New brakes three times (about 50,000-70,000km apart each time)
3 batteries (each one lasts about 3 years...
New struts/shocks at 5 years (110,000km)
3 water-pumps (last 1 15,000km after 2nd waterpump)
1 dead alternator.
Replaced a bunch of dashboard lights (lasted 9 years without replacing any!!)
Timing belt twice.
Serpentine belt only 3 times!!!
That's it in 11 years and 230,000km.. mostly wear and tear items...
Great little car.. this car was designed to replace the tempo, and be a good simple car... quirky car, decent performance, and yes either you got a good contour, or a piece of junk... I lucked out and have a very good contour, 11 years and 230,000 km later it is running well.. Runs hot though, and 2 Ford dealers can't figure it out.. Been like that for 4 years.. and still runs and runs and runs... I'll run it till it breaks... =) then drop in a new engine/part that is broken and run her for another 50,000km...
Body/interior held up well, except for minor rust where I decided to be stupid and attack a snow bank with the car..
To much condensation in licence plate light bulb sockets.. burns out bulbs/wiring to much.. no big deal.
Ford as a company is brutal about recalls.. shock recall and wiring harness I paid out of my pocket since ford says it affected all 1995-1998 contours.. but mine wasn't on the list, so even though I had the broken shocks on the ground.. not covered.. Dealer said talk to ford head office, ford head office said talk to dealer...
Rear seat quirky, not easy for tall people to get in and out of, and yes the door hinges squeak a lot.. 11 years old =)
I do love my contour, 11 years old, 230,000km and still going, this is my daily car (wife drives the newer family car), parts have broken, but in 11 years all cars have parts break, but yes quirky car, and this contour has served me well and I do hope to get 2 more years and 50-70,000 more km out of it before I get a new vehicle!!