Oh, where shall I start? Reading through the other reviews makes me chuckle as I fondly (?) recall all of the same frustrations that other contributors have experienced with this vehicle.
-The alignment has *always* been wrong, no matter how much money I pay to try and fix it. Tires wear prematurely and the vehicle shakes above 60MPH.
-The check engine light no longer scares me. I know that it is meaningless.
-The fuel door never ever worked, even after trying the ridiculous remedies listed in the Ford technical service bulletins.
-The engine running temperature has continued to creep upward inexplicably. Visits to the repair shop and thermostat replacements have done nothing. Is the engine going to melt down soon or what?
-The rear doors make a truly horrific squeaking sound... really embarrassing in front of the neighbors. I replaced the hinges once, but the problem re-emerged after a couple more years. I'm not laying out more money for yet another set of new hinges.
-The left front speaker wiring shorts out. A good kick to the quarter panel usually fixes this.
-The windows fog amazingly easily and develop a mysterious "film" on the interior surface that can only be removed with Windex.
-The car is constantly stalling in damp weather within the first five minutes of driving. I worry that my girlfriend is going to get in to the car one rainy morning, try to turn left out of our street, and the car is going to stall out in front of oncoming traffic... I seriously worry about this... I have already lectured her about not using the defroster or air-conditioner while she is trying to make this left turn...
-The front coil spring broke (!) Now, folks, this is just downright bizarre. How is it possible for a giant metal spring to just break? The mechanics were all convinced that I must have run head-long into a curb at 45MPH. I didn't. Trust me. Ford issued a recall. Of course, they only replaced the right coil spring, they won't replace the left one at the same time. So the car lists to the left a little bit now...
-The front wheel bearings made grinding noises and self-destructed after only about 50k miles.
-The drivers side door lock freezes up constantly in cold weather.
-I have re-glued the rear-view mirror onto the windshield two or three times now.
-The heat will only come out of the defrost vents sometimes. This usually happens on really cold days. Fortunately, I know where the little vacuum valve is under the dash, and can climb under there and fix it myself when this happens.
-Headlights developed condensation behind lenses.
-License plate attachment uses dis-similar metals that react with one another and corrode. Can be darn near impossible to remove license plate from vehicle. This is actually a Ford Technical Service Bulletin, too. They'll even send you a little kit to "fix" this problem. (Note: the "kit" employs double-sided tape)
-Muffler gaskets wore out and caused vehicle to fail emissions.
-Changed brakes many times (too many? don't know for sure...)
-In cold weather, first thing in the morning, timing belt makes horrific clattering sound as it bangs against the plastic guard. I guess the belt has stretched. This is also really embarrassing in front of the neighbors...
-All kinds of other "normal" maintenance items have needed attention, too. But I figured I would just list the weird ones above. I mean, every car needs belts replaced and brake pads once a while. But how many cars require the replacement of a giant metal spring?
And finally...last, but not least...
Transmission self-destructed last week...
Good riddance to my Contour!