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Lincoln Aviator Maintenance and Repair



  • Ok, so I check out a 2003 Lincoln Aviator this past weekend. Looked good at first, but when I opened up the hood, I noticed the two hood stops (one on each side of the engine bay close to the headlights) had paint on them! Also, the paint was cracking and chipping off of the rubber on the stops.


    I've never seen that before and took it as a sign that the Aviator was in a front end collision, and that the stops were painted over by a sloppy repair person that didn't take the time to mask the area off. When I asked the dealership (they sold & serviced the car) about any repair work, they said there was none done. Carfax came out clean. Spooked, I passed on the car.


    Well, I checked out another 2003 yesterday, and sure enough the stops were once again painted the same color as the body of the car. What gives, are all aviator hood stops painted or is this a case of looking at two Aviators that were involved in front end collisions?


  • lolaj42lolaj42 Posts: 420
    Just got the Avi back from the shop. The steering problem (pulsing sensation in the steering wheel when at full-lock left) was taken care of by applying SSM (Special Service Message) 04-10-01. What this involves is a flush of the power steering fluid and the addition of a "conditioner". Time will tell if this works.
  • aa8qfaa8qf Posts: 34
    Glad to hear problem solved. Just FYI, when they fixed mine, the flush and conditioner did not initially fix the problem. They then had to replace the steering gear.
  • lolaj42lolaj42 Posts: 420
    I can't yet confirm whether work done by my dealer has "solved" the problem . . . I just got it back after an overnight visit to the shop. Since the pulsing sensation didn't happen every time the wheel was turned to a full left lock, I cannot tell whether the work performed solved anything, thus my earlier remark of "time will tell."


    I've got my fingers crossed, but that hasn't helped me over the past 11 months with this Aviator. My wife and I are both pleased with the way it drives and serves our needs, it's just getting to be a PITA to bring it in for seemingly endless nagging faults. This has been a far different experience from our 2000 Lincoln LS.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I'm not sure this is always a sign of body repair, but my stops are not painted. FWIW.
  • Thanks nvbanker. Curious, what year is your Aviator. I'm wondering if it's just a 2003 occurance.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I have an 03 Navigator.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,989
    '91 mustang - painted, '02 explorer - painted.

    if they are not painted, i'd be more worried.

    sorry nv. :)
  • '01 LS, '04 LS, '05 Escape, all painted, no accidents. I think I'd be more concerned if they weren't painted!


    Merry X-Mas one and all!
  • the day before christmas eve (weekend before our service dept for lincoln closed for 4 days), we couldn't move the shifter out of park. No one in the sales dept had ever heard of this (surprise!!) so after talking to roadside assistance, we were informed of a temporary fix. There is a lever in the middle console that has to be raised by a screw driver to release the shifter from park. After taking the car in after the holiday, we found out that it was the brake light switch that went bad. This is connected to the interlocking of the brakes. I was also informed that there was a recall on Ford Taurus's and other Fords for this problem, but not on Lincoln Aviators. Has anyone else had this problem? What an inconvenience, especially during the first snow storm!!
  • Of course, I've had that problem, just about 2 weeks ago. Luckily, I was at home, having just returned from an extended road trip. I'm just amazed it didn't happen in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming. I've had almost any problem you can think of. See my post a few pages above. I have a lemon, IMO, but I can't legally get any recourse yet, since Colorado has one of the worst lemon laws in the country. I'll be getting rid of mine as soon as is financially feasible.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I'm very impressed that roadside assistance was able to get you going temporarily at least.
  • mongo1mongo1 Posts: 49
    Greetings all, hope everyone had a wonderful holiday week. Well... after many hours of tracing wires and circuits, checking and rechecking relays, going over fuses to no avail, I had the mysterious puddle lamp/turn signal lamp (see thread 241) narrowed down to three possibilities. 1) Sunspots, 2) A shift in the magnetic flux lines of the earth, or 3) those pesky aliens again. Just when I was ready to fit the Aviator with a giant aluminum foil hat, (to "foil" those damned aliens) my wife hit the button to open the garage door and Voila! The turn signal lights came on in the same dim fashion! Apparently the shielding on the turn signal circuitry isn't sufficient to block the signal from the garage door transmitter. This was verified with the homelink in the vehicle and another sender. So I guess the only cure is to replace the old garage door opener. It's 14 years old anyway. The LM techs should get a kick out of it anyway. Remember, the TRUTH is out there.... ;^) MongoX signing off.
  • lolaj42lolaj42 Posts: 420
    My wife reports that the steering wheel vibration has returned. So much for the previous repair attempt. Back to the shop for the . . . oh, I've lost count now. The first 11 months haven't gone nearly as smooth as I had expected.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Care to elaborate, or just needing to vent?
  • lolaj42lolaj42 Posts: 420
    The same problem described on this board a few weeks ago and supposedly "fixed" as described in Post #246 has re-ocurred. The Aviator goes to the shop sometime this week for yet another attempt to correct this annoyance.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    OH. Well, I never crank a car to full-lock either way, so I wouldn't probably cause that to happen I guess. I don't like to stress the pump. An old habit.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,989
    i've always heard the steering wheel should not be held at full lock. this a not vehicle specific and is just something i heard or read somewhere, sometime.
  • lolaj42lolaj42 Posts: 420
    The Service Advisor I dealt with last time told my wife that he thought we'd be having a new rack installed this time around . . . we'll see after they investigate a little bit further this time.


    The Aviator was left at the shop around noon and my wife got another Ford Escape loaner. Stay tuned.
  • I just got a letter from Ford about the issue with the transmission fluid incident at the factory that happened last march. My aviator was being built at the same time but thought it was rectified at the plant before it was shipped off. I guess i'll bring it in just incase...


