Crown Vic - One Tough Car

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Was in downtown Chicago this morning, leaving the hotel I flagged a taxi for a ride to the airport. Scorcher today, on the way to the airport it was already about 90 degrees outside. Cruising down the highway about 60mph it starts making a screechy belt noise. By the time we hit the bottom of the off-ramp the temp gauge is pegged fully hot, check engine and coolant light are on. Wasn't really paying attention until that point, but then realized the belt noise was probably the water pump crying for mercy due to the car having no coolant. And then the driver points to the coolant light and says the alternator is bad. Smile and nod. At this point I start getting a pit in my stomach. We have about 5 miles and 10 stoplights till the airport, it's scorching hot outside, we're in the middle of the hood, and I have a plane to catch. So he keeps going, the nice gentleman that our driver was, and I'm just WAITING for the car to throw a belt, seize up from being massively overheated, whatever. But he got us to the terminal, with the stink of scorched belt and anti-freeze filling our nostrils the whole way. So I threw the guy a decent tip and he was on his way. Crazy.
 
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Couple of years ago, a buddy of mine with a '02 Crown Vic ran the vehicle with NO COOLANT for two weeks. It was running in fail safe cooling mode. It was at the dealer for it's 25,000 mile service, and they drained the coolant but never refilled. When I rode with him and noticed, two weeks later, we dumped in some Motorcraft Gold and distilled H2O, and it was as though nothing happened. No coolant in the oil or anything like that. Been 180,000 km/112,500 miles since and still running strong.
 

AcuraTech

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Not the first dead taxi I saw this weekend. Lots of heat + lots of stop and go + half-baked maintenance + high mileage cars = death knell. At least police cars are rigorously maintained, taxis not so much. I admire those cars, I don't think that I've ever been in ONE Crown Vic taxi that didn't have a zillion miles on it, check engine lights ALWAYS on, making all sorts of serious noises, etc. The cab we caught into the city on Friday felt like we were driving on the rumble strips the whole time or else the rear axle was about to fall out, one of the two.
 

AcuraTech

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 Originally Posted By: Falcon_LS
Couple of years ago, a buddy of mine with a '02 Crown Vic ran the vehicle with NO COOLANT for two weeks.
See, THAT'S what I'm saying. Most of the Honda engines I work on, if the temp gauge so much as even touches the "H" mark, it's game over, even if it was only for a minute. Head gaskets for sure, maybe more.
 
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LOL Your not kidding. I do the servicing on a small fleet of police cars and the 4.6 liter in the Vic has to be one of the toughest engines ever made. The newer ones have a system where the cylinders are automatically shut down in an alternating fashion to pump air through the engine in the case of an overheat situation. I posted a UOA awhile back on a car that had overheated after the alternator went and it looked pretty good. Car is fine. I'll post another one here shortly where Amsoil OW-20 went 15k and the car overheated TWICE near the end of the interval because after the first time it overheated the officer just put coolant back into it and sent it back out instead of troubleshooting the problem. It overheated the second time and they drove it back to the station. The cooling fan had failed and I replaced it. That car is also happily motoring on. It may be the perfect fleet engine... REDDOG
 
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It may not be as fancy and powerful as other engines, but it's generally straightforward to work on and extremely tough. \:\! If my '07 Grand Marquis wasn't totalled, I would have still had it. \:\(
 
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what sucks is those water pumps are about the easiest to replace in the automotive world. i think it takes longer to drain the coolant than it does to pull the pump off and put a new one on.
 
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They're so tough that the local PD dumps them prior to reaching 90,000 miles, with a lengthy list of all of the repairs that it took just to get the car to that point. No offense to any of you, but please go find a Panther forum somewhere to share your mutual fondness...
 
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Considering the hard use our cars see day in and day out I'm amazed at how little we really have to do to them. Trust me, I was not easily won over. I grew up in a GM household and was a far cry from a Ford Fan. We keep ours for well over 90k...and trust me the odometer mileage DOES NOT tell the story. REDDOG
 

OVERKILL

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 Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
They're so tough that the local PD dumps them prior to reaching 90,000 miles, with a lengthy list of all of the repairs that it took just to get the car to that point. No offense to any of you, but please go find a Panther forum somewhere to share your mutual fondness...
So REDDOG, who SERVICES Vic's, argument is less valid than yours, because he likes the cars and has had good luck with them, whilst your "local PD" has not?
 
