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Cougar Support Group - Chats On...



  • Hello Everyone... it has been a long time since I've posted... I hope everyone is well. My Cougar and I just turned 15k... it's only been six months.. and I'm worried.. too much driving! Nonetheless, my little baby has gotten me where I needed in record time, and the V6 has gotten me out of sticky situations (Pa Turnpike). My question is.. I need the 15,000 mile maintance and I've called a couple dealers to get their price for that maintance.. and these are the totals.. 395.00, 204.00, 90.00, and 80.00 ... they all promise the same service. I don't need to get my cabin air filter chained, it's only been six months. the guy who quoted me 395.00 I asked what he did, and he said alignment and tuning... etc etc..

    What do you guys think? How much did you guys pay? Thanks for the help!
    David (Philadelphia)
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361

    Just about all of the items listed in the scheduled maint can be done by yourself.

    All of the fluid levels can be seen by looking into the clear or translucent resivours (spell?), you can change any of the filters that you need to, rotate your own tires (or have it done cheap at your local gas station), free brake inspection at the local brake shop (Midas, Carex, etc) and they usually do a complete underbody check at the same time, free.

    You shouldn't need a tune-up or any work like that.

    The only reason for going to the dealer would be the computer records of scheduled service, and even that's not required for the warranty.

  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    Thanks, Gustafsc -- good stuff. Did you ever find out what your 30K mile service cost at the dealership? I've changed my air filter, cabin air filter, and gotten an oil change.

    I haven't changed the PCV valve (how do I do that?) or the fuel filter (where, other than dealership, for this?). Nor have I had the brakes inspected. If I get those three done, I've basically done the 30K service, right? If you have suggestions for those last items, share 'em.

  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Sorry to say, I've not cracked the Owner's Manual since I got the car.

    But, having said that, most libraries have service manuals somewhere in the 600 section of the non-fiction collection. The Cougar is based on the Contour/Mistique, so the manual (Chiltons or other) shouldn't be hard to find.

    If you're not having any problem with engine operation, chances are that the fuel filter and PCV valve are OK. You can check the PCV valve by pulling it out and shaking it. If you can hear the slide moving (rattle), it's usually OK. Put it back in.

    Fuel filters usualy don't go bad unless you've gotten some bad gas at a low volume dealer where the tanks may acquire some crud over time. Water is usually more of a problem than dirt though. My last car had over 60K mi and never needed anything changed (Nissan Sentra Se-R sport coupe).

    Injector cleaner in the tank won't hurt, but gasoline does have a detergent already mixed in, and as long as the car is driven regularly, gum buildup shouldn't be a problem either. But, your option if it makes you feel better.

    In some cases, benign neglect is OK. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    Skip G.
  • Arrrghhhhhh!

    A little old lady bumped/rubbed/scraped my passenger side rear wheel well in the parking lot yesterday while I was in the store buying groceries. She did wait around for me to come out to take responsibility, and it's minor cosmetic stuff, but still.....aaaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhh!

    It irks me especially because I had picked a spot at the end of the row where there wasn't a place next to me for someone to park, but she was squeezing through and managed to ding me anyway.

    Her insurance folks have set up an inspection/estimate appointment for Monday afternoon, and my dealer is one of their preferred shops, so that will keep things a bit easier to deal with. And they're paying for a rental while my darling Adelaide is being touched up. Let's hope I don't get a purple Kia =8^o
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    And I suppose that the moral to your story is, "Don't buy groceries".

    A purple Kia would be almost as bad as the white Sunfire coupe I was stuck with for a month while my cat was getting it's butt rebuilt.

    Skip G.
  • Warning: no Cougar-related content in this message

    You can't park to avoid dents. A long time ago, in a universe far away, a friend of mine bought a new Plymouth. To keep its flanks unscathed, he parked it way in the back of the parking lot where he worked. No cars around for 50 yards.

