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Lincoln Aviator Maintenance and Repair

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
Problems with your Aviator? Post them here and share any solutions with other TH members.

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  • jmez44jmez44 Posts: 21
    Took my 03' Aviator in yesterday for an AutoTrac issue. The AutoTrac registered 4 times on dry pavement during my first 2 month use. Its probably a sensor issue. Will let you know what they did to resolve it. Other then that, no problems with the Truck....
  • jmez44jmez44 Posts: 21
    Well, the dealer had it for one day and told me that it was an intermittent issue that couldn't be fixed now. They test drove it (36 miles, no refuel) and couldn't find anything wrong with it. They checked the computer to see if it registered anything...that was a no go also. I told the guy, "well its gonna happen again, and you won't be in the truck to see it...what then?" He told me to bring it in asap after it happens. He said that may help the issue because the computer might hold time released data on the problem. So all in all it was uneventfull.
  • I was wondering if anyone has above average wind noise over 55 MPH. The noise seams to be coming from the passanger side door areas. I also have a 2002 Explorer which does not display this tendency. Other than this, I have had no problems and love this vehicle.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    My Navigator has done the same thing twice in 11,000 miles. Once you restart the truck, the fault goes away, and it performs normally. I haven't taken it in as it would need to do it more often to annoy me. So I don't have an answer, other than to tell you you're not alone! If a restart resets it, and it's infrequent, I don't worry.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The one problem that is most common with the Aviator is the howling that seems to be coming from the rear differential intermittantly in many Aviators. No TSB yet to my knowledge, and the dealers just scratch their heads, say they are aware of the complaint, but have no solution yet.
  • Hi all...
    I just dropped my 2003 Avi off at the dealer to fix 2 problems. My first problem was that the seat track was not holding the seat in place well enough so that when I pressed the accelerator (great pickup) I could feel the subtle shift back. My second problem was a wierd sound like something wasn't tightened down in the drivers side dash, I think on the left side of the steering wheel. I will post when I hopefully get the car back on Monday.

    BTW, if you want to really appreciate your Avi, drop it off for service and leave in a Mercury Sable. I hate my rental. I want my car back.

  • Has anyone experienced the substantial ROAR that the engine lets out when starting and the engine is cold. How long the roar continues upon acceleration after starting seems to vary, but the very noticeable roar from the engine is very annoying. Lately, it seems to last for at least 15 to 20 minutes after initial cold startup. After the noise settles down, it doesn't return for the day typically.
  • I need some help here as the dealer doesn't have a fix and the factory has been no help...

    My brand new Aviator blows cold air (a 40-50 degree measured difference)out of the side window de-misters and out the defroster after the interior temperature reaches the set temperature and stabilizes. This is a major problem as the cold temps in MN mean that I have frozen hands and left knee while my feet are smoking hot.

    So here is my question for all of you...when you start your Aviator on a cold morning, and the system is set to AUTO, do you have hot air coming out the defroster vent as well as the floor vents? Hot air ONLY blows out of the floor vents on mine in AUTO mode. There is no air, hot or cold coming from my defroster vent after the heater kicks in when in the AUTO mode.

    If I set the mode to defrost, I get hot air, but only until the temp gets close to the set temp, then is goes to pure cold again.

    Any thoughts? The dealer has called in a factory field engineer to try to diagnose.

    Thanks for any help/ideas!
  • I had a range rover that did that. Robbed a lot of power as well. It turned out to be a bad viscous coupler on the engine fan that would not disengage until the engine had warmed up. My Aviator does not seem to do that here in MN
  • knk2knk2 Posts: 2
    I guess I'm sort of glad to read the other posts, but not sure why. I picked up my Aviator and within 30 minutes (seriously, 30 minutes) there was smoke coming out of the steering column and the entire dashboard went black (hard to figure out how fast I was going, plus the AC was out and I live in Florida). They had it for a week, the next problem was a rubbing in the steering column which was some sort of spring and it caused a rubbing against the air bag (not a safety issue, according to Lincoln). I also have the humming noise in the rear end, they told me they knew of the problem and "headquarters" is working on a fix (mine is getting louder, can still hear it over the radio). My seat heaters/cooler would turn off after about 20 minutes, that should get fixed tomorrow. I have the shift in my drivers seat, but the local dealer can't recreate it. I also experienced the cold air from the side mirror region, didn't think much of it because I'm not in the cold much (live in Florida, but had the experience driving from Tennessee). We also had a defective front tire (again, not a safety issue) that vibrated terribly around 70mph. The local dealer put it on the back....

