Can we expect more cars with ‘suicide’ doors?

TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICELincoln shows off the Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition at the North American International Auto Show in January in Detroit.

I parked next to what looked like a new Rolls Royce. The sedan had four extra wide doors; the back two were suicide doors. I am 74 and love the easy in/easy out these doors offer.

Try getting in and out of regular back doors without hitting your head or knees, especially with luggage. Will the suicide doors ever return here?

— T.L., Addison, Ill.

You’re in luck, maybe. Lincoln introduced the 2019 Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition, which pays homage to the iconic style of the Continental of the 1960s. The run was limited to 80 units. Each one was personalized with a unique badge.

All 80 automobiles have been snatched up, despite the hefty price tag of more than $100,000. But Lincoln has said it will build more coach-door Continentals. So stay tuned.

I purchased a new 2011 Ford Fusion in December 2010. The car ran great (and quietly) until the weather warmed up to over 80 degrees, then developed a series of creaks, groans, knocks and other weird sounds, mostly from the front end and in the steering. Investigating, I found many complaints of this car from others, and horror stories of people replacing suspension, brake and steering parts to no avail.

In the fall when the weather fell below 80 degrees all noises stopped. Believing it was somehow temperature related, I did nothing. Nine years later the car continues to do this, every winter runs quietly, every summer the noises return. I still own the car, and outside of several recalls which Ford took care of, the car still runs great and is very good on gas mileage, but now summer is coming and the noises have returned.

Was there ever a fix in place?

— C.J., Chicago

You have me stumped. The first thing to come to mind was sway bar links or bushings, or loose McPherson struts. But these would not change with the weather. My hunch is that something metal is expanding with the heat and contacting another piece of metal.

Don’t rule out the rear of the car. Noises created in the back can travel through the frame to the front. Ask your favorite technician to look carefully for shiny spots where contact may have been made.

Send questions along with name and town to Motormouth, Rides, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Fourth Floor, Chicago, IL 60611 or motormouth.tribune@gmail.com.

Tribune Wire

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