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Key Programming Lincoln Town Car 1997-2009

Lincoln Town Car 1997-2009 Key Programming Procedure


The following are the key programming procedures for the 1997, 1998 and 2009 Lincoln Town Car.


Lincoln Town Car 1997


1. Put the new key into the ignition. Turn it to the ON position. The dashboard security light will flash for 15 minutes. Once the dashboard security light stops flashing, you have five minutes to begin Step 2.

2. Turn the ignition OFF and then back to the ON position. The dashboard security light will flash for 15 additional minutes.

3. Repeat Step 2.

4. Once the dashboard security light has turned off for the third time, the key will be able to function in the car. It has been programmed into the car’s computer and has replaced ALL previous electronic key codes — the computer will not recognize any other key.


1. Put the current key into the ignition.

2. Turn the ignition ON and back to OFF.

3. Remove the current key and insert the new key, turning it ON. You MUST do this within 15 seconds.

4. The security light will switch on for two seconds, confirming that the key has been successfully programmed into the vehicle.


Lincoln Town Car 1998 +

ADD KEY (Requires two working keys):

1. Put a current key into the ignition.

2. Turn the ignition to ON, then back to the OFF position.

3. Remove the key and insert a second key. Turn it ON and back to the OFF position. You MUST do this within five seconds.

4. Before ten seconds have elapsed, put a new key in and turn the ignition ON. After one second, turn the key back to the OFF position.

5. The dashboard security light will glow for three seconds. This confirms the programming of the new key has been successful.



About Lincoln Town Car

The Lincoln Town Car was given a significant makeover inside and out and debuted on October 5, 1989, as a 1990 model, after 10 years on the market (nine of them as the Town Car) with little modification. The Town Car was given a much more modern appearance in order to appeal to a new generation of Lincoln customers, putting it in line with the Continental and Mark VII. The Town Car also had a new set of safety and luxury features, as well as the premiere of a powertrain that would be used in a variety of Ford Motor Company cars. The Town Car was awarded Car of the Year by Motor Trend in 1990.

The facelift of the Town Car boosted sales significantly in 1990, helping Lincoln set a new high for overall sales. The second-generation Town Car became one of the most popular full-size luxury cars in the United States. Town Car sales, on the other hand, rapidly fell, falling below 100,000 for the first time in over ten years in 1995. This decrease paralleled what was happening in the premium vehicle market, as customers’ preferences moved toward more agile, performance-oriented cars, and ultimately SUVs.

The Lincoln Town Car became the longest-length regular-production sedan offered in the United States when General Motors discontinued the Cadillac Fleetwood in 1996.

The second-generation Town Car was developed under the codename FN36 from 1985 to 1989 at a cost of $650 million USD, under the direction of project manager John Jay. The Lincoln Town Car was originally slated to be discontinued by the middle of the decade and replaced by a smaller front-wheel drive sedan, following its downsizing to the Panther platform in 1980; after the 1979 fuel crisis, gasoline prices were predicted to reach $2.50 per gallon, and Ford Motor Company had lost $1.5 billion in 1980. Full-size Lincoln sales, on the other hand, had skyrocketed by 1984, with sales up 300 percent over 1980. Instead of terminating the Lincoln Town Car’s production cycle, Ford’s product managers selected the Ford Taurus’ front-wheel-drive mid-size platform as the basis for the next-generation Lincoln Continental.

Under the direction of lead designer Gale Halderman and Ford Group Design Vice President Jack Telnack, Ford designers began sketching and building clay models of competing designs in August 1985, with a final design chosen in May 1986; two full-scale (1:1) proposals were reviewed by a four-member design committee, chaired by CEO Donald Petersen, Jack Telnack, Ford President Harold Poling, and William Clay Ford. A conservative upgrade of the current Town Car was explored, as was a European-style body based on the design language of the 1988 Lincoln Continental (FN-9, designed in 1984).

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