    I'm 2 days from being able to start the Lemon Law process in Florida (1 day after tomorrow). All this said, everytime I get in my Aviator I love it (until I hear that hum and the seat shifts).

    Don't know what my ranting will do, but I feel better knowing I'm not alone. I'll mention the cold air thing tomorrow, but we're supposed to be around 76F tomorrow and there is no way they'll just believe me, they'll want to recreate. In general, I hate my dealer but still have an affection for my car!
  • knk2knk2 Posts: 2
    I forgot about the roar I get when it's cold, even my husband noticed that one! I think my Aviator hated Tennessee, it went below 30 while we were there and it was NOT happy!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    1) Your heated/cooled seats are supposed to turn off after 20 minutes to prevent an undue load on your electrical system. I know it's annoying, but I doubt your dealer (who is so dumb as to move a bad tire to the back of the car?????) will be able to "fix" that. Ya just have to restart it.

    2) I think the HVAC is designed to blow relatively cool air on the side windows by design. Not sure. I have a home in Florida too, it's not a problem, but it would be a problem if it was blowing hot air there, and I'm sweating!

    One last thought - I'm wondering if the outside cooling fan is designed to run fast in cold weather as well as hot, to move air over the condensor, as the A/C works in cold weather to dehumidify your register air? As I stated elsewhere, they all have done it for 10 years. There's gotta be a reason.

    The rear end thing is just awful.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Hmmm...Well, I can empathize with you. Briefly:

    I've got a 2001 LS. Love the car except for one thing: If I set the climate control on auto, when it's colder outside than in, the climate control system blows hot air out the center stack, luke warm air out the driver and passenger vents and cold air out the little demister vents for the windows. I could almost live with it if the cold air from the demister didn't bounce off the window and hit the left side of my face. I've measured values like these:
    Center Stack vents = 110 degrees
    Left/right passenger vents = 82 degrees
    Left/right demisters = 60 degrees

    I have had the dealer look at it. Results: Seems OK to us. I had the regional rep look at it, he measured it while I watched. His numbers were appx those I've listed above. He contacted Ford engineering. They said those numbers are 'within spec'. I said -BULL- . He was going to check some more. Haven't heard from him or been able to contact him since.

    Am I a happy Lincoln owner? Actually, yes. This is the only issue that bothers me. But it really tees me that they won't do anything about this. Dealer service actually said if they pulled out the dash to try to fix this, they'd probably screw it up putting it back together. There's a confidence builder, huh?

    I would like to add two things: First, there is a way to operate the climate uncontrolled system so that it works - for me, YMMV. What I do now is I set it on auto and set the temp when I start up the car. This will keep the system from blowing any air til the engine warms up. At that point, the hot/warm air flow is pretty efficient for a while. Then at some point, I'll notice the arctic blast on my left cheek, or I'll just remember to switch from auto to the heat/vent setting. This keeps any air from being directed thru the demisters or defrosters and all is well. Usually have to manually adjust the fan too.

    Second - if you want to push and fight this issue, I'm with you. There is definitely a problem. Maybe only a subset of cars, but something is amiss. If anyone else has this issue, let's join forces.


