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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Lincoln
Satisfied Customers: 2246
Experience:  16 years experience with Lincoln
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Harrison. I am having brake problems with my 2008 Navigator

Customer Question

Customer: ***** ***** Harrison. I am having brake problems with my 2008 Navigator with 26,000 miles. Brake pedal is soft and gulping? noise in brake pedal along with a clicking noise behind the firewall. Brakes make a clicking noise when applied sometimes, and there is no pulsating in the brake pedal on wet pavement. Last night, I was horrified when a very load growling or grinding noise was coming from my front right wheel. People were turning to look in my direction. I am so concerned in this beautiful, like-new vehicle after spending thousands of dollars on a new master cylinder, 2 brake boosters, and HCU. It is not safe to drive, and the technicians at the dealerships cannot find the problem. I am distraught! I had excellent brakes until the problem started abruptly.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: The brakes were going to the floor after installing the new master cylinder. No difference. So they installed a new brake booster. Still the same problem; however, now I have the brake pedal noise along with the clicking noise behind the firewall. So they installed a second brake booster. Still the same problem! Next, the technician said I needed an HCU, so I paid for that! Now, last night I was absolutely HORRIFIED with the very loud noise seemingly coming from the right front wheel while entering a parking garage going uphill and turning my steering wheel slightly to the left. When this Navigator had about 3,000 miles on it, a caliper locked-up and my wheel started smoking. If I had not stopped, my vehicle would have caught on fire. the wheel was so hot that you could not touch it. I have been reading on the internet multiple hydraulic brake issues identical to mine on 2008 Navigators. and NHTA states that it is a fairly significant problem with the 08 Navigators usually at about 16,000 miles.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Lincoln
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also have very stiff steering that started about the same time as the brake problem. At slow speeds it is very, very hard to steer. A couple of days ago, my steering seemed normal! And then yesterday, back to the same old hard to steer hydraulic assist steering! Could this be connected with the brake problem in any way?
Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

Good morning I am so sorry to hear of your problem with your navigator. And I will do everything I can to help you find the problem. I am about to do a search of pattern failure reports along with confirmed repairs as well as any factory bulletins or recalls. Please allow me a little time and I will be right back. I haven't seen a lot of your particular problem on thr navigator but doesn't mean it don't exist. And it sounds like the dealership fired the parts cannon with no success so I'm going to put some research into this

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much!
Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

My pleasure sir.

Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.


Vehicle Application:

2008 Navigator 5.4

Customer Concern:The brake pedal goes to the floor, the brakes have been purged and electronically purged numerous times, and the pedal still goes to the floor.

Average Reported Mileage:25000

Tests/Procedures:1. Unplug the antilock brake control module and control unit and recheck, if the concern is now gone, begin circuit diagnostics at the antilock brake module; this fix will not apply to your vehicle.

2. If the concern is still present, block off the rear brakes, then the front brakes. If the pedal is now ok at either point, suspect leaking calipers, damaged or corroded calipers, warped pads.

3. If the pedal still goes to the floor, locate the master cylinder to hydraulic control unit brake lines, remove from the hydraulic control unit and block off. If the pedal is now firm, suspect air in unit or faulty hydraulic control unit.

4. If the pedal still goes to the floor, access the master cylinder, block off at the cylinder and recheck, if the pedal still goes to the floor, suspect failed master cylinder.


Terry Clennon

Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

1998 Explorer 4.0

2001 F-250 Super Duty 5.4

2002 F-250 Super Duty 5.4

2003 F-250 Super Duty 5.4

2004 F-250 Super Duty 5.4

2005 F-250 Super Duty 5.4

2006 F-250 Super Duty 5.4

2004 F-350 Super Duty 6.8

Customer Concern:Soft and spongy brake pedal after replacing the Brake Master Cylinder. Needs to know if there a way to bleed the air out of the HCU without using a scan tool.

