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Common Lincoln MKZ Failures: Breakdowns, Problems & More!

The Lincoln MKZ is a mid-size luxury sedan that is, by all means, a fast and comfortable cruiser. However, there are some common Lincoln MKZ quirks and faults that hurt its reliability score. Because of this, a Lincoln MKZ is projected to depreciate by 51% over five years, which is higher than most mid-size sedans from other manufacturers like Honda or Toyota.

The Lincoln MKZ has been in production since 2006. In this article, we will discuss the common problems that the Lincoln MKZ tends to encounter and its overall reliability through its fifteen year history.

How good is the Lincoln MKZ?

The Lincoln MKZ gets an average score of 3.0 out of 5.0. Among the segment’s 31 luxury midsize sedans, the MKZ ranks 20th for predicted reliability. They estimate that the average MKZ owner will spend about $831 and visit the shop 0.6 times a year for unscheduled repairs.

Users also give the Lincoln MKZ a frequency score of 1.71. The score illustrates how often the MKZ requires maintenance. Given the industry average of 1.3, the score implies that the MKZ is substantially worse than average.

However, newer models of the Lincoln MKZ are showing signs that they are more reliable than their older counterparts . This is based on the models having the most common problems on this list, as well as data from some websites. The first generation of the Lincoln MKZ, which ran from 2006 to 2012, seems to have the most problems.

Common faults of the Lincoln MKZ

The Lincoln MKZ has earned a medium reliability score, which means it is held back by a number of common Lincoln MKZ faults that owners are encountering:

1- Automatic transmission shift problems

The automatic transmission in the 2007 to 2017 Lincoln MKZ may develop a tendency to shift hard. One owner reports that the shifts can become so rough that he feels as if the car is being hit by another vehicle.

Most owners report that they are simply frustrated that the intervals between changes are too long. There are over 200 owners who have reported this problem.

Harshness and gapping seem to occur during acceleration and deceleration, and the most common gears to have this problem are 1st through 3rd.

Troubleshooting involves updating the software in the powertrain control module (PCM) and transmission control module (TCM). However, on higher mileage vehicles, internal transmission damage can occur as a result of stress the transmission has already experienced.

Repairing the damage could involve valve body replacement or even a complete transmission rebuild, which can be quite expensive. Keep in mind that whenever repairs are made to the transmission, the PCM and TCM have to be updated with the latest firmware to help prevent these problems from happening again.

2- Faults in the control panel

Several owners have reported bubbles appearing on their control panel, causing the material to loosen and unwrap. The model with the most reports of this problem is the 2007 model.

This particular problem seems to most commonly occur under the front windshield , right where the front windshield vent is located. Many owners blame Lincoln because they believe this problem should not occur if the company invested in better materials and manufacturing methods like other brands.

Owners were even more frustrated that this issue was not covered by the vehicle’s optional extended warranty. To repair the problem, the owners had to go to an upholstery shop and have the leather interior replaced there.

3- Power steering fluid leak problems

The 2007 to 2012 models of the Lincoln MKZ may develop power steering fluid leaks somewhere in the power steering system. Most owners discover the problem when they see a puddle of power steering fluid under their vehicle or hear whining noises coming from the power steering pump.

The leak usually originates from an insufficiently clamped hose between the power steering pump or steering gear. Adding new clamps and gaskets to the faulty hose fixes the problem.

4- Failures with the trunk lid

Another small but common problem on the Lincoln MKZ is that the trunk lid refuses to close. As a result, the boot does not make a proper seal, potentially allowing moisture and water to enter the boot . To fix the problem, owners have to replace the trunk latch assembly. This affects 2007 to 2014 Lincoln MKZ models.

5- Acceleration problems

Three owners have reported that their 2007 Lincoln MKZ suddenly accelerated even when the brakes were fully applied. All three owners report that they narrowly avoided a disastrous accident by pulling the parking brake or steering the vehicle somewhere away from people and property.

This issue is quite puzzling because, among the three reported cases, they were not able to replicate the issue and therefore were unable to identify which component was the culprit.

6- Failure of the brakes

According to the NHTSA, there have been 22 reports of brake failures on the Lincoln MKZ. Owners report different experiences of how the brakes failed. Some owners report that they have stepped on the brake pedal only to find that the stopping power has been severely faded. The brake pedal was depressed to the ground and only then did the vehicle begin to brake.

An investigation launched by NHTSA in the US in 2016 found that the Lincoln MKZ suffered from a faulty ABS hydraulic control unit (HCU). A valve within the HCU can get stuck in the open position, causing the brake pedal to have longer travel. This can surprise drivers and lead to a collision. The remedy is to replace the control unit and change the brake fluid from DOT 3 to DOT4.

In summary

If you’re still not sure if you should buy a used Lincoln MKZ, we hope knowing these common Lincoln MKZ failures will help you make your decision. No car is without its common problems, but learning about the experience of other drivers can help you decide whether or not the car is worth it. Knowing these common problems can also help you keep an eye out for them to avoid costly repairs down the road.

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