16th Feb 2003, 17:13

Your engine running hot, burning coolant, your windows fogging up, and the bad smell is obviously a faulty heater core. The head gasket can be contrbiuted to overheating caused by the coolant leaking from your heater core. As for your other problems typical for a contour or any ford for that matter. I myself have 98 contour. I have been very lucky. 135000 miles with no problems, except for the oxygen sensor.

14th Mar 2003, 01:01

I also have a 1996 LX. I loved it when I first got it and had no problems for quite some time. However, as soon as one thing went bad, the whole thing went to crap. Do not waste your money on one of these pieces of junk. I will never buy another Ford for as long as I live. My family has had a number of Ford vehicles, and all they do is cause problems.

First, my shifting went crazy, my overdrive light began blinking like crazy, and it would start to stall. The the speedometer completely stopped working and then would go from 0 to 100 when I was going 25. I found out there had been something like a recall, only it does not have to be fixed or advertised that there is a problem. However, if you do catch the problem, they have to fix it for free. I found out the harness needed replaced and all of my wires had melted together. It is hard to put in park, the windows always fog up, its starting to leak something (oil maybe). Also, the engine light always seems to come on, but every time I get it fixed, it goes right back on. The Ford dealers are con artists too. They broke a couple of things in my car and then charged me to fix them. They also did not put everything back together properly. Also, when I pop the trunk, the gas tank opens. The rotors and brake pads have been replaced a number of times. The only thing I do like is the peppy V6 and moonroof. Cupholders-junk, they broke after a couple of weeks after having the car. PIECE OF JUNK! Good thing they no longer make them!

17th Apr 2003, 09:08

I bought my 1996 Ford Contour in 1997. It had 22,000 miles on it at the time. It now has 160,000 miles on it.

I have had several recalls on the vehicle. The cup holders broke and I had them replaced and they broke again. I was told that they do not make the same cup holders any more and that it will cost around $120.00 to get them fixed, with a different style of cup holders of course. (My Contour has the double cup holders and they only make single cup holders now.)

My over-drive light began flashing at 130,000 miles. As long as I "baby" it, then it will not mess up. I have to leave the over-drive off when going through town and do not take it on long trips or mountain roads. When the light comes on, the transmission will start shifting hard, almost as if it is jumping through some of the gears. If I cut it off for a minute after the light starts flashing, then it will sort of reset itself. It will continue to shift hard for a few miles, but will eventually smoothen out.

My check-engine light just came on this morning on my way to work. So, I guess I am wondering what will be next???

I love the way my Contour handles and it has great gas mileage. It is fun to drive. It has never left me stranded on the side of the road. (I almost have it paid off, so I expect more things to happen...) It has a lot of "pep" to it most of the time, but sometimes it can be "sluggish" when I take off, or when trying to pass someone.

Sometimes I wonder... "Was it worth the money that I have paid for it?"

21st Apr 2003, 23:33

Glad to hear people having similar problems with their contours too, well not glad, but happy I am not the only one. I am the author of the original review and just wanted to add a few things on. Now my rotors and ball joints all need to be replaced, my gas tank does not open at all except from the trunk--the over drive on/off keeps flashing, as does the check engine light and now the airbag light as well--keep in mind I havne't hit anything so there is no reason that the airbag light is flashing--also my wires melted together and for some reason carbon deposits keep getting on some sensor causing the thing to die--needless to say I have been stranded a couple of times. The advice my mechanic (actually several mechanics) told me was to get rid of it while I can... wish me luck.

29th Jul 2003, 08:28

We just bought a 96 Mercury Mystique real cheap as of course it needs a tranny. It has the 2 liter Zetech motor. It runs, but only drives in reverse at present. It has 150K on it. We are beginning to wonder what we got ourselves into and we have yet to even drive it. Scary huh? I am glad I read all this info. I am a ford woman. I have a 94 F-160 I6 and the 90 horsepower 1.9 Liter Escort. Both have been dreams and both have 170K on them. The Escort is a CFI too. Now lets see if I can make the Mystique turn out to be a dream too, though I don't see that as being very promising. Lets just hope so. I guess I will always want to push my Ford rather than drive a Chevy no matter what happens. I have blown up countless Chevys and lets face it, you never see any late chevys on the road.

13th Nov 2003, 01:14

I just found this website tonight and I must say, I have been rolling with laughter as I've been reading the comments about the Ford Contour. I too own this heap on wheels and I've experienced so many problems with it. So, what can I say about my car? My anti-lock breaks kick into gear if there is the slightest bit of moisture in the air, my gas tank does not open except through the trunk, and I too have been experiencing problems (just recently) with my car stalling while idling. My car randomly shakes while I'm accelerating, which is quite exciting when I'm driving on the highway. Appearances are deceiving with this car. I'm in college and everyone always comments on how nice my car is... But all of us Contour owners know the truth!

16th Feb 2004, 14:53

This is great, I thought I was the only one with this problem. I bought a 96 Contour in 2000. Its been 4 years since I've had it with no problems except for the car running extremely hot and no one can seem to fix it. But just recently I went on a trip upstate (5 hours) and halfway through my ABS light goes on, and right after my overdrive light starts blinking and it begins to shift harder. Then when I pulled over, shut the car off, got food and turned the car back on, the overdrive light stopped blinking and everything was fine! Yet it happened again with the overdrive light and the shifting on the ride back home. A few days pass, no problems again, until today after only driving 20 miles!! I'm not sure if this is a sign that my tranny is going or what!! But my car seems to be slowly dying on me.