I have a 2003 sable that hesitates while accelerating from a stop, drivin, on the freeway and now it hesitates while at a stop sign. Taken to two mechanics cannot find the problem. could it be tranny?

Asked by May 02, 2010 at 09:42 PM about the 2003 Mercury Sable

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Taken to two mechanics and the hesitation is getting worse.  Had the 60,000 mile service.  Nothing show on the computer but mechanics have felt the hesitation.  Not sure what to do with the car.  Don't know if I should take it to the dealer.

11 Answers


First thing I would go after is the O2 sensor. It has the final say as to whether or not the correct air/fuel mixture is being delivered. It is also how the computer knows if any of the sensors in the fuel managment system are acting up. If the correct amount of fuel is going in but the manifold air pressure sensor disagrees then the computer will tell you there is a problem with the map sensor. In either event, if the O2 sensor goes you may not get any feedback from your car about what the problem is and it won't know if its adding the right amount of fuel. Second think I'd go after is the EGR valve. After 35K miles on my 2001 3.0L it pitched a code that said "Insufficient EGR Flow". The mechanic said replace the EGR but I took it home and went through the testing in the book and it turned out to be the delta pressure feedback sensor. It is part of the EGR unit and much easier and cheaper to replace than the EGR valve itself. Apparently the unit they used was so bad in the original production that they were on there fourth iteration when I replaced mine. Just because the computer could let you know when there is a problem doesn't mean it will. Especially if the O2 sensor is bad.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

Did you ever figure it out? My Sable is having what sounds to be the same problem! Its been at the mechanics for a week after I changed a bunch of things. We are both stumped.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

If it's the 24V version they have a problem with a rubber elbow that tears and leaks air past the mass air flow sensor. Usually it comes up as a 'Too Lean' code.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

I have the same problem as bob12271 but when my car was at freeway speeds the engine light would flash and then stay on. i was able to get codes read and it said it could be multiple problems like fuel pressures or cylinder 6 misfiring. I replaced the fuel filter and it seems to be running much better but it is still hesitating with no engine lights involved. Iam worried its the fuel pump but could it be just a o2 sensor? i have a 2003 24v mercury sable ls with 75,000 miles.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

I also replaced the air filter.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

spark plugs and wires fixed mine. it not so easy as the back cylinders require pulling off part of the intake.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Same thing happens with mine but after hesitating after being completely stopped it seems to run ok but the transmission wont change. The code says short circuit but the mechanic is saying bad computer. Could it be?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I meant the transmission wont shift from first (automatic)

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have the same problem with my 2003 24v hesitates when accelerating between 40 to 45 mph it starts epically when going up hills and no lights come on. I took it to the mechanic and he couldn't find anything. I see a lot of people complaining about this. Is there a recall for this?

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2004 Sable ls premeium with 3800 miles. Slugish with take off sometime. hesitates at about 40 jerks and bucks when you hit gas slightly. No codes at all. Ordered a new iacv hope that solves the problem.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I've had all of these problems and it ended up being 2 of 4 catilac converters...I believe thats what there called. I know there's 4 of them. As soon as we took them out pieces just fell out of them. It was clogged. Thought I would share my story. I have a question. I have a 2001 sable and now it only sputters at stop signs or lights. If it's in park it's fine, driving is also fine. It's just at stops with foot on brake.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

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