2003 Mercury Sable Was I sold a lemon?

  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 82,000 MILES
I bought this car used. After having it about two months, issues began. 1) The steering wheel shakes/wobbles VERY bad when applying the brakes, after being driven a while. The harder the brakes are applied, the worse it is. 2) After driving a while, when stopped at a light I could see smoke and smell burning oil. One oil change technician said the oil pan was 'jacked up' and wouldn't touch it. The next one said it was just a loose oil filter and changed it all for me. After that oil change, the smoking stopped and the smell even disappeared for a while, but all is starting to occur again. I am wondering if the shaking of the front end when braking is loosening the oil filter over time? 3) When I try to accelerate quickly, it hesitates as if it's not getting enough gas or power to 'gas-it'. Like getting onto the freeway and needing to get up to speed quickly. I have to let off the gas and try again, a few times.
The place I bought it from basically said, "oh, well, there is no warranty." So, I am stuck with this car and it's payments so I am curious what kind of repairs I am looking at.
Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 AT 7:57 PM

1 Reply


I am sorry you are having problems with the car you just bought. Try not to be too up-set, let's take a look at a few things and maybe we can help get you going.

To better assist you please tell me your engine size in liter and the 8th digit of your VIN.

Next, please go to Auto Zone or O'Reilly's and for FREE they can pull the codes to the car. Most important: Once they check your codes, if they find something and you don't get it fixed and need to get back with us, please make sure you tell us exactly what the code was, number and all. Example, if the code was E0568 O2 Sensor bad. Then make sure you give us all of that. While there for FREE also they can bring their tester out and check your battery, alternator.

The shaking in the steering wheel when applying the brakes.I believe your front brake rotors are warped. This isn't too bad. Happens to many cars. You need to check the front brake pads and make sure they are in good shape and if they are, then get the front rotors replaced. If the brakes are close, then have the pads and rotors replaced.

The oil.A little oil looks like a lot and makes a big mess. You need to check all of the bolts to ensure they are tight on the oil pan. Make sure the oil filter is tight and then wash the area down really good to even see if you have a leak at all. Once that is figured out then we could take it from there.

The hesitation. Let's pull the codes for free as above and check it out.

As for the cost. Will you be doing the work yourself or someone else?
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Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 AT 8:22 PM

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