What problems do Lincoln Continental owners face? In this blog, we’ve covered all the common issues of a Lincoln Continental to help you make an informed decision when purchasing a used Continental. Let’s start with the short answer.
The 2018 model year has several problems, including issues with the interior courtesy light, infotainment system, battery, and headlights. Faulty door latches were another common problem in the Continental found in the 2017 to 2019 model years. Lastly, the transmission was susceptible to slipping and jerking.
Now that we’ve highlighted the main problems let’s get into them individually so you know exactly what to look for, how to fix it, and how much it’ll cost to fix. Let’s get to it.
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1. Electrical Issues
The Continental is a luxury vehicle at its core, and luxury vehicles tend to have many more bells and whistles inside. It’s one of those things that justify a high price point. These sought-after bells and whistles rely on a robust electrical system to run smoothly. Unfortunately, this is precisely where the Continental falls short: It has a flawed and glitchy electrical system.
Interior Courtesy Lights
Electrical issues are most common in the 2018 model of the Continental. The interior courtesy lamps are particularly annoying among these problems as they randomly turn on and provide instant illumination in the cabin. It’s both distracting and dangerous while you’re on the road.
Lincoln is well aware of the problem and has issued a service bulletin (#SSM 47487). The bulletin ascribes the problem to a fault in the circuit board and requires the console equipment or control module to be replaced to rectify it. At least with this issue, Lincoln provides a clear-cut fix that works. If your vehicle is still under warranty, the repair should be done free of cost.
A rebooting infotainment system is another issue that we’ve seen complaints about. The infotainment system is where you handle all your calls, navigation, music, and much more, all of which will be put on hold as the system randomly reboots itself. It’s annoying more than anything, really, and it has no simple fix and isn’t severe enough to warrant an expensive replacement. It’s something that you’ll have to live with.
Anyone would expect the infotainment system on a luxury vehicle to function flawlessly. It’s not nearly as bad as infotainment issues on some other vehicles, but it’s not something expected of a luxury vehicle.
Another troublesome issue is the complete shutdown of headlights. It’s not a very common problem, but we have seen a few complaints about it. It’s troublesome because it puts you in a dangerous situation, especially if the headlights go out when you’re driving at night. Secondly, there is not enough information to pinpoint the source of the problem, so you’ll have to work with the dealership or mechanics to figure this out.
We come across various issues, all of which boil down to what can be best described as a defective electrical system. It’s the biggest drawback of the Continental, one that makes you feel like you own anything but a luxury vehicle.
2. Battery Problems
There were quite a few complaints about battery problems on Lincoln Continentals just out of the dealership. This left many customers shocked and off to a terrible start on their luxury sedan. One owner reported receiving a Continental with a defective battery cell that had to be replaced immediately.
Most complaints focused on a dead battery caused by a parasitic battery drain. This parasitic battery drain usually occurs overnight or when your vehicle is left unused. Generally, some components draw power that they shouldn’t when the car is parked, resulting in a complete battery drain when you’re back in the driver’s seat.
This problem could pop up in numerous different vehicles, but with so many complaints against the Continental, we’re bound to wonder what Lincoln has or hasn’t done on the Continental. A simple solution recommended by multiple dealers is a trickle charger. A trickle charger costs $50 to $150 and prevents batteries from completely losing charge and keeps them functional.
3. Faulty Latches
The Continental is a luxury vehicle. No doubt about it. Its price is a testament to that. Yet it lacks finishing that is worthy of that price point. The problems we’ve seen so far take from the luxury experience, and there’s more where that came from. Another unexpected problem with the Continental is faulty door latches.
The door latch assembly has faulty pawl motors that sometimes prevent the door latch from engaging. This means at any given time while driving, your doors could swing open. Lincoln issued a recall to rectify the issue. Over 27,000 vehicles are included in this recall across 2017 to 2019 models of the Continental. As part of the recall, dealers will replace the latch assemblies on all four doors free of cost.
The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is: 19V077000
4. Transmission Issues
The problems discussed so far have been forms of oversight from the manufacturer. These common problems include components and features that should excel in a luxury vehicle but don’t for the Continental. The next issue has more to do with the working of the car: the transmission slipping and jerking.
The transmission problems of the Continental aren’t severe and can be categorized into two. The first one is relatively simple, transmission slipping. We’ve seen some complaints regarding transmission slipping and high RPMs.
These usually indicate a need to change the transmission fluid, the fluid may be burnt or running low. In either case, a transmission fluid change should solve the problem; it generally costs between $150 to $400. If that doesn’t do the trick, you should quickly visit the mechanic for a proper checkup since transmission issues can quickly get worse and leave you with a ridiculous bill.
The second issue is a bit more bothersome. We received complaints about the gearbox slipping into neutral at low speeds and getting stuck there. Consumers claimed the car had to be restarted to fix the issue.
So far, no solutions have been found on this issue; if you’re faced with it, you’ll have to trouble yourself with visits to the dealers. Fortunately, the problem is not nearly as common as others on this list.
5. Soy-Coated Wiring
Soy-Coated wiring has become a common issue for most brands, including Lincoln. Most automakers switched to soy-based coating for their wiring because it was more biodegradable and eco-friendly. Although it’s better for the environment, it’s also better for the automaker as these soy-based coatings are cheaper than their plastic counterparts.
The problem with these soy-based coatings is that they attract rodents, who then like to chew on them and use them as nesting material. This could cause an array of problems, any system that utilizes wires accessible to these rodents is at risk of failing. This has become quite the problem since there is no easy solution, and it’s a problem found in most vehicles by most automakers.
There are some simple steps to include in your routine to try and catch these rodents before they cause an expensive problem. This includes regularly opening the hood and looking for signs of rodent activity, looking for shredded pieces of wire where you park your cars, and cleaning out all the food in your car.
What’s The Worst Year Of The Lincoln Continental
The latest Lincoln Continentals are still pretty new but are expected to last around 200,000 miles by experts. That’s the general prediction and a solid number for many cars, but there are some concerns with the Continental.
What’s particularly troubling about the Continental is that most of its problems are ones that are quick to pop out. They’re not the result of long wear and tear but of poor planning and manufacturing. This generation (2017 to 2020) of the Continental is relatively new, and it makes you wonder how the vehicle will fair in the coming years as it ages and so durability and quality are put to the test.
Nevertheless, we’d like to give you an idea of the best and worst years of the Continental (2017 to 2020).
The worst model year of the continental would have to be 2018. Every problem we have listed above can be found in the 2018 model, from electrical issues to faulty latches to transmission problems. It’s the most complained about model year and is riddled with these problems.
All other model years serve as better options, especially the 2019 model year, which has the least number of complaints, according to carcomplaints.com. Faulty latches can be found on the 2017 to 2019 models, but these are fixed under a recall, so they shouldn’t be too troublesome. The 2020 model is the last model year of the Continental that proves to be a decent send-off so far.
Alright, we’ve delved deep into the most common issues you might face with a Lincoln Continental. From issues with the interior courtesy light, infotainment system, battery, and headlights, we’ve got you covered on what to look out for.
Now, if you’re a Lincoln enthusiast or you’re not sure which model you should commit to, then don’t forget to check our other articles on Lincoln models and their common problems, like the Lincoln MKC and many more.
In conclusion, while Lincoln Continental has its fair share of problems, being informed and proactive can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Happy driving!
His interests in cars, motorcycles, and machines led him to the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore where he is currently a mechanical engineering sophomore.
His future aims include the development of an energy-efficient prototype vehicle for the Shell Eco-Marathon competition and getting a Master’s Degree in Automotive Engineering from Germany.