Average Reported Mileage:136891

Tests/Procedures:1. If no scan tool is available for bleeding the HCU of the 4WABS system, put the vehicle through several anti-lock stops on a dirt or gravel driving surface and then rebleed the system manually.

2. Repeat the process until the brake pedal is firm.

Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

Power steering assist is poor at idle, whether the vehicle is sitting still or rolling, and the system has a whine noise that is louder than normal. Tried purging system of air, using vacuum on the reservoir, but that didn't help. The problem is the same in both directions, and the steering assist is fine off idle.

Average Reported Mileage:118843

Tests/Procedures:1. Normally, when the problem is the same regardless of which direction the wheels are turned, and the assist is fine off idle, the problem is either air in the system, or a pump problem. Watch the fluid in the reservoir for excessive turbulence and aeration. If seen, remove and drain the reservoir, and check for a torn or out of place screen/orifice on the return inlet of the reservoir.

2. If the fluid in the reservoir is normal, replace the power steering pump.


Paul Mensink

Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.


Vehicle Application:

2010 Expedition 5.4

Customer Concern:The traction control and ABS light are coming on every time it is driven and setting a C1277 code.

Average Reported Mileage:71324

Tests/Procedures:1. Access the steering angle sensor, first ensure it is secure and the tone wheel is not loose or damaged.

2. If the sensor looks ok, unplug the sensor and perform the attached circuit tests.

3. If any of the circuits read incorrectly, repair the damaged wiring between the sensor and the ABS module.

4. If all the circuits read correctly, plug the sensor back in, clear the codes and recheck. If the codes come right back, replace the sensor and perform the following sequence.

a. Start the engine.

b. Turn the steering wheel lock to lock 2 times.

Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.


Vehicle Application:

2006 F-150 5.4

2000 Windstar 3.8

Customer Concern:The truck keeps coming back with brake shimmy. The rotors have been replaced several times, and the rotors have been turned several times, but the truck keeps coming back.

Average Reported Mileage:86988

Tests/Procedures:1. Check the hub to rotor runout, excessive runout on the hub will cause premature brake vibration.

2. Check for rust buildup on the hub, this will cause premature brake vibration.

3. Ensure rear brakes function normal, weak brakes in the rear will cause premature brake vibration in the front.

4. Ensure the front lug nuts are not getting torqued to more than 100 PSI.

5. If all is ok, install new rotors and have them turned on the vehicle with an on car lathe, this will normally resolve the issue.


Terry Clennon

Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

Hello Sir sorry took me a while but i wanted to find out all I could. I attached you several documents that should be informative to you. I agree that I was surprised when reading about the brake issues on your truck, but then as i thought about it I realized that I do see alot of them in shop with brake problems in our case it usually turns out to be either customer abuse or improper repair procedures. The last article touches base with how important even the smallest details are when making proper brake repairs something as insignificant as excessive rust build up on a mounting surface can cause problems.

Have you had your truck scanned, or there any codes in any of the modules,? One tie in I did see between your problems could be the steering angle sensor, which could cause your stiff steering and braking problems, and on your truck it has a high failure rate and even a few factory tsb"s address this issue. I question the dealer that has been doing this work, have you gone to there service manager and explained to him what is happening? I believe a sitdown with him would be productive in your favor. He may have no idea at all as to your situation, and most shops at heart want to do the right thing. I believe you had a tech that bobbled this operation. If the system wasnt bleed properly or maybe has or had some contaminated fluid. You know what I have had several times with Ford trucks and suvs? People have mistenly added coolant in brakes and brake fluid in coolant, the reservoirs are right beside each other and are sometimes easily confused. Now this brings me to mind, are you wanting to diagnose this yourself or you just wanting knowledge and advise as how to handle?

