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Cougar Support Group - General Maintenance



  • Dasaint:
    Thanks. No offense taken :) I was just kiddin'.

    Gonna detail my kitty kat today after work since it's so nice out...I have to know the truth though. Today I plan on handwashing, but really, how evil are automatic washes?? I'm in a pinch for time sometimes and I'm trying to figure out which is worse - a dirty car, or going thru the auto-wash.
  • bobschmbobschm Posts: 42
    First of all, I haven't had my Cougar in a summer yet, so I don't know how the a/c works in my V6. Perhaps another warm climate cougar owner can quantify the rpm rise when the a/c compressor kicks in?

    Secondly, I don't know exactly what you are experiencing. You know, one man's "minor rpm surge" is another man's "engine havoc". I have experienced the rpm surge even in my big Firebird V8. In a smaller 4-banger, that surge is more noticeable and so is the drop in performance when the a/c is on.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I would never use the automatic car wash. I only wash by hand. I have heard of mirrors breaking off(isolated) and the paint getting scratched. I guess it depends on what kind of automatic car wash you take it to. Why risk it though?
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391
    I've got several scratches on my wing from the one time I used an automatic wash. I guess the cloths had some bad stuff on them. I have since sworn off the auto washes, and use the touchless machines during the winter to at least wash off the salt.

    If you're planning on using an autowash, take precautions as far as removing the antenna. I didn't know it was removeable (never checked) until after I used the afore-mentioned car wash, so I consider myself lucky that it didn't get damaged also.

    I highly recommend washing it yourself, at least that way, you can only hold yourself responsible for anything that may happen.

    Good luck.
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391
    Thanks Bob! I appreciate your opinions, and you're right about how each individual would describe a surge. For now, I just turn off the a/c when in heavy traffic and try to forget ...

    Next time I've got my Cat in the dealer I'll have them check it out -- just to make sure.

    Take care!
  • Ok, Ok, I get the point. :)

    The only auto-wash I use anyway is the touchless one...all liquid out of jet-type-thingies that are always at least a foot away from my brushes or anything like that. I haven't had a bad experience with them yet with my Camaro, but I'm a bit more protective of my brand new Cougar.

    Guess I better go invest in some more sponges and a big shammy. Thanks for your input, guys.
  • rickelrickel Posts: 34
    My 2000 Cougar is now sans the driver side mirror after I ran it under a mailbox one night when I was very tired. The paint was scratched horribly, and rather than touch it up, I opted to let a body shop repaint it.

    Getting the mirror off was pretty easy. About six screws, and unplug it, and there it was.

    The door looks awful with the mirror assembly off, but it will only be for a week. Driving without the mirror is a bear, I have to have the inside mirror tilted all the way over to the left.
    I am going to have be very careful.

    The body shop fellow commented on how easy it was to take the door panel off...this is a remarkably well designed car.

  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I have to agree, the door panel is very easy to disassemble (refer to the Front Speaker Replacement Guide posted on the CSG web site).

    All of my previous cars had very difficult panels to disassemble.
  • rickelrickel Posts: 34
    The resource from the club here on how to install a new speaker was incredibly helpful--from which screws are where and where they are to taking the little Cougar symbol off to get at the Phillips head under it.

    Without it, taking the door apart would have been sheer guesswork (and I doubt I would have figured out to take that Cat off), and the job would have taken twice as long.

    Jimmy (the mechanic) was extremely impressed. I don't think he is into computers at all.

    A terrific resource! Many thanks for posting it!

  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Thanks for the kind words. That's what we are here for.

    Keep your eye out for new install guides. We are working on two new ones and we are hoping to get them posted in the next two weeks.
  • dasaint1dasaint1 Posts: 230
    Sorry to hear about the scratch and busted mirror. Just curious, but how much is the body shop charging you for the body work?

    I, too, have a scratch that I'm trying to ignore, but is annoying the hell out of me. It's hardly noticeable, but I know it's there. I'm planning on taking her to a body shop soon to get a price quote.
  • rickelrickel Posts: 34
    I have not had too great a problem with my side view mirror being missing, but it does remove a tad of my SA (situation awareness) by not being there.

    The fellow that is doing the work is a jack-of-all trades that does mechanic work as well as body work. I have seen his results, and he is superb, so I have little fear of the outcome of the job.

    I have no estimate, but I suspect that it will be less than $200. The labor is minimal for removal and replacment, and the paint will be a major expense, percentage-wise, as it is usually $50/pint or so.

    I'll let you know when I get the bill....should be Thursday or Friday.

  • giddeup_50giddeup_50 Posts: 27
    In Michigan, $2 auto carwashes are a blessing (especially with all the salt they use) Orginally I am from PA were they used a blend of cinder and some other stuff... I'd rather handwash but when it's 15* that's out of the question. The only concerns I have seen is once the breakaway passenger door mirror popped out and when the weather was really snowy/salty for days/weeks the brushes left dirt swipes on my white kitty. They came right off though with a hot wet towel in the garage. They really don't clean the lower grille/fog lights area that well and if the attendant doesn't brush the rear bumper that too may have to be touched up. But it sure beats the alternative in the heart of winter; Frozen fingers!
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Those auto washes are known to scratch the surface of your vehicle. Dirt gets trapped in the brushes and when it is brushed up against the car it causes minor scratches.

