1988 Ford Laser GL 1.3 petrol from Australia and New Zealand
1988 Ford Laser; Cheap, fun and practical
I bought the Laser in March, and since then I have repaired or replaced:
X 1 New radiator cap.
X 1 New oil filter.
X 1 New cam belt.
X 2 Second hand hatch struts.
X 1 Windscreen wiper blade (two coming soon)
I have also replaced the sparkplugs as the last owners made them almost unrecognisable!
- I fixed the left hand side mirror as it had been knocked outward by previous owners.
- I removed some minor white paint specks and a "Green peace" sticker with meths and a small blade.
The following is still to be repaired:
- The automatic choke has not worked since I bought it.
- The rear wiper does not move and is stuck in the up position.
- The previous owners also did some damage to the metal bumper thingy under the front plastic bumper, it needs straightening.
- There are a few scratches here and there, so I'll get some touch up paint when I've got time.
As I said above, I bought the car in March for NZ$1200, I listed all the repairs I have made to it which make up about $165, I think that is great value as there has been many repairs.
If there is anything that amazes me about this car, it's that after over 20 years of being mistreated this car still has its original number plate surrounds from John Sharpland Ford in Tokoroa!
There is one thing in particular that I LOVE about this car, and that is the comfortable seats! Front and back, they are fantastic!
There is excellent space for cargo, the rear seats fold down seamlessly and the front passenger seat moves soooo far forward, which means this compact town car turns into a huge cargo hauler!
The original cassette stereo works great for its age and works just as I require it to (I'm not into a lot of music). However the backlight on this original radio is very selective, sometimes it works, other times it doesn't, and sometimes when you think it's working you go over a bump in the road and it's gone off or vice versa!
The heater is FANTASTIC in this car, the cabin is stinking hot after just 2-3 minutes after start up when heat is selected to full, which is great here in NZ!
I'm a bit angry about the fact that it does not have a tachometer or a chime when the lights are left on (you had to buy a Ghia to get those luxuries!)
The power of the car is great when you're cruising around on your own, however when you get 5 people and the dog in the car, there ain't much room and the car slows down a lot LOL.
As I said about the dog above, because my Laser does not have a parcel tray (I would love one) the dog gets to have his own area in the back! (note he's a beagle dog so rear view is not a problem with him in there!)
I think this is a great car for me for the time being. My next car will hopefully be a 2001 Ford Laser! Then a 2008 Saab 9-5 or 9-3!
Trouble is my 1888 Laser 1.3 hatch goes too well, I don't want to be rid of it!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th May, 2009
- In response to my original review on the 88 Laser GL -
It broke down on me! I had just taken my brother into his rugby practice, and was on my way home when the car suddenly stopped and I glided my way to the side of the road! I was left stranded on the roadside!
I'm not a mechanic, so I had no idea what was wrong with it. I tried to restart it 3 or 4 times with no luck! I was forced to dump my newly acquired Laser on the roadside overnight and get a taxi home (NZ$15 to my door), very lucky I bought my cellphone with me!
The following day my father (a mechanic) and I went to pick up the car and tow it home. So off goes the little Laser being towed by Dads 05 F150. After inspection, my father discovered that I was in need of a new ignition module and that the car would be off the road until I bought one, sigh, so over NZ$115 later I had the new part. (Lucky my dad is a mechanic otherwise the bill would have been at least another 100!)
By this time I was regretting buying the stupid car. I had spent more than I wanted, and it's questionable reliability was really annoying me to say the least. The other issue being that we were entering winter and the automatic choke didn't work, so it wouldn't start in the morning!
My father had to replace the ignition module on my mum's Mazda 323 of the same era a few years back, so we believe it may be a problem with the base design of these models.
--- Update ---
I've had the car coming up a year in March and she is looking like new! I have bought all the parts it was missing, so now she's totally complete!
I have replaced or installed the following:
1x NZD$59.00 Rear wiper motor.
1x NZD$61.31 Parcel Shelf.
1x NZD$30.50 Centre console (front half with storage compartment) ex TX3 Laser. I needed the space and it looks great. All Laser parts of this era are pretty much interchangeable!
2x NZD$20.00 New front dash mounted speakers to replace old ones.
1x NZD$13.00 Brand new rear lapbelt, cheap from Ford dealer.
1x NZD$55.00 Steering wheel ex 1995 Telstar Wagon (same as what was on the TX3)
1x NZD$18.00 Front left CV boot replaced.
4x NZD$60.00 ex Ford Sierra hubcaps.