Download PDF Manual


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NOTE: If you spill any fuel on the body of your vehicle,

clean it off immediately. The fuel may dull or soften the paint if you do not wash it off.

3. Replace the fuel cap completely when you are finished. Turn

it clockwise until it is tight. It will click when it is fully tightened.

4. Push the fuel door closed. If you lose the fuel cap, replace it with an authorized Motorcraft or equivalent part.


If you do not use the proper fuel cap, the pressure in the fuel tank can damage the fuel system or cause it to work improperly in a collision.

NOTE: If you replace your fuel cap with an aftermarket fuel filler cap, the customer warranty may be void for any damage to the fuel tank and/or fuel system.

Choosing the Right Fuel

Use only UNLEADED FUEL in your vehicle. Using leaded fuel is prohibited by federal law. Your warranty may not apply if your vehicle is damaged because you used the wrong fuel. Using a high-quality fuel makes your vehicle more responsive and maintain its good fuel economy and emissions. It should not be necessary to add any aftermarket products to your fuel tank if you continue to use a high-quality fuel. Octane recommendations

Your engine is designed to use regular fuel with an octane rating of 87. In most cases it is not necessary to use a fuel with an octane rating higher than 87. At service stations, the octane rating is displayed in a label on the pumps.


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Typical octane rating label

Using a fuel with a lower octane rating can cause persistent and heavy knocking, which can damage the engine.

Do not be concerned if your vehicle sometimes knocks lightly when you drive up a hill or when you accelerate. However, see your dealer or a qualified service technician if persistent heavy knocking occurs because this can damage the engine.

If your vehicle has problems with starting, rough idle or hesitation problems when the engine is cold, it may be caused by fuel with low volatility. Try a different brand of fuel. If the condition persists, see your dealer or a qualified service technician.

Gasolines for clean air

Fuels in certain areas of the country are required to contain oxygenates to improve air quality. Common oxygenates are ethanol or grain alcohol (blended at no more than 10%), methanol or wood alcohol (blended at no more than 5% with cosolvents and additives), and MTBE or methyl tertiary butyl ether (blended at no more than 15%).

Reformulated fuel is also required in certain areas of the U.S. These fuels are designed to further reduce the emissions from your vehicle.


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Generally, you should not experience difficulties operating your vehicle on fuels containing oxygenates. We encourage you to use these fuels. Safety Information Relating to Automotive Fuels


Automotive fuels can cause serious injury or death if misused or mishandled.

n Turn vehicle off when refueling n Do not smoke when refueling. Fuels are extremely


n Do not siphon any fuel by mouth.


Gasoline or gasoline blended with methanol can cause blindness and possible death when swallowed. If any fuel is swallowed, call a physician or poison control center immediately.

n Avoid breathing vapors while refueling. n If fuel is splashed on the skin, wash with soap and water. n If fuel is splashed in the eyes, remove contact lenses (if

worn), flush with water for 15 minutes, and seek medical attention.

Gasoline and gasoline blends may contain small amounts of carcinogens, such as benzene. Long-term exposure to unleaded gasoline vapors has caused cancer in laboratory animals. If you are taking the medication “Antabuse” or other forms of disulfiram for the treatment of alcoholism, vapor or skin contact with a gasoline-methanol blend may cause the same kind of adverse reaction as drinking an alcoholic beverage. In sensitive


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Servicing Your Contour

individuals, serious personal injury or sickness could result. Consult a physician promptly if you experience an adverse reaction. Running Out of Fuel

NOTE: Avoid running out of fuel because this situation may

have an adverse effect on modern powertrain components.

You may need to crank the engine several times before the fuel system starts to pump fuel from the tank to the engine.


Never pour fuel in the throttle body or attempt to start the engine with the air cleaner removed. Doing so could result in fire and personal injury.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is an estimate of the efficiency of your vehicle and can be calculated as Miles Per Gallon (MPG) or Liters Per 100 Kilometers (L/100K).

Do not calculate fuel economy during your vehicle’s break-in period. This would not be an accurate estimate of how much fuel your vehicle will normally use.

To calculate fuel economy:

1. Fill the tank completely and record the initial odometer


2. Every time you buy fuel record the amount (in gallons or

liters) purchased.

3. After at least three to five tankfuls, fill the fuel tank and

record the final odometer reading.


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4. Use these equations to calculate your fuel economy: n English: MPG 쏁 (total miles driven) 앦 (gallons used) n Metric: L/100k 쏁 (liters used) 앦 (100 kilometers) Comparisons With EPA Fuel Economy Estimates

EPA fuel economy figures are obtained from laboratory tests under simulated road conditions and may not reflect the actual conditions you experience or your style of driving. The EPA fuel economy estimate is not a guarantee that you will achieve the fuel economy shown.

The following decrease fuel economy: n Lack of regular, scheduled maintenance n Rapid acceleration and excessive speed n Driving with your foot on the brake n Sudden stops n Extended engine idling n Using speed control in hilly terrain n Extended use of the A/C, defroster, rear window defroster

and other accessories

n Underinflated tires n Heavy loads n Aftermarket add-ons such as bike, ski or luggage racks, bug

deflectors, etc.


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Self-Service Pointers If you choose to do your own fueling, you should also perform a few simple maintenance routines. This extra effort will save you additional money and contribute to the driving efficiency of your vehicle. The following procedures require only a tire gauge, a rag, an oil can spout and windshield washer fluid. n Check the engine oil at every refueling stop n Clean the windshield, outside mirrors and headlights n Check windshield washer fluid n Check tires for excessive wear or worn edges n Check the tire pressure at least monthly Engine Oil Recommendations We recommend using Motorcraft oil or an equivalent oil meeting Ford Specification ESE-M2C153-E and displaying the American Petroleum Institute CERTIFICATION MARK on the front of the container.


