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Lincoln LS reliability?


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#1 OFFLINE   mustang84isu

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:14 PM

I am looking to finally replace my '94 Lumina and have found a 2006 Lincoln LS V8 at my local Lincoln-Mercury dealer. Wasn't able to check the mileage since the dealer was closed today, but the car is in good condition both inside and out (a few tiny spots where the paint has chipped due to normal wear and tear and some small scratches here and there, but in general it looks very good).

Anyway, how are these cars for reliability? I love the way they look, but I've read plenty of owner reviews that tell horror stories about these cars and was wondering if it's really that widespread? People have complained about seatbacks falling off, squeaks and rattles after only a couple years, transmission problems, brake rotors needing replaced early, etc. If you go to carsurvey.org, nearly every review is negative.

If I get one, am I constantly going to be sinking money into it?







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#2 OFFLINE   nelsonlu

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 12:54 AM

I am looking to finally replace my '94 Lumina and have found a 2006 Lincoln LS V8 at my local Lincoln-Mercury dealer. Wasn't able to check the mileage since the dealer was closed today, but the car is in good condition both inside and out (a few tiny spots where the paint has chipped due to normal wear and tear and some small scratches here and there, but in general it looks very good).

Anyway, how are these cars for reliability? I love the way they look, but I've read plenty of owner reviews that tell horror stories about these cars and was wondering if it's really that widespread? People have complained about seatbacks falling off, squeaks and rattles after only a couple years, transmission problems, brake rotors needing replaced early, etc. If you go to carsurvey.org, nearly every review is negative.

If I get one, am I constantly going to be sinking money into it?


Well, I might not be the best person to ask since I traded in mine recently (a '04 V6) at 115,000 miles and obviously won't ever find out how the rest of the car's life goes. I kept the car well-maintained, and I will say that it was not particularly trouble-free or trouble-prone, in my opinion. During the course of my ownership, there were basically three "show-stopper" incidents:

1. Broken shifter assembly leaving the car unable to shift out of park without some workaround (which, to be honest, I forgot). This was about a year after I got the car. Covered under warranty.

2. A leak in a pipe (and I'll again admit having forgotten the exact cause) that caused the car to be unable to accelerate, and which got progressively worse during the course of a day. I was able to get home from work 85 miles away and take the car to the local dealer in the next day, but just barely. I thought I was going to have difficulty getting over the Sunol Grade, and I did, but only barely made it over, on the way home. This was about three years into my ownership of the car. Covered under warranty.

3. Worn out catalytic converters on both sides of the dual exhaust system. *Not* covered under warranty or extended warranty. Pretty expensive (about $1,000).

The car didn't really have any other trouble that I can recall. In the whole scheme of things, I felt that these three incidents over the course of a 4 year, 115,000 period, doesn't really make the car a problematic car per se given how much I drive it. Of course, if you buy it used, a major thing to look at is how much an extended warranty, if available, would cost, or whether you can get the dealer to throw it in.

What the car will be great in is its comfort level at high speed. My current Fusion Hybrid is pretty comfortable, but it's not what the LS was like at high speed. As I said, what I had was a V6, and even it accelerated very well, and the V8 should be substantially better in that regard. However, obviously it will use more gasoline with the V8 engine than the V6. I would say that my car basically did what the EPA said that it would in that regard. Remember that it also uses premium gas. In that regard, the Zephyr/MKZ may be preferable if you don't have a particularly need for a V8 RWD.

Overall, I'd still recommend the car because of its great combination of power, comfort, and safety. While, again, I didn't hold the car longer than I did, I'd still say that it's neither particularly problematic nor particularly problem-free. (Again, the Zephyr/MKZ may also be more problem-free in that regard.) I told the salesperson when I traded it in that I'll miss it. Well, I kind of do -- but these days I want a gas sipper with my lengthy commute. The LS won't kill you at the gas pump, but nor will it save you money, in that regard.

Edited by nelsonlu, 25 May 2009 - 12:58 AM.

1990 Mercury Sable (shared with sister)
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#3 OFFLINE   mkaresh

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 10:29 AM

Wish I had some information for you. I conduct a car reliability survey at TrueDelta.com. The Lincoln LS was recently added to the cars in the survey, but we don't have quite enough owners participating.

Owners who might be interested in participating can read about the survey here:

Car reliability research
www.truedelta.com
Vehicle reliability research
Vehicle price comparisons

#4 OFFLINE   fordtech1

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:13 PM

I am looking to finally replace my '94 Lumina and have found a 2006 Lincoln LS V8 at my local Lincoln-Mercury dealer. Wasn't able to check the mileage since the dealer was closed today, but the car is in good condition both inside and out (a few tiny spots where the paint has chipped due to normal wear and tear and some small scratches here and there, but in general it looks very good).

Anyway, how are these cars for reliability? I love the way they look, but I've read plenty of owner reviews that tell horror stories about these cars and was wondering if it's really that widespread? People have complained about seatbacks falling off, squeaks and rattles after only a couple years, transmission problems, brake rotors needing replaced early, etc. If you go to carsurvey.org, nearly every review is negative.

If I get one, am I constantly going to be sinking money into it?

The LS in its early years had alot of problems. The 06 was the last year. I believe alot of the issues were corrected by then. It is however, a very complex car. It has alot of modules and things to go wrong. I personaly love the LS and would buy one if I found the exact one I wanted.
How many miles are on it? Get me the VIN and I can run it and see what kind of warranty history it has had. This is a car that I would recommend getting a ESP on it if possible. Parts are expensive. Get a 100k warranty because the ball joints and wheel bearing are unreal in cost. They drive awesome. Good power and nice handling.
A big deal I have found on LS's is if the previous customer used Premiumn fuel or not. Spark knock can kill these engines. I had a customer that had one with 45k on it and a hole in a piston from spark knock he ran 87 octane.

