'95 Mercury Sable check engine light


Old 05-16-05, 07:26 PM
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'95 Mercury Sable check engine light

Is there a most common reason the check engine light might come on? The engine is a 3.8 6 cylinder. Car has 115k miles. I'm considering buying the car and just wondered if there was a common problem such as O2 sensor? If so, what would replacement of the sensor cost. Thanks!
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Old 05-16-05, 08:43 PM
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I wouldn't know if there is anything common for a sable, someone else here might know, but even if there is something common, you couldn't count on it being the reason for the light being on for this particular vehicle. It could be anything from something simple like a bad gas cap to something else that would require a great deal of time to troubleshoot.

If you can get the codes scanned at auto zone (for free) or somewhere else that will do it, you can get much better help here as to what might be the problem.
Old 05-17-05, 05:58 AM
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If it's EEC-IV like my 1995 Escort then all you need is a jumper wire and you can count the flashing light to get the code. It takes a few tries, but anyone can do it.
Old 05-17-05, 06:07 AM
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It is an EEC-IV
The light can be set off by dozens of things
Don't replace anything w/o having the codes read
A/Z or some place similar may do it for free
Maybe a bud has a code reader

Or you can do it yourself with a VoltMeter:

Locate the EEC diagnostic Self-Test Output connector
Often behind the battery or near the upper driver’s side firewall in the engine bay
With the key in the off position connect the voltmeter
The positive (+ )voltmeter goes to the positive (+) battery
Picture the Self Test Output as 2 rows of pins, 2 pins on top row, 4 on bottom
The Self Test Input is the separate terminal near the STO
The negative (-) voltmeter goes to the STO, 2nd pin from the left on the bottom row
Then jump the STI (separate terminal) to the STO, 2nd pin from left, top row ( that would be the right one of the two)

Key On Engine Off (KOEO):
Turn the ignition to ON (But not Start)
Disconnect and reconnect the STI terminal jumper
Count the sweeps of the voltmeter (or count the flashes of the Check Engine Light CEL)
Sweep (or flash), sweep, sweep…pause…sweep, sweep , sweep…long pause….would be code 33 (EGR not opening) etc.

Continuous memory and Key On Engine Running (KOER) codes can be “pulled” the same way
Warm up the engine for 2 minutes at 2K RPM
Turn off and restart the engine with the voltmeter hooked up this way
CM: after the first code (ID code) press and release the brake and turn the steering wheel ˝ turn
KOER: after first code (3 sweeps) blip the throttle
Old 05-17-05, 10:19 AM
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easier w/o voltmeter

Sit in the car. The CEL will flash with or without the voltmeter being hooked up. I found it is easier to count the flashes. Hook-up the jumper wire and turn the key to run (not start). I it is hooked up right, you will hear, among other things, the fuel pump and radiator fan start and stop. Then you will get a bunch of codes that flash quickly. Disregard these and wait for the ones that flash slowly. A 111 followed by 111 means no KOEO codes (codes are repeated once) a single flash, a 1, is a separator and then the memory codes follow which are again repeated.

To get the KOER codes, disconnect the jumper and run the engine at 2000 rpm for 2 minutes hook-up the jumper and restart the car after more then 10 seconds of being off. Disregard the rapidly flashing codes. After you get 3 flashes stomp the brakes and turn the wheel (tests brake switch and ps pressure switch). Wait for a single flash then hit the accelerator only one time (tests a bunch of stuff). Again, count and record the flashes.

Here is the cool part: after all codes are displayed, hit the accelerator again and the car should go into a cylinder balance test. You will hear the idle change as it kills spark or gas to each cyl. The weak ones will be reported as flashes. One flash means cyl. one, etc. The whole process will repeat twice, don't touch anything during the test. Nine flashes mean you are balanced.

To clear the memory codes disconnect the jumper wire while the codes are being displayed.

If you sniff around on the Internet you will find that that engine is a POS and if mated with a automatic you have twice the trouble. Ask the owner for head and transmission work records. Don't pay more than $1000.
Old 05-17-05, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by marunr
...The engine is a 3.8 6 cylinder. Car has 115k miles. I'm considering buying the car ...
Somehow I missed that considering buying part
peabees has a point
The '95 3.8s had head and automatic transmission issues
They would have been addressed, in this vehicle, by 115K, or it didn't have them
I'd want to see the work records before purchasing
In fact, I'd be skeptical if they said it didn't have tranny or head work
...It's possible, but not real likely
If the head and tranny work has been done by a reputable shop then those issues may have been resolved
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