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#4741948 - 04/29/18 12:23 AM 1996 Ford Contour oil and information
jongies3 Offline


Registered: 03/11/16
Posts: 910
Loc: MT
Planning on picking this thing up next week as a commuter car to work. I drive 60 miles a day for work and my 15mpg truck isn't exactly cost effective for this. Anyone have any input/experience with these? It has the 2.5 V6 and auto transmission, what kind of oil do they like? Planning on using conventional and 5k OCI's either way I go with it. No need to get all fancy on a beater car! I test drove it today and it handles and drives nicely on the road with nothing abnormal about it that I can feel yet. 145k miles on the odometer.



_________________________
2004 Toyota Tacoma 3.4 V6: Mobil 1 AFE 0W-30, FRAM TG-3600 filter
1969 Mustang Mach 1 5.8 V8: PYB 10W-30 Napa Gold 1515 filter
1997 Ford F-250 HD 7.3 Powerstroke V8: T6 5W-40 FRAM PH-3786 filter

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#4741953 - 04/29/18 12:37 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
Wolf359 Online   content


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 5035
Loc: MA
I had a 95 a while ago. That car does look like a beater. The gas mileage isn't as good as you think though. Had the same engine, it was around 20-22. Maybe 25 or more with pure highway, but I think back when I had it, E10 wasn't really around so it might be worse. I think the oil on that was 5w30 but with Duratec lots of cars were back speced to 5w20. I think I always did around 5-7.5k on the oil, Motorcraft was synthetic blend.

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#4741956 - 04/29/18 12:42 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
KMJ1992 Offline


Registered: 01/01/18
Posts: 100
Loc: Iowa, United States
We fill them with 5w30 Motorcraft syn blend at the Ford dealer i work at. The older techs say we never backspecced anything. We figured the engineers knew better than the bean counters. Either way it seems the cars other bits become too expensive to justify fixing long before the engine goes.

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#4742063 - 04/29/18 06:38 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 10391
Loc: Illinois
Weak points on these are water pumps and transmission.

Also, if you are aggressive storming the on ramps make sure the oil level is full. These cars with the V6 can suffer oil starvation in long right hand curves awith Lowe oil levels. So if you drive it in anger, overfilling is the cheap fix. I think they hold over 5 quarts based on the Owner’s manual, so topping up to 6 quarts doesn’t hurt.

Any good 5w30 and the Motorcraft FL820S Filter will serve you well.
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#4742082 - 04/29/18 07:15 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
Lubener Offline


Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 2669
Loc: N.Ohio
Seeing it all beat up, I don't think it matters what you put in it as long as you change it once in a while..


Edited by Lubener (04/29/18 07:17 AM)
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#4742094 - 04/29/18 07:26 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: Lubener]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5548
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
What year and how much money? Does it have AC and does it work?

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#4742122 - 04/29/18 08:11 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
Imp4 Offline


Registered: 04/06/18
Posts: 337
Loc: Somewhere in time
If you're seeking a transportation appliance that needs to reliably get you to work, there are much better choices.

The Ford Contour ranks just about at the bottom of the reliability list in it's segment. Horrible power train issues and transmission issues also.

See link here:
Ford Contour quality evaluation

How about a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix from the same era?
Built at the NUMMI facility and badge engineered twins.

These darn things will just start every day and need very little love.

What's important here is that you don't experience Contour buyer's remorse on the side of the highway early one morning on your way to work.
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2001 Mitsubishi Galant 2.4 - 157k+
Grandma's creampuff...

