pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
61,052 miles
Total Complaints:
27 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (13 reports)
  2. replace panel / fill with epoxy (11 reports)
  3. replace entire panel (3 reports)
2004 Lincoln Aviator body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Lincoln Aviator Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

Feb 022011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles


click to see larger images

crack in the rear panel

Garaged kept for years. 36k miles and tranny grinding and banging into both foward and reverse. My 2005 Caravans ride puts this expensive clunker to shame. Just recently due to the snow storms we have had here in the Northeast I left it out to place my snow thrower in the garage on standby. After all was thawed out and snow cleared I noticed this lovely gift that Ford engineered. At first it looked like a thick black string. No such luck! Body shop wants $850 to repair. Ford is obviously aware of this problem and not even the courtesy of acknowledgement or compensation.

So long Ford. Thanks for making the phrase "Buy American" questionable.

- , Spotswood, NJ, USA

problem #6

Dec 022010

Aviator V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles

I have 21,000 plus miles on my 2004 Lincoln Aviator. Recently noticed a crack on the liftgate. It seems to have happened when the weather got colder. I have a picture but cannot seem to download on this website. This is an obvious defect in the design since many other Aviator owners are experiencing the same problem. There should be a recall and free repair.

- , Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #5

Jul 152009

Aviator V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Et tu, Brutus. Yes, I have been scarred like many Aviator and Explorer Drivers out there. I have seen at least 10-15 similar breaks in the panel beneath the rear window. This is a defect in design and engineering....one that Ford should repair. Has anyone been successful in getting them to do so?

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #4

Dec 312009

Aviator 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


I am one of the many consumers caught in the Ford defect denial game. I purchased my 2004 Lincoln Aviator, Lincoln the luxury name plate, in 2007 with 38k miles on it. I could have bought a new car for the money I spent. However, I like the style and it was certified and in excellent condition. Also, I put an premium Extended Service Plan on the vehicle as I do not care to have to have take task with any issues when buying used. I have always had good luck with Fords up until this point. The rear liftgate applique has a design problem and Ford just wants to turn a deaf ear to it. I guess until a section of the applique comes loose and flies off on a highway drive, as the crack caused the glue to be compromised, and causes an accident or injury, will Ford address the issue. It may have already happened since this issue involves the 2002-05 Explorer/Mountaineers and the 2003-05 Lincoln Aviators.

Now, when I was at the dealership they stated that the repair would be $600-$700.00 and it could occur again. Wow, what a way to build in cash flow! Also, they get to depreciate the vehicle more if it is traded in on another Ford if the issue was not repaired. They Win! Maybe this is why Ford did not have to rely on a government bailout, they had this cash flow here going on.

Calling Ford consumer center is a waist of time. I made three calls and proceeded up the ladder from rep. to supervisor(who hung up when I wanted the managers name) to the shift manager who was matter of fact, could care less, cold and stated the procedure by the book no wavering. Folks don't give it any time at this level, they are not the folks to deal with. You may want to try the your state consumer complaint departments. If there is a class action going on I would be ready to join the fight. Good luck to all involved.

- , Lutz, FL, USA

problem #3

Nov 242009

Aviator 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,126 miles

Everyone else in the FMC family seems to be experiencing similar failures to the liftgate applique, as now I count myself a member of this distinguished group. I had heard other horror stories from others about problems with the transmissions and stuff. For the most part I have been reasonably happy with my Aviator. Maybe it has been that I was lulled to sleep by the thought that I spent so much moola on a car and that it should perform flawlessly for a good amount of time. Ok, so I am an idiot believing the impossible from a car company. I did it in good faith.

On to the cracked liftgate applique. I noticed the crack in November, to the left of the emblem. The emblem on that side has never seemed to look right, as if it was lifted or something away from the base. After going out to the Aviator to retrieve some bags after returning from our Marina, I noticed a small crack next to the left side of the emblem. Shocked and horrified, I could smell the blood in the water of the dealership getting ready to eat me alive. The car being just out of warranty of course.

Now it is a full blown crack and separated quite a bit. Ok, I suppose I will go get the super glue and glue it back together and hope for the best. I noticed the same kind of separation on the center hubs of the wheels along with a growing oxidation on the aluminum beneath that makes it look like it was scraped across the floor.

Added to that, is the back up parking assist that allowed me to back into a wall in a parking garage at Myrtle Beach last summer. Of course there is this loud grinding sound that one hears when shifting into reverse occasionally or even when cranking the car. Maybe it was the headlights going dim everytime you step on the brakes. Not sure what that is all about. Maybe you don't need to see as good while you are slowing down.

I did notice an improved ride when the Aviator was loaded down to the hilt while traveling. It did not feel like I was driving an old ARMY deuce and a half as it usually does. I bought it to commute back and forth between home and the marina on the weekends. I wish now that I had purchased the suburban instead. What a difference in rides there is. For a lincoln product, (alias) Explorer, it rides like a brick outhouse.

One would think that Ford would at least make the part easily available. Why would I spend $800.00 to repair this when it will likely happen again. Replacing the part will not solve the root cause, which in my unlearned opinion is due to faulty design in materials. They could have designed a thin metal skin for that applique that would have been just as inexpensive to produce as the all mixed plastic one now in place. I read someone trying a carbon fiber underlayment to hold the thing together as it is much stronger than the cheap plastic they now use.

Clearly non automotive laymen have better ideas than Ford. I know it is about money and how they can make it and help use relieve ourselves of it in their favor. Otherwise know as profits and shareholder value. I know this; I will not buy another Ford product. I loved my old towncar. It was a great automobile. I got the Aviator to replace that. What a dumb move that was. After 267,000 miles, it is still running. If the Aviator makes it to 100,000 miles, I will be amazed.

We bought a Nissan Maxima a year later, instead of a Towncar which was what we wanted to buy. After test driving a new one, there was a marked difference between my old one and what they were trying to pass off as a towncar in the new offering. The Maxima now has almost 100,000 miles and hardly anything of note has gone wrong. It needed a new thermostat and had a loose door locking pin, both easy fixes.

I do like the Aviator paint color.even though the gray finish on the leather seats seems to peel off quite easily. The Aviator had the potential of being a great automobile, but instead it finds itself on the mediocre heap as well. Selling it would cause me to lose too much money as it is hardly worth what I have in it. I'll just drive it into the ground and wait until the wheels fall off, which according to some complaints, could very well happen.

- , Earleville, MD, USA

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problem #2

Jun 112009

Aviator 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

guess what...... my liftgate under window is cracked... I see ALL aviator and explorer owners have this problem. I also own a 2002 explorer and im sure its a matter of time. I was a dodge guy til I had about 4 transmissions replaced in 4 different chrysler products. I have now switched to ford. Maybe my next car needs to be a Toyota or maybe a Honda. Its doesn't matter what you buy or how much you spend. You can spend $5,000 or $50,000. They are all JUNK. drive the junk in the ground and go give some more of your hard earned money away. I hope all the dealers go out of business. They have been STEALING the hard working Americans money for YEARS no we should all feel bad for them??? :( YA RIGHT I guess they should have saved some of the money they SToled from me. LOSERS

- , Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #1

Dec 012008

Aviator V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

I have the same problem as everyone else. My Lincoln Aviator (Ford Explorer) has developed a stress fracture on the lift gate below the glass. I called Ford and they will not accept respon. Therefore, anyone up for a class action lawsuit? I also see I will most likely have transmission problems in the future. No wonder the Big 3 need a bailout. They put cars on the road and in the hands of customers that are known to have future defects!

- , Odenville, AL, USA

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