    PS: One more thing. I've been in the market for another vehicle. Not to replace the LS, but in addition. I love the Aviator and thought that would be the ticket. But when I brought the whole family and we drove it, it was just too small for all of us. It looks like we'll end up with a Navigator. But when I drove the Aviator, I checked the climate control system for the problem you and I have - and this Aviator had it as well. I checked the Nav I test drove too - it did NOT exhibit this problem. I hope the one I'm buying won't either. Can't fnd out til it gets here - its a dealer swap.

    Happy Holidays
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Perhaps that's why I haven't noticed this problem. "It's within specs" is the second response you always get from the dealer, BTW. That comes right after, "Check - OK, no problem found".
  • George,
    Thanks for the note, though it is rather distressing that this is an issue across models. I have verified that all Aviators are showing the same issue. Here in the north, it is a serious safety issue as the windshield does not stay warm enough to keep mild ice accumulations clear while driving. It is really unpleasant to be in the vehicle for any length of time. I have to go to manual modes which defeats the whole point of automatic climate control.

    Fortunately, the dealer and mechanics are together with me on this one and, I have two dealers on my side as I bought the car 150 miles from home from a friend and am having the thing serviced at a local dealer.

    I was with the mechanic when he called the Ford "tech line" and they said that "spec" is only a 10-15 degree difference. I think they have a design issue on their hands and don't want to fess up to it.

    I have a Ford field engineer set to look at it on the 7th of January when it should be good and cold outside. I'm going to hover over him like a hawk.

    It really is a shame since the vehicle is great in all other aspects. If it does not get resolved, I may go the Lemon Law route myself as it is intolerable to have this situation in a state like Minnesota with a vehicle that has a $53K sticker price. My wife swore she would NEVER buy another Lincoln based on the our experience with a new 1990 Continental. I talked her into this one and will likely pay for the decision for the rest of my life...
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    I grew up in Boston. So I know what it's like to have a real winter. (I'm now in Santa Cruz, Cal.) I've often wondered how bad this heater situation would be in a car in the great white north. You've confirmed my suspicions.

    I agree, it's really intolerable to have an automatic climate control system that doesn't work. I've had several discussions with my service advisor about this. For a while, he tried to tell me that the outside and demister vents are cooler cause they're farther from the heater! Laws of physics he says. So I ask him, do these same laws of physics apply to my 200,000 mile 1986 Jeep Cherokee whose heater puts hot air out of all it's vents? Amazing the stories they'll tell.

    I truly hope they're able to find something on your Aviator. I've never been able to confirm that this is a design problem. I'm a member of the Lincoln LS owners club and posed the question to all the members. Only 2 others complained they had this issue.

    One thing's for certain though. You and I have it and it's not within any resonable spec.

    My speculation is that the blend doors somehow don't have the proper travel in our situation and instead of letting hot air into the defroster/demister vents, they're funneling outside air. WHat a disaster in Minnesota! Just a major inconvenince for me.

    Good luck and keep the forum informed please. Happy Holidays

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I symmpathize with your situation. I had a 90 and a 92 Continental. Loved the design, but they were the worst cars Ford ever put out, and you just happened to have one too, and now this. Fortunately for me, I've had several excellent Lincoln's in between, so I'm not in trouble with the wife like you are!!!

    There evidently is a design flaw in the system that is indemic in this model. My Navigator doesn't do it. I wonder, is this a Visteon unit?
  • I will see what the field engineer says on the seventh of January and go from there. I am truly hoping that it is not an inherent design issue and can be fixed without too much trouble, but I am bracing for the worst.

    I'll post what happens next when appropriate.
  • I was told by a dealer the Aviator was being discontinued in 2005 and being replaced by a crossover model.

    If the above is correct, should we purchase?

    If we do purchase, should we expect better pricing (currently quoting 38,400 for luxury model including taxes, with DVD ent. package before trade. We have not "negotiated" yet)?

    Do you know how this would affect resale value? We typically keep our vehicles for approx. 7 years.

    I do love this vehicle, have test drove. Also drove Explorer (BIG difference in feel/aesthetics ). My husband is concerned about the talk of the truck being discontinued and what that could mean in the future.

