Keep or Sell my 2008 Crown Vic?

Messages
304
Location
Phoenix-ish, Arizona
My 2008 P71 has 203,000 miles on it, 90% of which have been easy highway miles. I've maintained it immaculately. The engine and transmission run like they're brand new. Zero drips. Burns a cup of 10w/30 oil over 10,000 mile OCIs. Tires and battery are like new, radiator and coolant system are excellent, brakes and rotors are in great shape. Every mechanic who works on it tells me they've never seen a car with this many miles be so perfect.

The only thing wrong with it has been the blasted blend door actuator motor. It's stuck on cool, thank heavens. It's a $40 part with $1000 in labor to replace it. I haven't wanted to spend the money. I can live with no heat in Phoenix's brief, mild winters, but can't live without A/C nine months of the year.

Freon is now low; my A/C isn't blowing cold. I have an appointment next week to check it. If a simple fill will do the trick, great! But I don't know how expensive it will be if they need to replace seals or do anything more complicated. If somehow the blend door got moved to heat and it's going to be a $1000+ job to get in there and fix it, then I need to consider how much money I want to put into a car this old. Should I trade it in on a lower mileage Vic?

There's a place in town that sells retired Crown Vic fleet cars. They only have a few left. Their low-mileage Vics are running $6000+ and they won't give me much for this one in a trade. I'd want to keep my tires, battery, and satellite radio.

This car I know and trust. Any new Vic would be a mechanical cr*pshoot. Whether I keep this car or get a lower mileage one, parts are getting harder to find. How much longer can I expect to drive this one before it starts needing a lot of money to keep it running? Parts-wise, how much longer can I expect to drive ANY Crown Vic?

I would love to hear your thoughts, but please note that I AM NOT A MECHANIC. Aside from checking the fluids and replacing the headlights, I DON'T WORK ON MY OWN CAR. My late husband worked on our cars, but now I'm on my own facing down mechanics. Thanks for listening.
 
Messages
17,948
Location
NH
How many miles per year?

IMO if you drop a grand on this repair and get a year out of it before something “big” happens... it’ll be money well spent. Thought of another way, how much would you spend to replace this car?
 
Messages
7,505
Location
North America
Let's see -- you can spend $1040 to fix the blend door on an otherwise near-perfect car, or spend close to $6000 for something that's got huge question marks mechanically.

Easy choice. I'd fix it.

If you decide to trade it though, please send me a PM so I can beat the dealer's offer. I'll fly in to pick it up and bring a cashier's check.
 

shiny

Thread starter
Messages
304
Location
Phoenix-ish, Arizona
Miles per year: from 2015 to end of 2020, approx 13,000 miles per year. Since my work moved in November it'll be about half that going forward. About 80% highway miles, very little stop-and-go..

Everyone is making sense, I just needed to hear it. I'd like to see if I can get 400,000 miles out of it. There's no other car I've found as reliable with as much room to carry stuff that I can insure for $60 a month.

Kuato, if I change my mind you'll be the first to know. Thank you!
 
Messages
2,103
Location
British Columbia, Canada
@shiny You might actually be able to do this job better than many men.

Sometimes in these picky jobs hand clearance is the major issue. So if you have small hands and you're comfortable lying upside down in the foot-well for awhile, you might be able to get your hands in there and take those final bolts out better than many men. You'll need a few tools of course - a good small and bright flashlight, a set of metric wrenches, a set of 3/8" metric sockets and possibly a flex connector/universal connector for the 3/8" socket set.

You Crown Vic guys will know whether the bolts here are are Metric or English. Sounds like they're Metric. Are they?

What have you got to lose? If you can't get it out, you just put it all back together again and you'll have blown an evening or half day for nothing. Or pay the mechanics to finish the job. Just be sure to disconnect the battery. You don't need the airbag going off and hurting you.
 

JC1

Messages
6,057
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Thank you for the video, ecotourist. Reading the comments, someone mentioned an "Easy Fix blend door actuator repair kit" that installs under the hood and doesn't require going into the dash. I found a link to one on ebay. What do you guys think?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Easy-Fix-Blend-Door-Actuator-repair-Universal-Crown-Victoria-Grand-Marquis-kit-/264754896380
Sounds good. But is it one of those "too good to be true" options? I wonder if there is a YouTube video showing the installation.
 
Messages
2,103
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Sounds good. But is it one of those "too good to be true" options? I wonder if there is a YouTube video showing the installation.
I'd go for the under the dash approach shown in this video.
It seems all you need is a new actuator (and about $50 worth of tools). Other than that it's just taking things apart and then putting them back together again, fiddly and maybe frustrating but all doable.

@shiny If you decide to take this on yourself there are 2 things to remember:

(1) "Righty is tighty, and Lefty is looser". You tighten with a right hand rotation and loosen with a left hand rotation (just like for a jar lid). If the direction of a right hand rotation (a "righty") isn't clear - point your right hand thumb away from you and look which way your fingers rotate around your thumb. That's a right hand rotation. And of course you use your left hand to show you a left hand rotation.

(2) You're strong enough to strip out any of those bolts. My wife has a tendency to over-tighten small things because she thinks she isn't very strong. When I'm tightening these smaller fasteners I only grip the wrench with my fingers (and not with my palm) so as to not over do it.
 

shiny

Thread starter
Messages
304
Location
Phoenix-ish, Arizona
Thanks, ecotourist, but that repair is not in my comfort zone, physically or mentally. Changed the headlights once. It only took me four hours, lol! That's the maximum complexity I'm willing to tackle by myself.
 

CKN

Messages
6,468
Location
Utah
Miles per year: from 2015 to end of 2020, approx 13,000 miles per year. Since my work moved in November it'll be about half that going forward. About 80% highway miles, very little stop-and-go..

Everyone is making sense, I just needed to hear it. I'd like to see if I can get 400,000 miles out of it. There's no other car I've found as reliable with as much room to carry stuff that I can insure for $60 a month.

Kuato, if I change my mind you'll be the first to know. Thank you!
The pinnacle of BITOG automotive excellence.....................
 
Messages
3,682
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I agree keep it! I sold my 08 Vic to my brother about four and a half years ago. He just bought a new Tesla model 3 and I am buying it back from him for a whopping $800. Blend door is stuck in that car as well but otherwise a great car and a steal at that price ☺️
 

shiny

Thread starter
Messages
304
Location
Phoenix-ish, Arizona
"I agree keep it! I sold my 08 Vic to my brother about four and a half years ago. He just bought a new Tesla model 3 and I am buying it back from him for a whopping $800. Blend door is stuck in that car as well but otherwise a great car and a steal at that price"

In ancient Greece, it was believed that perfection could not exist on earth but only with the gods. Sculptors would leave a little patch of their statue unfinished, imperfect, so as not to offend the gods and bring down their wrath. This is why Ford made that cr*ppy blend door motor.
 
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