The API Certification Mark


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Never use: n “Non-Detergent” oils n Oils labeled API SA, SB, SC, SD, SE, SF or SG n Additional engine oil additives, oil treatments or engine


Engine oils with an SAE 5W-30 viscosity are PREFERRED for your vehicle. They provide the best engine performance, fuel economy and engine protection for all climates down to -15˚F (-25˚C).

Synthetic engine oils which are CERTIFIED and of the preferred viscosity may be used in your engine. The engine oil and oil filter must still be changed according to the maintenance schedule. Checking and Adding Engine Oil

Since the proper amount of engine oil is important for safe engine operation, check the oil using the dipstick each time you put fuel in your vehicle. Remember the engine must be off, the oil must be warm and the vehicle must be parked on level ground.

Checking the engine oil level:

1. Turn the engine off after it has warmed up and allow a few

minutes for the engine oil to drain back into the oil pan.

2. Set the parking brake fully and make sure that the gearshift

is securely latched in P (Park) (automatic transaxle) or 1 (First) (manual transaxle).

3. Open the hood. Protect yourself from engine heat.

4. Locate the engine oil dipstick (highlighted in yellow) and

carefully pull it out of the engine.


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5. Wipe the dipstick clean and put it back into position, making

sure it is fully seated.

Engine oil dipstick (2.0L engine)

Engine oil dipstick (2.5L engine)

6. 2.0L engine: Carefully, pull the dipstick out again. If the oil level is below the lower notch, add engine oil as necessary. If the oil level is beyond the upper notch, engine damage and/or high oil comsumption may occur and some oil must be removed from the engine. 2.5L engine: Carefully, pull the dipstick out again. If the oil level is below the MIN line, add engine oil as necessary. If the oil level is above the letter M in MAX, engine damage and/or high oil consumption may occur and some oil must be removed from the engine.

7. Put the dipstick back in and make sure it is fully seated.

It may be necessary to add some oil between oil changes. Make sure you use a CERTIFIED engine oil of the preferred viscosity. Your vehicle’s warranty coverage may not apply if engine damage is caused by the use of improper engine oil.


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Add engine oil through the oil filler cap highlighted in yellow. To add oil, remove the filler cap and use a funnel to pour oil into the opening. Be careful not to overfill the engine. Recheck the oil level after you finish adding oil.

Nearly all engines will consume engine oil. As a result, it may be necessary to add some oil between oil changes. Changing the Engine Oil and the Oil Filter

Change the engine oil and oil filter per the following, whichever occurs first.

Refer to the Maintenance Schedule and Record Booklet for additional information.

NOTE: Always dispose of used automotive fluids in a responsible manner. Follow your community’s standards for disposing of these types of fluids. Call your local recycling center to find out about recycling automotive fluids.


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Continuous contact with USED motor oil has caused cancer in laboratory mice.

Protect your skin by washing with soap and water. Engine Coolant Checking the Engine Coolant

NOTE: Be sure to read and understand Precautions When

Servicing Your Vehicle at the beginning of this chapter.


The cooling fan is automatic and may come on at any time. Always disconnect the negative terminal of the battery before working near the fan.


The engine coolant recovery reservoir (2.5L shown — 2.0L similar)


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Your vehicle’s coolant protects your engine from overheating in the summer and from freezing in the winter. Check the level of the coolant at least once a month. Simply look at the engine coolant reservoir located in the engine compartment. To locate the reservoir, see the diagram of your vehicle’s engine under Engine Type, in this chapter.

Check the engine coolant level in the engine coolant reservoir at least once a month using the following guidelines.

When your vehicle’s engine is cool, the coolant level in the engine coolant recovery reservoir should be at or above the MIN mark. When the engine is hot, the coolant level should be at the MAX mark. If the level is below the indicator mark in either condition, coolant may need to be added.

The coolant additives also protect the entire cooling system from internal passageway corrosion and these additives lubricate the water pump. The coolant should be serviced as noted in the Maintenance Schedule and Record booklet.

Adding engine coolant


Do not put engine coolant in the container for the windshield washer fluid.


Never remove the coolant recovery cap while the engine is running or hot.

1. Before you remove the cap, turn the engine off and let it cool. Even when the engine is cool, be careful when you remove the coolant recovery cap.


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2. When the engine is cool, wrap a thick cloth around the cap and turn it slowly counterclockwise to relieve the pressure.

3. Step back while the pressure releases. 4. When you are sure that all the pressure has been released,

use the cloth to turn and remove cap.

5. Stand away from the reservoir opening. Hot steam may blow

out or hot engine coolant may even splash out.


Failure to follow these instructions could result in serious personal injury from hot engine coolant or steam blowout and/or damage to the engine cooling system or engine.

To find out how much engine coolant mixture your vehicle’s coolant system can hold, see Refill capacities for fluids in the Index. Have your dealer check the engine cooling system for leaks if you have to add a quart (liter) of engine coolant more than once a month. Add engine coolant only to the recovery reservoir. If the coolant level is low, add to the reservoir a 50/50 mixture of water and the type of engine coolant that Ford specifies. You may add water by itself only in an emergency, but you should replace it with a 50/50 mixture as soon as possible. Check the engine coolant again the next few times you drive your vehicle. Ford Premium Cooling System Fluid is an optimized formula that will protect all metals and rubber elastomers used in Ford engines for four years or 50,000 miles (80,000 km). It is not necessary and not recommended to use supplemental coolant additives in your vehicle. These additives may harm your engine cooling system. Follow the recommended service interval for changing your engine coolant.


