really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
100,948 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. the dealer ordered and replaced subframe (3 reports)
  3. replaced the subframe (1 reports)
2004 Nissan Quest body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Nissan Quest Owner Comments

problem #12

May 072014

Quest SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,595 miles


We love this van and have BABIED it since new. Synthetic oil changes, weekly car washes and yearly rustproofing. Then, to find out that the subframe was rotten because of either sub-quality materials and/or poor drain location for the air conditioner was a shock to say the least. To further rub salt in the wound, the sub-frame of the 2 sister vehicles (Altima and Maxima) have hidden warranties for 14 years to cover exactly this issue. Nissan KNOWS this is a huge safety issue but refuses to do anything for the lowly van owner. I will once again contact Nissan Canada but I'm not holding my breath...

- , Calgary, AB, canada

problem #11

Feb 072014

Quest SE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,459 miles

click to see larger images

rotting subframe rotting subframe

We have loved this van for many years but poor engineering decisions have lately made us rethink our decision to continue to invest in Nissan products. Why? Because 2 of the other have happened in rapid succession and neither of them were preventable because they were "baked into" the design. Let's look at the 3 most common issues:

1) Subframe on the passenger side completely rots out because of water dripping from the A/C unit. Oh, and rustproofing will not help as we sadly found out -- $2000 later 2) Unlike almost every other vehicle made, the Quest ECM unit is mounted under the hood and above the engine -- basically out in the elements where water can get at the electronics. Google it and if you don't catch it early and prime/seal it, you will have another $1500 repair to deal with 3) The roof with all the cool glass leaks like a sieve for lots of folks. Can relentless and annoying. Only upside is on dry days, it's not a problem Nissan has to invest in a water chamber (or at least borrow a garden hose).

Oh, and if these 3 don't bankrupt you, wait until the enviable timing chain rattle arrives (and it's coming regardless of what you do). To keep the timing chain tight and rattle free, there is a slack arm which pushes against it. Unfortunately, almost every VQ35 engine (all 12 million of them) uses a badly designed plastic guide in the slack arm and it does not last the life of the vehicle as it should. About 7 cents worth of plastic breaks off the plastic guide slides down the slack arm. With the guide out of position, the hydraulic piston can't reach the slack arm and then the dreaded "ticking" noise starts. Luckily, it only takes about 2 days of labor and $700 in parts to fix it.

Maybe the later years were better and as they say, your mileage may vary.

- , Calgary, AB, canada

problem #10

May 282014

Quest SE 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

After spending about $2500 on various routine and other repairs (listed separately) I took my van in to a mechanic to have the air conditioner fixed (too much freon will cause the AC to blow hot then cold then hot...). I was so relieved that someone had finally figured out the AC problem and went to pick up the van ready to drive it to Florida from IL in 2 days when...

I arrived to find the van on the lift. The mechanic wanted to show me the rust and gaping hole in the bottom under the engine on the passenger side and to warn me that there was no way I should drive my family of 5 1900 miles in it. That it was extremely dangerous. We could hit a pot hole and loose control or it could all collapse. I am waiting to hear what the cost of replacing this cradle is, but the guy didn't look too confident it was worth it.

But hey, at least I have a brand new timing chain.......grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

- , Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #9

Apr 162014

Quest SL 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,448 miles


Excellent vehicle until you realize that NEGLIGENCE AND CHEAP MATERIAL can be the potential family disaster; it is sad that such a company as NISSAN is not doing anything to fix the subframe in the quest model, meanwhile many people trying to sell this vehicles as is "good looking vans but potential killers".

I was so proud of driving this van.

- , London, Ontario, Canada

problem #8

Dec 092013

Quest SL 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,570 miles

click to see larger images

rotting subframe rotting subframe rotting subframe rotting subframe

Purchased the 2004 model vehicle new in March of 2005. Drove the vehicle 2 years in Vermont weather and 7 years in the Philadelphia area. The vehicle is always in a garage and used to run errands. You can see from the photos uploaded that the right front end subframe is severely rotted where it is a hazard to drive. Thank goodness this was discovered by the required yearly PA state inspection as who knows what may have happened to my family occupants and others on the road. You can also see from the pictures that other parts of the undercarriage are in considerably good condition.

