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Lincoln Town Car Problems – Avoid The 2003 Model Year!

Lincoln Town Car Problems

The Lincoln Town Car is a model line of luxury sedans that were marketed by the Ford Motor Company, with the first model year being produced in 1981 and the end of the Town Car occurring in 2011. The Lincoln town car has been produced for three generations for 30 model years, with the first year of production being all the way back in 1981. Having relatively few issues for the first model years, the notable issues began to arise in 2003. 

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The car with the most overall complaints is the 2003 Lincoln Town Car, but oftentimes, the 1999 model year is regarded as the worst model year due to the high repair cost, the low mileage at which the problems occur, and the severity of the issues. The most reported problem in this model year is the cracked intake manifold. 

Electrical Lincoln Town Car problems


Some of the most common issues with this type of car involve the electrical system within the Town Car. owners generally report problems with the power automatic window switch working correctly, faulty air conditioning controls, power adjusted driver’s seat mechanisms, and the cruise control. Any one of these problems can be the direct cause of a faulty motor, corroded wiring, or other electrical issues, like having a bad or faulty alternator. 

Engine Lincoln Town Car problems


Another group of problems that are common in the Lincoln Town Car involve the vehicle’s engine, with this issue being especially prevalent in the Town Cars that were produced during the 1990 model years. In some cars, the engine will not start at all, and in other cases, the problem will be less severe. Other Lincoln Town Car problems related to the engine focus on the intake manifold, which can cause the liquid to leak and the engine coolant to be burned, resulting in overheating. 

Safety Lincoln Town Car problems


Unfortunately for the car company, the Lincoln Town Car problems have caused the car to be the subject of safety recalls by the parent company Ford. Many of these recalls deal directly with the safety system – the seat belt. In 2000, Ford issued three recalls of Town Cars to repair issues with the front and rear seat belt anchorage systems, meaning it is impossible to buckle the seat belt safely. 


Regarding all three recalls, over 1,000 cars were affected involving the necessary recall. Another recall in 2000 involved over 10,000 Lincoln Town Car limousines, which are at a high risk of having the tires blow out, which would cause it to be a danger on the road and not adhere to safety standards.

Mechanical Lincoln Town Car problems


Some recalls are not directly related to the safety procedures included in the car, regarding the seat belt or the air bags. In 2007, the Lincoln Town Car was recalled with a total of over 3.5 million vehicles due to the wiring harness on the cruise control assembly. During the same year, almost 10,000 Lincoln Town Cars were recalled for the front suspension assembly, along with the rear suspension needing to be addressed. One of the other main recalls regarding the prevalent Lincoln Town Car problems involve the battery cables in the 2004 model year, resulting in a recall of nearly 100,000 vehicles. 

General Lincoln Town Car problems


Along with the mechanical and safety issues that have plagued various model years of this car, especially the seat belt issues, air bag concerns, and wiring harness construction, the Lincoln Town Car problems have also caused general safety and inconvenience issues. The large size and weight of the Lincoln Town Car have made it difficult to maneuver and control, especially for drivers who are used to driving small vehicles. 


In addition, the size and the performance of the V8 engine mean the fuel economy and the miles per gallon are well below average for a modern sedan. Some auto companies and critics have noted that the Lincoln Town Car has not been changed over time, resulting in a lack of modern features, technologies, and an outdated and antiquated exterior look. 

2003 Lincoln Town Car problems


In 2003, this was the first year that the Lincoln Town Car problems stood out amongst the rest. Despite having some issues, the Town Car was relatively free of major problems, with the top complaints focusing on the engine, body and paint, AC and heater, and the braking system. The top NHTSA complaints centered around the drivetrain of this year’s Lincoln Town Car.


The main engine concerns for users focused on the spark plug blowing out the engine, bucking, the car not starting occasionally, and the engine running roughly. To fix the spark plug blowing out of the engine, the typical repair cost comes to around $480- and occurs at around 160,000 miles, with the most common solution being to have an insert kit installed. 


The top issues in the body and paint in the Town Car include water leaking into the vehicle and the exterior body showing rust and the paint bubbling. The water leaking into the vehicle has users stating that there is a water leak while it is raining and the liquid would collect underneath the floor mat. 


Regarding the AC and heater, the main concerns focus on poor AC performance while driving fast and the HVAC having a smell, which are both minor, but annoying, concerns. The typical repair cost for the HVAC smell is very inexpensive, costing just around $10 on average, so you should definitely do this fix as soon as possible before the smell overpowers your driving comfort. 


Lately, the only other area of concern was the braking system, with owners stating that the brakes failed while driving and the brakes squeaked during use. The brake failure occurs at around 203,000 miles, and can sometimes occur due to rusted lines. Despite having numerous Lincoln Town Car problems, the issues were fairly minor compared to severe engine and transmission concerns in other cars. 

