1988 Ford Taurus L 2.5L (156C.I.) 4 cylinder from North America


Nice car once you've rebuilt it 3 times


Things that went bad:


Heater core.

Power-steering hoses.

Rack & pinion.

Head liner.


Transmission (twice).

Alternator, air-conditioning.

Windshield (twice).

And these were the major things, not mentioning the small ones.

General Comments:

Geez, if someone ever tries to sell you a 4 cylinder Taurus, run and run fast. he probably won't be able to catch you in his car.

Talk about a dog, it's slow, unreliable, and thirsty. I'm guessing the 1/4 mile in it would be about 25 seconds. One time 110 miles from home the power-steering hoses broke. Ford thought it was a good idea to route them right behind the exhaust manifold, even though they don't need to be there. The exhaust manifold burnt them to a crisp.

The gas mileage on the car was about 17 miles to the gallon because you had to stomp on it to get it to go anywhere.

Tauruses are known for their leaks. Every seal in the Taurus leaked. Radiator fluid, transmission fluid, oil, powersteering. The only things that didn't leak were the brakes and the fuel.

Transmission went out on me twice. 1st time it was super slow and needed a new torque converter and the second time was to replace the torque converter seal. The only good thing about it was that it handled good, the rack and pinion steering handled well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th June, 2001

19th Sep 2005, 04:02

Your review brought back some not-so-fond memories of a 1988 Taurus that my then-teenage brother once drove. It also had the dreadful 2.5 4-cylinder/ automatic combo. With only 88h.p. on tap, the acceleration of this mid-size car was laughably slow; your guess of a 25 sec. quarter mile is probably only a mild exaggeration. The engine was amazingly loud and unrefined, with an idle that reminded me of nothing so much as a seriously angry weedeater, vibrating the rearview mirror to near uselessness. On the highway, the lack of an overdrive made interstate cruising an equally noisy and irritating experience.

The car was also easily the most unreliable car I've ever been acquainted with, requiring constant repairs, both major and minor. Head gaskets were replaced on that car the way most people change air filters on their own, which allowed me to appreciate firsthand the beauty of Ford's "High Swirl Combustion" head design. The car also had never-ending issues with the motor mounts, AC, exhaust, and various ignition parts (all common to these cars). Somehow, this piece of automotive detritus managed to stay in our family for five nerve-wracking years, until it finally sold (!) to a unsuspecting buyer.

A while back, I surfed the website of Tom and Ray Magliozzi, of "Click and Clack" fame, where I was not surprised to see the 4-cylinder Taurus included in their list of the worst cars ever made. Caveat Emptor!

1988 Ford Taurus LX 3.0 from North America


An okay-ish bargain if you're willing to risk not only your life, but the lives of others


Oh, dear lord, where to start? I had to fight the ignition for the keys numerous times and the ignition usually won.

The transmission is currently going at about 89,000 miles. However, it will usually go into 4th if it decides to go into 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and that's a BIG if.

It's usually an adventure to see if it will take me to work or school everyday. It sounds like a cricket and is very embarrassing.

I'm not allowed to drive my friends anywhere because they value their lives too much.

Also, let me tell you, it's quite an experience when the car decides to stall anytime, especially when you're turning and the steering wheel locks up and you almost die... oh joy.

General Comments:

The only good thing about it is that I got it into an accident and received $1,800... that paid for my tuition.

I guess it's comfortable too, but that's the only perk.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th May, 2001

14th Aug 2005, 09:21

That kinda funny, my 1988 Taurus Wagon has 156,000 miles on it, and it drives absolutely perfect. I would not want another car. I drive it because I do value my life and if I get in an accident, I live.