Lincoln Town Car Maintenance & Repair

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
Problems with your Town Car? Post them here and share any solutions with other TH members.


  • henryh8henryh8 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Lincoln Towncar. The radio has been working flawlessly since I bought it. The panel lights on the radio are supposed to turn on automatically when the lights on the car turn on on auto or manually. The panel lights on the radio most of the time do not turn on. Used to be for a while that if I turned the car off for a few minutes, opened the door and closed it again the radio lights would come on when I turned the ignition to on and started the car. Now it doesn't do it at all. But sometimes, low and behold, they turn on when it begins to turn dark and the car lights turn on automatically. It is really annoying. The CD and Radio work great but the lights are possessed by Gremlins. Has anyone had this problem or know the solution? What causes this to happen?

  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Are you talking about the lights on the panel of the Stereo controls, like the button lights, or the window LED display?
  • patrikpatrik Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 towncar in which the carpet on the right side of the car, both front and rear gets soaking wet when the car is left outside in rain.
    Any suggestions what may be causing this?
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239 only guess would be a bad windshield or backlight seal is letting rainwater in, and it's running over the floor pan. But I've never heard of this problem before......

    Have ya considered moving to Nevada or Arizona?
  • homerkchomerkc Member Posts: 113
    Do you have a sunroof? Leakage there could find it's way down the door pillar - and could explain the wetness in both front and back. I can't believe a leak around the windshield would soak the back as well.
  • patrikpatrik Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for your idea about the door pillar. That is in line with my own theory. I do not have a sunroof but a carriage roof and the sealing on the top of the door pillar looks a bit suspishious.
  • mclintockmclintock Member Posts: 4
    I have a 1998 Lincoln Town Car. Just recently I thought the A/C quit working. I started troubleshooting. When I push the MAX A/C button the compressor kicks on and it is getting cold. I them hear a vacuum shuttle and it starts blowing MAX heat. The A/C and receiver are ice cold under the hood. I thought the climate control crapped out. I bought a used one and replaced it and same problem. Could they both be bad or is there another place to check for the vacuum activated shuttling from heat to A/C. Thanks
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    I bet you replaced the head unit on the panel? The brain for the system is elsewhere I think. But, you may only have a stuck blend door. That's what I'm betting on. The one time I had this happen to my 92 Continental, a power down (take the battery off the terminal, and reconnect) fixed it, never happened again. Kinda like a re-boot.
  • mclintockmclintock Member Posts: 4
    tried the disconnect. Problem still exists. Where is the blend door? How much disassembly is required to get to it? Thanks
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Oh, I've never had a stuck blend - door, just heard about them, it's a dash out issue. Your basic nightmare. Ugh.......
  • rduke1rduke1 Member Posts: 1
    I don't know the answer to your problem, but I wish I did. I have a 98 doing the same thing.
    I'm digging and if I come up with anything I'll let you know. You do the same please!
  • abe_lincolnabe_lincoln Member Posts: 1
    My '89 had a sticking heater door on it, or, to put it more right, it just plain would only open half way. If the heater system in your 98 car is still vaccume powered (which i highly doubt) check the vacume motor on the heater door itself.

    You will probably be able to gain access to it by taking out the stop in the glove box that keeps it from falling down on your knees and dumping its contents on your lap. Check to make sure the vaccume line is well attatched.

    One problem with that problem though, is that the vaccume line is iether on or off. It really can't be in between, and if its off, you will get heat only.

    Another item that you could check is the heater control valve, which is under the dash pad in '80's models, and I would assume the same is with your 98. If yours is still a vaccume powered unit, which i doubt, it could be bad (those things had a tendacy to crap out in '80's machines). Again, the problem with that has a different failure mode than what you have mentioned. When the vaccume powered heater control valve fails, you usually only get luke warm or ambient temperature air from both the heater and the air, since a bad unit will only provide a range of low-mid vaccume to high-mid vaccume.

