'93 Sable problems
I'm having a few problems with my '93 Sable 3.0. I purchased the car in May from a private owner. It has 115 K miles on it now. I have several minor issues and some larger very annoying issues which I believe are related to each other in some fashion. I would like your opinions on whether or not they are related and what would be the best way to resolve some of them. FYI, it is my intention to keep this car for a long time, so I would prefer a long term solution over a quick fix. I will relate the issues in chronological order as they became apparent to me. That doesn't necessarily mean that they weren't there earlier, just that this is the order in which I became aware of them.
The ignition switch isn't quite right. It will allow you to remove the key before you turn the switch all the way OFF. I noticed that the ignition key and the door lock keys are not the same. The door keys are stamped FORD and appear to be the original keys. The ignition key is a generic. They two keys will not interchange although the door key will go into the ignition and turn, it will not turn enough to start the car.
The first time I used the windshield wipers I thought the motor was pretty noisy, but the wipers worked OK. As time went on the wiper motor seemed to get quieter, or maybe I just got used to it. Lately, the wipers work but they don't “depress park”. They stop at the bottom of the windshield but don't full park. If it is raining and I turn them off they will usually fully park, but if I just use the washers or run the wipers enough to clear the morning dew they will not fully park.
The digital clock sometimes flickers but it is not related to road bumps or tapping on the dash. Often it is fine, but it normally flickers and dims on its own almost every day.
In June I filled the car up and headed home from work. I went about five miles and the car just quit running. It would fire and sometimes momentarily run but then immediately die again. I had it towed in to my mechanic who reset the inertia switch. Egg on my face and dollars out of my pocket! I guess the mechanic needed a reason to charge me for something so he replaced the fuel filter (which probably didn't need it). I drove the car across town and parked it for a few minutes. When I started out again I could barely keep it running. It stalled and died several times before I could get back across town to the mechanic. Guess what? He said he didn't have any idea why it was happening, but it definitely didn't have anything to do with the repairs he made! This problem continues to this day. It always starts in the morning without fail and stalls at the first stop light. Then it may or may not stall every time I stop. It is idling at about 500 RPM, which seems very low to me. Sometimes it idles at about 750 RPM and doesn't stall at stop lights. I think it used to idle at about 1000 RPM, but I can't be absolutely certain of that. Ever since that day, the fuel gauge has not worked. It always is way over FULL although the needle does drop when the car is shut off.
Last week I started the car and the brake light came on and the blower and radio quit working. It happened again yesterday, but I think that the ignition switch didn't release all the from START. I turned off the car and started it back up and everything that worked before worked right again.
I crawled under the rear of the car to see if I could jiggle the wires at the top of the fuel tank to get the fuel gauge to work. No luck. I did notice that there are unmistakable signs that the fuel tank had been removed or at least lowered off the straps. Someone maybe replaced a fuel pump?
I started out to work recently and the air bag light started flashing a 51 or 52 code, I don't remember which, but it is the code that signifies an intermittent short to ground and blew the internal fuse.
I just got the car back from the mechanic. He informed me that the water pump was noisy, so I had him replace it. He spent a lot of time tracing wires and connections but couldn't find any problems. He swapped out the instrument cluster to see if that would take care of the fuel gauge problem. It did not. He also "relearned the idle" in an attempt to fix the idle problem. It may have helped some, but it did not correct the situation to my satisfaction.
That's the end of my saga. I'm open to suggestions on what to try. I have purchased the Taurus/Sable service manual and the electrical and vacuum troubleshooting manual. I'm still lost. A little help?