21st Dec 2006, 20:01

I have a '99 Ford Contour apart from a couple of sensors needing to be replaced, in my opinion too early (after the warranty expired, but before 70k miles,) the car has been good. I have two major complaints and they are an oil leak that my dealership has not fixed, and that would cost me too much to fix now. And rust appearing on the bottom seams on all four doors and the trunk lid. Other than that, my Contour has served me well. Unfortunately, I am getting older and at 6' 3" I am starting to feel like I need a bigger car.

20th Apr 2007, 16:20

I to was Cheated when buying a 1997 Ford Contour, It is like as soon as I got something fixed on it another thing broke on it. This car is 100% problems I can't stress that enough!!! My ford contour is also broke down sitting in my back yard now for 4 months so I think its going to the junk yard that's where they all belong.

4th May 2007, 13:17

So I just bought my 1996 Ford Contour about a week ago and it was fine the 5 minutes I test drove it, fine bringing it home soon after that. Made a trip and rolled down my windown and it decided not to go back up, so I had to drive 3 hours in the cold with my window down, got my oil changed, took it in no engine light on, got it back and there the flashing little sign was. Now I'm stuck with a car that I have to figure out how to take the door apart to try and get the window up... What a hassel of a car.

30th Jun 2007, 01:05

I have a 1996 Ford Contour, and until the last year and a half, everything has been fairly fine. I say fairly fine, because pretty much since I've owned it, I open the gas door by opening the trunk. I've gotten so "trained" doing this that it just seems normal.

Less than 2 years ago, the water pump went out. In this time I've had to replace it 4 times. Just keeps going out. The heating and cooling man might go nuts if he sees me pull up again.

Lately strange things have been happening. The knob that controls the force of the air sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. Sometimes you can turn the knob, sometimes you can't. Sometimes it's stuck on high.. sometimes low. It always makes life interesting, because I never know what to expect when I get it in.

It also has been dying a lot when I stop at lights or stop signs. I put on the brake, and it sputters a brief moment and dies. It also seems to be slipping gears in the mornings when I accelerate, but not once the car has warmed up.

Last week suddenly the CD player, clock, and interior lights don't work. I'm crossing my fingers, and hoping it will give me one of more year before I'm forced to go car shopping. It barely has 70,000 miles on it, so here's hoping.

3rd Sep 2007, 10:17

I have a 95 Contour and have very few problems with it. Bought it with 36,500 miles, and now it sits in my driveway with 172,000 10 years later. The only problems I ever had were, Oxygen sensor (changed myself-$30), cup holder broke about 4 yrs after I bought it, and a clogged catalytic converter (from the bad oxygen sensor) and the A/C compressor just took a dump 5 months ago. It has a 5 speed transmission that is still as tight as it was the day I drove it off the lot. Which for the miles on it, is astounding to me. It is not the prettiest car, I haven't taken the best care of it over the last 3-4 years, but I would have no problem driving it anywhere.

11th Sep 2007, 23:55

I have 2 cars with the same problem. A 1995 Contour which stumbles or dies when you stop at a red light. The other day it died and would not start, after sitting for a couple of days it started up fine. The check engine light flashes off and on when ever it feels like it.

The other, a 1996 Mystique does the same things, but it would not start after filling it up with gas. I have scanned it, checked spark, fuel pressure, injectors etc. and cannot find any reason it will not run. I swapped the coil and wires with the Contour and they work OK.

I have been a mechanic for 20 years and cannot figure it out.

Just for laughs a friend (car salesman) told me today he talked to a customer today and she ownes a Contour which of all things does not run either.

12th Sep 2007, 09:05

I believe '95 Contours and Mystiques often had faulty electrical harnesses. Good luck.

24th Sep 2007, 15:50


Time to trade in. You had it for 9 years.

Try the door/ignition key on the trunk. Our key works on the trunk.

29th Nov 2007, 16:32

I bought my '96 SE new- I got the 5 speed manual. It's closing in on 100k and I still love the car (I guess I got a good one.) It's had it's share of repairs over the years- I've replaced most of the sensors and still have the check engine light coming on, and I had to have one of the struts replaced last year. I bought it because I wanted a small four door commuter that was fast, handled well, was comfortable and was plain enough to run under the radar- I didn't want a car with stripes and a big spoiler that said "ticket me." As such it car has lived up to my expectations. So far, I haven't seen any new car I'm eager to replace with, so I'm gonna hang on to it. As far as Contours go, the SE and STV were the models to get- the 4-cylinder's GL are boring by comparison.

15th Apr 2008, 11:19

1998 Ford Contour SE, 97K miles---bought it in 2000 with 30K miles. "Check Engine" light has been on for well over four years. The Ford dealership replaced the O2 sensor, but the light still stays on. After taking it in numerous times, we finally gave up on finding the source, and gave up on the dealership. Our independent mechanic, said there is no reason for it to be on and not to expect it to turn off. SOMETIMES, on a fluke, it will turn off, briefly, when I fill the gas tank. Aside from that, it has regular issues that may be due to it's age, like replacing the alternator, replacing the timing belt (recommended at 60K miles)... Our dealership said to expect the wiring harness to go, but our current mechanic, who likes Contours, disagreed. We have issues with the wiring for the rear driver-side signal light. Overall, it has had less repair costs than newer vehicles I have owned, but has visited the repair shop more often.

21st May 2008, 18:15

I also have a 1996 Ford Contour GL with an automatic transmission.

The problem it’s having is that the check engine light is on, and it needs to be restarted three times when it’s cold. Also, it dies at stop signs, stop lights, and basically when ever I have to bring the car to a stop while in gear, then when I re-accelerate normally it hesitates or dies. When I accelerate very slowly it won’t die.

I took it to the Schucks Auto Parts store and they read the code for the check engine light, and they said the only thing it refers to is that, it is running too lean.

All tune ups are current. However, when we first replaced the air filter, we noticed there was a lot of oil in the air box and on the filter itself. They said it was caused by so called blow-by, and they added heavier oil 20 x 50, and put in some STP oil treatment to help reduce the so called blow by.

Oh, there are a couple of engine oil leaks below, but I'm not sure if I want to put any serious money in to it to completely repair all the oil leaks after reading all the problems everyone is having.

But, if anyone knows how to fix the hesitation, which is probably related to the need for multiple starts in the morning, I would be very thankful to hear from you. I think if I could find a way to increase the RPM a bit, it may at least help it from dying at the stop signs.

Any thoughts? Besides getting rid of it! Thank you.