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NOTE: When you change or add engine coolant, it is

important to maintain your engine coolant concentration between 40% (-11˚F [-24˚C]) and 60% (-62˚F [-52˚C]), depending on your local climate conditions. Below 40% you will lose freeze protection and above 60% your engine may overheat on a warm day.

NOTE: The use of an improper coolant may void your

warranty for the engine cooling system. Use only a premium, nationally recognized brand name engine coolant. Do not use alcohol, methanol antifreeze or engine coolant mixed with alcohol or methanol antifreeze. If you do not use the proper coolant, the aluminum engine on your vehicle will corrode.

Ford Motor Company expressly authorizes the Ford Rotunda engine coolant recycling process and chemicals. Use only Ford Rotunda recycled engine coolant or an equivalent recycled engine coolant that is certified by the supplier to meet Ford specification ESE-M97B44-A.

NOTE: Always dispose of used automotive fluids in a responsible manner. Follow your community’s standards for disposing of these types of fluids. Call your local recycling center to find out about recycling automotive fluids.

Use Ford Premium Cooling System Fluid or an equivalent engine coolant that meets Ford Specification ESE-M97B44-A.


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Battery Your vehicle may have a Motorcraft maintenance-free battery. The Motorcraft maintenance-free battery does not require additional water during its life of service. The vents are part of the cover and cannot be removed. For longer, trouble-free operation, keep the top of the battery clean and dry. Also, make certain the battery cables are tightly fastened to the battery terminals.

If you see any corrosion on the battery cables or terminals, remove the cables from the terminal and clean them both with a wire brush. You can neutralize the acid with a solution of baking soda and water. Reinstall the cables when you are done cleaning them, and apply a small quantity of grease to the top of each battery terminal to help prevent corrosion. Battery Replacement

If your original equipment battery requires replacement (under warranty), it may in some cases be replaced by a Motorcraft low-maintenance battery. The low-maintenance battery has removable vent caps for checking the electrolyte level and for adding water, if needed.

Check your battery’s electrolyte level, at least every 12 months or 12,000 miles (20,000 km), in temperatures above 90˚F (32˚C) and more often in temperatures above 90˚F (32˚C). Keep the electrolyte in each cell up to the “level” indicator. Do not overfill the battery cell.

If the electrolyte level in your battery gets low, you can add plain tap water to the battery, as long as you don’t use hard water, or water with a high mineral or alkali content. If possible, however, try to only fill the battery cell with distilled water. If the battery needs water often, have the charging system checked.


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Batteries normally produce explosive gases which can cause personal injury. Therefore, do not allow flames, sparks or lit tobacco to come near the battery. When charging or working near a battery, always cover your face and protect your eyes, and also provide ventilation.


Batteries contain sulfuric acid which burns skin, eyes, and clothing.

If the acid touches someone’s skin, eyes, or clothing, immediately flush the area with water for at least 15 minutes. If someone swallows the acid, have him or her drink lots of milk or water first, then Milk of Magnesia, a beaten egg, or vegetable oil. Call a doctor immediately.


Applying too much pressure on the ends when lifting a battery could cause acid to spill. Lift the battery with a carrier or with your hands on the opposite corners.

Help Us Protect Our Environment Ford Motor Company strongly recommends that used lead-acid batteries be returned to an authorized recycling facility for disposal.

Battery recycling symbol


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Disconnecting the Battery

Because your vehicle engine is electronically controlled by a computer, some control conditions are maintained by power from the battery. If you ever disconnect the battery or install a new battery, you must allow the computer to “relearn” its idle conditions before your vehicle will drive properly. To begin this process, put the gearshift in P (Park) (automatic transaxle) or Neutral (manual transaxle), set the emergency brake, turn off all the accessories, and start the vehicle. Bring the engine to normal operating temperature. Allow the manual transaxle to idle for one minute in Neutral. Allow the automatic transaxle engine to idle for one minute in N (Neutral) and one minute in D (Drive). Perform the previous procedure with the air conditioning (if equipped) on and off (conditions permitting). The relearning process will complete automatically as you drive the vehicle.

If you do not let the engine relearn its idle, the idle quality of your vehicle may be adversely affected until the idle is relearned. Your vehicle will eventually relearn its idle while you drive it, but it takes much longer than if you use the previous procedure. Windshield Washer Fluid and Wipers Washer Fluid

Check the level of the windshield washer fluid every time you stop for fuel. The reservoir for washer fluid is located on the passenger’s side of the engine compartment. Visual inspection can determine if the washer fluid is adequate. Do not operate the washer when the reservoir is empty.


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The windshield washer fluid reservoir

Adding washer fluid


Do not put windshield washer fluid in the container for the engine coolant.

If sprayed to clean the glass, engine coolant or antifreeze could make it difficult to see through the windshield.

Use specially formulated windshield washer fluid rather than plain water, because specially formulated washer fluids contain additives that dissolve road grime. For safety reasons, washer fluids containing an appropriate antifreeze such as methanol should be used in freezing weather (temperatures below 32˚F [0˚C]). State or local regulations on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) may restrict use of the most common antifreeze, methanol. Washer fluids containing non-methanol antifreeze agents should be used only if they provide cold weather protection without damaging the vehicle’s paint finish, wiper blades, and windshield washer system.


