Lincoln LS Transmission Problems



  • lightmanlightman Member Posts: 2
    Hi Group,

    I just recently had a small leak on one of the transmission hoses going to the cooler in front of the car, it was a slightly loose hose clamp. That is fixed now, but kind of worried about the transmission fluid level in the car. The leak wasn't big at all, but still wondering if I shouldn't check the level. And with it being an enclosed transmission like it is, I was wonder if anyone had some steps in checking the oil level? Steps in changing the oil?

    Would like to do the work myself as I have a shop setup for minor auto work.

    Thanks for any information!
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    You check the fluid level by removing fill plugs just as you would with a manual transmission. It's not easy to do at home. And you need to have the fluid flushed and replaced using the cooler lines which gets 95% of the old fluid out. No need to drop the pan.
  • marta5marta5 Member Posts: 3
    hello i have 2002 av...had tranny re-build in 52.000miles..but now im having problem with THAT botton that i have to press to move in to gear.Some days is fine and some i have to turn on and off my car few times and then i can press it and then move to drive or reverse..Im not having problems with tranny so what that could be?PLEASE tell me i dont have get new drives good ones im driving//besides other :-) I have 98.000miles on :confuse:
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Is it the button on the shifter knob that won't depress? If so then you probably just need a new shifter (not the tranny itself). If the button depresses but it won't move anyway then it's probably the brake interlock. See if the brake lights work when this happens.
  • qvohuertaqvohuerta Member Posts: 3
    hallo people i got a 02 ls and my problem is when im goin fast and then suddenly i make a stop or i go into a small curve tha car goes into a neutral position like if i put it in neutral i wait for a couple of seconds and gets the gear again does any body gots the same problem or knows whats goin on thanks
  • ccicakccicak Member Posts: 13
    I've got '02 also with tranny problems. I had it rebuilt by dealer under warrany at 20k miles, but acting up again at 50k. Not sure what to tell you except have tranny codes diagnosed. I still haven't but changed my fluid and filter with no improvement. Mine shifts rough, sometimes smells (burnt), sometimes delays when shifting into gears. Fluid does not look brown or burnt however. I'll probably have my codes diagnosed when i get the money if it doesn't quit on me before then.
  • ls03torls03tor Member Posts: 5
    hey is there anyone who had this similar problem with their car, my 03 ls makes a wierd noise like its not gettin enough gas at certain rpms...around 2500 its a knocking sound from the pistons....anyone knows how to fix this problem or what is wrong with the car? :confuse:
  • rubycruzrubycruz Member Posts: 6
    :lemon: :confuse: Hello! I just bought my 04 LS. Have had it less than a month...I love everything about as of now BUT when I shift from Reverse to Park it makes a loud kind of popping/knocking sound and shifts to park from reverse pretty harsh. Is this normal? Did I buy a lemon? If it happens to be a big problem (tranny) do I have to keep this car? I know I could ask the dealership but I wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions. Am I in for alot of work to this LS? I am beginning to think I made the wrong decision.....
  • ccicakccicak Member Posts: 13
    my '02 LS V8 Sport has had tranny issues and continues to have issues. I just don't have the $ right now to fix it, but it shifts harsh from first to second, and also clunks sometimes going from drive to reverse or vice-versa (automatic transmission). I think this is a poorly designed tranny, or poor manufacturing quality. However, mine was rebuilt at 20K miles, and now at 55K acting up again, so I think it's the design.
  • rubycruzrubycruz Member Posts: 6
    Thanks CC. I have read alot in this forum and I'm relieved to see that it's just not me. Although Im definatley not happy about this...I just hope the Ford Dealership (where I bought it) doesn't tell me with a smile "there's nothing wrong with it"! I'm a young woman and don't know too much about cars so I am a little discouraged right now. If there is a major problem then I am hoping I can just get my trade in and my deposit back! :confuse:
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Member Posts: 175
    both of these transmissions have 1-2 harsh shift conditions its been a common problem of either breaking the servo pin that applies 2nd gear or servo bore wear where the steel servo pin wears the bore in the case being aluminum the case wears out and fluid is not contained is the servo apply circuit.. there is an aftermkt fix but cannot be performed in vehicle sorry to say just so you people know there is a cure for the shift complaint
  • brwnlgw2008brwnlgw2008 Member Posts: 4
    I have a '03 Lincoln LS V8 Sport. I have the same problem with my car. The problem is not no more than the Neutral Switch. It needs to be replaced. View the to locate a Parts Department near you or to price the part. It is easy to replace. I have a 2001 Lincoln Town Car Cartier and a 2003 Lincoln LS V8 Sport that for which I do all of my own repairs. I would like to help you with repairing your vehicle. You can contact me at [email protected]
  • rubycruzrubycruz Member Posts: 6
    Hello there,

    I Wish I would have got your message a month ago :cry:
    I just ended up getting my orig. car back and deposit, I didn't feel like going through the "hassle"....I do appreciate the reply back! As you can tell I think I only got one reply back other than your's....