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#4742172 - 04/29/18 09:37 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
BullittGT Offline


Registered: 01/17/18
Posts: 19
Loc: Delco, PA
What kind of deal are you getting? The 2.0L i4 Zetec is a more reliable engine than the v6. This was also a period where FOrd Auto's were not of the best quality.
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#4742187 - 04/29/18 09:53 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
BAJA_05 Offline


Registered: 02/04/18
Posts: 411
Loc: Chester County/Pa.
Curious also what your spending on that beater? How long of test drive did you take it for and did you get the oil up to temp? Whenever I bought a beater in the past -- I took atleast a good half hour drive.
_________________________
2017 VW Jetta SE TSI 1.4L Turbo (hers)
M1 Euro 0W40 & FU (19K)
2008 Acura TL 3.2L QSHM 5W20 & FU (103K)
2005 Subaru Baja AWD 2.5L N/A 5spd.
Rotella T6 5W30 & Wix (91K)

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#4742188 - 04/29/18 09:53 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
Sticks Offline


Registered: 04/28/18
Posts: 3
Loc: Iowa
I had a 96 Contour, drove it for 10 years put 180k on it. As i remember it was Valvoline Conventional 5w30 with a MC filter. Never had an issue.

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#4742192 - 04/29/18 09:58 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
BAJA_05 Offline


Registered: 02/04/18
Posts: 411
Loc: Chester County/Pa.
The more I look at it -- that car is used and abused and I cant fathom "any" decent maintenance was performed on that thing either. HATE the color -- you need a reliable car for your daily commute. I personally -- WOULD RUN from that beater.


Dale
_________________________
2017 VW Jetta SE TSI 1.4L Turbo (hers)
M1 Euro 0W40 & FU (19K)
2008 Acura TL 3.2L QSHM 5W20 & FU (103K)
2005 Subaru Baja AWD 2.5L N/A 5spd.
Rotella T6 5W30 & Wix (91K)

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#4742203 - 04/29/18 10:07 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
PimTac Offline


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4942
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
It looks like it would be okay for a cheap grocery getter but if you are commuting 60 miles a day I would think about it some more. It could easily end up being a money pit.
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#4742252 - 04/29/18 11:05 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
Whimsey Offline


Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 4103
Loc: The Garden State
I have a well cared for 1996 Contour, it has the 2.0L Zetec and 5 speed manual. It's spend most of it's heavily salted NJ winters not driven but parked in a garage. It's been a great car all these years and still looks great. It has about 113,000 miles on it and still going strong. However the 2.5 V-6 has a history of spun bearings. And that poor Contour does not look well cared for so I'd be leary of the maintenance done to avoid the spun bearing problem. Also the auto transmissions in those cars were of questionable relability.

Whimsey

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#4742280 - 04/29/18 11:37 AM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: jongies3]
Imp4 Offline


Registered: 04/06/18
Posts: 337
Loc: Somewhere in time
Originally Posted By: Sticks
I had a 96 Contour, drove it for 10 years put 180k on it. As i remember it was Valvoline Conventional 5w30 with a MC filter. Never had an issue.

And

Originally Posted By: Whimsey
I have a well cared for 1996 Contour, it has the 2.0L Zetec and 5 speed manual. It's spend most of it's heavily salted NJ winters not driven but parked in a garage. It's been a great car all these years and still looks great.

Glad to see you both had good experiences but let us also remember that anecdotes are not data!
_________________________
2001 Mitsubishi Galant 2.4 - 157k+
Grandma's creampuff...

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#4742316 - 04/29/18 12:09 PM Re: 1996 Ford Contour oil and information [Re: Imp4]
Whimsey Offline


Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 4103
Loc: The Garden State
Originally Posted By: Imp4
Originally Posted By: Sticks
I had a 96 Contour, drove it for 10 years put 180k on it. As i remember it was Valvoline Conventional 5w30 with a MC filter. Never had an issue.

And

Originally Posted By: Whimsey
I have a well cared for 1996 Contour, it has the 2.0L Zetec and 5 speed manual. It's spend most of it's heavily salted NJ winters not driven but parked in a garage. It's been a great car all these years and still looks great.

Glad to see you both had good experiences but let us also remember that anecdotes are not data!


Just asking, what "data" do you expect from somebody answering a question about a 21+ year old car? Let's see you joined BITOG on 4/6/18. So either you're a newly joined experienced technician or an old troller who keeps trolling. But I don't believe an experienced technician would be asking for data in this case. If I'm wrong please accept my apologizes.

Whimsey


Edited by Whimsey (04/29/18 12:10 PM)

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