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Servicing Your Contour

Wiper Blades Check the windshield wiper blades at least twice a year. Also check them whenever they seem less effective than usual. Substances such as tree sap and some hot wax treatments used by commercial car washes reduce the effectiveness of wiper blades. If the blades do not wipe properly, clean both the windshield and the wiper blades. Use undiluted windshield washer solution or a mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly with clear water. Do not use fuel, kerosene, paint thinner, or other solvents to clean your wiper blades. These will damage your blades. To make reaching the wiper blades easy, simply turn the ignition to the ACC position and turn your wipers on. Wait for them to reach a vertical position and turn the ignition to the OFF position. Do not move the wipers manually. Manually moving the wipers across the windshield may damage them. Wiper blade replacement If the wiper blades still do not work properly after you clean them, you may need to replace the wiper blade assembly or the blade element. When replacing the wiper blade assembly, blade refill, or wiper arm always use a Motorcraft part or equivalent. To replace the blades, follow the instructions that come with them. Passenger Compartment Air Filter Replacement In your climate control system, you may have a filter that cleans the air before it enters the interior of the vehicle. This filter should be replaced at the intervals in the Maintenance Schedule and Record booklet. To replace the passenger compartment air filter: 1. Remove both windshield wiper arms. With the wiper arm in

the horizontal position, lift the arm away from the windshield while pulling the retaining clip at the base toward the windshield. Release the wiper arm, then lift it off the base.


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The screws on the grille

2. Remove the plastic caps from the screws on the grille.

Remove the screws.

3. Open the hood. Pull off the rubber weatherstrip at the back of the engine compartment. Remove the screws that hold the grille, separate the two halves and remove the grille.

Removing the grille

4. The filter is in a housing at the back of the engine

compartment, on the left side. Pull off the two clips on the sides of the housing. Slide out the housing and filter.


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Removing the passenger compartment air filter

5. Slide the filter out of the housing, replace with the new

filter, and slide the housing and passenger compartment air filter back into place. Reinstall the clips on the housing.

6. Replace the grille and wiper arms. Tires Look at your tires each time you fill your fuel tank. If one tire looks lower than the others, check the pressure in all of them. Always follow these precautions: n Keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressures. n Stay within the recommended load limits (see Load limits in

the Index).

n Make sure the weight of your load is evenly distributed. n Drive at safe speeds.


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If you do not take these precautions, your tires may fail or go flat.

Ford Motor Company recommends obeying posted speed limits.


Driving too fast for conditions creates the possibility of loss of vehicle control. Driving at very high speeds for extended periods of time may result in damage to vehicle components.

At least once a month, check the pressure in all your vehicle’s tires, including the spare. Use an accurate tire pressure gauge. Check the tire pressure when tires are cold (after the vehicle has been parked for at least one hour or has been driven less than 3 miles [5 km]). You can find the proper cold pressure and load limits of recommended size tires on the Tire Pressure Decal on the left front door lock facing.


Improperly inflated tires can affect vehicle handling and can fail suddenly, possibly resulting in loss of vehicle control.

Tire Rotation

Because your vehicle’s front and rear tires perform different jobs, they often wear differently. To make sure your tires wear evenly and last longer, rotate them as indicated in the following diagram.

Do not include the spare tire as part of your rotation.

If you notice that the tires wear unevely, have them checked.


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Rotating the tires Replacing the Tires

Replace any tires that show wear bands. When your tire shows a wear band, it has only 1/16 inch (2 mm) of tread left.

A worn-out tire

Because your vehicle’s tires may wear unevenly, you may need to replace them before a wear band appears across the entire tread. Some spots wear more heavily than others.


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When replacing full size tires, never mix radial, bias-belted, or bias-type tires. Use only the tire sizes that are listed on the tire pressure decal. Make sure that all tires are the same size, speed rating, and load-carrying capacity. Use only the tire combinations recommended on the decal. If you do not follow these precautions, your vehicle may not drive properly and safely.

Tires that are larger or smaller than your vehicle’s original tires may also affect the accuracy of your speedometer. Information About Tire Quality Grades

New vehicles are fitted with tires that have their Tire Quality Grade (described below) molded into the tire’s sidewall. These Tire Quality Grades are determined by standards that the United States Department of Transportation has set. Tire Quality Grades apply to new pneumatic tires for use on passenger cars. They do not apply to deep tread, winter-type snow tires, space-saver or temporary use spare tires, tires with nominal rim diameters of 10 to 12 inches or limited production tires as defined in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 575.104(c)(2). U.S. Department of Transportation — Tire quality grades: The U.S. Department of Transportation requires Ford to give you the following information about tire grades exactly as the government has written it. Treadwear

The treadwear grade is a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specified government test course. For example, a tire graded 150
would wear one and one-half (1 1/2) times as well on the government course as a tire graded 100. The relative


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performance of tires depends upon the actual conditions of their use, however, and may depart significantly from the norm due to variations in driving habits, service practices and differences in road characteristics and climate. Traction A B C

The traction grades, from highest to lowest, are A, B, and C, and they represent the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces of asphalt and concrete. A tire marked C may have poor traction performance. Warning: The traction grade assigned to this tire is based on braking (straightahead) traction tests and does not include cornering (turning) traction. Temperature A B C

The temperature grades are A (the highest), B, and C, representing the tire’s resistance to the generation of heat and its ability to dissipate heat when tested under controlled conditions on a specified indoor laboratory test wheel. Sustained high temperature can cause the material of the tire to degenerate and reduce tire life, and excessive temperature can lead to sudden tire failure. The grade C corresponds to a level of performance which all passenger car tires must meet under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 109. Grades B and A represent higher levels of performance on the laboratory test wheel than the minimum required by law. Warning: The temperature grade for this tire is established for a tire that is properly inflated and not overloaded. Excessive speed, underinflation, or excessive loading, either separately or in combination, can cause heat buildup and possible tire failure.


