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Cougar Support Group - Bigger & Better



  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I just noticed that the dealer did not replace my cabin air filter during the 15K service. I took off the front panel under the passenger side windsheild wiper and took the filter out and it was FILTHY. Who all has gotten this filter replaced? Am I going to have to make an appointment to get a new one put in or will they do it as I wait. I hope I don't have to make an appointment!!!
  • Way to go! Congrats on the new (close enough) Kitty. Enjoy.
  • fredlyfredly Posts: 201
    Fish, I replaced mine,
    BTW why make an appointment to change it, obviously you know how to
    take it out, so you can put a new one in cheaper then the dealer would charge.
  • Has anyone replaced the standard halogen headlight bulbs in their Cougar with those pseudo-high-intensity-discharge (HID) bulbs? With the blue glass coating and Xenon gas fill?

    After driving through 5 hours of tropical storm/depression Helene on Friday, I was quite concerned about how NOT bright my headlights were on my '99 Cougar. So I decided to look for non-fog-light alternatives -- I don't have the factory-installed fog light option.

    Sylvania makes replacement bulbs for the Cougar -- 9005 and 9006 for low beam and high beam bulbs. The company also makes a "Cool Blue" pseudo-HID bulb which I was thinking about trying out on my car. Supposedly, they are OEM replacements which should not be "hot" or "melt" the plastic housing for the Cougar headlights.

    Comments and suggestions are welcome.
  • jimbo_g:

    Congratulations on finally finding your kitty!!! So, give us the skinny....options, wheels, what did you get? And, of course, the burning question: Are you going to name your cat?
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    CONGRATS!!!!!! It's about time!!

    I have been thinking about the same thing. The stock lights are a bit dim, but I am afraid of melting the housings, or blowing fuses. I will see what I can come up with and let you know.
  • It is a 1999 Black Cougar V-6 ATX
    - Sport Group
    - Convenience Group
    - 16" wheels (not the polished)
    - Power Seat
    - Power Moon/Sun Roof
    - ABS
    - AM/FM Cassette with Premium Sound
    - Trunk Mounted CD Changer

    I am So very happy. I originally wanted a 5 speed, but i am very pleased with the performance of the V-6 auto combination. It's fast enough and fun enough for me. (perhaps later on i'll get a Super Chip, they're supposed to make a big difference on the automatic, since they alter the shift patterns) What do you think??

    I also have a question: My driveway is a hill, and yesterday morning when I started the car to drive to my sister's house, the Low Collant light stayed illuminated. I checked the coolant level when i got onto flat ground and it was fine...right at the MAX line. I shrugged it off blaming the driveway's slope. I re-started the car and the light went out. I vaguely remeber someone talking about this light being "overly sensitive" that the case?

    As for names, i haven't come up with any yet...

    Talk to you guys soon,

    P.S. As Badulah said, IT'S ABOUT TIME!!
  • Jimbo_G:

    It's been a long time in the works, eh? Glad to have you as an official member. I got kinda worried there for a little while when you disappeared there, and I'm glad you were still hunting for a Cat instead of another H-badged thing.


    Glad the machine is working. All of your repair/replacement stuff seems to be going as well as it could considering you lost everything in the first place. Keep smiling, and keep thinking of the positive! I know you are. :^)


    Just wanted to drop a line and let everyone know that things are moving along at a right steady clip. Later this week I hope to have the online member form ready for everyone to fill out, and get the member pages updated as they come in. Take care, Happy Cougaring!
  • malibumalibu Posts: 155
    Congrats on your new baby!

