I think my 82-year-old mother is getting ripped off.


Asked by Jun 23, 2015 at 07:12 PM about the 2001 Lincoln Town Car

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

When her car overheated, she was told it was the manifold & some other things that
had gone bad in her 2001 Lincoln Town Car. $1600 later, it overheated again. This
time, they said it was a bad radiator cap & replaced it for free. Next, it started losing
power when she gave it gas. Now they want to replace 4 catalytic converters & 4
oxygen sensors (saying this is probably what caused the manifold to go bad). Does
this sound legit? I can't even find out how many cat. converters her car should have.
We're a home of all women on no men so we're always worried about mechanics
ripping us off. Any help would be greatly appreciated!'

8 Answers


Yes, she is getting ripped off. A leaking manifold gasket will in fact give her a decrease in power like she is now experiencing. It will not cause the engine to over heat. It simply is letting in too much air. She will lose power and get bad gas mileage. So, if it's a new intake manifold gasket that was just installed, she shouldn't have a loss of power due to the intake manifold. I would take it to a different garage. These guys you took it to are crooks. I would bite the bullet and try the dealer. They're not always the best either, but, the guys you took it to are putting the screws to your mom.

Best Answer
Bob Beaman

Time to do some reading. The Ford and Lincoln 4.6 engines including the 2001 had poorly engineered intake manifolds that caused over heating issues so it is likely that the intake did cause the problem. Further, it is unlikely that the converters or O2 sensors caused the problem with the intake manifold. I would find a different mechanic. Info on these manifolds is at the link. http://www.agcoauto.com/content/news/p2_articleid/185

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Bob, thanks for the article. I never knew Ford had an intake manifold that could just self destruct like that, and in so many places! (Hence the reason I drive Toyotas) I still think those mechanics were not on the up and up though. From reading the article, the manifold basically either has to split open or pop out the temp sensor. Only then will the car instantly lose all the fluid and cause an over heat issue. Or at the very least it should be leaking badly enough were you will have enough leaking out where you should either see steam or smell anti freeze. The lady never reported any loss of anti freeze, only that it got hot. The mechanics "supposedly" changed out the gasket (which is stupid since they should have put on the new style manifold). Then sent her home only to have it overheat again. ( This leads me to believe that the gasket was never the issue). Then they throw on a cap "for free" and send her back home again. So in essence, they gave her a $1600 radiator cap. I also feel that they are lying about the cats and the O2 sensors as well. The check engine light should have been on the entire time if those were bad. The garage should have scanned the codes while it was there and done a diagnostic. Should have known right then and there that the O2 sensors were bad. She should definitely go else where for service. Now they will end up charging her another $1600 or more for new cats and 02 sensors. I bet the final bill plus the first one would be more than the car is worth. Not a bill you want to be paying on social security checks......

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Bob Beaman

@ Reelin68, I don't think , at least for me, there is enough information to determine what happened due to the overheating and if the mechanic is at fault, but blaming the overheating on o2 sensors and catalyst is BS in my opinion, It could certainly have bad o2 sensors and bad catalyst, but something else likely caused that. Sometimes you get parts replacers instead of mechanics and these parts replacers can spend lots of your money.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks to everyone for your help. In the end, we decided that, if we told the mechanics we were going elsewhere, they would just break the cat converters so the next mechanic couldn't prove they were ripping us off. They had the nerve to tell her she could have bought another car for what she had spent at their shop. She got in her car to drive away, and nothing worked (air conditioning, lights, etc). The mechanic got everything working again but said he did it by turning her dimmer switch up (like oh that happened all the time)! No doubt they have broken something else that will cost over $1000 to fix. In any case, this was a national chain and bad reviews and reports to the BBB are being written. Again, I can't thank you all enough. It was very hard finding the answers we needed!


Yeah, those snakes pulled a relay. The dimmer switch for the dash lights would not turn off the A/C. Even to say something that idiotic, proves that these guys are just purposely messing with things for repeat business. Unfortunately, the only way of putting the screws back to those guys is to have it all on video. Reporting anything to the BBB is almost worthless. It will just be a "he said, she said", ordeal. I with you luck!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

i have a 2003 lincoln town car that was getting hot,they replaced the water pump,flushed the radiator,new fill jug and cap,thermostat.In the end my trouble was a faulty water temp switch that sends signal to the computer and the switch cost $11.14 at NAPA auto parts.


You know what they say.....there's no such thing as a real mechanic any more, only part changers.....

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