My car has the same problems. My check engine light was on for a long time. No one knew what was wrong. It ended up being the gas cap (funny huh?). There are several things that are wrong with the 1999 Cougars. I read a review on consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com that helped me to save a lot of money, and not going back and forth to the repair shop. I also find that the newer Cougar parts seem to last longer. Try to get your electrical system checked, IAC valve checked, DPFE checked, coolant tank, and blower motor checked. It's probably something minor. I'd hate for you to get frustrated, like I did, and spend money for nothing!
I too am going through the problem where my car is not passing the emissions test. I just got my O2 sensor replaced, BUT I also need a intake runner control? Whatever that is. I too have had several run ins to the dealer. I've had a fly wheel, alternator, tires and several other things that I can't remember to name. But it's been a problem car since I bought it, but it's almost now WAY TO late to get rid of it. So I pray and keep going.
I have a '99 cougar. Not problems. Works great, but again the check engine light has being ON for months. I took the car to two different car shops, between three months time, and any of them was able to find the cause of the problem. The last one said it could be the gas cap needs to be tied.
I too have had issues with the check engine light. In May 2004 the 02 sensor, mass air flow sensor, and intake manifold runner control was replaced to the tune of $2,500 (after I already pumped in $2,700 for a new transmission at only 65,000 miles and another $500 for the 3 alternators that had to be replaced within a one-year span. Just this past week my check engine light came on again, right before emissions testing was to be done. The Ford mechanic's initial assessment from the On Board Diagnostic was that both catalytic converters were bad. It didn't make sense that both would go out at the same time, so he delved a bit further. Without much of an explanation he returned my car with the check engine light off and stated that the computer needed a few "updates" and that it would pass "smog" now. It did. I have been trying to find out what these updates are that he was talking about.
I received my 1999 cougar as a graduation present from high school in spring of 2000. As excited as I was I had no idea what I was in for. Make a long story short, after 4 years of ownership I have replaced multiple sets of tires, a blown timing belt after 50,000 miles, an electrical short in my steering column that caused my headlamps (brights included) to fail, replace the gas cap, and have had to had two transmissions installed. The first transmission went out after 70,000 miles and about 2 weeks after my one year warranty on that was up, the torque converter went. I am writing this because on my way home this evening, I noticed that my check engine light was on yet again, and frankly I'm scared to think what it could be.
All of these problems sound horribly familiar. In just the past week I've replaces the mass air flow sensor, 2 O2 sensors, and had the throttle body cleaned. While driving home from work today the evil little light returned. I feel your pain. On the bright side, the blower motor resister switch was also replaced, making the temp. much more bearable; and it only cost me 60$! Otherwise, I do really love this car. If they ever make a new model I'll definitely look into them, but not without some serious consumer report facts and figures.
Wow! I am happy to know that I am not the only one with these problems. I have a rather long list of repairs myself. Just yesterday I had my alternator replaced at a cost of $168 for the part and $67 for labor. I never thought that I would have to take my car to a mechanic to have the alternator replaced, however, the Cougars' is buried deep in the tight areas of the engine capartment
(like everything else). The track for the sunroof broke and will cost $1000 just for the track. The front wheel bearing was replaced, tensioner pulley for the belt, breaks and rotors, O2 sensors, plugs and wires and the electrical relay for the driver side window (twice). As for the check engine light, CHANGE YOUR GAS CAP to one that does not require a key to access. My '99 Cougar was purchased used with 40K and now has 60K. I finally have the car in working condition--for now.
I have the same problem with check engine light on. Mine shuts off every once in a while. As for the expensive tires, I recommend looking online. I found a high performance tire for under $100 a tire. Under 400 for a set with S&H at tirerack.com. It's cheaper than cheap Firestone tires, which cost about $135 a piece.
I'll just get to the point. 3 alternators in 2 months, starter, fuel filter, and the car will currently not move... nobody seems to know whats wrong with it. oh yeah my sunroof is broken as well. DO NOT BUY A 99 MERCURY COUGAR! I don't recomend 1 to anybody.
My mercury cougar currently has 120,000 miles on it. When I purchased the car in 2002, it only had about 45,000 miles.
In that time my sunroof also broke. However there were markings on the sunroof, the top of the car, and the seals that suggested someone tried to pry it open. So, with full coverage I paid my $100 deductible and the problem was fixed.
I have had no problems with going through tires. With all the miles I have put on my car I have only replaced tires once. I purchased new tires shortly after getting the vehicle. My car was a corporate car before my ownership so I assume it was driven hard by lots of people. The interior of the car also suggests this as there are holes worn through the carpet as well as cigarette burn holes every where.
I am a girl who prefers to do things myself, so I have been doing regular oil changes myself using quaker state oil and fram oil filters. I have had no problems with the check engine light coming on.
To date the only part I have had to replace is the air control valve. That part went bad causing the car to idle very slowly. As soon as the car was put in drive/reverse it would stall.
I am having some problems with shaking right now. When the car is in Over Drive (only that gear) it will shake when it reaches the point just over 2000 rpm's. Accelerating or Decelerating will cause the vibration to stop, but it will come back.
I have yet to put my car on a computer to have it checked, but luckily I have a friend at a ford dealership who will do it for free, and replace parts I purchase for me at a small "donation."
I have been told that it is the Torque converter going bad, but we'll see. If it is I'm considering going to a junk yard for a used one as I know it is an expensive part.
All in all it has been a good car with no major issues considering the mileage and how I drive it.