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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • podpod Posts: 176
    I was reluctant to buy a mercury in 2000 but decided to go with the sable LS premium sedan. I have owned it for seven plus years now and can report that I am very pleased with the quality of the car and its reliability. There have been no major issues at all. It feels like it still has about 80-85% of the pep it had when new and there are no noises or squeaks (except the driver window seal whistle). I average about 23 mpg mostly city. For $20K it had all the features (keyless entry, automatic headlamps, etc) and they have all held up. Most remarkably I have not had to replace the exhaust pipes yet which pleases me. They must make them out of good quality stainless steel. My fords used to need tailpipes (everything below the catalytic converter) every four years or so. So I write to say I am pleased and have respect for the mercury engineers. Good job.
  • rogerb34rogerb34 Posts: 30
    Purchased used from Lincoln dealer 22k miles $11.5k out the door. Its a retro 1967 Galaxie we sold when it was 21 years old. Similar color - Windveil Blue. We owned an 87 Sable GS until March 08. Gave it to my daughter in excellent condition. I can make a Ford run and that's why the 05 Sable for my wife. My ride is an 05 Accord EXL V6 coupe. The 05 Sable is about 75 percent engineering to the Honda. That's why Ford is in trouble.
  • I have a 1999 Ford Taurus Wagon. To avoid a wreck I put the car into reverse from drive and accelerated hard. The tires squeaked and all of the sudden the car made a grinding noise. When I put it up it into any other gear it made the same noise. I can only put it in park or neutral. When I jacked it up onto stands and put it in drive it makes the grinding noise only when my foot is on the brake. When I release the brake the wheels spin. I was thinking the problem could be a broken halfshaft either on the left or right side, but I am not sure. If you are experienced and have any knowledge on this please post back.
  • maynardmmaynardm Posts: 1
    94 sable w/3.8 engine and 72000 original miles. transmission last serviced at 69000 miles with no problems. system flushed and new filter. the transmission seems to slip or is sluggish after getting up to temp and in overdrive. Problem not present when not using OD.
  • goldbond1goldbond1 Posts: 1
    have a problem with a 1993 mercury sable 3.8 v6 rev up to 2000 rpm and car shts down even while driving otherwise runs great help please
  • I noticed that whenever the temperature dips below freezing the overdrive
    won't engage for the first 10-15 minutes of driving. I asked my dealer if I was having
    the stuck solenoid problem mentioned on the maintenance & repair
    discussion. They explained that the torque converter needs to be at a
    certain temperature. This seems odd that the overdrive is actually the
    locking of the torque converter. My old Regal had a separate overdrive
    gear ratio from the lock up feature. This is rather annoying since I have
    a short highway commute and it impacts my winter mileage.

    2001 SEL Duratec 24V
  • patjapatja Posts: 1
    I heard a lound clunk only to find outthat the spring or strut in theleft front end had broken and that the left front tire was loose. There may be a problem with the ball joint and now, I guess I'm looking at a costly repair. Any comments on a loose stut or ball joint collapse?
  • podpod Posts: 176
    Almost ten years and 138,000+ miles and I must compliment the engineers at Mercury (Ford). No major problems and what is most remarkable is what I have not had to do:
    1) no unexpected major repairs except fuel pump replacement in subzero weather with a low tank (I have since learned not to let it go low since the gas cools (or in this case warms) the pump. Probably my bad.
    2) one brake job.
    3) one serpentine belt
    4) no bulbs replaced or electrical problems
    5) original headlights and lamps
    6) good power and pickup (about 85% of new performance).
    7) still the original fuel filter (I am going to change it since I recently learned that change is recommended every 15K miles--gads am I lucky to get 140K?)
    8) the original spark plugs.
    9) I changed the transmission fluid and brake fluid once at about 100K.
    10) The leatherette drivers seat and back window panel are creased, broken and falling off but that's easily covered or fixed.
    11) one battery replacement.
    12) new front stabilizer links and lower ball joints at 130K.
    13) original exhaust system with no issues (remarkable).
    14) original air conditioner charge and ice cold air delivery.
    15) good fuel economy approx 20 city and 30 highway with cruise control at 65-70mph.
    16) no complaints ergonomically or otherwise.

    If you get the idea I strongly endorse the product and the engineering at Ford. I am very pleasantly surprised. I used to own a BMW and expensive repairs and replacements were the rule not the exception, even the drive shaft needed to be replaced, brakes every 25K, horrendously expensive.
  • savethelandsavetheland Posts: 671
    I have 127K miles on 2002 Mercury Sable and did not have any problems at all.

