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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I own a 2002 Mercury Sable GS (equipped with the optional GS Plus Package) with the Vulcan engine. Car has 194K miles and I've owned it since August 2015. I'm having some issues that I need guidance on, since I've replaced various items but it still needs some work.

1: Lukewarm/cool heat. Car's equipped with manual (not auto) HVAC controls. I've had the heater core flushed multiple times, heater core replaced, coolant flush, and thermostat all replaced within the past 3-4 years yet I'm still having this problem.

2: Very intermittent stalling/stuttering from idle. Check engine would come solid on, but never blink. Spark plugs and plug wires were replaced within the past couple years. Code came up as a cylinder 6 misfire.

3: Intermittent electrical issue. Sometimes, when I open the glove box or mess with the dome lights, the power windows won't roll up or down and the dome lights/glove box light/exterior puddle lights will turn off. The little lights for the window switch buttons will also turn off too.

If you guys can help me out, I greatly appreciate it! I am STUMPED on those 3 issues despite multiple trips with my local mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Can anyone help me please??? I really do need some assistance on my issues that my local mechanic seems stumped on despite me having replaced several parts already. I joined this website to obtain help.
 

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Can anyone help me please??? I really do need some assistance on my issues that my local mechanic seems stumped on despite me having replaced several parts already. I joined this website to obtain help.
This website is a relic of the past, most people have moved on to facebook, so it's not that people are intentionally ignoring you. The regulars aren't on as much as they used to be. With that said, the search function will help you find other people with similar issues, since we've seen it all pretty much.

With that said your heat issue is very likely a bad blend door actuator that's stuck the blend door in between heat and A/C if you've replaced all that other stuff. If you get more heat while at higher RPM then it's a failing water pump, if it's always the same lukewarm then it's the blend door.

For the intermittent stalling I'd do a voltage drop test on the block, and clean up the main battery ground point as well as the PCM ground strap point and see if that helps. I'd also check your alternator output at idle.

Finally, the random electrical issue is hard to say, but all of those items are on the same circuit. I'd check the fuse for starters, maybe it's not inserted all the way or something simple like that.
 

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This website is a relic of the past, most people have moved on to facebook, so it's not that people are intentionally ignoring you.
I've searched in the past for this facebook site I've seen mentioned, but couldn't find it. Could someone post a link please? TIA!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've searched in the past for this facebook site I've seen mentioned, but couldn't find it. Could someone post a link please? TIA!
Try this link.

Also, I just got word from my local mechanic: the front timing cover, timing chain, and timing cover gasket need to be replaced. He's also going to flush the heater core. Hope this works out...despite setting me back about a grand.
 

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Try this link.

Also, I just got word from my local mechanic: the front timing cover, timing chain, and timing cover gasket need to be replaced. He's also going to flush the heater core. Hope this works out...despite setting me back about a grand.
Is the front cover leaking coolant? The chain is probably still alright, maybe a little bit of slack at that mileage but I doubt it makes noise. But I guess he might as well while he's in there. As far as flushing the heater core, I'd have him put a new water pump on instead. Is it original? Generally speaking you might need 1 heater core through the life of these cars and that's only if you didn't do regular coolant changes and let the block start rusting internally.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Is the front cover leaking coolant? The chain is probably still alright, maybe a little bit of slack at that mileage but I doubt it makes noise. But I guess he might as well while he's in there. As far as flushing the heater core, I'd have him put a new water pump on instead. Is it original? Generally speaking you might need 1 heater core through the life of these cars and that's only if you didn't do regular coolant changes and let the block start rusting internally.
My mechanic has now replaced the timing chain, front timing cover & gasket. Heater core flush was done too. Water pump was replaced 3 years ago, heater core replaced 1-3 years ago but don't recall when exactly. He suggested a new thermostat so I ordered the part and he'll replace it next week. The one I ordered was a Motorcraft 197* one.
 

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My mechanic has now replaced the timing chain, front timing cover & gasket. Heater core flush was done too. Water pump was replaced 3 years ago, heater core replaced 1-3 years ago but don't recall when exactly. He suggested a new thermostat so I ordered the part and he'll replace it next week. The one I ordered was a Motorcraft 197* one.
Most likely the secondary blend door is warped. Here is a link the the factory service bulletin: Taurus: the secondary blend door as per TSB 02-23-6
This was the fix for mine, I pulled the part from a 2005 Taurus at the J-yard.
 

