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Lincoln Navigator Maintenance and Repair



  • you cant set you own unlock code with out the master code... if you try that you will be at it all day... ive done it
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190
    I agree with you. I just got my Navi back from the dealer about those problems. I tested another lift gate and it had the same noise. No fix there.

    They also stated the rear AC clinking noise was normal due to the constant cyling of refrigerant thru some "box" in the rear AC. I just don't get that. I may try another dealer for a fix.

    maunakane1, you mentioned a motor with broken gears that causes the rear AC noise. Could you explain that motor and what purpose does it serve in more detail? The rear AC seems to work fine with the noise. If it is the gears in the motor, then the dealer could not see it to diagnose it properly, right? They would have to take it apart to see the damaged gears. I don't think the dealer took it apart for my Navi and just brushed it off as normal operation noise.

    It just sucks that you pay that much for a car and have to live with noises from the AC that was not there before.
  • tonynbarbtonynbarb Posts: 25
    I usually take advantage of a coupon the Lincoln dealer sends me where I get an oil change, tires rotated, fluids filled and an overall report on the vehicle for $30. The dealer tells me my 2004 Nav. needs brakes front and back and there cost estimate is around $520. I kept that in mind and the following week when I was at a neigborhood repair garage for another vehicle I asked the mechanic how much to do my brakes on the Nav. He said $100 and If I would get the pads from a Ford dealer. After checking on the price I figured $150 for the pads and $100 labor would save me over $250 what the Lincoln dealer quoted me. When at the Ford parts department the clerk asked me if I wanted Motorcraft pads or premium. I told him I thought Motorcraft was the top of the line and he told me no that premium pads were. I thought why not go for the best and ordered the premium pads which I later found out were a lot more expensive at $260. Now I am thinking I am not saving much from the dealership doing the complete job. As it was, I ended up saving less than what I thought. The mechanic who did the job told me I should have bought the less expensive Motorcraft pads as that was orignal equipment on the Nav.
  • wyngatorwyngator Posts: 29
    Hi Again,

    Lately, it seems as if I am spending some extra money on my Navigator repairs. I own an '03 that has 94,000 miles on it. I brought it in for an oil change and tire rotation and balance and it turns out that I had to replace the ball joints. Has anyone else had to replace them on their navigators?? I was told that they wear down because they cannot be lubricated because they are inside of some type of rubber or silicone type of casing. I guess here in Florida the extreme heat causes cracking in the casing which allows dirt and such to enter and wear on the ball joint. I was told that it was something that was a safety issue because if they fail it impacts your tires. I told my technician that my mercury villager van had 120,000 and no problems with ball joints. The technician told me that the Navigator is WAY heavier vehicle than the van and therefore harder on the ball joints and that the Mercury has front wheel drive and this Navigator is rear wheel drive. Somehow that makes a difference?? Anyone know from their own navigator experience????? :confuse:
  • powellgcpowellgc Posts: 1
    My navigator was diagnosed as having a cold 3rd cylinder, I was told I needed a new engine. I have a mechanic that has put a rebuilt engine in and now says it is still running "Rich" it may be the main computer, it is a compter he has never seen, it must of been put on after market he says. Has anyone ever heard of this proplem?
    I called another mechanic at a Lincoln dealership and he says it may just need to be flashed and that mechanic just does not have the computer to flash my computer...........
    First at the lincoln dealership it was a $600.00 tune up and a diagnostic test that read cold 3rd cylinder, now I have a new engine put in by a different mechanic and it is still running the same????? could this flash have been all that was needed. Please tell me if anyone has heard of this problem.

    P.S. the suv has 138k miles and has always been serviced on time,I just had the 100000 miles works done to it 2 years
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    A reflash will not fix a bad cylinder. It sounds like you had either a spark or fuel problem in that cylinder - not sure why that would require a new engine. Did they give you any more details?

