1998 Mercury Sable Car has intermittent trouble uphill.

Tiny
DRUZZ_KS
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 MERCURY SABLE
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 92,000 MILES
Hello. Well, the main problem my car is having is sometimes when I go up a hill or slow incline that's maybe a half mile or longer, highway or around town, the car starts to shudder, it stops accelerating, the RPMs seem to slowly drop and the 'service engine soon' light starts flashing. About a minute after I crest the hill or incline the 'service' light stops. This has occurred on about 8 or 9 occasions, but doesn't do it all the time. I have not had this problem on flat surfaces or small, short hills. I've also noticed that the car idles rough when stopped at a light and it doesn't seem to have the acceleration it used to. I brought my car to a garage after it happened the first 3 times and they thought it was the fuel filter, which they found to be clogged and thus replaced. A few days later the problem happened again. I returned to the garage and they hooked it up to their computer and no error codes came up. They were stumped as to what the problem could be, except maybe that the spark plugs were misfiring, but I had an ignition tune-up 5 months prior at another mechanic. So, I brought my car back to said mechanic to have him check the plugs and wiring and they said it was all fine. I told them about the problem I'm having, they hooked it up to their computer (no error codes again) and took it for a ride and they also told me they could not pinpoint the issue either. The best they could tell me was that I could spend a lot of money to possibly find the problem. So here I am, still looking for answers. Any suggestions?
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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 AT 7:49 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
You gave me a tell tale sign of what the problem is when you said the check engine light is flashing. I dont want to discredit anyone because I can not see the car but I would assume that you have a ignition system breakdown from improperly installed plugs and wires. If you came into my shop with your complaint I would install new spark plugs and spark plug wires and make sure they are routed properly and mu guess is you wont have any more problems. Because the light was flashing that means there is a real bad misfire and dismissing it as you will have to replace a bunch of parts is not accurate description of proper repair procedure. Let me know how yo make out.
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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 AT 7:55 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
IM WITH TIM ON THAT
THE ONLY ADD I HAVE IS WE HAVE SEEN SO MANY COIL ISSUE U MAY WANT TO CHECK IT
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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 AT 8:04 PM
Tiny
DRUZZ_KS
  • MEMBER
Thanks Tim and Mr Fixit, for you quick responses to my car issues. That makes sense. I know you said the flashing light was a tell tale sign, but I just wanted to clarify that the "flashing" service engine light was not erratic, but an evenly paced second on, second off. I know on most cars the light will just stay on. I just assumed that was the way Mercury made the light operate to get your attention. Is that the case? Once again, thanks.
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Thursday, July 24th, 2008 AT 2:41 AM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
Obd2 systems are mandated to all car lines to be the same. Every car that has a severe engine misfire will cause the check engine light to flash like yours is. When the light comes on it is a warning to have your car checked out. When the light starts to flash it is telling you that if you keep driving the car you are going to damage the catalytic converter from the engine misfiring so badly.
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Thursday, July 24th, 2008 AT 6:26 AM

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