Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for mechanics and DIY enthusiast owners of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My Sable is having several issues and I can't tell if they are related. The car is driven less than average, three or four days per week. At some point, it lost coolant and I had to add about two quarts a couple weeks ago. The engine is still hot right now, so I'm not sure if it's low at the moment. Another issue is that the speedometer will sometimes drop to 0, seemingly randomly, while driving but will eventually return to a working state. When the speedo starts working again, the car makes a strange noise. The last issue I have noticed is that the car sometimes has an issue accelerating. You can push the car to 5 or 6K RPM but the car will still travel at, say, 15 MPH.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Having owned a 97 Taurus which is a Sables cousin a common problem is the vehicle speed sensor. If the sensor completely fails it is easy to diagnose. Mine slowly failed over a two week period during which time it would shift into nuetral, have eratic speedometer readings,and would shift up or down at odd times or work perfectly fine. The coolant resevoirs are also a high failure item. They develop a leak at the bottom so it makes it difficult to add coolant. When I replaced the coolant tank a new one at the dealer was $3.00 more than the salvage yard wanted for a used one.

share|improve this answer
Is it possible to check or replace the VSS myself, or is it best to take it to a shop? – FreeAsInBeer Aug 24 '12 at 16:13
Depending on your skill level it can be done in the driveway. It is located on the passenger side of the motor near the firewall,next to the exhaust pipe,behind a heat shield. In my case it was difficult to diagnose as it was intermittent. A visual inspection showed the wiring was melted. – mikes Aug 24 '12 at 17:00
mikes: Is this the part I need? – FreeAsInBeer Sep 3 '12 at 3:43
It turns out this was the issue. I replaced the speed sensor this past summer and have had no issues since. Thanks for your help mikes. – FreeAsInBeer Jan 3 '14 at 17:03

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.