Lincoln Town Car Electrical Problems

s2darizzles2darizzle Member Posts: 3
My 85 Town Car has a multitude of issues, the two most serious at this time being it's inability to stay running while idling in my driveway while still in park. It runs, once started, for about 10 minutes while idling. If I drive it, it stays running for about an hour exactly every time then shuts off immediately (not a slow gradual loss of power, it's instantaneous). The second problem is that my interior lights won't turn off now. The lights were all working properly and then my car died after it had been running for less than 2 minutes. I was idling while waiting to make a turn and the car shut right off again and when i opened the door the lights came on as they normally do and didn't go off until they drained the battery. The battery has since been recharged and the lights will not go off unless I dissconnect the battery cables. Also when the car dies, it won't start back up right away. I know that the problem lies between the distributor cap and the starter because I know the starter is functioning properly and the distributor cap is brand new along with rotor, plugs, and wires. Also I installed a new ignition coil. The cap is not recieving a spark from the coil though, which is the cause if it's sudden death and failure to start. It's very random though, predictable, yet random. Sometimes I wait 10 min, other times it's an hour and a half. The sweet spot seems to be at 30 min however. If the car sits for a while it seems to start fine on the first shot.


  • robles3robles3 Member Posts: 3
    I bought my 2004 Town car early this year, and the panel lights keep going out, without warning, intermittently. They come back after a few minutes, so when I've taken it in to the dealer, they can't 'reproduce' the problem! Also, the dimmer switch does not dimming. Is there a connection?

    By the way, the service dept. is balking at replacing the dimmer switch. Does anyone know if it's such a big deal or that expensive? Thanks.
  • scootertrashscootertrash Member Posts: 698
    Isn't it under warranty?
  • robles3robles3 Member Posts: 3
    Yes, it's still under warranty. The service rep gave me a lot of arguments when I saw the dimmer switch fault. It naturally makes me wonder.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Black box on the Driver's side near the top of the fender. Our 1982 would behave like yours on a very hot day and placing ice cubes on top of the Black box caused the inards to cool and reset to normal. Perhaps the inard circuit breaker needs to be replaced and ask that your teck man check it out. Good Luck.
  • s2darizzles2darizzle Member Posts: 3
    Do you know what this black box might be called?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Not sure what it is called. Perhaps an Ignition Relay. I never opened it because all my problem was due to excessive heat so I applied some valuable ice cubes in a baggy on it. Hate warm whiskey.
  • s2darizzles2darizzle Member Posts: 3
    OK, thanks.
  • biggmixx1576biggmixx1576 Member Posts: 2
    Basically, I've checked the fuses,bulbs and break light switch. What else do I need to check til I find the problem?
  • nwraaanwraaa Member Posts: 177
    Check the turn signal unit. The flasher, of course turn signals, and brake lights operate through this unit. You'll have to remove the cover from the steering wheel to get to the unit.
  • rreaserrreaser Member Posts: 2
    power door locks work with button and keyless entry however unlock won't work peroid please help
  • biggmixx1576biggmixx1576 Member Posts: 2
    The problem was in the steering wheel."Thanks"
  • rreaserrreaser Member Posts: 2
    it was the keyless entry brain :blush:
  • blastamanblastaman Member Posts: 2
    Hey all, I'm a newbie and have SERIOUS issues with this car. Its a 1996 Lincoln Town carThe horn constantly blows if I return the fuse to its home- its like the alarm is triggered. The radio displays 'Phone' and only works after the key was in forward or backward position and is returned to take it out; and only till a door is opened. All other times it displays 'phone'. Any info would be so appreciated! Thanks for your time

