Lincoln Navigator Power Running Boards

beav626beav626 Member Posts: 5
my drivers running board is driving me nuts.......

I have a 2003 ultimate with just under 60k miles.

I also have the extended service contract for only engine and power equipment... No Running Boards

the Drivers Side barely comes out and then does not go back in. it tries over and over but will not go in...

How do I fix this.


  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    It's a simple mechanism under the truck. Something may be stuck in the works somewhere, or your motor may be worn out. Anyway, get under the truck. You'll figure it out.
  • beav626beav626 Member Posts: 5
    I have been under there and tried to clean it out... I think I need to have the motor replaced. are there any instructions on how to do this?
  • stiritupstiritup Member Posts: 18
    I am having the exact same problem. If it is the motor then how come it is only on the driver side for both vehicles? Any help is appreciated.
  • beav626beav626 Member Posts: 5
    my guess is that the drivers side gets worn out more due to us getting in and out more...

    I would like to see a write up on how to fix this or where to find such information.
  • stiritupstiritup Member Posts: 18
    Has a dealer or any other repair person looked at it?
  • beav626beav626 Member Posts: 5
    I had my main dealer look at it and they said...
    Drivers side motor needs to be replaced and track cleaned out... Price $640 ($340 for motor, $300 labor)

    I searched for discount parts on the web and found a Drivers side motor for $65 new at a discount Ford Parts House (This motor was just the motor, no housing, housing was $200+)

    I called a few other dealers...
    1 dealer quoted me $90 for labor, but $340 for motor (no housing)
  • stiritupstiritup Member Posts: 18
    I just spent the last two hours going through another thread on this forum the discussed a host of issues (very scary stuff, but that is to be expected since most questions on here are about issues people are having). Anyhow, one of the things one member did was have the dealer oil down the components that deal with the deployment of the boards and his problem went away.
    Incidentally that is what one dealer suggested. It seems like the running board issue prevelent. I saw tons of posts with that pronplem mentioned.
  • thewookiethewookie Member Posts: 1
    What kind of "Oil", or do you mean "grease"? On my 03, the driver side went first, then the passenger side. I also have other electrical problems, the most recent being that the high tone horn went out. And as soon as I purchased a replacement, it came back.
  • stiritupstiritup Member Posts: 18
    I don't know what kind of oil they used. I suppose the dealer can tell you.
  • stiritupstiritup Member Posts: 18
    I took mine in for the dealer to look at. She just called top say they oiled it but that did not work. They suggest I changed both the board and motor, cost $2300.
  • stiritupstiritup Member Posts: 18
    Did anyone implement any of the many suggestions offered regarding for solving this problem? If so, has it worked for anyone? MY driver side running board is still driving me nuts. One thing I have noticed is that it sometimes goes in all the way which tells me it is not the motor. It looks every bit like a mechanical problem but I can't find it.
  • kgattikgatti Member Posts: 3
    I have experienced continuous problems with the running boards on my Navigator. Today I discovered why and want to share with others who are equally frustrated. The running boards are rusted through in about five different places on both sides of the car. Water seeps under the plastic covers on these running boards and pools in various places. This causes the covers to warp so that over time they will collide with the undercarriage of the Navigator, forcing the board to return to the out position. In my case, the running boards were moving in and out as I was driving. Naturally, the first place a mechanic will focus on is the motor. All these dealers who are telling you it's a motor problem need to look more closely at the plastic covers and see if they are warped.

    I just spent about 30 minutes on the phone with Ford Customer Care because I think it's ridiculous to expect consumers to absorb the cost of replacing poorly designed automotive parts. Customer Care contacted my service rep who then contacted the zone manager for Ford in this region, and they have agreed to cover $1,300 of the cost of replacing these running boards. My car has 90,000 miles, but has been meticulously maintained, and I don't believe the rust was caused by lack of care as my car is washed regularly to remove corrosive elements. I live in Louisville, not exactly in the snow belt.

