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2016 Lincoln Black Label Continental Update #3: All Has Not Been Well


My last ‘update’—the review— for the 2016 Lincoln Black Label Continental waxed lyrically about the comfort of the car, and the luxuries occupants were treated to: in the month since then, none of that has really changed. What has changed, unfortunately, was our ability to use them. Almost immediately after posting the review of the Continental, problems started to arise in the form of the always-dreaded electrical issue.

It started out with a simple—if unendingly annoying—problem: the motion/touch activated forward cabin light would turn off and on whenever it saw fit. During the day, this was almost unnoticeable, as the white light is overwhelmed by the sunlight. Come night time, however, and the spasmodic cabin light was enough to drive even the calmest person cuckoo. As bumps seemed to set it off, parking lots, or broken pavement—fairly common here in California—could turn into blinding affairs at night.

The lights in question. Surprisingly blinding at night when you are unprepared for it turning on.

A quick call to my local Lincoln dealer set up a service appointment to look at the problem. While the dealership isn’t a Black Label dealer, and we won’t get the full benefits of the Black Label experience package that comes with our car, the package still brought its perks. When purchasing a Black Label, you are entitled to a loaner Black Label car during service and maintenance appointments, and while we didn’t get a comparable trim-level, we did get a Lincoln delivered to us, nearly 25 miles away, as they picked up the car. Somewhat creepily, the iOS app that comes with the Black Label experience also allowed me to track both my vehicle on GPS when it was in their care (including on the way back to the dealership) but also the loaner vehicle as it was on the way to my house. I am not certain that the employee knew I could track her…

The dealer kept our car for about four days, leaving us with a base-level Lincoln Continental for the time, serving as a keen reminder of what we were missing in our fully-loaded example. The faulty light was diagnosed, and it was determined that the entire internal computer needed to be replaced, which had to be ordered. They gave us the option of keeping the loaner car while we waited for nearly two weeks to get the part, or to drive our car with the faulty light. Because I rarely drive that car at night, I decided to simply live with the annoyance and try to ignore it with the luxury of the car.

Again, the dealer came out to exchange the cars—potentially-unknowingly being tracked the entire time—and we had our proper Black Label Lincoln again. A quick drive later in the day, after the cars had been exchanged, revealed that further problems had developed while it was in the care of the dealer: the passenger rear turn signal had died, with less than 2500miles on the car.

The culprit. Gonzo in less than 3k miles. I am sure happy this car is in our possession during its warranty.

A quick call revealed that the dealer was aware ‘something was wrong’ with the light, because the internal signal was blinking fast. As this is the sign of a turn-signal dying or having died, it took me a 5-second walk around to confirm the problem, yet the dealer returned the car to me without warning me of the problem.

Deciding I would send any fix-it tickets Lincoln’s way, I drove the car for about two weeks while we waited for the part, cringing every time I had to turn right. Finally, the call came in that the part was in: the tracking, car-swapping process begin anew. This time the dealer brought an MKX, seemingly aware that a base Continental is slightly depressing when you know what all the blank buttons could do. It took about 24hrs for the dealership to call me back; the entire rear-light had to be replaced, as it is an LED unit, and a bulb could not simply be popped in. Of course, the part was on national back-order: two more weeks of waiting. Why they didn’t order the part when I brought it to their attention when we were waiting for the other part, I have no idea. As it was aware of the problem now, the dealer was not willing to release the car to me as it violated the law, so it looked like we were rolling in MKX style for the next couple of weeks.

It wasn’t bad, it just isn’t what I would spend money on. In fact, it isn’t what money was being spent on…

Two weeks later, almost forgetting what the car looked like, we got the call that the Lincoln was done. Finally, FINALLY, we could drive our own car, as the swap/track process was completed one last time. For now, about two weeks on from receiving the car, everything seems to be back to normal, with everything working as it should. To find out if this lasts, or if we have more problems with our 2016 Lincoln Black Label Continental—almost to 5,000 miles!—keep reading, and learn some cool stuff about automotive history by clicking on the ‘History Hits’ button at the top.

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Stephen Hyden View All

I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.

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