    - Kurt Parker
  • nwraaanwraaa Member Posts: 177
    The horn blowing may be caused by a faulty key switch on the driver's side door. Try unlocking the car by using the key pad on the door. Disconnect the negative cable on the battery for a few seconds. This will reset the radio. If you have a remote control key fob, follow the instructions in the owners manual regarding setting of the alarm with the use the key fob. By the way, take a look at the front of the intake manifold on this car. The intake manifolds on these specific models have a tendency to crack at the front. If the manifold on you car has an aluminum piece across the front, your manifold has been replaced and you don't have to be concerned about the cracking issue.
  • blastamanblastaman Member Posts: 2
    Thank you, the switch will be my next move after I try the keypad. I thought about it, but had to hear it from someone else. I replaced the manifold myself last summer-it blew out suddenly one day. This car has had me stumped forever. it also has an extreme lean condition- I was going to start at the O2 sensors. Anyway, have a good one and thanks again
  • redtaileddoveredtaileddove Member Posts: 2
    I have a beautiful 96 towncar...recently one of the warnings came up on dash saying door was ajar....figured it was rear driver side door but cannot seem to find any type of sensor(like the push button types in most cars on the doorjam)
    Totally annoying to drive car at night due to most interior lights staying on. Lights do go out after 20 min but it is a constant drain on battery....Anyone know where exactly to look for this door closing sensor????
    Thanks in advance!!!!!!
  • awilloughbyawilloughby Member Posts: 10
    The headlights and running lights come on when I unlock the doors with either the keeyless or remote entry system. My 95 did not do that. Is this normal? The owner's manuel is silent about this. If it is abnormal, I'd like to correct it, to save the battery. Thanx
  • awilloughbyawilloughby Member Posts: 10
    I've seen lots of 94 and older TCs with automatic headlight dimming. It is not on my 96 TC, and is not mentioned in the manuel.. Did they drop it as an option in 96? If not, does anyone have any info about it? I thought that the black unit in front of the rear view mirror was the eye, but it was the sensor for the compass. Thanx
  • nwraaanwraaa Member Posts: 177
    On you model TC, the headlights will come on when you use the key fob to unlock the car and the autolamp system is on. At the maximum autolamp setting, the lights should only stay on for about three minutes. The short period of time that the lights are on will not drain the battery.

    By the way, I discussed the lights-on issue with my pastor recently. When some of my fellow worshippers leave there headlights on just before church service stats, another member sends the pastor a note about the lights which he reads to the audience during the service. I reminded him that he nor the worshippers should worry about headlights that are left on for only a couple of hours. Hence, there is no need to read these notes during service. Headlights left on for two hours will not completely drain a good battery. And if the lights are left on and the battery is drained, we have jumping cables at the church and if the battery is suspect and does not hold enough current to start the car after two hours, this is a clear sign from above that the member needs a new battery.
  • awilloughbyawilloughby Member Posts: 10
    Thanks for the reassurance that the headlights-on condition, when the car is remotely unlocked, is normal. I don't mind their being on, as long as it is normal. Thanks again
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Our 94 Signature TC does not have automatic headlight dimmer nor does the Owner Guide mention it. Not sure, but think it was on our 82 or 80 TC.

    When the "Delay" light switch is on, the headlights stay off when I press the key FOB to unlock the doors.
  • pfiegenerpfiegener Member Posts: 1
    sometimes will rev to 4000rpm on starting Have had problem with this and when parking it sometimes lurches. anyone else having this problem??
  • furleyfurley Member Posts: 13
    I had the same problem with my 2003 TC; It rev'ed up when starting, than later started doing to opposite and stalling. I took it to the dealer and they replaced the throttle air control. It was under warenty and fine ever since.
  • furleyfurley Member Posts: 13
    It's with the door latch.
  • robles3robles3 Member Posts: 3
  • furleyfurley Member Posts: 13
    I have a 2003 TC and the panel lights will dim down automatically when I go into somewhere dark a tunnel carwash, or under thick trees. It dos this independently of what position the headlight switch is in. Turn up your pannel light dimmer switch to full bright at night as see if the same thing happens.
  • rennierennie Member Posts: 2
    Ref: 1999 Lincoln Town Car - I recently experienced a complete shutdown of the electrical system on my car while driving on a very busy road in florida. The ambient outside temperature was in the low 80's. I lost all power and electric's, nothing worked at all. The cars cooling system did not overheat at any point but I was setting at a drawbridge for about 15 minutes prior to the shutdown. I was towed from where I was within about 25 minutes. The car sat for about an additional 30 minutes and then the electric's came back on and I continued my journey. I drove an additional 250 miles since the shutdown and it has not occurred again.

