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Lincoln Aviator Maintenance and Repair



  • bfistobfisto Posts: 3
    I had to replace a cylinder head in my 2003 Aviator 6 months ago. I put up a big stink, wrote a letter, took some clips from this site on similiar problems and they knocked the price down to $1700. I also had to replace the entire shift assembly but it was $350US. Essentially, the entire assembly came appart while I was driving. I had to use needle nose plyers to put the car in park. I drove it like that for about a week.
  • terry645terry645 Posts: 16
    The steering on my 04 aviator has developed a very intermittent problem...happens
    every few months. The power steering gets noticeably sluggish. Not to the point of having no power steering, but harder to turn the wheel than normal. This will occur
    at start-up, but will generally go away after driving a few miles. I've looked at a few of the obvious things...fluid level, belt tension, no apparent leaks.
    Any ideas would be appreciated.
  • jtafohojtafoho Posts: 2
    Wow! Where did you take your car to get those prices? Even in US $ the amounts are very cheap. How did you convince them to take their responsibility and drop the price? I paid 4300 Canadian $ for the cylinder head at Donway Lincoln Ford in Toronto and they charged me about 1200 for the gear shifter assembly. I still haven't
    fixed the gear shifter. It's just too expensive. Lincoln attracted me with this car just to deceive me.
  • If anyone could please help me and lead me in the driection i need to go. i just bought a 2003 lincoln aviator about 5 months ago. it just hit 50,000 miles and i am having issue with the engine shutting off. in the morning when i start it to warm up by the time i come back outside it shut off. when i am driving on the highway sometimes it will shut off and i have to put it in neutral and turn the car off and restart it. when trying to speed up sometimes and i push the peddle down to get going it will beep and then shut down. the check engine light is not coming on eirther. Does anyone have any suggestions on what this might be. thank you.
  • aviator87aviator87 Posts: 3
    First: I am a pre-civil court mediator in NYS & I have to tell you, all these issues with this car is WRONG on so many levels. You shouldn't pay 50K + for a car and get nothing back in return. If Ford Lincoln is making inferior products then WE ALL need to hold them accountable for this. They need to PAY $$$$ not us!

    Ok, My A/C worked slamming last year, then the winter came, heat worked perfectly. Now here is the summer again and my A/C is acting up. Sometimes there is cold air sometimes not, sometimes cold air comes out of all vents except for the drivers side. Now, there is only warm air coming out of the vents and there is this infirnal hissing noise coming from the back left panel, it hisses, then stops, then hisses again. Mind you this only happens when the A/C button is engaged. I am thinking this is the cars way of saying " I need Freon?" The sound almost sounds like its empty and its sucking for something. Also why I am doing this my drivers seat is SOOOO uncomfortable, feels like I a sitting on a rock. :(

    If anyone can shed some light on this I would appreciate it. You can e-mail me at Any help I would deeply appreciate it.

    PS: Through the grace of the Father I have been some what blessed with getting this car (pre-owned) and I can't imagine what I would be doing if I were to experience the nightmares (you) guys go through with your aviators, not to mention the money you spend :(

  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    Please don't ask for "personal" help via email. We all benefit when a problem is discussed on the open forum. Thanks.
  • How do I access the fuse box in a 2003 Aviator. I have taken out the 2 screws from the dash but I cannot get it removed.
  • I have the service manual for my Aviator but it only talks about the low a/c port and don't exactly show where it is.

    Can somebody point out to me where exact it is located ?

    There is a port on the left side of the engine with a black cap is this it?
  • rsegorsego Posts: 2
    I too have a problem with the gear shifter on my 2003 Lincoln Aviator. Several times when I try to move the shifter from Park to Drive in the center console, it locks and will not move out of Park. I looked on this site and saw that others have had the same problem and tried to press on the brake and at the same time try to shift from Park to Drive. This worked for me. If I slowly press the brake and depress the shifter button at the same time, it actually works (for now).
  • rsegorsego Posts: 2
    I recently had a problem with my power steering. I lost the power steering while driving, and noticed a leak of fluid under my 2003 Aviator. I found a hole in the power steering pressure hose that had been rubbed through when the hose lays against a pulley or belt. My dealer tells me that the hose simply hangs free and if someone changes the oil they can knock the hose so that it may rub against a pulley or belt and cause a hole. I had my oil changed at Grease Monkey just a few days before this happened. They now tell me that I need a new power steering pump as well. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
  • caboboundcabobound Posts: 1
    Imagine my surprise when I found this website and read all the problems people are having with their 2003 Aviator. I've had all of them from cylinder, coils, gear shift and most recently on June 10th when I was driving 1000 miles through the Baja desert and crossing enormous mountains I lost my power steering. Thankfully I was near the bottom of a mountain and had only two long sweeping curves to go. If it had happened 4 minutes earlier I would have crashed because I could not have navigated the hairpin turns I had just come out of. I had just had all the belts and hoses checked at a Lincoln dealer and had traveled only 300 miles. No phone service in the Mexican desert and I got really lucky when two truckers stopped. They spliced the hose, inserted a metal tube, wound some rusty old wire around it and found 1 old clamp. They were my angels. I made it to the next town, and the next morning found an English speaking mechanic who said the trucker did an awesome job but he did replace the single clamp with two and put in a new metal connector tube. Since this was not an isolated incident I reported it to Ford who could care less. This on top of valve problems 2 years ago, steering problems 3 years ago, and coils this year...and my gearshift knob keeps getting jammed up as well...and it just turned 50K miles. I've had it with this car. Oh, and did I mention the cracked liftgate panel? I still love the ride and lthe styling but never again will I buy a Lincoln product.
  • jorie_4jorie_4 Posts: 6
    That's just the half of it, I just hit 100k and have had my transmission replaced 3x in the past year. I also have this loud grunting sound that comes on whenever I turn on my AC. My gear shift also gets stuck, my lift gate has a crack in the middle of the decal....etc. I really think if we all get together and complain to Ford or maybe even file a class action for FORD putting out such a crappy piece of expensive product, we might get some solutions because this is getting out of hand. Please send me your opinions at
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Please note that people routinely ignore questions accompanied by a request to take the discussion offline. Doing so would deprive others of valuable information and tends to defeat the purpose of a Forum. Our members prefer to share information openly.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • lesliey1lesliey1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Aviator and when I brake the brakes shutter. I figured it just needs new brakes, but I want to make sure I don't get ripped off, so around how much should this cost? Or does anyone think it sounds like another problem? THanks for any help or suggestions.
  • albertialberti Posts: 2
    Hey Chugz,
    Unfortunately my gearkno already came loose and have tried to put it back one but have no success. any tips? :cry:
  • hitdog042hitdog042 Posts: 4
    I am looking at a 2k3 Aviator as a 2nd car. One thing the owner has disclosed is a 7 valve he says sticks sometimes.

    Any idea what it would cost to repair? He is only asking 5300 USD for the truck. It has 130K but the engine was rebuilt at 85K miles. Tranny has also been rebuilt at 40K miles.

  • albertialberti Posts: 2
    It sounds like you are having a good deal but from my personal experience, I will say stay away from an aviator as far as possible....what is luxury if its not drivable? Not that i know much about the 7valve issue, but one thing I know for sure is that, an aviator with over 100k miles will have other major issues you will be worrying about soon. I bought mine 2 days ago and its the worst decision I have ever made in my life. The gear knob is completely out..., I just realized the gear lift mechanism is made out of some more research before you make a decision because there are probably other things the owner know about the vehicle which you will not find out until about a week after purchase. Good luck
  • waamanwaaman Posts: 15
    Never heard of it. I have owned my Aviator since 2003 and now has 95K on it and going strong.Never had any major repairs as mentioned. Lincoln engines don't break down. I applied for the extended maintenance and was accepted at a low rate because it was an Aviator. The parking shift lever sticks but that is repairable by replacing the switch under the brake pedal. I bought service manual on CD for $25.00 and was the greatest investment for referencing minor repairs and maintenance. I tow my two boats, my grand kids watch DVD in the back and I purr to the store. One thing, I did all the oil changes for the tranny, AWD gear boxes as recommended and kept it clean. My daugher just bought the MKX and it's out of this world.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    Lincoln engines don't break down

    No, they don't. But this particular engine does have a design problem that can require the head to be replaced - that's probably what happened here. Mine was done under warranty at 30K. This problem is unique to the 4.6L 4V heads - won't affect any other vehicles.

    There are plenty of recurring problems on the Aviators. If you're willing to chance some frequent and possibly large repairs down the road in exchange for a low purchase price - go for it. But you were warned.
  • Yes you are right.. there is a TSB on this problem with this engine which Ford is all too happy to fix under warranty. Just becareful that you find the engine problem under your warranty period. Mine blew at 52K miles... just 2k out of warranty and a I had a devil of a time getting Ford to pay for 25% of the fix even though they acknowledge there is an engine problem. That is ok.... No problem. After 5 Fords in a row and more than a dozen in my family, I bought a Lexus. I am done with Ford!

    And yes, I have had the stuck shift problem, the fan problem and all the other problems that you have read about here. Loved the Aviator but I have abandoned the company... Ford... as they abandoned me.... and yes I probably tell 10 people a week to stay away from Ford. The $5500 engine rebuild probably will cost Ford several million dollars in lost business from me and my extended social network. :mad:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    Very, very few companies would cover a repair out of warranty. As for Lexus - go ask all those Camry owners with sludged engines how Toyota takes care of their customers.

    The Aviator was a piece of crap - no argument there. And that's why they cancelled it. But that has nothing to do with the other Ford products.
  • hitdog042hitdog042 Posts: 4
    I know the guy selling. Heres what he has had done.

    - engine rebuild at 105k (my facts were off it has 165k on it now)
    - new tranny at 120 k
    - bearings replaced in 2006
    - new radiator in 2006
    - brakes and rotors done few months back

    He isn't hiding anything. I have copies off all the major repairs and none since 2006. He has had it since day 1. He bought it new. Aviator is also listed as a good consumer used suv.

    I talked him down to 4800. I think thats a decent deal for an engine that has 60k on it.

    He has put in 8800 in repairs over 2005-06.

    I sort of think it's not a bad deal at all. I pick it up next week.
  • hitdog042hitdog042 Posts: 4
    It has so many miles due to his constant traveling to WV from Columbus.

    I had it checked by my mechanic and got a thumbs up from him. He said the 7 valve issue is minor and said he would fix it for no more then 300. But said it is fine not to fix it at all if I so chose.

    Otherwise its in close to perfect condition in and out.
  • rose7531rose7531 Posts: 1
    I had this problem as well. I ended up replacing all the brakes and pads $1000.00.
    Sounds like the brake drum/or drums is warped.
  • The Ford mechanic told me there are all kinds of recurring problems with the Aviator. The timing chain is just another problem because of PLASTIC PARTS!

    It cost me over $3000 to fix and none of my letters to Ford were even answered. Not even a "we got your letter" response.

    Because of this, I advise everyone to avoid Ford products. I drove them for over 30+ loyal years and this is their non-response.

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    Why do you think they quit making them 3 years ago?
  • waamanwaaman Posts: 15
    It tuned out to be a corroded parking brake shoe. I had the same noices.
  • Hi. I own a 2005 Aviator. For the past couple of days I've been experiencing a really annoying problem with my liftglass. For no reason whatsoever, while driving, it decides to release itself. Up until now it has been annoying more than happens about twice a day and on sidestreets so I just pull over and close it. Today, however, it happened while on a major street and didn't just release but actually opened all the way up. So here I am driving 70km/h and my liftglass suddenly flies open!! Now I see this as a serious problem as it could potentially damage the liftglass or, in a worst case scenario, get torn from the car and possibly hit another car (I use a high speed highway everyday to go to work...God forbid it should fly open while doing 120km/h!!). Anyone have any idea why it keeps releasing itself and how (or how much) I can fix the issue?

  • Same thing happended to me while trying to shift my '04 Aviator, the dealer quouted me a similar price of $1000. I told him to go pound sand. I went to my local art supply store and purchased 1/4" plastic tube and some plastic epoxy and did the fix myself. Total cost of materials, $22!!! And yes, just like you I was shocked to see a PLASTIC rod sticking up out of the STEEL gear shift assembly! That's just poor craftsmanship.

    Now i'm experiencieng issues with my engine, which I notice described over and over throughout this forum. It cuts off, or the red light flashes and it goes into neutral and then kicks back into gear which is a very scary experience when driving on the highway. If it does cut off I lose the power steering and have to pull the steering wheel with all of my might to get over to the shoulder of the road to restart the engine. The Ford dealer told me I needed a new coil (after I had just replaced two coils), I didn't trust his opinion so I took it to a Lincoln dealer who said I needed a new alternater and my alarm sytem needed to be reprogrammed!!! Qoute was $800 for this work. I didn't trust the Lincoln dealer either, so I took it to a local mechanic who confirmed my alternator is fine and steered my towards this site so I could see first hand the kind of engine problems that are in store for me.

    Needless to say I'm going car hunting this weekend and will dump this lemon on someone else. Lincoln = :lemon:
  • I think I have the same problem. How do you fix it?
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