hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
144,648 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 Town Car steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Lincoln Town Car Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 212016

Town Car

  • 47,000 miles


47,000 miles on 2003 Lincoln Town car steering suddenly became difficult and 'binds' intermittently at a constant turning radius when turning the wheel both clock-wise and counter-clockwise. This occurred while in motion at low speeds, ~25 mph, immediately after coming down a hill, as if the sudden compression of the car cause the shaft to warp at the joint. After further inspection the lower and intermediate steering shafts appear heavily corroded at the U-joints and throughout both shafts. Based on the influx of steering shaft complaints over the past year or so for the same year and model car, this is undeniably a mechanical failure on the manufacturers part, I.e., engineered to fail. Additionally, based on the level of corrosion, this issue may have been more apparent and/or severe if there was more mileage put on the car but luckily the vehicle was driving at low speeds at the time of failure. Images are attached below.

- Holbrook, NY, USA

problem #9

Dec 212015

Town Car

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Lincoln Town car. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 65 mph, the lower steering shaft detached causing the contact to lose control of the vehicle. The contact was able to avoid a crash however, a police report was filed. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously taken to an independent mechanic for a routine inspection and the technician informed the contact that the lower steering shaft was fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic again where it was diagnosed that the upper steering shaft needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure millage was 80,000.

- Cadiz, OH, USA

problem #8

Jul 172015

Town Car

  • 580,000 miles
We have a fleet of Lincoln Town cars used in a ground transportation service. The driver reported that "the steering felt (very) tight". another car was dispatched to cover the livery, and the affected car was towed back to our facility. Our senior mechanic examined the car and the issue is the lower steering shaft assembly. It is severely corroded, and the "U-joints" contained in it are almost impossible to move. We contacted the dealer, provided the VIN, and was told there is no recall on this vehicle this is not a new fomoco problem, there have been several recalls of several other years (and models) for the very issue. It is the exact same part that has failed in several years of Town car (and similar). They are playing game with recall status on this vehicle these cars (that all have the same steering shaft design) should be recalled the scope of this recall needs to be expanded

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #7

Mar 302015

Town Car 8-cyl

  • 134,905 miles


This vehicle has the same "hard steering" issues as our other Town cars. The newer ones were recalled, but the 2003 & 2004 were not included in that recall. Upon examination, it is determined the lower steering shaft is corroded and the cause of these issues, as explained in Lincoln's 13S01 recall. Why is this vehicle not recalled as well?

- Ephrata, PA, USA

problem #6

Jun 142014

Town Car

  • 204,580 miles
Consider including Town cars in the latest Ford crown vic, merc gran marquis, marauder 500K car steering issue. While changing the oil on my 2003 Town car one month ago, I found a heat shield from the exhaust manifold laying parallel to and on the steering shaft stuck between the shaft and the upper control arm support and vehicle frame. The bolts holding the shield as well as mounting tabs on the shield had rusted and broken off. Very scary to see since the universal joint midway on the shaft could have easily jammed on the shield while steering to the left I.e. turning the steering wheel counter clockwise. The shield was easily removed from within the engine compartment without the use of tools. Thought you should know. Thank you.

- Pottstown, PA, USA

problem #5

Jul 172013

Town Car

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Lincoln Town car. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 60,000.

- Sycamore, IL, USA

problem #4

Oct 222012

Town Car 8-cyl

  • 220,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Lincoln Town car. The contact was driving 10 mph when the vehicle became difficult to steer, producing a stiff binding when turning the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for inspection and repair. The contact was advised that the lower intermediate steering shaft was corroded. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the incident. The approximate failure mileage was 220000. The consumer stated a recall was issued. However, his make, model and year were not included in the recall. Updated 11/13/13

- Hopewell, NJ, USA

problem #3

Feb 102012

Town Car 8-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
The power steering failed and subsequently when the steering pump was replaced the dealership said the rack and pinion needed to be replaced because it failed internally. This vehicle is a stretch limo and driven slowly and carefully on level surfaces and should not have failed at this low mileage.

- Spicewood, TX, USA

problem #2

Dec 052010

Town Car 8-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
Lower steering shaft is binding at 25,000 miles I find this to be a defect Ford should be required to pay for. This defect makes steering very hard, like having limited power steering, and it grabs and binds as you turn the wheel. I replaced the part at my own expense, part #5W1Z-3B676-aa and installed it myself. It cost $168 usd, with a discount. This is the second Town car I have had to do this repair to.

- Brockton, MA, USA

problem #1

Jul 122008

Town Car 8-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Lincoln Town car. The contact has had two alternators installed in her vehicle within the last six months. This does not include the one that came with the vehicle at the time of purchase. While driving 30 and 60 mph, the vehicle will lose power and the engine shuts off. In addition, the power steering and brakes fail. All of the instrument panel indicators flash on and off at the time of the failure. Occasionally, the vehicle will take a minute before restarting. The vehicle is currently at the dealer, but they could find no failures. The contact would have to pay $90 per hour for a diagnostic. The failure mileage was 29,000. Updated 03/09/09. The alternator was replaced due to it overcharging. The battery was replaced as well. The trunk would not close properly. Updated 03/10/09.

- Saugerties, NY, USA

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