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See also the UOA I just posted which gives an idea of a typical service interval and the engine hrs involved. http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1560166#Post1560166 odo=105,256 mi/33mi per hr= 3189.58 engine hr equiv + 2509 hrs idle time on hr meter= 5698.58 total engine hrs. So I guess I won't gripe that I had to put an electric cooling fan and a new set of spark plugs in it... Other than that it's been routine maintenance. REDDOG
 
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 Originally Posted By: REDDOG
The newer ones have a system where the cylinders are automatically shut down in an alternating fashion to pump air through the engine in the case of an overheat situation. I posted a UOA awhile back on a car that had overheated after the alternator went and it looked pretty good. Car is fine. REDDOG
The 3900 V6 in my Monte Carlo has this system. The owner's manual says that you can drive this way for up to 50 miles, but then changing the oil is a must. I'd be nervous to drive for .5 miles with aluminum cylinder heads without coolant.
 
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 Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
They're so tough that the local PD dumps them prior to reaching 90,000 miles, with a lengthy list of all of the repairs that it took just to get the car to that point. No offense to any of you, but please go find a Panther forum somewhere to share your mutual fondness...
I sold my 99LX HPP Vic with 180k on it to a kid that then promptly totaled it. It was a great car. The ONE and ONLY issue I had was common to the EARLY 4.6Ls was a spit out spark plug. Was fixed and I paid more attention to them to ensure it didn't happen again and all was fine. Most PD cars are NOT well taken car of, at least when compared to personal cars. Getting them on the road is priority. When you have several different guys driving the car 22 hours a day 365 days a year, idling for hours, jackrabbit starts, panic stops, jumping curbs/medians RAMMING other cars....etc etc... Do you expect the cars to be show room or even AVERAGE condition at 90k? Get a a clue. 90k in a police cruiser is like 360k in a personal vehicle as far as wear.
 
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When I worked at the WM TLE in 2007, I HATED servicing taxi cabs. We got a fair few of them, and they were always completely and utterly worn out, and FILTHY! Most of them wouldn't have passed a safety if they tried...
 
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 Originally Posted By: ScubaCat
Most PD cars are NOT well taken car of, at least when compared to personal cars. Getting them on the road is priority. When you have several different guys driving the car 22 hours a day 365 days a year, idling for hours, jackrabbit starts, panic stops, jumping curbs/medians RAMMING other cars....etc etc... Do you expect the cars to be show room or even AVERAGE condition at 90k? Get a a clue. 90k in a police cruiser is like 360k in a personal vehicle as far as wear.
In our area, a patrol car is a ONE driver car. Our county sheriff's deputies take the car home with them at the end of their shift (along with most state troopers as well). As far as the local PD, they are all assigned to one officer, and are only on the street for 1 shift a day. Even with it being a one driver car, 90k is still the upper limit for the local city PD. However, the county will take that a little further (closer to a 110k mile replacement interval), and the state police will stretch that number even further, as their cars do see more highway and interstate miles. The local PD used to run them upwards of 120k, but had to back it down to a replacement cycle of 80-90k, because of the increased frequency of repairs that were required past the 90,000 mile mark. And these are cars that are *required* to be serviced at a maximum interval of every 60 days. Major repairs are easy to track, and seeing a trend of increased repairs past 90k would be fairly easy to spot. As far as ramming other cars, if a patrol car is damaged beyond anything that can be fixed by replacing sheet metal or panels, they will simply not put it back into service and will replace it. A clue? Let's see... Dad was a cop, and I have a cousin who has been a local sheriff's deputy for 20 years now.
 
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My Grand Marquis has been a great car. The egine still runs great and I believe their are many miles left in the Merc.
 
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 Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
No offense to any of you, but please go find a Panther forum somewhere to share your mutual fondness...
No offense taken, but read the title of this thread "Crown Vic - One Tough Car" It is a mini-Panther/Vic forum. I love my Grand Marquis. Just got back from its first long road trip and averaged a little over 28 mpg. Not bad for a tank.
 
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 Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
They're so tough that the local PD dumps them prior to reaching 90,000 miles, with a lengthy list of all of the repairs that it took just to get the car to that point. No offense to any of you, but please go find a Panther forum somewhere to share your mutual fondness...
Maybe you should take your 'fondness' comment someplace else. Literally thousands of people love the panther platform and have millions of miles to prove it. Can you say that about your non-reliable Chevy Silverado? Statistically speaking....you lose.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Johnny
 Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
No offense to any of you, but please go find a Panther forum somewhere to share your mutual fondness...
No offense taken, but read the title of this thread "Crown Vic - One Tough Car" It is a mini-Panther/Vic forum. I love my Grand Marquis. Just got back from its first long road trip and averaged a little over 28 mpg. Not bad for a tank.
I agree with Johnny. It still amazes me that a big car with a V8 can get that good of MPG. As I mentioned before I took my 04 Grand Marquis on a very long trip last Thanksgiving with 4 adults and a very loaded trunk and still got 25 - 27 MPG. When I'm by myself (and assuming I'm not in a hurry) I can hit 29. Haven't been able to break 30 though. As someone who has a GM SUV (one year newer than my Grand Marq) and numerous relatives that have GM vehicles, I can say it is no wonder GM is in the position they are in!
 
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