#5 OFFLINE   mustang84isu

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 06:18 PM

The LS in its early years had alot of problems. The 06 was the last year. I believe alot of the issues were corrected by then. It is however, a very complex car. It has alot of modules and things to go wrong. I personaly love the LS and would buy one if I found the exact one I wanted.
How many miles are on it? Get me the VIN and I can run it and see what kind of warranty history it has had. This is a car that I would recommend getting a ESP on it if possible. Parts are expensive. Get a 100k warranty because the ball joints and wheel bearing are unreal in cost. They drive awesome. Good power and nice handling.
A big deal I have found on LS's is if the previous customer used Premiumn fuel or not. Spark knock can kill these engines. I had a customer that had one with 45k on it and a hole in a piston from spark knock he ran 87 octane.

I bought the car 6 months ago, but thanks for the tips. :) By the way, my original post was a typo...it is a 2001 LS V8 and has 85,000 miles currently (bought it with 79,000). Regular 5-speed auto (not the Select Shift).

I'll PM you the VIN...I'd be interested in hearing what other work it has had done in the past. From what I heard from the previous owner: solenoid, drive shaft yoke seal, spark plugs, valve cover gasket, and right rear window regulator.

I didn't go for the ESP but I kind of wish I would have. I replaced the passenger side front door power lock about a month after I bought it, and the left front steering knuckle a couple weeks ago. So with labor included I've spent about $860 in the last 6 months. Overall I am happy with the car, but the parts definitely aren't cheap and I am hoping this won't be a regular occurance.

I have always run premium fuel since I have purchased it, as did the previous owner. He did all the regular maintenance on schedule and even changed the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles, so it has been taken care of. He always used Motorcraft synthetic blend, but I switched up to Motorcraft full synthetic on my last oil change.

I think the cruise is starting to go out; it only seems to work about half the time. Also, ever since I bought it I have noticed that shifts are are awkwardly timed and some downshifts are a little harsh. I heard Ford issued a TSB back in 2001 to reflash the transmission shift points. I am thinking about having it done since it supposedly helps significantly. Is this something dealerships usually charge for, or is it a free service since it's a TSB?

Last question, do you know how common power steering whine is with LS's? I have a faint one, but I have read it is common with these cars and not necessarily indicative of a serious issue such as a power steering pump failure. It's not loud and it's not constant...and actually I hear the whine more clearly when I am in the cabin rather than outside the car turning the wheel.

Thanks for you help!

Posted Image

Edited by mustang84isu, 29 October 2009 - 06:20 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   fordtech1

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:13 PM

I bought the car 6 months ago, but thanks for the tips. :) By the way, my original post was a typo...it is a 2001 LS V8 and has 85,000 miles currently (bought it with 79,000). Regular 5-speed auto (not the Select Shift).

I'll PM you the VIN...I'd be interested in hearing what other work it has had done in the past. From what I heard from the previous owner: solenoid, drive shaft yoke seal, spark plugs, valve cover gasket, and right rear window regulator.

I didn't go for the ESP but I kind of wish I would have. I replaced the passenger side front door power lock about a month after I bought it, and the left front steering knuckle a couple weeks ago. So with labor included I've spent about $860 in the last 6 months. Overall I am happy with the car, but the parts definitely aren't cheap and I am hoping this won't be a regular occurance.

I have always run premium fuel since I have purchased it, as did the previous owner. He did all the regular maintenance on schedule and even changed the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles, so it has been taken care of. He always used Motorcraft synthetic blend, but I switched up to Motorcraft full synthetic on my last oil change.

I think the cruise is starting to go out; it only seems to work about half the time. Also, ever since I bought it I have noticed that shifts are are awkwardly timed and some downshifts are a little harsh. I heard Ford issued a TSB back in 2001 to reflash the transmission shift points. I am thinking about having it done since it supposedly helps significantly. Is this something dealerships usually charge for, or is it a free service since it's a TSB?

Last question, do you know how common power steering whine is with LS's? I have a faint one, but I have read it is common with these cars and not necessarily indicative of a serious issue such as a power steering pump failure. It's not loud and it's not constant...and actually I hear the whine more clearly when I am in the cabin rather than outside the car turning the wheel.

Thanks for you help!

Posted Image


Some LS have a powersteering whine. If its not leaking fluid, or really screaming, I would not worry about it. As far as the Cruise is concerned, two issues I have seen. One is the cruise switches. I have seen them fail. The other is the Clockspring. Thats the winding of wire behind the steering wheel. Most of the time when the clock spring goes bad, the Air bag lamp is the first thing people notice. Sometimes the clock spring causes the audio controls on the wheel not to operate properly.
I recommend a reprogram of the PCM. The early models had a reflash for various issues. If the reflash doesn't fix your shift concerns, you may need a solenoid body in the transmission. That can be expensive.
I personaly love the LS and wish Ford kept it. My only real complaint on it was it needed more leg room in the back. My favorite LS is either a 03 premium sport, or a 06 with a elite package. 04 and 05 models were cheapened up a bit. Look at a 03 chrome wheel and look at 04 chrome wheel. Same design just a nicer finish in between the spokes in 03. Plus 04 and up they removed auto wipers. I like gadgets, even if they don't work 100%.
Good luck with your LS.