1999 Mercury Sable Door sensors

  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 46,000 MILES
When I start my engine, the interior lights remain on when I am driving and a door open indicator light remains lit. In addition, the doors fail to lock automatically when the car is in gear without me pressing the lock button. This happened several weeks ago and then corrected itself, then it happened again this weekend and again corrected itself. I was told that they need to see it happen in order to fix it, but I am figuring that it is a door sensor. I was wondering if anyone has any idea what it could be (if I am wrong) and how much it may cost to fix in any case. Thank you.
Do you
have the same problem?
Monday, February 9th, 2009 AT 10:25 AM

1 Reply

There are 2 fixes.

One is to simply spray WD-40 or a related substance into the door locks themselves, (the mechanism in the door that locks onto the frame) and hose it down for about 10 seconds, then rapidly close and open the door for about 10 times to loosen up the sensors. If that solves the problem, it should last for a year or two, until it needs it again. In this case, the sensors are sticky, and needed to be lubricated in order to work. Repeat for all doors in the car.

The other fix is to buy replaced door switches. They look like little bent pinky fingers with an electrical dongle on one end and a spark plug point on the other. It is this point that comes into contact with the door lock when it is in the closed position. If the car door has been damaged in an accident, or water has gotten into the switch, it will cause this problem.

In order to replace it you will need to do to the following.

1) First Remove all screws that you see in the door, there are some at the bottom, some inside the finger cup, and some along the outer walls of the door. (DON"T remove the three screws at the DOOR LOCK itself) Using a Panel Removal Tool (looks like a small two-pronged fork, or a flat piece of plastic) pry off the inner trim starting from the bottom, and working your way up. Generally the door panel holder pieces will become damaged removing the door, as they are only cheap plastic, and are meant for one-time use.

With the inner door's panel removed, place that aside, and remove the door lock indicator tube. (*The thing that tells you the door is locked or not) by unscewing the plastic from the metal rod that holds it. (<<
Take care not to damage the door liner, as you gently remove the plastic and the cheap cardboard from the inside area. It may be neccesary to get access by cutting the plastic and paper, that covers the main hole. With your arm, reach up into the door, through this main hole until you feel the dongle that is plugging into the sensor located on the underside of the door lock. Squeeze the plug and pull the electrical connector off.

You won't be able to see what your doing, but it's how it has to be done. With the electrical plug off, turn the switch inside one way, (not sure which way, but if one way doesn't work, the other way must.) This should cause the switch to loosen from it's socket hole, and fall in your hand (or the bottom of the door). It may be neccesary to loosen the screws that hold the door lock in place, using a TORX #20 bit, to get them unloose. With the switch in hand, place a little dielectric grease in the new switch and replace the switch as you removed it.

Replace the electrical plug, and the paper/plastic.
IT's probably necessary to have panel trim screws purchased to complete the reinstallation of the interior panel. Be sure and retighten the door lock Torx nuts, or damage to the door lock could result.
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Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 AT 9:47 PM

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