Looking to buy 2006-2011 Town Car

Griswald

New member
14
1
3
Hi,

I'm considering buying a Town Car. I like the years from 2006 - 2011.
Any advice / things to look out for / Do's and Don'ts are greatly appreciated.

In particular,

1. How important is mileage? At what point should I be discouraged?
2. Any major maintenance costs I should prep for?
3. I keep hearing about air suspension issues. When does this usually happen? How much is it to fix ballpark?
4. General thoughts on reliability? I want this car for long road trips.

thanks!
 

jkeaton

Well-known member
1,205
506
113
Winston Salem, NC
I have an 04 with 145,000 miles that I would not hesitate to drive across the country. It really depends on the maintenance history. I have zero issues with my air suspension. One thing to look out for would be the intake manifold.
 

Koach

Member
38
14
8
I posted this a few weeks ago after four months of ownership.
Take it and the subsequent responses for what they're worth, but it should give you an idea:

 

Koach

Member
38
14
8
Oh, forgot to mention that I found both front struts to be bad during a test drive. Dealer replaced before purchasing.
______________________________
 

04TC

Junior Member
255
108
43
Tampa, FL
1. How important is mileage? At what point should I be discouraged?
2. Any major maintenance costs I should prep for?
3. I keep hearing about air suspension issues. When does this usually happen? How much is it to fix ballpark?
4. General thoughts on reliability? I want this car for long road trips.

thanks!
My Car has been great for me, much better than the (much newer and lower mileage) Hyundai that I had before it. No matter how reliable any particular model is, I would be very wary buying something with over 150k miles if I could afford a lower mileage car.

I bought my Town Car 5 years ago with about 100k on it, and the first issue I had was 23k miles later, one of the ignition coils went bad which was a cheap fix. The spark plugs are known for blowing out if not installed correctly, mine haven't given me any issues yet. My air suspension started to go out (I think it was) around 130k miles and I changed to coils, not that expensive to do the conversion (Sacrilege!) The other common problems are the AC blend door actuators, water leak into the interior, and as @jkeaton said, the intake mainfolds eventually do fail, even the updated ones. The water leak fixes are DIY, but the blend door actuators and the intake manifold are expensive to replace, up to $1000 for either the intake manifold or all the blend door actuators from a reputable mechanic shop.

If it's a higher mileage car and you want to change the transmission fluid but it's never been changed, do not do a power flush. It can cause the transmission to fail soon after. Before buying the car make sure the transmission fluid is light red and not brown. If the fluid is good you can do a drain and fill of the transmission pan, and replace the trans filter if you want to then fill it back up with the same amount that came out. Use ONLY the recommended Ford transmission fluid (for 2004 it is Mercon V but for newer it might be different--check the owner's manual or this forum).

The transmissions usually last at least 150k miles and the engines generally last much longer than that if maintenance is kept up. Change the rear diff fluid as recommended and the differential should last longer than that as well. The Town Car is generally considered Lincoln's most reliable discontinued sedan. They share most of the engine and transmission parts with the Ford Crown Vic and Mercury Grand Marquis of the same age, and parts can still be found fairly easily.

These are extremely comfortable and were made for long road trips. Even though it has a V8 mine still gets over 25 mpg on the highway as long as I keep it at or below 75 mph. It would be an excellent choice of car for that purpose.
 

Griswald

New member
14
1
3
Thanks Guys - good info. It's amazing how much dealerships are asking for these cars. Granted I can find one less expensive if I'm not picky about color, trim, etc...but I'm pretty picky. I found one with about 70k on it - really nice shape, but they're asking A LOT. about $1-2k higher than KBB. The body and interior are really clean. So I am leaning towards that, and am gonna go check it out this week. On the flip side, I'm also pondering buying a 2011 with 200k miles, which I could get pretty cheap. I see these things can (if kept up) run for over 400k miles on the original engine. Obviously the owner had to do enough maintenance to get it this far...obviously a dice roll, but if I can scoop it up for a couple grand, might be worth it? Thoughts?
 

fr88ltc

Junior Member
14
1
1
I have a 2006 Designer Series I bought 4 years ago with 87K miles and every option. I like the Wixom-built Town Cars through 2007. (In 2008, production moved to Canada.) These earlier cars have a full suite of options and colors available. From 2008-2011, options like the Designer Series, sunroofs and THX radios fell by the wayside and the focus was increasingly on the bare-bones lower-end Executive models used in limo service.

