1988 Ford Tempo GL 2.3L 4 cylinder from North America


Dependable, no-frills transportation


Power window motors and regulators have been an ongoing issue.

CV joints worn out.

oil leak around pan gasket.

General Comments:

I purchased this Ford Tempo about 6 months ago following a mechanical breakdown in the Camry I owned previously (timing belt)... Being a bit strapped for cash at the time, I decided to take my chances on an $800.00 vehicle, which was this Tempo.

The vehicle has been a pleasant surprise in spite of some not so positive critiques on this and other web sites.

While I won't say that the vehicle is my all time favorite, it is a practical and reliable mode of transportation. The 2.3L 4 cylinder engine is powerful enough for commuting to and from work or running errands. It starts religiously each and every morning... even on the coldest December mornings. The automatic transmission shifts smooth and is running strong for a 25 year old car.

The body style is "plain" and rather non-descript, but is amazingly free of any serious rust - while parts of the car's paint finish have suffered from chipping and peeling of the clear coat finish, the paint itself for the most part has held up quite satisfactorily... all bumpers and side molding are intact and the glass good throughout.

The car's interior is in excellent shape, taking into account that it is a 1988 model... the cloth interior, as well as all dash and door panels are in really great condition. Accessories, such as heat and cruise control, are quite operational; the radio, a "plain Jane" Ford sound system, is functional for my needs. The A/C, while still working, is in need of a recharge... not so sure I will invest the dollars necessary to bring it up to the current standard. It really appears that Ford put quite a bit of effort in making a comfortable and functional sedan - one built for the long haul.

There are just a few relatively minor inconveniences that I've encountered with my Tempo... here's a brief summary:

1.) Power windows on both the driver and passenger side have failed. After receiving a quote for nearly $400 bucks to do one side, I think I'll visit my local salvage yard and do the work myself.

2.) CV joints are worn and in need of replacement soon (makes for rather noisy operation on those tight turns).

3.) The car seems to have a bit of a rough idle at times; in spite of a recent full tune up and no "codes" showing up, the car continues to "miss" at times.

Yes... relatively few complaints for an inexpensive vehicle.

In summary, the Ford Tempo is a dependable utility grade car; no frills, no exceptional styling; just a decent set of wheels to get you from point A to Point B. The engine is durable and gas mileage is satisfactory (25 to 30 MPG on average). The cost of ownership from what I have witnessed is quite good. The parts for this vehicle appear to be readily available, and mechanically speaking, it is fairly simple and straight forward to maintain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2012

1988 Ford Tempo 2.3 from North America


A beater that begs to be ragged on, you won't be disappointed!


Ignition broke.


Car runs cold in the winter, except when it's stopped. Cardboard on top of the radiator fixed that.

This car is a beast, I really can't think of anything else that has happened, except that my exhaust fell off a couple times, (rust).

General Comments:

This car never ceases to amaze me. The car is a beast, I'm not joking, this thing laughs in the face of danger. I knock ice of of the wheel wells by running it into poles, and the car doesn't have a scratch on it from that. Rust, maybe, but scratches no.

It starts up every time, rain or shine, hot or freezing, anytime and every time. It could on the bottom of the Atlantic ocean for 3 years and I would put 20 bucks on it that says it starts right up and drives away, seriously.

I trust this car in the winter more that my 4x4 Jeep Cherokee on 33 inch tires with 5 inches of lift that I had before this car, and I live in Northern Michigan so I know all about bad winters. I have never had any bad problems with this car at all. I probably wouldn't even have to change the oil if I didn't want to.

The gas mileage is decent, and I wish the car had more than a 3-speed automatic, but it gets me from A to B no problem.

The car is such a beater that it's actually funny, and people actually like my car because of it.

If you see a Tempo, buy it!! If you see a Tempo in the parking lot a WalMart, steal it!, because more than likely the owner will leave the keys in the ignition hoping that someone steals it. This will be the best car you will ever drive, bar none.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th February, 2009