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.
[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the
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
Check out my web site in the .sig below to see info on my '95 Mystique
(which I no longer own.)
If there is a no_junk in my address, please REMOVE it before replying!
All junk mail senders will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the
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).
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
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
Contrary to what the hotline says, if the timing belt breaks on a Zetec you
usually bend valves. I've seen literally hundreds of them and have 2 in line
for head work. The idler siezes and takes out the belt.
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
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.
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