    Sorry if this has been asked before. I did post this also on the main board.

  • I heard it possible that the aviator as is may be discontinued and a new aviator based on a mazda platform hence crossover replace it.

    i m not sure how long...this current platform has been around .ie explorer..i d guess maybe 2000.
     so maybe 2005 might be a reasonable time for it to end for aviator..and maybe the explorer will use a new platform too at that time around 2005 or so?

    i don t see that this would negatively affect resale value, especially for someone keeping a vehicle for seven years.

    i like that it is based on ladder frame..with front and rear ind suspension....many crossover vehicles feel too minivanish to me.

    enjoying the vehicle..and keeping it a long time will give you good value.

    in fact...i could imagine it positively affecting resale value for those wanting a premium suv with towing capacity at this midsize level.

    i have 2003 with everything except chrome wheels

    i love it.

    steering and ride is incredible

    no problems with it.

    8000 miles.
  • sirknightd, thanks for responding. I did speak to my salesperson about this today and she said they received a letter from the president of Lincoln/Mercury after the article was ran and were told they were not discontinuing the Aviator. Now she could just be telling me this to make the sale, but I have pretty much decided that I love this truck and want to have it no matter what. Will face the future when it gets here. We are going to make a decision tonight and hopefully by tomorrow I'll have my new 04.

    Wish me luck with the negotiating process, wish it didn't have to be such a game of back and forth.:)

    Thanks again.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    This keeps coming up, and I am amazed at dealers who tell customers this crap. The Aviator is not being discontinued, but may be restyled, you know, "all new" for 2006, and will likely be more of a unique crossover than an Explorer based truck. I should think that would make the current version as valuable as gold after that happens! I'm trying desperately to get my wife to buy one.
  • aa8qfaa8qf Posts: 34
    Did you get the climate control problem solved? I seem to have the same problem with my '04 Aviator. Rather annoying on a $50K car. Also does anyone notice a very high pitch whistle when the car is very cold that lasts about 1-2 seconds and goes away when the vehicle warms up?
  • I too have had the same problem with the cool air from the side vents in auto mode.(Boston cold). Dealer said the same thing - was designed that way and within spec. I as well as my passengers are very annoyed so I also defeat the auto mode.
    I also seem to have a problem with a VERY stiff ride. Again, all my passengers mention this as well and again the dealer says they see no issue.
    Any body else have a ride issue?
  • aa8qfaa8qf Posts: 34
    The auto climate control seems to be a real engineering "mess up". The system works fine until it actually begins to warm up in the car. Then, the fan never slows down and it continues to blow warm air at my feet and cold air out the side vents - not a good thing in a cold climate. The fan runs full blast unless you take it off "auto". I wonder if competing models (i.e. Lexus) have these issues???
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    My Navigator has none of these issues, and I think it's the same system, at least it's a very similar system by the same provider, I'd bet.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Oh, and my Mountaineer doesn't do this either, but it is not as accurate as the system in the Navigator, I've noticed.
  • aa8qfaa8qf Posts: 34
    Have a second appointment to have dealer re-evaluate the problem this week. Hopefully just an issue for a few of the vehicles and not all. I'll post the results later.
  • mdore1mdore1 Posts: 1
    Has anyone out there experienced a persistent squeak in the upper portion of the rear hatchback? It started around 10k miles and is extremely annoying. It sounds like the plastic portion surrounding the upper stop light is scraping against the glass of the hatchback. Or the plastic is warped and the pressure of the glass causes the noise. This week marks my fifth visit to the dealer in a month to try to get the problem resolved. On each previous visit, the dealer has either changed some pads or has put some kind of grease on the rubber surrounding the hatch. This time I am going to personally drive the service rep. around to show him. Any thoughts?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I've never had any luck getting rid of a squeak. My son works at the Lincoln dealership, and he just laughs at me when I complain about this squeak in my second seat. I don't know what to do either, except keep trying....
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