    Ruby :)
  • brwnlgw2008brwnlgw2008 Member Posts: 4

    I am sorry to hear that you took the car back. However, you can find another one in the price range of $14,000 to $21,000 with less than 20,000 miles on it if you shop around. I purchased an 2003 with only 14,000 original miles and only owe $5,900 after trading in a 2006 Ford Fusion SE (38,000 miles) with trade-in value of $14,000.
    Just search for one on the Internet and if you every need help with the repairs let me know.

    [email protected]
  • brucelincbrucelinc Member Posts: 815
    Ruby was complaining about harsh shifts and rough engagement of reverse among other things. Please help me understand how the Neutral Switch would cause those symptoms.
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Member Posts: 175
    the MLPS (neutral switch) tells the pcm what gear is selected if the reading to the pcm is wrong the computer automatically set line pressure to maximum to prevent slipping in the trans
  • rubycruzrubycruz Member Posts: 6
    Maybe it wasn't such a big deal...What do you think? I guess because I am not Lincoln savvy (obviously) I was in such a rush to just get rid of the car....I might look for another.......
  • brwnlgw2008brwnlgw2008 Member Posts: 4
    The Neutral Switch allow the vehicle to switch between P R N D 1 2. If she hers a click when moving the automatic transmission level between Reverse and Park, then the Neutral Switch is bad. Her transmission runs perfect between 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th gears; so, there is nothing wrong with the transmission at all. The transmission accelerates and decelerates fine. My 2003 Lincoln LS V8 Sport had the same problem after 19,000 miles of driving.
  • squidnomoresquidnomore Member Posts: 9
    For the Adaptive Transmission Shift Strategy, is there a way to reset it without disconnecting the battery? My wife's VW has a method involving the key and using the accelerator.

    Is there one for the LS as well?
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Member Posts: 175
    2 ways to reset take to ford and have them reset it with ford factory scan equipment or brain dead the computer by disconnecting the positive AND negative battery cables and touching them together for 5 seconds
  • squidnomoresquidnomore Member Posts: 9
    Figured as much. Reprogramming the radio, here I come. LOL
  • tochirotochiro Member Posts: 1
    hey i have a problem a have a 2001 lincoln ls and today when i was coming back home the check transmission came on and the E did too. after 30 minutes the engine light came on too. but i drove my car and all the shifts were good and the rpms 2 what can it be? :(
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Could be a lot of things - you need the codes. If you don't have a scanner get Autozone to read them for you or just take it to a mechanic. It's probably not something you can fix yourself (easily).
  • acidutuacidutu Member Posts: 12

    I just bought a Lincoln LS 2003 V8 and I have a similar problem. When I shift from R to P i hear a clank noise but when I switch from D5 to P everything is OK. Since I have 30 day warranty on the car I was thinking of taking it to the dealer where I bought the car for servicing. Do you know if this falls under the powertrain header? I know I only have 30 day on the powertrain components and I'm not sure if this is part of it or not. Any help would be appreciated.
  • rascle4rascle4 Member Posts: 1
    i reacently replace trany in 2003 ls at my shop it shifts hard up through the gears mainly 1-2 then little hesatation then seems fine till you slow down.could this adapt trans shift statagy be what i need to do?
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Member Posts: 175
    this trans is a 5r55n did you check servo bores for wear?
  • klyonkerklyonker Member Posts: 1
    When I put the shifter from 5th to 4th...there is a very long lag before it will downshift into 4th. There are not problems going from 4th to 3rd, 3rd, to 2nd. ect.

    Also, there are not problems upshifting in any of the gears.

