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First we crack the shell!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
This is a small F.A.Q that I compiled. If you see something that needs to be changed or added please let me know


This F.A.Q section was put up to cut down on the amount of traffic and repost of questions. What is listed are common problems among cougars, but not all problems are listed and if you have a problem that is not listed by all means post about it. If you feel that I am missing something drop me a private message and I will do my best to update it.

Diagnostic Mode:
On the 1999 and 2000 EEC-V Engine Management System, you can access the Diagnostic Mode by Pressing (RESET) and (UNITS) at the same time while turning on your car. Let go as the dials spin to the right. You scroll through the modes by pressing the (SELECT) Button. You can get useful things like current speed, current engine RPMs, and coolant temperature. You can also get useless things like the DTC codes.

DTC Codes (Trip Computer) - These codes can be pulled from the Trip Computer via diagnostic mode. Understand that there is NO reliable information to be had from these codes. They are NOT Check Engine Codes nor should they be confused with them. In my opinion they are absolutely worthless.

If your check engine light is on, you need a code reader to pull the code; you can't do it through diagnostic mode. Many auto-parts stores will help you read the code, or you can buy a code-reader.


Problems:
Alternators - Battery Light Flashing/Coming On- So far this issue has mainly been on 99-00 cougars but there have been people with 01’s that have had alternators burn out or that are faulty. The symptoms are usually a flashing battery light during high rpms and or constant dead batteries. The standard test that shops do for alternators doesn't work for our alternators - frequently a bad Cougar alternator will still "test" fine. What you can do if you get the flashing battery light is either get another alternator for about 245 dollars or get the one you have rebuilt from 60 + dollars. Not to mention you can usually get the alternator spun to crank out more amps and is less costly. (Here is a page that explains how to replace them.)

Sunroofs- Getting Stuck/Won't Open or Close- This has been a very common problem among the 99-00 cars with plastic tracks. This problem is not covered by warranty and is very costly. There is a post in this forum that has a lot of background and a online petition trying to get ford to cover this defect. There have been people who have fixed it on their own and saved 1200 bucks. Ford has given out estimates from 800-1600 to fix it. Most common symptoms are cracking sounds, and the moonroof not closing. Most likely the plastic tracks are the cause of the problem. The fix is done most likely replacing the plastic tracks with the metal tracks from the 01-02 cougars.

Added: Here is a link of all the information pertaining to the sunroof issue. CougarSunroof.com

Fuel Pumps- Bucking/Hesitation- The fuel pumps are a common problem with not only just cougars but Fords all over the country. The problem has been reported on all year cougars. There is a few things that can and do go wrong with the fuel pumps. 1 being they burn themselves out. 2 being they get blocked up. The symptoms include bucking under high rpms, bucking going up hills, Lack of power on acceleration. There are a few reasons the pumps basically cause their own failure. The pump is a in-tank pump so the when the fuel pump gets hot it uses the gasoline to keep the pump cool. So if you drive around with a ¼ tank of gas or less then you run the risk of burning out the pump. The second reason the pumps stop working or burn themselves up is that they get clogged with gunk that sits at the bottom of your tank. The pump to my knowledge is a “k” design. The main inlet to the pump is the bottom angled part of the “k” and since its angled down and is close to the bottom of the tank it can and will get clogged up easily. The top angled part of the “k” works well when you have more than ½ tank and turns into the main source of fuel when the bottom part gets clogged and you will notice this if have a ½ tank or more you will most likely not get the effects of the bad fuel pumps. There is a link to a replacement on top of this forum about the fuel pump. There is also some aftermarket replacements for your fuel pump. I know Walpro makes a replacement and people have had them installed and it takes some modification but I have not heard much more about it.

Added: There has been a recall of certain year Cougars (mostly mid '99 through 2001 model V6) where the fuel pump will be replaced free of charge by any Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealership.

