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Old 08-10-2009, 13:59   #1 (permalink)
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96 Contour problems

I am not a mechanic, but I've been learning steadily due to owning a Ford Contour. I've exhausted a lot of personal resources lately trying to figure out a new problem with my Contour. A little about the car,

1996 Ford contour 4 cyl. GL
New Battery, alternator, front disk brakes, fuel filter, spark plugs, tensioner. All installed roughly in the last 6 months by me.

After replacing the Tensioner I drove the car for about 4 weeks and it died on the highway going about 70 mph. I then narrowed it down to a bad battery and alternator, so I replaced both of those 3 months later. I drove the car back and forth from work once before it died on me again right next to a police station. That was a riot towing it by a chain and trying to avoid being pulled over. Today I replaced the fuel filter and spark plugs. Still not starting.

Everything is working as far as I can tell it just wont start. When I pulled the old plugs they had oil and gasoline all over them. I don't know what that signifies except maybe a faulty gasket. When I pulled the old fuel filter off it released a whole lot of black sludge.

I asked a friend and he said I should check to see if I'm getting sparks off both sides of the plugs, left and right because they run off of two coil packs. My boss said I may have ruined the fuel injectors by putting in sea foam after the car had been sitting for so long. Either way, When the car was running last it had a very hard time accelerating and a very hard time staying at speed. Also, since I've been driving the car over the last 4 years everytime it rains and the car is parked outside it has a hell of a time getting going and it dies often at a stop.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-10-2009, 20:10   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 96 Contour problems

I have a 1997 Contour Sport (2.0L), and roughly two years ago my Contour started acting up, and I assumed I was having an issue with "missing" on one of the cylinders. I took it to my mechanic the next day (it did start and run about two miles to my mechanic's shop), and it turns out I had a bad coil. Not sure how many my Contour has (I assume two), but replacing the bad coil got it running right again.

Now, the time I had oil literally "all over" my spark plugs (in 2006 with 88k), that was a bad head gasket. In regards to the fuel filter releasing that black sludge, I know my Contour has twice in the past thrown a bad Mass Airflow Sensor code, and the only thing it really needed was a new fuel filter. Go figure! My advice is to replace the fuel filter often. Ford recommends fuel filter replacement every 30k... even though that's probably even earlier than you would need to worry about it on most Fords, or any car, I would lean towards changing the fuel filter more often, than not. Just a suggestion there.


I have no idea if any of this can or will help ya, just some insights as to what I've had to do in the past. If you ever have any other questions about the Contour or problems that I have had, etc., feel free to ask! :)
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