Owners of 1995-99 Lincoln Continental models may complain of a creaking or popping sound from underneath the front of the car while braking or turning.
According to Ford, the noise typically comes from the passenger side of the vehicle, and most likely is due to the sheet metal flange on the frame rail reinforcement contacting the upper floorboard. Prying the flange away from the floorboard is the required repair.
Begin the fix by going in the trunk and turning off the air suspension switch, then raise the car on a lift and remove the right/front wheel. Now, remove the five push pins attaching the inner fender liner to the wheel well. Finally, remove the lower screw at the rear of the wheel well and remove the fender liner.
Using the illustration as a guide, inspect the flange on the frame rail reinforcement for contact with the floorboard in the area shown. If the flange is making contact, use a pry bar or large screwdriver to carefully bend the flange until there is a sufficient gap between the two.
To complete the fix, reinstall the fender liner and front wheel, lower the vehicle and turn the air suspension switch back on.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via email at [email protected].