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The Ford Contour, produced from 1995 to 2000, was the North American iteration of the first-generation Ford Mondeo. Manufactured as a four-door sedan at the Kansas City Assembly in Claycomo, Missouri, and the Cuautitlán Assembly in Mexico, the Contour shared the CDW27 platform with the European Mondeo. Officially classified as a mid-size car, the Contour was among the smallest sedans in the segment, leading to some criticism of its interior dimensions. Available in three trims-GL (1995-1997), LX, and SE-the car was equipped with either a 125 hp 2.0 L Zetec inline-4 or a 170 hp 2.5 L Duratec V6 engine, with the former standard on GL and LX versions and the latter on the SE. Both engines could be paired with a standard five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic transmission. An optional "Sport" package was introduced in 1996. Dimensions for the Contour included a wheelbase of 106.5 inches, a length of 183.9 inches, a width of 69.0 inches, and a height of 54.4 inches. An updated model with a redesigned front fascia, quarter panels, headlamps, and taillamps was introduced in January 1997 for the 1998 model year, along with a high-performance variant known as the SVT. Production of the Ford Contour ceased in 2000.
The 1999 and 2000 Ford Contour models are known for three primary issues. Firstly, these models often experience the dashboard detaching from the windshield, termed as "dash pailing." This detachment, presumably due to manufacturing defects, causes obstruction of the defroster vent's airflow and compromises visibility. The elevation of the dashboard also poses potential risks to the airbag system. Technical evaluations indicate that the dashboard's plastic vent components are not securely anchored, and the adhesive used in its construction can rapidly deteriorate under UV light exposure. To address this, Ford introduced a repair kit and later initiated a recall, recommending the installation of a cap over the heater/defroster duct. Additionally, sunshades have been advised to protect the dashboard from direct sunlight, with suggestions to replace the dashboard with one from the 1998 model to bypass the design flaw. Secondly, the 1998 model has reported power loss and stalling issues, exhibiting symptoms such as hesitation and jerky movements. Despite various maintenance efforts, the core issue seems to be misalignment of timing marks on the VCT 2.0 engine's timing belt, leading to the PO340 cam sensor code. Furthermore, issues related to fuel pressure and timing alignment have been identified as potential causes. Lastly, stalling issues have been consistently reported in both the 1998 and 1999 models. Possible factors for these complications range from defective fuel pumps and blocked fuel filters to potential electrical faults. A common recommendation is inspecting the vehicle's wiring, especially the harness, due to concerns about exposed or faulty wiring in some 1998 models.
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