1988 Ford Festiva L 1.3 from North America
This is a much better car than a Metro for someone who wants a cheap used car!
The fuel pump sprang a leak. I bought one from Auto Zone for around $30 and replaced it in a half hour.
I had to replace the distributor cap when the car wouldn't run in wet weather. I blame this on over tightening by the previous owner, since it was cracked at both mounting bosses.
The vacuum advance wore out. They are unavailable from any source except junkyards, but I found one (and a rear tail light and window handle) for $10. The tail light was broken when a friend ran into me.
I replaced the front main oil seal since it leaked a bit. Since I was "in there" anyway, I replaced the water pump and the timing belt. This cost less than $100 for everything.
These are the only items on this car that have been worked on or replaced except for regular maintenance (oil changes) and wear items (a set of tires, mounted, balanced, road hazard warranty, all for $114).
I bought this car for $1000. I figure it's the cheapest, most reliable ride I've had since my 1983 Datsun Nissan Sentra Diesel got totaled in '98.
The performance is OK considering the gas mileage (mid thirties in town, high thirties to low forties on the road).
The A/C still chills and still has R-12 in it.
The heater is great, but you can't get warm air out of the dash vents.
I am told the fuel injected Festivas are even more reliable than the carbureted ones.
The seats are lousy on long (over 4 hour) trips.
The car is very easy to work on!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 28th January, 2003
This is an update to the original post. The car now has 181000 miles on it, the A/c doesn't work any more, and the only part I've replaced since the original post is the radiator (about 100 dollars from an on line supplier). The secondary barrel on the carburetor sticks open sometimes. The car still gets 37 mpg city.
On 2/03/08, this car met a tree and fire hydrant. It's totaled. I put 96000 miles on it from October 2000 and incurred approximately $700 worth of repair and maintenance bills in that time. This included two sets of tires, a distributor, a radiator, water pump, timing belt, fuel pump, and three tuneups (one set of plug wires, two distributor caps and rotors, and two sets of spark plugs). I'm grieving.
I am so sorry to hear about your loss; I feel your pain. I would be DEVASTATED if anything happened to my "Festy". I hope you decide to locate and buy another Festiva.