    I plan to pursue this further with Ford and would like to hear from any other Navigator owners who have replaced their running boards due to rust. My guess is that Ford knows this problem exists, and the faulty motor excuse buys them time until warranties expire.
  • danqphamdanqpham Member Posts: 2
    Hello everyone,
    I'm new to this board :) I also had the same problem but intermittent with my Gator 03. When it happens, I notice there is a message DOOR AJAR on dash board. So I guess something relate to the driver's door latch/sensor that may cause the problem
  • stiritupstiritup Member Posts: 18
    Thank you very much for this information. My 03 is doing exactly that. There is no doubt in my mind that Ford is aware of this problem and are faking ignorance. They pretend they are hearing this issue for the very first time when you called them. I am very interested in pursuing this issue. Mine hasn't been replaced yet so if there are others out there who wants to take this further I am in. Once again, thank you for the information.
  • kgattikgatti Member Posts: 3
    Hope you get some financial relief if you decide to replace your running boards. The problem I see is that if owners are repeatedly being told it's a motor problem, replace the motor and then have to replace the entire running board, they will never see if the board has rusted through. I have asked my mechanic to hold the boards he has removed from my vehicle so I can take photographs. I received an email response from Ford today wherein they state that in spite of their best efforts "unintended malfunctions or mechanical 'glitches' may surface." It's a rust problem caused by shoddy parts. Even my mechanic stated that the metal they use to construct these running boards is poor quality. Ford determined the "amount of asistance offered is more than adequate and will not provide any additional assistance." This is due to the age of my car (!) and the mileage. I plan on contacting every consumer agency I can to alert them to this problem. Please stay in touch--it's important to get the word out.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    No car mfr is going to fix something like that at 90,000 miles. They have to draw the line somewhere.
  • stiritupstiritup Member Posts: 18
    Yes but what if you can demonstrate that other vehicles with less miles have exactly the same issue. Mine began doing this at 5900, now I am at 7200. If the mfr pretended not to know an issue exists then they should be on the hook for the repairs.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Member Posts: 490
    The power running boards are the only option I did NOT get when I ordered my '04 Navigator. The reason was that they were having trouble with the power running boards in the 2003s and I saw no reason to get involved in that.
    They know there's an issue. It's always been an issue. However, 90,000 miles is a long time later to expect them to fix anything.
    I also have a Lincoln LS and while a great car, there's a design problem with the front sway bar causing it to wear out bushings far too quickly. Ford has redesigned the sway bar but refuses to replace the badly designed ones. It would cost me nearly $1000 to have the properly designed sway bar put on. I dont like that anymore than u like what's happening with your PRBs. But that's the story. I dont know if other mfgs would treat things any differently.
    Good luck.
  • bobbycarbobbycar Member Posts: 12
    2004 ultimate. driver side - only - would sometimes come out, sometimes not. i tried opening just the back door & it would come out - sometimes. passenger side worked find. the problem was the control module, replaced under the extended warranty. to date, owned truck 4 months, 15 days in dealership, :sick: estimated $7-8k repairs under extended lincoln warranty, :mad: $200 out of pocket. :)
  • kgattikgatti Member Posts: 3
    My argument with Ford is that I reported these problems every time I took my car in for service, beginning over 2 years ago when my car was still under warranty and the miles were obviously much lower. Every time I was told that the problem was the motor, or that they greased it up and it was working fine. It would work okay for about a month or two if I was lucky, but the problem was never FIXED. No one ever checked to see if the plastic covers were warped and getting caught, which would have keyed them into the problem with the rust. In fact, the warping is so subtle that it would be hard to notice, especially if mechanics are focusing on motor problems. Ford DID absorb the cost of the replacement running boards ($1300); my cost was the labor to install them. So I chalk that up to a victory on my end and an affirmation that Ford is aware that a problem exists. My vehicle is a 2003. Rust is a problem I would expect on a 15-year old car, not a 5 or 6 year old vehicle. The mileage has nothing to do with rust and body defects, so I disagree with you on Ford's responsibility to its customers. A $60,000 vehicle should hold up better than this.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    I understand your frustration but it seems most of the blame here goes to the dealer who misdiagnosed the problem. Unfortunately Ford doesn't repair vehicles - dealers do. And if the dealers weren't reporting the rusted running boards (because they didn't see them) then Ford would not have known there is a problem with them.

