Ford Contour 1998

Hello,
I am considering buying a used Ford Contour SE, model 1998, and was wondering if anyone had experience with such a vehicle. I am not too much
into Fords, but this one seems nice. I would particularly appreciate some tips about possible problems, as well as service maintenance requirements.
Thanks a lot! Vince
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www.contour.org will have more info.
The Contour is generally a good car. I have a 1997 Contour V6 with 118,000 mi on it. It is still going strong.
Jeff

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wrote:

I got a 1996 2.5 for my wife last year - GREAT little car. more than adequate power, excellent handling, decent economy, decent ride. Ours has the leather interior - which I like - and traction control- which automatically gives 4 wheel discs.Sun roof too. Had to replace one front wheel bearing with 91,000 km on it,and had to clean the injectors - but otherwise it's been a good car.

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Which engine?
CJB

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[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the cited author.]
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

As others have posted, check out www.contour.org
1998 was the first year of the redesign/down-contenting. I think the 1998's still were decent inside, with most of the decontent being interior lighting (glove box, interior door handles) and other small items. I think the Contour and Mercury Mystique also ended up with identical interiors and nearly identical exteriors to cut costs. By the final year (2000 or 2001), they were pure crappy plastic, with alot of interior and trunk trim removed entirely.
The Duratec V6 has nice power (170hp) and gave about 20-22mpg in city/suburban driving with automatic (I had a 1995 Mystique, the Mercury version of the Contour.) 1998 was also the first year for the Contour SVT (195 hp at the time). A nice hidden gem of a sports car.
I think the only main 1998 issue were the headlight switch and some related wiring that could melt. There is/was an extended warranty on it, not a full recall. Earlier versions had some issues with the water pump (V6 only), gas tank (1995), and catalytic converter.
The Contour/Mystique never sold very well, probably because they were too 'European' for most Americans. The ride is somewhat firmer than most American cars. The 95-97 Contour SE was quite firm and very sporty. They were based on the first generation Mondeo and were never really updated (1998 was just a styling update, not a platform update.) The Mercury Cougar from about 1999 to 2003(?) was a 2-door coupe version of the Contour/Mystique.
Check out my web site in the .sig below to see info on my '95 Mystique (which I no longer own.)
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(...)

Except that nearly 1,000,000 were sold over 6 model years (Contour and Mystique combined). They were a Car and Drive 10Best car for 3 years. And they were in the top 10 selling US cars for 1 or 2 years. All without much advertising and without a wagon (like the escort had).
Jeff
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well i got a 99 ford contour,2 mo ago my timing belt had broke and the car is sitting in the driveway now with a new timing belt on it and it still won't run abd can't find a mechanic who will work on it.When i mention i have a ford contour they say when those cars mess up they can not be fix. and like i said mine is still sitting in the driveway because no one will work on it. they told me i had a cracked head and valve,but it started and drove it but had to drive it with both feet,but up until 2mo ago i had no problems
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I saw your other post. Apparently you found a mechanic who would fix, but you took it away half-working. Then you ran it when you thought no oil was reaching the head.

Perhaps they expect to get paid a fair value for their work, and they don't think you will be willing to pay them that.

Good luck.
Jeff
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WELL ACTUALLY NO MECHANIC WILL TOUCH IT,THEY SAID IT CANNOT BE FIXED AND THAT WHEN THOSE FORD CONTOURS MESS UP THAT YOU ARE BETTER OFF GETTING ANOTHER CAR
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Please drop the caps.
You have to find out how much it will cost to fix the engine and how much a similar used car would cost and then figure out which is better for you in the long run.
Jeff
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In article <28e2a1dff99c1b1c57d4141194f7ee68

The V6 uses chains. The Zetec 4-cylinder uses a belt. I don't think think the Zetec is an interference engine.
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On Mon, 6 Jun 2005 16:28:01 -0500, Andrew Rossmann

Yes, sadly it is. Occaisionally you get lucky though.
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I have been told by both dealers and by Ford's customer service hotline that the 2.0 in either of its iterations is not an interference engine. That's why the recommendation of belt replacement is not in the service schedule from Ford. Even if it breaks, it's not gonna cost more to replace it than if it had been done as preventive maintenance (minus the tow bill, of course)
CJB

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CJB wrote:

Contrary to what the hotline says, if the timing belt breaks on a Zetec you will usually bend valves. I've seen literally hundreds of them and have 2 in line right now for head work. The idler siezes and takes out the belt.
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I WISH YOU COULD COME HERE TO TENNESSEE AND FIX IT FOR ME SO I CAN GET BACK INTO COLLEGE,BECAUSE THESE MECHANICS HERE WHERE I LIVE IS TOO STUPID TO WORK ON THEM.I HAVE PRETTY MUCH PAYED OUT OVER $500 FOR NOTHING BECAUSE ALL THEY HAD DONE WAS PUT THE TIMING CHAIN ON AND THAT IS ALL WISH YOU HAD YAHOO SO I COULD CHAT WITH U MORE ABOUT THIS
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Please drop the CAPS. All caps is considered shouting.
I understand your frustration. But you have to remember, the mechanics did what you asked them to. It is not their fault the car broke. If you want the car fixed right, it is going to be expensive. You can't expect them to do a $1500 fix for $500.
Jeff
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my 1999 ford contour doesn't have any oil pressure and it won't idle.it will start and run but no oil pressure and won't idle.what could possibly be wrong with it.My engine has oil in it too.
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Bad oil pump. Bad sensor. Have it towed to mechanic or you may need a new engine.
As far as the idle, the mechanic should be able to fix it too.
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hi I would'nt recammend buying one. I bought my car in 1998 and now I am haveing alot of problems with it. All electrical.
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