22nd Feb 2009, 18:52
Cougars are poorly designed and are for enthusiasts only, people that love the style and are dedicated to preserving this species from extinction.
Owning one of them is like having a stunningly beautiful girlfriend that also has a bipolar disorder and constantly complains and makes scenes for no reason.
Sometimes you want to dump her, but then you look at her, soften up and just let it slide, but you can't change her unless you are a competent, resourceful car enthusiast fix/modify the crap out of her and then NO PROBLEM!
3rd Nov 2009, 19:07
Yep same old problem with my 2001 Cougar too. Mercury should be very proud that they have built such a lemon and make their customers pay for it. A sad day for American autos..
30th Dec 2009, 19:28
Same here with my 2000 Cougar; just changed the alternator for the 2nd time, still have the same battery light and stalling problems.. This car is really a black eye for Mercury.. I will unload it as soon as I can get the battery light off and find a sucker to fall for this fake piece of JUNK..
F.O.R.D. Found On Road Dead - is the motto..
2nd May 2010, 23:19
I agree with everyone up here!... I have a 2000 Mercury Cougar... it was great when I first got it, but now I just wanna drive it into a river somewhere... I too am experiencing (right now) the flashing battery light.
I have replaced the alternator twice... my power steering has gone out on me while driving it... I've replaced the transmission... motor mount... plenty of hoses.
Just recently had to fix the EGR valve. Had to have the DPFE sensor replaced along with a few other sensors... I'm ready to get rid of this thing!
16th May 2010, 20:58
I just bought a Mercury Cougar 2000 for my son. He had just replaced the alternator due to the same problems as other people are having. If there is no recall on this problem, I will go after the company if something happens to my son due to this problem. That's a lawsuit waiting to happen.
14th Jun 2010, 10:24
2000 Mercury Cougar.
We have experience of many of the same problems as noted here. We have two of these cars -- 2000 Automatic and 2002 CZ model, 5 speed.
We have put three new alternators in the 2000 car, and just recently the battery light started flashing again. Not sure if there is a design flaw here, or if it is just poorly built. In addition, we have had to put new motor mounts in the car, and redo the AC setup. Seems to run fine, but does eat up tires. We are on our third set already. Do like the styling, ride and handling, but the reliability leaves something to be desired.
Like a sucker, we went and bought a second one, a 2002 Mercury Cougar, before the problems started on the 2000 one, largely due to the driveability and excellent fuel economy. We average in the high 20s, and on trips can get low 30s. So far the 2002 model has been great. Maybe they figured out the problems by then. No major problems except some hesitation in the fuel delivery system. Heard FMC is doing a courtesy recall on the fuel delivery problem. Wonder what is ahead for us.
Would like to keep these cars as collectors but suspect that their days are numbered and might even consider an Asian model in the next round of purchases -- Hyundai or Toyota...
20th Nov 2010, 06:17
I have also replaced 3 alternators. Paying hundreds of dollars. The dealership has been no help. Just keep telling me it is a bad alternator. I have been stuck in traffic too many times to count and have had it towed over my limit for AAA. Not fun. The flickering lights, flashing battery. I guess it is time to call it quits for this car.
4th Jan 2011, 11:58
Well let me start off by saying that I love this car (2000 Mercury Cougar V6), well the body style anyway... I've owned it since 2002 and when we got the car, other than it having a salvaged title it was great.
Over the years, I've gone through alternator after engine mount after starter. It's 2011 now and I'm going through a really crappy problem where my car either has an electric short somewhere or a bad ground or God knows what, but I've been going through alternators within days... No solutions other than to go to a new mechanic or just get rid of the junker!
I wish they sold this shell of this car on top of a Honda! :(
18th Oct 2011, 09:41
2001 2.5 L V6... same thing guys. At idle the thing doesn't put out full voltage. When driving normally, it charges. Put a load with the lights and radio, and it drains bad at stop lights.
Instrument cluster don't quite work right. Battery light comes on. Does the dim/bright/dim/bright thing too. Ordered a used alternator from eBay. Isn't there a "farm boy" method where we could just put in a voltage regulator?
I just charge the battery at night and drive to work daily. It stays charged in day trips. Why isn't there a recall and solution on this!!!? I love this little car though.
18th Jan 2012, 12:47
I bought a 2000 Cougar this summer for my daughter. It had the same flicker problem everyone else seems to have. I found a service bulletin that says the battery harness had a defective crimp in one of the connectors. We had this replaced at the Ford dealer, and the problem is gone for now. Hope this helps.
25th Feb 2015, 03:47
The problem was addressed by Ford and is well known to Cougar enthusiasts. The culprit is Ford using too thin of a gauge wire in the alternator regulator circuit (the wire going from the alternator to the battery). This wire is supposed to regulate the power output of the alternator based on the voltage/current draw of the battery/electrical system; the small size of the wire produces resistance and a delay in the signal. It is the delay of the alternator regulator circuit that produces incorrect voltage output of the alternator back to the battery, causing a flickering effect. Ford's position is that this will only cause annoying flickering, however I believe (and it's somewhat obvious) this causes other problems over time due to strain on the electrical system in general, as well as to the alternator itself. The simple fix is to follow the tutorials online to upgrade the alternator regulator wire to a larger gauge wire. Hope this helps.
Interesting fact, the motor in the 1998 3.8L V6 Ford Mustang, is the same motor as is in the 1984 3.8L V6 Mercury Cougar.
Interesting fact, the 2.5L Ford Duratec used in the 2000 V6 Cougar, was one of the highest rated engines of its time, and was said to be the primary reason Ford had such good sales that they did not participate in the auto bailout as did many other manufacturers.