    There is just the very bothersome lag when I take it the shifter from 5th to 4th...which i like to do frequently on the curvy roads I drive here in WV. I've had this problem for like 2 years. No other issues, just this one. Any ideas on the problem?
  • dconn1dconn1 Member Posts: 1
    When I park on an incline, put in reverse and coast back down to the street, shift to drive there is a pause, motor revs up, then the transmission catches with a jerk. Sometimes it is on the verge of being dangerous. Can transmission fluid drain to back of transmission? I have had it in twice and they put on computer and say it is within specs, whatever that means. Any ideas would be appreciated.
  • illinistuillinistu Member Posts: 1

    I'm hoping someone can help. I have a 2002 LS v8 with 56K miles on it (bought with 50K). I have had the car for approximately 8 months and it has been a pleasure to drive. However, I do get a short squeak/squeal on most occasions when I put the car into R from P. I do not recall this noise when I purchased the car and find it hard to believe I would not have noticed it then if it were there. This noise occurs about 90% of the time when putting the car in R from P for the first time for the day. Once the car has been put into D it is less liked to make the noise when going into R. Also, if the car has been driven around for awhile it is quite a bit less likely the noise will occur when shifting into R.

    I have a Lincoln Premium ESP which will expire at the beginning of December and therefore I have taken the car to the dealer and asked them to diagnose the problem. I had the car with them twice for a total of 5 days and they said they were not able to hear this noise. Finally, last time I brought the car in I pointed out the noise to the mechanic. He acknowledged hearing it but that he felt it was the rear brakes when the driveshaft put torque to the rear wheels. I told him the noise sounds like it's coming from the middle to front of the vehicle to me. He walked around the car while I shifted from P to R and agreed it wasn't rear brakes and seemed to be coming more from the front of the car. However, he said diagnostics all read normal and he checked fluid and it is in good shape. He said given that it is just a short (1 sec or so) noise that it was nothing to be concerned about now and not worth tearing a bunch of stuff apart in an effort to find it.

    The car drives fine and doesn't seem to have any problems shifting while going down the road. But, I am from the school of thought that unusual noises do not usually fix themselves and am concerned extended warranty will run out and then some major thing will go wrong and cost me a fortune. Has anyone heard the same noise in their LS or does anyone know what this noise is? Is it really nothing to be concerned about?? Please help!
  • qvohuertaqvohuerta Member Posts: 3
    Just happend the other day i put into 5th once i got into the highway as i slow down i put into 4th gear and notice it was still in 5th gear theirs no check engine light or any kind of sign telling me something is wrong does anybody know whats goin on if the gears got stuck or the trany is goin bad or do i haftu do a flush on the trany
  • pallyjoepallyjoe Member Posts: 5
    :confuse: I have a 2000 LS with a 3.0and a 5r55n tranny.problem is about the same as everyone else's almost.Mine slips going into 3 rd gear any ideas.we put a solenoid pac in it but no good was going to try a rebuild on the valve body next, joe
  • hcky87hcky87 Member Posts: 3
    Did you ever figure out what was causing your problem. my 02 has the same problem with falling into neutral, i added 1 1/2 quarts and that seemed to fix the problem for now. was there anything serious that you found out?
  • pallyjoepallyjoe Member Posts: 5
    we ended up putting a valve body in it.the fluid levels were fine when seems to be ok for now.yesterday the drivers side window regulator broke.
  • vinny420vinny420 Member Posts: 5
    i have a lincoln ls 3.0 when i put it into d the [non-permissible content removed] end seems to sink down any ideas?
    as well it seems to shift real slow when comming to a rolling stop, almost clunking down into second gear any ideas?
  • pallyjoepallyjoe Member Posts: 5
    I don't have any idea about the sinking feeling;unless your rear suspension is just plain wore out.the clunking we had and it also clunked when i first pulled out.what was happening the car would not downshift into first gear all the time ;it would only go to third.when you pulled out it would immediately downshift into second and then go through the remaining least this is what the computer told us.we put a shift solenoid pack on it and that problem was should have someone hook it up to a diagnostic computer and that will tell them what gears are working and so we drove it came up on the screen with real time trending .
  • hcky87hcky87 Member Posts: 3
    i have the 3.9, but my [non-permissible content removed] end was sinking down and lurching forward to, but i got that fixed. it is going to do it to some small extent for it being a rear wheel drive could be one of two things form my learning. Lincoln had a memory in its transmission, and the car knows how it wants to be driven. it remembers how it was driven from the previous owners and wants to be driven that way.. if it was driven by a grandma, it will want to be driven easy, and if it was reamed on and driven hard, it will want ot be driven hard.that will also have an impact on how it goes into gear. so have the computer get reset and that should take care of the problem, that took care of mine and it is perfect now. But if that isnt the problem, it could be the RPMs are set too high, that will cause it as well, and that just needs to have the throttle adjusted and turned down. when you start your car, look to see if the RPMs are too high for idle and it could be something that minor. that is just two things i learned from speaking to the dealership that did my warranty. good luck to ya.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Lincoln had a memory in its transmission, and the car knows how it wants to be driven. it remembers how it was driven from the previous owners and wants to be driven that way.. if it was driven by a grandma, it will want to be driven easy, and if it was reamed on and driven hard, it will want ot be driven hard.that will also have an impact on how it goes into gear.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. This is an urban myth. The software in the PCM which controls the shifts does not know the difference between one driver and another. All it does is adjust the shift pressure to maintain the factory shift times based on the speed, rpm and throttle position. If a shift takes longer than it's supposed to the pressure is increased - if it's too fast it's reduced. This allows the transmission to adapt to manufacturing tolerances and wear over time to keep shifts consistent. And this info is straight from the engineer responsible for the transmission calibration.

