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List Of Major 2004 Mercury Sable Problems

The Mercury Sable was one of the most prominent sedans started in the year 1985. Also, featuring in the movie Robocop, this sedan combined the good looks of a luxurious car and provided high performance at an affordable price. However, things didn’t remain a fairy tale after issues for some began. 

So if you are thinking of getting a Sable model, we would like to tell you more about some possible underlying issues.

Even though it sold over 2 million in number over five generations, the Mercury Sedan is being considered as one of the most problematic sedans ever made. Ever since its role out, there have been several reports of numerous technical issues. Even though the most common was transmission break down, we list all major problems faced by 2004 Mercury Sable customers.

The Common Issues

The Sable started as a prototype for the new and modified Ford designs. Even though the worst was 2003, 2004 came up with a few improvements which were however not enough to redeem Sable. The declining reputation and sales due to recurring problems eventually resulted in a halt in the production two years later.

1. A Drop in Steering Fluid

mercury sable 2004 problems

Photo Credit: http://gtcarlot.com/data/Mercury/Sable/2004/647784/Interior-46474521.html

This was a common issue in almost all makes of Sables including Sable 2004. After regular complaints, it was found that the pressure was too much in the Sable steering fluid reservoir to handle. It was ruled out as a manufacturing default. The cars were even called back, but all efforts were in vain.

2. Engine Oil Pan Gasket Leak

Oil pan happens to be the lowest part of your Sable’s engine. As it is difficult to get to the bottom, the leak is often missed. The Sable 2004’s oil pan gasket is quite weak and in most of the cars, we were reported that there was no oil found in the pan, indicating a massive leak.

The engine oil gasket can’t usually be repaired, especially in the car models before 2005. In case, if you are going to get a brand new Sable or if you are buying a second hand at a throwaway price, then it is almost certain that you may be paying for oil pan gasket leak repair or more probably its replacement.

I show this video because the Ford Taurus and Mercury sable are so similar.

3. Air Bypass Valve Issue


It is quite odd that a car like Sable would not start from idle. Several previous customers have reported that the car fails to start in cold weather. The engine shows hesitation at the time of acceleration.

This may shows a faulty Air Bypass valve issue that was somehow not resolved in any callback. In the Sable, faulty air bypass valve is hard to diagnose. Drivers have tried to jump start the battery but in the end, the valve had to be replaced.

4. Camshaft Sensor Magnet Damaging Synchronizers

The magnets of the Camshaft sensors in the Sable 2004 are troublesome. Apart from the reviews and customer experiences, we did our inspection and found that the magnets were to lose to hold. They could have fallen out of mount and damaged synchronizers.

The falling out of magnets can’t be diagnosed until your synchronizers have been completely damaged. The Sable 2004’s engine will begin to experience crank times. If that happens, both the magnets and synchronizes would have to be replaced.

5. Seat Weld Issues


What could be so problematic that the Sable 2004 had to be called back? Several of the Sable 2004’s power adjustable seats were found to be faulty. Yes, they were reported as not welded properly. Even though it was not troublesome, it did pose a huge risk.

In several tests and simulations, the seat could not perform as intended during a time of the crash. Hence, the company decided to call back thousands of models to fix the issue. The upper support assembly was changed for thousands of Sables to mitigate the risk of serious injuries.

6. Transmission Breakdown

One of the most reported as well as most common problems among all Sable 2004 models is the transmission breakdown/failure. After traveling a few thousand miles, the transmission of the Sable 2004 fails. The engine revs up and goes into neutral eventually.

Be it pump shaft or the torque converter- if it fails or breaks down, you get no options. The only choice you would have is to spend hundreds of bucks to get the components replaced. The manufacturing defect is highlighted by Ford itself after it dropped the ball on the components of Sable 2004.

I show this video because the Ford Taurus and Mercury sable are so similar.

7. Faulty Electric System

mercury sable 2004 problems

Photo Credit: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3356032/2004-mercury-sable/

And the problems don’t seem to end. The electrical system to has its faults in Sable 2004. Apart from the automatic alarms going off now and then with security lights flashing, there are some other serious issues like brake-pedal malfunction and car not coming out of the park.

The car reportedly didn’t come out of the park until it was shifted to neutral. To top it all, the brake lights didn’t work when the pedal was depressed. The issue with brake light switch and assembly has been recurring. Surprisingly, the manufacturers made no recall for such a dangerous fault/issue.

8. Engine Overheating

The engine of the Sable 2004 is fortunately very powerful, but the car is not able to utilize the power efficiently. Hundreds of customers complained about overheating engine which came as a surprise, given the high power of the Sable’s engine.

The issue was later found out to be of the coolant tank which was somehow leaking. As soon as the AC was switched on, the engine began to overheat in these cars. No issue of this sort even though several service centers repeatedly received this complaint.

9. Cracking Fuel Lines

Fuel hose or line cracking is not a common issue in the Sable 2004 models. That’s right; it only emerged in a few cars and thus manufacturing defect scenario was ruled out. The fuel line cracking was observed by Sable 2004 customers due to external cracks and fuel leakage.

Simple replacement of the hose or the fuel line can be done to get over with this issue.

10. Speed Control Cable Issues


Speed control cable issues have been unfortunately quite common in almost all Sable models. The 2003 model was the worst but even though 2004 one managed an improvement, the issue persisted. Several Sable 2004 drivers complained that the car accelerated on its own a lot of times.

When we carried out the tests, we found that speed control cables worked fine. However, the used Sable 2004 with a few thousand miles experienced problems. Some cars did accelerate on their own, and we had trouble stopping them.

That being said, the only way out of this issue was found to be the replacement of the speed control cables. Not doing so poses a great threat to the driver.

And that is not all- there are other separate issues as well. Sable was one of the most loved sedans, especially after Robocop. Looks of an Audi and excellent performance did lure many customers. However, the car model failed to impress after continuous use.

Final Impression – Our Verdict

Mercury Sable 2004 comes from one of the most reliable names in the industry- Ford. The name itself ensured high performance and reliability. We can’t blame the manufacturers who tried to put in quite a lot into one car design. The ambitions were high, but the design could not match the expectations which led to several faults and failures in the Sable’s core design.

Even though the engine of the Sable 2004 is powerful, failure of other components has destroyed the reputation. From suspension to fuel lines and engine overheating- there is no issue that the Sable designs have not experienced. My final verdict would be to go for a more advanced as well as reliable Ford model instead of going for Sable 2004 (or any Sable/Taurus) to avoid all these issues and expenditure on repairs.

Revised (4/2020)