really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,490 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 Navigator suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Lincoln Navigator Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Feb 052008


  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Lincoln Navigator. The contact stated that the air bag warning lamp illuminated. Also, a "check the suspension" message illuminated indicating that the rear shocks failed to work. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who indicated that the passenger side running board switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to an authorized dealer several times; however, the technician was not able to replicate and diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 55,000.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #27

Feb 142009


  • 45,000 miles
This is the fifth (5th) time in 6 years I have brought my car in for repair of the air suspension (compressor, ride height), all but one of those times was to the Ford Lincoln dealership. It is clear that Ford is aware of the problem as there are 10 service bulletins on the 2003 air suspension alone, as well as hundreds of complaints on the internet (see complaints on edmunds, even Ford website and several car forums. These are of the Lincoln Navigator only, not its equivalent Ford Expedition, which also has hosts of complaints.) many of the complaints state, much like my experience, that the dealer cannot even figure out the problem. It is impossible to describe to you the danger involved when the suspension fails, especially at highway speeds. The car bounces violently and becomes totally uncontrollable.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #26

Nov 032014


  • miles
My roof-mounted dvd player has never worked but still makes noises when car is crunk up or switched off, my battery all of a sudden went dead (car would not crank), headlights have shorts in them...after replacing $100 bulbs, I found out if I turn the lights off and back on, the bulb will come back on, check park assist light and alarms come on every time the vehicle is put in reverse, and my suspension will not let the vehicle up when the weather is cold.

- Pearson, GA, USA

problem #25

Jun 012009


  • 80,000 miles


I bought my used 2003 Lincoln Navigator in 2008. A year later, air suspension failure happened several times. Both in city and on highway - various speeds - but the scariest and most dangerous was when it happened on the highways. Caused vehicle to lose all suspension and drop extremely low. The navi bounced dangerously and violently even at very reduced speeds. It also caused the navi to scrape the ground on a few occasions. Had it repaired three times @ $500+ and was finally told that I needed to replace all four @ appx $2000+!! I was also told that this is a known problem with navi's. in order to save my time, money and sanity, I opted for spring-suspensions at a third of the cost and have not had any problems with those in over 4 years! I highly recommend the spring-suspensions and stop the insanity.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #24

Dec 112013

Navigator 8-cyl

  • 102,812 miles
Total air suspension failure.

- Bear, DE, USA

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problem #23

Sep 202013


  • 65,319 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Lincoln Navigator. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, a loud roaring noise was heard from the front passenger's side of the vehicle. The contact inspected under the hood and detected that the noise was coming from the air lift compressor. The noise could also be heard when the vehicle was stationary. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 65,319.

- Pleasanton, CA, USA

problem #22

Mar 102008


  • 80,000 miles


My air suspension went out the first time in March of 2008, it just quit working. I then paid $500 to get it replaced. Then again in 2011 it went out 2 different time, in which this time I had the compressor rebuilt. And again it went out of may of 2012. This time I have not had it replaced, I only drive the SUV when I have to. There are so many problems with the air suspensions on the 2003 Lincoln Navigator that Ford should make the part good.

- Candor, NC, USA

problem #21

Oct 062012


  • 189,000 miles
The right side front airbag ride suspension bag exploded while driving.

- Conway , SC, USA

problem #20

Mar 092009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Lincoln Navigator. The contact stated the air suspension system disengaged and the vehicle began to shake violently whenever he drove over a bump in the road. The failure occurred while driving at various speeds. The contact noticed that the suspension system was disengaged while the vehicle was parked. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer at least ten times to be repaired. The failure continued to occur. The contact also stated that the failure occurred more frequently during cold weather. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Gretna, LA, USA

problem #19

Oct 102011


  • miles
This is a common problem that needs to be fixed it's all over the internet. The suspension system on these are always messed up please fix this.