    A co-worker, apparently carrying less brains than God gave to mackerel, decided that since Bill parked there, it was a good place, attempted to park next to him and whacked his new car. Got fixed and all, but still galling.

    Of course, when Bill got his next new car, he bagged a 6-point buck with it coming home from the dealer...
  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    Bill and I must be related somewhere down the line. Only I have had as much bad luck with cars as he has. And I've nearly hit a deer too. Yikes.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    At least you can eat the deer and put it's head on the wall as a trophy.

    Can't do that with little old ladies :-(

    (At least in the U.S.)

    Skip G
  • A friend of mine years ago bought a white Corvette (used, but still a hot car). He had driven it all of six miles when he was rear-ended.

    His dad ran a body shop, so getting the car fixed wasn't a problem. However, the alternator decided to die while the car was in the shop and that wasn't part of his dad's abilities to fix. So Dad towed the Corvette home, unhooked it in the driveway, got back in the tow truck and
    backed right into the Corvette.
  • I just read that FOMOCO is going to sell our Cougar until 2003/4 when it is replaced by the all new platform shared with the next gen Mustang, apparently it will be released 6months after the 'stang to have sufficient time for a media blitz for both cars. What do y'all think? I don't think the current powertrains will carry over, because the next Mustang is supposed to have (I believe) at least the Duratec V6 3.0 and of course the 4.6L Romeo V8....Maybe Ford is planning on a renaissance for all of its great cars? Well see.
  • I went to have a claims adjuster take a look at my kitty today. The scrape/rub turned out to be virtually entirely from the other car. He wiped it down well with some detailing spray and everything disappeared except for one teensy-eensy spot by the seam line between the rear side panel and the bumper. And that spot didn't get through the undercoat. I truly do not believe it's worth risking the problems of repainting the whole panel, so I'll touch it up and keep her waxed.

    So he's sending a check for $200 because that's the estimate to have the whole panel repainted, plus a voucher for 2 days of rental car to use at my discretion. I'm going to use about half that money to get the dimple-ding on the passenger door (from eons ago) taken out using that paintless system. And the rest of the money.....well, I've got my eye on a bracelet.....
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I'm sorry to hear about your scrape. It stinks when people are careless and damage other people's property.

    I to have heard that the Cougar will last another production year, but I have not heard about any future plans for the name. Where did you read this? Please let me know.

    Once again I agree with Skip. Don't pay one red cent to the dealership for this sort of a tune up. With the exception of a recall and a computer problem, I never take my car to the dealership. And now that the warranty is up, the Cougar will never see the inside of a dealership again (with the exception of the dealership that a friend of the family works for). I did my own 50,000 mile full tune up about three months ago. Like Skip said, take it to a local tire shop and have them balance the tires, rotate them, and check the brakes. Usually this can all be done for around $30.00. At this point in time you should not need a wheel alignment, so you need not bother with that. You can check all of your fluids, replace your cabin air filter, and air intake filter in your own driveway with only a few tools. If you need directions on doing any of this, please email me and I would be happy to send you detailed instructions.

    The dealership wanted over $500.00 to do the 50,000 mile tune up and that did not include the plugs or wires (I know they are good for 100,000 miles, but I personally don't believe in the 100,000 mile plug). I did all the following myself:
    - Changed plugs
    - Replaced plug wires
    - Cleaned out re usable KKM intake filter
    - Replaced the cabin air intake filter
    - Checked all fluids
    - Oil Change (Using a Fram extended life filter and Castrol Syntech Oil)
    - Cleaned battery terminals
    - Replaced all 3 wiper blades
    - Cleaned out throttle body and MAF sensor
    - Added one bottle of fuel injector cleaner to a full tank of 93 octane fuel
    - Inspected all belts

    I had a local garage do the following:
    - Wheel rotation & Balance
    - Brake Inspection
    - Replace brake pads (Upgraded to Performance Friction pads)
    - Wheel alignment

    In the spring I plan to take it to my personal mechanic to have a full diognostic done to the engine & computer. Better to be safe than sorry. By then it will have over 60,000 miles on it.
  • krnchkrnch Posts: 127

    Nice to see you dropping in again. How have you been?