    I picked mine up Thurs. eve. and have 536 miles on it this morning. It had 8 when I got it, but I drove and drove all weekend. Went to LA to a Dodgers game so it has all freeway miles. I really like the leather seats, thought I wouldn't but I do. I still haven't come up with a name, working on it though. Happy Monday!
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    It's the hill that is causing your coolant light to come on. Keep an eye on it just to be sure, but mine does the same thing.
  • That's what i figured, just wanted to check though, to be sure. Do you think it's worth mentioning to the service dept.?? Is it something that can be adjusted?? Should i keep the level in the reservoir higher than MAX?? Or should i stop being anal and just deal with it LOL!! Talk to you soon, I have to go to the store to get....uh.....nothing...I just have to go drive :-)

  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    Does this TSB help?

    Service Bulletin Number: 0024
    Bulletin Sequence Number: 122
    Date of Bulletin: 0001
    NHTSA Item Number: SB612314
    Make: MERCURY
    Model: COUGAR
    Year: 1999

    How about this one?

    Service Bulletin Number: 985087
    Bulletin Sequence Number: 131
    Date of Bulletin: 9811
    NHTSA Item Number: SB613215
    Make: MERCURY
    Model: COUGAR
    Year: 1999
    Year: 1999

    Speak to your dealer's service manager.
  • Badulah - Thanks for the response on the lights. I think I'm just going to buy a set and see how they do. I only need them for the low beams anyway, since those are kind of piddly.

    According to the Sylvania website, the Cool Blue bulbs are OEM replacements -- looks like the same wattage as the OEM halogen bulbs. The low beams are 55 watts and the high beams are 65 watts. Would these numbers correspond to the those for standard OEM halogen bulbs?

    If the wattages are the same, this would preclude blown fuses and, consequently, melting of the light housings, right? The only difference with the bulb is its "blue absorption coating," which produces the brighter white you see on the highway. In fact, the lumens ratings for these bulbs are the same as those for standard OEM halogen bulbs. The light color makes the visbility difference.

    I'll be sure to let you know if my Cougar's booby lights melt and the fuse box blows out from under the dashboard :-)
  • Re: Coolant light.

    Had the same problem. Per the service bullitens above, all they have to do is add a little coolant to the tank and all is well.

    Happy Cougaring!!!!

    Skip G.
  • Thanks Guys!
    I'll bring it to their attention at my next service...

  • malibumalibu Posts: 155
    Met a group of future cougar owners this morning...I dropped my daughter off at school this morning and was mobbed by a group of 8th graders checking out the cougar. They loved it, I think we have our 2004 cougar support group already! It's so cute to see all these little guys getting excited about a car. My daughter says the cougar has increased her popularity at school...with the boys, not so good! Maybe I should buy a plain old Honda to take her to school and keep the boys away.

    Also, I noticed that the idle seems high, it idles about 1000 rpm, isn't that too high? I don't want to take it in if it's normal, but I don't remember Max idling this high. Thanks.
  • Malibu:

    Mine idles at around 800 RPM w/o air conditioning, and around 1K with. Were you using the air?


    What are everyone's thoughts on mp3 files? I don't mean how does everyone feel about the music industry getting ripped off or anything, this question is actually related to cars. I was wondering what your thoughts are about playing mp3 files in the car. If you consider the file space of a CD-R/RW at 650MB, you can fit up to 6 hours worth of music at CD quality on one disk that can be read in some of the newer in-dash CD players. I'm considering this as a feature I'd be interested in to replace the stock head unit in my Cat and I'm interested in your feedback. Even if you don't have interest in something like this for yourself, I'd like to hear what you have to say. Your responses are going to a good cause!

    Thanks in advance!
  • Stageleft -- From what I've seen and heard about MP3s and CD-ROMs, you wouldn't be able to listen to the MP3s themselves off of a CD-ROM unless they were converted to a CD music format. The CD music format makes an 80-minute CD just that -- a CD capable of holding only 80 minutes of music.

    You have to have an MP3 reader/software built into the dash unit to read the files themselves. Is the unit you're playing capable of reading individual MP3 files? If so, you might have a winner of an idea here.

