1986 Ford Tempo Reviews

1986 Ford Tempo GL 2.3 HSC from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership1994
Engine and transmission 2.3 HSC Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired10 miles
Most recent distance235000 miles

Summary:

The car you hate, but love to own

Faults:

Oxygen sensor every spring.

Tie rods.

Struts.

Fuel pump.

Fuel pump cutoff relay.

General Comments:

My mother purchased the car new in 1986, and gave it to me as my college car two years later. This was the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. It was a base GL 2 door. The styling was reasonable for the times. The seat was not comfortable and the transmission switchgear was very sloppy. I never liked how the car handled or shifted, but it never gave me a reason to get rid of it.

I handed it off at 210000 miles to my sister, she put another 30000 miles on it. We sold it to a neighbor, who used it to go to and from work, and it's still running without any engine work, its original clutch/transmission and CV joints. Whatever was happening in the Ford factory the day this car was built was pure magic. Too bad the two subsequent Fords were major pieces of garbage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2010

23rd Sep 2010, 00:22

I've owned 2 of these, an '86 Tempo with an automatic trans which went kaput after years of service, and an '87 Tempo 5-speed. Both were extremely reliable to the end. I bought one for $160 and the other for $65.00! They are very humble and basic cars but reliable, good on gas, and you don't have to worry about someone stealing it. LOL.

23rd Sep 2010, 10:36

Some of those Fords built in the late 1980s seems to last forever. My dad had a 1987 Ford Ranger 4 Cly that lasted 218,000, then we sold it and I still see it around on the road.

1986 Ford Tempo GL 2.0 Litre diesel from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership1989
Engine and transmission 2.0 Litre diesel Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired1 miles
Most recent distance58000 miles
Previous carMercury Zephyr

Summary:

Comfort, robust, frugal - great value

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

Ordered new with the rare Mazda 2 litre. The best U.S. made car I ever owned from over 30.

Heavily loaded it traveled all over Oregon, California, and Washington. Only stress was fully loaded heading up I-5 Grapevine to LA @ 106 degrees when the temp gauge showed "red". Popped bonnet, turned on heater, and she was OK.

Moved to Dunedin New Zealand and had to sell left-hand drive Tempo. My uncle bought it and drove 190,000+ miles.

Items replaced? Two glow plugs!

West Coast (USA) 1986 Tempos had added features at no extra cost. My GL had alloy trim rings, clear-coat over mid grey metallic, top stereo, deluxe trim, cruise, etc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th June, 2010

1986 Ford Tempo from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 miles
Most recent distance100000 miles
Previous carMercury Sable

Summary:

I actually MISS this car, and I drive something 11 years newer now

Faults:

This car (VERY RARELY) stalled during sudden stops.

General Comments:

I loved this car dearly, and was very, very heartbroken when I had to junk it.

I purchased it used from an old woman who only used it for grocery store trips, and the car was easily worth every penny I paid for it and more.

The car SURVIVED a very serious highway accident (other person's car was deemed a total loss, mine merely lost it's STEEL bumper and suffered some minor to moderate body damage) and continued to drive the way it always had until I regretfully put it to rest a few months afterward.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2009

1986 Ford Tempo Base 2.0L diesel from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.0L diesel Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired380 miles
Most recent distance310000 miles
Previous carBuick Wildcat

Summary:

Ford had a great thing going. 310K miles

Faults:

A few fuel pumps.

Two alternators.

The entire A/C system except the compressor.

Speedometer died at 200,000 miles.

General Comments:

This car, being that it is a diesel, had to have tons of servicing. Filters and fuel pumps got clogged all through the winters. Even with the fuel additives. My mechanic says that it is because of the small diameter of the fuel lines. We have a 2004 F-250 diesel that has never clogged.

This is the best part. On the highway the car gets a real 46mpg at 60mph in 5th gear.

In town the car gets 33mpg.

The engine finally gave out last week. I was told that the oil has got full of coolant, but the head gasket is fine.

Due to the fact that parts cannot be bought anywhere for this car, we have sent it out to the pasture with all the other junkers that we have accumulated.

The car was a pleasure to own and proved quiet reliable for a 22-year old car. The engine and transmission are original.

I wish that Ford had not stopped building the Tempo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th February, 2008

2nd Mar 2008, 18:16

It says your previous car WAS A BUICK WILDCAT. I have two of them- - a 67 convertible and a older beater 68. What year was yours...???

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 16 reviews