1998 Ford Contour SE from North America


After repair of recalls, a good reliable car for the price


*Replaced right wheel bearing this year.

*Blower motor for heater has gone out twice, right after warranty expired.

*A handful of recalls.

General Comments:

*Recalls were taken care of promptly at no cost to me.

*Living in AK, it is imperative to have a safe vehicle. The Ford Contour has handled excellent for me on snow and ice.

*Interior is roomy and comfortable, hood is easy to see over.

*Back seat is higher off the floor than most of the other vehicles I looked at, allowing for more leg room.

*Two trips to the lower 48 and back have convinced me that this car gets high marks in dependability and comfort, along with safety in various driving conditions.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th April, 2003

1998 Ford Contour SE 2.5L V6 from North America


A fast car held together with duct tape and bailing wire


1. Chain Snapped in transmission at 20,000 miles., requiring a full rebuild under warranty. $2500 if not covered. I was left stranded for 3 hours on the side of the interstate before I could be picked up by roadside assistance.

2. Heater blows cold air on the coldest night of the year. Only happened once, but I was on a 2.5 hr drive. Repaired under factory warranty.

3. Add battery #2 to car.

4. Starter occasionally will not function (30,000 miles.), then finally won't work at all. Wait for 2 hours for roadside assistance. Repaired under factory warranty. Dealer Response: Was a TSB concerning a faulty resistor.

5. Battery #3 added to car.

6. Alternator fails during a thick fog one night. Lose lights, engine, power steering, O/D off, and power assistance for braking. Vehicle was on another 2.5 hr drive going down a mountain. Wirirng harness replaced under factory warranty.

7. Engine seems to lose approximately 50% of its power during warm weather. Problem remains unfixed even after vehicle is totalled. First dealer insisted the cause was my driving style. Second dealer insisted was catalytic converter, which he replaced under warranty. I found a website in the meantime which described a problem with a valve which activates a shorter set of intake runners (IMRC valve). Third dealer diagnoses and insists is in proper working order.

8. Rear power window will not roll up or down. Switch, wiring, and motor replaced under extended warranty. Window is still problematic until demise of vehicle.

9. Paint chipping and peeling on roof and trunk (40,000 miles or 6/2002). Dealer first agrees to paint car, then declines. Ford Service Management inspects vehicle, then advises can only pay 60% of repairs. The factory corrosion warranty covers for 8 years or 100,000 miles. Ford will not honor this, even though is contained in new car information included with vehicle.

10. Add battery #4 to car.

11. Vehicle is wrecked on 10/26/02. Insurance company agrees to the body shop of my choosing, which was a Ford Dealership with a body shop. Vehicle stayed in repair shop for a month, but noise still comes from the damaged areas.

12. Rear suspension fails completely, failing to compress or release. The suspension had no travel. Carry vehicle to dealer in state where vehicle is registered. Vehicle deemed a total loss. Settlement issued.

General Comments:

The car drove great, handled well.

It was also very quiet.

Ford's dealer network was a hassle to deal with, and repairs were not done correctly.

The car literally fell apart over the 2 1/2 years I owned it.

For the price, the car was well equipped.

However, ABS was not on the vehicle and a tendency for the rear brakes to lock contributed to its demise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th April, 2003

1998 Ford Contour SE 2.5 liter durotech from North America


A decent buy for a commuter vehicle


Recalls: Throttle cable Blower motor resister Brake proportioning valve Head light switch Replaced tires after 30,000 miles (didn't rotate) Replaced battery at 51376 miles (5 years)

General Comments:

Given the faults due to the factory, I am very happy with the performance and reliability of my Contour SE. I drive it like a car is to be driven. I don't baby it.

This vehicle has gotten me and my family from point to point with out fault. There has been one downside to this, during the winter months, the defroster doesn't preform the way it should. The defroster fogs up the windshield on initial start do to the moisture build up in the a/c evaporator core.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2003