Question about 2003 Lincoln LS

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ETC Failsafe Mode- 2003 Lincoln LS -v8 85,000 miles

I have been having this trouble for a good 6 months. I have learned to live with it...I can never tell when it is going to happen. My car thinks it is over heating...I will be driving along sometime doing a steady speed and sometimes from a dead stop- push on the gas and the ETC Failsafe Mode comes on. If I turn off the car and turn it back on- no problem. When I am driving I will feel the car start to run a bit rough and struggle to get into forth or fifth gear...or maybe better said- get in but not feel like it is using all the horses or valves...I don't know- The car is NOT over heating...the temp gauge is right in the middle- I have antifreeze in the problems....Also, I make one particularly hard 90 degree turn everyday near my house. I slow down or begin to coast through the turn...and as I come out of the turn I give it gas and it happens is almost like when the steering wheel is turned hard in a right hand turn and gas is given- it goes into this mode...I see it happening in the low gear (1st and 2nd) almost like the computer timing gets funked...Is there a way to reset the computer? Could it be a computer problem? I spoke to Lincoln mechanic and he said that a censor could be broken- but he wouldn't be able to tell until he hooks up the car and reads what the computer says...Could I reset the computer by unhooking the battery and rehooking it up? Is there a way to just turn this failsafe mode off completely- because if the car is not over heating and that is what it thinks it is doing then just bypass the ETC Safemode- or is theETC Safemode language for more than just overheating the engine...

I love this car- It has so much power and the handling is great. I have not had to do anything but routine service- tires, oil, brakes- and I have learned to actually drive the car and not have this happen- but come on- I shouldn't have to drive my car a certain way...i should be able to drive it like a normal car...not only that- but it is can Lincoln make something on a car where you lose all power...I have tried pulling out onto the Somerville NJ circle and this happened and almost got tboned...this is not a safety mechanism- it is going to get someone killed...

Can you please help me? Why is this doing this? What could it be? How can I fix it? What exactly am I looking at here?

Any help will be greatly appreciated...


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The ETC going into safe mode because PCM sees something wrong that it believes will interfere with throttle control. It goes into failsafe so as to not loose control and have an unattended acceleration and cause you to crash.

Now what almost always causes this ,95 % of the time on this vehicle is a bad coil pack. It will usually show up a wide open throttle almost everytime when your rpm's get close to 5-6k rpm's.
It will feel like you reach up and turned the igntion switch off and back on. The only for sure way to tell which coil or coils are causing this is to have the dealer do a stress test on them.
It could also be the valve cover orings maybe leaking and getting oil on the coil packs,you can verify this be removing the coil packs and seeing if spark plug wells are full of oil.

The only other thing I have seen on this model that may cause this is a coolant control valve shorting out.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009

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Engine coils are bad chang engine coils

Posted on May 23, 2009

  • necedah72 Feb 02, 2011

    I know exactly how you feel !! I have a 2003 Lincoln Ls with only 61,220 miles and my car has been in the shop six times in the last three months for the same reason "ETC safe mode failure". They have changed the throttle out twice,changed all eight of the coils and spark plugs, and replace the valve covers. And the durn thing has stopped again . I am having an Lincoln dealer locally in my town work on it , but nothing is seemingly to work . We are in the process of replacing the main computer out to see if there may be any fault there. If anyone is reading this and can help me solve my nightmare drama with this car please help.

    Necedah of Alabama


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My Lincoln LS V8 did this and I replaced all 8 coil packs and relaced all 8 spark plugs...expensive but runs like new again...dearlership in Calhoun tried rippiing me off with expensive "let's throw parts at it" mentality and I refused...figured it out with code P0352 which the dearler said they weren't sure which coil it was...a joke! Another dearlership pinpointed the #2 coil but due to the milage I went ahead and did it right. Under 100,000 miles they are covered by warranty.

Posted on Feb 03, 2010

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1 Answer

Etc engine fail safe mode

Have you replaced ignition coils on this car previously? If so, did you use OEM Motorcraft coils, not aftermarket? The aftermarket coils do not play well with the PCM on this car, causing it to do goofy things including having it go into the ETC Failsafe mode. This is likely your issue since coil issues are common on this car. If it is not, let me know

Apr 23, 2014 | 2003 Lincoln LS

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05 lincoln ls going into failsafe mode and rough idle how do i fix

Replace the spark plugs every 3 years

HAVE TO USE OEM-- NGK -- Plugs (Rock Auto.Com
or NGK web site)

I said OEM Tip Config,NOT ford parts,they
were NGK off the assy line. The ford ones are the
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Replace ALL the COP Ignition Coils

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I know because I have a 2004 L/S & ten years diagnostic
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You only have 2 Fail Safes
one for overheating & one that says ETC

Don't even try to figure out the obd codes or the etc thing
Take too long to explain

The dealers can't fix that car,the coils when they get really
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etc failsafe & can only go 6 mph

There is no factory manual that tells you that & your etc on a
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So the answer is-- no one likes or understands that car, nor can they
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Only need on 7mm socket & get the coils from RockAuto,Com
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I have a 2003 Lincoln LS V8, today I got ETC engine failsafe mode. What is that?

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Do not use it if the Mil Lamp flashes -as that is
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If it stays lite it is a Class B

You can walk a new coil from one cylinder to the
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I have the same car 2004 V8

For $59.00 & a 7mm socket-- I would do all your
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Do not listen to anyone period,ask me I have the car &
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ETC Safe Mode Failure keeps coming on and causing the engine to stop. Has had the throttle changed out twice, replaced all eight coils and spark plugs, replaced valve covers and nothing has helped. The...

You have a really bad COP Coil spiking the PCM,
the signal comes back on the TPS Sensor
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Installed new OEM NGK sensors,it is like day and
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My coil problem was the second in 2010
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Never go to a dealer with any vehicle

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