2002 Lincoln LS V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 64,371 miles
The " check charging system" warning light came on and went off. This happened from time to time intermittently over several years. There were no symptoms of any problems with the vehicles functional capabilities; no stalling, no hard starting, no sluggish behavior.
Then, recently, the light came on often and went off many times a day. I had it diagnosed by a dealer and was told it was an alternator overcharging at 17.8 volts. I had a different repair shop replace the alternator. After the repair, not only did the same warning light appear, but the " ABS", Advance Track System", and Check Engine Temperature" warniing lights appeared. I took it back and they put in another alternator; thinking the first part was defective, and still the problem wasn't corrected.
I took it to another dealer who identified the problem as a defective fuse block; a $3900 part + 7-8 labor hours to repair. They said they have never seen anything like this before. By coincidence, it was the same dealer who diagnosed the problem, when faced with same warning light situation over 2 years ago, as an alternator and battery (which I never had repaired because a different automative repair shop said that it was not; they replaced a battery cable and connector which seemed to fix it. Until the light appearred and disappeared again several months later).
At the time I first experienced the problem, the car was under warranty. Noone ever diagnosed the problem correctly before. What is my recourse with the manufaturer to have this very rare problem repaired at the manufacturer's cost?
And what could be the cause of such a problem with the fuse block? Could one of the previous repairmen have damaged it during their alternator repair and diagnosis?. (I noticed the fuse block cap was off and the fuses were loose. My car's power shut completely down and stalled just after starting the car and putting it in gear the day after the repair was initially completed when I was trying to take it back in again. I pushed the loose fuses down until I heard a " click" then I had power and the car started; but the warning lights were all on.)
Also, noone ever was able to obtain a " code" during the diagnosis that identified the problem; why the warning light came on. The tests always showed " pass" no false codes.
Usually too much draw through an under-engineered circuit will cause problems like you describe. Unless you can find a shop that will take it apart and isolate/repair the one circuit that is most likely causing this, you may be stuck with replacing/repairing the entire thing.I doubt this was caused by anyone, more likely it was a design fault. As far as recourse goes, It would depend on how many times you had it in for that complaint, and what if any work was done to try to repair it.I doubt you will get very far with that unless it was a recurring issue that they tried to repair many times
February, 25, 2009 AT 2:49 PM
Thanks for the input, but what is your recommendation? Should I put in a salvage part from another 2002 LS?
February, 25, 2009 AT 3:11 PM
Going on the fact that the dealer had never seen it before, you may be ok with a salvage yard part. Need to be careful about some things, if they are inherent problems to the vehicle, you may be installing another problem
February, 26, 2009 AT 9:37 PM
Your comment about putting in a salvage part makes sense.
I could write a book after what I've discovered after my investigations over the past few days. I'll limit it to a sub-chapter.
The only people that care are those that might get an opportunity to repair my car; except for the people at the dealership. They don't care. Ford doesn't care. They won't let me talk to a Ford engineer or the Regional Zone Manager.
Do you know how hard it is to find a " fuse block" for a 2002 Lincoln LS V8? You will not find it at any parts store (or online); even salvage parts are impossible to find! Why?. Because they never fault; except for my car!
Stay tuned; I'll keep you posted on the results of my endeavors to get the car fixed (diagnosed correctly) and what Ford might do to assist.
If anyone has any recommendations, it would be appreciated.