- Barbourville, KY, USA

problem #18

Feb 032008

Navigator 8-cyl

  • 76,000 miles


While driving in a parking lot a car pulled out in front of my 2003 Navigator as I hit the brakes I felt my SUV drop from the front. The tire skidded and I hit the car that was pulling out. After the accident my truck was never the same.it was taken to the dealership but they said the warranty would not cover it.I have a 40000 dollar truck just parked in the driveway for the past 6 months I know mechanics that can convert it to to springs suspension for about 400 dollars but that's not the point I paid top dollar for a piece of you know what.I drive a 2000 Nissan with 170000 miles on it and haven't spend a dime on it besides tires

- Mission, TX, USA

problem #17

Jun 152009


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Lincoln Navigator. The contact stated while driving 35 mph the vehicle shut off without warning. The contact had taken the vehicle to the dealer regarding the electrical system and they stated the entire fuse box needed to be replaced. The contact stated the suspension was also defective and the air bags were deflating. The dealer stated the air bag for the suspension needs to be replaced. The failure mileage was 76,000.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #16

Dec 192003

Navigator 8-cyl

  • miles
Suspension system rises and falls while driving or parked. The first incident the front right side would not raise up and made driving hazardous. This last incident the rear went up and will not come down. The vehicle can hardly be held in the road when this happens. Several complaints of this problem have been listed on the internet.

- Lebanon, VA, USA

problem #15

Nov 282009


  • 112,000 miles
Suspension relay fails then compressor fails now it still will not fill and hold as it should right front dips dangerously low no real fix or relief in sight.

- Cedar Rapids , IA, USA

problem #14

Sep 272010

Navigator 8-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Suspension problems in my 2003 Lincoln Navigator.

- Hot Springs, AR, USA

problem #13

Mar 112010


  • 102,000 miles
Air suspension motor had to be replaced at around 100,0000 miles. Also air bags leak and are slow to air up in cold weather. Mechanic said need to replaced.

- Lakewood Village, TX, USA

problem #12

Jan 012008


  • 93,000 miles
I own a 2003 Lincoln Navigator, over the past two years my truck has primarily sat in the garage, the suspension went out two years ago, we were told the compressor needed to be replaced, we did this to the tune of $599, after the compressor was replaced my truck ran okay, it never seemed quite the same, after almost 5 months the compressor went out again, this time we were told it needed a new compressor and air bags and would cost aprox. $1,300 and could cost more if other suspension issues were discovered, we cannot afford to have repairs done due to several reasons financially, this is my only vehicle and it cannot be driven, the body of the truck sits so low, we've been told it looks like we may have axel damage from the improper distribution of body weight on the vehicle due to the suspension being out. Our local Lincoln dealer (aprox. 20 miles away) said we need to bring the vehicle to them to have it looked at", our truck is not drivable, I attempted to drive it to the dealership and got about 2.5 blocks from our home and had to turn around and go back home, the violent bouncing and rocking gives a whipping movement that caused my head to continuously hit the head rest very hard, this causing great back and neck pain, not to mention cause for alarm on what this unsafe driving is doing to the vehicle...I am so disappointed, I am making $500 a month payments on a vehicle I cannot and have not been able to drive over the past two years. What's even more troubling I cannot find any recalls on the suspension and I have been reading hundreds of complaints due to this problem online, what is Ford doing about this" can someone please tell me if they are working on making this right.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #11

Feb 092010


  • miles
A year and ahalf ago, the Navigator began to make strange growling noises when it was parked under the garage. Some days when I would try to get into the car, it was high off the ground, other days it would be extremely low. The entire suspension went out on our 2003 Navigator. It cost me over $700 to have it repaired. This is my only transportation, so I had to borrow a car for a week to get to work. Now, it is out again! because of the last experience, I had been doing a system check periodically. The check always said, "suspension ok". well, two weeks ago, I began to notice the car seemed to lean to the right or lean forward when parked. Finally, last week my husband said, the car was riding like a bouncing buggy - the suspension is gone again! this is the second time and I cannot afford to have it repaired. It is the only transportation we have for getting to work. And I'm still paying on a car that I cannot ride.

- Sumter, SC, USA

problem #10

Dec 152009


  • 76,000 miles
Front air suspension on the passenger side does not work in cold weather, and only works half of the time in warm weather. Truck is very well taken care thru the dealership and has only 76,000 miles and been to the dealer several times for the suspension and right running board. See all over the internet numerous complaints about the same thing, this is clearly a common problem with the model (2003 Lincoln Navigator). The truck has not been driven in 2 months because of the expense at the dealer to repair.

- La Puente, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 102009


  • 116,000 miles
The suspension in my 2003 Lincoln Navigator has gone completely out. The estimate to get it fixed is over $1000, but cannot repair because I have been laid off for over a year. Being as how this defect is so widely affects this make and model vehicle, it should be investigated as a possible recall. A typical car driver should not have to be expected to pay for an obvious engineering defect. We're talking about the entire suspension system failing with one component going out.

- Locust Grove, GA, USA

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