    What are the symptoms?
  • any idea how much it will cost to replace freeze plugs on a 98 navigator- its leaking on the passenger side
  • mikerrmikerr Posts: 4
    Anyone know how to remove the front license plate holder on the front bumper. I bought this car from an owner in a state where they are required, but not required in my state (PA). I was hoping it was just a screw, but they appear to be plastic rivits or something. Any already do this that can offer me a tip ?
  • coltomcoltom Posts: 9
    has anyone here every replaced a headlight (or headlights) on their Navigator? I have a 2004 and one of the HID lights went out. Now in the manual it says let the dealer replace it but I wonder if this is really necessary. Anyone dealt with it either way?
  • wyngatorwyngator Posts: 29
    My 2003 Navigator is "once again" in the shop. I just had the left cylinder head replaced in December of '07 and after such a costly repair I can tell you I was thinking that the worst was behind me - WRONG.

    I was driving last week when the instrument panel ran the message "reducing engine power" and the car literally shut down and left me stranded on the side of the road. After I pulled over, I saw that the engine was running hot. I left the car there for a few hours and was able to kick it over and drive it home (less than one mile from breakdown point) when it shut itself off again and overheated.

    I had it towed to the Lincoln Dealership and have been told that my "oil filter adapter" failed. So, what happened is that the oil seeped into the coolant system and basically destroyed my coolant system. I have to replace my radiator, thermostat, 4 hoses, coolant reservior, etc .... a major fix and very costly. Since I cannot drive the car without the fix I must do it. But, I must tell you coming on the tail end of such a costly repair due to Cylinders 6 & 7 failing .... I am not happy. I am out of warrenty at 97,000 miles and honestly very disappointed with this car.

    I have been shopping for a new car because after this is repaired I will trade it in. I know that with gas prices being so high, I won't get much .... but I feel like I must hurry and dump it before the next major repair happens. Oh .... did I mention that I had to replace the "front lower ball joints" in April. I have spent thousands on this car in the past 7 months. Each time I dumped more money into it ... I told myself it was cheaper to fix the paid off vehicle than to buy new. But, at what point to you just say "enough is enough" .... well, last week was my breaking point.

    I am looking for a RELIABLE vehicle that has some creature comforts that I am used to .... honestly, I LOVED my Navigator because it was so comfortable and had all the bells and whistles that one could imagine. But, since I am getting ready to shop for a new auto ... any suggestions?? At this point, I don't need an SUV and I would like to get better gas mileage. I am looking for a RELIABLE sedan with luxury at a decent price. Would love to know what those out there think.

    Word of warning to those with a 2003 Navigator .... if yours is working - great, but be careful as the miles climb up there. Mine worked great until about 77,000 miles and then everything started to fall apart. I have an Infiniti I 30 with 186,000 that runs like a clock and an Acura MDX that is great. My Navigator was the most expensive vehicle that I have purchased and really my most disappointing. :lemon:
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter would like to talk to mothers who use a large SUV to transport children but are now considering a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle as a result of high gas prices. Please respond to with your daytime contact information along with your current vehicle and the vehicle/s you are considering no later than Wednesday, June 11th.


    Jonathan Wahl
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds Inc.


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • polo4polo4 Posts: 7
    Last week my car was running fine when all of a sudden the engine turned off while I was rolling at 40mph. No one was behind me so I put in in "N", while rolling, and started it again and continued to drive. Then, two days later, I came out from a store and the car would not start. While I had the key turned, there was a horrible buzzing sound coming from under the shift area center console. It continued until I removed the key.

    I shifted through the gears several times and it still would not start in P or N, buzzing continued, while key was in active positions. I finally got it to start in N after about 5 tries. Dealer can't duplicate and nothing shows up in computer. They thought it could be a sensor, but they said a sensor doesn't buzz.

    I am not sure if the two problems are related or separate.

    Any ideas????
  • mikerrmikerr Posts: 4
    I notices that when it rains or gets washed that there is water on the passenger floorboad right near the door. All the door seals look tight. Anyone have this or know where to look ?
  • tonynbarbtonynbarb Posts: 25
    My front plate on the 04 got caught on something as we were backing up and it ripped off. I was stumped as to how to put it back on. I had it at the dealer and requested if they could do it. One of the guys there took out a rivet gun and still couldnt figure it out . I ended up having to go to a hardware store and buy some fasteners used for walls.
  • cacmancacman Posts: 40
    I am thinking of purchasing a used Navigator. The price drop just makes these too good to pass up. I am going to look at 2003 or newer. I would appreciate any advice as to what years to stay away from, and any problems with certain options. Thanks
  • coltomcoltom Posts: 9
    we bought a 2004 - low mileage in mid 2006 - always loved the Navigator - especially the 'captain's chairs' in the back. We like the DVD player etc and still like all the amenities but I have to tell you, from a mechanical standpoint, its been the worst vehicle we've ever owned - Absolute nightmare. Had to replace the air suspension system, had three engine coils replaced, the HID headlight went out (cost $300 to replace), etc - We've been trying to trade it and no one wants it and its still a great looking SUV - bad mileage and premium fuel are a bad combo.