    There is a specific rust warranty but I don't know if it's applicable in this case. I'm sure Ford would have preferred to fix the root cause instead of paying to replace all the motors.

    As for the fact that it shouldn't happen - of course not. But it sounds like it was due to a design defect that trapped water and not due to poor materials. That could happen on a $12K Hyundai just as easily as a $200K Ferrari.
  • jlevin1jlevin1 Member Posts: 5
    I am experiencing the same issue with my running boards on my '03 Navigator. I brought it to the dealership today and they said they would need to replace the motors as well. We have 75k miles on it. I would like to figure out how many other 03 owners are experiencing this issue so we can start to get Ford to own up to the issue. Based on this string, I also will be pursuing this with Ford. I'm not experiencing rust but I do have warped covers. We are in MN. :mad:
  • stiritupstiritup Member Posts: 18
    Yup, 03 here 69000 miles same issue.
  • beav626beav626 Member Posts: 5
    I have the same problems......

    I had my Driver side boards + motor replaced under warranty (69k miles)

    diver side motor replaced but they did not do board.
  • jlevin1jlevin1 Member Posts: 5
    have you had any issues with your cylinder heads? if not you may want to get this checked with your dealership, this also seems to be an issue with the 03. ask your dealership to pull service service paper TSB 06-5-13 its a $5000 problem you don't want to might prevent this if you speak to your dealership about it.

    Thank you for the info on you running boards, I hope others respond as I think there is a hidden issue that Ford/Lincoln is covering up... :lemon:
  • tarshamc26tarshamc26 Member Posts: 1
    I'm having similar issues with my 03 Navigator. My driver side running board gets stuck in the out position, and then when I am driving it is attempts retract over and over again. I purchased this vehicle in December of 07 with 56,000 miles and immediately started having problems. I notified the dealership (Mahwah Hummer) which was an absolute waste. I was told that it was my fault that I must have hit something and bent the board. I then took the car to Smith and Cairns in Yonkers and was told that there is an electrical problem, now after the electrical problem was addressed I am now being told that it is a motor problem. My Warranty Company is covering 1.2 hr of the 2 hrs their being billed, the balance belongs to me. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the motor is covered, it not I now sure what do. Any suggestions would be great!
  • stiritupstiritup Member Posts: 18
    They will check the motor out and tell you there is nothing wrong with it so you need a new running board/ motor (about $2500). You see, they say the 03 had a sort of integrated board and motor unlike the newer models so they can not just change one. The dealer failed to tell you this prior to recommending and checking it out because that is money in their pocket.

    I know this site has been wonderful in keeping some people linked about this issue but perhaps we should contribute and set up a dedicated and narrowly focused site specifically to campaign for a recall, including going after dealers.
    I am suggesting dealers as well as Ford motors because they are assisting the company to perpetuate this fraud of “the issue being isolated”.
  • frenchy8frenchy8 Member Posts: 1
    I just got back from Whitaker lincoln Mercury in Inver Grove Heights, MN today. I had issues with my power running board on the driver's side. It's all rusty and stop working. It also killed the motor. My warranty covers the motor but not the rust, therefore I can't get it fix. I need to pay from my own pocket $1500 to get a new one installed. I said no and rather spend that money for the gas.
    This really sucks due to the fact that we spent $60000 for that car and I can't even put up with the rust for more than 4 years. Pathetic.
    I thought that I was the only one but now that I see all your comments, it makes more sense. It's happening with all the 03 models.
    The funny part is that's happening only on the driver's seat. Why?
    We need to do something about that...
  • buklan1buklan1 Member Posts: 1
    I have an '03 Navigator which has only 69K miles.
    The problem used to occur intermittently noticeably after driving in
    wet conditions the running board on the drive side will stay out.
    When the car in motion the running board would retract.
    Because of this my truck continously display the message
    "Door ajar".

