GS - Stall - Please Help.Thank you. [sam1995]
Jun 05, 2011 (7:54 pm)
Well, when your battery is very low, you may be able to start, and as soon as it starts, the charging system, i.e. the alternator, is charging back your battery.
However, if your battery is very very low, and if you tried to move at the moment, you may not have sufficient electricity for your engine, so it stall again. It happened to my Nissan Quest 94 early this year, and I realized the battery did not have sufficient electricity, so I start "charging back" over night with "electric charger".
In hot temperature with a/c on and driving at traffic, many cars may stall. e.g. Kia Sedona 2002 has this well know problem, and the original alternator may die due to "overheat". If you look at "alternator", it has a circuit board to regulate the current from ac to dc, and any chip, including computer chip, has operating temperature range, when exceed that, it won't work.
And, keep in mind, while your a/c giving you cold air inside the van, it generate much more heat under your hood, and if it is hot temperature like 95, you know under you hood is extremely hot that impact the efficiency of your battery and your alternator at the same time.
So, Kia Sedona 2002 Van has a trick that deal gave to prevent the van died at the situation "driving slowly at traffic while turned on a/c and temperature is extremely hot". It can be used at Nissan Quest van as well. When you are at that situation, turned off a/c and open windows.
On the other hand, if your battery is well charged over night, even at that situation when your alternator may not be functioning as you wish, your a/c still very cold and slow traffic is not a big deal.
If you ever wonder why service vehicle NEVER shut off engine while waiting, it is because even if they are delivery and stopping, while engine running, the alternator is charging back the battery. This extra electricity charging back to battery is a big help to people doing delivery often driving in traffic and may be hot days and need to turn on a/c.
Some people have no patient to charge their battery, so they just replace a new one every 3 to 5 years. Another extreme, I know a guy just bought a brand new BMW, and he charge his battery every night. When battery is always in the state to be full, it is less likely to be corroded and last for longer.
#380 of 513 Re: 1995 Villager GS - Stall - Please Help.Thank you. [sam1995]
Jun 14, 2011 (6:27 pm)
1) Just change the rotor (which is about $12). The rotor is inside the distributor. To access, remove two screws on distributor cap, then remove distributor cap. You will see the rotor sitting on top. Then remove one screw at the side of the rotor. If rotor screw is at in "bad" position and you can't get screwdriver in, put distributor cap back on (without screwing back the distributor cap), then crank engine for 0.5 second. This should turn rotor 180 degrees for easier access to the rotor screw. Remove cap, remove rotor screw, remove rotor. Reinstall new rotor.
2) Or if you can't get a new rotor, just spray the top of the rotor with WD40, scrape metal top with fingernail, wipe clean and reinstall distributor cap. The old rotor of mine was very oxidized.
I installed a new rotor for my 99 Villager today and it purrs like a kitten now.
#381 of 513 Re: 2000 villager lurching [mike1811]
Jun 15, 2011 (7:19 am)
It seems to me your dad's 2002 Villager losing electricity on the battery. Always remember it takes electricity from battery to run the engine because the spark plugs need to fire at the combustion stage to burn the gas vapor.
When your Dad ran up RPM that does not change the voltage of alternator charging your battery, however, it shall increase the current flowing into your battery which, I believe, was running very low. Just like if your ATM card has very low balance, and you may be able to buy milk or egg, and you deposit $20 every so often, but once in a while you get rejected when buying bigger item, but you can deposit $100, and you would be fine again till next time hit the big ticket item.
This is typical to low battery which has been "dead" and jump and alive again, people often just replace a new battery, or get an electric charger to jump over night each week, and about 4 or 5 times, your battery shall be close to new, and it makes sense to charge your car battery every quarter to maintain it; alternator charging often not enough in winter time when excessive electricity used such as head light in the morning to work and also in the evening back home, and heater fan, and traffic hours stop and go for the brake (when you got stopped at red light, while you holding brake, your 3 break lights are ON!)
Eventually when your battery so low, you will either take many cranks to start up or NO able to at all and need jump start from other car or jump starter. As a no brainer, if finally can crank up, let engine run 15 to 20 minutes without turn on any light, radio, fan, heat, a/c, ...etc, your own alternator may charge back some electricity back to your battery, which would be good for driving again, and when you arrive destination, turn off lights, fan, release brake, ...etc first BEFORE turn off engine, at that moment, your alternator still generating some electricity back to your battery, so you are sure to have sufficient to crank when you need to start the car.
Now, you may realize why service vehicles like UPS, FedEx, ...etc, their truck or cars often do NOT turn off engine while delivery. It is because their vehicles often do stop and go and local driving does not allow alternator generate enough electricity for the consumption, so, here and there, that habit, although, may appear waste gas, but it does guaranteed battery won't die on them, or the situation you mentioned happened, this is especially important in winter time.
So, what you should do is get an "electric charger" at Walmart, Sears, Target, Pep Boys, Auto Zone, Advance Auto Parts, ...etc, about $29, and charge your battery. Before you got the electric charger to give your battery extra electricity, you always want to let your car "warm up" and run for a few minutes before you turn on anything or go to make sure you have sufficient electricity to go, and turn off fan, headlights or a/c, ...etc. whenever possible, especially, approaching to traffic light when RPM down to about 800 RPM and alternator charging less current back into battery. And when you stop and park, always shut off engine last, and let it run for a few more minutes to generate extra electricity for your next crank up.
#367 of 380 2000 villager lurching by mike1811
Dec 07, 2010 (12:39 pm)
My dad owns a 2000 villager and around 1 month ago it started lurching really bad going down the road so he shifted into second gear and ran the RPM's up to almost redline for a few seconds and that cleared it up. however from that point on it does the same thing, You will be going down the road and running good then all of a sudden it will do the same thing. Now just the other day Dad was driving to work and it started acting up again. Well this time it stalled and would not start. Now that it is home it starts only after cranking and cranking. After it starts it spits and sputters. We where told that the mass air flow sensor is the problem so we got on and it made no change. Could this be a vacuum problem? What should I look at next?
#382 of 513 Re: Starting Problem [plegge]
Jun 15, 2011 (11:59 am)
Have you checked your alternator, the charging system back to your battery? Basically, battery died for only a few reasons, but if your alternator is not charging back, even if you got a new battery, will eventually died.
The battery supposed to have 12.66v and even if it is 12.30v it is very low already. I often applied electric charger to charge my battery when it is not 12.66v. It is very handy to have an electrical charger to charge up the battery, and you can measure while engine on to see if the voltage is 14+ volt, if it is, that means your alternator is working. Sometimes, it could be the connection problem from alternator to battery that is bad and letting alternator charging the battery 100%.