Transmission problems are common in this model, often as a result of a failed front pump. The pump loses its ability to create hydraulic pressure, which an automatic transmission needs to function. A sign of front pump failure can be a whine type noise.
Car Problem Reports
Ford Contour Transmission Failure Common Due to Front Pump Failure
Ford Contour Problem
Average Mileage: 128,000 mi (126,000 mi - 130,000 mi)
Visitor, 2000 Ford Contour
transmission hasnt failed yet, but does back up slow. course i think i caused it by getting stuck in a snowed over drive. but it does have high hum but only seems to when its really cold out so far and only when im not accelerating.
Visitor, 1998 Ford Contour, 130,000 mi
wont shift into drive at the drive position it seems as though it wants to go only in low but doesnt want to shift into drive unless a low speed is achieved and then can shift manually