    Also, I had brought it in a month ago regarding the stearing wheel studder and it returned...I guess I'll take care of both.


    One more LCD in the nav went dim on me. We kept it on auto with the default brightness and contrast so I don't understand what happened. I had to up it alot to get it back to normal. Has this happened to anybody else??


  • lolaj42lolaj42 Posts: 420
    Well, I'm not so enthralled with my dealer any longer. It seems there's been a tremendous amount of employee turnover over the last 4 months. The entire staff of Service Advisers, and the Service Manager are all new. Even the Shop Foreman that I had gotten to know well over the past 18-months is gone.


    The Service Adviser contacted my wife this afternoon to come and pick-up our Aviator and told her that the steering vibration we were feeling has been caused by our "big tires". We replaced the lousy OEM Michelin tires after putting less than 5K miles on them and replaced them with 245/65HR17 (an OEM recommended size) All-Terrain Yokohama Geolander model. The shop foreman claims that any other tire but the original OEM tire will cause problems that won't be covered by warranty. I almost fell off my chair when my wife passed along the news to me.


    My wife was too busy today to get into the matter with the Service Adviser (she's no dummy when it comes to cars, but she typically leaves these matters for me to deal with), so she just picked the Aviator up and drove home, un-repaired and highly dis-satisfied. She did tell me that the Service Manager thought the Shop Foreman's story sounded funny, but he didn't offer to step in and investigate further either. This guy was one of the Service Advisers less than two months ago, and I haven't met him yet.


    As my wife was driving home, she noticed that the Service Invoice stated "Customer declined repairs". She immediately called the Service Manager on her mobile phone to state that no repairs had ever been offered, yet alone declined.


    This is far from a "settled" matter in my mind, but I'm truly dismayed with the whole state of affairs with Ford Motor Company and their network of dealers. This '04 Aviator experience has been nothing like our '00 LS experience, and has virtually destroyed any goodwill Lincoln has built with me through my participation in a Lincoln Car Club. Given that Lincoln is killing off the only product I've had a good experience with, I doubt I'll be back in one of their showrooms next time I'm the market . . . which might not be too far off considering the experience we've had with the Aviator.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "got another Ford Escape loaner"


    What? That's a bunch of crap. Is this a Lincoln/Mercury dealer, or a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury dealer? My dealer always gives me a Town Car when my Lincoln goes in, even for an Oil Change, which is not required by Lincoln, they just do it anyway. That's unbelievable! If there is another dealer anywhere near where you live, I would try them and politely escalate this to Lincoln. Your dealer is just awful, and you at least deserve a visit with the factory rep about the car. At LEAST!!
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,930
    Some Mercedes dealers give Camry/Accord loaners.


    Lincoln used to require a Lincoln car as a loaner but now they only guarantee the owner "transportation" which could be a shuttle ride.


    This is where a dealer can really differentiate themselves, but most don't.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That is unfortunate. Very unfortunate.
  • mongo1mongo1 Posts: 49
    Greetings all, may this find you well. How many of you out there recieved a letter from Ford directing all owners of 2004 and select 2005 Ford products with the 5R55 series transmissions to immediately call the dealer for the installation of a fluid additive? Seems that Ford has had it's share of fluid malfunctions in the past couple of years. I am seriously considering replacement of both rear axle and tranny fluid with Redline Synthetic products. Anyone care to comment?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,989
    my ford dealer has choice of loaner or shuttle. i choose the shuttle. the driver is usually a retired guy who is good for some conversation. one time, they had a guy who tried to sell me a used f150 with only a 100k on it. made the ride to work interesting!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I have an 04 Mountaineer with 8000 miles on it. Got the letter. Took it in to my favorite advisor. He said he was out of additive at the moment, (which didn't surprise me). But he asked if the transmission had been acting up. I explained it had been engaging in reverse like a freight train sometimes and missing 3rd gear frequently. He said it was too late for this one, and I needed repairs, just leave the car. He got me a Town Car loaner (free). That was yesterday, today I picked up my car, with a new solenoid pack and new fluid and it works great. I'm a happy guy. But this is the kind of service I have received at this dealership for the past 15 years, which I why I have driven Lincolns and Mercurys for so long. The cars have generally been great, but when they do break, the service can't be beat.
  • mongo1mongo1 Posts: 49
    Greetings NV, may this find you high and dry ;^) That is exactly the information I was hoping someone would post here. I have 6000 on my Aviator, and have towed quite a bit with it lately. I have noticed a slight hesitance in upshifting lately. Minor, but annoying. I have a friend with a 2004 LS that is suffering from rough upshifting as well. Guess I better hustle it in for the service. Still think I would be better off replacing the fluid completely with Redline. I wonder if this is a problem with all brands of Mercon V or just the Ford supplier? My dealer is pretty good about providing service. When I had the Avi in for the 5000 mile service and to check out the "Marfa light" problem, they gave me a brand new Eddie Bauer Explorer for the day. Not a Lincoln, but they didn't hesitate a bit in loaning it. Thanks for the imput, keep yer feet dry!
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,930
    This was just one (big) batch of tranny fluid - they forgot to put in the additive. The tranny fluid is already a synthetic blend so you don't really need to replace it, plus there's always a chance it won't be compatible.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ford has had some interesting fluid problems the past 2 years, with differentials and now with transmissions. Wonder who the supplier is..... Wonder who their lawyer is.... This is costing them millions.


    Mongo - How did you know it was flooding around Vegas? I came back from Florida to find it wetter in Nevada than it was in Gainesville!!
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