26th Oct 2002, 20:25

I just bought a Sable Wagon and so far its been fantastic. Although it only has 60000 miles on it, 1997, it seems like it's in top notch shape. the previous owner did change the front and rear brakes a year ago, but we'll see what happens.

27th Jan 2003, 07:36

We have a 1998 Sable wagon purchased 2/02, and we have had the dimming of the electrical systems periodically. The problem has been getting worse with the car completely shuting down at times now. The dome lights have also been a problem staying on, but I alleviated this with penetrating saturating the door lock switches. This car does scare me.

30th Jan 2003, 19:04

I purchased my 1997 Sable LS at an auto auction in summer of 2001, It needed a lot of work to even be drivable. Understandable, considering it was from an auction. However, after it was "fixed", I started to notice a vibration during acceleration. Everyone has told me everything it could be from my alignment being off, to my transmission needing work done, and the last thing I was told is that its ride height may be wrong. This only shows me how many problems Sables can have.

Most people I talk to says that it is a decent car however. So this means that for the most part, Mercury Sables are good cars, unless you get a lemon. Then they are just items to pour money into.

28th Mar 2003, 13:55

Purchased 1997 Sable Wagon LS with 80K on it. Absolutely no issues with the exception of a bad ratchet in the power drivers seat. When it does go it will cost @150. The engine runs like new, and only regular maintenance required. This car has been great fro a family, and we take it everywhere. Highly recommended for anyone who wants space, but without dangers of SUVs,

5th Apr 2004, 23:02

My 97 Merc Wagon is approaching 150,000 kilometers. shimmies on braking. transmission engages into first roughly. bucks when idling.

Probably all easily fixed. (or maybe not)

Not too bad for a car that never got enough maintenance or a dime done in the 2 years I owned it.

16th Apr 2004, 20:29

In 1999, I bought a fully loaded 1997 Sable Wagon for 15K. It had 33,000 miles on it. Today, April 2004, the kiss of death - a crack in the transmission casing. The car has 85,000 miles on it, and in good condition, would be worth 3K of trade-in value. Draw your conclusions.

In the meantime - a lot of small and medium problems (electrical, mechanical, even leaks that allowed rain water to make it into the car - only when it rained real hard, to be honest...) Overall, a mediocre car-ownership experience.

22nd Apr 2004, 14:57

We purchased a 96 Merc. Sable sedan about 2 yrs ago with 64k on it. Was able to retrieve repair records from previous owner as he left them in the glove box. Seems that he had a lot of transmission troubles. Around 70k overdrive starting acting weird, like it wouldn't catch after stopping. Decided to only operate in normal drive and haven't had additional problems. Spoke to a mechanic and he said avoiding overdrive wouldn't hurt trans. At 93k the check engine light came on... had diag. check ran and it said Camshaft Position Sensor and Catalytic Inefficency. Appears that I'll need to replace Camshaft sensor and Catalytic Convertor. It's been reliable for the most part, hopefully it will keep up for another few years. I don't like making car payments.

13th May 2004, 14:36

Bought a fully loaded 1996 GS wagon in 1997. It has been an EXCELLENT car, however, now at 75,000 miles the speedometer goes to zero while driving and sudden jolting happens too. Check out the speedometer sensor and is OK. Can anyone email me if this could be the transmission?? This is what the shop said it could be. A broken gear in the transmission. Thanks, Kathy.

19th Jun 2004, 20:50

I just purchased a 98 Sable GS (yes, I know, other comments are about the LS, but it makes no differance). I have just experiences problems with the headlamps not being able to turn off. I had to disconnect the battery several times to prevent it from draining power. Other than that, the car is in top notch shape for 126,000 km. Very roomy!

15th Sep 2004, 15:17

Can anyone give me a bottom line? I mean, I am thinking of buying a Sable in the next few days, a 1997 Sedan, with 95,000 miles on it.

The previous owner told me she had done not one repair since she bought it in 1997. This scares me. Does that mean it's "due"?

The price is right: 2,500.

Is the car going to run fine for 5,000 miles and then need: new transmission, new this new that, etc.? Is it a bad idea to buy this car or not? It's hard to tell from some of the comments. I drove it and it sounded/felt great. Should I pass however, cause of the high mileage? It's not a Toyota or a Honda, which go forever. Maybe I should pass. What do you think?


19th Sep 2004, 16:50

The 1997 Mercury Sable is one of the best model years ever you should get to at least 150,000 miles before any major problems. And at that price of 2,500 I would definitely buy it. What a great deal.

3rd Dec 2004, 14:05

I own two Mercury Sables, a '92 and a '97. Both were purchased used, the '92 in 2001 with 101K miles and the '97 in 2000 with 36K miles. The '92 now has 146K and the '97 has 105K.

I have replaced the brake-pads and starter on the '92 last month. That is all.

On the '97 I have had the transmission rebuilt and then replaced in 2003 and 2004 (11 months apart), replaced the starter, AC compressor, and alternator and pulley in 2003 (pulley seized and destroyed compressor and alternator), Oxygen sensors and brake pads this month.

Aside from the transmission problems, I do not consider these repairs to be indicative of a lemon vehicle. A frozen pulley can happen at any time and the pads and sensors are maintenance items when the vehicle is over 100K on almost any make of vehicle.

I would not consider the '97 to be best of breed, but it is an economical vehicle when you consider both purchase price and normal repairs and do not consider a car to be an investment that will have "resale value". I tend to drive a car until it is time to scrap it and spend less than most of my peers. I do not have the prettiest car in the parking lot though. I do have reliable transportation most of the time. :)

11th Mar 2005, 21:12

We have a 97 Sable Wagon with about 135,000 miles. We've replaced the transmission twice - now it's going out for the third time. Time to donate this car to a charity. Too bad, other than a poorly designed transmission it has been a pretty good car. But who can afford a new transmission every two years? - Mary in Ohio.

14th Nov 2005, 20:37

My parents have had a 1997 Mercury Sable wagon for about 4 years. They bought it with about 65,000 miles and it now has 135,000 miles. Last year they experienced the "overheating" problem, in which the temperature gauge stayed on cold even after hours of driving, and the heater wouldn't work, and then it would run hot. We had the cooling system pressure flushed three times, and by the third time everything seemed to be cleaned out and it has worked fine ever since. The car still runs well, although seems to need fuel injector cleaner on a regular basis or it has difficulty starting by even the third turn of the key. To its credit, the car continued to run even after the electrodes of the spark plugs were burned down to nubs, and new plugs did help matters. The only item of concern now is that the transmission makes a jarring thud when you stop and take it out of gear and put it into neutral or park.

20th Dec 2009, 09:53

I wrote the comment from 14 November 2005. My father is still driving this car, now with over 180,000 miles. The heater is still working good, and no overheating.

The jarring thud in the transmission was addressed by removing the pan, and changing the transmission filter and fluid. It isn't totally smooth, but good enough to have gotten another 50,000 miles out of it, and counting. It is the original transmission, by the way. At least it isn't slipping.

It still has the hard starting issue. It starts consistently on the third turn of the key. The first two tries can be short bursts, or prolonged cranks --- doesn't matter, it only starts the third time. Maybe a clogged fuel filter or weak fuel pump?

I used it last summer for a 300 mile round trip driving vacation, and was impressed that it rode well, and got 29 mpg even for its age (1997) and miles (178,000 at the time).

Oh, the "check engine" light has been on ever since they bought the car in 2001, so roughly for 120,000 miles. Doesn't seem to have hurt it any.