1996 Ford Contour from North America


Good, but must work out the bugs


It's funny, I was starting to experience all the same things all of you on this site are talking about.

After the third tow home, my brother (he owns a repair shop (A.D.C.) Automotive Diagnostic Center) completely checked the car out from nose to tail and everywhere in-between.

He found ALL my flashing lights, engine lights and even the smog controls ie: O2-Sensors etc... And the engine overheating/running warm to hot, was due to the fan not turning on like it should or when it should.

These were the by product or direct product of multiple bad and/or non existing grounds, which caused circuits using other circuits as grounds, which in turn even did a little bit of melting of the wires in the main harness.

Now that we repaired and or replaced, and even added a few extras, my lights never blink or flash, and my transmission shifts perfectly. Heck I can even listen to music again.

So before you let some hotshot mechanic or an overpriced dealer or the repair place down the street, tell you how much $$$ it will cost,"AGAIN" Invest in a shop manual with wiring schematics.

And if you have any idea what you are doing.. go for it (if not ask a few people you know and I'll bet you you will save a lot of cash and aggravation. I know I did ;o)

General Comments:

Now the car runs great, no problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd September, 2009

1996 Ford Contour GL from North America


Great car


Door seal passenger side replaced at 60,000 miles.

Occasional trouble with the gas door.

General Comments:

Great car. I have done only routine maintenance and it is still running strong with 137,000 miles on it.

I just had the timing belt and water pump changed as a routine service.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th May, 2009

1996 Ford Contour GL 2.0 Zetec from North America


The dash bulb went out, the A/C high heat exploded, there's a squealing sound connecting to the transmission, but I don't know what it is.

O2 sensor was replaced and the car was excellent for about 2 weeks till I floored it and corroded the sensor.

General Comments:

The car is all around suck on performance. Has anybody added performance parts or changed major parts: heads, valves, coil packs, etc? It would seem that the sensors tell of what these parts are doing.

Anyway, at least it runs regardless of sensors.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th January, 2009

1996 Ford Contour GLS 2.4L from North America


Car not recommended


Battery went bad

Tires needed to be changed

Front bulb went out

Catalytic converter

4 O2 sensors

Mass air flow sensor

Transmission about to go out (knocking noise)

EGR valve went bad

Driver side window stopped functioning

Heater was non-functional

Odometer was non-functional.

General Comments:

It took me from point A to B. I bought it during an urgency, although I would never buy this car. It's too uncomfortable, ugly and unreliable. Bad gas mileage too, although it performs pretty well with other cars of its size (Corolla, Civic). It was pretty fast, considering it was a V6 GLS Edition.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st December, 2008

1st Dec 2008, 14:12

This car had high mileage, many of the things you mentioned such as - Battery, Tires & Bulbs, are just normal wear & tear items. Many of the others can be due to the high mileage on the car.

1996 Ford Contour GL 2.0 4 cylinder from North America


Fantastic car


Other than the routine maintenance stuff (oil, fluids/filters, brake pads, hoses, tires, batteries):

133000 - Water pump. This was the second time it had to be replaced on this car, but first when I owned it.

178000 - Front brake rotors warped.

180000 - Shocks, and struts.

183000 - Alternator. It was actually the original one!

183000 - Valve cover gaskets. Easy and cheap fix did it myself.

187000 - Front seal on the transmission.

189000 - Vacuum leak had to be repaired.

193000 - Transmission. Original one finally died One of the gears went out. Not bad on the original transmission though.

194000 - Head gasket was leaking.

Check engine light has been on for probably the last 30000 miles. There are a few bad sensors that I have neglected to fix.

The front end will probably need work soon too. It's getting a little sloppy.

General Comments:

Fantastic car. Kinda slow, and not very high performance. The seat comfort is so so. Other than that though, I'm more than impressed.

I really can't believe some of the negative reviews I see of this car. This car is SO much better than the 96 Taurus I had previous to this. I mean I was having more problems with the Taurus when it had over 100000 less miles than this car has.

I bought this car from the original owner who had receipts for most of the oil changes, trans changes, fuel filters etc. The only problem it had in the first 130000 miles, other than routine maintenance, was a water pump.

I've only really started having any problems within the last year and a half. It's almost at 200000 miles now. This car is definitely built a lot better than the Taurus. It is WAY more durable. Yet it is the cheaper car.

It's never left me on the side of the road, and never had to be towed. Don't know how much longer I'm gonna keep it, but had it almost 7 years now, and it never lets me down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th November, 2008