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Update: My thermostat & thermostat gasket along with the blower resistor were replaced, all 3 of them were Ford Motorcraft. The heater is warmer than it was before, but it's not as hot as I'd imagined it would be, even at normal operating temp. Blend door sounds normal. Anything else further I can do to make the heater hotter? Coolant flushed 3 years ago, heater core within 1-3 years, heater core flushed multiple times before and after it was replaced too.
 

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"Blend door sounds normal" does not sound like a very thorough investigation.

Have you taken temperature readings of the heater core hoses and the vent air? This would help localize the issue.

Is your coolant at 50:50? An excess coolant concentration carries less heat.

How was your heater core "flushed"? With cleaner? Backflushed?

Are you sure they replaced your heater core? It's a big job and you say it didn't improve much.

Are you taking it to the same shop for everything? If a shop changed the heater core, it is an expensive job, so they should only have done such a job if they were certain that it was the reason for low heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
"Blend door sounds normal" does not sound like a very thorough investigation.

Have you taken temperature readings of the heater core hoses and the vent air? This would help localize the issue.

Is your coolant at 50:50? An excess coolant concentration carries less heat.

How was your heater core "flushed"? With cleaner? Backflushed?

Are you sure they replaced your heater core? It's a big job and you say it didn't improve much.

Are you taking it to the same shop for everything? If a shop changed the heater core, it is an expensive job, so they should only have done such a job if they were certain that it was the reason for low heat.
I haven't actually seen my blend door in action, but I do hear it when adjusting the manual temp switch. I haven't taken any temp readings but the hoses do feel hot. I'm not sure of the exact coolant mixture since my local mechanic did it. I can ask next time though. Unfortunately they didn't specify to me either how it was flushed, and yes they did replace it but I don't recall exactly when. They charged about 4 hours labor for me since I bought the part from RockAuto.com and it's pretty much always been the same shop. The only exception was from my short stint working at a Ford dealer in late 2016, the Ford dealer replaced the water pump, thermostat, and timing cover gasket.
 

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Update: My thermostat & thermostat gasket along with the blower resistor were replaced, all 3 of them were Ford Motorcraft. The heater is warmer than it was before, but it's not as hot as I'd imagined it would be, even at normal operating temp. Blend door sounds normal. Anything else further I can do to make the heater hotter? Coolant flushed 3 years ago, heater core within 1-3 years, heater core flushed multiple times before and after it was replaced too.
"Blend door sounds normal." ???? Do you know what normal sound is???? Keep skipping diagnostic steps and posting here: you will get nowhere and we'll lose interest in helping you. Any good HVAC technician has a bore scope camera and will use it to verify the door operation. Just do it.
 

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"Blend door sounds normal." ???? Do you know what normal sound is???? Keep skipping diagnostic steps and posting here: you will get nowhere and we'll lose interest in helping you.
And the shops he goes to obviously love customers who agree to throw parts at problems and don't ask about the diagnosis. In the last three years, he's had two thermostats, two timing cover gaskets and several "flushes".

At this rate, he'll soon have a new Sable but still with low heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
And the shops he goes to obviously love customers who agree to throw parts at problems and don't ask about the diagnosis. In the last three years, he's had two thermostats, two timing cover gaskets and several "flushes".

At this rate, he'll soon have a new Sable but still with low heat.
It's a somewhat decent car, and just my winter beater/back-up car. The other 2 cars I have I don't drive in the winter time. I've wanted them to diagnose the lack of heat, and they suggested a new thermostat (despite the fact that I already had it replaced 3 years ago from another dealer/my previous employer). I'm pretty much at my wits-end about why I can't get fully hot heat. I've seen the 2 YouTube videos above, and unfortunately I'm not too much of a mechanic myself. I've changed the regular air filter but I was completely unaware my 2002 Sable GS would be equipped with a cabin air filter.

My next service appointment with my mechanic is this coming Thursday 1/30. I will have him investigate the blend door, cabin air filter, and coolant/water ratio. Anything else I can ask him to investigate?
 
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