1998 Ford Contour SE 4.0 from North America


Inexpensive awesome little car


I had brakes worked on at 80,000 miles.

I had mass air flow sensor replaced twice (first one was bad from manufacturer.)

There were a couple of recalls that never affected me, but had them taken care of anyway. Something with the gas tank cover.

I am just now starting to have problems with rear struts.

I will have to replace belt today at 133,000 miles.

General Comments:

I absolutely love this car.

This car gets great gas mileage and gets me where I'm going quickly.

Interior is a little drab, but still comfortable.

I've enjoyed owning and driving this car.

I've had some wonderful experiences with one of the local Ford dealers and their mechanics.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2004

1998 Ford Contour SVT Duratec 2.5 V6 from North America


An under-rated American icon


The battery light comes on when the engine revs over 4,000 rpm.

General Comments:

This is the fastest four door car I have ever driven.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2004

1998 Ford Contour LX 2.0L 16v from North America


Beware, depending on what model you get, IT MAY BE A PIECE OF CRAP!!!


Where to start. Recalls. I had 18 of them! I don't think there was a single part on that car that had not been recalled.

My favorite of the recalls was the water pump. On the way to work one morning, it started to overheat. This happened to be the day I was planning on taking it into a local dealer to have the recall done. On the way to the dealer later that afternoon, it began to overheat even more. I was TRYING to get it into the dealer before it blew up and I didn't make it. The water pump exploded, blowing parts all over the very busy road I was on. This was the worst of the recalls.

The dealership in town should be put out of business. One morning, I had my car in for service. As I was sitting in the waiting room, I couldn't help, but over hear another conversation between the "Ford Mechanic" and another disgruntled Ford Contour owner. They had apparently told her that they had a O2 sensor for her car, when they really didn't. When she got mad, they said they would take the part out of another used car on the lot, untill they could get a new one. As I looked out the window, I noticed my car was the only other used Contour on the lot. The mechanic walked over to my car, and began to take the O2 sensor out of my car to put into her car (keep in mind, I'm still at the dealership). Needless to say, I made a few phone calls to my local news stations and had them do consumer reports on this dealership. Shortly after, sales dropped a lot at this dealership, and I will never even so much as drive by that dealer again.

The way the engine was designed was very poor. Honestly, who designs an engine to basically overheat before the fan comes on to cool it down? It could be -40ºF and sitting at a stop light or at the drive thru, it would overheat. Once the fan finally did come on, it would suck every bit of energy out of the car, and most times, make it stall.

Stalling, VERY ANNOYING!!! It's not too fun screaming down the highway at 90mph and having the car stall for no reason! Especially when your in the middle of a turn, the steering wheel locks up, and the turn is ending and you can't get the car going again.

Why, why, why, why, WHY did Ford make it soooooo hard to change the master cylinder and clutch? A job that would normally take 15-30 MINUTES on any other car, take 8 HOURS ON THIS CAR??? In order to do this, you must take the transmission apart.

Master cylinder replaced at 62,000.

Clutch also replaced at 62,000 (while I had the transmission already apart).

Brakes at 60,000. The left one wore down to the metal, and the right one still had plenty of life lfet in it.

General Comments:

The handled pretty good (cause of it's weight).

Had good acceleration for an American 4 banger.

The weight was a little to lite for my tastes.

Seats were comfy.

For the amount of money I paid, and the gas mileage, it got me where I needed to go (most of the time).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th June, 2004

9th Dec 2004, 12:27

It takes longer than 15-30 minutes to replace a clutch or master cylinder. You have the right to see the shop labor times, just ask. Your car overheats and you blow the pump, it seems you are not a good owner.

3rd Feb 2009, 09:38

He means you have to take apart the transmission and expose the clutch just to change a clutch master cylinder. So you might as well change the clutch while you're at it.

Ford should not be bailed out, survival of the fittest, Ford and the big 3 are not even close to the top of the circle, er ah I mean pyramid. Let them fail, it will be a new beginning and they might just have to build "good" vehicles for a change instead of forcing the public to drive their garbage.

If they focus more on making a few good cars instead of making 50 dud's, they might have a chance. A bailout just shows the ridiculous state of affairs in the whole USA.

3rd Feb 2009, 13:51

Wow, what a story about taking parts out of one customers car to put into another. This is an example of how Ford has difficulty getting a good reliability reputation when there are too many dealerships. Toyota has fewer of these small operations around that do really dumb things that hurt their reputation. I have always been happy with the three different Ford dealerships I have dealt with, but I stay away from the small ones.

11th Jun 2009, 11:27

I have a Ford Contour and it sucks. I already put a junkyard motor in it. I had to buy both O2 sensors and the car overheats. I turn my defrost on and the smell of the antifreeze comes out and fogs my windshield. The air conditioner won't work. I replaced every part on it already and its getting worse. I take it to all the mechanics and they suck.

12th Jun 2009, 15:58


When you turn on the defroster the air conditioner turns on. What you smell is most likely mold that grows on the evaporator. Clean that or have that cleaned. Also change the cabin air filter.