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[SV28876(ALL)04/94] *[SV28901(ALL)11/94]



*[SV29050(ALL)11/94] *[SV29101(ALL)11/94]

Snow Tires and Chains During the winter months in some climates, you may need to use snow tires and occasionally chains for your tires.


Snow tires must be the same size and grade as the tires you currently have on your vehicle.

Use chains on the tires only in an emergency or if the law requires them where you live. If you choose to use chains on your vehicle’s tires, be aware of the following: n Tire chains may scratch or chip aluminum wheels. IT IS

RECOMMENDED THAT TIRE CHAINS ARE INSTALLED ON STEEL WHEELS ONLY. Be sure to remove wheel covers (if equipped) from steel rims before using tire chains to avoid scratches or damage.

n Tire chains cannot be fitted with 205/60R tires. n Local regulations may prohibit or restrict the use of tire chains. Investigate the laws and regulations in your area before installing chains.

n Put the chains on the front tires tightly with the ends held down securely. Retighten the chains after driving 1/2 mile (1 km). Follow the chain manufacturer’s instructions.

n Do not drive faster than 30 mph (50 km/h) or the chain

manufacturer’s recommended speed limit, whichever is lower. Avoid bumps, holes and sharp turns. If you can hear the chains rub or bang against your vehicle, remove the chains to prevent damage to your vehicle.

n Tire chains may affect vehicle handling. Drive carefully and

avoid hard braking.

n Do not use chains on temporary spare tires. They may

damage the vehicle and the tire.


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%*[SV29340(ALL)02/93] *[SV29350(ALL)01/95]


Servicing Your Contour

n Remove tire chains at the first opportunity after using them

on snow and ice. Do not use the chains on dry roads.

Cleaning the Wheels

Wash the wheels with the same detergent you use to wash your vehicle’s body. Do not use acid-based wheel cleaners, steel wool, abrasives, fuel, or strong detergents. These substances will damage protective coatings. Use tar and road oil remover to remove grease and tar.

NOTE: Before going to a car wash, find out if the brushes are


Automatic Transaxle Fluid Under normal circumstances, you do not need to check the fluid level of the transaxle, since your vehicle does not use up transaxle fluid. Refer to the Maintenance Schedule and Record booklet for replacement intervals. However, if the transaxle is not working properly — for instance, the transaxle may slip or shift slowly, or you may notice some sign of fluid leakage — the fluid level should be checked. Checking the Automatic Transaxle Fluid

With the vehicle on a level surface and the brake fully applied, start the engine and move the gear shift selector through all of the gears allowing sufficient time for each position to engage. Securely latch the gear shift selector in the P (Park) position. Fully set the parking brake and leave the engine running.

Wipe off the dipstick cap and pull the dipstick out. Wipe the indicator end clean. Put the dipstick back into the filler tube and make sure it is fully seated. Pull the dipstick out and read the fluid level.


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10-1/2 pica


NOTE: Your vehicle should not be driven until some fluid

has been added if the fluid level is below the bottom dimple on the dipstick and the outside temperature is above 50˚F (10˚C). Add only enough fluid to bring the level above the bottom hole.

If the vehicle has not been driven and the fluid level is above the bottom dimple on the dipstick, do not add fluid. Recheck the fluid level after your vehicle has reached normal operating temperature.

Normal operating temperature is reached after driving approximately 20 miles (30 km). The fluid level should be within the crosshatched area on the dipstick.

NOTE: If the vehicle has been operated for an extended

period at high speeds, driven in city traffic during hot weather, or has been pulling a trailer, the vehicle should be turned off for about 30 minutes to allow the fluid to cool before checking.

Automatic transaxle fluid dipstick


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Servicing Your Contour

Adding Automatic Transaxle Fluid

Before adding any fluid, be sure that the correct type will be used. Correct type is shown on the dipstick.

Add fluid in 1/2 pint (.25L) increments through the filler tube to bring the level to the correct area on the dipstick. DO NOT OVERFILL. If the level is above the top hole on the dipstick, excess fluid should be removed by a qualified technician.

NOTE: Always dispose of used automotive fluids in a responsible manner. Follow your community’s standards for disposing of these types of fluids. Call your local recycling center to find out about recycling automotive fluids.

Manual Transaxle Fluid The lubricant level and quality should not deteriorate under normal driving conditions. However, you should have the fluid level checked occasionally. If lubricant is required, see Lubricant Specifications in this chapter.


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*[SV30200(ALL)03/95] *[SV30300(ALL)04/95]







Brake Fluid Under normal circumstances, your vehicle should not use up brake fluid rapidly. However, expect the level of the brake fluid to slowly fall as you put more mileage on your vehicle and the brake lining wears.

You should check the brake fluid at every scheduled engine oil change, but be sure to check it at least once a year. You can do this by looking at the fluid level in the plastic reservoir on the master cylinder. (See The Engine Types in this chapter to locate the brake fluid reservoir.) The fluid level should be at or near the MAX mark.

Brake fluid is toxic.


If brake fluid contacts eyes, flush eyes with running water for 15 minutes. Get medical attention if irritation persists. If taken internally, drink water and induce vomiting. Get medical attention immediately.

