- Oil sender went bad and started leaking oil twice. Once within the first 1,000 miles of owning the car, and again at about 30,000 miles. Both times it was replaced under warranty. I'm now at 57,000 miles and still working okay (knock on wood).
- "Check Engine" light came on at 35,000 miles. Took it into dealership and had to have the DPFE sensor replaced. I was still under warranty so this was covered. Apparently this is a common problem with 99-02 Cougars -- not sure if I would've gotten it replaced for free if out of warranty, though.
- Fuel pump went bad at about 38,000 miles, causing strong stuttering and hesitation when trying to accelerate when gas tank was under 1/4 full. Fortunately Ford issued a recall a few months earlier so I was able to get it replaced (with a new, modified design) at the dealership for no charge.
- Throttle body tends to stick every 6-8 months due to residue build up (this causes the accelerator pedal to stick when first pressing down). I fix it by cleaning it out with some carb cleaner and it only takes about 30 minutes, but it is messy and I'm not sure why it happens --- never had this problem with any other car.
- Coolant warning light is overly sensitive. If I park on an incline (i.e. uphill, even slightly), it will come on even though coolant level is at the max. I just ignore it, and once I park on a level surface it will turn off.
- So far all the problems I've had with the car have been covered under warranty or recall, and nothing major has gone wrong (no breakdowns on the road), so overall I have been pleased with the reliability of the car.
- If you are familiar with this type of car, nothing about it is particularly surprising.
-- Pros: Crisp handling, reasonable power (though it's not a fast car by today's 200+hp standards), good storage space in back due to hatchback design, front bucket seats are comfortable and supportive.
-- Cons: Rear seats are small and claustraphobic. Coupe design is very closed in and somewhat cramped. Steering is a bit too artificially heavy for my taste. V6 could use more power, especially when paired with the automatic.