    Everyone has a different story so read other's input -
  • wyngatorwyngator Posts: 29
    :lemon: I would say :::: Caution :::::: when considering this purchase. I just sold my 2003 Lincoln Navigator. I absolutely LOVED the vehicle but I spent a fortune on repairs. Especially the 2003 year is particularly bad (see consumer reports).

    There is a major know flaw (TSB 06-05-13) that affects the left side cylinder head. My vehicle got to about 78,000 miles before that failed. The repair was huge $5,200 and I had to write letters to the dealership for them (and the Ford company) to help me with the costs. We wound up splitting it 3 ways. Then, a couple of months later I had the oil adapter fail and that caused the oil to leak into my coolant system. Another huge fix to repair and replace the entire coolant system (Radiator, coolant reservior, hoses, etc...). I had lots of electrical issue pop up over the years (because I had a loaded Navigator - the ultimate) but those were handled under my warranty plan which took me until 75,000 miles.

    But, after dumping so much additional money into the SUV and being stranded on the road with the car overheating from the coolant problem, I just couldn't handle the un reliablity of the vehicle.

    So, I would have to give this car a thumbs down on mechanical soundness. But, it is by far the nicest, cushiest car I have ever owned. I also own an Infiniti and an Acura. Navigator was the most luxurious but even more expensive to repair than my other two foreign cars.

    I just traded in my Navigator and yes the trade in value was very low. But, honestly ..... I felt that "while it was running" I should hurry up and dump it.

    I think you should opt for a newer year than the 2003. If you look at consumer reports you can maybe see which years have which problems.

    OBTW, when I sold my Navigator ..... I decided to go back to my foreign car again because I needed reliability. I know that nothing is perfect ...... but we just bought our second Acura and I am satisfied with my purchase.

    Good luck on your shopping ......

    ....Laurie :shades:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    I'd have to agree that a Navigator and Aviator would not be recommended. However, don't believe that it's a Ford thing necessarily. These vehicles were designed prior to Ford's current quality program plus they are body on frame SUVs which are naturally prone to more failures - even with imports.

    Ford's newer vehicles (Edge e.g.) are proving to have better than average quality. You might consider a new Edge or Flex if you don't need the towing capacity.
  • wyngatorwyngator Posts: 29
    Maybe you are right akirby.

    Unfortunately for Ford, I have been a loyal import purchaser of automobiles. I have owned a Datsun, Honda, Mazda, VW, along with the Acuras and Infiniti's that I already mentioned. My husband's ONLY stipulation when I was out shopping for my new vehicle last month was that it was NOT an American based company. His concern (and mine) is a simple case of what we have experienced. Our only BAD auto purchase was the Lincoln Navigator.

    Oh yes, we did own a Mercury Villiager Van (but that was a Nissan engine because it was basically the NIssan Quest and that was a reliable van). Nope ..... we cannot afford to "try" another Ford.

    ....Laurie :shades:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    It's understandable that past experiences have jaded you. But Ford's quality gains are real and obvious. Who could have predicted that the Fusion would be virtually bulletproof while Camry and Accord have had major problems (engine sludge and transmission problems)?

    Anything built after 2005 has seen better than average reliability. If you simply don't want to buy a Ford - that's fine. But don't buy an import strictly on the basis that it will be more reliable because based on current data the chances are good that it won't be.
  • wyngatorwyngator Posts: 29
    Well, you certainly *peaked* my interest. So, I pulled out my trusted Consumer Reports CARS '08 that I purchased recently for my own car purchase.

    You are correct about the Ford Fusion. CR loves that car and their published data supports what you say. I see that they have data for 2006 and 2007 and so far it is all red circles and half red circles. A good report from CR.