If the fluid is low, carefully clean and remove the cap from the reservoir. Fill the reservoir to the MAX line with Ford High Performance DOT 3 Brake Fluid C6AZ-19542-AA or equivalent DOT 3 fluid meeting Ford specification ESA-M6C25-A.


If you use a brake fluid that is not DOT 3, you will cause permanent damage to your brakes.

Do not fill the reservoir above the MAX line.


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10-1/2 pica

Servicing Your Contour

If you find that the fluid level is excessively low — below the seam or ridge on the outside of the plastic reservoir — have the brake system inspected.


Do not let the reservoir for the master cylinder run dry. This may cause the brakes to fail.


The brake fluid reservoir


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*[SV31200(ALL)03/95] *[SV31225(ALL)03/95] [SV31250(ALL)05/94]



10-1/2 pica



Power Steering Fluid Checking and Adding Power Steering Fluid

With the power steering system at operating temperature, switch off the engine. The fluid level should be up to the MAX marking on the transparent reservoir.

If it drops to or below the MIN mark, top off with the specified fluid.

The power steering fluid reservoir

Use only power steering fluid that meets Ford’s Specification ESW-M2C33-F or is an equivalent Type F Automatic Transmission Fluid with a Ford registration number (an 8-digit number beginning with “2P” printed on the fluid container).


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10-1/2 pica


Servicing Your Contour

Fuses, Circuit Breakers and Relays Fuses, circuit breakers, and relays protect your vehicle’s electrical system from overloading. If electrical parts in your vehicle are not working, the system may have been overloaded and blown a fuse or relay, or tripped a circuit breaker. Before you replace or repair any electrical parts, check the appropriate circuit protector. The following charts tell you which circuit protector protects each electrical part of your vehicle. If a fuse blows or a circuit breaker opens a circuit, all the parts of your vehicle that use the circuit will not work. Once you have determined which fuses or circuit breakers to check, follow the procedures under Checking and replacing fuses or Checking and replacing circuit breakers later in this chapter.


Always remove the key from the ignition before working on or replacing fuses.

The Power Distribution Box Fuses and Relays

The power distribution box location


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24 pica art:0001228-A


Spare fuses are located in the power distribution box under the hood.

The power distribution box fuses and relays


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twenty-four pica


Servicing Your Contour


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fourteen pica



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[SV34001(O )05/94]

13-1/2 pica

Servicing Your Contour

The Instrument Panel Fuses, Circuit Breakers and Relays

The instrument panel fuse panel is underneath the instrument panel on the left side. To open it, reach under the instrument panel and push the release button to the right of the fuse panel.


The instrument panel fuse panel location


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24 pica art:0000381-C

The instrument panel fuses


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Servicing Your Contour

thirty pica



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Relays Outside the Fuse Boxes

sixteen pica

chart:0001229-A %*[SV35200(ALL)06/95] [SV35301(ALL)04/94]





Checking and Replacing Fuses

1. Use the charts to decide which fuse you should check.

2. On the fuse panel decal located on the cover of the power distribution box or on the end of the instrument panel fuse panel, find the number of the fuse you want to check.

3. Find the corresponding fuse and remove it with the fuse

pulling tool that is provided.

4. Check the fuse to see if it is blown. Look through the clear

side of the fuse to see if the metal wire inside is separated. If it is, the fuse should be replaced.

5. Replace the fuse with one that has the right amperage rating.

See the following chart.


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7-1/2 pica art:0001319-A


eight pica

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*[SV37000(ALL)02/95] [SV37100(ALL)02/95]

Servicing Your Contour

The side view of a typical fuse


Always replace a fuse with one that has the specified amperage rating. Using a fuse with a higher amperage rating can cause severe wire damage and could start a fire.

Circuit Breakers If you need to check a circuit breaker that is on the instrument panel fuse panel, see Checking and replacing fuses to find out how to locate the fuse panel and pull it down. Diagnostic equipment is needed to check circuit breakers. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. Circuit breakers will reset themselves and allow the electrical parts to work again once the overload on the circuit is gone. If


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*[SV37500(ALL)03/95] *[SV37600(ALL)01/95] *[SV37700(ALL)01/95] *[SV37800(ALL)01/95] *[SV37900(ALL)01/95] *[SV37950(ALL)02/95] *[SV38000(ALL)01/95] *[SV38100(ALL)01/95] *[SV38200(ALL)01/95] *[SV38300(ALL)01/95] %*[SV38400(ALL)01/95] *[SV38500(ALL)01/95]

*[SV38600(ALL)01/95] *[SV38700(ALL)11/92]

the circuit breakers continue to cut off electricity, have your vehicle’s electrical system checked.

If you replace a circuit breaker, use one with the same amperage rating. To remove a circuit breaker mounted in the fuse panel, grip it with your finger and thumb and pull it straight out of its socket. Lights and Bulb Replacement It is a good idea to check the operation of the following lights frequently: n headlamps n tail lamps n brakelamps n high-mount brakelamp n hazard flasher n turn signals n side markers n license plate lamp

The alignment of your headlamps should be checked if: n oncoming motorists frequently signal you to turn off your

vehicle’s high beams when you do not have the high beams on

n the headlamps do not seem to give you enough light to see

clearly at night

n the headlamps are not aligned so that they point slightly

down and to the right.


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*[SV39300(ALL)03/95] *[SV39400(ALL)05/95] *[SV39500(ALL)02/95] [SV39850(ALL)04/94]


*[SV40300(ALL)03/95] [SV40450(ALL)04/94]


Servicing Your Contour

Headlamp Bulb

The headlamps on your vehicle use replaceable bulbs, one for high beam and one for low beam on each side. When the lamp burns out, simply replace the bulb, rather than the whole lamp.


