1984 Ford Tempo GL 2.3L 4 cylinder from North America


Economical, reliable, comfortable, attractive car


The 1984 model was carbureted. This led to difficulties during extreme cold where I lived in northern Minnesota.

The cold also killed the cruise control by causing a vac line to disconnect.

The lug nuts holding the wheels were capped with stainless covers. These rusted out after about 100,000 miles and needed to be replaced.

The magnetic clutch on the A/C compressor died at 98,000 miles. (A/C was not essential in the north country; I never had it fixed.)

General Comments:

I really liked this car and kept it for ten years. It had 164,000 miles on it when I traded it in on a 1993 Tempo.

It was solid, had good amenities and economical to operate. I got 30 MPG @ 50 MPH, 28 @ 55, 25 @ 60. I could measure these quite closely thanks to the stopwatch in the dash and the cruise control.

The final cost figure was $25,000 to own and operate for ten years. The purchase price was $10,000, or 38% of the total. This worked out to $0.16/mile or $7.48/day.

Not bad, eh?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th October, 2010

9th Oct 2010, 22:08

I couldn't personally call the Tempo "attractive", but you'll get no argument on the reliability. We've owned a lot of Fords and a few imports. A well-cared-for Ford will easily last two or three times as long as any import due to the better materials, higher build quality and stronger drive trains. Even in '84 Ford build quality was higher than any import. The new ones are MUCH higher. We now own two Fords and I find them to be totally flawless in every respect. The only thing I really miss about our imports is the fact that they DID give me something to do on weekends... namely putting them back together after they fell apart!!

1984 Ford Tempo GL 2.3 gas from North America


Sure glad I was able to save the car


I replaced the heater core.

General Comments:

Just a sweet little car. Lots of fun to drive and very good on gas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2010

23rd May 2010, 04:47

"save the car? It was 21 years old with less than 25K miles on it when you got it.

What were you saving it from?

24th May 2010, 10:48

Presumably he was saving it from either the junk yard or the clutches of some teenager who would destroy it.

1984 Ford Tempo GL 2.3 from North America


Good little un-exciting car; I miss it


Rack and pinion / pump.

Passenger side axle.

General Comments:

Feeling nostalgic about a car I haven't owned in over 10 years. We acquired a 1984 Tempo GL from my wife's grandmother in 1987 with only 3,000 miles on the odometer. It was loaded: power everything, and had the sporty metric wheels (though buying tires was a pain - Michelin, special order only).

There were a few problems during the first 40,000 miles of ownership. Every time it rained, the car would stall. Found out there was a design flaw in the distributor cap, got a new one that had a built-in air vent and never had the problem again.

The power steering system went south before odometer registered 50K.

Also, this model year had a two-piece axle shaft that was famous for coming apart - and ours was no different.

Once these items were addressed, this car was a dream. The engine itself was a work-horse, with a timing chain instead of a belt. It wasn't much for power, but it ran great and never burned a drop of oil.

We owned it for over 10 years with no further repair issues other than normal maintenance. At 150,000 the transmission blew and I decided to part with it. I miss this car terribly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2010

1984 Ford Tempo GL 2.3L HSC from North America


Good, reliable (and unexciting) car if properly maintained and cared for!



I got this car after it had been sitting, unused, for two years; it had previously had a few problems, but the time it spent idle allowed hoses and gaskets to dry out and crack.

I have had to replace a power steering line, the PCV valve gasket, the oxygen sensors, spark plugs and spark plug wires, all the belts, and I am sure that there are numerous other hoses needing replacement that I haven't found yet.

I am still cleaning out the fuel system and oil system from the accumulated amounts or crud...

The brake pads had been worn down to the rivets, and needed replacing - though that was obviously because the previous owner had neglected replacing them, not because of the car itself.

There is so much METAL on this car! After twenty years, a lot of rust is creeping onto it; of course, the muffler and exhaust pipe are the worst, as they are constantly exposed to exhaust fumes. There is quite a large hole in the exhaust pipe, making this car quite LOUD when accelerating; it will need to be replaced, too.

The clutch gave out just a few weeks ago, and cost $470 to replace. This is eight years after the previous clutch replacement, but don't forget that the car was inactive for two years - whether that contributed to the problem with the clutch, or whether it means the clutch only lasted six years, I don't know.

It still idles rough, and has severe issues accelerating from a stop - it tends to stall out if I'm not REALLY careful.

There is yet more work to do in order to get this car to pass a smog inspection. Bottom line: beware of the inactive Tempo - once it has gotten slothful, it doesn't like being made to work again!

General Comments:

My hard work is starting to pay off.

This Tempo has got a little pep to it, compared to other 4-cylinder cars. It accelerates well, performs just fine on the freeway, and handles hills pretty easily (as long as I don't have to stop on the slope at some point and start moving again... see above).

The mileage isn't great - I'm currently operating at about 16 miles per gallon - but it is steadily improving as I continue with my regimen of fuel additives and oil additives. In time, I expect the mileage to increase to a more respectable 20 - 22 miles per gallon, once I've completed maintenance and replaced everything that needs replacing. By the way, the 1984 Tempo originally was listed as getting 22 mpg to 24 mpg during city driving...

I suspect that the mileage would have been better if not for the steel body! This car is a TANK, and although it gives the impression of being a smaller car, it has a lot of mass and quite a bit of inertia!

My Tempo didn't have many options included... it has a radio, A/C (which doesn't work great, but is serviceable), and the cigarette lighter would work if I used it (it charges my cell phone just fine).

Nice, big trunk. Good amount of room in the compartment.

Definitely not a 'performance' car - not when the doors make a resounding metallic 'clung' when closed - but practical and useful.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2004