Wheels - If your steering wheel tends to shake at highway speeds (60-70mph), it could be that your wheels need to be balanced. Be sure your wheels have been balanced. It's good to do this preferrably 2 times a year. If balancing your wheels won't solve the issue, try getting a 4 wheel alignment (particularly for those driving with large rims).

Idling- Rough Idle/Moosing Sound - If your engine is idling differently that it normally does, It might be your IACV (Idle Air Control Valve). It's located behind your Upper Intake Manifold. Be sure to get it diagnosed to pinpoint the problem. Also if you experience a "Moosing" sound the IACV is also the culprit.
Location:


Here is a video taken by The_Nite_Rider demonstrating the noise in his car:

Intake Manifold Runner Control - IMRC - Your IMRC (Intake Manifold Runner Control) is no longer working properly. The IMRC unit (underneath the plastic engine cover) opens a second set of butterflies in the Lower Intake manifold, similar to secondaries on a carburetor. In the Cougar, at around 4000 rpms, this second set opens, thus giving you a "surge" or "kick" in power. Whats happening is that it is no longer working the way it should. There are several problems that have been known to occur with the IMRC and the secondaries. Check the "How To" forum or the "2.5L Performance" section for additional info.

A/C Fan Blower - Your A/C / Heater Fan only blows air on the #4 fan setting means your blower resistor is blown. It is a simple part to replace. It is located on the firewall behind the dash. You can access it from the passenger side. This part can be purchased from the dealership and is very cheap (around $20 dollars or so).

The yellow “Wrench” light - This little light that pops up around every 4,700 miles. I could be wrong. But its nothing major. It simply reminds you that your due for service. To reset this light hold (on your black circle trip computer) “units” and “select” put your car in the "run" position and hold these buttons for 5 seconds. You should hear a beep and the light will shut off. (You can do this any time while the ignition is on.)

Coolant Light on at normal coolant level - There is a known issue with the coolant level sensor. The sensor itself is very sensitive and any changes in driving or parking angle with throw this light on. In cold weather situations, it can come on a s well. Be sure to fill your coolant to MAX. Even a little beyond MAX will not hurt. If this light comes on for any other reasons, get the problem checked out.

Red and Yellow Snowflakes - Don’t worry its nothing bad. When you see either a yellow or red snowflake on your overhead console it simply means that “yellow “ its 40 degrees and the roads could be icy. And “red” its 30 degrees and that to drive safely due to black ice possibility.

Check Engine Light (CEL) - This light appears on your gauge cluster, lower left side. This generally means that there is a malfunction in your emmissions systems or with your engine and transaxle (and related primary equipment). You should get this code pulled as soon as possible. This code can be read free of charge at almost any major auto parts store. Generally dealerships charge for this and troubleshoot to find the specific problem. Get this matter resolved as soon as you can to maintain proper engine efficiency and long term operation.

Pinging - This can be caused by several different things. One common source is the DPFE (Differential Pressure Feedback EGR), and that will usually throw a Check Engine Light before too long. Another possibility are that the plugs and wires are bad, or the plugs are not gapped correctly. The spark plug gap should be .052-.056; always check the gap before installing plugs.

Hose that doesn't connect to anything near the battery - If you have an ATX (automatic transaxle), it's the breather tube for it. It's supposed to clip on to the battery hold down. Do not close off this tube or bad things will result for your transmission.

Spark plug wiring & Firing Order - As you are standing at the front of the engine bay, here is where the spark plug wires go:

For the 2.5L V6:

Coil Pack
4-6-5
3-2-1

Engine
1-2-3
4-5-6

Firing Order: 1-4-2-5-3-6

For the 2.0L Zetec:
Intake manifold
.............1 3 (coil pack)
1 2 3 4 ...4 2
Exhaust manifold

Firing Order: 1-3-4-2

Random engine noises
DanG put together this guide that helps explain some of the noises you might hear.
 

