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Lincoln LS 3.9 engine problem

I have a 2000 3.9 V8. One evening I backed my car up about 10 ft. turned it off and about 15 minutes later started it and pulled it forward to where it had been. The next morning I could not start the engine. My local LM looked at it and informed me that the engine was turning over but not firing. The timing was correct but a compression test showed very low compression - below the compression needed to fire. They put oil in each cylinder and started the car. They informed me that I needed to replace the engine (about $7,000 installed) and that they have had several Lincoln LS's with this engine with the same problem at about the same mileage as mine. It is supposed to be a Jaguar engine according to them. The mechanic thinks the rings are sticking due to varnish and that nothing can be done to repair the engine. I have always used premium fuel and synthetic oil. I trust this dealer and have been their customer for several years. Has anyone else experienced this problem and is there anything that can be done about it short or an overhaul or engine replacement? How about additives? The car now starts fine and as far as I can tell uses no oil and accelerates like a scalded dog.


  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Sounds like horse hockey to me. I know plenty of LS owners with over 100K miles and none have this problem. Varnish comes from gasoline sitting undisturbed for a long time. If you believe the poor compression diagnosis I'd suspect a bad head gasket or bad head first. If it was losing compression past the rings you'd have a cloud of smoke coming out of the exhaust and it would be using oil like crazy. It also would not fail all of a sudden.

    Hate to say it but I think you need a new mechanic.
  • You started the car briefly a couple of times. It was running rich as it should on a cold start. Fuel washed a bit of oil off the cylinder walls and compression was temporarily lost. (maybe, or it might have just been flooded)

    I think this was a fluke and your shop is wrong. If the compression is so low as to not start, you would be using oil, smoking, etc. I would drive it and watch the oil and coolant levels for awhile just to make sure nothing is awry.

    Sounds like a false alarm to me.
  • lrjrlrjr Posts: 3
    Several months ago I had car jacked up with stands under the front. I had to remove wheel well cover to gain access to replace the coolant reservoir tank, which had lots of very small cracks below coolant level. The car was jacked up for a couple days while waiting to get the correct part. After the replacement was complete and car on ground I went to start the engine, however it would not start. I seems as if the battery was dead, etc. Checked battery was fine. I kept on trying several times to get it to turn over. Finally it did turn over and fire up, but it made odd noise, and lots of smoke came out of the exhaust pipe. This is something that has never happened before nor sense. I feel like somehow it was related to some sort of liquid block on top of one of the cylinders, because the back of engine was at an angle while jacked up. This was a year ago, but had not talked to anyone who knew the answer. Since a year has passed, now the car seems to be using a little oil, which is unusual for it. Occasionally now when the engine is started when hot, a cloud of white looking smoke can be seen behind the car. After than nothing. It sounds like the valve stem seals are leaking, thereby allowing oil to drain down when engine is off, then upon startup burns off the oil. One final thought, recently at routine oil change, I put in Mobile 1 5-w20. I had previously used a higher weight oil. Have used synthetic since 2005, have not had any problems with smoke nor oil useage.

    I know this is a lot to cover at one time, any help will certainly be appreciated. I am new to the forum so this is my first post. I've read lots of post and gained lots of useful information related to this car. Thanks for your help. LR
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    I wouldn't worry about the no-start condition - it was probably a glitch in the anti-theft system. I also don't think jacking up the car did anything to the engine. I assume since you were replacing the coolant bottle that you had a leak - did the engine ever run hot or go into limp-home mode? It sounds to me like you have a leaking head gasket. White smoke is the biggest clue. Burning oil smoke is blue, not white. White means water or coolant. Black is fuel. Have the cylinder compression checked and/or check for coolant in the oil.
  • I hzve a 2000 LS and the engine has an intermittent miss. It usually occurs when I'm going uphill at 40 to 50 mph, and it's in 5th gear. The engine RPM's are between 1500 and 1900. If I had to guess I'd say the engine management system is leaning the fuel out too much. I've taken it to the dealer several times with no success. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • Yes my car also was doing the same thing. Are you having a rough idle too? I had two bad coils #4 and #3. Also i had the whole fuel system cleaned, replaced spark plugs and replaced fuel filter. It now runs really good.
  • had several coils replaced, the fuel system flushed, and tried several different brands of plugs, but it has the miss.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    You indicated that you had several coils replaced. I presume the dealer did a stress test to isolate the correct coils? I am still suspicious of the coils that you have not changed.

    Bad coils don't always have the same symptoms. The first time I had one go bad, the car idled perfect and was fine under hard acceleration but had a miss under light load - 40-50 in 5th gear and accelerating gently. With the 2nd one that failed, the car ran fine under load but had a misfire at idle. Both of these occurrances happened within a month of each other and ironically both were on the passenger side.

    About 6 months later, it developed a misfire under hard acceleration. This time, I decided to replace the remaining 6 coils myself. The store where I bought the coils only had 2 in stock so I just replaced the 2 remaining on the passenger side. That fixed it and it has run perfectly for the last year. I still haven't replaced any on the drivers side but I will replace all 4 on that side if I ever have another problem. The dealer indicated that they typically fail one at a time.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490

    Stupid question maybe, but I'll ask anyway - are the Coil-On-Plugs (COPs) replaceable without replacing the spark plug? Or is it a FRU that is sold and replaced as a unit? How much is a COP?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Yes, the cops are totally separate from the spark plugs. They just sit on top. I think they're $45-$65 depending on where you get them.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490
    OK Thanks.

