October 30, 2012
Ninety minutes after I pulled into the service drive, our long-term Nissan Quest pulled out of the wash bay, and I watched across the parking lot as four guys quickly wiped it down.
The cashier called my name and said the total for the oil change and filter, plus tire rotation was an even $65, for which I handed over my credit card.
I happily pitched my lukewarm mocha from the dealer's complimentary coffee machine, and walked out to meet the Quest.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 23,803.2 miles
October 30, 2012
Finally, we're able to squeeze another attempt at an oil change and tire rotation into the Nissan Quest's busy schedule.
No appointment, but the very helpful service writer at Hooman Nissan, Michael, says he can have the service completed, plus wash the shoe polish off the Quest's windows in an hour or so.
I have plenty of work to do for the SEMA show, so I'm happy to wait it out.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 23,803 miles
October 23, 2012
The morning after I climbed behind the wheel of our 2012 Nissan Quest and first saw the oil change (and filter and tire rotation) warnings, I did what Nissan probably intended; I headed for the nearest Nissan dealer.
But it wasn't as easy as that.
First, where is the nearest Nissan dealer, anyway? I went straight to the navigation system looking for a "nearest Nissan dearler" hot button in the POI list, but found nothing. So I typed "Nissan" into the POI "nearest to my location" search box, and it came back with list of 3 or 4 dealers, the closest of which was 11.8 miles away.
"That's not right," I grumbled.
So I turned to my iPhone and searched for "Nissan" and was rewarded with 3 choices that were less than 10 miles away. How had the iPhone beaten the navigation system? The closest iPhone result was "Stadium Nissan", and the navigation system hadn't found it because the first word in my search wasn't "Stadium". When I studied the navigation system list I noticed it had only returned results along the lines of "Nissan of <insert name here>."
Things didn't go much better when I finally got to Stadium Nissan, where I backed out of the service drive and headed home with the old oil still aboard after a couple of minutes.
As has already been established, the Quest needed nothing more than an oil change and tire rotation. So I pulled into the clearly marked Express Lane, which according to my understanding is a way for dealers to recover business lost to places like Jiffy Lube.
"Name?" asked the service writer, looking at his clipboard -- before "Hello" or "Good Morning" I might add.
"Huh?" I stammered before catching on. "Oh, I don't have a reservation. I only need an oil change and rotation. I'm here for the Express service," I continued while pointing at the sign over our heads.
"Yeah, well," he replied, "we're kind of busy. Let me go ask my manager."
After a brief huddle out of earshot he came back with the news.
"It'll be at least and hour and 45 minutes."
"Did you say an hour OR 45 minutes?" I asked hopefully.
"No. An hour AND 45 minutes, maybe more."
My vision of sitting in the dealer's waiting room, thumbing casually through an old magazine while trying not to listen to the blare from the TV was good for 30 minutes, maybe 45 tops. Their definition of "Express" was hopelessly out of line with mine. That I would need a reservation never even crossed my mind.
"No thanks. I'll handle it some other time."
Some other time indeed. I would have bought a filter and some oil on the way home and handled it myself within the hour but my parents were due in from out of town in a couple of hours and I needed to clean up, not oil down.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 23,298 miles
October 22, 2012
As I started our 2012 Nissan Quest in the parking garage I was greeted with this prominent oil change reminder on the navigation screen. I had to click the "OK" button before it would go away. Incidentally, the "change this setting" part refers to a user defineable oil change interval.
But that wasn't the only reminder that the Quest served up.
October 5, 2012
Adding air to the tires in our long-term 2012 Nissan Quest is easy. Checking the oil isn't easy at all.
There's still a conventional dipstick, and it's located near the front edge of the engine compartment, but it's buried a couple inches down. As a result, you're not going to want to reach for it during a 5- to 10-minute fuel stop lest you burn your hand. And even after everything's cooled down, it's hard to reach it without getting your hands dirty.
Putting the dipstick back in isn't easy, either, as the filler tube is set an angle, and the dipstick itself is flexy so that it can slither into place. When the light is low, as in a garage, you'll need a flashlight (or your phone) to see it back into place.
