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2004 Towncar

I’m keeping my Towncar instead of purchasing a new one. What tires, battery, brakes and shocks do I need to get to make the car new again?

These are all readily available items. Do you have a tire store you trust? I’d stay away from Sears. In PA I’ve had good success with Jack Williams Tire Centers. Go to someone you trust.

Are you sure you need new shocks? If you do replace them make sure the store knows you value a smooth ride. Many aftermarket shocks ride stiffer. In fact they are better than the original shocks, but they can stiffen the ride.

There are lots of tire choices. I’ve had bad luck with Continental, good luck with Toyo, and Michelin’s are pricey but usually are smooth riding and last. There are some online tire stores that have reviews of tires you can do some research. I like summer tires and I switch to snow tires for winter. All season tires have more open tread designs and generate more road noise. Tell the sales person you want quiet tires with low rolling resistance and see what they recommend.

Get a higher capacity battery than originally came with the car. Brand is not that important, it just needs to fit properly.

When you get new brakes spring for new rotors and have all the parking brake hardware cleaned and lubed with any worn parts replaced.

Here is where you need a quality shop you can trust. While doing all this work you need to have your front suspension checked out for wear and tear. There are lots of joints, couplings, and bushings that wear out over time. This makes the car feel “loose” on the road. Get whatever needs to be replaced done and then get a 4 wheel alignment and you are good to go.

When this is all done the car should ride really smooth, track straight, steer precisely, and stop smoothly as well. Next stop is a good detailing shop to clean her up and polish her to a nice shine. Then it will feel, smell, and look like a “new” car.

Congratulations. Good decision, too bad more people don’t think that way.

First check the owner’s manual. Make sure all the maintenance listed there has been done. Next I would change the transmission fluid if it has not been changed. Other than that Tyres are replaced when they are older than yours or if they are worn down to (or close to) the wear bars. Brakes are replaced when worn, you mechanic can check them (Note: independent mechanics are usually as good as dealers and cost less.) The shocks (struts?) may be due and that change could help restore that like new ride. Have someone check them. The old bounce test is no longer valid with modern cars.

New battery, shocks, brakes, tires do NOT make a new car. Your shocks are probably fine… This Panther Platform Ford will go 350,000 miles if maintained, as do the taxi fleets that use the similar Crown Vic…At 100,000 miles change ALL the fluids, every drop, change the spark plugs, and drive on.

Thank you!! You really gave me some sound advise and information. Now, hopefully I won’t be taken advantage of when I’m looking for replacements. I figure once I’m done I’ll have a new car. Do you have any advice about Privacy Glass?

Thank you. Don’t they change the transmission fluid with the 60,000 mile check up?

I don’t understand what you mean about “This Panther Platform”

Towncar, Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis all share the same chassis and powertrain code named “Panther” by Ford…

Thank You.

Privacy glass, don’t care for it much personally but it is a matter of taste. I’ve seen some poorly applied stuff that was peeling off so be sure the job is done correctly.

How many miles do you have? At that age, you should not need shocks yet. Has the regular service been done as indicated in the service schedule? It appears that you are using the dealer since you write of the 60K service. The transmission is serviced every 30 K, that will take 12-15 quarts of fluid. Make sure it is Mercon V and nothing else. The OE battery is plenty big, but you can get one at Autozone or Wal-Mart.

Check to see what coolant you have. If it is G05, yellow, it does not have to be changed for 5 years. The only G05 I know about other than the Ford stuff is Zerex. Make sure that they don’t use anything else.

About the parking brake. Be sure to use it every now and then if you are not in the habit of setting it every time you park. The steering and suspension is very durable, but should be checked to make sure it is safe as Uncle Turb suggested. You don’t want any wheels falling off. This is a live axle vehicle so you only need front wheel alignment.

You might find www.crownvic.net useful. It is dedicated to Panther Platform cars. People there may know of idiosyncrasies associated with your model year. Check it out.

thanks for all the great info. I’ll for sure check the www.crownvic.net. Yes I have been using the dealer for maintenance every 3000 miles. I know that’s more than necessary, it’s just what I’ve always done. Again thanks for all the good advise.