hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,072 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Lincoln Aviator engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Lincoln Aviator Owner Comments

problem #12

Dec 162011

Aviator 8-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


Solenoids going out on the transmission as well as the belts that hold the transmission in place. Dealer stated that this is a known problem for 2 years and that Ford will not recall the product. The engine light came on during the drive and the engine has trouble shifting into gear going up a hill. Their is a leak around the oil filter which cause the overdrive light to come on durin the drive. The leak is on the 0 ring bolted onto the engine and that part including the filter and antifreeze needs to be added to the car. The car lost 3 quarts of oil and had to be replaced by the driver in order to take it to the dealer for repair. The dealer admitted this is a manufacturers defect but will not replace these parts for no charge.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #11

Oct 192011


  • 77,000 miles
At 76,000 miles began hearing a noise under the hood. It was determined by an authorized Ford dealer that the idler pulleys were bad. Changed 3 pulleys and the noise was still there. Driving on a country paved road at 25 miles an hour a loud thump and the car died. Could not get it restarted. The plastic tensioner guide broke causing the timing chain to come off and broke pistons, valves and rockers. New engine from Ford $8,000.... had to replace it for $5,000 and will be trading it in immediately.

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #10

Jul 292011

Aviator 8-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
After owning a 2003 Lincoln Aviator close to 4 years it is now down. I took good care of this SUV and always had changed the oil with synthetic oil. With only 79,000 miles it now has a engine knock. I took it to the Lincoln dealer and they said I need a new engine and it would be 8,800 dollars since my extended warranty just ran out. I have been reading other people had this experience with this SUV and year but Ford does not want to correct this.

- Upper Maarlboro, MD, USA

problem #9

Jan 172011

Aviator 8-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


2003 Aviator 4.6 V8 with 102,000 miles. Maintained maintenance which I have had vehicle for about a year. Car ran fine. All of a sudden vehicle would not start. Had to have transmission shifter cable replace. Ran okay for about 6 months than started hearing knocking sound from engine. Took to Ford certified mechanic which they pulled engine apart and could not determine problem. They stated that they were not sure and contacted Ford. Drove for about 3 weeks of which low oil pressure light came on and vehicle shut down in the middle of highway. Now it appears that the engine itself is the problem. $7,000 dollars which I don't have and more than vehicle is worth. I have done some researchand apparently there are alot of people who have this vehicle year/model with same similar problems.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #8

Jul 142010


  • 82,000 miles
I don't know if you can help me, but if you could point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it. I have a problem with Ford Motor Corp.I want to complain about a severe engine flaw on there 2003 Aviator with the 4.6 motor.I have contacted them over and over and the same response out of warranty sorry.as stated in there (tbs) report 06-5-13 cylinder 7 is the weak point of this motor, to check compression, witch of course my engine failed as I am sure many others failed as well. This problem seems to develop between 60,000 to 80,000 mi. (according to data I collected online) and the warranty is up at 50,000. I don't believe that I, and all the others who bought this truck should pay for there mistake. So what I am asking is, if you could point me in the right direction. Who I should contact or complain to. Thank you for your time to read this. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Medford, NY, USA

problem #7

Aug 172008


  • 98,000 miles
My 2003 Lincoln Aviator acquired a crack in the engine while my wife was driving with our children. Upon further research of problem, it shows in Ford's tsb's that this is a known issue with the engine. The repair will cost approx. $5000 to fix, the problem here is Ford is aware but denying the problem when repairing the engine. How can they do this.

- Palmyra, VA, USA

problem #6

Sep 222007


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Lincoln Aviator. The contact experienced a coil issue with her vehicle, in terms of misfiring. When she would accelerate, the vehicle hesitated. The dealer was initially unable to determine the cause of the failure, but after further diagnosis, discovered that two coils were defective. The coils were replaced, but the failure recurred after 30 miles. The contact returned the vehicle to the dealer. The failure occurred a total of five times and the vehicle was taken to the dealer after each occurrence. They continued to replace the coils, which did not remedy the issue. The failure occurred at all speeds and the air conditioner would shut off simultaneously. The manufacturer has not been notified. The current mileage was approximately 80,200 and failure mileage was approximately 60,000.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #5