    I research this a bit on the Internet and it seems that this problem occurred on some cars in California and a recall was issued. If anyone could point me to a service bulletin or know of this problem and help would be appreciated.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Don't write to Lincoln at Wixom, MI. They have closed the plant and are in the process of moving tools and dies to Canada. Good Luck.
  • hittmann85hittmann85 Member Posts: 3
    my sunroof doesnt open im guessing its an electrical problem with the buttons, is this easily fixable and how much would it cost? also the passanger side power seats is jammed, it moves backward but wont move foward. whats the general price on gettin that repaired?
  • marcdz1marcdz1 Member Posts: 1
    Someone please help me. My state inspection sticker expired more than 2 weeks ago and I can't drive my car until I fix the brake light problem on my 2001 TC. The car night lights work and the signal lights work too but the brake lights do not engage only the third brake light goes on. The one by the headrest's. I have checked the fuses and they are fine. I am leaning towards the brake light switch. I also hit a curve on the right side not too long ago. But I don't think that is the problem. Any info greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • pdesautelpdesautel Member Posts: 5
    Does anyone know how to reset the error code on the air bag.
    I was trouble shooting an Air conditiong prob. and started to disconnect harneses and now I have a blinking air bag light code appears to be 52. Any help out there.
  • stgcret1stgcret1 Member Posts: 3
    Sounds like the same problem I had with a 1979 Continental.
    The stator (magnetos) in my distributer where bad. When engine got too warm they would not make electrical contact thus could not produce the electricity to go to the coil, get amplified to around 25KV and return to the distributer, go out the distributer wires to the spark plugs (no start). When engine cooled car started right up and ran fine until it got too warm again ( usually when I idled going to yardsales) Hope this gives you a direction to explore. Paul :)
  • paul70paul70 Member Posts: 8
    Hello everybody,
    I opened the moonroof in my '96 lincoln and now it won't close (tried pulling it with no luck, it's stuck somewhere inside). I was advised to check the fuses and they appear to all be fine. When I press the button to close the roof, I hear nothing - does it mean the motor blew?
    If so, what do you think would be a reasonable price for a replacement motor and how many hours it should take to replace? Alternatively, how long would it take to just close the roof without repairing the motor?
    Thanks a lot!
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    First clean the terminal posts and terminals with a .99 battery post tool, then hook up your battery charger as directed by the charger instructions. If your battery cables are connected, the Red cable to the POS terminal and the Black cable to the engine block or other metal contact than the NEG post of the battery. If the battery is isolated from any connection, you can connect the Black charger cable to the NEG side of the battery and the RED cable to the POS side.

    While you are charging the old battery, spray WD40 into the slots where the window recedes. When the battery is fully charged, connect everything correctly and try to close the roof.

    If your present battery is old, you may need a fully charged new one to energize the roof motor. Good luck.
  • rld2rld2 Member Posts: 1
    After replacing my battery in the car, all of my buttons on my radio panel do not work.

    -the radio will come on (to whatever station it wants to, and at any volume it wants to),
    ----(but you cannot adjust the volume, station, etc.)
    -the only way to turn off the radio is to pull the fuse.
    -the radio control buttons on the steering wheel do not work either.

    any suggestions?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    First pull the fuse so as to turn it off.

    Second, press the "Off" button.

    Lastly, disconnet the Ground, Negative, side of the battery and wait a minute or two.
    Install the fuse.

    Reconnect the Ground & maybe the unit will have reset itself to it's programed procedures.
  • trev77trev77 Member Posts: 1
    I rrecently purcahsed a 91 TC, I open the moon roof twice the second time, I opened it wont close, I have checked all the fuses they all look good. it simply will not close..... any know where I can find a motor and roughly the cost i had looked all over the net and found nothing.. :confuse:
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    The moon roof motor uses a lot of electrical energy. Before R&R the motor, suggest you clean the battery terminals and connecting cables, charge up the battery, run the engine a little faster than idle speed and then try the moon roof motor. (How old is the battery?)

