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Cougar Support Group - General Maintenance



  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Recently there a recall for the battery cable. I don't know if has anything to do with your problem, but I would check it out if I were you.

    Recall: 01S02
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    It sound to me as though you're running your tire pressure too low. That's the only thing that I know of that will cause cupping. As to the outside edge wear, cornering with low tire pressure will also allow the tire to roll under.

    My BFG's have about 23K on them, and are wearing normally. I kep my pressure at about 36PSI front and rear, and have had no problems (except for potholes and big metal bits on the road).

    Skip G.
  • gregtalgregtal Posts: 12
    I would agree with the tire pressure theory. Are you an aggressive (not in a negative sense, just in a "Man, I love this car!!!" sense) driver? As has been suggested above, underpressure coupled with aggressive cornering can cause the type of wear you describe. I have Comp T/As on my car and I always keep them at max pressure. With almost 60,000 miles on my car, they have better than normal wear.

    The flat spots on the rear tires is another story. Is sounds like the rear tires are shimmying as they rotate. Do you feel any excessive vibration in your steering column, or, despite correct alinement, does your car still drift? If so, then you may have a problem with the rear wheel struts. I had some experience with this, sinc when they transported my latest Cougar, the transporter managed to use the rear struts to anchor the car, resulting in damage. One visible sign of this was the rear wheel wasn't centered in the wheel well. The other, as I pointed out was an incessant drift. Good luck in getting it resolved!!
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    I'm curious to know what you mean by "I have Comp T/As on my car and I always keep them at max pressure." When you say "max pressure" are you referring to the number molded into the sidewall of the tire? If so, that's not a great idea.
  • Greetings all. This is my first visit to CSG.I like what I see so far. We just purchased a '00 model with the sport package. It was a program car purchased from a Mercury dealer. It has 23k on it and seems to run great. Being a real maintanence nut and do-it-yourselfer, can anyone tell me where I can find a list of service bullitens or recall notices. Thanks ahead of time.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    You can find all TSB and recall info at on the Cougar. Good Luck!!
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961

    WELCOME TO THE CSG!!! Be sure to check out our official web site at:

    Please stop in from time to time and let us know how you and your Cat are doing. If you ever have any questions, you know where to come!!

    Congratulations and good luck!!!

  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    How often is it necessary to change our fuel filter and transmission(ATX) fluid? The owners manual states to change the Trans fluid(@ 30K) for specific transmissions and I have no idea which one I have. Also, the manual states to change the fuel filter at 30K and my dealer changed it during my 15K service.
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    fish 8:

    I'd suggest following the Ford Maintenance Schedule, it's a separate booklet that you should have in your glove compartment, not your Owners' Manual. Any more frequent changes are just an extra profit item for the servicing dealer.

    According to the Ford Maintenance Schedule your Cougar's fuel filter should be replaced at 30,000, 60,000, 90,000 and 120,000 miles. The only vehicles that Ford recommends for 15,000 mile fuel filter replacements are trucks.
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    Somehow the last paragraph of my post 424 didn't show above. It was supposed to have read:

    According to the Ford Maintenance Schedule your Cougar's ATX Fluid should NEVER be replaced. They just specify that you "Inspect automatic transmission fluid level" at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000, 60,000, 75,000, 90,000, 105,000, 120,000 and 135,000 miles.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Thanks Blane!!!

    The manual I am referencing was the Maintenance Guide that is seperate from the owners manual. I looked in the guide and did not see where it references never to change the ATX Fluid. Mine states that the ATX fluid should be changed(@ 30,000) on certain transmission models and then it lists the models(by number). I am not sure which model number the Cougar has in it.

    Thanks for your response!!!
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I was curious on what a local dealer would charge for a 30K service and called. They said they charge $467.00 for this service. I inquired on how they come to this amount and they stated: replace ATX fluid, Replace spark plugs, replace coolant, replace filters(air and pollen), fuel filter, brake fluid, oil and filter change, rtotate tires. I think thats it. After the rep told me all that I asked why Ford recommends a totally different maintenance shedule and he basically hung up on me. He put me on hold and never came back on. I called him back and he had an attitude with me. Basically, I will never take my car their, since they have no regard for the customer.
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391
    Plus, they shouldn't change the spark plugs until 100,000 Miles, as the Duratech engine properties state clearly as does the limited advertising FMC does for the Cougar.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    As Lefty said, they shouldn't change the plugs for at least 100,000 miles. I personally don't buy in to the 100,000 mile plug, so I changed them at 45,000 miles. They were pretty much fried.

