Lincoln Navigator Problems

by Andy Joseph

Making its debut for the 1998 model year from the Ford Motor Company's luxury division, the Lincoln Navigator was the first full-size luxury SUV as well as Lincoln's first SUV. It joined the capabilities of an SUV with the features of a luxury sedan. It is currently in its third generation of production.

Major 1st Generation Problems

Frequent problems of the first-generation Lincoln Navigators (1998 to 2002) are mostly engine and suspension related. In Navigators with 5.4-liter engines, ignition coils and boots could fail. Some vehicles could have defective differential pressure feedback EGR and mass air flow sensors. Also, some drivetrains--the ones in Navigators are four-wheel--could fail to operate, with cost varying according to the specific part that needs to be replaced or fixed.

Other 1st Generation Problems

Other first-generation Navigator problems include cold-starting problems, which can be solved with installation of a PCV system service kit; inexplicable illumination of air-suspension indicator, which would require a new suspension-control module; and faulty key-off accessory-power courtesy functions, which can be fixed with replacement of battery saver relay. Specific to 1998 Lincoln Navigators are engine problems caused by oxygen sensor damaged by A/C condensation, and clunking sounds. In these cases, hoses must be re-routed and stabilizer bars would need to be repositioned.

Major 2nd Generation Problems

Most problems with second-generation Lincoln Navigators (2003 to 2006) affect the first two model years, 2003 and 2004. They include an unreliable air conditioner, which would require thermostatic switch installation to fix; and excessive brake dust accumulation that could be avoided with revised pads. Water accumulation in the headlight assembly requires RTV silicone sealant or black tape. Any suspension noise can be solved with installation of clutch springs in the front differential.

Other 2nd Generation Problems

Other problems include chattering rear wheels, which would require installation of a revised clutch pack. Also, some 2006 vehicles may encounter the engine-related problems of first-generation Navigators--namely, the failure of ignition coils and boots, and differential pressure feedback EGR and mass air flow sensors.

3rd Generation Problems

Problems with third-generation Lincoln Navigators (2007 to present) are comparatively minor. Weak fuel rail cross-over hoses and fragile door handles are covered under factory recall.

About the Author

Based in the D.C. area, Andy Joseph works full-time as a data analyst and technical writer. He has been writing articles about technology, health, politics, music, culture and automobiles since 2007. His work has appeared in The Express, Congressional Report and Road & Track. He has a master's degree in journalism and technology management.