1988 Ford Taurus GL 3.0 from North America


Super high output for the young adult


Alternator fried due to aftermarket stereo power overload, cost $100 to replace.

Starter blew at 137,000 miles. Plus the front struts and disk brakes were replaced, cost about $250.

Water pump failed, cost $20 for a new one. Also the entire cooling pathway was rusted so new copper pipes and new hoses were installed. Along with new belts. Cost ranged about $150.

Headlamp assemblies are plastic and crack allowing water to set inside and when you hit a speed bump splash it on the bulb to shatter it. They also turn a nasty yellow color and fade. Ford dealership sells them for $250 each. I had luck finding them in new condition for $20 each.

Transmission shifts smooth when you accelerate very light or very fast, but stutters on a medium tap to the accelerator.

General Comments:

The cloth seats in this car make it feel like a couch on wheels. Interior is very nice almost brand new, power windows and power seats are nice too.

The V6 3.0 engine is a speeder, only tops at around 100mph when you floor the accelerator you end up going 0-60mph in almost 6 seconds.

Handles well and the cruise control saves gas consumption when going on highways etc.

I am the third owner of this car after my parents and I coulnd't ask for more as a college student.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th April, 2004

1988 Ford Taurus LX 3.8 V6 from North America


A cheap, waste of money


When I first got the car, it had a small power steering leak. I fixed it, no problem, but then one morning I went out to the car,started it (and this was three weeks after I got the car) and it died with smoke coming out from under the hood. It hasn't started since!

General Comments:

Never buy one of these cars.

They make the Pinto look almost good!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th September, 2003

1988 Ford Taurus L 3.0 from North America


A car that will take you to the repair shop over and over


Ignition Control Module

Distributor ($250 rebuilt)

Power Steering Hoses (twice) ($600 each)

Air Condition compressor ($900)

Car would not run once weather was warm.

General Comments:

Would not recommend this car to anybody. Engine was smooth and strong. Taurus wagon was perfect sized for a growing family. Power steering hose started leaking at 95,000 miles. Hose was replaced at high cost only to start leaking again seven months later at 97,500 miles. Again paid the high cost to repair. Air conditioning compressor was leaky ($900 with retrofit). Worst of all, the car left my family stranded on the side of the freeway repeatedly. Engine would stall out and fail to restart when the outside temperature was above 80 degrees. Repeated attempts to repair before giving up on the car. In 2002, Ford was involved in a recall of the Thick Film Ignition Module on these cars, which is what my stalling problem was caused by. Ford tried to charge me $1000 to repair the stall problem when they knew all along that about this $50 part defect. Stay clear of this vehicle.

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

Review Date: 22nd April, 2003

16th Jan 2004, 18:23

I am in the process of changing my 4th ignition module on my 88 Taurus. the clear coat is now completely gone. other than that this car has served me faithfully. i purchased it used--2yrs old. it now has close to 250,000k on it and unless I have to change another ignition module I expect it to last a few more years.

30th Jul 2008, 18:39

Honestly, you should have talked to someone who was a manager. Ford and most other car companies are REQUIRED by law to fix all recalls at their own expense.

Also, the Ford Taurus wagon was an awesome car for its time. The few problems you were having were general maintenance problems. As for the power steering cables, what you do is go and find quality aftermarket parts. Never get parts from the dealer. They're more expensive, and guaranteed to crap out after warranty.

Take this from someone who's a bit of a Ford and Chevy buff. I know for a fact that there were very few Taurus's that had major problems. And a lot of these problems could have been fixed by the owners with a little common sense, and savvy shopping.