1988 Ford Tempo Reviews - Page 3 of 7

1988 Ford Tempo L 2.3 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1990
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.3 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired20000 kilometres
Most recent distance201000 kilometres

Faults:

Alternator and battery replaced.

Brake pads replaced.

Tie rod ends replaced.

Heater core replaced.

Hard to start in winter (mind you, it gets to be -30 celcius).

Air conditioning doesn't work.

Muffler replaced many times.

Seat belts don't retract.

Paint peeling and rusting.

Some stalling issues.

Sensors replaced.

Tires replaced.

Needs wheel alignment.

CV boot replaced.

Front struts replaced.

Normal maintenance stuff.

General Comments:

This car is becoming an heirloom. My mother's car, then my sister, and now me, and it's still running OK despite that. When you consider how old this car is, all the replaced parts and problems occurred simply because of the age of the vehicle. So, despite the fact that it's nothing fancy at all, this car has kept on ticking through the test of time. For something cheap to begin with, I don't think it's a bad car.. they are TOUGH. If you're looking for speed, comfort, flashiness, or attention, you won't get with this car. What you will get is something fairly reliable, cheap to buy and run,& it gets from point A to B.

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

Review Date: 27th July, 2004

1988 Ford Tempo L 2.3L from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.3L Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired196000 kilometres
Most recent distance201000 kilometres

Summary:

Drive it until it dies

Faults:

Paint peeling.

Rust around the wheel wells.

Chronic stalling.

Battery replaced a few times.

Hard to start in winter.

Brakes squeal.

CV joint on the front driver's side going.

Shakes when on the highway at over 110km/h.

Pulls to one side at higher speeds.

Front tires wear easily.

Headlight switch wires burned through.

Muffler replaced several times.

General Comments:

Being my first car, I wanted something cheap. Well, cheap is what you get with this car.

It has had its share of problems, namely stalling, and being difficult to start. The paint job is also horrible, with most of the paint peeled off the roof and hood at this point, rust as well. Can't find a muffler that lasts long either.

It's not the most comfortable car for long drives, but Tempo is not synonymous with luxury. Guts, what guts?

For those on a serious budget, drive it while saving up something better. Gets you from point A to B for at least a couple years.

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

Review Date: 13th July, 2004

1988 Ford Tempo L 2.3L HSC from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.3L HSC Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired212000 kilometres
Most recent distance255000 kilometres

Summary:

The best of the best

Faults:

Clutch.

All four brakes.

Head gasket.

Battery.

Alternator.

Fuel pump.

Fuel tank.

Gas line.

CV boot.

Oil pan.

Tie rod.

Tires worn fast.

E brake.

Heater.

Blower.

Seat ripped.

General Comments:

I have put this car through hell and it's held up so far. The parts that have gone wrong with it are just wear and tear. If I actually cared about the performance of the car I would take it to the shop more often. No matter what I do this car holds it's own. The engine will NOT die. I've had the temp up to about 195, she was a rough ride, but the car took it. Sure the car is rusting and stuff like that, but when you come outside to 2 feet of snow and jump into the tempo she always starts up. Very nice on a cold day. The best part is that Ford made the car easy to work on so if you want to fix it in your driveway it's a piece of cake, everything is easily accessible. I love this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 2003

1988 Ford Tempo LX All Wheel Drive 2.3 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 2.3 Automatic
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.6 / 10
Distance when acquired75000 miles
Most recent distance98000 miles
Previous carMercury Capri

Summary:

An auto-mechanics' dream

Faults:

4 alternators.

Retractable axel shafts on the transfer case.

Transmission at 85,000 miles.

Hole in piston at 92000 had to replace engine.

All the wheel bearings (front ones twice)

MAP sensor, throttle position sensor, oxygen sensor, and the coolant temp. sensor.

Both front spindels.

Starter (twice)

General Comments:

This car was a mistake for me from the start. It drove fine for about 3 months then it began falling apart. I was lucky to go 2 weeks with out a major repair.

This car had no ability to accelerate and was prone to stalling. I had to power brake it to keep it running.

The gas mileage was horrible. About 14-15 mpg. I was told that this was due to the extra weight of the transfer case for the all wheel drive.

I can say that this was a comfortable car and that it handled really well in the worst snowy road conditions.

It also did seem to rust out like other tempos I have seen.

All in all I think that from what I have learned you want to stay away from the LX series. The GL series seems to be much more reliable cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd November, 2003

30th Jan 2005, 11:48

I understand your disappointment with this car, but the repeat failures (bearings, etc) indicate either incorrect replacement procedures, or abuse. As for the "stalling", and "power braking" to keep it running, it was most likely a clogged EGR or IAC.

The car was probably neglected and beat on for years before your purchase; it's just a Tempo, right?

I own a 2001 GTP that I bought new, and my '88 Tempo LX is superior in build quality and fit & finish.

You could surf your way over to tempotopaz.com for info on caring for your car. Much of the work is easy to do yourself, and all the help you need is a click away.

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 30 reviews