29th Nov 2005, 07:49

Scrap it. Replaced the transmission at $3000, Catalytic converter went not too long after (check engine light on all the time) - $1200 to fix because the labour. Sold it to a buddy for $300, he replaced the Cat, still won't pass emissions. Also experienced the same brake problems. Now I drive a problem-free Civic.

3rd Dec 2005, 00:19

I'm the person that wrote the original review. I'd recommend getting rid of it if it has any sort of tranny problem. Might want to wait until whatever warranty you might have received on the repair runs out.

5th Aug 2007, 18:06


Have a 1998 Contour SE. All the engine wiring insulation falling off them. Needs new entire engine wiring harness. am told they are obsolete and there was a recall and replace of the engine wiring harness up until 1997. 1998 seems to be an obsolete orphan. all this happen at approximately 120,000. If you have one still running I highly recommend you get rid of ASAP.

Loved the car until this happened and am still searching for wiring harness.

10th Aug 2007, 17:44

I also had transmission failure on my 99 Ford Contour and put enough money in to buy two new cars off the lot. Its not worth the money to have a Contour.

21st Nov 2007, 08:50

Hi I am looking for some advice. My brother gave me his ford contour this past June (2007). I brought it to the mechanic because it was in need of work. I dropped 900 to get it on the road this was oil change something with the axle ect I think a few others can't recall at this time. Then the car decided it was in need of a starter and soon an alternator. To bring my free car up to a total of $1600. The car has 146,000 miles on it and decided the transmission would go. I have been quoted at 1800-2200 for the transmission and a 12000 mile warranty. So the car is pretty much worthless for a trade in or private sale since it had to be towed ($60) to the garage, another $70 for the diagnosis if I choose not to get the work, and another $60 can be added back on for the tow home if it is not fixed.

Or do I take the 2200 and put it on a lease for the next three years. So I will have a car payment for $200, plus insurance, cost of registering the vehicle. I do not want to buy used because all they will quote me at is a 12% interest rate and cars with high miles. I just bought a house last feb and debt ratio is not so hot, but, and I won't have much money if I get a lease. It's a gamble, Please let me know your opinions this would help me... Oh and my birthday is in September so my other concern is the state emissions and if the contour will pass next year. Thanks!

22nd Nov 2007, 07:17

I purchased a Ford Contour GL Sport edition in March. I took it to a franchise mechanic and only a few things were wrong that I was able to get fixed. However I do notice that in winter it seems like its shaking a little; does anyone know what this could be?

Also the drivers side visor is broken, and both the seller and myself are having a hard time to find a replacement visor, and on days that it's sunny I don't like to drive because of the sun. Does anyone know where I can get this part?

And you guys are so right, the car is comfortable, but I would feel much better if I had my visor replaced. Please help me find one.

26th Nov 2007, 16:05

You need a visor! Your best bet is to call a junk yard. Have make, model and interior color information when you call. The "automotive recycler" in our town will find the part and call back. Then they have it on the shelf for me. That saves time and money.

26th Nov 2007, 16:20

To 8:50.

I personally would not get the contour fixed again. Talk to your bank or credit union and see if you can buy a decent used car for about $5000. Your 2000 and the bank's $3000. If that doesn't seem reasonable look for a "sleeper". Crown Victoria's and Chevy Impala's are very reliable as long as they have been serviced. You should be able to find an older one with your $2000 and they can last for extremely high mileage. Read the reviews. Law enforcement and taxi companies use them because of their durability. Have the used car inspected by an independent mechanic prior to purchase. A few years down the road you can have a home equity loan and buy a fresher vehicle.

Don't get me wrong I like my wife's Contour. But it has only 80000 miles on it.

27th Nov 2007, 08:41

To 8:50, 21st November:

I would say that you should shop around for a better price on a rebuilt transmission. I would guess that you went to a certain nationally known brand of transmission shop, with their "$70 diagnostic fee that will be waived if you decide to rebuild"? It's a scam. They are notorious for saying you need to have the transmission rebuilt whether you need it or not, and the waived diagnostic fee is just a come-on. If you look around, you can find an honest, independent shop that will rebuild your transmission for less than $1,000. At that point, I would say it's worth it to keep the car. Pay the $70 fee as a good lesson learned, and find a cheaper place.

The rest of your repairs don't sound that unreasonable for such a high mileage car. Starter, alternator, oil change -- this is all to be expected on a high mileage, older car. You could have saved yourself money by changing the starter and alternator yourself. Invest in a Hayne's Manual and learn how to do some of this on your own, and it will save a lot of money.

If your credit is not too hot, the last thing you need is another loan for another used car that will like as not also need repairs before long. Nurse this one along and save money, and take control of learning how to do some repairs yourself.

27th Nov 2007, 14:40

If it were me, I'd sell the Contour for whatever I could get out of it and buy myself a dependable used car. No offense, but Contour was probably the worst car Ford ever churned out, so getting it fixed will only mean the likelihood of more repairs down the road. You've already personally experienced this yourself with the fact that it has needed a lot of repairs to start with.

A few good used cars come to mind, if you simply want to get from point A to point B reliably. Get a used Geo or Chevrolet Prism; they're good cars because even though they say Geo or Chevrolet, they're basically Toyota Corollas with different badges. But because they say Chevrolet, they have crappy resale value.

Either that, or get a mid-'90s Honda Civic or Toyota Tercel. Both are good econo-cars that seem to be indestructible. My wife has a '91 Civic and it just keeps on going and going. Bottom line: stay away from domestics because more likely than not, they're going to have problems and hence cost you more money down the line.

Lastly, if you do go with one of the cars above, buy it third party. That way you won't be paying extra dealership fees and so on. You can get used Prizms for $1,500-$2,000 easy.