    All you need to do is disconnect the battery for a few minutes and that will clear out the learned shift pressures and sometimes that does seem to improve the shifting - not sure why. But it has nothing to do with driving style.

    What can happen is you might be hitting shift points that the previous owner did not and therefore the tranny hasn't had an opportunity to learn those pressures. E.g. the shift pressure is different at 30% throttle and WOT.
  • vinny420vinny420 Member Posts: 5
    what? are you serious all i have to do is disconnect the battery and that will fix the problem. thats crazy i'll try it..the problem is not a clunking its not downshifting fast enough like u know when your rolling through a stop sign it feels like its downshifting when u step back on the pedal thats when it wants to downshift from like 3rd to 2nd
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    I'm not saying that will fix the problem, but it won't hurt to try either.
  • vinny420vinny420 Member Posts: 5
    my car is idles at 6 rpm is that too much, should i have it lowerd to 5 rpm?
  • lmweberlmweber Member Posts: 1
    Last night I was driving my car home and it seemed to be running just fine and all of a sudden the temperature light turned red, the check engine light came on yellow and I got a warning that said something like "Operating at Reduced Engine Speed" and the car automatically slowed and wouldn't accelerate. When I got out and checked it did not smell or feel hot. The only recent change has been the installation of a new battery on November 9th. Does anyone know what this could be? I will appreciate any advice as I have been inundated with repairs for this vehicle and I am tired of being ripped.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Could be a bad thermostat but not likely. But it wouldn't hurt to go ahead and change it. Check the coolant level in the overflow bottle - they've been known to crack and when the coolant level gets a little low it creates steam pockets. The steam is under pressure and is hotter than the regular coolant so when that passes by the temp sensor it registers as an overheat and the engine goes into limp home mode to prevent damage. The other possibility is a bad temp sensor or wire.
  • ls03torls03tor Member Posts: 5
    its a rear wheel and from lincoln to bmw all cars sink....hold the brake a little harder when putting it in drive and u wont feel it much...i actually asked my ford/lincoln mechanic about this and thats what he told me.
    i have a 03-3.0 as well and sinks the same way so does my other buddies who have 02 and 05 v8s
  • vinny420vinny420 Member Posts: 5
    well it seemed to work when i got home the other day i had disconnected the battery, to reset the the car is downshifting like it should. thank you very much for the info.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Sometimes resetting the PCM does cause it to shift better, but why is a mystery because it's not supposed to work that way. There must be a flaw in the algorithm that adjusts the shift pressures over time.
  • eagle19eagle19 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 00 lincoln i replaced the engine, now the car starts to buck around 40 mph and up inclines. would this be the transmission or a bad coil?
  • vinny420vinny420 Member Posts: 5
    recently i have been letting my car sit for 3 or 4 days and when i go to start itthe engine light comes on and will start flashing, but will stop flashing as i start to drive, but the engine light stays on, and will stay on for about a day or so, then it will go out. now if i drive the car every day the light will not come on its only when i let it sit for 3-4 days in the elements, what would the problem be, the cop or water in the fuel any insight would help alot
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    It's a long shot but it could be a leaky fuel injector that build up extra fuel over 3-4 days that needs to be burned off. You should have the codes pulled - Autozone does it for free. Can't think of anything else in the fuel system that would show up after 3 days but not overnight.
  • inztagatahinztagatah Member Posts: 9
    only when idleing every few seconds i hear a grinding/hissing noise but when i stop it progresseis into a deisle engine/boiling noise wtf? also when im using tiptronic it dosnt let me use first gear? yet it does somtimes?
  • LincolnTechLincolnTech Member Posts: 3
    well the 5r55n trans that comes on this car is a very strong tranny and the main problems they give are valve body probs...take it t a trans shop and have it checked out
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