1990 Lincoln Town Car Signature 5.0 V8 from North America


A great first time car, if you can afford it


Had to replace break lines three times, anti-lock break light still comes on from time to time.

Transmission is a joke. It stays out of gear too long when accelerating (especially when leaving a red light), and gets stuck in gear during highway driving. This is apparently a common problem in this model, however.

Motor sputters and stalls occasionally when stopped in traffic; this happens consistently if there is less than a half tank of gas.

Too many fuel line problems to count. These at least contribute to the stalling problem. Apparently though I will have to replace the entire system to fix all the problems.

The power window motors all went out between 99k and 101k.

The fuse that runs the sunroof, horn, and radio blew at 103k. I replaced it three times; at first blew after a few days, now it blows as soon as I start the car. (I now have the radio hooked into the cigarette lighter so I can at least run that.)

The factory JBL sound system may have been nice when the car was first built, but 15 years later it's worthless. All 4 speakers blew within a week of buying the car; I replaced them with $5 walmart speakers and have had no problems since.

I have an oil leak that loses about 2 quarts a month. Have had it in the shop 3 times at a cost of $80-$120 a visit. No change. My mechanic refuses to even talk to me about it anymore.

The car has to be tuned up about once a month or else it sputters and shakes constantly in first gear. Apparently another transmission problem.

The leather seats wear quickly and I have yet to find good looking seat covers in my price range (less than $50 per seat) that will cover the bench seats.

Various shorts literally seem to come and go of their own free will. I have become accustomed to carrying one of those portable jumping batteries in my trunk.

The gas mileage is slowly declining. A respectable 14-16 mpg when I bought the car, I now get less than 11-12 mpg. And at least half my driving is highway.

General Comments:

As stated above, the gas mileage is terrible. More than a third of my monthly budget goes into gas.

Despite all the problems, though, the car has been a fairly reliable car for a college student whose primary concern is point-a-to-point-b. The car doesn't leave me stranded like some of my friends, still looks pretty good, and is so comfortable and roomy it feels like I am driving my couch.

The car seriously under uses its power. The 5.0 V8 cranks out plenty of horses, but the junkie transmission can't seem to handle the car's weight, so accelleration is extremely awkward.

It's a nice car, and would have been much nicer had the previous owner taken care of it. I think I probably did the car's first oil change right after I bought it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th February, 2005

25th Feb 2005, 23:40

1990 Town Cars are very nice and reliable, yours must have been seriously neglected.

30th Apr 2006, 11:07

I dialed one of these cars in at about 127,000 miles. Did a complete service. The car seems to be very good. Like any boat like this powered with a 5 liter motor, it's underpowered.

If your gas mileage sucks, it probably just needs some injector cleaner and new spark plugs. Bopping around town, I usually get about 17.

9th Aug 2008, 21:22

A very neglected car indeed.

Try something called routine maintenance, replace the plugs, wires, etc.

Replace the fuel filters.

Have the transmission fluid serviced.

Have the differential fluids serviced.

Sounds to me like you're driving a very neglected, gunked up car.

2nd Nov 2012, 10:24

I have a similar tranny issue with my '85 Town Car. Ford AODs are bad in the long term haul, especially in the cold. Great concept by Ford, but sloppy execution. I don't think the AOD was corrected of bugs until around 1998 or so.

1990 Lincoln Town Car Base 5.0 from North America


Equipped nice for a


Master cylinder booster at 100,000 miles.

Transmission replaced at 110,000 miles.

Power antenna 135,000 miles.

Rear air suspension 102,000 miles.

Alternator at 75,000 miles.

Both rear power window motors at 130,000.

Fan clutch at 128,000 miles.

Replaced radio at 129,000 miles

General Comments:

This car has been unusually trouble free.

It purred like a kitten on recent trips to NYC and New Orleans, Austin.

Transmission "howled" with driving in city in Drive... as opposed to over drive.

Squak from left fromt tire area never discovered.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th May, 2004