If I were to advise you it would be to make an appointment with the service manager take copies of your bills and state your complaint. If that doesnt get your issue resolved, we will talk to Ford. If you want to diagnose we are going to need some test equipment. I will check in the am please tell me if i have helped you and how i can do so further

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am so grateful to for your knowledge in this matter! ! ! I am a woman who sings with the Nashville Symphony; therefore, I must have a vehicle that I can trust driving alone at night. So, I have parked my beautiful navigator, and started driving my excursion with 90,000 miles. They had my vehicle at the Ford Lincoln of Franklin, TN, for approximately 1 month with my taking the vehicle back to them 3 times after driving it a short distance. The last time, I drove it around the building and came right back to the service department! After each part that was replaced, I still had the SAME problem. In my opinion, I have spent a phenomenal amount of money for expensive parts that I did not need. They know nothing more to do, except the technician stated that they could replace the brake pads which is not really needed with only 25,000 miles. A male relative of mine has driven my navigator, and he views this situation with disbelief in that they no longer admit that there is a problem and have put me out on the road 4 times in an unsafe vehicle! Both he and I are distraught to say the least! So I called the Lincoln customer service number, and Carol suggested that I take it back to the same dealership since I have such a good relationship with them. In our opinion, that defies all logic. I insisted that I take it to another dealership, and Carol authorized another diagnostic test and a vehicle for me to drive at a dealership of my choice which was approximately 40 miles from my home. So I left my vehicle at that dealership for several days. The man at the dealership acknowledged every noise that I heard and seemed to have a concern in the brake pedal and etc. So, I was hopeful that the technicians could find my brake problem. He called me to come and get my vehicle after several days saying the technicians could not find anything wrong with my brakes. In fact, he said that they said the brakes are good! So, my relative and I took it to a third technician or mechanic who is very highly respected with many years of experience and serves on some board of mechanics. He stated without hesitation that the brake pedal should not go down so close to the floor. He also stated what he believed was causing the gulping and clicking noise. He is researching the matter and will call me. He also stated that the second dealership just didn't want to get involved because there is most definitely a problem which is serious when brakes are affected. And the 3rd mechanic is unfortunately at my expense. I have yet to tell him about the very loud noise seemingly coming from the right front wheel. I made quite an entrance into the parking garage in downtown Nashville on Saturday night! ! The noise was so loud that I am certain people outside the parking garage heard the noise! I am absolutely sick about the whole matter. I have a beautiful like-new navigator that I cannot drive or sell. I can not express my gratitude enough to you, because you have really been helpful in hopefully resolving my brake and steering problem.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am trying to find someone to diagnose my problem and hopefully repair what needs to be repaired. In my opinion and the opinion of others, parts have been replaced that did not need to be replaced. I am deeply saddened because I did not need to spend thousands of dollars on this most serious problem that not only affects my life but the lives of others and STILL have the brake and steering problem! I have purchased 3 Lincolns and 3 Fords in the last several years. I also took a friend to the Lincoln dealership where my repair work was done to purchase a new Lincoln. If this issue is not dealt with properly by Lincoln, there will most likely be no more new Lincolns purchased by me or 2 other people that know about my experiences in this matter.
Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

Okay have you talked to the service manager

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have not sat down to discuss the matter with him, but he has some awareness of my brake problems because his office is next door to the person at Lincoln in service that knows about my brake problems. He would be able to hear what I was saying in this regard. I believe I did express my concerns with him in the absence of the other person back in November when I first took my vehicle to the service department. I also forgot to tell you that one night after driving my Navigator, I walked out into the garage and there was a smell of something hot around my Navigator. A smell similar to hot rubber.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much!
Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning, I have given alot of thought to your situation. I was a service manager for a few years and worked in dealerships for a long time. Before,, in my opinion they went south. I would like you to call and make an appointment to speak with the service manager, go and sit down with him and be prepared take notes have a detailed description of your problems and your visits to there shop, for example the HCU you bought we both know you didnt need that, but dont accuse them of anything, just give him the facts. I feel strongly that he will make it right. If he does not I know what to do next. We can make them get your car right. And they have the ability to do so and they owe you that. I know the channels to go through. You have already more than paid for this. IF you agree let me know if not I will help you any way you want.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Reggie, I appreciate so much your help in this regard! I and others aware of my problems with my Navigator are not convinced that I needed any of the thousands of dollars of work that they did on my Navigator since I still have the same problem which is apparently worse now because I experienced the very loud noise in the right front wheel or etc. I also took my 20005 Excursion with 90,000 miles on it to the same place where I took my Navigator on Dec. 04, 2015. They told me that I needed $2,3000 of work done on it, and that the tie rods are dangerous and etc.! I took it for a second opinion this morning, and they could find nothing that needs to be repaired on it! ! I do not believe that the service manager or etc. will admit to anything that was not put on my vehicle out of necessity. So, please advise me on what I should do next. I appreciate it so much!
Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