The sub frame running the length of the vehicle has no issues and light surface rust and the front end wheel assembly right next to the problem area is the same. All parts are original and have not been replaced. There are 2 rotted holes in the sub frame at the point in question that are larger than a dollar coin. The vehicle not having passed inspection and the hazard that it is can't be driven. To all Quest owners with the same model please have your vehicles checked. I will be following up with Nissan as to what can be done.

- , Chester Springs, PA, USA

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problem #7

Nov 072013

Quest SE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

Had routine maintenance today. Totally surprised that right subframe that holds engine and suspension has a hole rotted through. Quoted $1300 to repair. I'm angry and will be calling Nissan. No reason that a hole should appear after 9 years.

- , Endicott, NY, USA

problem #6

Sep 032012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


Took car in for oil change and dealer noticed the subframe was rotted to the extent that they did not feel safe letting us drive the car home. The called in a Nissan engineer to look at the problem. We are waiting for the engineers opinion. Our dealer has been great so far and has given us a loaner while we wait. It sounds like this is a design flaw that can cause serious injury if not detected.

- , Westlake, OH, USA

problem #5

May 022013

Quest SE 3.5L 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

I went to the dealer to have brakes and rotors checked before pulling my camper this summer. Had ball joint replaced, new rotors, new front brakes installed. The quote was $1000 for this work. A bit much, but I am no mechanic and this is what it costs. I had the work done. Got a call 2 hours later and was told the vehicles right front frame was rotted out and the vehicle was unsafe to drive. It would cost $2500 more to have this fixed. Having 218,000km on it and being 10years old I said not to fix it. So I paid $1000 for work on a vehicle I can't even drive.

The dealer showed me the damage. I poked my finger through the frame. I have had other vehicles older than this in our northern climate and never have seen anything like this. Now I google Quest rust problems and see I am not the only one with this issue.

- , Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, canada

problem #4

Nov 102012

Quest SL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

8 year old Nissan rotting from below. No rust on Panels.Car looks new. Used synthetic oil so engine with 65k is like new. And they might have to be junked because subframe is rusted to sh*t. Stay away.


problem #3

Sep 012012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Had terrible experience. Waited 7 days to get a decision from Nissan corporate about possibly playing a part in covering repairs. I was expected to pay for own rental for these days with no reimbursement....they are not obligated to offer good customer service. The final decision was that they refused to assist with the repairs even though it was obvious that the, slightly larger than tennis ball sized, rust hole and rusting of entire right side of subframe were caused by a continual drip from the AIR CONDITIONER. Apparently it does not drain appropriately and pools right at this important structural part. It is a design flaw that should be recalled and fixed by Nissan. They said it is rare to have such problems, but I wonder if others even know it is happening. Please check your quest out. Accidents from the engine dropping out and wheel sliding out can be fatal. As people bring forth their complaints and voice similar issues, a recall may actually happen. I may be SOL, but hopefully started the process for others by starting a claim with them. Just make sure you find a dealer that will give you a loaner car while you wait for their slow decision on your case. good luck.

- , Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #2

Nov 092011

Quest SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,305 miles

OKAY. No beef with the dealer, but I have had many older vehicles and have never had a rotting parts problem with any of them despite living in the road salt capital of the USA. The y-valve rotted, the catalytic converter fell off when they tried to replace it due to rot-the subframe rotted, the oil pressure line rotted

- , Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 152011

Quest SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

A 7 year old vehicle should not be rotting out. I've had 15 year old cars that are still fine. This car has been kept in a garage and I've done all the right maintenance.

Nissan has had quite a few known issues with Altima and Maxima, which according to Wikipedia share the same FF-L Platform: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_FF-L_platform

The Altima and Maxima are covered under warranty, but for some reason the Quest has not. Meanwhile my van is out of commission because it won't pass inspection. Grrr!

- , Williamsville, NY, USA

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