93 town car with flatulence

My Eddie Bauer tc has been in my possession fro 17 years and doesn’t owe me a penny. It has 180K miles on it and it has run like a top until the last few months, with the exception of a quart of oil to a gas tank refill. It used to puff blue smoke, but that has ceased, and now when I pull out of the drive and try to accelerate, it coughs and gags, actually it has a bad case of flatulence. After approx. 5 backfires, it takes off and runs the rest of the day as normal. On occasion, it waits until I pull out in traffic about 1/4 of mile away from the house to start it’s bogging down and backfiring. I usually stay in the turn lane until it makes up it’s engine (mind) to run at posted speed.

Last week, I was on the freeway and it started to ping. At first, it sounded like something rattling in the ashtray. After turning off the radio and blower, it became apparent that it was the engine. I took the first exit, about another 3 miles down the road and when I came to the light, the car died. I was lucky enough to get it out of the intersection, I tried to start it again, it hesitated and the started, shortly followed by the pinging. I turned it off and called AAA.

After being towed home, the oil was checked and it was fine, something to cause suspicion in it’s self. After sitting in the garage for a week, we started it up and it ran fine.

It is too cold and snowy in MI to walk and problems that go away by themselves usually return by themselves. Any suggestions? There was about 17 miles worth of gas in the tank and the plugs and wires are new in the last 12 months.

I love my Lincoln, is there any hope???

The blue smoke is burning oil. It has been burning it for some time, but you did not notice it because the converter was eating it. Now the converter is sick due to all the oil. I suspect that all the issues you have noticed are related. Since there are several possibilities and only a little hands on will be able to identify which one(s) it is, I suggest you provide the same information to your local mechanic and have them check it out.

Good Luck, it may not be all that bad, but again it may.

This car should have the 5.0L V8. Please inform me if I am wrong. It may have the 5.8L. Either way, your having some sort of problem with the computer sensing the cold, and not adjusting properly for it. That is why the belching and back-firing. It could be a bad CTS (coolant temp sensor) or AATS (ambient air temp sensor). If the check engine light comes on at all during this, the trouble code will lead you to the solution.

The pinging is worrisome. This is classic of carbon build-up due to an over-rich fuel mixture condition or long time case of bad gas. It could also be an indication of serious combustion chamber overheating. This could be due to fuel mixture problems, like leaning out, a bad EGR system, or poor coolant condition. This car has a knock sensor, and should retard the timing to prevent the pinging, but it has it’s limits. The ODB-I system in this car is not the most sophisticated, and may not set a trouble code for some sensor problems, since many of the earlier ECMs had no provision for determining bad sensor data feedback like some of the newer ODB-II systems.

The good news is that most of the sensors are easy to test and cheap to replace. Get a Haynes manual specific for your car, and look through the Fuel and Emissions section on sensor testing. With 180,000 miles on the clock, and 15 years of Father Time (you did say '93 model, correct?), anything can go bad.

Good Luck.

Good analysis, but the 5.0L did not have a knock sensor.

Could be a lot of things. Make sure you don’t have a slipping or badly worn alternator belt.

TCs got 4.6l in 1992 at the latest as that is when big Fords and Mercs got them. The TC might have had them a year earlier as is typical for improvements on that platform.

The oil consumption most likely started as valve guide seals and might still be only due to that. It is a relatively inexpensive fix if you find someone willing to do it without removing the heads and it can be done. Valve guide seals usually cause smoke at startup and after idling for even a short time. Smoke is not apparent at other times. The seal problem was solved in the later 90s with revised seal material.

It is likely that the burning oil has helped coke-up the EGR tube. I don?t know that to cause flatulence (maybe I should check my personal EGR tubes), but it can cause pinging. It is a bear to get at due to location and will not be helped by salty Michigan. This issue was also helped in the late 90s by changing the design of the tube when they switched to plastic intake manifolds.

A bad temp sensor could cause sluggish running at low temps. Just a WAG.

BTW, if you do love this car and want to try to keep it going for another 180K, surf on over to lincolnsonline.com and crownvic.net for help on this kind of issue and lots of other tips.