1996 Ford Contour - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 68 Total Reviews
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
You may not believe this one!
By the looker on 04/11/08 18:41 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Contour GL 4dr Sedan

Review

First I will list the problems I have had with this vehicle, which I'm sure is no suprise to you the readers. Engine stalls cold. Battery discharges after a couple of days. Window fell of track (drivers side). Engine Idle RPM varies while stopped in traffic. Overheating came because Ford had used a plastic not metal impeller for the water pump. The whole engine wiring had to be replaced because it was falling apart (the plastic insulation). Fan not working light comes on despite you actually seeing the fans working. Now brake pedal is intermittently hard to push during stop. Happens without warning. Now for the interesting part..This vehicle of my original ownership only has 17780. Presently
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piece 'o junk
By Gene P. on 03/18/08 06:23 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Contour GL 4dr Sedan

Review

No wonder Ford is on the verge of bankruptcy. I have never owned a car so unreliable as this in my life. My daughter got rid of it for a Corolla as she was always having it repaired. Wheel bearings every 50k miles? I only bought it as the body had no rust and have regrets. Transmission torque converter, rear struts, a/c compressor, yellowed headlight lenses, wheel bearings, etc. Back to Honda / Toyota for me.
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Gets Better with Age
By Annelise on 01/03/08 04:11 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Contour SE 4dr Sedan

Review

My Contour hit 200,000 miles last night! I've got the V6 5-speed. Though I had problems with it early on--water pumps, numerous recalls and that darn engine light that won't go off--it's been great for the last 120,000 miles. I love the way it handles and it still has plenty of power. I'm curious to see how long it will last!
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Good first car
By jvhofw24 on 09/17/07 11:25 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Contour GL 4dr Sedan

Review

Overall, the car drives well. It has the right amount of zip when you need it, and I found it to be pretty reliable. I owned the car for almost six years, and up until a couple months ago, I only had relatively minor problems with it. (i.e. brake rotors, 1 alternator, 1 battery, and a window motor) I put about 90,000 miles on it while I owned it, I drove it all around the country, and it got me everywhere I needed to be. At about 160,000 miles, the car sort of began to fall apart, but I guess that what happens when you drive a Ford. I still feel I got my money's worth.
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Eleven Year Ownership.
By D.Adams Contour LX on 04/03/07 14:06 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Contour LX 4dr Sedan

Review

This car has been one of the most reliable and economical I have owned, especially after 11 years of mostly city driving in San Antonio,Texas.
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Don't Buy This Car!
By hiker78 on 01/24/07 19:06 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Contour GL 4dr Sedan

Review

I'm at 128,000k and it's sitting at a repair shop right now waiting for the auto salvage guys to pick it up...tranny finally blew and I'm done dealing with this hunk of junk, multiple and frequent problems beginning 3 months from purchase date; alternator, blower motor, brakes, sway bar links, outside window trims, temp gauge that burns out every 6k miles, serpentine belt, wheel bearings, broken cup holders, gas cap cover had to be pried open every time, various inside lights constantly burned out, paint peeling off front end, heat slow to warm up, weak A/C and the fuel pump wiring was at the point where I had to lean back and hold the plug down while turning the key to get the thing to start.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
My all-time favorite car
By rbsjrx on 04/03/06 15:15 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Contour GL 4dr Sedan

Review

I bought my Contour used and have put a lot of happy miles on it. It has the largest standard wheel/tire combo available and I suspect the engine management chip may have been tweaked by a previous owner. It handles like a dream, virtually the same as my '03 Focus SVT (it helps that it's lower and wider than the SVT). Power from the Zetec 4 is quite adequate for occasional gusto driving, and works well with the OD automatic transmission. The state troopers once gave me a certificate that it can indeed go 92 MPH without breathing too hard. The only costly maintenance has been to replace the timing belt at 60k miles as recommended.
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A nice looker & driver / keeps you broke
By Larry James on 03/09/06 11:31 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Contour SE 4dr Sedan

Review

Car purchased by my wife with 35k miles, she puts 34 miles a day to work and home. Within the first year tires were shot, alignment bad, replaced ball joints, the large belt. Then at 50k to 60k miles front wheel bearings, Brake rotors, calipers. since then alternator, large belt. Now at 120k the front wheel bearings and brake rotors (warped) and now head gasket!
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Ford's cost-cutting shows
By Verbal on 02/24/06 22:25 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Contour SE 4dr Sedan

Review

I bought this car slightly used, based on favorable reviews in the car magazines. It is a sporty sedan that packs a lot of value for the money. The engine, suspension and brakes are well-suited for the enthusiast driver. However, this is the most fragile car I have ever owned. With less than 75k on the odometer, I have had to replace the water pump (a flawed design with a plastic impeller wheel), the catalyst, and the starter motor. The check engine light turning on is a quarterly event. The stock CD player would skip if you looked at it cross-eyed. Owning this car makes me believe that when Ford lines up suppliers, it always takes the low bidder. Ford: you have lost this customer.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
My wheels.
By Marqui16 on 09/16/05 00:06 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Contour GL 4dr Sedan

Review

My Contour now has 198,000 miles on it. I bought it used with about 34,000 miles(mostly highway) and have owned it for 7 years now. I changed the transmission once, the alternator once, several belt changes, headlight problems, and several other minor changes, but never any engine problems. It is still a fun car to drive but since it was my first car I am ready to move on to foreign cars (less maintenance).
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