Lincoln MKZ years to avoid — most common problems
Find out about the crucial years to avoid when considering a Lincoln MKZ.
Getting on the used car market can be a risky business, especially if you are unfamiliar with the overall problems of the vehicle you wish to buy. When it comes to the Lincoln MKZ in particular, there are some Lincoln MKZ years to avoid, and some pretty solid and reliable model years.
It’s nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to mid-size sedans of this era since the MKZ was produced from 2006 to 2020. As it turns out – the MKZ was a rather reliable car and driver complaints confirm this. So, we are here to bring you all the main issues that you should worry about when picking up a used MKZ.
Why you can trust REREV’s advice on which car model years to avoid: Our car experts look at official data, ask real drivers what they think, and talk to experienced mechanics to make sure our list is useful. This reliable info can make buying a car easier for you. Want to know how we do it? Find out more about our research methodology.
Most common Lincoln MKZ problems
Over the years, the Lincoln MKZ did quite well on reliability tests and drivers haven’t reported too many issues regarding the transmission and the engine. However, there’s a fair share of issues that this model came with, so it’s worth going through them all before you can make a well-rounded decision.
One of the early problems with this car was the faulty fuel delivery system that often caused fuel leaks and even engine stalling. There were also some reported issues with the electric power steering assist system, as well as with a faulty brake pedal.
There were also some recalls regarding the airbag system and some well-known Ford 2.0 EcoBoost problems when it comes to the second-gen model. We know this may sound like a lot, but there were far fewer driver complaints than it may seem, considering that the car was produced for 14 years.
Fuel delivery system problems
One of the worst things that can happen to your car is if the fuel delivery system isn’t properly working and that’s one of the major issues with the MKZ. Precisely, the 2013 and 2014 model years have struggled with fuel delivery into the combustion chambers, and drivers have reported that the car won’t start after getting gas.
There’s the infamous issue of the cracked fuel delivery module, and fuel leaks were quite often because of this malfunction. Luckily, the Ford Motor Company issued a recall in 2013 to settle the issue for the MKZ vehicles produced the same year. That’s why it’s a good idea to check if the unit you wish to buy has gone through the recall.
Power steering assists faults
Another common problem that Lincoln MKZ drivers have experienced is the power steering assist fault. It has been reported for the 2012 to 2015 model years and there was a recall back in 2015 to fix this problem. The reason behind this malfunction is in the power steering gear motor itself which suffered from road salts and degraded over time.
Because of this problem, drivers couldn’t steer so easily at lower speeds, and it became a major safety concern. Luckily, the problem can easily be solved by replacing the faulty motor bolts and the steering assists motor sealer was installed on recalled vehicles to prevent further salt damage.
Spongy brake pedal
There were also some problems with the braking system of the car and these were mostly related to the second-gen MKZ. The problems include a faulty or corroded brake pedal bumper that caused the brake light to illuminate on the dashboard, as well as spongy brakes.
Because of this, drivers complained about the insufficient pressure in the brake lines and which led to a brake pedal that sunk to the floor. Since it could pose a safety threat to drivers, it’s crucial to check if the vehicle has been through a recall or at least to inspect the brakes before buying a used MKZ.
Airbag system faults
Over the years, there were numerous airbag-related recalls when it comes to the MKZ model. These were related to faulty airbag inflator bags and inoperable airbag modules. This led to numerous fixes and recalls and it’s crucial to check the airbag system before buying a used MKZ.
Not only were passengers at risk of the airbag not inflating when necessary because of this, but the metal fragments from inflator bag explosions also led to serious safety concerns.
Which Lincoln MKZ years to avoid?
Well, now you know a bit more about the common problems that Lincoln MKZ drivers have experienced over the years. Because of these issues, some model years are plagued by problems that required expensive repairs, so it’s better to avoid them. All things considered, this model is a fairly priced luxury sedan and it’s worth the price in case you avoid the listed problematic models;
First-generation Lincoln MKZ (2007 and 2008 model years)
The initial production years were tough for the MKZ as a model, and that was reflected through several significant complaints. Braking system problems were quite common at this point, and drivers have also reported degrading rims that sometimes led to tire damage and that’s a safety risk.
The 2009 model also got a few complaints about the faulty airbag module, so it’s yet another thing to have in mind when shopping for a first-gen MKZ. Things got a bit better with the later model years and the 2011 model received the least complaints.
Second-generation Lincoln MKZ (2013 and 2015 model years)
Through some model years of the second-generation Lincoln MKZ, airbag-related issues continued and there were a few other recalls to fix the issue. This time it’s mostly the consequence of bad airbag inflator bags that sometimes caused explosions that could harm the passengers.
Things got worse with the introduction of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine since it came with a few problems. The most notable ones included low coolant and engine misfires, as well as overheating in case of significant coolant leaks.
On top of that, the power steering assist fault was present for the 2013 and 2015 models, so it’s best to avoid these two model years.
Best Lincoln MKZ years
Along with the problematic model years of the MKZ, the manufacturer also made some solid and reliable models. The good news is – there are much more of these when compared to problematic model years, and you can take a look at the list below for the most reliable MKZ years:
- 2011 Lincoln MKZ
- 2012 Lincoln MKZ
- 2014 Lincoln MKZ
- 2016 Lincoln MKZ
- 2017 Lincoln MKZ
- 2018 Lincoln MKZ
- 2019 Lincoln MKZ
- 2020 Lincoln MKZ
The most important thing when buying a used MKZ is to avoid models with fuel delivery and braking system faults. If you are considering buying a first-gen model, it’s best to go for model years 2011 or 2012. These were the facelift versions of the first-generation model and they came without as many problems.
When buying the second-gen MKZ, it’s best to go for 2017 and later years since these were the re-designed editions without many problems. Most importantly, 2017 and the following models came without fuel delivery and braking system faults, and the airbag problem was finally solved. If you are buying a second-gen model, make sure to consider all the engine options, since it may be better to go for a 3.7-liter V6 or a 3.5-liter twin-turbo engine.
Is the Lincoln MKZ worth buying?
As the time comes to make a final verdict on this model, we can only confirm that it’s a sturdy and well-made Lincoln. It has all the luxurious features that were common for cars of this segment back in the day, and you get great value for your buck by getting one.
Still, there are a couple of model years to avoid, so we hope that this guide helps figure out how to avoid them. Make sure to also re-think the purchase of the MKZ with a 2.0-liter turbo engine, since it has proven to be less reliable than the V6 versions.
Does Lincoln MKZ have problems?
The Lincoln MKZ has a few problems regarding the fuel delivery system, brakes, and airbags, but these were mostly related with 2008, 2009, and 2013 model years.
What is the best Lincoln model?
The best Lincoln model is a classic 1936 Zephyr that’s commonly known as the MKZ for the rebooted modern version, while the Navigator is the best recent model.
What is the most reliable used Lincoln?
The most reliable used Lincoln is a 2019 MKZ, while the Navigator of the same generation doesn’t fall behind by much.