I would definitely suggest a post-2003 model because of the chassis and suspension upgrades that happened that year. Regarding reliability, I can't complain in the least. The car has been very reliable. I now have 139K miles on the car and it still looks and drives like new.

But these car are now 10-15 years old. Although nearly bullet-proof they will still require regular maintenance and the occasional repair. Consider an intake manifold and rear air springs to be maintenance items. They WILL need replacing at some point - the intake because it is a congenital weak point on 4.6 V8's and the air springs because rubber doesn't last forever. BTW, I would not do coil spring replacements. Air springs last about 10 years and are cheap enough to not be an issue. And it is almost the same procedure to install air springs as it is to convert to coils so you might as well stick with air and enjoy that magic carpet ride. You can install new air springs with modest skills and access to YouTube. I was brave and also replaced the leaking intake manifold myself, doing the overdue plugs and coils replacements at the same time.

Another common issue is water leaks from the cowl air intake for the HVAC system. Leaves and other debris can clog the drain (a rubber flap located near the RH hood hinge.) Again, if this is an issue, YouTube to the rescue on how to permanently seal the intake from water intrusion. Only other repair, other than routine maintenance, has been the need for a new generator. The major maintenance I did for the intake, air springs and generator (all for less than $500) should make the car good for another 100K miles.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0627A.jpg
    IMG_0627A.jpg
    242.3 KB · Views: 6

Griswald

New member
14
1
3
I have a 2006 Designer Series I bought 4 years ago with 87K miles and every option. I like the Wixom-built Town Cars through 2007. (In 2008, production moved to Canada.) These earlier cars have a full suite of options and colors available. From 2008-2011, options like the Designer Series, sunroofs and THX radios fell by the wayside and the focus was increasingly on the bare-bones lower-end Executive models used in limo service.

I would definitely suggest a post-2003 model because of the chassis and suspension upgrades that happened that year. Regarding reliability, I can't complain in the least. The car has been very reliable. I now have 139K miles on the car and it still looks and drives like new.

But these car are now 10-15 years old. Although nearly bullet-proof they will still require regular maintenance and the occasional repair. Consider an intake manifold and rear air springs to be maintenance items. They WILL need replacing at some point - the intake because it is a congenital weak point on 4.6 V8's and the air springs because rubber doesn't last forever. BTW, I would not do coil spring replacements. Air springs last about 10 years and are cheap enough to not be an issue. And it is almost the same procedure to install air springs as it is to convert to coils so you might as well stick with air and enjoy that magic carpet ride. You can install new air springs with modest skills and access to YouTube. I was brave and also replaced the leaking intake manifold myself, doing the overdue plugs and coils replacements at the same time.

Another common issue is water leaks from the cowl air intake for the HVAC system. Leaves and other debris can clog the drain (a rubber flap located near the RH hood hinge.) Again, if this is an issue, YouTube to the rescue on how to permanently seal the intake from water intrusion. Only other repair, other than routine maintenance, has been the need for a new generator. The major maintenance I did for the intake, air springs and generator (all for less than $500) should make the car good for another 100K miles.
It's interesting you brought up the Wixom built years. I'm leaning more towards the 06 and 07 Wixom build ones for the historical significance. I wonder which plant is arguably more reliable...hard to say, if at all. Mind you in (I think it was 2010) they offered the continental edition which had the sunroof and a few other options...but hard to find since production really fell once they moved to Canada. Why did they move to Canada by the way? Again I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on an 07 w 70k. They're about $1000 over KBB, but seems like a safe bet overall, and the car is in great shape.
______________________________
 

wolf_walker

Junior Member
466
279
63
Dealers are spendy, and so is low mileage (which is the only one a dealer with good sense would keep on the lot) and particular options/colors are going to run the cost of admittance up even more.



They are all reliable, but at best a decade old.
There are countless threads on this forum and others of people buying low mileage cars and having to
fix a noticeable number of things, it all depends on where the car lived and how the miles were accumulated.
Take a 2011 with 50K miles that was done in the first two-three years, and then it sat in a garage for 9 years.
That's going to produce a radically differently-abled car than one that had regular, if sparse, use over the course
of the decade. Just something to consider. You really never know what you're buying into with an old car,
if I was spending real money on one I'd have it inspected by a dealer before buying if I couldn't put it on a lift myself.
PPI's have saved many a person both heart and wallet ache.
 