With this setup, Nissan is pretty much ensuring that only the geekiest Quest owners will check their oil between maintenance visits. I'm sure someone there has data on the small percentage of minivan owners who actually pop the hood, but still, burying the dipstick makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
October 4, 2012
Oh, it looks like just another day at a slightly cruddy gas station in Long Beach, California, but today I topped up the pressure in our long-term 2012 Nissan Quest's tires. And I used the Easy-Fill tire pressure alert system. And I persuaded my spouse to make a video of the system in action so you can hear the horn honking at me to stop adding air.
How have we managed to drive this minivan over 22,000 miles without using this feature until now? Well, to activate Easy-Fill, you have to leave keyless remote in (or in very close proximity) to the Quest and then press the start button a couple times -- once to engage Accessory mode, and then a second time to engage the "On" position (without starting the engine). Normally, of course, when we check tire pressure, we just turn the vehicle completely off and keep the key on us, so it's easy to forget the feature exists.
So once you're in "On," all you do is starting filling the tires and wait for the honk.
June 27, 2012
Yep, it's officially summer, so I'm hitting the road with the family for a little driving vacation to Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon and whatever else looks interesting along the way.
Picking the Quest was a no brainer since it has more than enough room, a great DVD screen in back and comfortable seats up front. Checked all the fluids and aired the tires to the proper levels before heading out, so it should be smooth sailing, right? Let's hope so.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor
June 01, 2012
This warning popped up on the way to drop our 2012 Nissan Quest off at the dealer for its 15,000-mile service. We took it back to Huntington Beach Nissan, which also saw it at the 7,500-mile interval. This visit was equally as pleasant as the last.
We made an appointment for 8am. When we arrived the porter greeted us at the door and led us to our advisor. It wasn't the same guy we saw last time. So as usual we started with our guard up. We anticipated his recommendations for a fuel system flush and premature cabin air filter replacement and politely declined both. He didn't push the issue.
Before we realized it 45 minutes had passed and our van was ready. The oil/filter change, tire rotation and inspections were complete. But the most entertaining part of our visit was still to come...
As I waited for the van to be pulled around the porter approached me.
Porter: What car are you waiting on, sir?
me: A Quest.
Porter: What color?
me: It's a silver Quest.
Porter: Oh yeah, that good looking one. Let me check on it.
Maybe I'm easily entertained, but this made me smile. Sometimes it's nice to hear people make the effort to tell you what they think you want to hear. At least when it's something innocent like this. If he knew how unattractive I find the Quest to be he may have responded differently. Still, I'm going to give him a point for customer service. We would return to this dealer again.
Total Cost: $45.83
Days out of Service: None
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 15,475 miles
April 17, 2012
We paid a visit to the dealer to address an open recall campaign on our 2012 Nissan Quest. The recall required the Quest go under the knife for an electronic nip and tuck. After about 45 minutes the reprogramming was complete and we were on our way.
Despite the construction in progress, Huntington Beach Nissan was efficient. We were in and out in what we considered a reasonable amount of time, especially since we didn't have an appointment. It also worked to our advantage that the waiting room was empty when we arrived. Maybe this next picture explains why...
April 13, 2012
Our 2011 Nissan Quest has a screen that allows you to manually program maintenance warning intervals. You've probably seen something like it before. It isn't new to Nissan products. Unlike this photo suggests, we set ours to match the 7,500 prescribed routine maintenance intervals outlined by Nissan.
What this feature does not do is remind you to post a blog after you take the car in for service. We dropped ours off at Huntington Beach Nissan for fresh oil, a new filter and a tire rotation about a month ago. Then the invoice sat here on my desk collecting dust until now. Sorry, boss.
Total Cost: $80.94
Days out of Service: None
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager
April 09, 2012
And the worst part is that I don't know when or where it happened. At least it's small, and down by the dashboard, so it's not really interfering with the driver's line of sight.
March 05, 2012
Nissan is recalling 23,531 2011-'12 Quest minivans because the engine may stall, according to NHTSA.
Stalling may occur while driving at slow speeds or idling on a decline with one-quarter tank of fuel or less. The problem is due to software programming, which may cause an insufficient supply of fuel to the engine.
To fix the problem, Nissan dealers will reprogram the fuel pump control module.
The recall is expected to begin around March 15.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor