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Lincoln Navigator Maintenance and Repair



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes - open the liftgate, either way. Power down the truck by taking off a battery cable for 20 seconds at least. Hook back up, close the liftgate with your remote or the switch inside, you should be ok. :shades:
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190
    Got the Navigator back from dealer today. I, again, complained about the tapping noise between the doors on the b-pillar. I pointed out the scuff marks on the glossy black trim b/w the front and rear door. It's the vertical glossy trim piece between the door windows. The scuff marks appeared to show that the trim pieces pressed against each other and made the trim pieces flex and make popping noises.

    Well, they adjusted the front and rear door alignment and the noise is gone so far. I will let you know how the fix holds up. I feel relieved of the annoying stressful tapping noise. Persistence pays off even though but I had to diagnose it myself. Props to the dealer.

    Anyone out there have a sweet coolant type smell from recycling automatic AC operation. You smell the strong odor immediately after the AC's set temp is reached after full fan speed. So, as soon as the fan speed lowers when the cabin is cooled down the sweet smell appears. Dealer could "not replicate."
  • I own a 2003 Navigator, Luxury edition. It does not have a nav system, and it does not have the nav butons on the steering wheel. With that said, i was wondering if someone could tell me if the Lincoln factory touchscreen nav radio will work if installed in my Navigator. I do realize that i will lose some of the feature, esp. the voice control feature due to the incorrect steering wheel button. I want to know if it will work, or if i will completely screw up my truck. I would also like to know if I am wasting my money in purchasing this unit.

    Could someone please help with some info/advice?
  • Hello. Does anybody have a problem with their Navigator side view mirrors leaking/dripping water after a wash? Mine continues to drip for hours and it leaves a permanent water line mark along side each front door... (even after constant airpressure, towels, slamming doors, etc.)
    I have a 2003. The delearship said that ALL Navigators do this... I'm trying to figure out if this is true - or if it is indeed a design flaw on my truck...
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Your sweet coolant smell is a breached heater core, leaking slightly. I hope you're still under warranty, it needs to be changed out.
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190

    Even though the AC is in use the breach in the heater core would cause that smell? That makes sense. I imagine I would smell it even more in the winter when the heater is in use. You definitely know your Navigators. I am still under warranty, 2005 with 18K miles.

    I just hate paying for the rental car taxes. I tried to get out of it but they won't give in. I may take it to the dealer I bought it at cause they do not charge anything for the rental but it is further and the service is not as good.

    Thanks nvbanker. You sure helped me solve a lot of my Navigator issues.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You're most welcome.

    Your hot deck and your cold deck are both together under your dash, and the air passes through them both, regulated by a blend-door, which diverts the air from the cold deck to you if you're hot, and vice versa if you are cold. That's how the temperature is regulated. If you have the hot deck oozing coolant, you'll smell it all the time, but more when the unit calls for some warmer air. As when you stated, the car cools off, and the A/C throttles back, it's actually inducing some air from the hot deck, and you should get a good whiff of it.

    I'm very sorry for this unfortunate development - it's very rare, if that makes you feel better. It never does for me though....

    On the rental tax, it is a dealer (and customer) judgement call, unfortunately. My dealer never charges me, and if they try to, I just tell them that's not happening, they back off. But, I have spent about $300,000 there over the years too.

    I sure enjoyed my Navigators - and if gas was more reasonable, and I had a greater need for 2 SUVs, I'd have a new 06 right now. They were great trucks.
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190

    I will definitely bring the leaking coolant issue to their attention. Time for another rental.

    Wow, $300,000 buys alot of repairs or new cars? I hope the latter. : )

    Gas prices are high so we try not to drive it unless needed. That is our only regret with our Navigator since purchasing it last year, pre-Katrina.

    Another issue, we notice an occasional bycyle bell noise or a light metal clinking noise in the rear of the car. Sounds like the brake pad wear indicators but it is not. I thought it was a drivetrain related noise. Heard at 30 - 40 mph at certain intervals. Dealer stated they replaced a rear AC valve per the TSB and that would cure the noise. But, it got worse after the attempted fix. Now, it is heard constantly with a few breaks. When I turn off the rear AC, the noise still persists. Only when I completely turn off the front and rear AC does the noise subside. I will complain to them again. Any insight on this one?

    Thanks again.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yep. The culprit is your rear A/C expansion valve, and they were known to be noisy, almost eeery in some cases. So, a TSB went out to change them all out if there was a complaint. Unfortunately, your replacement is worse than the original, so they need to do it again.

    The reason it only goes away if you turn off the A/C completely, is because it functions anytime the compressor is running, front deck and rear deck. Your controls only manage the fan speed, direction of airflow, and temperature, but that R-134 goes through the lines all the time if the compressor is engaged, thus causing the noise. So, while it's in, make them do this repair again.

    Best of luck! Gas mileage is the only reason I don't still have a Navigator. I've never loved a truck more.
  • Drove our 04 nav to lake tahoe. When we reached higher altitudes (7000') I heard what sounded like a small pump or motor running behind the dash near glove compartment area. The sound came and went during our stay in tahoe. Now that we are in san diego it seems to have stopped. I wonder if the altitudes effect the way the air suspension works?
  • I may still have the popping sound, its just that with the radio, air , people talking I dont hear it. Next time the car is in I will ask about the door alignment.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Of course it makes a difference! The compressor pump is having to suspend that truck with very very thin air, vs. your normal
    Sea Level air there in heaven. Er, I mean San Diego. It would have to run probably 3 times as much to float that boat. When it got home, it probably felt like it was pumping glue!

    How was Tahoe? I love it.....
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190
    I didn't hear it either with the radio or conversations. I drive most of the time with niether and the popping noise was really annoying. I have enough stress and that just added to it.

    The door alignment seemed to fix it. Good luck!
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190
    Well, after the second service attempt to fix the fix, the AC valve noise remains. Dealer said they fixed it according to the TSB (replace AC valves) and acknowleges the noise remains. They talked to the "Ford Hotline" and they stated to charge an additional 4 oz. of refrigerant to the system. That reduced the noise but it is still noisier then when I first brought it in. Makes me wish I never brought it in in the first place

    I will call the Lincoln customer service when I get a chance. At least I got them to comp the loaner car taxes this time.
  • That's it, in a nutshell! My husband is a car dealer and, as you would guess, is able to get great deals on vehicles he buys at auctions. We JUST bought this Navigator two days ago (you don't get a warranty when you buy through a dealer auction). I made the mistake of checking consumer reports AFTER buying it, and was horrified to see the horrible ratings on Navigators, particularly 2003.

    Anyhoo, I drove the car for the first time yesterday, and found that the front row air vents do not blow air. I hear the air blowing in the back rows, so that works fine. In fact, the AC pumps out of the defrost area, just not the vents. I've played with everything I can think of but nothing fixed it. I'm at a loss.

    To make matters worse, today the "liftgate ajar" warning has showed up and won't go away. I've read every post on this board and found a lot of great help regarding cleaning the sensors and such, so I'm thinking the liftgate ajar issue will be a simple fix. Unfortunately I didn't see one mention of a problem with air flow through the vents.

    Any info on this problem would be greatly appreciated, as I do not have a warranty to fall back on. I'd LOVE to not have to spend a lot of cash to get this fixed. Help!!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I'm surprised your husband hasn't run across this problem in most all cars. It's quite common. You have a blend-door stuck inside the dash works, and it'll need to be fixed. This does require the whole dash to come out. It ain't easy or cheap. Sorry to tell you. However, you are incorrect about not getting a warranty from the Auction in every case. The Factory warranty is still in force on all but the most abused cars, if it is within those guidelines, in this case 4 years, 50,000 miles for a Lincoln. If it is under the mileage, Ford will fix your air problem.

    The early 03 models with an A in the VIN were horrible. Everything went wrong on those. The 03's with a B in the VIN were better and the 03's with a C in the VIN were fine.
    I had a B series for 3 years and loved it. Only gas prices made me sell it.

    The Liftgate ajar is a bugger. If your liftgate and window are both shut tight, then the sensor switch is dirty and needs cleaning or replacing. It's not hard, nor terribly expensive to do, I just have no idea where you find it. There are two, on the liftgate, by the way. One for the glass, one for the door.

    Lastly - I buy cars at the auction every week. Navigators, Escalades and Hummers go for a song out there. For an 03 in good condition, you are paying probably close to $20,000. For a third of the original price, you can afford to get the air fixed.
  • Thanks for your response. You are right, in that the factory warranty still applies if still under the years/mileage. Unfortunately we are at 52K miles.

    We did get a great deal, paying only $23k for this beautiful vehicle. At this point, we are trying to decide whether this car is going to cost us a lot of $$ in costly repairs down the line. The air vent situation WILL be fixed, we just aren't sure whether we are going to keep it for ourselves and use our personal cash to fix it...and any other future repairs that may be needed, or if we will just re-sell it through our dealership, in which the dealership will pay for the repairs.

    I checked the VIN and found that we have neither A,B, or C in our #. The sticker on the inside driver's door panel does state that it was manufactured in July of 2003, not the end of 2002. After reading your previous posts on the subject, I gathered that this means we lucked out and got one of the better batches. I will re-check that sticker to see if I missed an A,B or C. At this point, we are just trying to figure out whether to keep or to re-sell.

    Thank you for your knowledge on the matter. At least we know what the problem is now!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    YOu know, I mis-spoke. The Expeditions used the A, B & C in the VIN to distinguish the engineering changes. Lincoln used different letters, and I can't remember now what they were....sadly. You could identify it another way though. Here is how you do it.

    A) Where is the OD button on the shift handle? Is it on the driver's side, or the toward the rear of the handle, rear of vehicle.

    B) Do you have power switches for the 3rd seat right behind the B pillar, or on the driver's side just behind the second row seat?

    C) Do you have a tweeter in the little corner panel on the front doors about the size of a silver dollar or so. This would be up at the bottom of the window level, by the dask?

    If you can answer these questions for me, I can tell you which truck you have easily. These are the 3 engineering changes made in the first year, (03), and they changed the Vin number letter each time.
  • Alright, we checked everything you listed. Here are the results:

    A. OD button is on the driver's side of the shifter.
    B. Power switches for 3rd row seat is on the B pillar in the trunk area.
    C. Yes, we have a tweeter in the corner panel on the front doors, by the dash.

    So, there you have it. Did we luck out and get the later model?

    Thanks for all of your help. You've been great!

  • My '04 Navigator does the same thing. I'm told it's the compressor that regulates the air suspension. I'll be sitting out in the front yard and all the sudden it will kick on, even if my car isn't running. I'm having trouble with my Navigator's front suspension. Today, in fact, it's being towed to the dealership for the third time. I'll be driving and all the sudden the front end will totally drop and rest on my tires. So if you're driving the front wheel wells are rubbing on the tires. Problem is when you re-start the car, the compressor generally kicks on and the car raises, correcting itself. The last two times I've had it to the Lincoln dealership, they've told me they can't find anything wrong with it, after running extensive hi-tech diagnostics on it. So they send me home each time telling me they can't fix what isn't broken. It happened again this morning, and I left it parked. I didn't want to re-start it for fear of it resetting itself again. I'm very disappointed to have paid so much for a luxury vehicle and to have had it in for repairs as often as I have. I've owned Ford products nearly all my life, but after this one I think it's time to switch.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes, you won the big deal of the day, and got the C series, which is the best 03. My B series was prone to a couple of little issues, but overall was a great truck, and one I miss. The C series was the late 03 Production after some of the issues had been resolved, and was even better. I would fix the air, and drive with confidence.
  • Well that's the best news I've heard all week! Thanks for your help! Looks like we'll be keeping this one!

  • joseph50joseph50 Posts: 235
    I have the same problem after having my tires rotated my check sus light is on. Where is an off switch. Bobby
  • joseph50joseph50 Posts: 235
    I have a 1999 Lincoln Navigator someone told me there was an off switch for the air ride suspension is this true and where is it ?? I had my tires rotated and my check suspenion light came on and my air pump is not working any suggestions? Bobby
  • This switch is located inside the truck, behind the right kick plate of the passenger side of the vehicle. It is a large black switch located near the rear/right portion of the area.
  • The air springs may have a leak! By using jacks to raise the vehicle, without turning the switch off it can cause the air springs to overfill. Because over time the components of the air springs can dry rot, a tear/hole could form causing a leak. I have found the air springs online and locally (S. Florida) for under $100 each. Of course that doesn't include installation, but if your mechanically inclined...
  • we have a 03 gator. when the truck drives the dome lights turn off. when you get out of the truck the front lights shut off but the dome lights and the mirror lights stay on. all running board are up. if you get in the truck and start the engine the lights will stay on untill you drive a couple hundred yards or so.. any always says rear hatch ajar, could that be it????
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    ON a 99, the switch is under the dash, close to the passenger foot kick panel. On 03's and newer, it's in the back as described above.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    I am suspicious that you need to read the instruction manual about many of these issues. Not blowing out of front vents could be just cause it's in 'Auto' mode and hasn't gotten around to the front vents yet. If u hear air blowing out of the rear vents, then youMUST have the rear air on. It is a separate system. The liftgate ajar fooled me once - it was not the liftgate but the liftgate WINDOW that was not shut all the way. etc.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    All true.....
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