Ford Contour Issues


Introduced in 1995, the Contour was Ford Motor Company's first effort in designing a car for multiple markets around the world, without making any major modifications. The Ford Contour exhibited driving characteristics of a European car because of its "spirited performance." This spirited performance was also characteristic of the Contour's mechanical twin, the Mercury Mystique. Designed by Ford's European division, Ford's intent was to build a small family sedan, which drove like a sports car. Regardless of its appeal, several issues plagued the Ford Contour.

Fan Blower

  • The Ford Contour and the Mercury Mystique's heater blower fan caught the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Apparently, the blower fan resistor sometimes overheated causing the attached electrical connection to melt. Ford's response involved providing additional warranty coverage for ten years or 150,000 miles from the original date of purchase, whichever came first. Dealers installed a new resistor and a jumper wire free of charge. This did not cause a recall for the Ford Contour.

Cooling System Fan

  • Electric fan assembly problems reported to the NHTSA in November 2000 affected 262,559 Ford Contour and Mercury Mystiques equipped with 2.0- and 2.5-liter engines. Tight fan bearings generated the concern. Because of this, fan bearings could lead to a stall and increased torque on the fan motor. This resulted in the fan motor overheating. Vehicles with this problem caused a foul odor and smoke to come from the fan assembly. Ford remedied the situation by installing a positive coefficient device with each fan assembly. Cooling fan warranties lasted eight years or 100,000 miles.

Wiring Harnesses

  • For the 1995 to 1996 models, Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique cars had problems with the wiring harnesses in the engine compartment. Wires did not contain sufficient insulation. This caused cracking that exposed the bare copper wiring. The results of cracking insulation included blown fuses, alternator or battery failures or both, as well as erratic accessory reliability. In response, Ford issued an ownership notification program, which provided owners a no-cost repair or replacement of the wiring harnesses, if the harnesses exhibited signs of insulation failure. Coverage under the plan applied to four-cylinder and V-6 powered models. The plan coverage lasted ten years or 100,000 miles, whichever came first.

Service Brake Problem

  • Ford issued a recall on March 9, 2000 for the 1996 to 2000 model year Ford Contour. This included 436,200 affected units. This recall focused on the hydraulic brake foundation components. A pressure valve in the rear brake assembly was subject to corrosion. If left unchecked, the rear brake could malfunction. Areas using salt to dust or deice roadways caused this problem to occur. This affected vehicles with antilock brakes.

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