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Lincoln Navigator Complete Brake Failure



  • On 10/29 mileage on vehicle was 19,758. vehicle was being driven by my wife on a flat city street in Laguna Hills CA @ approximately 10 am @ approx 40 mph and the day was clear and warm. She applied the brake pedal to slow down and the brake pedal was hard and would not depress and the vehicle would not slow down and a grinding noise came from the front wheels and the front end was shaking the antiskid light came on (while she continued to press down on the brake pedal) and the the brakes did not engage until the vehicle traveled approx 100 feet. The vehicle slowed and she pulled into a parking lot at a slow speed and it happened again.Towed to closest dealer. That dealer ffound no problem, and no codes showed up. Took it to dealer that sold the vehicle to us. They can't replicate the problem, but are still researching.
  • raheelraheel Posts: 1
    We have a 2007 Lincoln Navigator (L) that we bought brand new for my wife. The brakes never felt 'great' from the very start but we thought that due to the fact that car is new and the brakes are not broken in or that because of the vehicle's heavier weight, may be that is how they are supposed to be and that they will get better over time.

    However, what started happening a few months down the line was "the complete brake failure" exactly as reported by mikefl1 on this forum. We took the car to Witt Lincoln in San Diego and they could not reproduce the problem. I went and discussed the issue with Mr. Scott Witt (Director of Parts and Service – part of the family that owns the dealership) and had him drive around in the vehicle but couldn’t reproduce the problem. He said that nobody else had reported any similar problem and that the brakes seemed ok. But upon insistence, they said they will keep the car and try to identify the problem. They replaced the Master Cylinder under warranty. When we got the car back, we were still not 100% sure if it really fixed the real problem.

    The problem happened in a big way again some time down the line when my wife was driving with all the kids in the car and the brakes failed at the stop light! The car did not stop and kept going at about 35 mph when cars from the other side had already started entering the intersection. She reported that there were no brakes for about 10 seconds. All the cars honked, swerved, etc., and so did my wife. Luckily there was no accident otherwise it could have resulted in serious injury or death.

    Had it towed to the Witt Lincoln dealership again. The result? They could not diagnose or reproduce the problem and said everything was fine. I was out of the country at the time and had to make several calls and discussed the issue with Scott at length (hour long conversations). Finally, they agreed to replace the brake booster. The overall feel improved a bit and the brake failure issue didn’t happen for some time.

    But alas! it didn't last too long and the problem has resurfaced again now. About a couple weeks ago when my wife was driving down the hill the antiskid light came on with whirring / grinding noises, and there was no control over brakes. This condition lasted for a few seconds and then the brakes came back again and all was back to normal. There were no cars too close to her fortunately, otherwise it would have resulted in a crash.

    After reading what is happening with the Toyota and how the company handled it, I started researching about brake failure problem in Lincoln Navigators and came across this thread. I am going to print this out and take it to Witt Lincoln dealership and see what they suggest.

    My question is should I be happy with the speed sensors replacement (noted here on the forum as sort of a fix for the problem) or should I be looking to get a lawyer and fight the case for a buy back or replacement under the California Lemon Law???????
  • robinzrobinz Posts: 4
    Have you resolved your issue? If not, I may have an answer for you. I had a 2008 Navigator that did the exact same thing. It was in the shop 9 times. I got tired of it and filed a Lemon Law suit and won. If you need more details, I will provide. Contact me at
  • robinzrobinz Posts: 4
    Have you resolved the issue "antiskid light came on with whirring / grinding noises, and there was no control over brakes. This condition lasted for a few seconds and then the brakes came back again and all was back to normal. There were no cars too close to her fortunately, otherwise it would have resulted in a crash. "
    I had a 2008 Navigator that did the exact same thing. It was in the shop 9 times. I got tired of it and filed a Lemon Law suit and won. If you need more details, I will provide. Contact me at
  • I have a 2004 Lincoln LS that has the same intermittent problem going back to when it was new. Grinding noise when brake pedal is depressed. Pedal goes to the floor and no braking action. So far I have always been able to stop by shifting into neutral. Service reps could never duplicate problem and Ford would not authorize any repair action. This happen many times and has been left with the dealer many times. I could never find a way to duplicate the problem, Service manager attempted to get me a replacement but Ford will not admit that there is a problem. Vehicle is now long out of warranty. I have retained all documentation for future legal. Note that my problem only shows up on cool damp days.
  • lauralynlauralyn Posts: 1
    Hello Mike,