    For around $150.00 I did the following to my Cat last month:
    - Changed Spark Plugs
    - Changed Spark Plug Wires
    - Replaced the cabin air filter
    - Check all fluids
    - Oil Change (Castrol Syntech & Fram extended life filter)
    - Cleaned out the KKM Intake Filter
    - Cleaned the MAF sensor
    - Cleaned out the throttle body
    - Rotate Tires (Had a local garage do this)
    - Balance Tires (Had a local garage do this)
    - Brake Inspection (Had a local garage do this)
    - Belt Inspection (FMC Dealership did this for free)
    - Added one can of Techron to fuel tank to clean out injectors

    The only thing I didn't do was the fuel filter. I need to find instructions for this procedure before I attempt it.

    If you have the time and patients, you can do most of the stuff they offered to do for a fraction of the cost.

    An interesting note:
    While searching for employment this week, I came across several ads for Automotive Service Advisors. One thing I noticed about most of them is that people in these positions actually get commision. After reading this, it became clear to me why so many Service Advisors always try to talk you in to unneeded and over priced service procedures. As if it isn't bad enough that we have to deal with sales people in the show room. Now we have to deal with them in the Service Department as well.
  • krnchkrnch Posts: 127
    A while back I posted regarding a problem with the engine hesitating under acceleration.

    I had the car in for service this week and they rebuilt the IMRC (intake maniford runner control - often referred to as "the secondaries"). They also changed the spark plugs and spark plug wires. Although the car is 2 years and 8 months old, I only have about 43,000 km (27,000 mi) on it. I'm not sure if it was the IMRC or the plugs, but the car runs great now. Possibly better than ever.

    They also turned all four rotors and installed new back brake pads to solve a warped brake and perpetual squeaking problem. All under warranty. I was pretty impressed.

    Hopefully this will be it for a long time. I've had a string of problems lately and have seriously been considering trading. I sincerely want to keep the car because it really is a great car when it's running properly. "Membership" in the CSG is also honestly one reason why I want to keep the car.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I'm really sorry to hear about the problems you have been having lately. Hopefully the work the dealership performed will solve all of them.
  • 9Cougar99Cougar9 Posts: 12
    I had a steering wheel noise for months (a whirrring noise) that was really annoying. They replaced the pump and it got worse. I noticed, before taking it back again that the steering fluid had a burnt smell and had debris around the edge when the top was removed. I returned and told them. They replaced the rack and pinion (although it's called something else) and the steering is fine now. Now if I could just figure out what this horrid noise is when I am back up. Of course, it isn't all the time yet and isn't loud enough for most people to hear. My first thought (by the sound and location) is brakes. Other than that...everything is fine.
  • krnchkrnch Posts: 127
    Thanks, badulah. So far so good! Only one problem remains to be fixed. The lever on the driver's seat to tilt it forward is broken. It goes in to get that fixed tomorrow.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Well, baby's in the shop to get her rump smoothed out, and I'm stuck with an Escort econobox for 2 days. The other choice was a Lincoln Town Car.

    I do have a CDL (truck license) but that's rediculous!!!!!

    Skip G.

    P.S. Barring any future damage, we'll be all pretty for CF2 ;-)
  • dasaint1dasaint1 Posts: 230

    I had a similar experience with my Cougar re: noise while in reverse. This was about 4 weeks ago. I had just finished washing and waxing her. As I was backing up out of the driveway, I heard a loud grinding noise, and from what I can determine, it came from the brakes. The noise went on for a split second and disappeared. It happened again another time, but hasn't happened again.

