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Cougar Support Group - General Maintenance



  • benisembenisem Posts: 30
    Well, as you may know, the North East is being over taken by mosquitos that spread the West Nile virus. Apparently, my town has 26 dead crows with West Nile disease and now, we must start spraying the deadly mosquito spray.. Now what exactly can this pesticide that you should not breathe do to a car's finish? Since my car is not in a garage, I am a bit concerned.. Yesterday I applied an extra coat of wax & last night I hosed down the car so the car would be wet and dilute any chemicals that hit it, and then this morning I re rinsed the car with the hose. I guess, I am asking your thoughts on car covers and any other ideas you may have to avoid having the finish of my car eaten away by pesticide.
  • stageleftstageleft Posts: 391

    I think you're on the right pro-active track in taking these steps to avoid paint contamination. Although I am not sure what any of those harsh insecticides may do to paint, I'd worry all the same.

    I suggest to just keep doing what you're doing, as a car cover (unless you really want one anyway) doesn't keep dust out, only rain and grime for the most part. Also, if there are any contaminates on the paint before you cover your car, they might engrain themselves into the finish while covered.
  • benisem: If anything, you are overreacting (not a knock, I would probably do the same). Pesticides are chemicals that attack nerve and/or respiratory systems of animals. Generally, they are not corrosive in nature and should not harm your Kitty's surfaces. Extra wax and frequent rinsing/washing are excellent precautions, though.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Depends on what the vehicle used to carry the insecticide is. (Vehicle: fluid used to carry active ingredient, not helicopter).

    Wash ASAP aftrer spraying, should be OK.

    At one time, they used to use kerosene & DDT. Now that could get corrosive.

    Skip G
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    If anyone has these particular concerns, here are three and a half official Ford Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) related to brakes (there are several others, but I wasn't able to get copies):

    TSB #12707

    R1995-1999 Contour/Mystique/Cougar front brake groan

    Some 1995-1999 contour/Mystique and 1999 SVT Contour and Cougar may exhibit a front brake groan. TSB 99-08-09 (front brake groan during city driving) can also be applied to the 1999 SVT Contour. However, this TSB should only be applied to Contour/Mystiques/SVT built before 06/1999 and for Cougar built before 05/1999. Vehicles built after these dates will already have the new front linings installed in production."

    TSB #13900 :

    "Rear brake grind/groan on first application after
    parked overnight

    Some 1999-2000 Cougars equipped with 4-wheel disk
    brakes may exhibit a groan/grind noise from the
    rear brakes on the first application after the
    vehicle has been parked overnight. This noise is
    unrelated to braking performance. Servicing the
    rear brake pads and/or rotors results in little
    improvement at the present time. Engineering is
    developing a service procedure for this noise."


    "Brake pad wear sensor

    When replacing front brake pads on a 1999 Cougar equipped with sensors, the sensor harness on the service part pad being installed on the right front brake may be cut off and discarded. The pad wear sensor system monitors only the rear brake pads and the left front brake for wear. Removal of the harness will not affect brake operation or pad warning lamp operation."


    I was only able to retrieve this partial wording:

    "... applications. To repair, replace the rotors with a non-dacromet rotor part number F8RZ-1125-CA and replace the front brake pads with P/N XS8Z-2001-DA (w/pad wear sensors) or P/N XS8Z-2001-CA (w/o pad wear sensors). Retest to verify repair. Note: This repair will not resolve brake grind noise concerns. Engineering is currently developing a repair for the brake grind issue and a TSB will be published as soon as a service procedure becomes available."
  • My leather on my seats in two separate small areas are discolored and rubbing off. And when I say discolored, I mean I have gray seats and one spot looks almost reddish purple! What the hell should I do? I have not used any product what so ever on my seats yet and I am concerned. I have not used any cleaning product in my car either. The only thing that has touched my car is a Swiffer, which I was not impressed with. Does everyone here armor all? My dash feels like it is made of some funky material, not leather, not vinyl. I am perplexed by what to do with the interior of my Bella. Is the seat even covered by warranty?

    Any ideas, suggestions?
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    I personally would NOT recomment Armorall. I have found that over time it will actually crack and dry out your dash. I only use a swiffer on my dash, and occasionally some water with a tiny bit of soap in it. For leather care, you should contact Jimbo_G. He is the resident detailing expert.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Yes, you seat should be covered under warranty. Your leather seats should lasta long time. Take Bella to the dealer and have them fix the seats.
  • fredlyfredly Posts: 201
    Seats should be covered under warranty.

    For leather care, I suggest Lexol I believe it comes in a tan and orangish bottles
    Cleaner and Protectant... smells great isn't slippery and makes leather nice and soft.
  • What's the best procedure for touching up little chips in the paint? I've got two or three from rocks being thrown up. They aren't big but they're deep, and I want to fix them before I wax Adelaide next.

    Should I remove all waxes/glazes first? Do two coats and a sealer top coat like I do with my nail polish?

    All help greatly appreciated!
  • Over the years, bottle touchup paint has never looked exactly like the original finish. At least on any color that I've had.

    There are some companies that come to your car, and use airbrush for minor nicks and scratches. If they're any good, the finish should look like new when they're done.

    Check the phone book for one close to you, and ask to check out thier work on other customers.

