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Most people adore their 2019 Lincoln Navigator and think it’s the perfect vehicle. Unfortunately, that’s not true for older models. The 1998 Navigator has gotten a lot of praise for being one of the original luxury SUVs, but it has its fair share of problems. If you’re looking for a used Lincoln Navigator, Repair Pal has all the details about the problems you need to be on the lookout for.

Air suspension

The most-reported problem that plagues the Lincoln Navigator revolves around the air suspension. Most of the time, it’s fine, but if someone working on the Navigator fails to turn off the air suspension switch before using a jack or lifting the vehicle, it can lead to some major problems.

There are certain years impacted by this problem, starting in 1998 and continuing until 2010. The average mileage that owners reported the problem was 141,966, although this can happen from anywhere between 12,000 to 249,000 miles. Sixty-six people reported this problem on RepairPal. 

Some of the problems that people reported as a result of not turning the air suspension switch off include air bags that don’t pump up, the Navigator becoming lopsided, the passenger rear side droops when parked for long periods of time, and air suspension fails to work at all. 

Car Complaints also reports that the air suspension was the biggest problem reported and rated the 2004 as the worst model year for this problem. The only solution that owners felt worked was replacing the air suspension, which costs around $2,350.

Corrosion on battery cable ends

It may seem like an easy fix to deal with battery cable ends, but according to RepairPal, “Check the battery cable ends frequently for corrosion. Corrosion can easily migrate under the cable insulation and cause numerous electrical faults and drivability issues.”

45 owners reported an issue with the battery cable ends, and the average mileage that they noticed a problem was 120,726. 14 model years were affected, starting with the 1998 and continuing through to 2010. It also affected the 2015 model year. 

One owner reported that they cleaned the battery cable ends off, and jump-started it. They later replaced the battery, but the damage was already done. Their 2007 Lincoln Navigator began to have electrical problems, and they had to replace the alternator. 

The owner of a 1999 Navigator reported that there was no solution. They frequently cleaned the battery cables as many experts recommend, and even replaced them on multiple occasions, but couldn’t stop the corrosion. Many other owners reported the same problem. 

Rough idle and/or engine stalling condition 

Thankfully, the third most reported problem only happens in high dust areas. Repair Pal stated,

“In high dust areas, problems with the EGR system are common. The filter for the EGR solenoid may plug and cause the EGR to activate when it should not; this can cause the engine to stall. The dirty filter should be replaced to correct this concern.”

It affected 13 model years, starting with 1998 and going through 2010. The average mileage that owners noticed a problem was around 134,996.

Some of the signs that owners noticed was a jerking motion when they traveled between 45-65 mph, continuously feels like it’s going to stall, the Navigator cuts off while driving, and won’t accelerate past 40 mph. No owners reported a solution for the problem. 

Should I avoid buying a used Lincoln Navigator?


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With all these problems, it may seem like the Lincoln Navigator isn’t worth checking out, but it’s actually not that bad. Most of the reviews on Consumer Reports are positive. CarFax also has good things to say about the Navigator and highly recommend it. 

For those interested in a new Lincoln Navigator, it now has a lot more standard features, meaning you don’t have to spend extra money for what you want. U.S. News also ranked it as the Best Luxury Three-Row SUV, so it’s definitely worth checking out.