Handle a halogen headlamp bulb carefully and keep out of children’s reach. Grasp the bulb only by its plastic base and do not touch the glass. The oil from your hand could cause the bulb to break the next time the headlamps are operated.

Do not remove the burned-out bulb unless you can immediately replace it with a new one. If a bulb is removed for an extended period of time, contaminants may enter the headlamp housing and affect its performance. Removing the headlamp bulb

1. Make sure that the headlamp knob is in the OFF position.

2. Lift the hood and find the bulb in the headlamp socket.

3. Remove the bulb assembly by turning it clockwise and

pulling it out of the headlamp socket.

4. Remove the L-shaped bulb by pressing the retaining clip at the base of the electrical connector and sliding the bulb out.

Installing the headlamp bulb

1. Without touching the glass on the bulb, insert the new bulb. You may want to protect the bulb by holding it with a piece of cloth or paper towel. Make sure the retaining clip at the base of the electrical connector locks.

2. Insert the bulb assembly in the headlamp socket. Turn it

counterclockwise to lock it in place.


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*[SV40750(ALL)02/95] [SV40841(ALL)02/94]



17-1/2 pica

3. Turn the headlamps on and make sure that they work

properly. If the headlamp was correctly aligned before you changed the bulb, you should not need to align it again.

High-Mount Brakelamp Bulbs

From the back seat, remove the back of the brakelamp assembly. Depress the two retaining tabs on the ends of the assembly and pull off the back.

Turn the burned-out bulb counterclockwise and pull it out. Push in the replacement bulb and turn it clockwise to lock it in the socket. Replace the back of the brakelamp assembly, making sure that the retaining tabs snap into place.


The high-mount brakelamp assembly


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[SV40940(O )07/94]

Using the Right Bulbs

Servicing Your Contour

thirty-four pica



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*[SV41000(ALL)03/95] *[SV41100(ALL)05/95]


*[SV41300(ALL)05/95] *[SV41400(ALL)01/95] *[SV41500(ALL)01/95] *[SV41600(ALL)01/95] *[SV41700(ALL)03/95]


Emission Control System Your vehicle is equipped with a catalytic converter which enables your vehicle to comply with applicable exhaust emission requirements.


Exhaust leaks may result in the entry of harmful and potentially lethal fumes into the passenger compartment. Under extreme conditions excessive exhaust temperatures could damage the fuel system, the interior floor covering, or other vehicle components, possibly causing a fire.

To make sure that the catalytic converter and the other emission control parts continue to work properly: n Use only unleaded fuel. n Avoid running out of fuel. n Do not turn off the ignition while your vehicle is moving,

especially at high speeds.

n Have the services listed in the Maintenance Schedule and

Record booklet performed according to the specified schedule. The scheduled maintenance services are required because they are considered essential to the life and performance of your vehicle and to its emissions system.

Ford strongly recommends the use of genuine Ford replacement parts. If other than Ford or Motorcraft parts or Ford authorized remanufactured parts are used for maintenance replacements or for the service of components affecting emission control, such non-Ford parts should be equivalent to genuine Ford Motor Company parts in performance and durability. It is the owner’s responsibility to determine the equivalency of such parts. Please consult your warranty booklet for complete warranty information.


File:cdsvo.ex Update:Thu Jan 25 12:09:28 1996







Servicing Your Contour


Do not park, idle, or drive your vehicle in dry grass or other dry ground cover. The emission system heats up the engine compartment and exhaust system, which can start a fire.

Watch for fluid leaks, strange odors, smoke, loss of oil pressure, the charge warning light, the check engine light, or the temperature warning light. These sometimes indicate that the emission system is not working properly.

Do not make any unauthorized changes to your vehicle or engine. Changes that cause more unburned fuel to reach the exhaust system can increase the temperature of the engine or exhaust system.

By law, anyone who manufactures, repairs, services, sells, leases, trades vehicles, or supervises a fleet of vehicles is not permitted to intentionally remove an emission control device or prevent it from working. In some of the United States and in Canada, vehicle owners may be liable if their emission control device is removed or is prevented from working.

Do not drive your vehicle if it does not operate properly. See your dealer if the engine runs on for more than five seconds after you shut it off or if it misfires, surges, stalls, or backfires.

Information about your vehicle’s emission control system is on the Vehicle Emission Control Information decal located on or near the engine. This decal identifies engine displacement and gives some tune-up specifications.


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*[SV42475(ALL)06/95] *[SV42501(ALL)06/95]

*[SV42550(ALL)06/95] *[SV42560(ALL)05/95]




Readiness for Inspection/Maintenance Testing

In some localities it may become a legal requirement to pass an Inspection/Maintenance (I/M) test of the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) II system. If the vehicle’s powertrain system or its battery has just been serviced, the OBD II system is reset to a not ready for I/M testing condition. To prepare for I/M testing, the law specifies a “need for additional mixed city and highway driving to complete the check” of the OBD II system. As soon as all of the OBD II system checks are successfully completed, the OBD II system is set to the ready condition. The amount of driving required to reach the ready condition varies with individual driving patterns. To complete this requirement in the minimum amount of time, refer to the OBD II Drive Cycle defined below. If the vehicle owner cannot or does not want to do the additional driving required by law, a service center can perform this drive cycle as it would any other type of repair work. OBD II Drive Cycle

The following steps must be run in the order shown. If any steps are interrupted, repeat the preceding step. Any safe driving mode is acceptable between steps.