    Skip G.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Sorry I didn't get to say good by to you and your wife. I kinda ran out the door in a hurry. It was nice meeting the both of you. Hopefully next time we will have more time to hang out and shoot the breeze.
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    Anyone owning a Cougar WITHOUT antilock brakes, built before March 17, 2000, should read this from

    Ford Motor Company will issue a safety recall concerning certain 1996 through 2000 model year Contour and Mystique models and 1999 through 2000 model year Cougars for a possible brake defect.

    The vehicle's Brake Pressure Control Reducing Valve will be replaced under safety recall number 00S03. According to Ford, "on some of the affected vehicles, one or both of the brake Pressure Control Reducing Valves (PCRV) may malfunction due to corrosion. If both PCRVs malfunction, both rear wheels may lock up when braking, potentially resulting in loss of control."

    The recall will include the following vehicles:

    * All 1996 through 2000 Model Year Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique Vehicles without Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with build dates 4/1/1996 through 2/4/00 at the Kansas City Assembly Plant and build dates 4/15/96 through 2/18/00 at the Cuautitlan Mexico Assembly Plant.

    * All 1999 through 2000 Model Year Cougar Vehicles without Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) built from Job1 through 3/16/00 at Flat Rock Assembly Plant
  • krnchkrnch Posts: 127
    I was informed that this recall applied to my Cougar when I was last in for service. They had the parts in stock and fixed it. Apparently it's a pretty easy fix. I doubt anyone will have any problems like those experienced with the door latch recall (scratched window tint, etc., eh Badulah?). When it comes to important systems like brakes, I wouldn't delay in having it looked at if you own one of the Cat's referred to in Blane's post.

  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Well, mine came in the mail today, so I guess I'll see about getting it fixed sometime next week, and they can also do all that 15Kmi stuff (except for the oil which I had done before Cougarfest.

    Skip G.
  • lmigliorelmigliore Posts: 148
    Kerosene and DDT is very good with gin. It's so hard to get DDT these days I've almost forgotten how good it was.
  • Has there been many compliants about the cougar transmissions? My 1999 V6 just lost its forward gears. The dealership said they has a heck of a time finding a replacement. They did get a new one, but I am looking at two weeks before I can get my car back ( they have given me a replacement until then).

    This leads me to think that there is a great demand for trans or none at all. What do you think?
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    There were only a few TSBs for Cougar transmissions. The folks posting on this site didn't have any significant problems with them. You might ask your dealer's service department manager to review this Technical Service Bulletin:

    Service Bulletin Number: 0019
    Bulletin Sequence Number: 122
    Date of Bulletin: 0001
    NHTSA Item Number: SB612301
    Make: MERCURY
    Model: COUGAR
    Year: 1999
  • Thank you.
  • gustafscgustafsc Posts: 361
    Have your service department check TSB # 99-14-08, if yours is a manual transmission. Or TSB#99-13--07 if it's an auto.

    Skip G.
  • thanks for the suggestion.

    Just a follow up. My dealer could not get a transmission and is still waiting for the supplier. It seems there are none to be had and we must wait until one is manufactured.

    This is the first transmission of a cougar he had to deal with, but two weeks after I brought my in he has his second. A 2000 with less than 2,000k.

    Originally he thought he had ordered a transmission fro me, but once it arrived there seemed to be a part number mix up and it was actually a contour transmission.
  • gocatzgocatz Posts: 12
    After a little incident with a ditch, I had to replace my tires (along with $7,000 worth of other stuff) I got the BFG g-Force's, since there were really only a couple of brands available in our size (215/50R16).

    Does anybody else have these tires. Did you think the ride was substantially harsher than the stock BFG's? Seems like it is, but thought it was maybe just me, since I haven't driven the car in a month.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Generally speaking, BFG's are a good choice. Every BFG I have owned or driven has satisfied me.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Since a few of you have posted about the brake rotors going bad, I decided to take my Cat to Ford and have them do a brake inspection. After 42,000 miles everything still looks good. According to the service rep she only has 40% wear on the front pads and 20% on the rear. I was ready to have them tell me that I needed new pads and rotors.

    What a relief!!

    In a month I plan to have a set of Eibach springs installed at a local performance shop. I'll have them upgrade the pads to performance pads during the same visit. Normally I wouldn't bother, but since I plan to auto-cross this spring & summer, I think it is a wise decision.

    For those of you thinking about upgrading to cross drilled / slotted rotors, you may want to think twice. Although they will improve the already great braking performance, they tend to wear out the pads quicker. The slots have a shaving effect (very slight) on the pads. Like most mods, there are positives and negatives. Better braking, but more maintenance.
  • fredlyfredly Posts: 201
    go catz,
    the BFG is a awesome tire, compared to either of the other two stock options the BFG VR4's or the FireRocks....
    You'll be very pleased.
    BTW the KDW came standard on the Contour SVT...
  • gocatzgocatz Posts: 12
    Thanks, fredly. I haven't really put them to a test, yet, but these guys feel really solid. Even better handling...woo hoo!
  • krnchkrnch Posts: 127
    Maybe Leo Capaldi used up all of the available Cougar transmissions last racing season ;)
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    While speaking to Leo at Cougar Fest, he told me that his pit crew could actually swap an entire trans in around 10 minutes. I can barely change my wiper blades in that time.
  • A 10 minute transmission change in a front-wheel drive car? They must have had a lot of practice...perhaps too much practice.
  • camelardcamelard Posts: 171
    On the way to work this morning my Kitty's engine started making this hideous whining noise, almost like a high pitched whistle. Seems to start when I hit about 40kmph/25mph and continues until I come to a near stop. No noise at all when idling. Anyone experienced this?
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