I have to agree with you in the fact that it IS the best thing Ford ever built because they didn't design it. Oh, and the part about the only thing they did design was the logo? I took the logo off when I got the car. *smile*
I've NEVER had a heating problem with my Festiva, although I wish the darn thing had an Air Conditioner.
Whoever says the heat works fine on these must live in an area that doesn't get winter. I got this car as a loner from a garage and thought it would make for a good pizza delivery car. I saved on gas, but I had to drive with the windows down because it couldn't even keep the windshield from frosting up, I spent the first hour continually scraping it. In -20 to -30 celsius weather, I couldn't get any heat even after the car had been running all evening I tried to drive home with the windows up and it didn't warm up at all, but I think the windshield actually stayed clear.
I bought a 1992 Festiva recently and it also had a very poor heating system, although the cabin airflow was good. As with many cars with such a problem, managed to find that the thermostat was faulty. Replaced the part (less than $20), which fixed the problem.
The other symptom was that the engine never warmed up properly; it was difficult to get the coolant temperature past about 70-75 degrees Celsius.
I now own two of these little beauties!! A 1989 Mazda 121 and a 1993, Ford Festiva.
The 121 has recently clocked over 418,000 km (seriously!!) and is still going strong. I’ve moved from state to state several times using the 121 to move all of my belongings. Even in one occasion tying up a dinning table on the roof and the chairs inside. Its flexibility is amazing, and the space you get when folding the rear seats is huge!!
The 121 has only cost me AU$500 in repairs:
· CV-Joints $300
· Gear stuck in reverse $200
The A/C has died now, but when it worked you could be sure that your ice-cream would not melt, and the heater would feel like a sauna. The best part is that I only paid AU$700 back in 1992.
The Ford Festiva is a different story. I’m having problems with overheating (might be the thermostat) and there is clicking noises coming from the engine (might be a cracked head).
Overall the cars are amazing. They use very little petrol, they are very responsive and easy and fun to drive.
We have had our Festiva for 10 years now and it has never let us down. The only thing that has needed to be replaced is the starter motor and I think the CV joints need to be replaced soon, but this doesn't bother me because my parents have some mechanical history. The Festiva is the car that I learned to drive in, and let me say that it is a very easy car to drive. I would recommend this little economical beauty to anyone.
My parents used to have 2 of these one a '93 and the other a '90 and both had over 200,000 mile on them in '98 when they got rid of them. I remember having to put a new altenater in the '90 and the '93 front end was going out when we got rid of it. Those cars had a lot of driving in them. They were a great car.
I just got my 93 an have had to do complete exhaust, gas tank, full brake lines, and I'm not done yet lol... but I can't complain because I only paid $100 cdn for it, so I've got about 600 into it so far and its pretty solid now.
I bought a 1993 Ford Festiva with 129,000 miles on eBay for $1,200. I thought I got a deal considering that they have been going for $1,525 lately on eBay, depending on condition and mileage. I have heard so many good reviews about these cars and I can't wait to get mine.
You paid $1200 for a 129K mile Festiva? Not such a great deal. You paid over book value for a car that is likely to need significant repairs soon if not already due to the high mileage.
I think I got a deal on my Festiva. For a car with 129,000 miles on it, the vehicle hardly has any rust on it and the Engines in these go past 200,000 miles at least before they quit. I made sure I asked the eBay Seller that I bought it from 20 questions before even placing a bid. I also made sure that he had a positive Feedback Rating of 100 percent. There is no doubt that this car may need repairs in the future, but 129,000 is low miles for a 1993 Ford Festiva. Believe it or not, the ones with the Automatic Transmission always cost more than the Manual Shift ones. I will also be saving a load of money on Gas and when the Hurricane hits in Florida, Gas will go back up to three dollars a gallon here and this baby will pay for itself quickly.
I drive a 1993 Festiva and wish it would last forever. The heater works great if on defrost. I live on a gravel road and have had to have the front end replaced. I don't know how many miles are on it because it is on it's third speedometer. This baby car is always ready to go and great on gas. I love it!
Keep maintaining your Ford Festiva and it should last another 12 years, maybe even another 20 years. I personally believe that the majority of these cars will be around by the time we are all dead. Ford made an incompetent decision when they decided to discontinue the Festiva Line. I'm the gentleman that bought my 1993 Ford Festiva on eBay for $1,200 with 129,000 Miles. I will be getting it tomorrow and I can't wait. Turns out though, I will be paying $1,426 because a few repairs had to be made, the Delivery Fees, and I have to pay for the Inspection. Just in gas savings alone, I think $1,426 is a deal!
I bought my Festiva in October 1993 when they were phasing them out. The dealers were doing almost anything to clear them out. We paid $5000, brand new. I've owned lots of cars: 3 Mercedes, a Fiat 124, '56 Austin Healy 100-6, Bronco II, Montero, as just a sample. The Festiva has become my favorite. 130K miles later, it still gets 45 mpg. Total repairs over the life of the car have consisted of: new battery (twice), new muffler (3 times, though with Midas, only paid for one), new heater blower (once -- the heater isn't so great, but it does work), plus regular oil changes/preventive maintenance. A surprising amount of room for such a small car. I don't worry about parking lot dings, or anyone stealing it. It has been the most reliable car I have ever owned and the total cost of ownership is almost in the negative numbers. It is tougher than many might think, as evidenced by the following true story: We were living in a rather isolated part of Washington, in the mountains. One evening my wife was driving home and out from someone's driveway runs a full-grown black bear into the road. She hits it square on. Bear is dead. Car is undamaged -- that's right -- none. How many other cars can say the same? You know, word has apparently gotten around, because the bears have avoided that car ever since. Bottom line: We'll drive it until we can't drive it anymore.