18th Jun 2011, 08:30

I would start with the easiest, cheapest things first... which you have... then start with the next easiest do it yourself stuff...

The intake is easy to do... start with the air cleaner and work toward your fuel injection system... get some cleaner for the sensors next to the air cleaner, then the runner to the throttle body.. sometimes these things carbon up... just takes time, and sometimes those components just need a good cleaning... After that, you might look at the fuel pump and make sure that is working properly...

21st Jun 2011, 01:14

Hi, Cougar owners. I have been reading all the comments on the Cougar/Contour/Mystique problems and issues, and am thinking "wow, there are a lot of bad Cougars out there".

However, we bought ours brand new at a Mercury dealership in Oregon, and have had minimal problems with it so far. Sure, we have had the alternator issue, the first one went out at under a year and a half, and was replaced under warranty... the second died back in 2005, and the third during our winter of 2010. And other than that, the only other thing was the resistance problem with the cable from the alternator to the battery, which made the lights start pulsating last year.

OH! That latch issue has always been with us; dealer replaced the two springs that push it up as you hit the inside release button. After that, as with the alternator, we started replacing those alternators and springs by ourselves (the alternator is fairly easy for the mechanically inclined - wheel off, tie rod end off and pushed aside, splash guards off, universal to remove bolts, alternator off, then reverse).

So aside from the pro-active maintenance of replacing the timing belt, oil changes and serpentine belts, it has been pretty darn nice to us, Going on 254,587 miles.

Ahh PS we bought a red Mystique at the same time, and the only problem that one ever had was the rubber insulation on the doors came off one hot day 4 years ago, and the timing belt broke one day out of the blue $321... (1999 Mercury Cougar V6/254,587 miles) (1999 Mercury Mystique V6 167,804 miles)

23rd Jun 2011, 08:36

Mystique V6 engines have a timing chain, not a belt. So it was likely the serpentine belt that broke. That would be consistent with the price you quoted.

These cars are better than their reputation. They can be excellent value if you can turn a nut. We have Contour which would be the cheapest and best car we had so far, even if it were totaled today.

25th Jun 2011, 14:36

OK, I recently discovered that the bolts that hold the S/C compressor on tend to leak oil, and everyone thinks it is an oil pan gasket. Have your mechanic remove the bolts one at a time and put sealer on them. That should stop the leak.

20th Jul 2011, 07:37

Had my cat converter cut out, and cleaned and welded at the muffler shop. Saved me hundreds; 240 bucks compared to brand new, like 700 and change.. good luck.

26th Sep 2011, 14:45

First off, you paid way too much. You got taken really bad. I bought mine for 1500, and it is in excellent condition.

13th Nov 2011, 13:55

I have a problem with the passenger door solenoid and lock. When I press the remote or passenger door lock button twice to lock or unlock the passenger door lock, the solenoid and lock repeatedly goes up and down several times, and only on rare occasion does it lock or unlock like it should. The majority of the time my passenger cannot unlock the door to get out, and is trapped.

9th Oct 2012, 09:50

I had the same problem; on full throttle acceleration, the car would act like someone muted the power. I found the intake manifold runner control to be bad. Took me 6 years to find it, after about 5 or 6 mechanics. Went to the junk yard, and found a car with same motor and removed the motor and printed circuit inside the IMRC module, and replaced the parts in mine, and bingo it worked. Now I can run the car with full power.

27th Dec 2012, 09:24

I'm 16, and I have a 99 Cougar.

After I tried replacing the radio, I tried to start the car and nothing. Not even a click. The brake and the gear shifter are locked up. Lights and everything still work, but the car just won't start.

8th Jan 2013, 22:14

I thought I did my research very well. I wanted the four cylinder 5 speed. I found one, and actually overpaid the KBB by nearly a thousand. Test drove it twice and it seemed like it was worth it.

It broke down the very next day. The O2 sensor was replaced, as were all of the seals and gaskets on the engine, but the problem was the timing. A little sensor that caused the timing to be off was $400. After they replaced it, the car would NOT go back in time. It took three weeks and two Ford mechanics to fix it. Engine has been fine since.

It passed inspection, then the check engine light came back. I am hoping it is not the catalytic converter issue everyone else is having. I can't imagine that it is.

In short order: clutch chatter. At the very least, the throwout bearing is bad. Lowest estimate: $1400.

I knew there was something weird with the suspension and planned on fixing that, tires, and usual maintenance.

We think the guy we bought it from had the computer cleared before the test drives, so it was just long enough for him to get the cash and be gone.

The body is in good shape, and I still love the look of the car. However, I am not an auto mechanic and this car belongs to someone that can put the work into it.

Selling at a loss if anyone is interested. 172K miles. beatlemyndee10@gmail.com

14th Aug 2014, 01:45

Sounds like the fuel pressure regulator. I had the same symptoms and they went away after I changed the regulator. It was dumping too much gas into the engine, wet plugs and hard start. I put a fuel pressure gauge on, and at idle the fuel pressure shot up to over 70 PSI.

10th Jan 2015, 01:00

I had this P1744 code on my 1999 Mercury Cougar. Tranny didn't need a rebuild at all. But that's what they ALL said. After months of research, I decided to just replace the valve body (and voluntarily did the torque converter, although it had nothing to do with the code). Much, much cheaper. I've put about 15k on the car, and the code has never come back, and it shifts great as well.

1st Oct 2015, 17:43

Try the inline fuse that runs from the alternator to the battery. It is a 5 dollar part. I went through almost the same thing. Told me it was alternator and it wasn't. Then it was the alternator wouldn't charge because of a bad cell in the battery. Then I bought a new battery and the alternator still wouldn't charge with a new battery. Then someone told me about the inline fuse. And that was it. After I changed that, the battery and alternator both would stay charged and my car would start again.