    Yeah, I just saw where gregg replaced his plugs with platinums. It's good I can doa tuneup for only the cost of the plugs. And I'm sure the aggravation of actually getting to one or more of them.
  • Thanks for all the help guys. Something else occurred to me, do many other engines have covers over their coils as the LS does? Could excess heat be cooking these things? Just a thought.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    That thought has occurred to me, as well. Many other engines do not have the covers over the coils. I don't know if that is the whole reason for coil failure or not, though. There were some problems with valve cover sealing around the spark plug wells and when they fill with oil, the coils fail. Mine were dry as a bone but coils still failed - although it took 100,000 miles for them to do so.

    My '94 T'bird with the 4.6 had spark plug wire failures. It was not COP but the wires went deep into the head to reach the plugs and had a seal on top of the well. I always thought heat was a problem for that application, too.
  • lrjrlrjr Posts: 3
    Hi: Just read your post. My wifes' Lincoln LS is doing the same exact things too. I haven't taken it in to the mechanic yet, but have got to do so soon. It isn't missing, it just pings quite loud when going up an incline of almost any angle to speak of. It idles great. Another mechanic said due to its mileage of 78,000 it might need to be de-carbonized. I thought I would check in to that. Will let you know what happens. Please keep me in the loop too if you dont mind. Regards, Larry
  • I finally broke down and let the dealer replace the valve cover on the left side. I replaced the right one myself about 2 years ago. I actually tried the left myself but ended up shedding too much blood trying to get to all the bolts. Anyway, they replaced the gasket and yet another coil and now it seems to run fine. I'll keep you all posted.
  • could someone please help me, I have a 2000 lincoln ls, v6, have been driving fine, all of a sudden I start to drive and the car starts to skip, it didnt shut off and continues to drive but it really sounds rough, I'm afraid to drive it , so i can get it checked
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    In this order - PCV valve, COPS, fuel pump/filter.
  • sounds like a bunch of bs the dealer is feeding you i have one with 227 k on it and it seems to run fine.i will say this i have found tat running marvel mystery oil in any car does seem to help the the internal parts i put it in mine and in the gas as well.had couple of other cars was ticking and i dumped that in there and it killed the ticking problem.
  • I have a 2005 Lincoln LS with about 34,000 miles. The car has been to the dealership about 3 times for this problem. I believe something is wrong. The dealership keeps telling all engine tests pass. The problem can be heard when accelerating and going up a hill. I am afraid that I might be damaging the engine. The engine sound can not be normal. Please advise.
  • I have great difficulty removing the air cleaner from my 2002 LS V8.
    The owners manual makes it look easy, but thats not the case.
    Any help would be appreciated.
  • I am also having the misfire condition reoccurring with my 2001 ls with 167000 miles. According to the computer, the misfire is random on all but 2 cylinders. The computer is also giving a catalyst code. I have been putting off that repair because of the cost of catalytic converters (i cannot find any aftermarket). I am beginning to think that because the catalyst is not working properly that it is causing a rich condition to occur and flooding the engine under load at that rpm. Any thoughts? Oh i have had this car at the dealer and my personal mechanic, and have replaced the plugs and valve cover gaskets.
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Posts: 593
    At 167,000 miles, I wouldn't doubt that the "cats" could be a problem however I'd check the O2 sensors first. They are part of the mixture control network, and a lot cheaper to replace. My 2000 LS, with only 57,000 miles currently, had an O2 sensor get "lazy" last year, and would set the CEL every so often. Two new sensors (did it myself), and I was back in business.
  • cmaxcmax Posts: 17
    I have a miss which occurs intermitently(2000 LS) I have replaced 3 coils in the past around 78000 miles ,Themostat around 85000 miles The miss occurs around 40 to fifty mph uphill or flat but not all the time. The question is ' Is there a mile marker for replacing the timeing chain or gear and any thing else .
  • cmaxcmax Posts: 17
    How many miles has anyone driven their LS 2000 or what can i expect out of mine. I drove a 97 t bird 379000 before a simi to it out without any major issues, Any input would help this car is expensive to maintain but i like it I have presently just over 100,000 miles on it.
  • dan193dan193 Posts: 1
    My 2001 lsv8 idles rough and skips between 40 and 50 mph. It has 120,000. My mechanic says I have no compression in the back cylinder drivers side. He said because of manufacture type that engine cannot be rebuilt and has to be replaced. He also said the best thing is to get rid of the car. My question is, can I replace the engine with a 4.6 or 5.0 without replacing the auto trans or rewelding motor mounts? Also, is he right that these are throw away engines?
  • cmaxcmax Posts: 17
    So the mech said everything else is doing its thing.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    The rough idle/skip is usually caused by bad COPs, but that wouldn't account for the lack of compression. The engine can most certainly be rebuilt - there's nothing magic about it. You can't easily replace it with a different engine because it's all computer controlled and intertwined. You'd want to get another 2000-2002 3.9L V8.
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 1,004
    Right, a 4.6.or 5.0.won't fit. Also, like he said, you would need a first gen (2000-2002) engine.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,019
    Actually, a 4.6L will fit - from the top. The engineers built one around 2002 and even took some LS owners for a ride on the test track. But it wouldn't fit from the bottom due to some suspension pieces so it wouldn't work on the assembly line.

    There are simply too many things that have to work together with the PCM to do an engine swap. Not like the old days when everything was mechanical and stand-alone.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,858
    years ago we had a 96 sho that would do the same thing. it usually happened when it would it was pulled into the garage after washing it.
    first time we called AAA and they got it started.
    after that, i would just keep cranking it, within reason, i think with the gas pedal depressed. there may be something about a no start situation in the owner's manual.
    when it fired, it would blow out some smoke, but was ok after that.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
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