    Bad news as far as i'm concerned.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    As far as I'm concerned, the only type of wash to use is a touchless. I havn't run a car through any other type since the 80's. Saw what it was doing to the metalic silver clearcoat on my Challenger, and stopped immediately.

    Too late though. Once the damage was done (real fine scratches) the paint started to deteriorate and dull out. No amount of waxing would fix it.

    Made it much more susecptable to weathering too.

    Skip G.
  • cc428cc428 Posts: 4
    My local dealer can't help, so maybe someone out there can.....

    Can anyone tell me how to turn off the overhead service warning indicator lights that are in the overhead console?

    I have 50,000 miles on my Kitty, now, and no longer take it in to the dealer.....

    To help with the above thread... I live in Ga, & ran my A/C today. There is SOME lag/up-rev as my a/c cycles,(I try to stay out of the 12.5 mph lane), but yes there is some change in RPM's as the a/c cycles.
  • cc428cc428 Posts: 4
    Also, its better if when you 1st get in the car & its hot, put it on MAX A/C. This draws air up from the passenger floorboard, & cools the air INSIDE the car first. After it starts getting cool, then switch to the regular A/C setting. I keep my Black Kitty in a garage, & when its hot (90-100+ deg) I can have you chilly by the 3rd mile.
  • fredlyfredly Posts: 201
    hold down select and units for 5 seconds, the wrech will turn off.
  • dasaint1dasaint1 Posts: 230
    I haven't really had the opportunity to use the A/C that much, but while I was in Florida, I did use it at times and did not notice any "surge."

    I was reluctant to do it at first, but the wind noise was just too much to bear, so I ended up turning on the A/C while cruising 75 mph. I thought that might be a bad thing to do, but the Cat didn't lose any power or protest in any way and kept on cruising smoothly. I also drove in city traffic with the A/C on and experienced no problems at all.

    The only power loss I noticed during my trip to Florida (and I'm probably stating the obvious here) is that the Cat didn't accelarate as quickly (due to the fact that I had an extra person and baggage in the car). I was surprised that it was that noticeable of a difference. But still she drove very smoothly.
  • dasaint1dasaint1 Posts: 230
    for those of you who've experienced "surging" with the use of your A/C, what year is your Cat?
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Anyone in here ever had experience with replacing your windsheild? I am experiencing bubbles in the top corner of my windsheild and want to know what to watch out for if I end up getting a new windsheild(i.e. leaks or wind noise)
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Has anybody with the 16" wheels (non polished) started to see a little corrosion at the back edge of the spokes? They're pretty sharp and the coating may not have provided a good coat at that point.

    This is after two Chicago winters w/the typical salt treatment. Tried to keep it as clean as possible without freezing averything solid.

    Skip G.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I have the polished rims and they are starting to corrode. I plan on pointing this out at my next service check up. I hope the warranty cover this.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    You'd think that they could have used a non-corroding alloy!!!

    My little old Sentra had alloy sport wheels, and after 9 years, there was only a little staining, but, no corrosion.

    Brake discs didn't rust either. As a matter of fact, my old Kawasaki spent many years rotting outdoors through the winters, and that disc didn't rust either.

    The materials are out there, Mercury just didn't use them.

    Skip G.
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391

    Mine's a 99, but now I'm thinking I have larger problems. I'm out of town on business this week (as I mentioned in the main topic), and on the way down the temp gauge hit 93 degrees. I still had the windows open at this point, but it was starting to get quite hot. Well, I reached over to turn on the a/c and got the surge (yes, at 75+ mph) and to my surprise, no air. No COLD air, that is. It was blowing the same warm-type air through the compressor that was coming through the windows. Needless to say, that is now my priority when I get back home -- dealership, here I come!

    Do I remember someone having to get the entire compressor and a/c system replaced and recharged in the past? Can't remember who.

    Thanks in advance, talk to you all later!

    Happy (hot) Cougaring!
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391
    It's nice of them to invent clearcoat finishes these days, eh Skip? :^)

    I've been trying to keep a coat of wax on all the new scratches/rock dings that I've gotten. I'm getting to the point where I think I'm going to have the shop repaint parts where it's really bad (i.e., the edge of the hood - I should have used the front-end cover more often). I think there are some serious over-achieving rocks out there though, my newest rock ding is at the top of the passenger side door!

    Oh well, that'll probably cost me, but I guess that's part of nice car ownership.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Don't they have pavement where you live????

    Skip G.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361

    Unless you've developed a leak somewhere, a lot of the 99's needed to be fully charged. Tech note is out for this problem. Mine was cool, not cold, so I had them do it. Seems to be OK now, but some really hot weather will tell the story.

    Skip G.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    My AC also needed to be recharged. Along with some other slight problems. Works great now.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Sounds like you live in a rock quarry!
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