1988 Ford Tempo GL 2.3 from North America


Good started car


Transmission coolant pipe busted.

Acceleration cable fell out.

Speedometer stopped working.

Muffler has rotted and needs to be replaced.

General Comments:

This car performs well for a older car and drives very good at high speed. But it has left me broke down on the side of the road a few times. One time the acceleration cable somehow came detached and another time a transmission line broke and the car ran out of transmission fluid. But besides that it's a good running car and the seats are very comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th November, 2005

1988 Ford Tempo GL 2.3 Liter 4 cylinder 3spd from North America


Greatest car alive


The Radiator had to be replaced. The tie rod and the CV joint went bad. The front end including the head light, bumper, turn signal reflectors, and under skirt are missing. Timing belt. Water pump (that was fun to fix). Usual maintenance.

General Comments:

I have had this car for 2 years now. It has had its share of ups and downs.

This car was my second car. the first car I had was a panel wagon, so I moved up. Don't get me wrong, the wagon was a good car too, but it dawned upon me that I needed a new car.

I found this beast of a car in a yard with a for-sale sign in the window. It was all shiny and new looking. I bought the car for $1000 dollars.

Not even 48 hours did I have this car, when an old guy pulled out in front of me and took out the drivers side of the car. I didn't care, I drove it anyway. Then there was the run in with the Saturn and I lost. That caused the radiator to go out and the water pump too. A new headlight, and she was good to go.

This car has outlasted my Fathers Toyota, my Mothers Chevy, and my Brothers KIA. All of them newer than my car.

To anyone buying a Tempo right now, or thinking about buying a tempo, I tip my hat to you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th September, 2005

1988 Ford Tempo from North America


Take the Bus, or Stay Home


My car was great in the beginning.

Then I started to drive it long distances.

So far, I got a new Alternator.

I got two new Springs/Strut assembly.

Before that I got a brand new Converter.

Recently I got a new Muffler.

It seems like my car plays games with me.

It will get me where I need to go.

I am lucky that I got things fixed and did not get in an accident.

However, I am a college Student and this car costs too much to maintain.

I just got it back from inspection and I drove it two days.

(Plus where I live your inspection and registration have to match so I have to update mine in 4 months.)

Now when I stop it jumps, and the engine sounds weird.

God only knows what is wrong with it now.

General Comments:

If you get this car for $100, take it. If you pay over $1000, run away.

It is my first and only car so far, and I can't wait to get a new one.

I would rather walk then drive it.

I even stay home often because every time I drive it, something new goes wrong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 19th July, 2005

1988 Ford Tempo LX 2.3 HSC from North America


A good-looking car, highly unappreciated, but that keeps 'em affordable, so I can buy more!!


The left-rear strut was bad when I bought the car. I replaced both rears.

Radiator was bad, stone damage. Replaced it.

Horn failed.

Passenger side power door lock switch was bad when I bought it.

General Comments:

This car was purchased from a junkyard for $400. I bought it as a work car. Upon taking it home & cleaning it up, found it to be in rather good shape. The interior, with its cloth door inserts & wood trim, is immaculate (with the exception of some pry-bar marks around the radio) And the body is quite sound, but for a damaged right-front fender & peeled clear coat.

This LX Sedan was equipped with the "Touring Suspension", so cornering is decent, with little body roll. The ride is firm without being harsh, and the car is fairly peppy. I'm working on some real power enhancement (supercharging-no kidding) but as-is, it's not bad.

The big surprise was the "fit & finsh" of this car. Even after 17 years and 1 minor wreck, panel gaps are consistent, trim alignment perfect, and doors slam like a bank vault; quite solid. The upholstery is good, stitching is straight & even, everything is tight & secure (wish I could say the same for my '01 GTP).

The seats in this car aren't world-renowned, but fit my 5'9" frame perfectly. A larger person might feel cramped, but the car fits me well, drives like an extension of my body, and I get a grin every time I drive it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th January, 2005

31st Jan 2005, 06:38

Supercharging a Tempo?


31st Jan 2005, 18:14

I think turbocharging a Tempo would be a more likely situation. Mustang SVO's, some early Fairmonts, Thunderbirds and others had a turbocharged 2.3. I wonder what would be involved in fitting one of those under a Tempo's hood.

4th Feb 2005, 01:54

As for the first comment, I won't dignify it with a response.

The second responder mentioned turbocharging... this was done by Ford on a completely different 2.3 motor, the OHC engine. The push-rod 2.3 "HSC" in the Tempo/Topaz automobiles shares nothing in common with that engine, save the displacement.

Why supercharging? First, it hasn't (to the best of my knowledge) been done yet. I know of at least one turbo'd HSC. The engine has NO performance aftermarket, so I've got to make what I need, or take parts made for other applications & make them work. Like my Fuel Pressure Regulator. It's a Kirban unit, made for a Mustang. The ports are the same, but the bolt pattern is different. It will be modified to fit. The Eaton M45 Supercharger I've installed required much adaptation (different radiator, special mounting brackets, etc.

Secondly, superchargers provide instant boost, no lag at all. For an engine with a 5500 rpm redline, this is crucial. Boost levels are more controllable as well. For stage 2 of this project, I'm building a low-compression, higher-boost motor. I cannot just order a forged bottom end kit, no such thing exists for the Tempo. I'll have to Magnaflux the crank & rods, Shot-peen the rods, have forged pistons made ($95 apiece, ouch!) and balance the whole mess.

To sum it all up, I wanted something unique, knowing it wouldn't be easy.

22nd Oct 2005, 23:42

I have a 1987 topaz, same car different make. This thing is like a tank, I have literally taken it off road in the field behind my house, nothing broke, accept a crack in my bumper. The interior was scotch guarded from the factory, so it is still spotless and odourless. I'm looking into a Bosch distributor and MSD 7.5mm wires, because the car is carberated I can't put on a cold air intake off a Honda, so I'm fabricating a custom high flow intake at home. I'm also planning for bosch platinum 4 spark plugs and a k&n high flow air filter. for an 87, this car has very low kilometers, 97 623 to be exact. It still has good power for its age, I have beaten some 90-94 civics.

Replaced the transmission twice around 85 000 km because the first one blew, then the used second one was messed, and I then got the third used one rebuilt, its been great ever since.

Right front wheel bearings replaced and 92 000km.

Ac doesn't work, but I'm getting it fixed.

Over all a great car for high school students like me.