    As an alternative, you could wait for the in-dash MP3 players to come of age. They're in development now. Ahhh...automotive technology...
  • Stageleft -- I found Kenwood and Aiwa dash units which will decode and play MP3 files. List price is $750.00 and $350.00, respectively. The Kenwood handles CD-Rs; the Aiwa handles CD-Rs/CD-RWs. Below are Crutchfield links to both:

    Kenwood eXcelon Z919 CD

    Aiwa CDC-MP3

    These are going to be really cool...unless Napster is taken offline and the MP3 movement dies. Perhaps the only caveat to buying these units now. Might be worthwhile to wait and see if agreements are made with the music industry to make this sort of "ripping" a little less controversial, as much as I hate that idea :-(
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I did take the panel off to look at the cabin air filter, but it wasn't that easy. I was afraid I would break a clip on the panel or something. If I break it, I pay.... if the dealer breaks it they pay. Though, in the future I will probably just replace it myself. They wanted to charge me $36 fo 1/2 hour labor. NOT!!!!

    I have noticed with the cool weather today my Cat is driving great.
  • Thanks to all of the participants of Cougar Fest. We at Mercury had a great time and appreciate everyone's enthusiasm. The distances that some people drove to attend were amazing. Thanks. We are already planning a bigger and better event next year. Of course, special thanks go to Brad Lloyd.

    Win a 2001 Cougar on They are sponsoring Rock The Vote competition.

    MP3 is an emerging technology. Make sure the units that you buy are functional in your Cougar first. If the CD insert slot is low in the head unit, you may have problems getting CD's in because of the position of the gear shift. Make sure the insert slot is at top of the head unit like it is on the new six disc in dash CD player.

    I've been on the road two weeks now. Looking forward to sunny Southern California on Friday. Its cold in Michigan
  • Burnsmr4 and MWS:

    Thanks for all your feedback. It's nice to know I have a positive place to gather feedback. I am considering getting a head unit that can read the mp3 encoded files, and that will be around 6 hours worth of music per disc. Even if Napster dies, it doesn't mean we can't use mp3's. In fact, I'd probably go the 100% legal route and only "rip" copies of songs I already own on CD. I like the concept of being able to have that much music on one disc. Someday the prices of the higher end units like the Kenwood and Aiwa mentioned will come down, or other manufacturers like Visteon (the manufacturer of the new CD-6 they're putting in the 2001 Cougars) will introduce their version to the market. Now THAT would be really nice - six six-hour CD's! Roadtrip heaven!

    Thanks for the support all, I appreciate it.


    I bet you really can't wait to get back to CA. It's been cold here lately on the east coast too. I want summer back! :^)
  • Nimmue idles at 750 RPM with or without A/C. 1000 RPM does seem a bit high but I must admit I don't recall if my Cat's idle was higher during the break in period. Maybe wait until you a have a couple hundred miles on her and then have it checked out if it doesn't drop a bit.
  • I was trying to get onto a busy Atlanta freeway yesterday morning, and I had to really punch it. Ran in 3rd gear up to around 6500 RPM. I thought, for a brief moment, that I saw a red light flash on my instrument cluster. Is that right? Is there some sort of redline warning light that pops up, particularly since there is no painted redline? Just curious.
  • The problem with trying to put mp3s directly onto a cd is that the mp3 format is a compressed format. Basically, when you convert an AIFF (regular cd encoding) file to mp3, its like putting a big photoshop file into Stuffit. The file is there, but you have to unstuff to make it usable. I know because I just tried last week. I couldn't figure out why Toast (a cd burning program) wouldn't read the files I was trying to burn. I had to download SoundJam and convert the mp3s into AIFFs (turning them into WAV files will work too). A song that was 4 mb in mp3 turned out to be around 40 mb in AIFF. If you really want to play mp3s in your car, you can get a Diamond Rio mp3 player, but if you already have a cd burner, it would be a lot cheaper to do it that way. One last thing, if you do make a cd, set aside about an hour or so, it is not a quick process what with all the decoding and encoding. The sound quality is definately worth the time.