    Fuel filter has to be changed every 30K miles. I did not change serpantine belt, brakes though. Changed battery once and tires also once (better change because stock tires suck).

    Spark plugs must be changed at 100K and it is expensive. Do not forget to replace also wires.
  • Did you ever find an answer to this? It's happening to me also and the tranny has been replaced.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    I had scratched my drivers side headlight lens with an abrasive cleaner and decided to try a walmart product rather than try to replace it (expensive since the whole unit has to be replaced; you can't just replace the plastic outer lens). It is called "CV" or something like that. It is in a 10"x8" aluminum foil package and costs $20. It has specifically and clearly marked abrasive papers and cleaner and sealant and provides all you need (except a source of water--recommend spray bottle to keep lens wet during first rubbings).
    It takes about 20 minutes each side to follow the instructions and the lenses are looking like brand new. I couldn't believe how well this worked. The lenses are like brand new and clear as new glass! No hard work required just persistent gentle rubbing as in the instructions. The capper is that it seals the finished product with a hardener which should make a repeat in 10 years unnecessary. This is a rare product which does what it says for $20. I wanted to pass this on simply because it is so good and inexpensive.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    Had the time today to change the fuel filter. Cost about $9 at walmart. The hardest part is getting a safe elevation of the passenger rear of the tire. I have a floor jack and put it on one on the wishbones with a 2x6 between. Once off the ground the filter and hoses are very accessible with just my head under the car. The prep is: (1) remove fuse 16 from engine fuse box. This is power to the fuel pump. (2) start the car and let it use up the fuel between the pump and injectors (2-3 minutes then it stalled). This prevents high pressure in the lines and spraying gas when you break the connection. (3) a regular (non-phillips) screwdriver. (4)some rags to soak up the inevitable drippage of gasoline when you are removing the filter. (safety glasses just in case).
    The plastic clips can be lifted from the fuel hose with the tip of the screw driver (think of lifting a staple from wood with a screwdriver). Gentle pressure and they come off in one piece (the filter comes with a pair as well if you break them). Then pry the end of the hose off the fuel cannister with the flat blade of the screwdriver. They came off easily even after 140K miles. The cannister is secured with a radiator hose clamp. Unscrew it, jiggle the cannister out of the protective metal shield (there to prevent road debris from rusting the cannister) and reverse these steps to connect the new cannister.
    Once done turn the key from off to on (but not start) 5-10 times. You will hear the fuel pump come on strongly at first and then more quietly. Turn the key to start and off you go. It didn't even have to crank more than usual.
    The drainage from the pump side of the cannister was foul looking: black-brown but liquid, no sludge or large particulate pieces. I haven't cut the cannister open yet to see the inside situation.
    Further reading of how often to change the fuel filter has convinced me that they don't need to be changed very often. New Toyotas, I read, say it never needs to be changed. I have read other stories about fuel filters not being changed for 250K. The symptom of a clogged filter would be hesitation and reduced acceleration and reduced top speed (none of which I noted at 140K miles). One poster made a good point,however. He opined that the fuel pump has to work harder to push the fuel through a partially spent filter and that would shorten the life of the pump. Certainly the back pressure on the pump for a given flow would be higher. Since replacing the fuel pump requires dropping the gas tank it is expensive.
    In any case I think everyone can be confident that changing the filter every 40-50K is more than sufficient.
    Again kudos to the design engineers. Many cars require a special tool to disconnect the hoses from the cannister. Also every thing is right there in front of you and easily accessible.
    Takes about 45 minutes the first time. I will never change it again but if I had to I could do it in 20 minutes now that I know the routine.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    I noticed you said the plugs "must" be changed at 100,000 miles. I'm at 140,000+ and the car is running fine. I understand that this is a long time for plugs to last but if the car runs smoothly and I get good mileage (about 24 mpg average city and highway) I am reluctant to mess around with the electronics. When I look under the hood I can't even see where the plugs are (the black plastic covers and the fuel injector rail may obscure them). Has any one had experience changing the plugs on a 2000-2006 Sable, is it difficult, does it require any special tools or skill? I have plenty of experience changing plugs on old carbeurated cars with distributors but the electronic ignition and fuel injection changes have made me a bit timid to poke around. Any advice?
  • savethelandsavetheland Posts: 671
    You have to remove upper manifold with MAF, air filter and etc. There are some manuals on the net with pictures and tricks how to do that. You have to order gaskets too. I decided to not bother myself with it because it is not couple of hours work esp if you are not trained on the subject. If something goes wrong it will disable your car for several days or week. I changed plugs at 90 miles service at dealership and it costs a lot of money, I believe something like around $400 or may be $500.
  • podpod Posts: 176
    Thanks for that information. I'll pass on the preventative maintenance and wait for symptoms and then let the dealer do the job. If it does cost that much, that would be the first substantive criticism I have of the engineering of the car.
  • savethelandsavetheland Posts: 671
    Yeah, thats what sucks about Fords (and may be other American cars) - unlike German engineers they do not design cars for easy maintainance.
  • ynwia1ynwia1 Posts: 1
    I have a 06 Taurus SE, 3.0L 12v, Engine Code U. 40K miles. Bought at 27K miles. A few days ago, I drove 3 miles to a store, turned off the engine and this happened.