    Another issue I am having is with the side mirrors not
    working like it should. When I first start up the truck the
    both side mirrors will attempt to position itself but then
    appears to get stuck making continous clicking noise.
    When I try to adjust with the control it seems like its not calibrating.
    For example if I attempt to ajust the mirror to tilt down it will go up and when
    I have it tilt right it will tilt left. Has anyone experienced this before.
    I really need advise before I pay costly repair fees. I know others can relate.
    My truck is no longer under warranty. Even when it was the dealer told me that
    wasn't covered. So I'm basically hanging. Please Help!
  • flatrockaleflatrockale Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2006, yes similar mirror issue. If they were folded in and you pressed button to open one would hyper extend (fold all the way forward) and keep clicking to adjust. I would have to manually position by opening my window. Real nice on a car with 29,000 miles to open and adjust your mirror. Dealer replaced whole motor under warranty. It was a very intermittent problem though and they thought i was a "nutty chic."
    Another prob i have now and my car is in the shop..... Huge squeaky/gurgle seemingly under car in the suspension. It sounds like a horse jogging with fluid in its gut. You hear it instantly upon putting car in drive. Both at low and high speeds and especially if its bumpy/ in a parking lot. The dealership heard it just pulling out of the service bay. They replaced sway bar and bushings under warranty. I picked it up and didnt even leave parking lot and it was still doing it. They now have had the car 5 days (no rental or loaner vehicle given to me :mad: ) and they say they cant reproduce the problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It does it 100% of the time it is NOT intemittant. I swear because i bought the car 50 miles away for $7,000 less (new) they are jerking me.

    I already had ABS speed sensor replaced out of pocket (at the dealership I bought it at) for an intermittent breaking failure PERFECTLY described in this forum. I documented this forum to ford headquarters and they still wouldn't warranty it becasue the problem couldn't be duplicated... Well let me tell you i should have sent them the underwear i was wearing the two times it happend.

    Can anyone comment on my horrible squeaky chassis??? Nobody can find the problem and its awful loud. :sick:
  • feihungfeihung Member Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell me which year of the navigator has the power running boards that are controllable? I know the new models have the running boards come out automatically when you open the door but I know there were models where you can control when they came in and out. Thanks.
  • flatrockaleflatrockale Member Posts: 4
    IDK about the others but both my 2004 and my 2006 have automatic running boards. However both models are equiped near the dash with a systems/reset button that allows you to scroll through such various items on your navigator that can be reset including the boards. I mean who would want them if you couldnt turn them off right?
    using that systems button find the catagory for running boards in/ out and set it how you want. I use it often at the car wash to leave the boards out so the guys can spray them or when my mother rides with me otherwise she stumbles over the things.
  • sgarcia08sgarcia08 Member Posts: 1
    I have had both of these issues. the running board on both sides of my Navigator are sticking going in and out. And my LS had the sway bar issue. I ended up trading in the LS
  • irvtxirvtx Member Posts: 2
    Did you ever findout what the exact problem is with the running borard control module?
  • flatrockaleflatrockale Member Posts: 4
    Never did, but i have now had my window regualtor/motor and then the switches replaced since my last post ... underwarranty as all my windows were opening and sometimes closing at a snails pace if at all. At first they told me they needed lubed.
    Duh think not.
    Running boards seem okay now tha weather is good but i dont trust them.
  • stiritupstiritup Member Posts: 18
    My driver side running boards still constantly comes out while I am driving. I decided to let it do that until the motor breaks. Unfortunatelly the motor is still going. It has been over a year. I have replaced my front passenger window for not clossing and now my rear driver side windows takes for ever to come up.
  • irvtxirvtx Member Posts: 2
    Have you considered the smart module attached to the door latched? It connects to the VSM.
  • jsmash1on1jsmash1on1 Member Posts: 6
    I think that you should watch as they come out and see if they are rubbing as they are coming out.Over a period of time the running boards get warped and seem to swell upward. I noticed on the rear of my driver's side running board there is a little plastic piece of trim that is rubbing as they are coming out. I believe that if you tried somehow and sanded it a little or trimmed it off using a rotozip or something like that it would fix the problem. Other than that you would likely only need the actual step pad and not the entire running board. I can't seem to find them anywhere though for an 03 or 04. Dealer only, and you know what that means.

