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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I've had a 2000 Mercury Cougar V6 automatic for about 8 years now, but I have finally decided that I want to learn how to take care of a car myself. Got it with 50k miles, at 127k now.

I was able to pick up a Chilton's manual for Contour/Mystique/Cougar 95-99, apparently they're pretty much the same with the 2000? Plan to change the oil, oil filter, fuel filter(probably has never been changed), engine air filter and cabin filter this weekend.
 

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Hey Frostbite,

welcome to the bunch!

The engines, transmissions, chassis and most other systems on the cougar are the same (or same-ish) as the contour's. They're the same platform, so a lot of the bones are the same. the 1999 and 2000 cougars are also extremely similar - some early ones used a return-style fuel system instead of a returnless one like 2000, 2001 and 2002, but that's the main difference. your manual should do just fine for the jobs you're looking to do this weekend.

note : sockets usually don't fit on the V6 oil pan bolt because of the proximity to the exhaust - you'll most likely need a wrench. Also, the oil filter is right above the front exhaust manifold (grr!) so you might want to use some aluminum foil to divert any leaks off the manifold. I don't - I just deal with the pleasant smell for a few miles, ha-ha. the fuel filter should be on the passenger side, in front of the rear wheel, tucked in nicely. it's held in by a hose-clamp if memory serves - if you search around the forums here, you'll find out how to remove and reinstall the plastic clips that hold the lines on. I haven't touched that in forever, so I'm not sure how it went. I think that's pretty much it.


I hope you continue to enjoy your car and that it treats you well in the years to come. be sure to keep an eye on that transmission - they're not... particularly well liked from a durability / reliability standpoint, but I'm sure you've heard about all that.
 

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Hardest one is the cabin air filter because you have to pull the wiper arms off. Welcome to the bunch
 

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Thanks for the tips guys! Regarding the transmission: I have seen some posts while browsing that suggest my transmission might be nearing it's end. Anything I can do to prolong it's life? The service manual says to change the fluid at 135k miles. I know I'm pretty late in the game though so wouldn't be surprised if there's not much I can do now.
 

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Auxiliary transmission cooler always helps.
 

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Welcome from a new owner although I've had my '98 Contour about 3 years. I've changed the cabin filter on both without removing the wipers but it's probably easier if you do so.

As for the ATX, I feared the same thing for my Contour. Had it checked by a local shop and they said it was fine. To be sure, I "flushed" (like 5 back-to-back changes) with full synthetic fluid. You could probably change fluid at half intervals after and be fine.
 
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