    That said, I think your unit is electronic servo operated. In that case, the servo on the heater door could be failing, overheating when in use and shutting off, causing the heater door to return to its home position, which is wide open. That servo would be my first suspect.
  • dacuzdacuz Member Posts: 1
    I need help -

    just picked up a new Town car and because of the following design characteristics I find this luxury car to be extremely dangerous -

    the brake and gas are so close
      I have almost driven thru my garage door and
      rear wall
      it is almost impossible not to hit the gas and brake together

    the metal strip on the dash reflects thru to both side view mirrors creating a double line in each mirror thus distorting the view on both sides and limiting the viewing area

    the defroster vent is so far away from the window (closer to the driver) that it also reflects into the windshield decreasing visibility by 25% in the front windshield

    the green LED lights from inside at night also reflect in the left side view mirror that that also distracts and limits the viewing space

    if anyone has noticed any of these please reply asap
  • w0bymagnusw0bymagnus Member Posts: 19
    I have an 01 Town Car and I noticed every time it rains or I go thrue a puddle the passenger floor gets wet. The water is coming from inside the dashboard and dripping down. I've talked to about 20 other TC owners and they're having the same problem. Anyone have any idea how to fix this?
  • egkoregkor Member Posts: 24


    I have a '95 TC. When I turn off the windshield wipers, the wipers go to the "up" position and stay that way, instead of going to the "down" (concealed) position.


    Any help appreciated!


    -Gary K
  • tulsahogtulsahog Member Posts: 64
    Just read your post, if not too late, I can tell you of my similar experience.


    If you will look at posts in "Lincoln Town Car" at numbers 1040, 1045, 1049 (diagnostics) and 1052 they will relate my experience with a faulty blend air door motor.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Why did yous guys hafta change the wheel in the 05 Town Car? I'm renting one in Florida this week, and the control buttons on the spokes are too large, hard to press accurately and unwieldy. Big mistãke if you ask me. Bad design. Like my Navigator wheel much more.
  • garsarnogarsarno Member Posts: 72
    My '99 did the same thing last year, but on the drivers side. Dealer resealed the windshield and no more leaks.
  • towncar2towncar2 Member Posts: 1
    hi we have a 2001 town car and the front heater fan has stopped working every thing else works but the fan any one have any ideas if there is a know problem
  • chuck11chuck11 Member Posts: 1
    The interior panel brake light in my 1999 Lincoln stays on most of the time when the vehicle is running. There is no noticeable drag at any time while driving. Often it will go off when backing up but reappears again. Any help on this would be appreciated.
  • beernutbeernut Member Posts: 329
    Sounds like a parking brake light switch adjustment. Its down on the pedal.
  • rudybrudyb Member Posts: 1
  • edavidson3edavidson3 Member Posts: 2
    I had the same problem recently. The dealer said that this is a common issue with TC. There is a air supply intake for the A/C system that can develop a leak at the gasket. The water will run down inside the door and soak the passenger carpet. They fixed it the first trip and I have not had any problems since. Be sure to leave the floor mats off until the carpet is completely dry.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    When you face downhill, the rain water seeps into the trunk instead of running off.
  • pollockpollock Member Posts: 1
    My car is stored during the winter and it has 65000 miles on it. When the car is driven the air conditioner is used 95% of the time. So one day the sun was out but it was cold, I decided to take it for a run. When I set the temp at 90, the air was cold so I shut it off. I then drove the car till the temp was normal and turned the heater on with cool air coming out. I took it back to my garage and put a temp probe in the vent and it was 64 degrees. I moved the temp from 60-90 then 90-60 (1 cycle) and the temp move down to 62 degrees. I cycled this about 6 times and it moved down to 52 degrees. But the heat side only moved up to 67 degrees.
    It took many cycles (90-60 then 60-90, moving the temp 1 degree at a time with a couple of times with 2 degree movement. When it hit 86 Degrees it jumped to 103, but when the car was shut off and restarted I was back to square one. I was assuming that the blend door was sticking but I thought why is it defaulting to the air conditioner side. Also I thought there was a safety function in case this happened that would let you go to defrost and you would get heat. This doesn't work, I get cool air out of the defroster too. This happen last summer but the situation was reverse. I drove down to Las Vegas using the heater and when I switched to air conditioning, the air was maybe 72 degrees; just guessing. I stopped at a shop and the guy told me I could do a self test by pushing the OFF & FLOOR buttons at the same time and then within 2 seconds push AUTO. The temp window displayed a clock hand rotating and finally stopped with zero codes. I then pushed the BLUE button. When I tried the air it blew cold air. On the way home the heater also worked when I needed it. The car was driven about 500 more miles before being parked. I have also disconnected the battery with the problem still there.Any advice would be appreciated.
  • buck8buck8 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 t/c w/28K miles. I took it to a independent mechanic that I have used for my other cars, to have it serviced. He contacted me and told me I have a head gasket leaking oil on the back corner, drivers side. I might add, I've known this person for some time, and know him to be an excellent mechanic, as well as extremely honest.

