The main reason these cars are so problematic is because they were built using the same platform as the Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique. Those cars are/were complete garbage so I am not shocked the mercury cougar is full of bugs.
My Daughter has a 99 Cougar with 40 thousand miles on it. We just had to replace the alternator last month, all dash lights, head lights, brake lights flicker unless you have the AC on full blast, and the head lights on, then it stops.
Can you help me out, why are the lights flickering?
If the car isn't driven for 4 days, why does the battery drain down? Even after replacing the alternator, if you let the car sit for 4 days, it will not start and you have to charge the battery.
Please help me fix my daughters car, she will be leaving for college in a few weeks!!
Wow, what I just read was a eye opener.
I've had my Cougar since 99, brand new off the lot. The check engine light has come on every so often, but like the manual states, I've filled the gas tank up... and it went off. I will say the one time it didn't go off, I thought it was the battery and/or alternator. I changed both twice, but the alternator sucked the life out of the battery. Came to find out, 20 bucks, some fuse between the 2 parts went, a fuse you can't see. It's wrapped up within a plastic tube.
In the past few months though, my engine races when I start it up, and it races until I get into about 4th gear. I think my clutch is going out, which at about 94,000 miles... should've gone out a long time ago. Anyone that has replaced their clutch, and drives their car without racing the gears.. let me know how many miles your clutch lasted??? Thanks... firstname.lastname@example.org.
I bought a 99 Cougar used from a private seller about 5 months ago. For the most part, so far, so good. The check engine light has been on for the last two months, and it came on (I think) because I had an oil leak that was clogging up the O2 sensor. I fixed the leak and replaced the sensor, and the light went out, but came back on again the next day. My local mechanic ran the code for the light and it basically came back as a phantom problem (i.e., it's just on, even though nothing is mechanically wrong). The car has been running superbly since I bought it, however. It is smooth and powerful. Initially, when I first start the car, it idles *slightly* rough, but I think that is because the O2 sensors haven't kicked in yet (supposedly they only work when the engine reaches its normal running temp.). That makes the car run in a sort of default mode, which has the rpm idle at 100-200 higher than it does when the engine is at its normal temp, and that causes the slight vibration. However, within 5 minutes (at most) of driving, the idle is perfectly smooth.
Also, I saw in one other post that someone was experiencing a squeakiness (presumably from the back wheels), and I actually have that problem too. I figure it's just the brakes, though, and I plan on replacing them with EBC green stuff brake pads (about $100 for the front and back sets together), which are supposed to be phenomenal. If it works, I'll be sure to write back and state so.
I'm actually really interested in modifying the car with cold air intake and various other performance parts, and I'd be interested in knowing if anyone has done that, and with what success. I'm thinking about the Weapon R dragon cold air intake (about $120) to start off.
As far as why my car runs well, I wonder if it's because I use the STP gas treatment with every fill-up, and the Gumout fuel injector cleaner every so often, as well. I also got a tune up somewhat recently, so that may have had something to do with it (although, it was running quite well even before the tune-up, so who knows?).
I've owned my 1999 Cougar for about 5 months and the check engine lights always on. I had it checked out and came up with.
P0402 EGR ECCESS FLOW
P0420 BNK1 EFF below limit
P1519 IMRC stuck closed.
When I would go past 3500rpm or 70+mph I would get a rotten egg smell.
Really don't have money to begin to fixing anything at the moment, so I just keep it under 35000/70+ and get no smell and it drives normal.
I also have had a few problems with my 1999 Cougar, but I have yet to fall out of love with the car. What I am wondering is if anyone knows how to manually reset the check engine light? I have to pass emissions soon and I am going to replace a faulty O2 sensor myself... plus I'm curious what my dashboard will look like with the light off, it's been on since I owned the car.
I currently reside in PA and I've had my '99 Cougar since August of '98. It has over 142,000 miles – accrued from highway driving, city driving, East Coast, West Coast, etc (even some time in Laramie, WY). I've owned the car since it had seven miles and I've had very few problems. My Cougar is a manual 2.5L V6. I thought I might be able to give some pointers to those looking to save themselves a few bucks at the garage. If you're mechanically inclined (even in the slightest), I would suggest buying a Haynes manual for a Ford Contour of the same year. Under the hood, the cars are essentially the same and the Haynes manual is great for troubleshooting and performing maintenance yourself. Also, rather than paying 80 dollars at a mechanic or car dealership for a diagnostic test, try Auto Zone (Advance probably does it, too) first – they'll give you a free diagnostic code readout. They'll also provide alternator tests and replace bad alternators for free (so you don't have to pay for a new alternator, which seems as though it's been a problem with some Cougar owners) as well as loaning out specialty tools to perform repairs. I have to agree that the tires are expensive and the choices are limited – the Internet is the best place to find cheap tires. Have them installed by a local mechanic. My windshield defroster vent also pops out when turned on "hi," but after nine years of ownership, a warped vent is forgivable (super glue or epoxy works great).
I had to replace the alternator and sunroof motor in my V6 99 Cougar a few years ago, fortunately the car was still under warranty from when I bought it new. Recently my check engine light was going on often, would go out and then back on. I had a mechanic friend check the code, and the O2 sensors coded. However, I had found somewhere on-line a recall notice about the fuel module. My Mercury dealer replaced the fuel pump module, free of charge covered by Ford/Mercury, and the engine light has not gone on since (that was about 4 months ago). Problem seems to be solved. Now I have a bad front wheel bearing now that needs to be replaced, the car has 99,400 miles. Other than these few items, I've had no issues... and still enjoy driving my car. I agree, tires wear out too soon, and are expensive.