    I would consider that vehicle as the years roll on and I see what many miles do on that car. I'd like to see it's performance at over 100,000 miles and also over 200,000 miles. I am the kind who likes to hang onto my cars and my infiniti is holding strong at 185,000 miles.

    As for the CR of the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. They give them great reviews (all full red circles and half red circles) since 2004 each year. It looks like they took a dip in 2003 for the Accord. Toyota Camry is actually all great reviews from 1998 all the way through 2007. So, it looks like Camry is the winner overall.
    Note: This is not true for the hybrid model. That seems to have an issue in one area. OBTW, Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic have outstanding reviews also. So there is no reported reliability issues there.

    Also, it amazed me but the Honda Accord has no scheduled maintenance until the first 100,000 miles. I mean obviously tires and oil are happening .... but nothing else. Pretty amazing. I test drove but wound up not buying the Accord. One of the reasons was due to a disappointing crash rating on the 2008 for side impacts.

    ...Laurie :shades:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    Actually the Camry V6 performance caused CR to put it on the Not Recommended list and that along with the problem plagued Toyota Tundra caused CR to no longer automatically recommend a new Toyota vehicle based on Toyota's past reputation. It will have to earn the recommendation from now on. Also - Toyota led the nation in recalls a couple of years ago. Honda, meanwhile, has remained high but still with a few problems on the Accord, Civic and Odyssey. The difference is Honda isn't chasing market share like Toyota and they're able to better control their product.
  • wyngatorwyngator Posts: 29
    Yes, the Toyota Tundra has bad reviews compared to other Toyotas. But, the issue of CR I have in my hands shows Camry, as a "recommended" vehicle. Also, Accord , Civic and Odyssey are all CR recommended.

    I guess for those reading along on this thread, I would have to say go purchase your own copy of Consumer Reports. Because, my copy shows all the models I mentioned as great quality vehicles and apparently akirby has a copy that states otherwise. I can see it would be difficult to determine which one of us is reading from the "correct" version.


    ,,,Laurie :shades:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    The Camry V6 is NOT RECOMMENDED by CR. The I4 model is, but on the pages you're looking at they don't differentiate by engine. I can't open the link due to network problems but try this one or just do your own google search if you don't believe me. ts-survey.html
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    Regarding the Hondas, I never said they weren't recommended or they were bad vehicles, just that they've had their share of problems and are no longer bulletproof like they used to be. But they're doing a lot better than Toyota.
  • wyngatorwyngator Posts: 29
    Yes, I did in fact GOOGLE it and the article is below. Yes, Toyota slipped from 1st place to 5th place for reliability. It claims due to V6 Camry, Tundra, and Lexus GS.

    But after reading the article that you referenced, the ONLY domestic manufacturer to make it into the TOP TEN was Buick and it came in 10th place. So, I guess it still points back to the fact that you are at more financial risk when you sink money into a domestic auto as opposed to a foreign one.

    Toyota skids in reliability rankings
    Automaker slips to fifth from first place, and some versions of Camry, Tundra and Lexus GS no longer recommended.
    By Peter Valdes-Dapena, staff writer
    October 17 2007: 4:42 PM EDT

    NEW YORK, -- The Toyota brand has lost its top position for iron-clad reliability, according to an influential Consumer Reports survey released Tuesday.

    The survey dropped Toyota from first to fifth place - behind Honda, Acura, Scion and Subaru - in average vehicle reliability. The rankings are based on average predicted reliability for all models sold under a given brand.

    2007 Toyota Camry: Because of poor predicted reliability, V6-powered versions of the Toyota Camry are no longer recommended by Consumer Reports.

    Brands made by Toyota Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. still dominate the rankings: Scion is Toyota's low-priced car brand and Acura is Honda's luxury car brand.

    Consumer Reports said it no longer recommends V6 versions of Toyota's Camry or four-wheel-drive V8 versions of its Tundra pick-up because of poor reliability.

    In the past, because Toyota (Charts) products have so consistently proved reliable, the magazine would assume at least average reliability for Toyota's brand new cars, without waiting for survey data from owners.

    But from now on, the magazine will wait for a full year of reliability survey data to come in before it recommends a Toyota product - as it does with most other manufacturers.