    FYI, the other high electric user is the rear window defroster, the one with the horizontal lines in it.
  • dlemkaydlemkay Member Posts: 1
    Anyone have any info regarding air suspension electrical problems? I've been looking for a schematic of the system with not much I going to have to go get computer diagnosed or are there some areas I can explore first?


    Doug in Victoria BC
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Fuse blowing usually a result of wiring short caused by a "Hot" wire touching a "Ground" surface. This is going to be a visual search. Start looking from the rear air shocks forward. Over miles a wire could have had the insulation rubbed off, or in some instances rodents will for some damn reason knaw on the insulation, exposing the metallic wire to be exposed to other metal. A very bright light will be helpful with time and patience. Good Luck.
  • nwraaanwraaa Member Posts: 177
    If the fuse in the black box near the battery is blowing, this is an indication that the air pump is malfunctioning. Moisture is an enemy to these pumps. Moisture causes corrosion inside the cylinder walls. The corrosion build-up increases the resistance of the pump which causes the pump and the electric motor to get hot. Typically, when you put in a new fuse, the motor runs for a few seconds, then the fuse blows. The most problematic components in the TC air suspension system are the air bags, load level sensors, and the air pumps. Sometimes the seals may leak around the solenoids and occasionally the solenoids go bad. All are easy fixes.
  • cooldude48818cooldude48818 Member Posts: 7
    Does anybody know anything about these bulldog security systems??? I have one in a lincoln that I bought and it didn't have a remote. I called the number on the box and they sent me a remote and it don't work. I think that it needs to be programed or something. Can anybody help? I also have a question about the climate control. I know that the air suction things are working but when it gets warmed up it blows hot air no matter where temp is set at.
  • nwraaanwraaa Member Posts: 177
    Follow the instructions in your owners manual to reprogram the remote. Typically, it is a matter of pressing a couple of buttons on the keypad on the door then pressing the door open button on the remote within a few seconds. Bulldog may also be able to e-mail you the instructions.

    The hot air only coming out of the vents is an indication that your blend door actuator is stuck in the heat-on position. A few Lincoln owners on this board have said that the dash board and panel have to be moved to get to this part. The blend door actuator costs about $49.95; however, because of the amount of time spent removing and replacing the dashbord, the cost to replace the actuator runs between $500.00 to $800.00.
  • awilloughbyawilloughby Member Posts: 10
    I've had to have the blend door actuator replaced on a 93 Crown Vic, and on a 95 TC. The problem was hot air only, all the time. The actuator for the TC was about $65.00, though the labour cost to R&R the dash was $600.00. Good luck.
  • shorty18shorty18 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 95 town car that has a battery drain of .32 amps. The only thing I have found that stops the drain is pulling the A fuse and the E fuse in the engine compartment. What could be causing this?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Do you park on a steep hill with the front uphill? That might fool the light under the hood to go on, thinking the hood is up. Pull the bulb and see.
  • shorty18shorty18 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for responding. No I actually park with the front end down hill. The bulbs have been pulled out of the hood and trunk lights. Most of the drain seems to be coming from fuse 4 and 15. There is an initial draw of .78 amps that goes down to .32 amps after about 10 seconds.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Going from .78 amps down to .32 causes me to wonder about the interior dimming that occurs after closing the doors.
    Perhaps one of the four door switches does not register fully closed, thus causing the interior lights to be on, drawing .32 amps.
  • puffcapuffca Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my 98 TC.

    Did you solve the problem?
  • cyberprcyberpr Member Posts: 2
    My Lincoln Town car has a charging problem though I changed the battery and the alternator, what else can I do please, and thank you.

    Optional Information:
    1998 Lincoln town car

    Already Tried:
    new battery and new alternator
Sign In or Register to comment.