1981 Ford Fairmont Futura Sounds like a jackhammer V6


This car is from the Amityville Horror!


There were many problems with this car:

1. The battery had to be replaced twice.

2. The alternator had to be replaced.

3. The starter had to be replaced.

4. The driver's side door didn't close correctly sometimes, and I had to have my son hold it closed while we drove.

5. The car often stalled for no apparent reason--my mechanic couldn't figure it out.

6. The transmission started to grind in reverse before I gave the car away.

7. I had to replace the brake pads and rotors, and they needed to be replaced right before I gave the car away.

8. The keyhole on the trunk fell out for no apparent reason.

9. The hood wouldn't stay up correctly, or you would be afraid of getting your head slammed in the engine when you worked on it.

10. All of the emblems on the car fell off, and it started to rust within a year after I bought it.

11. The seat belts stopped retracting, and eventually, they just broke off.

12. On the way to a job interview, the car just died--in front of a junkyard--turns out it was the alternator--again!

General Comments:

This car was the worst vehicle I have ever owned. I think that the car wasn't taken care of properly before I bought it, so some of the problems may have to do with that.

It ate oil.

The gas mileage was very bad--like 15 mpg on the highway.

The interior was terrible--the dash was cracked all over and was coming apart by the time I got rid of it, and the seats had basically no covering left on them before I got rid of it. the carpeting was ripped everywhere, and the headliner fell off.

When I bought my '94 Dodge Shadow, the dealer said he couldn't give me any trade in value on the car because it was in such bad shape.

This car was probably a nice car in it's time, but was probably not taken care of properly, and just fell apart.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th February, 2004

29th Dec 2004, 06:08

You stated that you owned Dodge automobiles before and after this car. You did not state if you had problems with your omni, but I am assuming that if you went back to DODGE you must have been pretty satisfied with that brand. Once you find something that works, stay with it. I personally do not prefer Fords, but I know some diehard Ford fans who swear by them. They also swear that the Fairmont was also one of the cheapest cars Ford made in the late70's and early 80's. Everyone I know who had a Fairmont was completely dissatisfied with them. They were noted for early rusting problems and engine problems. Hope you are happier with Dodge.

13th Oct 2005, 17:58

I disagree strongly, You must have gotten a lemon; both of my Fairmonts have been extremly reliable (one had 310,000 miles on it) and solid, completely rust free.

You can't beat a straight 6 for long lasting reliability.

10th Mar 2008, 13:20

Yuck, I think I would try my hardest to avoid these cars. These are sinfully ugly and there are much better cars available at these bottom-line prices. You can almost always find some old Honda or something that someone is giving away and it will at least run for a while! The reason Ford/GM/Chrysler have had troubles is because they sold crap like this and it left a bad taste with everyone.

The new products from these manufacturers are very good however. I hope they will continue to move in their current directions and that the buying public will respond favorably. Ford is finally building appealing cars like the Fusion and GM is trying the hardest with the excellent new Malibu, Caddy CTS, and upcoming Pontiac G8.

25th Oct 2009, 11:26

No, the Fairmont is more appealing - to me anyway - than anything built nowadays. However, it was obviously much less appealing than a 'real' American car - full size, V8, etc. Still, better than the nothing front wheel drive eggs sold today.

1979 Ford Fairmont 4 door sedan Inline-six, 3.3 liter (200c.i.d)


Simply put, this car is worthy of high praise!


The valve cover gasket kept leaking oil.

Rear end makes a small, but noticeable, clunk when you shift from park to reverse.

Front-left ball joint boot has a cut in it, allowing the grease to keep leaking out which in return makes the car make a blood-curdling bang when you make sharp, fast left turns or you hit something with the left side first.

Rear-left coil spring has begun to droop.

Valve guide seals leak oil into combustion chamber.

Quite a few major dings and dents in the car body.

General Comments:

After fixing most of the problems about a year ago, the engine has returned to putting out almost all 85 horses and 154ft.lbs or torque.

The body is still pretty shoddy, but it can still look good after being washed and having a coat of wax put on.

Even though I haven't repaired the differential yet, it is still only a minor problem.

After putting on a new exhaust system (including a high-flow catalytic converter, aluminized 2 inch pipe from the manifold flange back, and a high-output turbo muffler), this car has serious high and low end torque in all 3 transmission bands, and will take off like it's a cat with its tail on fire!

I just have to say this; I whooped the H-E-double-hockey-sticks out of a Nissan maxima when the idiot wanted to race!!! I love this car!

I wish that Ford had made a new version for the 2000 year on through now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st December, 2003

30th Dec 2003, 09:33

Why would anyone spend money trying to turn a 200-cid six cylinder into a "performance" engine? If you want a "sleeper" then get a Fairmont with a V8, they aren't that hard to find...

15th Sep 2004, 07:46

I have a 1979 Ford Fairmont, four door, with a v6 engine. It's in fair/poor body condition, but runs pretty good. My husband uses it to drive to work every day. I've been told that the car is worth more than a couple hundred dollars because it's 25 years old. Do you know if that's true? The person at the Secretary of State and a few other people have told me I could get $5,000 for it. I don't know a thing about cars but thought it was worth asking someone.