Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,750 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Mercury Sable engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Mercury Sable Owner Comments

problem #10

Aug 162014


  • 70,000 miles


Vehicle accelerates on it's own. Have had multiple problems where I go to stop and car accelerates at a stop sign or light. I have almost rear ended multiple cars because of this. While going from a red to green light on a hill my Sable stalled and began to roll backwards, almost crashing into the car behind me, if it hadn't been for my quick reaction. Vehicle will idle very high, 2.5rpms at the lowest, while sitting in park after startup. After a 5 minutes it will sometimes drop down to 750-1000rpms, other times it will continue to idle high. During drive it will continually accelerate to around 40 mph on it's own. When I brake it will idle high and lurch forward, until I'm forced to push the brake all the way to the floor. Then car will either continue to idle high or drop so low that it stalls. Usually I drive with two feet at lights or signs to be able to rev engine from stalking. Engine light came on, code read idle air control valve, so it was replaced. Problem continued. Took to garage and it looks like the intake manifold gasket. All vacuum lines were replaced as well. Am going to fix the gasket and sell. Car scares me too much to drive. Multiple panic and anxiety attacks. Please recall this, extremely unsafe.

- Jamesville, NY, USA

problem #9

Sep 302002

Sable 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mercury Sable. The contact stated that the vehicle would involuntarily accelerate while at complete stops. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they stated that the failure was due to a sensor that could not be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 1,000 and the current mileage was 65,000. Updated 04/10/12 the consumer stated when the engine was started, it would run at a high rate above idle. It would continue until the engine warmed up. The consumer stated the idle speed can not be regulated. Updated 04/13/12

- Camton, OH, USA

problem #8

Jun 192011


  • 71,000 miles
The blower motor on my 2003 Mercury Sable was sitting in a pool of water, ruining the motor. Caused by faulty design by Ford Motor Co. Water gets into this area by improper design, allows water to reach area when the wiper cowl eventually warps, or when the A/C drain clogs or water leaking thru the firewall.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #7

Dec 232008


  • miles


I have had my compressor in Dec 2008 to fix the ac problem I had then but it never was. Then my mechanic suggested that was the condenser changed and now that hasn't solved the problem. I am beginning to wonder if this is not a problem the manufacturers need to look at. With this economy spending the money a I am not to mention that I am still making payments to the finance company is an added headache. Please help!

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Aug 152007

Sable 6-cyl

  • miles
Whenever the car is rained upon, water runs into the fan motor air intake, then into the fan blower motor, which is inside the car behind the glove box, and then runs out onto the right front passenger floorboard. I have had to replace one blower motor that shorted out from the water in it, and have to pull the carpet up so it can dry out. Also, afraid of the possibility of mold growing either in the air vents or in the carpet. I took the car to the dealership and the service representative told me he has seen other cars like mine having the same problem. The dealership sells a part to install under the hood over the air blower intake to channel water away to correct the problem.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #5

Jun 052006

Sable 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles
: the contact stated at various speeds, the engine would jerk. The dealership determined the engine mounts needed to be replaced, but the vehicle could still be driven. A month later, while attempting to proceed at a stop sign, the vehicle would not move forward. The vehicle was towed to the dealership, where it was determined the motor mounts caused the failure.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 222004

Sable 6-cyl

  • 13,500 miles


The consumer received recall 04V105000 regarding air filter paper. The dealer claimed that the recall part was replaced, but the consumer insisted that it wasn't replaced. The consumer found that the original air filter was still in the vehicle. The service dealer fixed the air leak in the drivers side door and replaced the air filter.

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #3

Mar 312004

(reported on)

Sable 6-cyl

  • miles
The consumer believed the fix for the recall would cause a safety problem in the future. Recall#04V105000.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #2

Mar 232004

Sable 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
NHTSA recall# 04V105000 subject:air filter paper/fire. The consumer called the dealer to make an appointment for the free remedy. The dealer assured the consumer that the parts were available. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on 3/23/2004 and the dealer did not have the parts.

- Pinckney, MI, USA

problem #1

Mar 222004


  • miles
NHTSA recall 04V105000 concerning air filter paper/fire. Consumer made an appointment on 3/22/2004 for recall repairs. Dealer did not have the parts, but told consumer when the appointment was made that the parts were available. Also, dealer performed the recall for the brake light switch which the consumer had no information on this recall. Dealer did not know when the parts will be available to repair the air filter paper.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

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