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Lincoln Forum: 2003 town car driver seat issue
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    2003 town car driver seat issue

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    i love the car. everybody loves my car. BUT.....
    this issue just started in past 2 weeks. never ever before, but every-time now when i shut off ignition.....

    the drivers seat automatically retracts as far back as possible as soon as car turned off; but the track makes a horrendously embarrassing [after all. it IS a lincoln cartier town car!] ratcheting noise.

    so far the only 'fix' i have is [try to remember] to immediately hit the seat forward switch, which stops the seat from moving rear.

    i assume this has something to do with the automatic easy exit feature.
    now the really weird thing to me is that prior to this issue/noise beginning 2 weeks ago, the car DID NOT EVER seem to have the automatic easy exit feature. the seat has never retracted when ignition turned off. i have had the car 6-7 yrs.

    input please as to a fix. i already know i can unplug the seat. i do not consider that a fix. i want to repair the problem.
    the car has only 117,750 miles.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Stupid question, but does it make this noise when you manually move the seat backwards? Sounds like something in the seat track/motor is worn out or dirty or such.

    Might check your owners manual, can't remember if one can disable the easy in/out or not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    wolf_walker, ty for suggestion. but i cannot move it manually. [unless there is an override i do not know about for the motor]
    i did see other suggestions on the site to move seat all the way rear and leave it there.
    i did that and it did not help.
    whenever ignition shut off it still tries to go back further.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    I might have worded that badly, I mean when you move the seat with the seat position switch does it operate normally or make bad sounds then as well?

  5. #5
    Town's Avatar
    Town is offline Senior Member My Lincoln(s): 2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 2.7 AWD; 2007 Lincoln Town Car Signature Limited (sold)
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Ottawa Ontario Canada
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    The easy exit feature is controlled by the driver seat module (DSM) in conjunction with the driver door module (DDM). When the ignition is turned on the DDM provides the DSM with the driver seat position and the DSM moves the seat motor to that position. When the ignition is turned off the DSM moves the seat back 2" or to the stop whichever comes first. The motor runs gears in the track that when worn cause noise and will seize if not replaced. The way to turn off the easy out feature is to change the program in the DSM through the Ford library where a new module is downloaded to the car and the "no easy exit" option selected. It costs about 1 hour labour (CAD$140 approx for me when I had it done).

    On your car the seat control does not appear to move the seat to the rear stop position which is part of the sensors in the seat track. Generally speaking the seat track is worn out by the constant seat movement of the easy out feature, and should also show up when moving the seat backward using the manual control. This is why wolf-walker was asking his questions. It appears your manual switch is not working to move the seat to its rearmost position which may imply the switch or the seat track is a problem. Sounds like the seat track needs replacement anyway so fix that first.

    Replacing the seat track can be done in two ways: motor and track or track only. The motor and track is the easy approach, just replacing one component for another. The procedure is located in our Tech forum here: https://lincolnforums.com/forums/thr...ck-replacement

    The replacement of the track is cheaper because you are not replacing the motor but the alignment of the old motor to the new track is complicated for me but others have done this easily. I can get you that procedure too if you want.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    wolf_walker,

    whoops! sorry brother for my moment of insanity.

    yes, when i manually move the seat to the furthermost rear position [where i normally drive, i am 6'2"] it DOES INDEED make the same ratcheting noise.

    input plz?

    thanks so much for the help
    bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    8
    town,
    i cannot tell you how much i appreciate your thorough knowledge, detailed replies, and willingness to take the time to help me out [and others, i am certain]

    so as i replied to wolf_walker, yes, the noise is present when i use the switch and the seat is fully reward to the stopping point.

    sadly it sounds like the track does need replacing according to your input. and it is prolly easiest to do the motor and track as a unit. no reason to 'cheap out' omly to need do the motor down the road.

    so, now for the bonus points in the lightning round, [yes, i am really really old!] please answer this question _ the easy out feature NEVER was operational until about 2-3 weeks ago. i did not even know that feature was in the programming.
    what would cause it to start working, completely out of the blue, after 5 years of driving the car?

    i know it is not important, but stuff like this keeps me up at night.

    thank you for your help,
    bob

    ps- i misspoke- my first approach will be to disable the feature. because if i replace the track&motor, the issue will re-occur down the line

  8. #8
    Slick Fan's Avatar
    Slick Fan is offline Senior Member My Lincoln(s): 2003 TC Signature, 1977 TC, 2003 Aviator
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob1nelson View Post
    so, now for the bonus points in the lightning round, [yes, i am really really old!] please answer this question _ the easy out feature NEVER was operational until about 2-3 weeks ago. i did not even know that feature was in the programming.
    what would cause it to start working, completely out of the blue, after 5 years of driving the car?
    Have you recently replaced your battery, or had the battery terminals disconnected for a length of time? I'm thinking that if either is the case, the DDM may have reset to a default setting, which would be to turn on the easy exit feature.

    If you haven't messed with the battery, then I'm probably out of guesses.

  9. #9
    Town's Avatar
    Town is offline Senior Member My Lincoln(s): 2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 2.7 AWD; 2007 Lincoln Town Car Signature Limited (sold)
    Join Date
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    Location
    Ottawa Ontario Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob1nelson View Post
    .......
    .......

    so, now for the bonus points in the lightning round, [yes, i am really really old!] please answer this question _ the easy out feature NEVER was operational until about 2-3 weeks ago. i did not even know that feature was in the programming.
    what would cause it to start working, completely out of the blue, after 5 years of driving the car?

    i know it is not important, but stuff like this keeps me up at night.

    thank you for your help,
    bob

    ps- i misspoke- my first approach will be to disable the feature. because if i replace the track&motor, the issue will re-occur down the line
    Anything that bothers you is important and we will surely try to help you fix it.

    It is hard to consider a worn out track without the constant seat movement of the easy exit. If you always kept the seat full back then easy out would not operate. If you were not the first owner then the wear occurred before you bought the car. So what happened 2-3 weeks ago, did someone else drive your car and needed a different driving position or perhaps a failed or disconnected battery lost the DDM memory seat positions as Slick Fan suggested. For sure easy out was installed as default on your car.

    Something to think about.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
    dave42 is offline Senior Member My Lincoln(s): 2003 Town Car Signature Limited
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Leander, TX C.K.U.
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    135
    If you always had the seat back all the way, the easy-out feature would never do anything.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    8
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    There is some tie-in to the easy out and the memory seat position, it's setup such that with two drivers with their own key fobs if driver
    A unlocks the car the seat will know to return to driver A's saved seating position, and the same with driver B.
    I don't think this is related to the OP's issue but figured I'd throw it out there. When the seat isn't returning to a memory position it's movement
    is pretty small for the easy out (2" as was said). I'm only 6' and don't have especially long legs and prefer an upright closer to wheel position
    than most, so I get quite a bit of moment when mine is retreating from and returning to my saved position, but if it gets off kilter
    not using my saved position the movement is very small.

    It's actually a really handy feature to me, I have another car with two memory settings, one for primary driver (my short girlfriend) and
    one for me, every time I drive the car I have to open the door and stand there holding the memory button to move the seat back
    enough that I can even begin to get in the thing. I also think the amount of wear is overrated from the easy out, a lot of us
    3rd or 4th owners get these cars after they have been doggedly moving for and aft for ten years or more with who knows how much
    weight in them and they crap out and it's a bummer, but I'd fully expect another decade of service out of a repair job.

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