    "We are still, by any measure, a very reliable make," said Toyota spokesman Xavier Dominicis.

    Toyota Motor Co., which makes Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars, makes 44 percent of the cars rated as "Most Reliable" by Consumer Reports, Dominicis pointed out.

    Toyota recently passed Ford in sales and is now the second best-selling car company in the United States behind General Motors.

    Domestic manufacturers General Motors (Charts, Fortune 500), Ford (Charts, Fortune 500) and Chrysler continued to improve in the Consumer Reports reliability rankings. But only Buick, GM's near-luxury brand ranked number 10, made into the top ten.

    Among individual models, GM's closely related GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook SUVs earned a Consumer Reports recommendation based on their first full year of data. The Dodge Charger also earned a recommendation after its reliability showed substantial improvement from previous years.

    Ford, in particular, is improving in quality, according to Consumer Reports. In all, 93 percent of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles showed average or better reliability in the most recent reliability survey.

    Among overall brands, Ford's Mercury brand ranked 11th, the Ford brand ranked 13th and the Lincoln luxury brand ranked 14th. Other than Buick, they were the highest-ranking domestic brands.

    Mike Hardie, Ford's director of quality, predicted that Ford would take the top position in Consumer Reports reliability rankings in the near future.

    Ford's quality has tended to be more consistent, with steady improvement year over year, than that of other domestic manufacturers, said David Champion, head of auto testing for Consumer Reports.

    "GM and Chrysler have been more hit-and-miss," said Champion.

    Of the 39 cars rated "Most Reliable" in Consumer Reports new list, four are by domestic manufacturers. They are the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, two-wheel-drives Ford F-150 V6 and GM's Pontiac Vibe. The Vibe is built in cooperation with Toyota and shares its engineering with the Toyota Matrix.

    But 20 of the 44 "least reliable" models named by Consumer Reports were also from domestic manufacturers.

    The least reliable car of all, according to Consumer Reports survey, is General Motors' Pontiac Solstice sports car. Its reliability was calculated to be 234 percent worse than average. It was followed closely by GM's Cadillac Escalade EXT, which is calculated to be 220 percent less reliable than the average vehicle.

    General Motors cited progress, as well, in its drive to improve quality.

    "Our most recent launches are all recommended,' pointed out Bob Ottolini, GM's executive director for product quality, referrring to the Saturn Outlook and Aura and the GMC Acadia.

    Ottoline agreed that GM needs to work on maintaing strong quality once it achieves it in a product so that cars don't end up slipping in the ratings as glitches start to appear.

    European manufacturers showed some of the biggest improvements in overall brand rankings. Porsche rose 20 places since last year's survey to finish ninth, for example. Meanwhile, Mini rose 16 places and Jaguar rose 17.

    Consumer Reports' reliability rankings differ significantly from those released recently by J.D. Power and Associates. In the J.D. Power most recent "Vehicle Dependability Survey," five of the top ten brands were domestic and Buick tied Lexus for first place.

    One major reason for that difference: J.D. Power only surveys owners of three-year-old vehicles. But Consumer Reports surveys its subscribers about vehicles from all three of the most recent model years, unless the vehicle has changed significantly. If the vehicle has changed in that time, only vehicles built since the change are included.

    Consumer Reports' rankings are based on survey responses from subscribers to the magazine and its Website. Responses included information on almost 1.3 million vehicles.

    Over the past few years, both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power surveys have showed similar trends, however, with domestic car brands improving in quality with European brands generally lagging behind.
  • cacmancacman Posts: 40
    Any chance to get back on topic? Seems like 03 and 04 are years to stay away from.
  • I made the mistake if accidentally pushing the "rear liftgate window" button my remote while trying to lock my 04 navigator. Now the liftgate window will not lock. What can I do?
  • I had the same problem right after I bought the car new. I was thinking the worse when I took it back to the dealer. It took the mechanic about 15 seconds to fix it. He took a screwdriver and adjusted the part on the door where the window clicks into. It has been fine ever since and that was 4 years ago. The mechanic said it was a common complaint.
  • My brake lights fail (all of them, including the top light) when it rains. Afer about 12-24 hours, after it dries outside, they return to normal. I just had the dealer repair a short that was in the brake light wire. What could be happening?
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