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Re: FAQ- Check here FIRST! Problems

What about on the top aux panel, what is the light picture for? I read it means a burned out bulb. But my fog lights dont work ever since they havent worked that light has been on. But on the switch where you turn on the lights i cant even pull it out to try and turn on my fog lights? Do i need to just replace the lights do you think?
 

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So its begun.....
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Re: FAQ- Check here FIRST! Problems

If you can't pull the knob out to turn on the fog lights, you may have the wrong knob in there for them..I wonder if they're just in there as a filler maybe. Either that or your knob is broken.
 

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El Mucho Post Whoro
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Re: FAQ- Check here FIRST! Problems

Let's not forget the Trunk Release "Not Working" one.


If your doors are locked, the trunk release button in the cabin on the driver's side kick panel will not work. This is a safety mechanism. To ensure that this is not the cause of your problems, ensure your door(s) are UNLOCKED before pressing this button. If it still does not unlock, then you may have a different problem.
 

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Re: FAQ- Check here FIRST! Problems

Mine did it battery light came on at high rpm, replaced alt. and it still does it from time to time at high rpm, i think the light also comes on if the system is overcharging which can happen when the alt. is spun too fast
 

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Re: FAQ- Check here FIRST! Problems

jaa55 said:
Mine did it battery light came on at high rpm, replaced alt. and it still does it from time to time at high rpm, i think the light also comes on if the system is overcharging which can happen when the alt. is spun too fast
This is the load sensing issue, see: http://newcougar.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2039
I also recommend that thread be compiled and added to this since it is a very common issue that most people assume is caused by an alt that is perfectly fine. This fix is VERY easy and can be done by anyone with a 10mm wrench or socket.
 

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Re: FAQ- Check here FIRST! Problems

I have a huge amp in my cougar. I am also on my fourth alternator.( I think I need a Lightning Cap) Anyway, when mine would start to go bad, The battery light would come on at high rpm's(5,000 or more). Subsequently, about a month later my alternator would fail, and the car would let me sit. I became wise to this and would just get it fixed before it could f--- me. I may be a dumbass for putting up with this, but I definatly know that you have a bad alternator. Corey('99 laser red piece of ****)
 

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Re: FAQ- Check here FIRST! Problems

noisy rear brake scraping sound - is it rust? because I dont drive it but 10 miles 4 days a week ,but scraping sound is noticed so often after highway use DILEMA! sounds like caliper is dragging Only 19000 miles?
 

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Re: FAQ- Check here FIRST! Problems

I just bought my 99 cougar which I think I love more than my girlfriend :)! but I noticed that the temp. gauge is not working is this a common problem or is it just mine and how can I fix it?
 

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Re: FAQ- Check here FIRST! Problems

You know how usually would start a car up and once the car is warmed up the gauge dial usually goes to the middle. Well mine never moves from the start postion. Also is it common for the steering wheel to shake when braking? For example when im on the highway and im getting off, the steering wheel would start to shake. It usually only happens when im slowing down from highway driving. It doesnt happen when im driving on the streets.

Thanks for the welcome. I just cant wait to get my cougar in the condition that some of the people have on here. :)
 

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Re: FAQ- Check here FIRST! Problems

Hi Sunny315. Welcome to the boards. As an FYI, you should probably post your questions as separate threads in the "Problems" forum, instead of at the tail end of this thread, you will get a better response. I'll answer it now since it is here, and before you catch hell.;)
Your steering wheel shake is most likely caused by a warped front brake rotor. If the steering wheel shook during normal driving (without the brakes being applied) you would be looking at wheels that need balancing, out of round or flat spotted tires, or possibly bad front wheel alignment. But a steering wheel shake during braking is a sure sign of a warped front rotor. You can have it fixed by having the rotors resurfaced (hopefully the rotors are within tolerances to be resurfaced).
As to the temperature gauge problem, that is a little tougher to pin down. Could be a defective temp gauge, defective temperature sensor sending unit, blown fuse, wiring problem, etc.
Good luck.
 
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