1997 Ford Contour from North America


Nice looks, a pain to deal with


While I was test driving it, an O2 sensor failed. Shouldn't have bought the car after that, but they fixed it and sold the car to me cheap (another bad sign).

Cup holder broke. Seems to be common among Contours.

Immediate problem was the check engine light. Also seems to be common among Contours. Would come off and on and off and on. Every time it was tested, diagnosis was the O2 sensor even though both were already replaced. Currently it has been on for about five months.

Engine started cutting off. Took it to a local dealership and paid $250 to get new plugs and a couple wires since a cylinder was mis-firing.

Car burns oil like nothing else. Once burned so much that the actual oil cap popped off after a 150 mile road-trip. Cloud of smoke from the oil all over under my hood.

During the summer months, I often can't run it down a busy street because every time I stop, it will idle so low that the car will stall out. Another factor that I think is causing this is the engine temperature. According to other posts on this forum, this is a common problem with no known fix.

The engine itself thrusts when I accelerate at any other pace, but slow. The only reason I know this is because I pumped the engine a couple times while a friend was looking under the hood. This can't be a good thing.

General Comments:

I'm hoping just to get a couple more years out of the car. I change the oil religiously (every 3-4 months even though I don't drive it that much).

I'm just a college student and plan to get a new car as soon as I graduate and find a job. Right now, it's not looking like this car will even last that long.

I should have kept my '88 Beretta. Looked like a piece of junk, but at least it ran great.

If anybody can suggest a way to possibly fix the low idle/stalling issue, it would be greatly appreciative!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th January, 2004

16th Apr 2004, 13:52

I have found that with my SE, when it idles at a stop, to keep it from stalling, I throw it into neutral. It also helps with the idling.

1997 Ford Contour GL Automatic from North America


This car is very peppy


I have had nothing but great luck with this car. I have only had the car stall once on a 98 degree day. This was due to the fact that I had the air conditioning on and I was in park for several minutes.

General Comments:

The Ford Contour has the worlds crappiest cup holders in the world. They are very cheap and don't hold very much.

This car is a major step up from my last one, and is the most luxurious car I have owned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th October, 2003

8th Nov 2005, 10:52

You only have 20000 miles on it... wait till you hit about 50000. Have fun enjoying your "peppy" Contour while it lasts. I bought mine at 33000 miles and it now has 78000(highway) miles on it and I'm very unhappy with mine. It has costed me a few thousand dollars within the last 2 years (mainly front end problems), and I will not even get that back if I were to trade...GOOD LUCK!

1997 Ford Contour SE 24v DOHC from North America


A high performance bargain


My head gasket blew at 50,000 miles.

Poor dealer service.

Parking brake stuck partially disconnected

Check engine light is always on.

Super bad headlights.

General Comments:

This car is a super fun car. If I didn't have the luxury of upgrading I would not be adverse to keeping it. It amazes many of my passengers who once inside for a bit question what kind of car it is. Leather interior and a sickeningly fast v6 will do that. The downside is that the Ford dealerships are so bad I doubt I'd get a Ford again. Ever. The sad thing is that I would love to keep buying American. I do like seeing the KC sticker on the inside and I do appreciate this vehicle. I do not like the Focus that has replaced it and am going with a Saab 9-5 oddly enough because it reminds me of the Contour. I would recommend this car to anyone especially since they are so affordable used and though mine is not can be tricked out just enough.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd September, 2003