Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

7.7

pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,998 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Ford Contour cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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1998 Ford Contour Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Jan 172004

Contour 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,133 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driving on intersate 66 from manassas va into Washington DC at 65mph when noticed cold air blowing out of heater vents. Car is severely overheated before safe exit from highway. Water pump's plastic impeller had shattered with 53K miles on the car. Ford replaced water pump for $527. After overheating the car also begins to leak oil from several locations. The oil pan gasket is replaced for $407 at 63K miles. The replacement water pump's gasket is discovered to be leaking at 66K miles while trying to locate the source of additional oil leaks - this time the oil pressure sending unit.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #30

Oct 162003

Contour 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
This car has been nothing but problems, springs, brakes last 4 months, water pumps went at 63,000, tires wear out in less than a year, temperature gauges do not read right. Engine races, solenoid went....very expensive to fix. I do not understand why everyone is having the same problems but no help?

- Raymond, NH, USA

problem #29

Aug 032003

Contour 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,820 miles
Suffered a water pump failure. The plastic/bakelite impeller shattered catastrophically, resulting in parts strewn throughout coolant system. Total repair cost: $470. Since part was replaced at an independent garage, Ford will not report the faulty part. Perhaps propylene glycol, the principle chemical found in coolant, causes the plastic part to become brittle and shatter, but no one at Ford will listen to that. Numerous complaints found on web regarding this same issue. Time for a recall - the toronto field office told me that there is no recall on this problem.

- Stuarts Draft, VA, USA

problem #28

Oct 242002

Contour

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I've had to replace the water pump 4 times on my 1998 Ford Contour. Dec. 28, 2001 - 1st incident: Water pump failure, also had to replace sensor and thermostat because the radiator had zero water in it. March 26, 2002 - 2nd incident: Water pump failure. May 24, 2002 - 3rd incident: Water pump failure. October 24, 2002 - 4th incident: Water pump failure, also had to have a belt on the pump replaced. I called norma at the Ford customer relationship center (1-800-392-3673) and she told me there is nothing that Ford can do since the parts warranty (12 month/12,000 miles) is over the mileage. I will have to pay for the replacement of a water pump and if there are future failures under the warranty once I've paid for the repairs it will be replaced at no charge. I informed norma that the dealership stated that they have other customers having the same problems with the water pump failure/defect and that Ford is aware of the problem. The dealership has graciously paid for a rental car for all 4 replacements and has given me a discount on labor for this 4th replacement. Also my check engine light continually stays on even after being "serviced" by the dealership.

- Fillmore, CA, USA

problem #27

Aug 042002

Contour

  • miles
Plastic impeller blades on water pump have reportedly failed on numerous Contour, resulting in engine overheating. Coolant from reservoir sprayed inside engine compartment. Upon lifting hood, boiling coolant was visible in reservoir. This presents an injury hazard from the hot coolant, as well as from possible engine failure during vehicle use.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #26

Jul 222002

Contour

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving driver's side seat came loose and fell into the floor of vehicle, almost caused an accident, consumer stated the frame of the seat was crtacked. The recall (99B23) on the water pump expired because the dealer was booked up several times and the consumer was unable to leave the vehicle at the dealer.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #25

Oct 262001

Contour

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Consumer states the water pump failed.

- Mt. Vernon, SD, USA

problem #24

Oct 152000

Contour

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Recall 99V243000/air bag sensor assembly:dealer:M&M Ford, muscatine, ia; phone 563-263-5324 refused to honor recall because vehicle had too much mileage. Manufacturer was notified. The water pump failed and was replaced. The consumer states there was a recall on warning light but the dealer did not fix the recall due to high mileage on the vehicle.

- Muscatine, IA, USA

problem #23

Feb 012002

Contour

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer was traveling on highway, and without prior warning water pump shut down, and transmission vibrated when applying brakes. Dealership was aware of problem.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #22

Apr 122001

Contour

  • miles
Many other Ford Contour owners experienced this problem as well. On www.Contour.org message boards. No safety defects listed.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #21

Sep 012001

Contour

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

1998 Ford Contour SE, 2.5L V6 - water pump impeller shattered while driving on highway, causing loss of coolant flow. Engine overheated. Fortunately there was a Lincoln-Mercury dealer less than 1 mile away from the location where the part failed, so engine did not run in overheating condition for very long. Water pump was replaced by this local dealer ($371 total). The car is still my daily driver, and now appears to be operating normally with the new water pump.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #20

Oct 262001

Contour

  • miles
Consumer states the water pump failed.

- Mt. Vernon, SD, USA

problem #19

Oct 082001

Contour

  • miles
Water pump impeller failure.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #18

Apr 022001

(reported on)

Contour

  • miles
Cooling guage shows engine running at high end-almost to red.

- Burbank, CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 102001

Contour

  • miles
The water pump and now the fuel pump. This has been a very bad experience with Ford the inconvience and the freedom of purchasing a new car has left me frustrated and afraid to trust the car.

- Inver Grove Heights, MN, USA

problem #16

Jan 262001

Contour

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Water pump stopped working while consumer was driving and caused engine to overheat and stop. Contacted dealer, and dealer wouldn't do anything.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #15

Oct 092000

Contour

  • miles
While traveling at 75mph the engine water pump goes out. Only thing heard or seen was a engine knock. The engine had to be replaced.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #14

Aug 032000

Contour

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle was running hot the 1st time dealer kept it for 2 weeks & claimed it was fixed. Vehicle went to the dealer again this time for 47 days which a loaner vehicle was given & it was returned with no explanation what was wrong. It's still running hot.

- Windsor, CT, USA

problem #13

Jul 252000

(reported on)

Contour

  • miles
Have had 5 recalls since buying the car. Also, have had to have the water pump changed. The problem is trying to get the recalls done. I had taken the car in previously only to be told they didn't have the parts and had to reschedule. The last two recalls I stressed the importance of getting these done when schedule. The air bag and the brakes were the last two. I scheduled them finally in April this year. On Saturday afternoon I went to pick up my car only to be told they did not have the parts. I expressed again how hard it was for me to come in because I work 5-6 days a week. Again I rescheduled for July. I called and made an appointment verified the parts were there. I brought the car in. Again late Saturday afternoon went to pick up the car only to be told again they did not have parts. It seems to be these recalls are not that important. I also asked why my brakes scrubbed when I stopped, they comment was we couldn't get it too. My point is it I do not believe the Ford place cares one way or the other what happens to me or my car.

- Watkinsville, GA, USA

problem #12

May 122000

(reported on)

Contour

  • miles
Temperature gauge reads in very high normal range under normal driving conditions; car comes very close to overheating. Have I missed a recall notice on this problem?

- Concord, NC, USA

Read the next 11 complaints »

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