    Regarding your last post, when you upgraded your brake pads did it disable the brake pad wear idiot light? Also, if you have instructions on how to clean the throttle body and MAF sensor, I'd be interested in reading them. Are you and Stageleft still maintaining the Cougarsupportgroup website. I haven't checked it in a while.


  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    These should not normally be a scheduled replacement item.

    The modern materials used as inslulation do not break down in a short period of time unless really stressed by excessive heat or chemical attack.

    Wire replacement as a tune-up item is another holdover from the past when the insulation was mostly rubber which was easily affected by age and weathering.

    Unless you experience engine roughness or bucking caused by crossfiring, leave 'em alone. (A little cleaning with WD-40 or other silicone material won't hurt as more moisture proofing)

    Another fallacy, going to larger guage wires. The actual current flow in the plug wires is pretty low. It's high voltage that creates the spark across the plug gap, not current flow. The normal wires supplied are sufficient. As a matter of fact, the modern plug wire is actually resistive for improvement of the spark transient pulse and reduction of RF interference. (Please, don't make me do the math and graphs to illustrate)

    Exiting Wise Old Guy mode!!!!! ;-)

    Skip G.
  • Hello to anyone wondering where I got my info on the future Cougar plans check Motor Trend magazine, last issue they said the current model is dead next year and this current issue it adds the rest about the "Dew-Lite" platform for the Mustang and the Cougar. I hope its all true , and I especially hope that the next Cougar is as much a stunner in the visual department as it is now, and I also hope its still heavily European influenced, so it doesnt seem like a rebadged Mustang.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Well, it's been 3 years since my cat and I met and it followed me home. At the moment, everything is OK, but you know what is said about warranty periods. Warranty ends, product dies :-(

    Hope that that doesn't happen to us.

    Really can't believe that we've been here in the CSG for 3.5 years. It's been fun (except for the long wait for my order to be filled). Hope we keep it up for a few more years and see what the possible new Cougar looks like. I've heard that it'll be based n the new Mustang platform.

    My question is, "Is the new platform going to be a sophisticated 2W or 4D system incorporating a modern engine, or a re-vamped dinosaur like the current line?"

    Skip G.
  • I am not sure what you mean by "2W and 4D" but the new platform dubbed "Dew-Lite" is an all new platform based on the Lincoln LS made shorter and lighter. It should do wonders for the Mustang/Cougar.
  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    Gustafsc and I are approaching that dreaded mileage and/or date -- the expiration of the warranty! I've got 2 months and/or 4000 miles left on my car. I'm betting the 2 months will go by first.

    Today, I took the car into the dealership to find out where that climate control smell was coming from. The burning smell I've spoken about previously? Can we say...

    ...melted plastic bag?

    That's right -- a plastic bag got caught on the catalytic converter and melted. Add to this a slightly loose oil filter (tightened it almost a half turn), and burning smells were to be expected from underneath the car.

    The mechanic wiped up the dripping oil (should I check it again at home to see if it's leaking?) and scraped off most of the plastic bag. The rest will just have to burn off.

    Even trash is out to get me in this car.

  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I hope everyone is doing fine!!!

    I plan to take my car to the dealer to get a couple of items fixed before the warranty runs out. First, my climate control fan is making a chirp noise again (fixed when car had 5K miles on it). Also, my hatch is sticking again. I have already had my car into the dealer to have them fix my hatch "issues" no lerss than 6 times. I hope it gets fixed once and for all.

    Other than that, all is fine.

    I am still trying to find a job (got laid off back in Oct). I have a feeling I will have better luck after the new year. I hope!!

  • dgeminidgemini Posts: 161
    Overall my kitty has been relatively trouble free, but some of you may recally my throttle broke about 76 miles after the warranty expired.

