This car is junk and the fact that they made it or 5 years puts Ford in a very negative light.
Ford builds a bunch of junk: Contour/Mystiquw, Pinto, 2000 Ford Focus, Rangers, Festiva, ZX2. I can go on and on.
I made a mistake of owning a contour and thanks to that I will NEVER buy a FORD and I am happy about it.
I have a 1995, and two 1998 ford contours. the 1995 has been the best of the lot. Among the things replaced, the engine being the most expensive. Ford was unwilling to help in any part even though the problem was with a faulty installation of a frost plug heater. The car had been in on several occasions for recall items, but they did not check or replace the faulty frost plug. This resulted in a loss of cooling fluid and a ruined engine. After much discussion with ford and our local dealer it was decided to do absolutely nothing to help with the cost of installation of a new or reclaimed engine. the vehicle had 46,000. miles on it at the time. As a result I nor my children will never own a ford. My best advice is if you own one contour, or other ford product, you might want to buy an extra model of the same year for parts. You will need them! In the past I have owned all fords having as many as six at one time. Neveragain. I now own Toyotas and Hondas wonder why. Oh by the way it cost me $450.00 to replace that engine with a used one of the same mileage and a weekend of time.
I have owned a 98 Ford Contour for 3yrs and already had to replace two alternators. Now the Catalytic Converter and of course Ford made it impossible to find this one for this car. It always seems like they are playing a Monopoly game in the car field. Everyone wants an arm, leg and a eye for the Part. Well it has changed my mind about Ford. I know there are problems with cars, but, the problems I seem to have are not maintenance, they make sure only the dealership gets to work on your car!!! And they wonder why there are so many cars in the junk yard. Lets not make sense and create something that can't or is too expense to be fixed and returned to the running status. No lets put more trash on the streets more not willing to run cars.
People I talked with have either been very lucky or very unlucky with Contours. That tells me that the problem is with Ford's build quality, and not with owner maintenance. Common weak spots: auto trans (especially 1 - 2 shift BANG), rear suspension clunk, plastic water pump impeller breaks and car overheats, and poor lubrication can fry the engine (usually the SVT model). You would be taking a chance buying one. Some work can only be done at a dealer. These are NOT cheap cars to work on, and their resale value does not justify it.
I hear ya on the 1-2 shift BANG. I was having that problem since I got mine, ignored it for awhile until the transmission (automatic) couldnt get into 5th gear, resulting in 4000RPM's while driving 50MPH. Got this fixed by the dealer at a heafty sum of money, said it was good to go, (the check engine light was previously on, it was now off). And I swear to you the check engine light came back on on my way home from the dealer. The transmission completely crapped out a few months later, (less than 80,000 miles on the car), once and for all convincing me that the Contour is crap, and that the folks who worked on the transmission had no clue what they were doing. Avoid like the plague.
I have a 98 Contour Se. It has cause nothing, but problems for me. I am amazed that it has lasted as long as this. I have replaced 2 timing belts in the past five years. My drivers side window will not open, and everytime I get it fixed, it breaks again! My check engine, and airbag lights are on. I had them checked at the garage numerous time, and nothing is wrong! I find the interior noise unbearable, and clunking in rear drives me nuts! All in all it has been a horrible experience, I have decided to buy a Dodge!
I have a 98 Ford Contour SE. I bought it about 3 years ago, About a year ago the timing belt went and was replaced, then it ran great for about a year. Just out of now where about a month ago now the pulleys went. These were very expensive to replace and the mechanic says that these cars are known for this so they sell the pulleys as a kit and cost about 300.00 plus labor. He also had to replace the timing belt again which was about 80.00 with labor. After I got the car back, I had to bring it right back because it still was not running right. This time he had to replace some sensors which cost me over $400.00. Well I had to take it back again and the machanic says that he had to replace the cam sensor which was about another 300.00 plus labor. Got my car back again and had to take it back, which is where it now sits again for almost another week and still no answer on what the problem it now. I have paid a lot of money out and I still don't have my car back. I sure would like to get some input on this and where to go from here. Everyone says that I should trade it in, but I have too much invested to do that. Don't know what to do.
I have owned many Fords and never had any problems like this before!!! I am kind of nervous about buying another Ford.
I would really welcome any advice at this time...
I am a college student almost two hours away from home. I have had a 98 Ford Contour SE for almost two years now.
It has always made some type of noise especially when it is in gear. The engine shakes and vibrates endlessly.
The things that have been replaced are brake pads, numerous times, pulleys, timing belt, alternator, power steering pump, and motor mounts.
The air no longer comes out of the vents, but from the defrost vents instead. No one knows how to fix that problem.
Also, my tires make a grinding noise whenever I turn the wheel.
The spark plugs are all covered in oil, so I have a blown head gasket.
I just do not understand why I am having these problems, because my car is well taken care of, being that my brother is a mechanic. The hood is always up on my car because he is always doing something to it. He told me that this car would cost more to fix and maintain it than I paid for it, and he was right.
I don't want another Ford unless it is brand new or it is given to me for free. These cars are not very reliable if you have to travel long distances everyday, or if you are away from home.
I will look into Honda's and Toyota's, I hear those are nice cars, especially for a college student like me!