LS Electrical Problems - Crazy Instrument Panel & Not Starting


Asked by Nov 15, 2010 at 09:07 AM about the 2002 Lincoln LS V8 Sport

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2002 Lincoln LS8. Yesterday morning I got into the car to leave for work and it would not crank over. As usual, when I inserted the key, the seat began to move into position and the headlights came on. But, not as usual, the wipers also began running and the car would not crank it was completely dead. The dash instruments were bouncing all over the place and the "status" computer was beeping and showing various messages (e.g., fuel computer error). Also, after removing the key, the seat returned back, but the headlights would not turn off--even after turning the light switch to the "off" position. Eventually, I was able to get the headlights to shut off and I took another car to work. Later that evening I attempted to start the car again. Initially, the same problems occurred. After several minutes of trying, the car began to crank over, but would not start. The instrument panel continued to bounce around--almost as if the car had been hit by lightening or something. After several more minutes of trying to start the car, it finally started and ran perfectly. After starting, the instrument panel eventually stopped bouncing around and returned to normal. I turned the car off and started it again without a problem. Next day, all the problems returned and eventually the car started and returned to normal. I hooked up to the computer with the On Board Diagnostic System (OBD II) and it did not send any codes. I have no idea what's wrong with the car--except that it seems to be a computer problem. Not sure how to diagnose the problem so that I can repair it myself (if possible).

32 Answers

sounds like a battery issue.

23 out of 23 people think this is helpful.

The battery checks out. In fact, I replaced the battery because it was the original and the new battery made no difference. Cables look fine as well.

21 out of 21 people think this is helpful.

Have the same problem with 2003 LS sport V-8, but now instrument panel went dead and car willnot start. Suspect problem started with water leaking around sunroof and down left driver door post. The flashing instrument cluster and chimes only happened after it rained and there was wet carpet on driver side. Normally everything would start working after it dried out but I think its gone, (instrument cluster or computer) also when instrument cluster and chimes flashed steering wheel and seat would retract repeatedly.

31 out of 31 people think this is helpful.

my car has the same proble did u ever get it fixed and if so can you tell me what the shop had to do. any help would be appreciated. THANX. You can also call me at (215)989-8687

18 out of 18 people think this is helpful.

i have a 2004 lincoln ls that i have had problems with it since day one. the engine failsafe mode light keeps coming on and the car will shut off. I took it back to the dealer about 6 times unitl they sent it to a lincoln mercury dealer in the city. that lastd about 8 months working ok. then the i had to replace a few coils and plugs; after that the passenger rear door ajar light came on, and for the umpteenth time i have had to have my car towed into my mechanic's shop. they told me that they have done all that they can do without me having to go to the dealer. oh, did i mentioned that my alarm keeps going off. now the battery is not working again. my husband brought home his jobs jumper cable box they use on their vehicles at work . and sitll the car would not statrt. what do i do?

49 out of 49 people think this is helpful.

I have a Lincoln ls v8 and I have a similar problem. One day i got in ma car to go to work and the car would not start. It seemed to me like the battery was dead because when i turn the key it clicks and the gages start bouncin around also and the alarm goes off and the lights start flashing. I replaced the alternator recently so that cant be the problem and the battery is brand new. If anyone knows what the problem is let me kno.

120 out of 120 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2000 LS and the moon roof drain clogged. I caused water to run down the driver side pillar an into the dash and driver door. It caused shorts in the door wiring and the instrument cluster. Total dealership fix 1100

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.

Im having the same problem jus got it back from dealer today after it had been there since tues. I thought it was the clutch switch again but they said that was ok. Which they had already put in a new one in feb. I went to an appt after work and Tried to start car it wouldn't crank. Tried a couple times and it crank. Drove home cut car off and tried to re crank it and now it won't crank at all. Dealer told me to pay attention to if the steering wheel of seat moves when I try to crank it. Well... It does move sometimes. Now it's been 1 hr and still hasnt crank

23 out of 23 people think this is helpful.

My 04 Lincoln LS will not crank sometimes and I have noticed that there is an "E" on the dash where there should be a "P" (or "D5" when driving) and the red light on the dash is going crazy. If I keep turning the key to the on position it will eventually get a "P" and I can crank it fine! One dealership was NOT pleasant to deal with and ripped me off good. Then I found another one and they are AWESOME. They are stumpped but won't give up. They have replaced the computer, a jumper relay, and the parking brake module (total $475 while the rip offs took $975 for spark plugs and 3 coil packs). Still doing it but less often. The "good guys" in Wiggins, MS want to keep trying to get it! Anyone got any ideas that may help them with it? If not, when they get it, I will post on here! Thanks!

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.

I hate the Lincoln Ls it has so many problems we have replaced so many things on this American piece of junk. Alternator, spark plugs, window motors, auxiliary fan control solinoid and

18 out of 18 people think this is helpful.

More!! I loved this car at first but since day one it has caused me problems. I have had this car for 8 years now and I have spent too much money on this junk!! Lincoln tried to copy a jaguar ha!! That did not work. I'm going to sell this car and get good RELIABLE Nissan. DON'T BUY A LINCOLN. All they do is cause problems.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

My 2003 Lincoln LS V8 is perhaps the best driving car I have ever owned. The only frustrations at 107000 miles are 1) the high cost of some parts which is due to the car being half Jaguar. 2) Thigh cost of after warranty dealer repair. $300 to replace a $59 thermostat held in by 3 bolts? Give me break! 3) A failing message center on the instrument cluster, A Ford service center has advised I need a new instrument cluster at a repair price of $900. I opted to buy a $1.00 notebook. The car is still a great driver, I just miss it telling me when I need to get gas.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

I have an 01 Lincoln LS V6. For the past year my car has been in the garage because I couldnt figure out what was causing my problems. PROBLEM: Headlights would stay on (had to unplug), fog lights wont work, windshield wipers, sunroof, all windows other than driver window, dash backlights, all error lights on dash (check engine, brakes, wiper, etc), Killed 3 brand new batteries in a matter of days. SOLUTION: FEM (Front Electronic Module), dealership $595. I bought one off ebay for $65 (look at your FEM first and see if it's *AA or *AB). I changed myself in 30-45min. It is located in the driver side kick panel. Only 3 screws to remove. I swapped out, no programming from dealer necessary. Everything works now. Definite DIY job. Marq in Atlanta.

