22nd Jan 2006, 16:06

I think some of your problems have a commonality. I bet the uneven tire wear and shimmying is related to your bearing issues. The bearing shouldn't have gone out after only a year, you should go to a different mechanic. When the wheel assembly is put back together, it's important to tighten the locking nut to the correct torque and follow the manufacturers directions on backing off the nut. The bearings also need to be packed correctly. If the bearings are not packed, or are even slightly loose, you will get failure and shimmying, leading to uneven tire wear. Everybody since 1925 has complained about not having the right size wrench, so that's one where you just have to suck it up and deal with it if you want to replace this yourself. The brakes making a god-awful noise is a sign that you should remove the drums and inspect the pads because the brake shoe rivets are probably grinding into the metal. This is your fault, not the car's, because brakes wear out and need to be replaced on every car. In general, it sounds like you are not taking very good care of this car. Everybody periodically sprays WD-40 on their door hinges, trunk and hood latches, and gas cap door hinges. That's just a part of owning a car.

31st Jan 2006, 16:51

I think you need to stop whining about your car, and start taking care of it. It's not ford's fault that all this is happening to you, it's the owners fault. You should have made sure that everything was good before you bought it, and if it was, then you should have taken better care of it.

3rd Feb 2006, 21:03

You're all giving Ford way too much credit. I own one of these magnificent wonders of engineering and there's more recalls on it than I've ever seen on any car. For one ALL ($2000 worth) of the wiring on these cars was recalled because in slightly humid, wet, or cold conditions, the wires crack and degrade causing shorts and fires. Besides this, there is two other recalls for components that show tendency to start fires. The doors creaking is very common, same with the gas cap and blower motor. I've also had to replace both wheel bearings along with the ball joints, but they haven't gone bad since. The thing with the temperature sensor happens on all Contours - they either read one extreme or the other - after replacing it twice, mine still reads sub-zero temperatures. The EGR valve always goes out along with the O2 sensors - it is easier to ignore the Check Engine light or reset the computer than to keep replacing them. You should all give this guy a break - every person who owns one of these has the same problems, regardless of how they've taken care of it.

25th May 2006, 12:50

I also own a 1996 ford contour and nearly everything this guy has listed has gone wrong with my car. I'm actually paying about $1900 to get the ball joints and wheel bairings replaced along with the water pump and timing belt. My doors creak and my engine light is on with the same EGR problem. The car is great besides the problems. This is also the second wheel bairing I have had to replace within a year.

26th May 2006, 15:46

I was fortunate enough (or perhaps not) to be given one of these cars. A couple of fellow students were returning home to Norway, and just gave me their 1996 Ford Contour to get rid of it. The car had trouble starting, and once it did, it would idle rough. If you pressed the accelerator, it would begin to stall. Once it warmed up a little, you could press it and nothing would happen for a second or two, then the engine would rev.

The first thing I noticed was that the wiring harness for the electronic fuel injection was a fire hazard. ALL of the insulation on the wiring had come off. Everything was short circuiting. I asked the dealership how much a replacement would cost. I laughed in the guy's face when he told me... $650!!!

I went across the street to Walmart, bought two rolls of 18 gauge wire and a roll of solder. I rewired the thing myself and it's just as good as new. Next came the fuel filter. It was horribly clogged so I replaced it. I also replaced the spark plugs as they looked like they needed to be changed out as well.

After all this, the car is still running very close to the way it was when I got it. When you first start it, it stalls if you press the accelerator, and once warm, it hesitates before revving. Once it's revving at around 3000 rpm, it seems as if it's missing.

Does anyone have an idea of what expensive part I need to replace to make this thing run right?


27th May 2006, 13:16

I purchased my Contour for 2800.00 and tripled the amount paid out in repairs.

I had 3 O2 sensors put on - blew them all immediately. Also had new 4 agr valves, and 2 air flow mass sensors to get rid of the humming sound. Well it won't work per Ford dealer. There is a specific part that the dealer has for 250.00 to get rid of the hum-vibration.

I also had my transmission rebuilt to get rid of the overdrive light that did work!

Had the fuel line replaced - that got rid of the leakage of fuel being dumped, and allowed for the car to become more efficient.

Had the wire harness unit replaced because it was all burned up later (found out there is a recall on it), and now I too have a rough idle at cold start, then as the car is running, it goes away. Well this is the intake manifold - I found mine warped.

If anyone has ever had their upper and lower gaskets replaced like me several times, if this is not torqued sequentially, it will warp the intake, and it won't get the proper air or fuel needed, which in turn causes a rough idle.

I am currently looking for a recall that was never announced for the humming sound and intake manifold on the engine, which is a Mazda engine if you have the V6.

I have put 4,000 into my Contour and currently it's in the shop now for the intake. I will let you know if it solves the rough idle problem.

8th Jun 2006, 13:06

It's me with the *free* car again... I got everything sorted with the EFI wiring, and Advance Auto was kind enough to do an OBD2 check for free. It turned out the Mass Airflow Sensor was bad. I replaced that.. at $100. I was still having a problem with overheating though.

I discovered that wiring for the elecrtic fan on the radiator was all cracked and short circuiting. I replaced all of this and it STILL won't come on when the car is beginning to overheat. There is no Check Engine light on. But I have to assume that it's something to do with a sensor gone bad. I'm drawing a line at replacing more sensors for this piece of junk. I'm just going to hot-wire the fan to the ignition switch so that whenever the engine is running, so is the cooling fan. I really miss the old days when they used engine driven fans.

Oh, and for those naysayers out there... there most certainly IS something wrong with the wiring of these cars. The entire wiring harness is cracked all to hell. There are bits of wiring insulation all over the place. This car is a rolling fire hazard and how Ford managed to get a limited recall on it instead of a LIFETIME recall... I will never know. I can only assume that somebody important in Government Safety got their pockets filled with enough cash to allow them to pull that off. In any case, Ford will never get another penny from me!