    He also told me that the 4.6 engine was called a romeo engine, that the heads were finished to a glass like finish when new, and during assembly, it was not uncommon for metal flakes from the assembly process to get in between the heads, gasket, and block, and that with the expansion and contraction it is fairly common for them to develope leaks.

    Of course, the car is now out of warranty. I'm just wondering if anyone else has encountered this problem?

    Thanks to all,
  • sacdl7sacdl7 Member Posts: 3
    The power windows in my 1984 Town Car now refuse to function. If I use a jumper battery with wires to the back of the door-switches, I can make the windows go up or down, but NOT with the switches themselves. The fuses are alright. A test-light shows that there is no electricity getting to the door switches. I have put in a new power-window relay (in the right passenger-side kick-panel area). The power-windows STILL refuse to function. Any suggestions? Thank you.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    I'm not saying your mechanic is lying, but this is the first time I've ever heard of a 4.6L engine having a head gasket leak. I've heard of a few 5.4L's having that problem. It's certainly not impossible. But as for "fairly common" for them to develop leaks? That, I'm a little dubious about as I'm very familiar with this family of engines, and it's the first time I've heard of it.
  • kjfkjf Member Posts: 2
    I had a '92 TC (also 4.6) and I sold it to my brother with 130K miles, and he drove it 4 more years, junked it last year at 190K miles on original engine, and no head gasket problem. My '01 Signature TC (4.6) had the intake manifold gaskets replaced under warrantee. It has 63K miles nows and no problems with head gaskets, but I was told it needs lower ball joints today.
  • kjfkjf Member Posts: 2
    Re: Gas and brake too close... I have had same problem with my '01 Sig TC since I bought it in July '01, and told the DLR that I had heard they were fixing this on Taurus and other Lincoln/Ford vehicles. They had a tool that they measured the space with, and if it "passed" they did not fix it. Mine "passed" but I still step on Gas and Brake at same time with my size 13 right foot more often than not. It was not like this on my '95 Crown Vic, but they told me that was cuz the car was made for cops with boots on.. and Lincoln was not. It is a definite safety hazard. When I don't feel the car slowing down for the pressure I am exerting, I shift my foot to see if it might be on both pedals. The biggest problem is that the brake pedal ends up down at (and below) the height of the gas pedal when you step on the brake. If brake pedal engaged at higher point, it would not have this problem. Good luck...
  • guessguess Member Posts: 3
    My Lincoln will not start at times,I have started this car, not moved it and would not start the following day. This car is kept in a garage. It has been towed to dealer(s) and could not find any problems,no failure codes and fuses check out okay. When car does run,engine runs perfectly,no miss or hesitations etc. Fuel filter has been replaced,new plugs & air filter. The check engine light has not come when this condition exist Mileage on this vehicle is "75640" Help Please
  • beernutbeernut Member Posts: 329
    Damp/wet wires would be my guess. Take note of when it happens. There is a possibility that it is damp under the hood from sitting in the shade or garage when you wouldn't expect it. If you have longer periods of rain/clouds/fog/drizzle like we have now in the DC area, you can (and I did four months ago) have a mysterious failure-to-start problem. New wire - no more problem. Garage kept is usually a good thing, but my dad's Chicago area garage is always very damp inside.