    At first I thought it was that my brake pads were low. But I've been driving the car since then with no problems. I have a little over 14K miles on the her now. I know that the life of brake pads has a lot to do with your driving habits, but just to get an idea, I'd like to ask a question to everyone here who've replaced their pads. How often do you change the pads on the Cougar? Do the pads start to squeel to indicate that it's time to change them? Are you aggressive or normal (if there is such a thing as normal) driver?
  • 9Cougar99Cougar9 Posts: 12
    My first thought was the brakes also; but I was hoping the noise would disappear after having the steering wheel noise fixed (rack & pinion). I was wrong. It seems to only do it when I am turning the steering wheel to the left. I thought it was only when cold or wet, but that was wrong. It is so intermittent that I can't recreate it for anyone. Of course, it could be that part of the problem is that I'm so bothered by it that I'm compensating for it and not backing the same way. I've asked them to check my brakes twice, but since they haven't heard the noise and can't recreate it; I doubt they have checked them.
  • dasaint1dasaint1 Posts: 230
    Well, I figure I'm due for a new brake pads soon. I'll have my mechanic look at it the next time I get an oil change. Hopefully, the horrible, grinding noise will disappear after I replace the pads.

    Otherwise, we'll just have to put up with weird noises in our cars that nobody can fix.
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    Re posts #432, 435, 436 & 437...

    The loud, rear only, brake noise in reverse is a known condition in recent Cougars. It only occurs for the first application of the brakes after the vehicle has been parked (overnight) after the disks have become wet (washing, rain, heavy dew) and a slight amount of oxidation accumulates on the rotor. It wears off in a second and you won't hear the noise again until the overnight moisture conditions are right.

    There is a Technical Service Bulletin about it, but no solution.
  • ruascottruascott Posts: 1
    Hello all, I am a new subscriber to the list and a new owner of a '99 V6 AT Cougar. I have onwned the car for only two weeks and am happy with all but one aspect of the car. When driving on the interstate, starting at around 65 to 70 mph and above the car tends to shake at the wheel and can be felt in the seats. Has anyone else had this problem with these cars? I would imagine that this is some sort of alignment problem, but I hate to go spend money to try to get it fixed when I am unsure of the problem, and when I just bought the car from my local dealer. The car has only 30,000 miles on it, so its under factory warranty. I would appreciate in advisement.

  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    You've got symptoms of needing either wheel alignment, balancing or both. Since they are normal wear items you will probably not be covered under warranty, but you must have the problem checked out.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Rusty: I am experiencing the exact same problem. I have always felt a vibration in the steering wheel at 65-70mph. I have gotten my alignment and balance done numerous times as well as I bought new tires at 19K miles. After all this, I still have the vibration. I pointed this out to the dealer and they either are unable to duplicate it or they says its "normal". I have almost relinquished myself to living with the problem until I give the car back(from lease) in the spring of '03. If you find a fix to this problem, please post it here so we can reference it. Thanks, Adam
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    Have they spin-balanced your wheels on the car or on a separate machine, off the car? Find a shop that spin balances by driving the tire in contact with a spinning cylinder, while it's still mounted to your brake rotors. Sometimes an out-of-balance rotor will cause your symptoms.

    Spin balancing off the car will never detect the problem.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Thanks Blane!

    I have had my tires balanced and aligned in every conceivable manner. I really think it's the car and not the tires. This is the second set of tires(Firestone-OEM & Pirelli's-current) that have had the same vibration in the steering wheel. Also, I have heard that NUMEROUS Cougar owners have experienced this same problem. My dealer actually said this problem is causes by an anomoly in the car. Basically, it's the way the car was built. This is also the same dealer that said ALL cars contain rattles in the dashboard.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    There is a tech memo out on this problem. What it says, I don't know, but my cat has it too.

    Not serious, but a little aggrivating. Oddly enough, it doesn't happen all the time, and seems to be road surface dependent. Typically comes up on soft asphalt when cruising along between 30-40mph. I don't think that it's a wheel/tire problem, but something in the centering of the power steering system. Seems like the portioning valves want to oscillate a little when there's no steering pressure applied.

    Maybe we'll find an engineer at CF2, take him prisoner, and get an answer to this one, 'cause the dealers sure aren't gonna tell anybody!!

    Skip G.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Has anyone in here ever tried Zaino Car Polishes? I bought some about 1 month ago and they really do live up to all the hype. Really good stuff!!!
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