1986 Ford Tempo LX 2.3 I4 from North America


I actually thought about setting it on fire


The engine mounts were broken when I got the car.

Two weeks after I got the car, the exhaust fell off.

To turn on the headlights, I had to get out of the car and hit them.

The rear shocks sagged.

The paint had the texture of an orange peel... where it had paint at all.

A tie rod went out.

The transmission got stuck in 1st gear due to a TV rod grommet breaking off.

The headliner fell down.

Some interior trim pieces were falling off.

The power windows never all worked at the same time. I went through two gears, two switches, and one motor. When I sold it, the left front still did not work.

The power seat went the way of the dodo.

The horn stuck on one morning, for no apparent reason. Pulling the fuse made me lose my cruise control.

The windshield was replaced (before I got the car).

The trunk latch broke, so I had to duct-tape the trunk lid down.

Both the radio and speakers quit working, due to fried wiring.

Hard rain would result in a swimming pool in my passenger side floorboard. The water leaked in through the heater or A/C vents, although I never figured out how.

The rear-view mirror broke off three times.

The accessory belt fell off.

Practically everything electrical had to be replaced. This includes the alternator, battery, distributer, distributer module, coil, and about $300 worth of sensors. Oh, don't forget the distributer cap, rotor, plugs, and plug wires.

The idle speed had to be raised to try to counter engine stalls. It did not work.

The car burned a little oil.

The kicker - One morning, I went outside to check the oil. I pulled on the hood release, only to have it break off in my hand!! The dealer could not fix it. Heck, they couldn't even figure out how to open the hood. I used a screwdriver to open my hood after that.

General Comments:

The car had 47,500 miles on it when I paid $2200 for it. That was $2200 too much.

The thing shook so bad at idle that the steering wheel would move over an inch up and down when the car was stopped.

The car had no interior room, only moderate trunk space, and no fold-down back seat.

The car ran from 0 to 60 in 16.5 seconds... about what you would expect from a school bus.

The car got 16 miles per gallon in the city, and a whopping 24 on the highway. That is downright pathetic for a so-called economy car.

It handled like a drunken shopping cart.

The engine noise at 70 miles an hour was deafening. I could not hear my radio, even if I turned it way up. On that topic, the engine sounded like a Hoover vacuum cleaner.

What was good about the car?

The brakes were OK.

I got to make many new friends at NAPA.

I took good care of it. I even changed the oil every 2,000 miles. After spending about $3,500 on it in 19 months, I sold it for $1750. I feel sorry for the new owners.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th June, 2001

28th Jun 2001, 22:45

I hate my 86 too. Your problems are the same as mine;however, I just spent $900.00 trying to figure out why it is idling erraticly. The cause, it's a Tempo. The Ford dealership ran a system's diagnostic on it and found over ten sensors that went bad after we lifted the engine to put in new mounts. After replacing every single sensor in the car--I'm proud to announce that it's still being a Tempo and not working. Thanks Ford.

1986 Ford Tempo GL from North America


Joy rider


Had a problem with stalling for no reason, but fixed now.

General Comments:

This car is awesome, it's fast and with the addons I have I raced it against friends. I just got a ticket the other day for speeding, and also the acceleration is wicked if you have good tires. To think I got mine for free.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd April, 2001

28th Jun 2001, 22:58

Please give me the long list of add-ons to this vehicle. My 86 Ford Tempo had many many add-ons such as tinted windows and power windows, but It doesn't have a 350 in it with duel exhaust. You make this car sound like a beast. The truth is--God couldn't fix this lemon.

1986 Ford Tempo GL from North America


Sheer and utter garbage


Water pump (2x, first time when it was a year and a half old), fuel pump alternator, engine seals (entire engine taken apart and resealed).

Total cost of repairs in 1st five years $3,000. NOTHING was covered by the manufacturers warranty, the reseal would have been covered by the 3rd party extended warranty but the 3rd party went bankrupt right before this work was done.

General Comments:

I know water pumps wear out but I have NEVER had one wear out on a new car in 18 months. This car was garbage from the get go. I learned my lesson. Henry Ford would be ashamed of this piece of sCrap.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th July, 2000

2nd Feb 2005, 11:39

I own a 1986 Ford Tempo Sport and am very pleased with it. I have owned it since it was new. I had a couple of minor problems with it that were covered by Ford. I currently have 210,000 miles on the car and other than normal wear items (shocks, tires, brakes) it has been a great car. Especially since I only paid $9600 for it out the showroom door.

20th Sep 2007, 19:32

No, the Tempo and Topaz both came out in Spring 1983 as early release 1984 models.