    Hope everyone is doing well. Haven't had much time to get online in the past couple of weeks.

    Badulah & Stageleft:
    Thanks for getting the new Web site up. It looks great. If there's anything I can help out with on it let me know.
  • Today I was looking on the back lot of a LM dealer for 2001 Cougars. I noticed several 2000 models(booby lights and all) with different style leather seats. The seats were a more conventional looking design with square headrests. I didn't think that the new seats were going to be available until the 2001 models came out? Did they start installing them early? Has anyone seen a 2001 on a lot yet?
  • Blackcoug:

    Thanks for the info, it's good to know there's technically saavy people in our group. I'm familiar with process of burning audio CD's as I've been doing this for more than 4 years now. But with the introduction of mp3's, it's getting to a place where technology is up to speed on many fronts, including music.

    Just like you store mp3 files on your computer's hard drive, you can burn mp3 files onto a CD for storage purposes mostly right now. There are several electronics companies that have introduced head units for cars that can read and play the mp3 encoded songs directly from the mp3 files. That's what I'm talking about. The standard AIFF format for music that can be read in most regular CD players does only allow for about 74 minutes of music. I know that a CD full of mp3's cannot be read by anything other than a computer or these new head units that are making their debut, but if you have an entire 650MB (74 minute) CD full of mp3's at CD-quality, you can have almost 6 hours of music on that CD.

    So, I'm looking at a head unit that can read the mp3 formatted files so I can have one CD with more music on it than all 6 regular CD's in my changer. It's all about the technology! Give me a gizmo! ;^)


    At CougarFest 2000, we had the unique pleasure of sitting in the new 2001's they had assembled at the plant. I know Mercury was really working hard to adjust to owner feedback regarding the seats in the 99-00 Cougars and making them more comfortable. The 01's we saw had really comfy seats in addition to it's new interior treatment. I'm not sure, however, if the seats you saw in the late 00's at your dealer have the same seat as the 01's we saw at the plant. The seats you saw may have been Mercury's intermediate attempt at making the seats more comfortable before they rolled out the new model, or they might just be the same seats they decided to put into the 01's.

    I think only MWS could answer that for sure.


    Take care everyone! Have a great weekend and be safe. Happy Cougaring!
  • Well it looks like summer is offically over up here in Rochester as the yellow snowflake in my instrument cluster turned on this morning for the first time since April:-(
  • Everyone go to and visit the automotive electronics area. Sort the products according to your Mercury Cougar through the 2001 model year. Look under in-dash CD receivers, and tell me what you find under Kenwood...

    That's right! The Kenwood P907 CD Receiver, according to, will fit in a 1999 Mercury Cougar, even though it features an IN-DASH LCD TELEVISION SCREEN! This screen, supposedly, will manage to slide out of the receiver and upright itself as part of your Cougar center console/stereo unit.

    Forget MP3s and MiniDiscs -- let's watch TV while we're driving! Honestly, I think this is really silly for drivers -- maybe to entertain passengers. What really gets me is that...well...DOES IT REALLY FIT? If the receiver is flush to the receiver opening in the Cougar, how does the panel extend itself out far enough to get past the A/C controls/vent overhang on the dashboard?

    Just thought y'all might find this entertaining.
  • Fastback2:

    I know what you mean about the end of summer. I was greeted by the "snowflake" this morning. Of course, being one of those people who doesn't read the entire owners manual (ie: I look it up when I encounter it), I didn't know what my Kitty was trying to tell me. Thought maybe she was capable of forecasting the weather as well. (I hear snickering :o). Now of course I know what the light means and am thankful I didn't see it sooner. Since I got the car in June, and July is the only month during which it has never snowed in Ottawa, I consider myself lucky.

    The good news is the forecast for the weekend here is mid 20s, which would be mid to high 70s for you, so here's hoping we both get blessed with the same "front" this weekend.
This discussion has been closed.