1988 Ford Tempo L from North America


Piece of garbage on wheels


What hasn't gone wrong!!

Altenator has gone twice.

Power side mirrors broke.

Radiator hoses leak.

Seats break.

Paint is peeling in spots.

Tires need constant aligning.

Ball joints have been replaced so many times that I can't count anymore!!!

Pig on gas!!!!!

No power whatsoever.

General Comments:

This car is a piece of garbage on wheels!! Never will I EVER buy a Ford again!!! This is a garbage company.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th January, 2001

23rd Feb 2001, 23:27

Any car with that many miles will have problems like that.

20th Jul 2006, 01:21

I had a 1988 Ford Tempo, and it was also a piece of junk. Pretty much half of the engine had to be replaced over the course of 10 years or so. Then, it had a problem where it would stall when I went to accelerate. Nobody could figure out what the hell was wrong with it, and I couldn't afford a better car at the time, so I just drove around in an unreliable car. It stalled in an intersection at 1AM once, and a cop stopped me because he thought I was drunk. The thing finally met its demise when a Durango pulled out in front of me, and I plowed into the side of it at 40 MPH. I was okay, got lots of money, and was glad to see it go. These cars were pieces of garbage.

1988 Ford Tempo GL 2.3 from North America


Great first car


Only minor things, windshield wipers, power rear-view side mirrors, alternator belt, rear brakes wear a little quickly.

General Comments:

If you're looking for very low hassle and extremely low operating costs, this car is the way to go. Very cheap to buy, insure, keep full of gas, and maintain. It's slow, slow, slow and not so attractive, but that can wait until I have more than my feeble income.

Parents: DON'T buy a super-fast sports car for your kid's first car. This kind of car is great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th January, 2001

18th Jun 2002, 23:44

I won an 88 tempo which is slow, but a great car.I've owned it for a year and have had no problems. I put a racing muffler and a air intake. It's a slow car, but is a great car cheap to maintain and own. I like it very much.

28th Aug 2002, 22:30

What's all this SLOW SLOW SLOW stuff!?! :)

A previous commenter is absolutely correct when he said this is a perfect car for parents to get their kids. Super cheap, super reliable, super SUPER ugly (less chance of your teenage son getting the head cheerleader "in trouble"), and relatively safe. As for speed though, I'm a speed-freak, and I regularly use my '88 Tempo as a pacifier to avoid getting tickets (I have a Alfa Romeo 164), and to keep me from killing myself or others. But don't let this ugly little 8-valve fool you. I've been beating on my baby for well over a decade. In that time, It's required exactly 2 tune-ups, and it can VERY easily do 80 MPH on the local highways without you knowing it (BTW: I'm that idiot who passes you at 140 MPH on the highway because the Alfa can do it...sorry! That's why I drive the Tempo mostly.). Still, there's no way your high-schooler's gonna' be able to do donuts in the 7-11 parking-lot.

1988 Ford Tempo GL 2.8 from North America


Great buy for a first car


Replaced: (oldest repair first)

CV joint.

Emergency brake.

Front grille cover (also needs grille assembly).

Tranny 'O' ring (dumped fluid, not move).


Tie rod end.

Has the usual Tempo (below '94) problems:

Stalling on left turns or when sitting with the brake on, one of the front turn signal lenses missing etc.

The DS auto seat belt doesn't go back sometimes (not bad for $400.00).

General Comments:


Run mid-grade (plus) gas (NOT PREMIUM). It cuts down on the stalling.

If you have problems passing Echeck EMAIL ME! (CSXT4290@popmail.com), put "Echeck Tempo" in subject.

Does good donuts with new tires. Keeps up speed on X-way.

A GREAT starter car!

JOIN my FREE Tempo list:


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th January, 2001

27th Jan 2002, 15:14


I have had the Grill panel repaired, and soon to be repainted, it's January 2002, my Tempo has 186,000 miles now and still runs excellent.

Been driving a 200 mile round trip on Saturdays and only using 1/2 tank of gas.

Steve M.


1988 Ford Tempo GL 4 cylinder from North America


Low to low-middle range beater, and nothing more!


Water pump seized.

Alternator on its way out.

Catalytic converters clogged.

Frequent stalling.

Overheating due to radiator leak.

Frame rusted so bad that it's impossible to jack it up without making a hole!

General Comments:

Got this car for free from a friend. After owning it for half a year or less, I have sunk close to over 1200 into this car. Finally I gave up when my alternator went! All I have to say is good luck!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th January, 2001

1988 Ford Tempo GL 2.3L from North America


Great car at a great price


The car has been very reliable and economical to run, except for regular maintenance the only major problems were the floor and gas tank had to be replaced because of rust.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th November, 2000

1988 Ford Tempo GL 2.3L four from North America


Economical bargain


Absolutely nothing except for a steering linkage ($90).

General Comments:

I find this car to have good performance, along with excellent fuel economy.

I have found it to be very reliable, the engine takes about a quart of oil every 3000 miles.

The paint has lasted well for the 12 years the car has been on the road, and the interior is ergonomically designed and quite comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th November, 2000

13th Jun 2001, 19:45

This 1988 ford tempo is the very best car I have ever owned. I drive it long miles every day and I know I have over 239000 miles on it and still runs like a top.

1988 Ford Tempo GL from North America


I bought it used from an old couple. It had 135k miles on it. First the transmission went out then not even a week later the compressor went out. The compressor in my car controlled the a/c, the power steering and the alternator.

General Comments:

It doesn't have too much pick up. It is comfortable considering. It's about everything I would expect from a car that old.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 1998