Driving through water puddles (unavoidable here) the car stalls and I can lose steering for a few seconds

Asked by Feb 05, 2015 at 05:08 PM about the 1998 Mercury Sable 4 Dr GS Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The battery light also comes on and it sounds like the belt is squealing . I thought there
was a cover missing under the alternator in the bottom of the engine but I have been to
two garages and no one seems to know about a cover. Anyone have any idea? Thanks.

7 Answers


Are both your inner fenders still in place? How about the front air dam? Are the splash shields on the sides of the radiator still there? If you need to know what the engine bay should look like the owner's manual will have depictions: http://owner.ford.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Owner/Page/OwnerGuidePage&year=1998&make=Mercury&model=Sable - (click on "owner manual printing 1")

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Ken nailed it. My first guess was missing inner fenders. They're plastic shields that keeps water on the road from splashing onto your motor/every other electrical component on the motor to include the alt.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

We could not see the plastic shields in the Owner's Manual and could not see what the bottom of engine should look like.


Look above your tires in the fender. Is there any big plastic part that is connected to your fender? This is the fender skirts. It stops your wheels from throwing water into the engine compartment.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Bottom of engine should have a plastic shield as well.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Water directly on the belt or belts especially when they are worn or loose will make the belt slip and cause the alternator briefly not to charge and the power steering pump not to provide assist. Keep it wet and the belt will continue to slip.The posts above are correct, look for a missing panel or cover and also make sure the belts, pulleys and tensioner are all in good condition.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thanks for your reply.

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