Griswald

New member
14
1
3
Dealers are spendy, and so is low mileage (which is the only one a dealer with good sense would keep on the lot) and particular options/colors are going to run the cost of admittance up even more.



They are all reliable, but at best a decade old.
There are countless threads on this forum and others of people buying low mileage cars and having to
fix a noticeable number of things, it all depends on where the car lived and how the miles were accumulated.
Take a 2011 with 50K miles that was done in the first two-three years, and then it sat in a garage for 9 years.
That's going to produce a radically differently-abled car than one that had regular, if sparse, use over the course
of the decade. Just something to consider. You really never know what you're buying into with an old car,
if I was spending real money on one I'd have it inspected by a dealer before buying if I couldn't put it on a lift myself.
PPI's have saved many a person both heart and wallet ache.
Sound advice.
I'm having the dealer drop it off at reputable shop nearby for a PPI.
thanks
 

Koach

Member
38
14
8
I'm having the dealer drop it off at reputable shop nearby for a PPI.

How much are they charging you? I've had them performed on more expensive purchases, but never on a $5-6k car. Finding a puddle of water on the passenger floorboard a day after purchase would've been avoided...
 

Griswald

New member
14
1
3
So got the inspection back -
Shop said only concern was with the computer that: ALL READINESS MONITORS SHOW AS "NOT READY".
They said this makes perfect sense b/c the battery had just been replaced, and that the car just needs to be driven for a bit for the monitors to kick on.
And once they kick on, then the computer and diagnostics should be functioning as normal. The shop said to stop back in after the car had been driven and they can re-check the monitors and make sure they're on and monitoring.

Any thoughts or advice on this one? thanks
______________________________
 

wolf_walker

Junior Member
466
279
63
Pretty normal, things have to go through use cycles a few times or x number of miles depending on the system for it to be able to say it's all working correctly. Less than ideal to not be able to see it give the ok but not the end of the world if it seems to function fine.
 

Griswald

New member
14
1
3
Pretty normal, things have to go through use cycles a few times or x number of miles depending on the system for it to be able to say it's all working correctly. Less than ideal to not be able to see it give the ok but not the end of the world if it seems to function fine.
That's my thought...I think it's fair to ask the dealership to have it run a bit so that it works ok before I purchase it. Could they be trying to hide something? Like a light was on, they put a new battery in it and now the lights off b/c it's just not monitoring it?
 

wolf_walker

Junior Member
466
279
63
It's certainly possible, only reason they might balk is sometimes you have to drive a decent distance, 50 miles or more.
Probably not likely though. See if they'll let you take it on a long drive maybe. Someone here can probably tell you how long
or what the system of that era wants to be happy.
 
75
73
18
A 06-11 Grand Marquis is an option you could look at as well. Especially considering that during these years the Town Car just got more de contented and doesn't really have all that much over a Loaded Grand Marquis LS. And with a Grand Marquis you won't have issues with the shitty door panels, the auto trunk close system or water leaks.
______________________________
 

Griswald

New member
14
1
3
Pretty normal, things have to go through use cycles a few times or x number of miles depending on the system for it to be able to say it's all working correctly. Less than ideal to not be able to see it give the ok but not the end of the world if it seems to function fine.
So the dealership isn't wild about adding additional miles onto the car to get it to trigger, prior t me buying it. The shop who did the inspection said they only items they could find were brake pads were getting low and it needed wiper blades. So, seems like a safe bet that once the computer triggers there's not gonna be a check engine light. But, if there is, anything major that could be hiding? O2 sensor? Again, 69k miles, 2007. southern kept, clean car. Carfax shows gradual increase in mileage each year. I don't see that it sat awhile.
 
75
73
18
Who knows. If the computer was reset it could be a number of things but to me I'd pass on the car. Mostly cause of the water leaks and shitty door panels and I'd just look for the most loaded 06+ Grand Marquis LS especially when compared to 2003+ Town Car and not deal with those aforementioned issues.
 

wolf_walker

Junior Member
466
279
63
It's probably fine, in the least get them to agree to fix it if it's anything over $x amount maybe.
In a lot of states I'm pretty sure you can't sell a car as a dealer that won't pass smog/inspection.
They may be cheating a little.
For top dollar quite frankly I'd expect it to be turn key, not needing wipers, or a brake job, or
to not have the readiness monitors happy. Unless you're really in love with it's cosmetics you
might keep looking. When gas prices go through the roof, as they are quite likely to do, these
things are going to become an even harder sell I suspect.
 
Top