    My brakes completely failed with the same symptoms you described. They cannot duplicate the problem at my dealership after driving it more than 100 miles. They applied a foam tape over a sensor below the steering column and said to pick the car up as there’s nothing more they can do. Ford Customer Care refuses to do any further work/research, even though I have told them about the speed sensor information I found on the internet. Hoping you have some good advice, as I’m scared to death to drive the car again!!

    Thank you,

    Laura Shaw
  • nicole1978nicole1978 Posts: 1
    edited September 2010
    I have had the SAME problem with my 2006 Navigator! The warranty covered the expenses but FORD can not find or FIX the problem. It is VERY scary! I have 2 small children and this problem has happened 3 times now. Against my better judgment I took the car back after the second incident and they ASSURED me that the car was fixed. just happened AGAIN for the 3rd time last night and I CAN NOT DRIVE THIS CAR ANYMORE!!!!! I will not put my kids in it and don't know what to do. The service director has tried to be kind, but there is nothing that he can do for me at this point, he directed me to "Ford" and I have tried to get them to buy back or replace the car. They claim I can not file for the lemon law since I am now outside my miles but the first time it happened it was with in my warranty! VERY frustrating and VERY concerning that this is happening all over and FORD is not doing anything about it. Thank GOD I was lucky enough all three times to not cause and accident, but honestly, what is it going to take before they take responsibility and fix this problem.
  • I'm pretty nervous after reading all the brake issues with the Navigator. My friend has a 2004 with 43,000 miles that I want to purchase and I fear that her car is not exempt from the issue. She lives in Newport, RI and is state couselor. She actually travels in another car she owns...more fuel efficient apose the Navigator. Her prime reason for selling it, "she doesn't have much use for it". This is why it has such low mileage for the year. What is my line of defense in regards to the purchase. I ask this only because she would never put my life on the line just to sell the SUV to me. Your thoughts please. I need to purchase it for towing and traveling with my dog. :surprise:
  • I have had a 2007 and a 2008 Navigator and this problem occured with both vehicles. I thought I was going crazy, because I would try to describe the grinding sound, the abs brake light appearing and the lack of brake control to my mechanic and after checking both vehicles several times, he could find nothing. I am so glad to have found this post because it has never happened while my husband was driving and I think that he, along with my mechanic think I'm nuts. They always say to bring it in when it's happening, but it's so sporatic, it's hard to do that. I fear that I will get into an accident with my kids in the car, but I am not quite sure what to do as my Navigator is no longer covered under warranty. Can someone please give me advice as to what to do. Will contacting an attorney work?? Thanks!
  • I didn't go through an attorney. I filed a lemon law complaint through the BBB. I live in the state of Ohio and not sure what the process would be for the state you reside in. When you purchased the vehicle, the dealership is required to give you the lemon law procedure for your area.

    To make a long story short, once a Field Rep from Ford went to the dealership I purchased the car, it was discovered there is a black box somewhere in the engine of the vehicle. It is computerized and something in there had to be replaced. Once that was replaced, the vehicle stopped doing it but I was just done. My vehicle had been in the shop 156 days in less than a year and I didn't feel safe driving it with my daughter in the car. Since I had already filed the lemon law suit, I rode it out and won. Ford didn't even show up for the telecon with the arbitrator.

    I received all of my money back to include interest on the loan. It was a much easier process than I ever thought possible.

    Good luck!

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