I don't understand why a mechanic would loosen or change headbolts when changing a timing belt, there is no reason to loosen or change them. I also don't understand why transmission lines have to be changed when changing out a radiator, there is no reason to change them.
You guys are getting ripped off by your mechanic's big time. A Mass Airflow Sensor is very easy to change out and it only costs $92.00 dollars at Advance Auto Parts Part Number Part Number: 29028...look around. You don't need a brand new one. They'll check your computer for codes also. Check your water temp. sending unit (follow the top radiator hose to the block), if this sensor is bad it will make your MAF seem like it is bad.
Lots of luck.
I have a 1995 Ford Contour. It is a great looking car and I have had it for two years. I drove it for almost 2 years before having any problems. The only problems I have had are "wiring" problems (corroded wires) and problems with the little black distribution box "beside the battery". I put a new alternator on it today and I am still having the same problem. It is running off of the battery. Mechanic says that there is a problem in the "little black box". Is this car worth fixing? Do I need to replace the wire harness?
Ford Contours are a joke! Yeah they're all right looking cars, rather cheap if you ask me.
Americans have never made a good sub compact. You should sell the thing as soon as it is fixed and check out a Honda Accord or Toyota, you might get 200k rather trouble free and have a nicer car.
Trust me! When you're looking for good middle of the road transportation, go for a Honda or Toyota. However all cars break at some point. Good luck!!
It appears that the only the '97 and the 2000 models of the Contour/ Mystique are less prone to problems.
The wire harness can be patched up by replacing the plastic insulation with electric tape and silicone sealant. I don't know about the little box. If you want to replace that, check with O'Reillys and similar parts stores to see if you can get one with lifetime warranty.