    Also, the dealer may never find this problem if its not happening while he has it.
  • charlesncharlesn Member Posts: 4
    I have purchased a 2004 town car and the code for the key pad wasn't in the car - I have been told that the number exists some where on the car - I would like to know where to look to find the location of the number.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Look on the trunk hinges, trunk rain trough, door jams, and engine bay sides. good hunting. When you determine the factory setting, the manual advises how to set a second code such as birth dates or parts of any number you like.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    If you can't find it in any of those places, because on an O4, I'm not sure you will, your dealer can look it up by the VIN number. Some of them will charge you for the service, some of them won't. Hope yours is nice.
  • charlesncharlesn Member Posts: 4
    I found out that the number is on the computer module, where is the computer module located - they sure don't make it easy do they
  • charlesncharlesn Member Posts: 4
    I have found out that the key code is on the computer module in a 2004 Towncar and the computer is inside of the drivers side door, can you imagine, any way it is better to take the car to a dealer and let him use the diagnostic computer to get the number for you - Thanks for answering my question about my key pad code - Charles Nelson
  • charlesncharlesn Member Posts: 4
    I have finally found where the key pad code is located on a 2004 Towncar - it's on the computer module which is located inside the drivers side door, can you imagine that - I took the car up to the dealer I bought it from and he ran his diagnostic computer on the car and he got the code for me - I figured it would be easier to do that then take all the stuff off of the door to get to the module. Thanks for answering my quiry about the key pad.
    Charles Nelson
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Yup. I agree...... The friendly dealer is usually the best answer for that.
  • beernutbeernut Member Posts: 329
    A hostile dealer can do it too, I've learned.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Good to know... Did he charge you?
  • beernutbeernut Member Posts: 329
    No, other than handing out some verbal abuse.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    That's nice....
  • mytcmytc Member Posts: 7
    Send me an email. I have received a large email with directions on replacing the cowl vent seal which is defective in those year TC's, and will cause this very problem (According to Lincoln Rep). [email protected]
    I have not tried it yet, but it sounds like it will work. Sunroof may still be your particular problem, but I don't have one, and still have the same leak. Food for thought.
  • mytcmytc Member Posts: 7
    Is this only for the drivers door? Do the other doors work? If so, you may have have a bad wiring harnes from the relay to the switch which could have caused the switch to burn out. Do you get current prior and after the relay you installed?

    This happened on my TC two days after purchase. Replacing the driver switch panel and harness fixed it. If the other doors do not work, then try tracing the current as best you can from the fuse box back to the doors. If memory serves me right, the rear driverside door connects to the front door control. Passenger may be the same. You try running a continuity test
  • mytcmytc Member Posts: 7
    Parking brake relay or switch may need to be replaced. Both are near the parking brake near the bottom side of the dash. I have also heard that you can take some compressed air, and blow out the sensor located near the pedal post. It may have trash or dust causing the sensor to turn on.
  • sacdl7sacdl7 Member Posts: 3
    This is for all the windows. I haven't checked the current before and after the relay. I don't know how to run a continuity test. Thank you for your suggestions.
  • mytcmytc Member Posts: 7
    Try using a test light and check for power before and after the relay. I have a feeling you may find that you dont have power before the relay. If so, that trace the wires back to the fuse panel. Some wires have an inline breakpoing (Fuse/like) that will short if the relay goes out. There has to be a central control unit or relay that is after the fuse panel, which separates the power and distributes it to each side of the car. Again, I think the rear doors are connected in line with the front, so there should be two lines (one for driver and one for passenger). Let me know what you find.
    Testing for continuity, you will need to disconnect the battery. Email me if you need to , [email protected]
  • hemsley1hemsley1 Member Posts: 21
    I'm getting a TC next week, very good condition and 87000 miles on it. All the reviews seem to be good on the quality of this vehicle. I just want to know if there is anything you guys suggest i do as soon as i get it, to make sure it runs for a little while. I've heard it has a manifold problem or gaskets or something like that...i obviously don't know much about cars. Right now, i plan on changing the oil every 3000 miles and that's about it, so any expertise on this car would be greatly appreciated. any suggestions on how to get better gas mileage would be great, and any simple preventative maintenance as well. thanks in advance.
  • SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
    Please don't put your email address in messages - we request that discussions stay here so everyone can benefit.

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