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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-12, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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mad 2001 Merc. Sable - gremlins?

Hi guys,

2001 Sable LS Premium, about 90K.

Two main problems here that are annoying and stopping inspection:

1) The dash brake light began coming on intermittantly 7 months ago when car purchased. Discovered it would happen if I tapped the brakes instead of despressing constantly. Now it's on constantly. Several mechanics have inspected car and found nothing wrong.

2) This morning while out running errands I got back in the car and started driving. The door ajar and interior lights came on so I pulled the door shut again. Both lights returned within 5 seconds so I just drove to my next stop.

I get out, hit the remote button twice to set the alarm and the horn honked twice. Horn honked twice again when I got home.

Came inside to research and found the suggestions to spray WD-40 in the latches so I did that. Set the alarm again, thankfully it honked only once as usual. But about three minutes later the alarm went off! Now I can't even secure my car!!!!!!

What the bleeping bleep is going on with this car??

If you need me to locate anything inside the engine compartment or certain wiring, please attach a picture, thanks.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-12, 03:13 PM
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Re: 2001 Merc. Sable - gremlins?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Witch View Post
Hi guys,

2001 Sable LS Premium, about 90K.

Two main problems here that are annoying and stopping inspection:

1) The dash brake light began coming on intermittantly 7 months ago when car purchased. Discovered it would happen if I tapped the brakes instead of despressing constantly. Now it's on constantly. Several mechanics have inspected car and found nothing wrong.

2) This morning while out running errands I got back in the car and started driving. The door ajar and interior lights came on so I pulled the door shut again. Both lights returned within 5 seconds so I just drove to my next stop.

I get out, hit the remote button twice to set the alarm and the horn honked twice. Horn honked twice again when I got home.

Came inside to research and found the suggestions to spray WD-40 in the latches so I did that. Set the alarm again, thankfully it honked only once as usual. But about three minutes later the alarm went off! Now I can't even secure my car!!!!!!

What the bleeping bleep is going on with this car??

If you need me to locate anything inside the engine compartment or certain wiring, please attach a picture, thanks.
For the brake light problem check the brake fluid level in the brake master cylinder. This is something any mechanic should have already done. The master cylinder is located on the drivers side back near the firewall. If the fluid drops below a certain point it activates a switch in the master cylinder that turns on the brake warning light. I have no ideas on the security system.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-12, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2001 Merc. Sable - gremlins?

I checked the fluid early on - it's a bit above the maximum line. One thing I read online was to see if the float was jammed, so I stuck my finger in the reservoir and felt around, but there's no float. It's not attached to the cap either. The reservoir is shaped like a log but I could only feel straight down the neck, not to the side. Been thinking of stopping by a parts place to see if I can look at a reservoir, but what I feel is solid plastic, not a jammed item.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-12, 08:51 PM
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Re: 2001 Merc. Sable - gremlins?

There's also a switch on the emergency brake handle, if that switch is bad, loose or out of adjustment and the brake handle isn't hitting it properly when the e-brake is released this would also allow the brake light to stay illuminated. To check this would include having to remove part or all of the console. I don't have a Taurus/Sable, but on my Escort you start at the rear of the console and remove a few screws to remove the rear portion of the console then there are other screws that can be removed to loosen or remove the front of the console to access the e-brake switch. I'm just a DIY'er so maybe tomorrow some of the real mechanics will be online and give you more suggestions.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-21-12, 05:07 PM
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Re: 2001 Merc. Sable - gremlins?

Here's the fix for the door switch

Ford Dome Light Stays On

I'm a retired ASE Master/L-1 Technician. I still keep current with the latest automotive technology. Visit my blog for cool articles and TSB's: http://www.ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-12, 01:31 AM
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Exclamation Re: 2001 Merc. Sable - gremlins?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Witch View Post
Hi guys,

2001 Sable LS Premium, about 90K.

Two main problems here that are annoying and stopping inspection:

1) The dash brake light began coming on intermittantly 7 months ago when car purchased. Discovered it would happen if I tapped the brakes instead of despressing constantly. Now it's on constantly. Several mechanics have inspected car and found nothing wrong.

2) This morning while out running errands I got back in the car and started driving. The door ajar and interior lights came on so I pulled the door shut again. Both lights returned within 5 seconds so I just drove to my next stop.

I get out, hit the remote button twice to set the alarm and the horn honked twice. Horn honked twice again when I got home.

Came inside to research and found the suggestions to spray WD-40 in the latches so I did that. Set the alarm again, thankfully it honked only once as usual. But about three minutes later the alarm went off! Now I can't even secure my car!!!!!!

What the bleeping bleep is going on with this car??

If you need me to locate anything inside the engine compartment or certain wiring, please attach a picture, thanks.
1. As previously suggested, check the park brake switch on the pedal assembly. Also make sure the pedal releases properly, that it doesn't hang loosely when released. Should be tight in the raised position. If it is loose then check your park brake cables and rear brakes for proper adjustment.

2. You need to repeatedly open and close each door after lubing. Keep lubing the latch in-between. Have the key on so you can tell when the door ajar light goes out. Do this to all 4 doors until the ajar light doesn't come on with the door closed and just pulling out or pushing in on closed door.

Master ASE Certified L1 Chrysler Technician- still a Ford fan at heart.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-12, 07:06 AM
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Re: 2001 Merc. Sable - gremlins?

Off the wall question for part of your problem: do you have a remote car starter on it? My wife has an 04 Grand Prix GTP with an after market remote on it. It will do some strange things and, according to the installer, if the signal is too strong, it may do some strange things, i.e. ghost diagnostic (replaced a coolant sensor twice because of it) start on it's own, etc.

This may not be the cause of the brake or door light, but the issue with the lock sounds like it might be up its alley. Since many ECU's provide the output for several diagnostic lights, your problem might not be the diagnostic, but the source of the signal. I work building automation which uses alot of the same technologies as ECU's, spikes in supply voltage and erroneous grounds can also cause issues on equipment I work one, I would assume an ECU would be susceptible as well.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-12, 07:09 AM
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Re: 2001 Merc. Sable - gremlins?

Forgot to add, if the signal from the remote starter IS too strong, the installer can back it off. My problem is getting my wife to take it in to be adjusted. Apparently it's easier to have me clear the diagnostics with my scanner than correct the problem.
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