Nissan Quest Problems

Ticking Noise When Cold Due to Broken Exhaust Manifold Studs on Nissan Quest

Problem Description and Possible Solution

The exhaust manifold often warps and cracks, breaking off the studs between the cylinder head and the exhaust manifold. The noise may be most noticeable when the engine is cold.

(26 people reported this problem)

Nissan Quest Vehicles With This Problem

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Average mileage: 139,727 (89,000–263,000)
11 model years affected: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, more1997, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008
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Viewing 1-13 of 13 comments
My neighbor and good friend recently gave me their 1996 Nissan Quest. The Quest began making a "ticking" noise when cold, and when they inquired about the cost to repair the problem decided it was time to let the car go. They offered it to me because I like working on cars in my spare time.

The "ticking" noise was clearly coming from the engine compartment and upon inspection I found a small crack in the forward-facing exhaust manifold (transverse mounted V-6). I initially tried to fix the crack with a high temp [2-part] epoxy designed for metal repairs.

I was careful to clean and prepare the repair site as per the instructions and allow the full "cure" time for the epoxy. Initially, the repair was successful. But no more "ticking" from the forward manifold just made it clear I had a similar problem with the other manifold. A clear, but less loud, "ticking" was coming from the backside of the engine. Two things were clear: Exhaust was leaking from something back there and this time it was going to be very hard (maybe impossible) to find and fix the problem. In mini-vans such like the Quest the rear-facing side of the motor as almost inaccessible.

I had to use a small (inspection type) video camera mounted with a light on a long flexible metal probe just to be able to see the area where I believed the leak to be. In order to do any repairs in this area of the engine would require either dropping the engine or raising the body to gain access - not an easy job either way.

The next day as I was driving to the auto parts store and considering my options a terrible odor alerted me to the fact my "high-temp" epoxy fix was not going to work. The fully hardened epoxy melted and was blown out of the crack in the manifold and all the while it produce a stench I can not describe. Please don't try my [failed] repair! Bad, bad idea.

The video inspection did not reveal any cracks in the rear facing exhaust manifold but it looked like the entire manifold was separating from the cylinder head. The Quest has a problem with warping or cracking exhaust manifolds as well as fatigue failure of the manifold bolts. Clearly, one or all these problems may be at work here.

I have not been able to decide what to do. These are my choices:
1)Pay up to $900.00 to have a shop do the repair
2)Do the complicated and time consuming repair myself
3)Donate the van.

I'll let you know what I decide but I'm open to any suggestions or advice available from your readers.

Thank you for your consideration

Stuck Steve
Had the same problem with my 1993 Mercury Villager which is the same 3.0 engine. Nissan and the Mercury village where poorly designed were the exhaust manifold is attached to the engine, believe me, this is quite common with these Mercury Villager and Nissan engines, the screw bolts weaken from heat and pressure and brake off. The leak problem is fixed by tapping the broken bolt out and replacing it with a new bolt along with a new gasket also. Started with a small hum at around 150,000 miles and over 5 years it got so loud that it's was embarrassing to drive, I finally got it fixed at a cost of $350.00. Some repair service depts. will tell you that the engine will need to be dropped in order to repair the brake. My serviceman did it without having to drop the engine. So keep this in mind when you get it repaired. It's inevitable, this will eventually happen on most Nissan and Murcery villagers 3.0 engines with over 150,000 miles.
Studs broke,,,makes noise,... too much to fix it and no one wants to do the job because they can't get at the broken studs
My van has the same ticking noise upon start up and gradually lessens after driving a while. My biggest concern is an exhaust odor that enters the driving compartment. I went so far as to purchase a carbon monoxide detector to avoid poisoning. It's used for local commutes, but I would really like to be able to take longer trips without fear of getting poisoned.
I would really like to know if the rear exhaust manifold can be changed out and an estimate of repair cost. A mechanic tried to weld the manifold, but it still has a problem. Am I better off going to an engine mechanic or an exhaust shop?
First time i crawled under my quest i noticed that on the driver firewall side was missing one of the bolts now two need to nip it be for i blow my heads
exhaust manifold loose and broken bolt/stud.. Makes lots of noise as if i was driving around in a boat.
But good little van . i guess i just have to live with it .
Two exhaust manifold studs are broken off. Engine still runs OK.
Have not fixed the problem
i have a 98 nissan quest....awsome little van...great gas issues...except the ticking noise which i think is my manifold...if anyone else is experiencing this issue also please email me @ jsalmini16@yahoo...thx