2003 Lincoln Aviator

Dear Doctor: I own a 2003 Lincoln Aviator with about 160,000 miles. It began overheating. The shop said I needed a radiator. Then I felt a “skipping” in the engine. I took it to the dealership. They said I did not need a new radiator. They put dye in to see if there was a leak. None found. The “check engine” light finally came on showing cylinder #8. The dealership replaced the spark plug. The truck is still overheating and the engine is skipping. Three weeks later I was told that I need a new radiator and all 8 coils need to be replaced. I have replaced 8 sparks and plugs, 8 coils and a radiator. The truck is still skipping. Do you have any suggestions? Kandi


Dear Kandi: Bring the SUV to an expert who can actually troubleshoot both engine skip and overheating problems. Have the technician check for hydrocarbons in the cooling system. If the test is positive, then there is either a problem with a cylinder head or head gasket. This would explain the skip and overheating. If there is no hydrocarbon reading in the cooling system, then a step-by-step checking is needed. When the radiator was removed did anyone run water through it to see if it was partly blocked? Are the fins on the water pump impeller worn out? As for the engine skip, has anyone checked compression and/or the fuel injector? These all need to be checked.

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