    It will start, but the engine vibrates and sputters like misfire. Engine light is one. Hit on the gas and the engine is not running faster or responding. The car would not go either. There is also dark smoke coming out of the tail pipe.

    This car has a history of hard cold start. I had to try 2-4 times to start the engine in the morning. Meanwhile, I had to hit on the gas pedal hard while cranking the engine. I have got 9 codes:

    1. P0190: Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit Malfunction, or Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor "A" Circuit

    2. P0191: Fuel Rail Pressure Circuit Range/Performance, or Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor "A" Circuit Range/Performance

    3. P2196: O2 Sensor Signal Biased/Stuck Rich Bank 1 Sensor 1

    4. P2198: O2 Sensor Signal Biased/Stuck Rich Bank 2 Sensor 1

    5. P0190(pd): Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit Malfunction

    6. P0191(pd): Fuel Rail Pressure Circuit Range/Performance

    7. P0300(pd): Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected

    8. P2196(pd): Undefined code

    9. P2198(pd): Undefined code

    Any idea what could cause the problem? How to find out which part to replace? Thanks a lot
  • podpod Posts: 176
    I am not an expert but I will start the speculation and perhaps some real mechanics will be draw in. At first I thought it sounded like a fuel delivery problem. If there was a problem with the fuel pump, the fuel filter (unlikely unless you got a bad batch of gas which had particualtes in it which is said to be unlikely these days because there are filters in the pumps at the gas station), or some constriction before the fuel rail, the low pressures would set off the po190 and po191 sensors and the car would not fire properly and might start hard for a few days before the full failure. The lack of fuel would cause random multiple cylinder misfires po300. The hooker is that the oxygen sensor codes seem to be saying that the exhaust is running rich. I would expect a "lean" code if the fuel delivery was limiting.

    Let's hope someone can pick it up from there. It is possible to measure the fuel rail pressure. There is a valve just like the ones on a bicycle tire which is very visible about the middle of the engine compartment on the top. It allows measurement of the fuel rail pressure but I am not sure what type of pressure reader it requires (could you use the one you measure tire pressures with?). Another idea is to crank it with the fuel line to the fuel rail disconnected and see if gas squirts out at a good rate. Point it away from the engine compartment with an extension hose if you need to. Be sure the engine is completely cold and nothing is sparking or that may turn out to be a very bad idea.

    I hope someone who knows something chimes in and educates us both.
  • rogerb34rogerb34 Posts: 30
    Car has 34k miles and would start with some cranking and sometimes needed a 10 sec break and recrank.
    I removed the Idle Air Valve and flushed with electric motor cleaner. Starts are ok now.
    The valve had minor exhaust residue and the cleaner flushed out the area not visible.
    Some earlier Sable models had a similar problem.
  • I have a 2002 Mercury Sable that Stalls Intermittently. I read the computer code and the only one that comes up is P0191. I did have a problem with the gas cap where it would not seal properly. I finally got that fixed and the car has been running good until recently when it will start fine, run fine, then I will stop off at the store, come back out and once again it starts up fine then all of a sudden it sputters and dies. I try starting it a couple of times and it starts right up and runs fine again. The code referres to the fuel rail pressure sensor. Has anyone else run into this? So far I have not found any good answers to what is going on. I suppose it could be some kind of contamination due to the loose gas cap but that seems like a stretch.
This discussion has been closed.