Mar 122007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles
My 2003 Lincoln Aviator had a rough idle and was a little sluggish. With only 92,000 miles on a $45,000 car, this surprised me. This is a high performance engine. Upon accelerating to enter I-20 the vehicle almost died. Luckily, there were no vehicles coming - had this been during rush hour it might not have been so lucky. I took the vehicle to city garage to have it checked out, and was told it had a major engine problem. The #8 cylinder had on 70 lbs of pressure, and the vehicle needed a valve job. I called Lincoln customer service after find on this web site that mine was not the only Aviator with this problem and with the exact same cylinder. I was told by Lincoln to take it to the dealership where I paid another $100 to have it scoped again - only to be told by Lincoln that they didn't intend to do anything about it. This appears to be another one of Ford's major mistakes that they are not willing to take responsibility for until someone gets killed. People who own these vehicles do not expect them to die on acceleration, and it is just a matter of time before someone gets hurt. That - coupled with the fact that this is costing people who own these vehicles a good deal of money and Ford's attitude was tough.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #4

Oct 262006

Aviator 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles
10/26/06 # 8 coil failed 11/8/06 #6 coil failed 12/15/06 # 7 coil failed 1/24/07 cylinder head cracked total cost $4,943.53 for repairs.

- Stoneham, MA, USA

problem #3

May 272004

Aviator 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,864 miles
: the contact stated a whining noise was heard coming from the rear of the vehicle while driving 55 mph. The vehicle was taken to the sales/service dealer for repairs. The right rear axle and pinion were replaced as well as the C B shaft assembly and gear and pinion locking pin. This was the third time the rear end was replaced in a two year period. The manufacturer was notified and a technician was sent to inspect the vehicle. The vehicle pulled to the left, the door lock switch was inoperative, the rear shock was leaking oil, the E power steering hose was replaced, there was a ticking sound coming from the engine compartment. The timing chain and gasket were replaced. The door ajar light came on after all the doors were closed. The consumer stated the shifting of the gears were harsh, the dealer replaced various componets in the transmission. The right rear brake light bulb was replaced, the master cylinder was replaced. The front seat climate control was not cooling. The battery was replaced, the accelerator cable was sticking. Updated 12/05/06.

- Hampton, GA, USA

problem #2

Nov 012004

Aviator 8-cyl

  • miles
Multiple failures in 2003 Lincoln Aviator. Difficulty turning, starting, jerk in steering wheel, vibration in tires, gear changer loose and ect. The consumer purchased the vehicle with 18 inch rims but Ford requires 17 inch rims to be legal (oem) equipment. The consumer felt that this was maliciously dishonest sale of an automobile. The side fender had a gauge on the inside, the rear storage section leather ripped, the tire monitor system kept coming on with a warning sign from the computer of a mechanical defect, difficulty starting the vehicle, jerking in the steering wheel, noise in the steering wheel, noise in heating/vent bubbling, passenger front windows were rattling, there was motor noise upon acceleration, front end noise, rear hatch rattled and was shaking, the wheels squealed and rubbed, the doors did not automattically lock when the vehcile was engaged into drive, and the engine knock as if it were running rough. When the service tech tried to shift the gear lever out of park, the entire gear lever had come apart in pieces. The consumer stated that the vehicle was worse than ever. Currently when the brakes were applied the steering would go out of control, jerk left and right, shaked out of control and unable to steer.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #1

Sep 012004

Aviator 8-cyl

  • miles
Consumer states that dealer put aftermarket rims tires on vehicle. The vehicle experienced the following; difficulty turning the vehicle, heater bubbling making noises, difficulty starting the vehicle, jerking in the steering wheel, noise in the steering, noise in the heating/vent bubbling, pulsating in the steering wheel, vibration of the tires, the tire monitoring system had to be cut off reconnected and adjusted, the passenger front windows rattled, motor made loud noises when the vehicle accelerated, front end noises, rear hatch rattled and would shake, the wheels squealed and rubbed, the wheel jerked when taking off, the gear changer lever was loose, the vehicle would shake and vibrated when in motion, and the engine sounded as if it was knocking or running rough.

- Newnan, GA, USA

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