1988 Ford Tempo GL 2.3 L four cylinder from North America


An inexpensive, easily acquirable, utility automobile


Front shocks were replaced immediately after purchase.

Rear struts were replaced immediately after purchase.

The passenger side front fender was rusted and had to be replaced in order to pass inspection.

The driver's side front fender was rusted out and had to be replaced to pass inspection.

After driving for approximately 14,000 miles, the rear passenger side strut broke and ceased to function.

As a result of the non-functioning rear passenger side strut, the rear passenger side coil spring broke.

The lever to tilt the seat forward (this is a two door model) no longer returns to its original condition on either seat.

The LED display on the FM radio no longer works.

This car is equipped with a lock on the shifter which makes the operator unable to start the car if it is not in either "park" or "neutral." This lock malfunctions occasionally and causes the car to refuse to start even if it is in park.

The heating/air conditioning unit is nearly entirely non-functional with the exception of front and rear defrost which also only produce warm air.

The seals in the modular headlight units have failed which has caused water to leak into the lights. This situation limits the brightness of the lights and makes night driving, particularly in the rain, more difficult than need be.

When the car is braked to a stop, it occasionally stalls. This happens very frequently in the winter and special precautions must be made to keep the car running (ie. applying the brake with the left foot while keeping the idle up with the right foot on the accelerator).

General Comments:

This is a fairly decent car. It stalls fairly frequently and lots of things break on it, but for some reason it starts every time and the first time.

The three speed automatic transmission leaves much to be desired. It accelerates fairly decently, but it just barely keeps up with highway traffic (the speed limit in CT, USA is 65 MPH).

Its ride is what one would expect from a car its size, slightly softer than a compact and slightly rougher than a full size sedan.

One good thing I can say for it is that it handles well in the snow.

The back seat is short on knee room for adults.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2001

8th Dec 2001, 17:22

Think about what you are saying here... That is an old car, what did you expect?

Of course you will have to do a ton of repairs, in particular if that work has never been done to it before you owned it. If you want more reliability in a vehicle don't buy such an old car. Buy a new one! Don't slam a manufacturer or a car model if it has already been through a war. Remember how old it is and the fact that it has lasted this long is amazing. Years ago a 4 cyl. car would have been beat in a couple of years!

1988 Ford Tempo GL 2.3 from North America


A great car for a small budget


New battery, alternator, spark plugs, filters. That's all.

General Comments:

It is an excellent car, I can take it anywhere anytime without worries. On the highway it's like a bullet, and cheap on gas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2001

22nd Jun 2001, 08:14

I've bought a Ford Tempo in Scotland, Britain.

I think it's dream to drive if I could get insurance on it - 1988 model, automatic with 176835 miles on clock. I'm also wondering where I can get brake pads for it over here. I would like to know some history on car, where it originally came from. If anyone can help, contact spookieuk01@hotmail.com

1988 Ford Tempo GL from North America


Should be illegal to sell this piece of garbage!


Almost everything at one point in time has had to be replaced. Brakes need replacement yearly. Engine leaks oil consistently. CV boots break easily.

Engine is hard to start, and stalls for no apparent reason - that anyone can determine.

Alternator needs to be replaced yearly.

Windshield is warped so the wipers are ineffective. Heater breaks down every few years. Dealer paint job is peeling off the car near the rear bumper in large sections.

There are no places for cup holders in the interior. Tilt steering loosens quite easily.

General Comments:

This car is the biggest piece of garbage on the road! If you buy one of these cars, be prepared to PAY through the nose for repairs. Something new breaks on it every month, and be prepared to have the brakes, belts, and alternator replaced yearly.

I will never buy another Tempo, let alone a Ford!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th February, 2001

15th Mar 2001, 23:23

This is the funniest thing I have ever read on the internet! I couldnt stop laughing even after reading it twice, everything you said is so true.

1st Mar 2002, 00:36

Hahaha, somebody beat me to it. The EXACT same experience here too bud! stay the hell away from these pieces of crap!!

27th Feb 2003, 20:54

I own a 1988 Ford Tempo GL and I don't find anything wrong with it. Of course the paint is going to chip off eventually, especially if the car is 13 years old. Maintenance is a big must when owning a car. You have probably failed to stay on top of your car's maintenance, which is why you have to keep buying new parts. Come on guys, it's common sense. And even if you do have to get new parts every few months for this and that, buy a parts car... take what you need and toss it. I picked up a parts car for $100.00. I've only had to replace a headlight so far and I've had the car for a year.