Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2005 Sable

Bought a 2005 Sable in 2010 with low mileage – 26,490. I’m just now approaching 40,000 miles.

The car will be paid off in 2.5 years. For current/past Sable owners, what should I start looking for in terms of maintenance?

Also, I’ll post a picture of a question I have about the engine in a little while.


You Should Have Some Kind Of Maintenance Schedule, Either In The Owner’s Manual Or With The Owner’s Manual.

If You Don’t Have That, Get That, Follow That.



JFC ? Just JFC ??
Am I being thanked or told where to get off or is this somebody’s initials ?
Help me out, here.

These cars have long lives when driven sedately and maintained well. You need a factory ownwer’s manual as well as an after market manual like Haynes, available from any car parts store. These cost about $20 or so.

We’ve had owners on this site get over 300,000 miles from these cars. The Ford Taurus is an identical car, so parts will not be a problem.

The key is to maintain it religiously and drive sanely.

Good luck!


Here you go.

@CSA…The common meaning of @JFC is Jesus (Fxxxxxx) Christ. I don’t know if that’s what @xanadu meant but it can be found on T-shirts at a local flea market here. It’s deplorable but it’s the times we live in right now.

@db4690 I printed off the short trip driving version for the Sable and it seems the most suitable. The only changes I would make are to change the engine coolant twice as often initially (50,000 miles) and the air filter probably needs to be changed more often.

@Docnick that was smart thinking.

Hopefully OP didn’t mean JFC the way @missileman explained it.

Unfortunately, nobody wants to be told to open their owner’s manual. A lot of owners don’t even keep them in the glovebox. Perhaps angry owners wipe their . . . with it.

They are missing out, though. Owners manuals contain a lot of good information.

I Was Just Offering What I Thought Was Sound Advice, Given The 05 Car Was Purchased In 2010 (Not Original Owner).

Often The Owner’s Information Does Not Transfer To A Second/Third Owner. The Documents Are Helpful (Necessary ?) To Have For Other Reasons, Besides Proper Maintenance.

I doubt that’s what xanadu2021 intended to mean. We don’t talk that way, here.
Anyhow, take my free advice at it’s face value or choose to leave it.


It is what I wrote. The common sense answer, obviously, is to read the manual.

What I was hoping for is a list of things that have been known to go wrong with Sables over the years. Right now mine drives great for being 8 years old and having such low mileage, but I also know shit will start to happen soon on these kinds of cars.

If I offended, I apologize.

That Car, If It Was Well Cared For Previously, Should Be Pretty Reliable. My Consumer’s Report Buying Guide Shows Just 2 “Below Average” (Not “Much Below Average”) Trouble Spots, Brakes And Climate Control.

The Biggies, Engine, Transmission, Cooling, Drive System, And Fuel System Scored “Better Than Average” To Much Better Than Average."

After several years of owner surveys, that 2005 Sable rated an “Average” reliaility score under “Used Car” verdicts in the 2012 guide. That’s not bad when compared with lots of other cars out there.

I’d do some searching on the brakes and climate control to see if you can tell what the slightly below average scores indicate.

Looks lik that car should serve you well for many years if it wasn’t abused and you continue to care for it.

Oh, and don’t worry about the comment. I’ve been called worse things by better people.


@xanadu2021 We cannot predict exactly what will go wrong with your car in the 5-10 years, especially since you are not the first owner.

However, over the next 100,000 miles you should budget for:

  1. New struts front and rear.

  2. At least one new battery

  3. New radiator

  4. New CV joints and half shafts

  5. Fuel pump

  6. Serpentine belt

Not all these things may happen, and if they do they will happen over a 10 year period. At the rate you are driving that’s not a major outlay per year. All cars need maintenance and repairs, but a Sable treated gently is not a money pit, unlike some foerien and exotic cars. The list for those cars would be much longer.

P.S. I should add a new starter and new alternator.

“However, over the next 100,000 miles you should budget for:”
“1. New struts front and rear.”
“3. New radiator”
“4. New CV joints and half shafts”
“5. Fuel pump”

Docnick, may I disagree with you a bit ?
I don’t do Fords, but . . .

. . . but I’ve got a driveway full of GM and Chrysler cars (and have had for years and years) and I have to tell you that I’ve never replaced any of the above items in 200,000 miles/10 years on my cars.

I did replace 1 radiator beyond the 10 year limit (leaking from small cracks in plastic near top hose connection - fairly normal fatigue) and the closest I can come to struts was rattling rear top strut mounts that I replaced on 1 vehilce (no struts), also well past 10 years/200,000 miles. No struts, no CVs or axles, no fuel pumps !

Battery and serpentine belt, I’ll agree on those, and I’d figure on some tires, brake pads, possibly rotors, coolant replacement, a transmission fluid change, and a set of spark plugs, but, basically that’s all I’ve needed for way beyond the 10 year/150,000 mark.

I would budget a little bit for unexpected things, whatever those could possibly be.

Not all the domestic cars are as bad as some folks remember them.


@csa I agree that not all these things will happen, but I’m telling @xanadu that they MAY, so he can budget for them. Even if they do happen, it won’t be an expensive car to own!

My last US car was a 1988 Chevy Caprice and over 200,000 miles it needed shocks, ball joints, battery, alternator, starter, fan motor, water pump, radiator, rear differential bearings, rear axle seals, and intake manifold gasket in addition to the normal brake jobs, tires and bulbs. None of these repairs were very expensive, and the vehicle was quite reliable otherwise.

There is also an age factor; my Caprice incurred these costs over a 19 year period. Your timespan is 10 years. Xanadu will incur the next 100,000 miles over a longer than 10 year period.

@Docknick, " My last US car was a 1988 Chevy Caprice . . . "

. . . Let’s see, an 88 Chevy was built 24 or 25 years ago. I owned GM cars from that era, too, a 74 Olds and a 76 Olds. I Currently have an 84 Pontiac Fiero and an 87 Pontiac Fiero in my “fleet.”

I have been employed by Volkswagen and Mazda dealers at times, for a total of 5 - 6 years and knew the cars and drove many as Company Cars and owned a couple, just to give you some perspective.

The GM cars of today are very much more reliable than those GM cars of yester-year, in fact much more reliable than any kind of car from that era. Memories gloss over past realities.

I’ve got 7 “US cars,” a Dodge Caravan and 6 assorted Chevrolets and Pontiacs. I basically maintain them all. None have ever failed to start, nor have they stranded anybody. If I thought they weren’t nearly second to none, I wouldn’t keep buying them.

My next vehicles will come from GM. They’re tough, require little maintenance, and are quiet, comfortable, economical, safe, come with fantastic warranty coverage, and represent excellent value.

The GM cars of today are not my “Father’s Oldsmobile.” Thank Goodness. That ship has sailed.


@csa Glad to hear that things have improved. At one time Ford led the improvement but lately they have stumbled again. The jury is still out on Chrysler I think.