1988 Ford Festiva L from North America - Comments

18th Oct 2004, 07:47

I have a 1988 Festiva, bought it with 272,000 miles for $350. Put new tires on it, plugs, timing belt and a fuel pump. Have about $800 all said in the car. I now have 297,000 miles and is still running like a champ.

9th Dec 2004, 08:39

Aside from the work mentioned in the review, I recently replaced the water pump, which leaked; and timing belt, which was in imminent danger of breaking. Mechanic said the belt *should* have broken a long time ago, but somehow it managed to stay on long enough to roll into his shop. I hardly realised just how close I came to totally destroying the engine (interference type) until I took the car in for routine maintainance...

14th Aug 2006, 20:20

I bought my 1998 Ford Festiva L new, loan and all $7004. I paid $125/mo for almost five years, I still drive it every day 8/14/06. I love this car. It is a five speed manual trans., no AC, fuel injected. If I am getting on the freeeway I can get up to 65-70mph easily and quickly. I believe the five speed manual is the best. Roomy, basics. It still gets mid 30mpg and it's never been garaged. I'm easy on a clutch and don't tailgate.

There's 131,000 miles in it now and she never fails to start. I am going to be so disappointed in any other car when the time comes

Problems are bad rust underneath, I had it undercoated when it was new. Vandals cut my bumper to expose Styrofoam. But as a friend told me, I'd float if I went into a river. 5 exhaust pipes, two new axles last year and brakes. I've been driving it for years with bad shocks. The right headlight sprung a leak and I silicon-ed it, but it is dim. I have to put about one quart of oil in every 3 months.

A man is selling a 1992 automatic with little or no rust for $1500. I desperately want another, but I believe it's the five speed that keeps it able to jump on command. I'm tempted to put that much into some body and engine work and keep this one, any comments?

6th May 2007, 20:41

Wow. It's been 2 1/2 years since I wrote the review on this car.

I sold it in Feb. 2006 with 201,000 miles on it, and to my knowledge it's still rolling around San Antonio, TX.

Since then I have regretted the sale, as this was my first car, and I spent a lot of time tinkering with it.

I ended up buying a truck, but then one day I saw a Ford Festiva for sale, and my love affair with these cars started all over again.

Now I have three of them and I won't let any go due to gas prices!

11th Jul 2007, 23:51

Hi...My 88 Festiva is a 4 speed. I love it, altho I'm getting very enamored with electric cars. I wonder if the Festiva may be a good candidate for converting to EV. But the engine only has 72000 miles & has a lifetime of running still in it.

30th Jun 2008, 16:28

I purchased my 1991 Festiva new, and used it commute to work for eight years.

Then my children used it for school and work. My son 19, is still using it and refuses to drive any other vehicle.

In the 17 years that I have owned it, I have had only two major repairs.

At 190k I had to replace a burned out valve. While I had the engine apart, I put in new front and rear seals and bearings, timing belt, head and cover gaskets. All this work, parts and tools cost just under $400.00, as I did the work myself over a period of one week.

I replaced the clutch at 240k at a cost of $960.00 at a tranny shop.

Other than that this car has only cost me general maintenance, tires, brakes, fuel etc. All I can really say about this car is that after 17 years, it still gets 43 miles to the gallon highway.

25th Aug 2008, 19:28

Had the comment for July 11, 2007. Replaced my sparkplug wires & timing belt. Three trips to the mountains have averaged 51.3 MPG! The last trip was 50.8 MPG including ups & downs of 11,000 feet. I took it easy on Festiva because I knew this $4 per gallon gas would come. Now my Festiva is getting the best MPG of its life, which got great MPG in its early life. Love my Festiva.

See if you can beat 50+MPG in the mountains.

19th Feb 2010, 00:31

Original poster here.

Last week was a sad week for the Festiva. It was destroyed in a traffic accident. It protected its owner faithfully, and never skipped a beat after 22 years and nearly a quarter million miles.

It was parted out, and is currently keeping other Festivas on the road.

15th Sep 2010, 21:43

I have a 1988 Festiva. I bought it for one dollar ($1) from a friend. It currently has 165,000 miles on it, and I've driven it for two years. The only thing I've fixed is the muffler, which was $50 (I did the work for myself). I love this car. :)

15th Jan 2013, 11:12

I'm the guy that bought the Festiva for a $1. It is still going strong! The car has about 200,000 miles on it now.

It was burning a quart of oil every couple of months, so I put some Lucas oil stabilizer in it, which seems to have masked the problem.

Last summer I had to replace the whole distributor because the amplifier in it failed (and it is not a replaceable part). Thanks Ebay.

If Ford would make these again, I would DEFINITELY buy one.

21st Mar 2013, 23:50

I recently bought a 91 Ford Festiva from my brother in law for ten dollars. The car cranks right up and runs out really well. The only problem I have is that it idles really rough. After getting it rolling, it smooths right on out.

I am just wondering if any Festiva owners have had this issue, and what actions I may take to repair it?

It has new plugs/wires/air filter and distributor cap. My friend thinks that seeing how that work has been done and it still idles rough, that it's a burned valve. But I have read that if so, it would run rough all the time. The check engine light is on as well.

The car is an automatic and runs very strong! I am needless to say impressed with the power it has, as I thought it would be weaker than it is.

Any help in this matter will be greatly appreciated, as I am just getting back on my feet from a homeless situation.

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