Sir i agree with you but, and please do not get frustrated here, we cannot move up the ladder until we take this step that is the first words out of there mouth have you talked to manager so please let us eliminate that, and i ask you this, this dealership is it locally owned or a member of say Sonic Automotive? After the service manager we will talk to the general manager or owner and from there We will go to Lincoln unless the store is part of a bigger corporation. I have fought this fight many times and won

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am a woman. I do not know for certain who owns this dealership. It is my belief that Greg Brown is the owner of the dealership.
Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

Maam please forgive me. I meant no harm. Alot of times women are taking advantage of, they want be expecting you to have me on your side. I am now even more motivated to help you resolve this. So will you meet with the service manager?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you advise me to do so, I will discuss the matter with the service manager.
Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** it ends there. I am terribly sorry you are suffering this. IT is operations like this that give our industry a bad name.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks to you! I talked with Carol, the Lincoln rep. again yesterday. I am one who is SLOW to anger, but she really upset me! In her opinion the brakes are good. In her judgement call, she stated to me that "she believes the brakes feel different to me" to the brakes that I had prior to the massive part replacement. In other words, I view this matter as her opinion being that I am a woman who knows nothing about brakes and does not have sense enough to know that my brakes are actually GOOD! All grinding, clicking, and gulping noises as well as the brake pedal going to the floor are insignificant to her! She is not aware that I am a woman who has such a desire to learn about these expensive vehicles, that I read all information that I can find before buying any vehicle and compare vehicles. And I have greater knowledge on the vehicle of my purchase than some sales people at the dealership. I have a love for vehicles, and buy and sell classic cars. My uncle was a master mechanic in the army, and I began my learning process about the mechanical components and etc. of vehicles with him as my teacher at a very young age. I, as well as other people (mechanics included), KNOW that there is a problem with my brakes. NHTSA states that the hydraulic brake problem is FAIRLY SIGNIFICANT with the 08 Navigators, and Car Forums on , LINCOLN NAVIGATOR COMPLETE BRAKE FAILURE, there are 9 pages of complaints. The brakes going too close to the floor and the grinding noises are exactly what I am experiencing. This vehicle is NOT SAFE TO DRIVE. . . . by driving this Navigator I could be endangering my life as well as the lives of others on the city streets and highways. I cannot take that risk, so I have parked my Navigator until the distressing matter can be resolved. I have an appointment with another mechanic next week on Jan. 19th. I hope and pray that the stiff steering and brake problems can be diagnosed and repaired. You have been so helpful in this regard, and again, I thank you.
Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

You have run into a bad apple if you were at say Stivers here in montgomery this would not have happened. IF you wish to pursue this further with lincoln I will help you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no other option but to pursue it. I need all the help I can! Please help me.
Expert:  Reggie Whiddon replied 1 year ago.

Okay I think our next step is to contact the general manager or the owner. We have got to go every step and one reason why when we contact Lincoln we want it to look like we done everything possible to resolve this, makes us look cooperative and wins us sympathy.. I want you to make notes of exactly what she told you and when you spoke to her. Now call and ask for general manager