    Also in reference to using the dash to control them from coming out at all. I read in the book that even if you turn them to stay out that after you go faster than 7 miles an hour they will still attempt to retract. So although you can set them to stay out, it's only if you are going slower than 7 miles an hour. Go figure.

    Also if anyone finds out where to get the step pads cheap please post. Lincoln is killing us all on this one it appears.
  • navrobnavrob Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2011
    Does anyone think for will cover rusted out boards under my ford premium esp. Just noticed this two weeks after corrosion warranty is up!
  • fc1086fc1086 Member Posts: 1
    we have an 06 Navigator with the same problem excepts its on the passengers side, Lincoln should be fixing these things, this is total [non-permissible content removed] . what can we do ?
  • jrmyljrmyl Member Posts: 1
    We also have an '06 Navigator with problems on the running boards. However, on ours the rear mounting bracket on the drivers side has broken in half. When put up on the lift we can see that the passenger side already has a crack in the same spot where the drivers side broke. We have the ESP Premium plan and Ford is refusing to replace the brackets. They claim that it isn't covered. I have looked through the contract and I can't find anything that says they are not covered. We can't afford to replace two boards as that would be nearly $4000. Has anyone else had any luck in getting ford to replace the boards under the ESP Premium plan?
  • schnibbyschnibby Member Posts: 1
    I have an 08 Navigator that has a severe running board issue. It doesn't come out when it should and doesn't go back in when it does. This doesn't always happen so it has been hard to diagnose. The dealer cleaned them and performed whatever maintenance was required but this has not corrected the problem. Just today I asked the Dealer to either fix or replace them....only on the drivers side.
  • spmoore11spmoore11 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2005 Navigator. Both rear mounts, passenger side first and then driver broke with in 5 days of each other. The mounts broke due to corrosion which is caused by dissimilar metals being bolted together. The deal had 5 running boards in a storage room all with the same problem. So far my bill is $3000. This was reduced because the driver side broke while at the dealership to fix the passenger side. I would love to know what Lincoln is doing about this. I believe that it is a design flaw.
  • spmoore11spmoore11 Member Posts: 2
    The running boards on my 2005 Navigator were both rusted on the bottom. The rear mounting bracket on both boards cracked and broke due to corrosion. Both boards had to be replaced. $3000 which was discounted from $4400.
  • pjdrinkspjdrinks Member Posts: 3
    My running board closed as my child was stepping out of the car, board was fully extended and door was open. Sever injury to ankle. Has anyone had this problem?
  • pjdrinkspjdrinks Member Posts: 3
    power running board closes on foot while car do is open, has this happened to anyone?
  • naomilynnenaomilynne Member Posts: 5
    My running boards closed with both passenger hasdoors open and crushed my dogs foot. He has a broken ankle and possible knee damage. How does this happen. Ford says running board has a object detection system.
  • mistybudmistybud Member Posts: 1
    I have had an ongoing problem with these running boards, which started at 74K. It was still under warranty, but the dealer just lubricated the hinges and never offered replacing them.
    I called Ford customer service and we are now 20k over the warranty, so no one will do anything. They are just passing the buck back and forth. We met a guy with a 2008 that said he had the motors replaced free before the warranty ran out, so make sure you get them checked and replaced if they are not working properly. We also had to replace the window mechagnism on the passenger side and the air compressor for the suspension.
    The running boards have been a huge problem.
  • pjdrinkspjdrinks Member Posts: 3
    The running board closed on my daughters feet, she ended up in a cast and is still in physical therapy. Ford says they cannot do anything about it because it does not show up as happening and they cannot duplicate the issue. What are they saying to you?
  • patmcglynnpatmcglynn Member Posts: 1
    I have the exact sam issue with my 2006 Navigator Lincoln will not stand behind the repair and want me to purchase 2 units, $4000.00 plus labor. This seems to be a design defect as the bracket bushing material is a metalic cast attached to a steel bracket.
    I would like to know of other owners that have had similar issues in an effort to have Lincoln repair / correct this issue. The more data collected there may be a chance to have Lincoln correct the issue.
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