15th May 2004, 20:47

I am laughing like crazy. I bought my Contour new in '96, loved the way it handled (I still do..) It drove me nuts though and I have just bought another car. The manifold is cracked, I have had all the big springs replaced and the tranny failed 3 months off warranty... I will have to re-educate myself to pay attention to engine warning lights since mine was on for the last 4 years. I finally gave in and bought another car when the car started to voluntarily slow down from 75 mph to 40 mph while on the highway... my driver's side window hasn't worked since 2002 and one never knows if the gas tank will open or not.. my kids have their friends get in the back seat from the left side since the right side squeal is so disconcerting...crazy, but I still love driving that car when all is working...

27th May 2004, 19:17

Owning a 1995 Contour with pretty much the same problems, this gave me a good laugh as well. As a music fanatic, it drives me crazy when my speakers decide to crackle/short out/play games with me. I've got the window film problem, as well as the back door squeaking. The panel with all the radio equipment and fan dials and whatnot moves around a lot, too, lots of fun. The passenger side window crank was broken last week. I think my brakes squeak now, too. When I'm putting the brakes on at a light or stop sign, the car shakes and I don't know why. And did I mention I have wonderfully irritating manual locks on top of that?

Aside from all this, though, I really love the car. It's very responsive (I drive manual), runs smoothly aside from the shaking, and it's a very cute teal color. This was my first car, and aside from the above complaints, it's been great driving it.

26th Jun 2004, 22:20

I too owned a '96 Contour - and loved it most the time. Unfortunately, it's just those little maintenance things that get annoying - and lead to the larger ones. I had my transmission overhauled 9,000 miles ago and then on my way to work it caused the poor car to break down. Come to find out from the AAA tow man, the Zetek engine was NEVER meant for AUTOMATIC transmissions!! Why does Ford do these things??

27th Feb 2005, 05:21

I owned--let me emphasize this--owned a 1996 Contour. What a piece of garbage. From day one (bought it used with 60,000 miles on it) the check engine light was on. I spent nearly $1400 dollars trying to get it shut off. No luck! at 90,000 mile I had to replace the motor and transmission. Got them out of a salvage yard and had them gone thru completely before installing. Once installed, the check engine light came back on. Spent another $800 dollars once again trying to get it turned off. No luck! Well to make a long story short, I spent thousands of dollars trying to keep it running. Last month it started up again. Couldn't keep it running... Check engine light started flashing at me. I took it to the Ford dealer who tried to sell me another car (LOL). I had enough of this money pit. Towed it to the local junk yard and got $25 bucks for it. Buy Ford and get what you pay for!

17th Sep 2005, 20:26

The crackling speaker can be caused by the speaker wires getting caught by the window glass. This is really only likely if aftermarket speakers have been installed and the installer didn't tie-wrap the wires to the speaker.

6th Feb 2007, 20:11

I own a 96 contour. I had the same problems with my Ford. The worst of all was while going on a speed of 45 mph I turn right to switch lanes to avoid a parked truck on left lane and the wheel locked, brake locked,car turn off and couldn't get it to start and came 2 feet away from hitting a double parked truck with my child in car plus end up getting it towed. I would never buy an american made car again.

19th Feb 2007, 11:19

I have a 98 contour which is now a lawn decoration. After the 7th battery, 6th alternator, wires, fuses and such, the dealer, alternator shop and Pep Boys all asked me to kindly not bring it back and suggested yet another "expert" to fix the electrical system. This was only one of the many many issues this car has had. Brakes, headlights, noisy hinges fried radios and speakers, yada, yada, yada, etc... I would love to get rid of the thing, but I'm afraid that selling it would entail me paying someone to take it off my hands.

JTO-Chattanooga, TN.

19th Feb 2007, 15:34

Don't you think it's a little extreme to "never buy an American made car again"? Don't you even care why it happened? Your brake locked up because you never had the brakes serviced, and the front disc brake caliper piston was so corroded that it couldn't retract when you let off the brakes. It was a 10-year-old car! Your new Toyota will do the same thing when it gets to be 10 years old and you've never serviced it. Another case of "I never took care of my car, and now it's a piece of junk!"

5th Sep 2007, 11:35

I agree with the previous comment!

I "OWN" a 1996 Ford Contour GL 2.0 and yes I have had several problems with it:

I have had to replace all the upper gaskets due to a blown head gasket caused when overheated which happened because of either a faulty thermostat or ECT (Engine Coolant Temperature) sensor. About 2 weeks after I bought the car I spent $800 dollar on a timing belt, serpentine belt, plugs and wires repair, I have replaced an alternator, and will soon be replacing the water pump. I "had" the crackling in one of my speakers, but found out it was due to the previous owner not knowing anything about stereos and speakers and blew them out.

My point is, the car is at 150,000 miles and I can bet that the previous owner didn't take care of anything and I am now paying the price, however me on the other hand, in 15,000 miles that I have driven it, I have had the coolant flushed and filled, 3 oil changes, 4 tires, all the needed repairs and generally I take care of maintenance and repairs at my first sign of trouble.

My contour "check engine" light was always on when I got it, but through codes and diagnostics it is now off after my latest repair. Any car can be junk if it's not cared for and serviced when needed. Plus over time they just start to break down, but to say that one car is crap over another, I cannot do that. I see all the negative posts about every car, so should we just walk and do away with cars all together? It's just nobody bothers to post the good comments, if everything is running fine and you have no problems, why take the time to post.

So I will be the one to post, yes I bought the car for $1200 bucks and have put into it $2500 or better, but the car is a great car. Was voted Motor Trends top car in its class for 3 years. Independently rated and reviewed by professionals on the years they were released and got rave reviews.

Just remember it's old and it's like you grandmother... It needs TLC and every now and again you have to scream at it so it can hear you :)