2000 sable dies when idle

Asked by Feb 13, 2015 at 07:32 PM about the 2000 Mercury Sable LS Premium

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hello all,

I have a 2000 mercury sable LS, with 78k
miles. Vehicle has been really good to me.
About 6 months ago I noticed the vehicle
was having an issue while idling.  At first it
was not to bad. I would turn the car off and
let it warn up and after a long while it may
stall out and then I would have to start it
back up. When it first began it would only
happen once in awhile.  Progressively the
issue got worse to what I'm dealing with
today. Now every morning when I start the
vehicle in will run for maybe 15 seconds
than stall out. I will start it back up and then
it will happen again.  Once I start moving it
doesn't have any issues. On top of that I've
been getting check engine light code p0174
indicating an air leak. The vehicle is old but
isn't extremely high miles.  Any idea what
the issue might be? Thank you.

2 Answers


Here is the causes and fixes for your code, as found at repairpal.com/ OBD-II-Code-P0171. I have placed stars before and after your symptoms and fixes. Start with the first one and work to the last one, checking to see if it is repaired between each step. Please let me know how you make out. OBD-II Trouble Codes Auto Systems and Repair ****** Fuel System Too Lean (Bank 1 or 2) ****** Our emissions expert has put together the following information about the P0171 and P0174 fault code. We have also included diagnostic procedures you can take to your repair shop if the mechanic is having difficulty analyzing the code. OBD II Fault Code OBD II P0171 ****** OBD II P0174 ****** Fault Code Definition OBD II P0171 Fuel System Too Lean (Bank 1) ****** OBD II P0174 Fuel System Too Lean (Bank 2) ****** ****** Bank 2 has cylinders #4, #5, #6) Bank 2 should be the closest to you when standing in the front of the car. ****** Symptoms Check Engine Light will illuminate In some cases, no adverse conditions may be noticed by the driver In other cases, there may be performance problems, such as a lack of power on acceleration and some "coughing" or misfiring ****** The vehicle may have trouble idling, especially when warm or when sitting at a stoplight ****** Common Problems That Trigger the P0171 and P0174 Code PCM software needs to be updated (probably NOT your problem) ****** 1) Vacuum leaks (Intake Manifold Gaskets, vacuum hoses, PCV hoses, etc.) ****** 2) Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) ****** 3) Plugged Fuel Filter or weak Fuel Pump ****** 4) Plugged or dirty Fuel Injectors Common Misdiagnosis Oxygen Sensors Polluting Gases Expelled NOX (Oxides of Nitrogen): One of the two ingredients that, when exposed to sunlight, cause smog HCs (Hydrocarbons): Unburned droplets of raw fuel that smell, affect breathing, and contribute to smog The Basics Combustion engines operate by burning an air/fuel mixture of about 14.7 to 1—14.7 parts air to 1 part fuel. When the air ratio goes below 14.7 parts, this is called a "rich" mixture. If the air rises above 14.7 parts, it is called a "lean" mixture. ****** Rich Mixture = Too much fuel, not enough air Lean Mixture = Too much air, not enough fuel ****** To keep the engine running properly, the Engine Control Module measures the oxygen content in the exhaust with oxygen sensors and makes adjustments to the mixture by injecting more or less fuel.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Thanks for this info. My '02 Sable 3.0 V6 DOHC just kicked these 2 codes out last night so I can take this to my mechanic and hopefully this will help him troubleshoot the issues. By the way, any idea how much it might cost to fix this sort of stuff?

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