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Latest Mercury Sable Repair and Shocks Installation Advice

CarJunky AutoAdvice

1997 Mercury Sable - rear wheels "falling off"

Showing 8 out of 8 Posts
Question From liquidctv on 1997 Mercury Sable - rear wheels "falling off"

I have a 1997 Mercury Sable sedan FWD, with about 130k, that I was driving last summer. The rear wheels were making whirring and wobbling noises that got progressively worse over the summer. On a whim, I replaced the wheel bearings (sealed units), but this had no effect.

Well, the final straw came when I backed out of a parking space, and the left rear wheel wouldn't turn at all. I had to back out with the wheel rubbing against the pavement.

Whatever is holding up the wheels - shocks, struts - has failed. The car is off the road now, but I would like to fix it in the spring. Just want to know where to start, as I have never worked on a suspension before.

Response From melkinny360

The problem is that certain rear suspension subframe components — which were ..... Ford is recalling almost 700000 Mustang and Taurus and Mercury Sable models .... The recall covers vehicles made between 1997 and March 2001 and may not ..... which could cause vibration or result in the wheel and tire falling off.

Response From Hammer Time

The problem is that certain rear suspension subframe components — which were ..... Ford is recalling almost 700000 Mustang and Taurus and Mercury Sable models .... The recall covers vehicles made between 1997 and March 2001 and may not ..... which could cause vibration or result in the wheel and tire falling off.

I checked and find no such recall at all. Let's get our facts right before posting stuff like that.

Response From Nathan47

Fix what's broken! But if it needs struts or brake work or whatever just make sure you do it to both sides. If one side is broken the other side will go soon.

Response From liquidctv Top Rated Answer

Well, I am going to fix both sides. But it was broken anyway, so I don't think driving it made much of a difference. The car is off the road now.

It will roll forwards as before, with a lot of noise. Just wondering what would make the wheels stick. Struts?

Response From Hammer Time

You're not going to find the answer to that on the Internet. The car needs to be inspected to find out what happened.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

"But it was broken anyway, so I don't think driving it made much of a difference."<<

An accident could have killed someone or more! Never mind the car - get it inspected for why it's doing this and fix it. Good - don't drive it as you said till all is well,


Response From Hammer Time

You start but getting a thorough inspection by a competent tech to find out what has happened to it. You already made one serious mistake by continuing to drive it until something broke.

95 mercury sable sputtering when cold or when going uphill?

Showing 2 out of 6 Posts | Show 4 Hidden Posts
Question From Bennyblanco07 on 95 mercury sable sputtering when cold or when going uphill?

So I bought this 95 mercury sable couple months ago off the impound. It is not in the greatest condition, lots of rust, etc but it ran great until I noticed this problem. It either happens when engine is cold or at normal temp when driving uphill at say, 20-30 mph. it just starts sputtering as it is on it's last drop of gas. I had a mechanic ride along today and he said to bring it to his shop. He says could be a plugged injector, dirty fuel filter or worst case fuel pump ($300 repair per him). I told him this begun as soon as the rainy season began.

He said he can start by doing some injector flush, etc. My question before taking it with him is this. First of all, I think this junkie is overdue for a fuel filter replacement as it appears rusty and just old. however, my logic tells me that this may be contributing to the issue but it may not alone be the main factor for sputtering in conditions where the car faces resistance either uphill or when cold.

I don't want to be throwing money around, which also tells me that if it had a plugged dripping injector the issue would be more consistent and at various speeds. These are just theories obviously so if anyone has any insight or feedback please let me know. This is a v6 3.0 automatic, thanks!

Response From Bennyblanco07

Thanks guys, today my suspicions about rain and humidity were confirmed. All day car acted fine and then a thunderstorm hit late afternoon. Car not only sputtered but the temperature gauge hit H and then retreated slightly and stayed there. The guy from auto zone thinks some sensor, thermostat, I was thinking more like the ignition control module but either way I'm lost...

Response From Hammer Time

The guy from auto zone thinks some sensor, thermostat,

That would probably make me do do just the opposite. Those guys are about as far from being technicians as you can get. They are mostly part time sales clerks and wannabe technicians but aren't. They are there to sell parts.

Response From Bennyblanco07

Thanks Gus, I ended up doing a full tune up, plugs, wire set, fuel filter cap and rotor and thermostat. Running smooth!

Response From zmame Top Rated Answer

Could be wire, plugs, cap, rotor or coil too.. I would wait till next dry day start it up and put some water in a spray bottle and start spraying each wire one by one, then cap and then the coil till it starts to run rough. Also look for arcing on the wires don't touch any of the components while the engine is running you might get shocked.

Response From Sidom

A fuel filter wouldn't be a bad idea even if it wasn't running poorly.... This is something you need anyway. Take care of all the overdue maintenance stuff you can, you may get lucky & solve your problem just taking car of the new car.

Just from what you posted I would check as many of the electrical connections and grounds as I could. Could be coincidence but rainy weather does cause problems with bad electrical connections...

I'm not sure of his tools or experience but a test drive with a scanner could help narrow the search. Looking at the datastream seeing what the fuel trims are doing could help point him in the right direction....

2000 Mercury Sable - Multiple electrical issues

Showing 2 out of 6 Posts | Show 4 Hidden Posts
Question From magic_ninja on 2000 Mercury Sable - Multiple electrical issues

I recently started having charging system problems. I replaced the battery, and it was dark and snowing when I installed it...backwards. So I reversed the voltage through the system for a short bit. Stupid mistake I know. Afterwards I started having multiple electrical issues.

