If you have a pre 1998 Ford Contour and you haven’t had the cooling line for the power steering replaced, now might be a good time to check it and make sure that it isn’t leaking.
The power steering cooling line for the 1995-1997 model years rust very easily, not creating a major leak, but in fact, tiny holes the size of a pin head develop causing the cooling line and the bottom of the wind deflector to become soaked in power steering fluid. The cooling lines from 1998-2000 model years have some revisions, including cooling fins and a coat of primer.
The point I’m trying to make here is that the cooling line from the 1998-2000 model years will work with the 1995-1997 model years. I picked mine up at Pull-A-Part for just over $3.00 and it fits in my 1997 Contour. Most pre 1998 Contours at Pull-A-Part had rusted out cooling lines while many post 1997 Contours were in good shape.
Replacing the entire cooling line is quite easy to do. First you have to remove the wind deflector on the bottom of the car. Remove the two 8mm bolts that hold the cooling line with a socket wrench and a (I used two) socket extension. Remove the hose clamps and slowly wiggle the hoses from the cooler. Installing is the reverse of removing.