1995 Contour GL

Hi,
I bought a *used* Contour in August...
Thought it was a nice car, cornering is nice, has nice power for a 4-banger, but that bitch has some serious issues...
-While cruising on the highway, I noticed a coolant odor, then it stalled on me (temp gauge never went past 3/4). Found out I ran out of coolant, the computer cut off the engine according to the mechanic (4-banger Zetec)
-It wouldn't start 1 week later. they changed the battery (I'm guessing I've been had, it would crank, but not start) -2 days after it was *fixed*, wouldn't start again. They told me it was flooded, changed the plugs, and it was fine for another week, until the water pump died (what kind of moron has the water pump driven by the timing belt?) -Had the pump replaced, along with the timing belt and the idler pulley (they were all original parts, dating from 172,000 KM) -2 weeks later, won't start. Now I'm getting the EGR and O2 sensor changed, they tell me they're flooding the engine.
I'm out 2,000$ already, the tranny is beginning to slip, sometimes it won't downshift.
I agree, I only paid 1,000$ for it, but I was expecting more than my 1.000$ Cavalier (that one never failed to start, nor had any tranny troubles)
It still needs some new rear bearings & brakes, new rear sway bars, and the heat exchanger is vaporising coolant.
I'm about to trash it.
(power doors froze on me at -2C too)
I understand it's a 10 year old car, but it's the crappiest, most stubborn POS I've ever owned.
(I miss my '79 351 T-bird...)
--

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If we look after our cars, we rarely (if ever) "run out of coolant"..... those morons at Honda (and many other "so-called better" marques) also run the water pump off the timing belt.
I can understand your frustration but, you did realize that it is a 10 year old car..... I have absolutely no idea of it's service history - but I didn't sign the check to purchase it. The Contour never was a shining star in Fords crown...
I don't see where you had the car evaluated before you purchased it....... while a prepurchase inspection is no guaranty of a trouble free auto, it can raise enough red flags to have us reconsider our decision.
That you are having this many concerns so soon after the purchase makes me wonder if it wasn't being sold for a reason. I'm reminded of a customer, since retired, with a small fleet of trucks. He had sold a F350 to a mutual friend. When this friend approached the seller, the reply was "If it was any f*cking good, do you think I'd sell it?".

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Just sharing my experience with a 1995 Ford Contour GL 6-cylinder 2.5-liter bought in '98.
Cold Weather: hates it, runs rough until warms up. Took to mechanics: they don't know why (local mechanics are idiots; I told one about it, stressed how it happened when it was cold; the idiot took it into the shop, let it warm up, and miraculously couldn't find any problems and then after letting it sit over night, again didn't have a clue).
Water pump: replaced.
Batteries: lost 2 so far. One gave me the "UFO Flying Over Experience" quoted in shows like the X-Files where the electricity goes all wobbly at certain times.
Check Engine lights: replaced air sensors twice so far.
Service transmission (replace fluids): NO ONE could do it because it had a special plug. NOT EVEN the local Ford people wanted to. Finally one intrepid lube shop gimmicked around it.
Other odds-and-ends for maintenance. Anything costs a toe, or an arm, or a leg.
It's an old, used car, only 70,000 miles, and not too bad (much better than what I used to buy). It hasn't been high maintenance, yet when I have problems only Ford seems to know how to really fix them and they usually just saw one of my arms off as part of payment.
My brother had a Ford truck and it simply died after running so long; wait a while and start it up again; no mechanic in town could fix it. He's decent at cars and couldn't fix it. My parents gave it to him (they got tired of it) and he pretty much got rid of it even though it was okay (except for it's constant fainting spells).
He had a Mustang and it developed a strange noise in the drive train no one could figure out.
Overall I really don't want to buy another Ford. Not without a lot of research. I wouldn't have bought a Ford this time except the family used to buy them all the time and they were fairly reliable.
I'm looking around on this and other sites to see what problems other people are having and to learn more about various cars and problems; dragging my car into the local mechanics who seem to be unable to do more than change oil and filters (unless they find some $500 - $1,000 item to fix, then they "know" what's going on) is no longer any fun.
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used
I think it's interesting that when you go onto Euro-car forum, they ALSO discuss various quirky failures.. but seem to treat them as just matter- of-fact. Or 'opportunities'.
I have one son that has only owned Toyotas or Hondas.... I cant remember which, but he claims ONE of those are crap. And wont buy another.
And he marvels that his mom's 95 Taurus GL is such a good running ride at 190,000 miles. But then, he hasnt had to do the 'little fixes' that keep it that way.
--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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wrote:

I have 1997 Contour with the V6. I just had to replace two wheel bearings, one axle and brakes. Oh, and once in a while I replace the Mobil 1 with more Mobil 1.
That annoying check engine light keeps coming on. When I open the hood, the engine is still there and looks ok. So I don't worry about that. My neighbor who is a shop manager checked it. It's an O2 sensor. He suggested I don't worry about it. The light's off now, so I won't worry about it as long as the car runs well.
Jeff

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wrote:

We've got a '96 6 cyl. Had the CEL coming on, running lean. Changed intake gaskets (were leaking) and still had CEL. Found a soft hose that collapsed under high vac (decel) and a small slit opened up. Was a real problem finding THAT.Now no more CEL. Other than that, 1 front bearing. Love driving the thing - 4 door sports car.

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