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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Lincoln
Satisfied Customers: 6563
Experience:  ASE Master Certified. ASE Gasoline Engine Performance Certified,Ford Senior Master Technician
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Regarding the 2003 lincoln LS: four dashboard buttons

Customer Question

Regarding the 2003 lincoln LS: four dashboard buttons installed above the CD player are used to read or change or change status o f the message display in the dash.
The row of buttons are mounted in one assembly. Somehow, whatever holds this button assembly in place has broken or ? . In any case this assembly has now sunk into the dash about a 1/4 ".
I need to know 1- is there a dashboard assembly manual I can buy to guide me in fixing this or 2- how much might it cost to have a dealer repair it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Lincoln
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

The message center buttons are attached to the center AC registers on the back side with two screws. You will have to remove the center AC registers to see if the button panel has broken or the screw holes are broken off the AC registers. The center AC registers pop out of the dash from the front. See the picture below.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you! This sounds reasonable. Now please explain how to remove AC registers without breaking them.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

You will need a flat blade screwdriver to carefully pry the vents from the dash. Start at the bottom just above the radio and carefully work your way around. The plastic may be brittle due to baking in the sun for the last 12 years. Both center vents come out as an assembly with the panel surrounding them as in the picture I posted.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I will check this out and let you know if further questions.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

Sure thing. Reply back when your ready.

I do work at a dealership during the week and I do not get on line till after 6:30 PM EST.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You didn't respond to my last message. I have removed several louvers on one side . This exposes only the ac air duct chamber. No access to the switch in question and no ability to see how it is mounted. This is a dead end at tho time.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

The whole assembly including the switches will come out as an assembly like in the picture I posted earlier.

Below is the picture again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you saying there are muting screws in the air duct chamber? I coulnot see any. Pls confirm
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

The vents are not held into the dash with screws. Do you see the red circled parts in the picture below.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm having two issues with your comments.
1-As mentioned earlier, the 4 status/reset button assembly is floppy loose in the dash slot and has fallen back into the dash at least a 1/4".
2- If this switch assy is held in place with screws, it is obvious the screws have fallen out or broken or plastic louvers are broken.....
and whatever has failed in this assy , the failure has occurred on the right and left sides.
3- It doesn't seem logical that this large center unit can be reliably anchored with very thin plastic louvers and two screws.
3- So the question still remains.... how can we get this fixed and if it must go to a dealer, can you please do your best to estimate the repair time or cost to fix it?
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

See below from the factory shop manual.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm just not sure that you have the entire answer in your suggestion . Don't you have access to more detailed drawing with written instructions!
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

That is all Ford has in the shop manual I have access to.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Sorry for delay but our entire city of columbia,sc (where I live) and half the state have been under serious emergency flood conditions for 4 days. Your 10/5/15 message has larger scale drawings and much easier to read. I will try to get back to this repair issue today and let you know. Thanks!
Expert:  A. Penland replied 1 year ago.

I completely understand. I live in Tampa Florida and we had over 30 inches of rain over the last month and we are still drying out. But not as bad and as quick as you all got it. Please stay safe.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I have now removed the a/c louvers. There is no way to reach or remove or fix this problem. I have talked to Lincoln dealer. The entire assembly(they call. I bezel Assyrian ) must be removed to fix. I have an appt. thanks for trying but I'm afraid your suggestions did not work. Pleas cancel this request and issue issue a credit in full.