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The Lincoln Continental is a perfect choice for those looking for a large luxury car, with its user-friendly tech features and spacious cabin. If you’re planning to buy one, it will be helpful to read up on its reliability ratings and the issues it may develop as it racks up mileage.

Are Lincoln Continentals Reliable?

The Lincoln Continental has good ratings in terms of reliability. Consumer Reports gave the model a 4 out 5 reliability score, while J.D. Power gave the 2020 Lincoln Continental a 3.5 out of 5. Older models also scored high, with J.D. Power giving the 2017 Lincoln Continental a rating of 4 out of 5.

The Lincoln Continental also has a great reputation when it comes to safety. The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2020 model a 5-star overall rating. Older models like the 2017 and 2018 Lincoln Continental also got a 5-star safety rating.

Lincoln Continental Common Problems

As reliable as it is, the Lincoln Continental isn’t spared from issues as it gets older. Here are some of the most frequently reported problems across its model years:

Sagging Suspension

Sagging suspension is a common issue across several 1990-2002 Lincoln Continentals. In most cases, the air suspension struts or drier leaking air may cause this issue.

This type of leak can lead to air suspension compressor failure if not addressed immediately. It’s a good thing there are high-quality yet affordable aftermarket compressors available on the market to repair your suspension system.

Rough Idle and Engine Stalling

According to some owners of the 2002 Lincoln Continental, problems with its exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system are common for the model year. Some 1990-2001 units also developed similar issues.

1998 2002 Lincoln Continental Front Wikimedia
Some owners of the 2002 Lincoln Continental have reported issues with the vehicle’s exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). Image source: Wikimedia.

The EGR solenoid in some Lincoln Continentals may fail, which can activate the EGR system even in error and cause the engine to stall. Reports show that this problem usually happens in high-dust areas, and replacing the dirty filter should resolve the issue.

Damaged Impeller

If you’re planning to buy a 1990-2002 Lincoln Continental, watch for corrosion inside the water pump. The impeller on some of the units that fall under these model years is prone to corrosion. It may spin on the water pump shaft. This will reduce coolant circulation and lead to engine overheating, which can damage other engine components.

Replacing the water pump fixed the issue on most of the affected vehicles. However, note that other problems can also cause the engine to overheat, so it’s advisable to take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic for proper diagnosis and repair once you spot this symptom.

PCV Grommet Vacuum Leaks

Several Lincoln Continental vehicles from model years 1995-2002 are prone to PCV grommet vacuum leaks. Damaged molded rubber hose connections may cause the vehicle to run roughly and trigger the check engine light. Replacing the PCV hose solved the issue on most affected  Lincoln Continentals.

Transmission Issues

Transmission-related problems are common across several Lincoln Continental model years. Some 2000 Lincoln Continental owners have complained that they had to replace their transmission after around 55,000 miles because it stopped working properly.

Several drivers also reported that their transmission had leaks. To fix the issue, mechanics had to remove the transmission and replace faulty seals. The owners of the affected units had to spend around $1,200 to solve these types of problems.

Dome Light Malfunction

Several 1999 Lincoln Continental owners have reported that their dome light stays on for no apparent reason. A triggered door ajar light may make the Lincoln Continental’s map light turn on and off. 

1999 Lincoln Continental Wikimedia
Several 1999 Lincoln Continental owners have reported that their dome light stays on for no apparent reason. Image source: Wikimedia.

Spraying a water-displacing spray on the door locks and latches solved the issue on some of the affected vehicles.

Power Steering Problems

Some 1998 Lincoln Continental owners have also complained about issues regarding their power steering system. Their power steering suddenly cuts out while they’re driving, and in most cases, returns to normal after restarting the engine.

Replacing faulty steering components usually fixes the issue.

A/C Heater Issues

Some 1994 Lincoln Continental owners have complained that their A/C and heater system started to malfunction at around 170,000 miles.

The A/C system is composed of several components that work together to keep the cabin in comfortable temperatures. So it may be difficult to identify which part is causing a vehicle’s A/C system to malfunction.

Take note that the issues listed above are only some of the problems that your Lincoln Continental may develop as it gains mileage. As long as you do your research and have a mechanic inspect the vehicle you intend to purchase, getting a Lincoln Continental should come with a little risk.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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