22nd Dec 2002, 18:46

Same car here. 1996 ford contour. 2.5l. Same wiring harness problem, but repaired under recall notice (no charge). Cup holder broken. The gas cap release works about 80% of the time. (need to open the trunk the other 20%). I completely agree that Ford dealerships are the new 21st century "mafia". I was told that I had to replace 4 oygen sensors and was quoted pricing for all four. Did I mention that the car only has two sensors. I asked the same "service mangler" to replace the cabin air filter. He said that he never heard of such a thing. I told him what it was, where it was, how to replace it (the screws) and asked him to just do it. At the end of the day, he told me "there is no cabin filter for the Contour". Went back two months later (hey I love abuse) to have the PCV valve replaced. The guy told me that since my car had 110,000 miles, I shouldn't bother replacing, but maybe i'd like to trade in for a new one. I am getting the PCV valve replaced at a local repair shop (not FORD).

BOTTOM LINE: Dealer service shops ONLY want to do business with people who don't ask questions, have fat wallets, and don't care if they are being cheated.

2nd Jun 2003, 00:23

I completely agree. I hate the Ford Contour. I too have been forced to rent so many times it almost feels strange to drive my Contour. I bought my Contour out of warranty, it's a 1998. It has cost me thousands to fix. And, like you, my radiator light refuses to stay off. The entire radiator assembly has even been replaced and the light still comes on for no reason. I hate the Ford Contour. I HATE IT!

7th Aug 2003, 22:42

I believe the problem is'nt just Contour its all ford products,I have a 98 Ranger inside lights won't go off, had to remove bulbs. It takes about 15 min. to fill gas tank, pump shuts off like the tanks full have to go really slow, gearshift knob fell off, center console on seat broke as in no longer connected to seat. Truck won't start if humidiy is high or its raining. Ac and cruise don't work it only has 65k miles.

20th Nov 2003, 11:07

I also own a Ford Contour GL ('95) and have had numerous problems with it as well - most of which aren't covered under the extended warranty that I originally purchased (causing me to finally cancel it). I was also told at the dealership that any recalls will only be replaced on the vehicle once that item actually fails, causing more grief.

It seems that a lot of the same things go wrong with each of these vehicles. My driver power window also came off track, causing the glass to become scored. My oxygen sensor has been replaced once in the time that I've owned it (four years) and it is now needing replacement once again. My thermostat has also failed, and my left speaker also shorts out. Frustratingly, my fuel door must always be opened from the manual over-ride in the trunk as well, and the windshield wiper blades need to be replaced virtually every season, since no matter what type I purchase, the naked blades end up scoring the windshield. Good luck to all the rest of you!

21st Jan 2004, 09:16

It appears that many of these problems that you're mentioning are with items that on ANY car will require replacement or maintenance. The O2 sensors, thermostat, PCV valve, and certainly the wiper blades will require replacement at various intervals. And other problems are covered by your warranty. I know some dealerships have bad service, but you can take your car to other Ford dealerships and you can also take your problems up the corporate ladder.

30th Aug 2005, 07:50

I own a 1996 Ford Contour SE. It has over 78,000 miles on it and still works perfectly.

There has only been one issue with it, and that was the needing of a replacement switch for the air conditioner. The axles are perfect, the engine performs as beautiful as ever, everything is the same as when I had bought it.

I have heard of others with 1998 and 1999 Contours who have had axle and brake problems, but I think that Ford had changed their parts for those newer models. The 1996 models with the 6 cylinders just rock. I don't know why it still works so well after reading all the other comments... I guess I just have something to look forward to... when that crap starts happening, I'm melting down my car!

5th Nov 2005, 22:12

If you are having trouble with your Ford Contour, file a complaint with the NHTSA and force a recall issue.


26th Nov 2006, 23:39

The Ford Contour oh where do I begin. I bought my Ford Contour in February of 2005 I purchased it used. It now sits in the parking lot of my home where it will not start. I have two ford vehicles as a matter of fact and neither one of them is running. I left home one day and went about a quarter of a mile when my Contour just died on me. I have replaced many of the fuses on it three times as they seem to keep dying. I have had numerous people look at it where as no one can tell me whats wrong with it. Could someone please help me. When I buy another vehicle it will defiantly not be a Ford (Fix Or Repair Daily).

5th Dec 2006, 20:40

Ah Yes. The FORD Contour...

My wife has a 1995 model we bought used two years ago. It currently has 175,000 miles. I do all the repairs. The car looks cherry from the outside, and the interior is spotless.

On the way home (to our house) from the former owner's, the passenger disk brake rotor completely separated from the hub. That was a horrendous sounding noise. The wheel did not fall off, just the ring of the brake rotor came loose from the hub. It rattled along between the pads until we got home.

The second thing I had to replace was the serpentine belt idler.

So far, I have replaced all four suspension springs. Both rear springs broke, and the passenger side front broke.

I replaced the drivers side wheel bearing last year. The passenger side is starting to make noise when we go around a corner.

The air conditioning pump bearing failed. I bypassed the a/c pump with the "non" a/c belt.

Last Thursday, the motor started making a crazy grinding noise. My wife was driving and I had her pull into the local O'Riley's auto parts. I figured the serpentine tensioner went again. Of course it was night time, and about 5 degrees fahrenheit. The store did not have the part on hand, and the Mag Light batteries were almost dead. She started it up, and the horrendous noise began. The car died twice. She kept running long enough to get home. I removed the serpentine belt and checked the tensioner. It is fine. With the belt removed, I started the motor. Horrendous grinding noise is still present. I removed the lid from the TIMING BELT and it has about 1.5 inch of free play. Welp, that's not right! I can't believe it still runs.

My wife wants a "new" car. I think this one can be kept going for another 60,000 miles.