Lots of quirky problems, but overall reliable
The car has always shook at speeds above about 70mph. I've learned to live with it. No solution to this common Contour problem has ever been found.
Numerous recalls, replacements at various mileages.
Cup holder broke 30,000 miles.
The gear shift indicator broke at 49,000 miles. Repaired under warranty.
Cam angle sensor went out at 58,000 miles.
Timing chain began knocking on the cover when the engine was started cold at 58,000 miles; replaced by dealer for free due to recall. At 90,000 began knocking again.
Temperature gage sending unit reads high continually. Actual engine operating temperature was only 210 degrees. Had to replace several times. After market parts read really high, so I had to replace the sending unit with a genuine Ford part. Now the plug for the sending unit has broken, and Ford doesn't carry just the plug. I have been driving it without a temperature gage for the past 20,000 miles.
The check engine light came on at 59,000 miles. Ford dealer claimed it was O2 sensor and charged me $350 to replace. Later found out that the original part had only been cleaned.
Window on passenger side won't roll down without making a tearing noise, and sometimes gets stuck. I can't use it because I'm afraid it will stay stuck. This occurred at 100,000 miles.
Clock light has stopped working at various intervals, and just as mysteriously started working again.
Now at 111,000 miles, the transmission is acting up and I'm sending the car in for repairs.
I have found out never take the car to the dealer. I try to avoid having Ford fix my car now that it is no longer under warranty. After they lied to me about replacing my O2 sensor, I don't trust them.
Also, the red antifreeze they use is highly corrosive. I think it corrupted my sending unit plug.
Overall the car has been fairly reliable, but it can nickel and dime you to death with all the little weird problems it has. If I had a choice, I would dump it and get a new car. I can't afford a new car especially with gas prices the way they are, so I guess I'll have to live with all the quirks and keep fixing the major problems until the car just won't run anymore.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 18th August, 2004