2002 mercury sable stalls when idles

the check engine light came on and then it started acting up. It will start fine and run fine but will stall when I am waiting at a light. If i have to idle for more then a minute it stalls. Help

The first thing that needs to be determined is what caused the Check Engine light to come on.

If there’s an AutoZone store nearby, they’ll connect a scanner to your vehicle and retrieve any codes that are stored in the computer for free. Get the code number(s), such as P0123, and post back with those codes. From there, we may be able to figure out what’s going on.


That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

Regarding warning lights:

  1. if the coolant temp light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  2. if the oil warning light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  3. if a FLASHING MIL/CEL comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

    ASAP means driving to the berm of the highway right now and not waiting for the next exit.

But if the MIL/CEL is not flashing, then it’s not an urgent indicator.

I’m feeling kinda slow, today. What does “acting up” mean? Does it have a manual transmission, or an automatic transmission? What trouble codes does the check engine light indicate? Have you done any tune up type stuff to the engine? If I had any information, I might feel a little quicker. Then, I could, hopefully, help you better.

Thank you. The codes from the computer are 1233, 1131, 1151

So I went and had the codes read, they are 1233, 1131, 1151.

Thank you. The codes from the computer are 1233, 1131, 1151

Thank you. The codes from the computer are 1233, 1131, 1151

P1233 = Fuel System Disabled Or Offline
P1131 = HO2S 11 Indicates Lean
P1151 = O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Signal Intermittent (Bank 2 Sensor 1)

Now there’s a doozy of combinations of codes - 1131 and 1151 would have me looking to the heated O2 sensor on bank 2, but that is no guarantee that anything is wrong with that sensor. IF it were bad, though, it could certainly throw both those codes. I’m not sure if it could throw 1233 as well (that could be a secondary or a primary fault). If its just a heated 02 sensor, the repair shouldn’t be too bad. I’ve never replaced them on my 97, but I’m guessing (SWAG) parts would run $50-100 and labor should be no more than $30-40 (whatever your half hour labor cost is). But there’ll probably be a $70 diagnostic in there as well to guarantee that that’s the problem…

But then 02 codes are often secondary faults, not primary ones. But I’ve never seen 1151 as a secondary fault…

The code P1233 is the most urgent, I think. Read this Web about huney 1’s trials and tribulations with this code http://www.automotivehelper.com/topic608412.htm From reading the description of the code P1233, I take it to mean that electric power (12 volts) is being interrupted. The interruption could be caused by poor connections somewhere between the fuel pump and the power supply circuit. So, the integrity of that circuit needs to be checked. I’m sure the factory repair manual gives details on checking this out.

Check this for more responses to huney 1 http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/t608412.html

OK, my son did not tell me that he had disconnected a fuel sensor to change the fuel filter. I had the codes cleared and read again and now they read 0182, 07E5 and 0059. I expected P1233 to go away, but now they are all new codes?

Is the car still “acting up”? For the code P0182, disconnect and reconnect the electrical connector, for the fuel temperature sensor, again. For the oxygen sensor heater resistance, disconnect and reconnect the electrical connector to the O2 sensor. If that doesn’t do it, you need to check the voltage to, and from the O2 sensor heater circuit.
There is no code of P07ES. It needs to be read, again. DTC codes in the P0700’s deal with problem within the transmission. This might be a problem of the automatic transmission torque converter control (TCC) causing the torque converter to lock up at idle. The fix could be external of the transmission.