    Fortunately, I had an extended warranty, and I thank the throttle hang mod may have had something to do with it so I don't bring L/M. Also, as far as I know no other Cougar owner on any board I frequent has even had a broken throttle.

    I will be seeing my lovely wife and driving my kitty in 2 days! Goodbye to Korea for 28 days!

  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Yes Lefty and I are still maintaining the web site, but we haven't done anything to it in ages. Unfortunately our life styles have changed quite a bit over the last few months and we are not able to dedicate as much time to it as we would like.

    I spoke to Lefty last night and we are planning to attend a few of Leo's races this coming season. There is a new track being constructed in Washington DC and Leo will be racing there sometime in July. Since Lefty lives only 20 minutes from there, we plan to attend. We will also be attending the Race at Lime Rock over Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully you and a few of the other members will be able to attend. I will be sure to post the plans in the Gatherings topic as well as on the web site.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Is that where everybody's at?

    If so, what are you buying your Cougar for Christmas?

    Mine's getting new wiper blades and a fresh air cleaner (K&N repacement type,but don't tell)

    Skip G
  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318 it ain't gettin' squat.


  • dgeminidgemini Posts: 161
    I'm home! I am with my wife, and I have driven my kitty! It is running great!

    Hopefully I will continue to have a happy holiday season!

  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361

    No comment on how the wife is running?

    Happy Holidays to all. I'll see you next year, as I'm pulling some spare vacation time to recover from all the excess food.

    Skip G.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    WELCOME HOME!!! How was your trip? Let us know when you have some time.

    In reference to your question about the brake upgrade: Although the upgraded pads came with the wear sensor connection, the sensor is not functioning properly. AT first I was kind of annoyed with this glitch, but I quickly got over it. IMHO, the upgrade is worth this MINOR glitch. I plan to take the car to my friend's father's dealership sometime next month because it is idling a little rough. I will have him check the brake sensor as well. Maybe he can figure out how to remedy the problem.

    The procedure for cleaning out the throttle body and MAF is as follows (As per Warren from Kurtz Kustom Motorsportz):
    1. Obtain a spray bottle of throttle body cleaner.
    2. Remove the MAF housing from the intake assembly
    3. Spray the MAF sensor (it is located inside the MAF housing. Be sure NOT TO TOUCH THE ACTUAL SENSOR WITH YOUR HAND OR ANY OTHER OBJECT) and let it air dry before re-installing it.
    4. While the engine is off, spray some of the cleaner in to the throttle body. If there is a lot of build up, you can use an old tooth brush to scrub it off. After the cleaning is done, wipe off the excess with a paper towel.
    5. While the engine is running, spray the cleaner in to the throttle body while revving the throttle. (The bottle of cleaner will have specific directions on it).

    I hope all of you have a GREAT & SAFE HOLIDAY!!
  • krnchkrnch Posts: 127
    Thanks, Badulah. I think I'll try cleaning the throttle body and MAF in the spring.

    My Cougar is presently in the shop for an exhaust leak that developed over the holidays. I think it's leaking from a joint about half way down the length of the car (possibly where the cat-back exhaust systems join - although I don't have one). It actually sounds pretty cool right now, but I thought I should get it fixed before it gets worse.

    I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and wish everyone a safe and happy 2002.


  • I think it is 90% Mercury's fault that the Cougar hasn't done as well since they rarely try and market the car. Everywhere I go everyone always asks me what it is and thinks it is a cool car. They are always Mercury can't sell what the public doesn't know exits.

    I know others have had problems with their Cougars, but I haven't had a problem and love my Cougar. It is a joy to drive and I like it more and more each day.

  • lmigliorelmigliore Posts: 148
    I think you called it correctly. The Cougar has not sold because it hasn't been sold. It's a good car, and with a little attention could have been a great car, but it's doomed by neglect. I mean, are there any other $18,000 cars that go 140 MPH? Is anyone who doesn't own one aware of this?
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