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1999 Lincoln Town Car Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1999 Lincoln Town Car based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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20
Known Problems

The composite (plastic) intake manifold may crack near the thermostat housing and cause a coolant leak. Ford released an updated manifold that was reinforced to prevent a recurrence. No recall was issued for this problem but Ford did extend the warranty to seven years on some models from the date of purchase.

Sagging suspension can be a result of air suspension struts and/or drier leaking air. These type of air leaks can lead to failure of the air suspension compressor.

An exhaust leak may develop in front of the catalytic converter. This type of leak should be corrected as soon a possible to avoid damaging the catalytic converter.

The 1996-2011 Lincoln Town Car 4.6L V8 engine 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 1996-2001 Lincoln Town Car 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.

 

If you experience poor running and low fuel economy after the starter has been repaired, it could indicate that an incorrect starter relay was used. A diode-suppressed starter relay may be needed.

Corrosion can form at the grounding points near the battery. There may be electrical faults and the engine may crank but not start.

Check the battery cable ends frequently for corrosion. Corrosion can easily migrate under the cable insulation and cause numerous electrical faults and drivability issues.

Erratic engine coolant temperature or intermittent overheating can be caused by corrosion inside the water pump. The impeller may spin on the water pump shaft or the impeller may corrode. Either condition reduces coolant circulation resulting in engine overheating.

 

You may be able to prevent transmission problems by servicing the transmission and inspecting the fluid every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. If the fluid is dark or burned then the transmission fluid should be changed.

Checking and adjusting the AC compressor clutch air gap can extend the service life of the AC compressor.

Do not use air filters with oil-coated elements. They may cause premature failure of the mass air flow sensor; this is not covered under the warranty.

In high dust areas, problems with the EGR system are common. The filter for the EGR solenoid may plug and cause the EGR to activate when it should not; this can cause the engine to stall. The dirty filter should be replaced to correct this concern.

Even though the manufacturer does not call for regular servicing, our technicians recommend servicing the power steering fluid regularly.

When replacing the battery, make sure the battery height is correct; a battery that is too tall can cause a short circuit when the hood is closed.