I bought a 1996 Mercury Mystique GS (Green) On December 26th 2001! I had the car about a year and had trouble with the Starter and Alternator, Replaced it and it was great. It is now 2004 and the car is still running! It needs that Catalytic Converter replaced, and a couple of gaskets replaced, Nothing major since I found the Catalytic converter on-line for $170. I also have to have it aligned. This has been the best car, All in all I have put maybe 1000 into it for repairs/parts, and I've put 100,000 miles on it myself. I am very hard on vehicles, so for it to last is amazing! I would recommend one to anyone! Cheap on the pocket, and Fun to drive!!!
I have a Mercury Mystique and I have put 115.000 miles on it. I have surpassed what the dealer expected, however, I had to replace my idle, which isn't made anymore, so I had to get a new manifold because the new one Ford makes doesn't fit. Luckily they paid for most of it, however, it still cost almost $1000.00 for me. The engine light came on shortly after and I still drove it.
At about 100,000 miles it started to have the jerking feeling when it shifted and I couldn't even get it into high gear. I had to get a transmission censor that cost $300.00.
Just recently it started over heating on me and after replacing radiator, all hoses, battery, and 3 sensors. my engine light is on again. Ronnie's Radiator doesn't know why. Coolant kept leaking out. I give up.
I just recently acquired a 2000 Mercury Mystique with under 50,000 miles and it has been nothing, but trouble. My transmission is shot, the car can barely make it up a hill, it is beyond just jerking, to the point where it will shut off, the steering wheel locks, the brakes lock and there's nothing left to do, but wait and hope it will start up again. The radiator light comes on sometimes.??? The oil light comes on even though it just had an oil change, and the check engine light comes on. The diagnostics showed no problems. I'm hoping to trade it up within a couple of weeks... if it makes it that long. I will never buy a ford or mercury.
I have a 1996 Mercury Mystique and I LOVE it. NO JOKE! I have had it 3 years now and have not had a single problem aside from regular maintenance. The A/C still works great, it runs and shifts like a champ and I cannot say enough good things about it. I'm sorry that everyone else's car doesn't work very well, but I am more than happy with my White Angel and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
The radiator light came on @ 95,000 miles for no reason. Bad coolant level sensor (which I can't find or replace) so I unplugged the sensor and used a staple to jump between the contacts in the connector. Light's off now, but if there's ever a leak I won't know unless I check the levels myself. Check engine light's been on forever, replaced 2 O2 sensors (there are 4?) had to clean EGR system, code says catalyst is bad (but it's not). Don't ever, ever buy one of these. They are fun to drive when they're working properly, though.
I have a Mercury Mystique 1998 LS. I love the car despite it's problems. Since I am very car savvy I have never taken it to the rape-u-ship (aka dealership). Let me list the problems with the car and how you can fix them yourself or have a motorhead friend help you.
1) Brakes - Replace them every 20,000km
New Bendix Titanium-metal brake pads ~$100
Jack up and remove each tire. Use a 3/4 socket to remove the nut holding the caliper. Remove caliper clips. Replace brake pad. Bleed brake fluid to adjust to new brakes. Re-fill brake DOT3 fluid.
2) Leaking Engine Oil - Occurs when engine seal cracks ~ 5,000km
Gunk Engine Sealant (or EngineMedic Oil) ~$20
Drain old engine oil out. Use an engine oil cleaner. Fill with 1 bottle of Gunk Engine Sealant and top up the max level with 5W30 Synthetic Engine oil.
Time: 5hrs (Mostly waiting for oil to drain... go do something else in the meantime)
3) Clogged Air filter - Occurs every 20,000km
Fram Air Filter ~$30
Unhook the Air filter case, remove oil air filter and replace with new one. Check for black carbon build up!!! (This is an indicator that the enginefuel system is clogged)
4) Dirty fuel system - Occurs every 5,000km
Slick 50 Fuel Treatment ~$25
Use one bottle of fuel treatment with a full tank of gas.
5) Clogged Radiator - Occurs every 20,000km
Radiator Flush fluid ~$20
Flush radiator with water. Fill up with radiator flush fluid and let sit for required time then flush the radiator again. Fill up with new 50/50 mixture coolant.
6) Leaking Transmission - Occurs rarely
Gunk TransMedic ~$5
Add one bottle to transmission fluid. Should seal any leaks in the transmission valves. DO NOT OVERFILL PASS MAX!
Time: 15mins (You will need a long funnel to add transmission fluid)
I hope this helps with you problems. I personally don't trust the dealerships. Check with car parts supply stores for pricing and make sure you are not getting ripped off. Make sure to have schedule some maintance time with your car. I suggest getting a HAYES Car Manual and reading it.
Disclaimer: I am not a mechanic just a wannabe motorhead. Everything you do to your car is your problem not mine. Get a good mechanic friend that you trust to help you. Prices in CDN dollars and you can easily substitute the brands listed with other better brands.
I bought a 1996 Mystique GS with the "full load" for my wife 2 years ago. It had 90,000km on the clock, and I paid $5000 Canadian for it. I LOVE the handling, it has more than adequate power, and the overall build quality is better than average for an "American" car.
To be fair, it has given me some headaches. I KNEW it had a fragile water pump - and the first time I goosed it real good and got the tach over 6000 RPM, I had to replace the water pump. I got that out of the way within 2 months of purchase!! I had an intermittent check engine light - the code said it was running too lean. I replaced the intake manifold gaskets (which were awfully expensive) and the problem improved, but was not solved. I then found a soft hose on the PCV system that was collapsing on decelleration, and opening up a crack which made the engine run lean. Fixing that also killed the "moose" these cars are known for (loud honking from under the hood). I have replaced one axle bearing and the lower control arms (bushings got noisy - parts cost very reasonable, but the quoted repair time of 4.3 hours is insane. I did it myself in about 3 hours. The fog lights were a poor excuse, so I just replaced them with a good after-market set.
I need to replace the receiver/drier in the AC system (very common leak point - hard to find, but not hard to fix) and the pollen filter. Will likely put new rotors and pads on next year.
We have about 110,000km on it now and expect to have it for another 4 or 5 years. Perhaps not the best car made, but for me, definitely a good buy.