The ABS lights were on now, along with the charge light and brake lights. The check engine light now is no longer on like it should be (I had a code P0401 before).

The horn, radio, rear defrost and park/autolamp lights as well as the keyless entry now no longer worked.

I went and had the alternator and battery load tested. The battery tested good, but the alternator returned a bad voltage regulator. I knew the alternator was getting weak anyway, so I went ahead and replaced it.

After replacing the alternator I went through and checked all fuses.

I replaced the fuse for the ABS system, and it fixed the issue.

I replaced another 10a fuse ( I can't remember exactly what the fuse was for, but I can dig into it if needed).

About half the issues were now resolved.

The brake lights no longer are active, and pretty much all of my electrical components started working again with the exception of the Horn, Radio, Cluster Illumination and Autolamp/park lamp circuit. I'm guessing resolving the issue with the autolamp circuit will take care of the Cluster illumination issue as well.

After replacing the alternator my charge lamp is still active, and the alternator still load tested a bad voltage regulator. Also, when I turn the switch to "Park Lamp Position" or "Autolamp" position my 15a fuse blows (fuse number 29).

The main issues I'm trying to tackle first is the charging system and the park lights so that I may drive the car. I do have the equipment necessary for electrical troubleshooting.

I have an alligator clip with a needle soldered to it and wire with clips for the extension of meter probes, meter clamps, a fluke multimeter and some basic knowledge of electrical diagnostics (though not automotive, generally industry, home electrical and small electronics). I have checked all components I made in class today for continuity and resistance. All resistance measurements (including the fabricated wire probe attatched to the extension) had continuity and less than 1 Ohm resistance.

I'm not sure where I should begin here.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Quote ">>I'm not sure where I should begin here."

Sounds like you even got as far as trying to start it with it reversed - Arggh! Just touching it reversed polarity can cause problems but seems it's been thru the whole car's electrical items.

Forgiven - mistakes happen but this could be a real disaster to correct with unknown items blown all thru and possibly damage exceeding the car's value!

Does it run?

You are making test equipment you could have bought for under $20 for real cheap stuff just seen yesterday.

There are more devices that control all sorts of functions all thru this car that would blow in this situation IMO that you probably should send this out to a shop known for high end electrical testing item by item to see if it's even worth it.

Hope I'm wrong but this could be the disaster I do think it is,


Response From magic_ninja

Well, most of the electronics still function, and the car starts and runs great. Right now my plan is to divide and conquor as far as the electrical issues go. I'm leaning towards problems with the GEM because most of the issues I'm having (the shorts especially) could easily happen inside of the GEM. Transistors don't like reversed polarity at all.

And I made the test tools because it was free as compared to spending money (the cheapest equipment around here are kits at around 50-150 dollars), and that is just for the different probes. It took me 15 minutes in class to get it done and verify the integrity of each component. Going to a shop and spending a few hundred dollars for repairs isn't something I'm interested in as I take this situation with a grain of salt and use it to gain some automotive electrical testing experience.

My first course of action needs to be isolating the point in the circuit at which the short occurs. I'm going to start with the autolamp circuit because having a drain on the autolamp circuit could probably contribute to the low voltage output of my alternator. I'm also going to run voltage and amperage tests on the charging circuit.

Response From GC

IMO this isnt something you are going to be able to diagnose properly online. You need access to all the wiring diagrams for the entire vehicle, As well as access to some high end diagnostic tools, and an understanding of the operation of the circuits in question (specific information, not just electrical principles) It would be well worth your money to take it to an auto shop specializing in electrical. You might get lucky by throwing parts at it, or you might empty your wallet and waste a bunch of time. Not trying to be harsh, but you could spend way more time, effort and money than it would cost taking it to a shop equipped to handle these problems.

Response From magic_ninja

It's fine I understand. I do have access to electrical diagrams and I'm starting the process of isolating the circuit with the short as we speak.

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

It's not a toaster oven sport but a computer on wheels. I appreciate you could make some test equipment for free but if you touch the wrong things you blow expensive control modules all thru this. Instrument cluster may be blown and not serviceable. Radio alone is part of controls in some cars.

<>!You should have found out why it wasn't charging before doing anything else. This whole mess may have been a loose belt and just a voltage regulator along with a weak battery and stressed out alternator and you'd have been done with it.

It stinks but things have been shocked backwards. That may or may not blow fuses but certainly can harm an assortment of items some cost so much you would choke. Could other powertrain controls be on the edge now but still work for a while - yes.

I'll equate this to a home surge problem or lightning strike that gets in you home. Happened to me now long ago and blew everything plugged in at the time and watched fuzzy sparks go thru a room! Same deal in a way. OK, that was just TV sets and things. My toaster didn't mind.

I appreciate you in classes for electrical but a car is a different bird in so many ways. You would need to get tons of data on how to test what one by one. You interior lights aren't even working properly so it's bad.

If this has a chip key it apparently is working. Many of these things are not generic electrical and all the same as even another model year or definitely not all cars out there.

In cars some items are given ground to operate not just power positive.

I'd like others here to comment but this car may have gremlins now that never end. Can't say that for sure. I'd be afraid this car may not be able to get another inspection sticker if it can't communicate that's yet another problem all of which are costly. A car especially with OBDII is not a good practice item for learning the hard way.

Let others suggest but I say cut your frustrations and get tons of vehicle specific data or send it out for pro testing,