When I got the car, the clock light was out and the owner said he didn't know why. I've never checked, but it's probably the fuse.
The first thing that went wrong with the car three years after I bought it was the speed sensor.
2009 - front brake pads.
2010 - valve cover gasket, a new starter.
2011 - rotors and brake pads all the way around and rear struts. Currently needs front struts.
2013 - had all the radiator hoses replaced when one broke.
The wiring harness is not in horrible shape, but some of the wiring housing broke off when the mechanic was replacing the hoses, so he covered many of them, but there are still some that are partly exposed.
Two month ago I had to replace the brake line. It rotted away.
A month ago I had the water pump replaced; a bad seal, so I just replaced the whole thing.
Now I have a crankshaft seal that needs to be replaced, and I have a power steering fluid leak, but I don't know where it is leaking from yet.
Needs front brake pads and front rotors resurfaced.
Oh, and it no longer goes into OD, but having that checked and fixed in a few weeks.
The truck gets water in it somehow when it rains, although all the seals are secure, and I've replaced the turn signal lights more times than I can count from rusting out.
I have a slight transmission leak, which my mechanic says is the seal that needs to be replaced.
Like everyone else, the cup holders were crap and just broke apart.
The things that are going wrong with the car now are typical of a car its age, with the seals wearing and such.
I do like the car; it drives really well. I've been to NC from CT twice in it with no problems except the OD not working on the last trip. I get good gas mileage highway, but city is terrible.
I don't have the issues others have had with their Contours, and I am over 180k. I keep the oil changed regularly, fluids checked. No transmission troubles except a hiccup every so often, but nothing major.
I however would not buy another car from Ford. Even though I lucked out on my Contour, I bought this car because I needed an immediate replacement after giving my son my Cavalier, and the owner had babied it. I had it thoroughly checked by my mechanic before I purchased it, and he said someone took really good care of it, and there was nothing wrong with it. I am not a Ford fan at all. So there ya go.