12th Dec 2009, 23:17


I have owned a '99 Cougar since Aug of '98 when I bought it now. I bought the 6 cylinder and Sport package because I wanted the extra ponies and I use them, as it has been driven hard over the last 11 years with 113000 miles on it.

The problems I have seen with the car is the wiring harness got blown twice (under warranty).

If the transmission jerks as you are topping out in second and let off the gas, there is a simple sensor on the front left tire that costs $14 to replace. The 'check engine light' problem is most likely the 02 sensor bank is failing and will run around $400 to fix.

The dimming headlights is normally a circuit board issue, though if other issues with power may indicate a need to replace the alternator.

My light switch module went out, causing the running lights and fog lamps not to work, but the headlamps still did. About $250 to have replaced with labor, the part you can get online for about $95 dollars if you want to do it yourself.

I also had to replace the passenger side window switch, which was cheap and easy after about 7 years.

Oh and my remote trunk release failed about a month ago, and I've had to replace the hatchback hydraulic lift arms. $55 each, but easy to replace.

I also had to replace 3 of the 4 motor mounts, but that's nothing new for me, I've had to do that on other cars because I push them hard.

And the antenna...

So yes, the Cougar does have some problems, but out of all the cars I have owned over the years (I'm 49), I have got to say I have liked the Cougar the best even with its problems, and will probably keep it for another year or so.

One note, if you have the 6 cylinder, do NOT buy cheap tires, make sure you buy ones properly rated for its performance level. You can shop around to find the as inexpensive as possible, but don't skimp.


Texas '99 Cougar owner.

19th Dec 2009, 19:30

We have owned 3 Cougars - still have 2. The flickering lights is a known issue that is actually a recall that can be found on the federal DOT website. It is a problem with the wiring harness going from the battery to the alternator. DO NOT replace the alternator because of surging lights. Total cost is around $35.

29th Dec 2009, 12:13

I have purchased my 1999 Mercury Cougar V6, new. I enjoyed being an owner of this vehicle. Currently my mileage is about 165,000.

However, I had not kept up with optimum maintenance and ignored the check engine light for about 2 years up until now.

I am at a point where I may need to replace my catalytic converters. Has anybody had this done? And, at what cost?

It has been difficult to get rid of the check engine light since so much is tied into it. My present mechanic believes it is time to consider new catalytic converters (3 each), since all other parts have been updated and the only errors noted, at this point in the check engine light test, are the converters. The O2 sensor, and other sensors before and after the converters check out fine.

Does anyone have any idea what it would cost to replace all the converters for this vehicle? And, should I go ahead and do this even though my car runs very well otherwise?

The present price quote I was given is an approximate amount of $2000 for two at the manifold, and the rear converter could wait until a little bit later, which would be less for that one.

Thanks for any feedback. I can be emailed at tmu0906@yahoo.com

31st Dec 2009, 22:02

The Mercury Cougar is plain and simply a piece of junk and should have never been made. I had a F150 years ago, nothing but problems, and I said I would never buy another Ford product. STUPID me, here I am with another piece of Ford junk!!!

11th Jan 2010, 17:28

I bought my '99 Cougar V6 in 2002 with 24K miles on it. I can truly say other than replacing tires about every 18 months, the left window gear box ($225) and a couple of batteries, it has been a good car.

Unfortunately, it is now at the Ford service dept getting the upper and lower intakes gaskets replaced. They said it would cost approx. $400 with parts and labor. I would like to know if this is a good price or am I getting ripped off!

P.S. My check engine light has been on for eight years. Even the Ford/Mercury dealer where I bought it couldn't get it turned off! Guess I'm used to it now...

11th Feb 2010, 21:31

The pastor of my church gave me and my wife our 1999 Cougar. I have read everyone's comments on this site, and can surely tell you that this car is a big turd. I love Fords and will always buy them till the day I croak.

I have replaced plugs, wires and ignition coil pack, and both intake gaskets. The next step is for the MAF sensor, oh by the way this car did not have its first service till 183,334 miles. It now has 186,648 on it.

It runs like crap and gets rreeeaaalllyy bad mpg, like 15 on the interstate. I had a 450 hp V8 1994 Thunderbird that got 30 mpg at 80 mph, and this thing only has a V6 rated at 125 hp at the fly wheel. But whatever, they are really good looking cars, but they just run like crap.

If I can't get this thing running a little better, then I am going to scrap it and convert it to rear wheel drive, and put a 4.6L V8 under the hood. Yeah I know, lots of work, but well worth it.

13th Feb 2010, 14:09

It is more interesting reading about these parts failures, and was thinking, the parts are bad, not the cars? Since all of the parts are the problems. The moon roof has a faulty track. All those alternators were bad off the shelf. I just replaced 2 on the car I had before I got the cougar. The first one was put in new/dead!! All these bad sensors? And EGR valves. I mean think people, how can all these cars have the exact problems unless they ran into bad batches of parts!

I do want to comment about the 22 year old who bought the 99 Cougar for 13k! All I want to ask is WHY? You could have bought a nice Mitsuhackshi Eclipse and paid most of it off for what you paid for the 10 year old car, which I have a feeling it is still getting the same faulty parts as all the others! And by now you are dealing with the same issues as the rest of us. I am going out to buy the Haynes repair book, so as to not have to pay the dealership these hundred dollar an hour fees.

Like I stated in another post, when my car is coded, there are 15 things to check that may be keeping the engine light from going out. So to the guy who said just fix the problem and get on with it? You have 2 grand I can borrow to cover every part the scanner said to check for problems? See, this way the parts will just all be new, and I won't have to put up with itemizing this parts bill with the mechanic, who by the way just made a killing off of me today for all the parts he got to put in my car! Changing a O2 sensor in the Cougar takes 15 minutes for a good mechanic to change out. But do you know how much they charge to do it? Or should I say the service manager.

See my dad was a master mechanic for a large Lincoln/Mercury dealership where I live, and even though he was one for 30 years, his schooling was never ending. Ford was always sending out the updated manuals for the guys to figure out what they wanted the to do next, and how long it was going to take. Dad could usually trim a lot of time of his installs. The service manager liked that. LOL it just got to the post where the SM tried to control who got what jobs; when a mechanic rubbed him the wrong way, they would hardly get any work for the day. That was like 20 years ago just before my dad passed. I sure hope it isn't run that way today.