Always drive vehicle in safe manner according to traffic conditions and obey all traffic laws.

The engine must be warmed up and at operating temperature before proceeding with the drive modes of the following OBD II Drive Cycle.

1. Start the engine. Drive or idle (in neutral) the vehicle for

4 minutes.

2. Idle the vehicle in Drive (Neutral for manual transaxle) for

40 seconds.

3. Accelerate the vehicle to 45 mph (70 km/h) at 1/4 to 1/2

throttle for 10 seconds.


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*[SV42641(ALL)06/95] *[SV42645(ALL)06/95] *[SV42650(ALL)06/95] *[SV42655(ALL)06/95] *[SV42661(ALL)06/95]

*[SV42665(ALL)06/95] *[SV42670(ALL)06/95] *[SV42725(ALL)06/95]

Servicing Your Contour

4. Drive the vehicle with a steady throttle at 45 mph

(70 km/h) for 30 seconds.

5. Idle the vehicle in Drive (Neutral for manual transmissions)

for 40 seconds.

6. Continue to drive the vehicle in city traffic at speeds

between 25 and 40 mph (40-60 km/h) for 15 minutes. During the 15 minute drive cycle the following modes must be achieved:

a. at least 5 stop and idle modes at 10 seconds each

b. acceleration from idles at 1/4 to 1/2 throttle position, and

c. choose 3 different speeds to do 1.5 minute steady state

throttle drives.

7. Accelerate the vehicle up to between 45 and 60 mph

(70-100 km/h). This should take approximately 5 minutes.

8. Drive vehicle and hold the throttle steady at the selected

speed between 45 and 60 mph (70-100 km/h) for approximately 5 minutes.

9. Drive the vehicle for 5 minutes at varying speeds between

45 and 60 mph (70-100 km/h).

10.Bring the vehicle back to idle. Idle in Drive for 40 seconds.

11.OBD II drive cycle has been completed. Vehicle can be

turned off when convenient.


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*[SV42775(ALL)03/95] [SV42801(ALL)05/95]

Refill Capacities, Motorcraft Parts, and Lubricant Specifications Refill Capacities

sixteen pica



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Motorcraft Parts

Servicing Your Contour

sixteen pica



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Lubricant Specifications

twenty-six pica



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*[SV44800(ALL)01/95] *[SV44900(ALL)01/95] *[SV45000(ALL)01/95]

*[SV45100(ALL)04/95] *[SV45200(ALL)01/95] *[SV45300(ALL)01/95]

Servicing Your Contour

Vehicle Storage Maintenance Tips

If you plan on storing your vehicle for an extended period of time (60 days or more), refer to the following maintenance recommendations to ensure your vehicle stays in good operating condition.

General n Store all vehicles in a dry, ventilated place. n Protect from sunlight, if possible. n If vehicles are stored outside, they require regular maintenance to protect against rust and damage.

Body n Wash vehicle thoroughly to remove dirt, grease, oil, tar or

mud from exterior surfaces, rear wheel housing and underside of front fenders.

n Periodically wash vehicles stored in exposed locations. n Touch-up raw or primed metal to prevent rust. n Cover chrome and stainless steel parts with a thick coat of

auto wax to prevent discoloration. Re-wax as necessary when the vehicle is washed.

n Lubricate all hood, door and trunk lid hinges and latches

with a light grade oil.

n Cover interior soft trim to prevent fading. n Keep all rubber parts free from oil and solvents.


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%*[SV46200(ALL)01/95] *[SV46300(ALL)01/95] %*[SV46400(ALL)01/95] *[SV46500(ALL)01/95] *[SV46600(ALL)01/95] *[SV46650(ALL)03/95]

Engine n Start engine every 15 days. Run at fast idle until it reaches

normal operating temperature.

n With your foot on the brake, shift through all the gears

while the engine is running.

Fuel system n Fill fuel tank with high-quality unleaded fuel until the first

automatic shutoff of the fuel pump nozzle.

NOTE: During extended periods of vehicle storage (60 days or more), fuel may deteriorate due to oxidation. This can damage rubber and other polymers in the fuel system and may also clog small orifices.

Ford Gas Stabilizer should be added whenever actual or expected storage periods exceed 60 days. Follow the instructions on the label. The vehicle should then be operated at idle speed to circulate the additive throughout the fuel system. A volatile corrosion inhibitor added to the fuel system will protect the fuel system’s inner surfaces from corrosion. Follow the instructions packaged with the product. Cooling system n Protect against freezing temperatures. Battery n Check and recharge as necessary. n Keep connections clean and covered with a light coat of


n If storing your vehicle for more than 30 days without

recharging the battery, it may be advisable to disconnect the battery cables to ensure battery charge is maintained for quick starting.


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%*[SV46700(ALL)01/95] *[SV46800(ALL)01/95] %*[SV46900(ALL)01/95] *[SV47000(ALL)05/95] *[SV47100(ALL)01/95] *[SV47200(ALL)01/95] *[SV47300(ALL)05/95]

Servicing Your Contour

Brakes n Make sure brakes and parking brake are fully released. Tires n Maintain recommended air pressure. Miscellaneous n Make sure all linkages, cables, levers and clevis pins under

vehicle are covered with grease to prevent rust.

n Move vehicles at least 25 feet (10 m) every 15 days to

lubricate working parts to prevent corrosion.


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*[SV99900(O )05/95]

thirty-two pica



File:cdqio.ex Update:Thu Jan 25 12:27:36 1996


33-1/2 pica


Warning label locations