2004 Lincoln Town Car problems


This year of the Lincoln Town Car problems mainly focused on the engine, interior accessories, and the body and paint system. The NHTSA also cited the highest number of complaints regarding the engine, only seconded by the steering system.


The top engine concerns focus on the engine blowing out the spark plugs, which was the same problem from the previous year that did not get fixed. To remedy this concern, the typical repair cost comes at around $250 and has a common solution of fixing the spark plug fitting at around 140,000 miles.


Regarding the interior accessories, the water leaking into the car was still an issue that had not been fixed since the previous year, while the interior accessories problems focused on the sunroof design being poorly constructed and the power lock mechanism breaking off of the door during use. 

2005 Lincoln Town Car problems


The problems declined in the following year, with the 2005 Lincoln Town car problems having only minor issues from owners. The top category of concern for users focus on the body and paint, seat belts and air bags, and the brakes, while the NHTSA lodged a high number of complaints in both the engine category and the seatbelts category.


The main body and paint concerns deal with the water leaking into the cabin, with the NHTSA also citing some complaints regarding the structure, the body and trunk lid, the body doors, and the frame and members of the car. 


Regarding the seatbelts and airbag system, the users stated that the airbag inflators are faulty and the SRS light comes on during use. The NHTSA also lodged 20 complaints for the airbags and 10 complaints regarding the seat belts. The airbag complaints caused one crash, one injury, and occur at around 68,000 miles with users stating that the airbag light flashes and stays on, the airbag light beeps during use, and the code 34 remains illuminated while driving. 


The seat belt concerns have owners stating that the code stays on during use, the seat belts might need replacements, and the company is not recalling the vehicle even though the seatbelts and airbags are unsafe. 


Lastly, the braking concerns focus on the sudden braking during use, with the NHTSA also lodging complaints regarding the service brakes, hydraulic brakes, pedals and linkages, anti lock system, the hydraulic fluid, and electronic stability control. Despite having fewer issues, there are still numerous Lincoln Town Car problems. 

2006 Lincoln Town Car problems


This model year of the Lincoln Town Car had higher Lincoln Town Car problems than the 2005 year, with the highest number of complaints focusing on the seat belts and air bags, body and paint, and interior accessories. The NHTSA also lodged nearly 100 complaints regarding the seatbelts and airbags, showing an extreme safety issue that has not been fixed since the previous year.


The user concerns from the seat belts and airbags focus on the airbag light staying on and the seat belt warning light staying on while driving, while the NHTSA lodged 54 air bag complaints, 34 seat belt complaints, and a few complaints regarding the rear seat belts, seat belt retractors, and the sensor control module, 


To fix the user concern for the airbag staying on during use, the typical repair cost comes out to around $350 and occurs at around 90,000 miles, with the most common solution being to replace the driver’s seat belt retractor assembly. For the seat belt warning light, the most common solution is to replace the seat belt assemblies at around 68,00 miles, costing the owners around $780. 


For the interior accessories, the top concern centered around the water leaking into the interior cabin portion of the car, which had not been fixed since previous years, showing how the Lincoln Town Car problems remain even after various model years. 

2007 Lincoln Town Car problems


Fortunately for the company, the Lincoln Town Car problems decreased during this model year, almost getting to the same beneficial status as the 2002 model year. For the 2007 Lincoln Town Car problems, the top concerns focused on the engine, the exterior accessories, and the brakes. The NHTSA lodged a high number of complaints for the engine. 


The main engine concerns focus on the engine revving, the engine stalling, and the spark plug blowing out during use, while the NHTSA lodged engine concerns about the vehicle speed control and the engine cooling mechanism. The engine revving can sometimes be fixed by driver error, by fixing their placement of foot while braking, while the engine stalling typically occurs at an average of around 76,000 miles. 


The only complaint about the exterior accessories similarly focuses on the water leaking into the car, with the main concern focusing on the trunk leaking, allowing liquid and water to get into the vehicle. 

2008 Lincoln Town Car problems


Despite having a few years of Lincoln Town Car problems that need to be addressed, the 2008 Lincoln Town Car had very few user issues, and minor NHTSA  concerns focusing on the engine, brakes, and the electrical system. The only user concern was the same water leak that has yet to be fixed in the car, but no other major problems are prevalent in this model year. 

Lincoln Town Car Recalls


Regarding this make and model of car, the Lincoln Town Car has had 34 recalls for various model years. Some of the most prevalent recalls involve the 2015 model year and the steering system. Dorman recalled certain steering shafts, since these shafts can separate during operation if the fastener is loose or missing during use. 


Another recall that is a more modern issue are the tires. Certain Town Car limousines might fail to comply with the tire regulations, increasing the risk of premature tire wear or blowout. 


Lastly, another recall dealt with the vehicle speed control and was noted in 2007. On certain pickup trucks, passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, and motorhomes chassis include the speed control deactivation switch, which may, under certain conditions, leak internally and overheat, causing a burn that can result in an underhood fire and severe Lincoln Town Car problems. 

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