41 out of 41 people think this is helpful.

Did y'all ever figure out what wrong with y'all car and won't start

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.

car won't turn over, no power to anything, but steering wheel and seat repeatedly move back and forth when the key is in, don't even need to turn the key, just insert it.

21 out of 21 people think this is helpful.

^ and trunk keeps popping open every min or so

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2005 Lincoln LS and the battery went dead. we took the battery out to get it checked. the battery gets fully charged, nothing wrong with the battery at all. put the battery back in car. the car will not start at all. it just wines! What could be wrong? Does something need to be re-set?

45 out of 45 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2003 LS V8 and drive it daily. I garage it every night. No problems....UNTIL I moved to a place where I could not garage it and it is exposed to weather. within a month problems started! All electrical. horn blowing with or without key in. Bright lights come on and stay on all night running battery down. It is definitely a water leakage shorting out the cluster behind dash. $600 part. I finally just bought a $2 quick connect/disconnect on the battery cable in the trunk. I hate to sell it because I love it....But I guess I will and buy something else to end up pouring cash in to its problems.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I had the same problem it's the battery. When the battery gets weak that's what happens change it

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

By the way my L'S was such a sharp c ar. The LSE in ivory pearl I loved it but what a piece of shit . 53,000 miles the coil packs constantly would blow every couple of months then the knuckle joints would go bad and bang all over the place. What a nightmare car I've ever had.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2004 and I am having some similar problems but I noticed something I think is worth noting when my computer start acting up and the light would seem as if they are out I found water had leaked into my head lamp or the fog light once removed ok it seem to me when water get where it don't belong we have weird problems.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

same problems as stated above, 2002 Lincoln LS, gauges going haywire, car not starting, so on and so forth, replaced battery, alternator, negative battery cable (due to cable bolt being rusted from all the salt used in the Midwest). Now mechanic is telling me it is the front control module that needs replacing. Apparently it is a 700$ part. Is there anyway around this? Up till this point this car has been great, just regular maintenance and it has 208,000 miles

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

As I have found out, due to a clogged sunroof drain plug, rain has gotten into the car, travelled down the A pillar on the drivers side, and got into the front control module (which is on the drivers side). The moisture ended up shorting out the front control module. So I gather the solution to this problem is cleaning the front drain plugs or reattaching them if they have worked their way off the drain spout, There are four drain plugs for the sunroof, and from what I have researched the front two fail at a greater rate than the rear ones.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

OK, not to be a Smart Azz, but nowhere online did I find the simple solution to MY problem of the interior lights not shutting off on my 2001 Lincoln LS V6...not even from supposed "car gurus"! There is a "valet button" in the glove compartment. Solved the problem instantly!

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.

I just purchased a 2002 Lincoln ls and everything was fine until I noticed the door lights wouldn't shut off.I went to go outside the next morning and the car would not start.the battery was dead.I waited a few hours started it again with a little struggle but turned over no problem. Also,on the driver's side the A/C/ Heat vents blow out hotter than on the passenger side. If its something underlying that I need to know.don't already need extra problems or having to already shell out more cash that I don't have.if I would have read all these reviews first,more than likely I would have passed on this car.will use it a few more months get rid of and get another one

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2005 Lincoln LS V8.. was out of town working for 2 months and due to a lot of rain, started causing problems. Definitely leaked on the the driver side pillar, which I'm guessing caused my horn to continually blow, had to take the fuse out. My steering wheel jumps around when i stick the key in and take it out.. Guess I'm going to have to check out that front control module. Also, a/c started blowing hot air on one side then my whole a/c compressor went out. Couldn't even drive without that part, got one from a junk yard car runs but no a/c still.. love the car but too many problems! Come on Ford/Lincoln!!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Ford should have installed a 351w or a351c and a ford od tran or 6spd in this same body, that would have made one hell of a hot rod.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I don't Have answer I need a solution

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I'll be havingproblem throttle body not working you can make it open but the car will not rev up I replaced the electric throttle body replace the gas pedal throttle position sensor replace the Coltsplease help me the only thin do is idle

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2002 Lincoln LS dash and headlights go bright and dim change the fem now it still does it after a rain

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have a 01 town car having similar issues dash lights radio heat/ac screen and headlights all start flashing if I can get the car to start it really doesn't effect the engine running but sometimes it will stall it out any info would be helpful I can't find anything anywhere


Has any. One tried resetting the pcm, if a battery has to be disconnected its best to reset pcm. This can be done by disconecting the ground wire from the battery and leaving the possitive wire connected to positive battery terminal, then take the disconnected negative wire and touch it to the still connected positve battery post and wire this will force the pcm to drain remaing power out it resetting the pcm, when this is done and it resolves the issue its best since the pcm is drained to make sure the battery is fully charged and let the vehical run for about 15 mins so operating temprature is acheived and all sensors can reset to and pcm can achive the right voltage for proper operation

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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