Close

2003 Ford Crown Victoria Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 Ford Crown Victoria based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

No car image 94a1663db56199c5353592009e34aaa51078a2469bed068bb8d6f0ba43accf97
Get a Repair Estimate
Guaranteed by certified locations nationwide. Learn more
RepairPal estimates are guaranteed at over 1,700 quality certified locations nationwide. Learn more
7
Known Problems

The engine may overheat at idle when the AC is on. A new, upgraded fan motor and resistor assembly should be installed.

Transmission problems are common in this model, often as a result of a failed front pump. The pump loses its ability to create hydraulic pressure, which an automatic transmission needs to function. A sign of front pump failure can be a whine type noise.

The 1997-2001 Ford Ford Crown Victoria, with a 100% plastic intake manifold, is known for engine overheating, even with normal use, and a coolant leak from the front of the manifold. This will often trigger the check engine light and low engine coolant warning light.

The engine coolant leak is from a factory defect, which causes cracking on the front coolant passage of the intake manifold. In a very short time, this leak will lead to engine overheating issues, especially while the vehicle is idling.   

Between 1999 and 2001, Ford released an updated version of this engine, known as the 'PI' version with a metal coolant passage on the front of the intake manifold, to prevent future issues.

There is no factory authorized repair for the intake manifold, and replacement is required to correct the engine coolant leak and overheating issues.

 

The 4.6L Modular V8 engine used in the Crown Victoria after 1995 is known for displaying the normal symptoms of a coolant leak, including overheating, especially when the vehicle is idling, the strong smell of coolant from the engine, and illumination of the low engine coolant warning light

This leak is difficult to locate as it is buried underneath the intake manifold, and only begins to leak coolant onto the ground in advanced stages of disrepair. This leak springs from the heater tube, which allows coolant to flow between the water pump and HVAC heater core

When the connection for this tube begins to leak, the coolant burns on the hot engine, and produces a sweet smell that is unmistakably engine coolant. 

The remedy can be complicated, and will necessitate removal of the intake manifold, heater tube, and possibly the water pump. After removal of these items, the connector may be replaced, or a set of o-rings, depending on the year of the vehicle. Most vehicles, model 2002 and later, will have o-rings, and the water pump will not need to be removed. 

The battery light may illuminate on the instrument panel because the alternator wire harness connector is damaged. A new connector kit is available and should be installed to correct this concern.

The throttle position sensor (TPS) may fail. Common symptoms of a defective TPS can be rough idle, hard starting, hesitation on acceleration, poor fuel economy, and stalling.

Catalytic converter failure is common. Internal components become loose, causing a rattle or creating back pressure in the exhaust.