1997 Mercury Mystique GS 4 cylinder from North America
The Mercury Mistake, beware!
Let's see, what hasn't gone wrong with this heap of junk?
First - we bought it used, but it was still under the manufacturer's warranty, but we had to take it to the shop three times in the first week that we owned it. The back middle seat belt cover came off when our daughter was putting on her seat belt; it was replaced and it broke again two days later. Then that very same week (after going in twice over the seat belt), the driver's door lock wouldn't unlock. That was also fixed by the dealer.
After another month, we noticed a wobble to the ride. We took it in and the dealer said that the steel belt had pulled apart on the inside of the back tires. Bad tires we thought (WRONG); after four more months the next set of tires did the same thing. Took it into the dealer; they said maybe the place we were getting our tires from might have a bad lot (never had trouble out of them before). To make a long story about the tires short, we have put 6 sets of tires on the back in the the 5 years we have had the car. Dealership never could tell us why the tires were wearing out on the inside of the rear tires.
Next, the car has been in the shop more for recalls than any car I have ever owned.
First the heater blower went out; we paid to have it fixed, and then the next year it went out again, but hey, by then they had a recall on it, so that paid for it THAT time. It quit again in three weeks, and we were told that the dealer did it wrong the first time and the second time, but this time it was right. (Wrong!!) it does still work, but only on high.
The wires melted to the plastic harness; no fire, just a horrible smell for the next year. Dealer did fix it under the recall.
Alternator went out twice (that was blamed on the poor electric system of Ford. The dealership (HA HA, yeah right) (might I add this was a Ford dealer) said that it was causing such a flux with the electric system, that it was straining the alternator. Bought a new one and a new battery.
The seat belts in the back broke three more times (finally we just left the covers off).
The car was pulling to the left. Took it in and was told we needed new tie rod. We paid to have it fixed, and guess what, now pulls to the right.
A/C has gone out twice. Now it blows lukewarm air out of the only speed we have "high".
Husband was moving his head rest so that it wasn't leaning in, and it broke.
Last winter we had the heater on, and black smoke came blowing out with this burnt smell. We turned the heater off and froze the rest of the way home, only to take it to the dealership and the darn thing didn't do it for "them".
This past year the Check Engine light has come on and off. We kept taking it to the dealership at $90 a trip to have it hooked up to the computer. They would reset it and it would run fine for a month, and then come on again after a while, and at $270 we just left the darn thing on.
The car just kept running worse, and we just kept pouring in money to fix it. We could own a BMW if we just would have saved our money that we have spent on repairs to this car.
Our local Auto Zone started calling it the Mercury Mistake, since we were in there so much buying parts.
The problem that sealed the deal of us getting rid of this horrible car, was the fact that my children and I were almost killed when on one morning the car just stopped running every few feet. It was the middle of rush hour, and I was trying to take my oldest daughter to school; the car started up fine, and then when we got around the corner it stalled (no biggie, it had done this before). I rolled to the curb and started it again, and then when the coast was clear, I started to pull off, got to the middle of the lane again, started to drive, and boom it stalled again. I had people behind me, hitting their brakes and honking, not to mention yelling a few choice words at me and my children as my car coasted to the curb again. I started it again, and off we went, and at the next stop light (less than 20 yards away), I had to make a left turn and I was the third car. When it was my turn, I got to the middle of the intersection and boom it stalled again. Cars were whizzing past us, and by then my kids were in tears, afraid that we were going to get hit. I tried to stay calm and got it started again, and got a little farther since we were on a hill, but then just as I was about to turn right on a street, it stalled again. By then I was in tears. I had to call someone to come and get us, since I wasn't going to try it anymore. I pushed it to a parking lot not far off, and there I left it.
After work, my husband went and got it started; it stalled a little on him, but he found a way to keep it going by keeping one foot on the brake and one on the gas pedal. How safe it this? We took it to the dealer and they said that it would be $2,000 to fix, since there was something wrong with the catalytic converter, and the fuel pump was messed up, plus the fuel lines were clogged.
I was scared to drive it, and my kids were scared to get in it any more. This was the WORST car we could have ever bought, and now we see why Mercury stopped making them.
So let's recap, in the 5 years that we have had this car, we have had:
Broken seat belts, melted wires, bad tie rod, went through 6 sets of back tires, heater/AC blower has gone out three times and now only blows on high, engine light won't stay off, had to have the alternator fixed, and then had to buy a new one, driver door lock broke and fuel pump, fuel lines and converter all need to be replaced. Oh yeah, and don't forget all the money we poured into it just to keep it running too.
All in all, the only good things that I can say about this car is that it is pretty to look at, and I am so happy we just got rid of it!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 14th June, 2003
23rd Jun 2003, 21:36
Sounds like you guys need to find a mechanic you can trust, who replaces only one tie rod end? If you have problems with tires wearing out why not have the rear axle aligned? You mention the car had stalled previously, but you made no attempt to correct the problem until it failed taking the kids to school?
I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with this car, but honestly I think any car you would have purchased would have led to a similar scenario unless absolutely nothing ever failed on the car... not very likely.
Find an honest/competent mechanic or you risk repeating this scenario over and over again.
BTW I own a 98 Mystique, a 94 Taurus SHO and a 91 VW Jetta. All of these cars have their own problems, but I do the repairs myself, if you think your Merc is expensive to own buy an SHO. Now that is a money pit!