1989 Ford Tempo GL 3.1 from North America


So many chicks dig the Tempo


The things that have gone wrong in my car are that the transmission totally went once, it almost went again about a month ago, but I got there before it did.

The seats are all worn and they tilt so when I drive I look like a thug.

The alignment is always bad no matter what I do.

The steering wheel shakes when I drive, in fact the whole car shakes when I drive.

It stalls at lights and stop signs.

The headlights stink, I can barely see when I am driving at night and they are brand new bulbs.

The alternator belt has broken at least 3 times since I have had the car.

The doors do not lock.

Sometimes the driver's side does not open at all.

The hood of the car does not always shut close.

When I open the driver's side door the interior lights don't go on, but when I open the other door they go on.

The seat belts do not work, yes they are the automatic ones, a pain in the butt.

Speakers, I had to get new ones.

The car leaked 4 quarts of oil in one day for 2 months straight until I fixed it, and it still leaks.

The muffler fell off when I was driving.

General Comments:

This has been the best car I have had so far. It has out lasted so many other cars.

It may not be flashy, but everyone looks when I go by.

The Tempo will live forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2002

28th Jan 2002, 11:17

A 3.1 engine was never available in a Tempo. Oh, by the way, everyone looks at your car when you go by because they see what a piece of crap it is. I should know... I used to have one.

13th Mar 2003, 13:42

We got an '89 Ford Tempo, about four years ago, used and it has been an extremely faithful, daily driver and long distance trip car, during cooler temps (ours doesn't like hot temps, anymore, but we live in a cooler climate, so it's a good daily driver, for us in the summer). The standard headlights are crap and all, but useless. However, if you add some blue white fog lamps, it really makes a difference. We live in a foggy area, but no one has flashed us brights, even when it hasn't been foggy.

We've put loads of miles (about 60,000) on the car and my husband isn't one to rush to get things repaired, right away, still this car has hung in there and come through for us, year after year, with a small initial investment, under $1,000. We've put less than that in repairs to keep it on the road, in four years. the A/C is pretty crappy, too, but since the car stalls in warmer weather, it isn't a problem, we just don't drive it to warmer climates, especially during the day. We have AAA, just in case, but that goes for any car, no car is above breakdown or not starting.

We've driven the car from upper NC to Florida and only had problems on the warmest day, while we were there in the Fall. Once it cooled off, the car drove fine. We have no idea what causes this and some have speculated, but when you know your car, it isn't a problem. We have an older Mercedes, that is exactly opposite, it loves warmer climates and doesn't do so well in colder climates, so it's the perfect compliment car.

I don't think it's a piece of crap, at all, it looks good for the age of the car and isn't one of those ugly squared off cars. It's really roomy inside, compared to newer cars, also and our interior is in fine condition, no slumping or stickiness, perfect shape. Sure, it's not a sexy super sporty car, but these cars can be dependable decent looking transportation. They are cheap to repair, when needed and with the addition of white/blue fog lights, the worst problem they have is taken care of, quite well. I realize our car was a one owner and well maintained, before we got it, but this goes for any used car, right? Full coverage insurance is cheap, too.

7th Apr 2004, 09:46

The only "chicks" who would "dig" the Tempo would be blind ones.

20th May 2004, 15:49

I have a 1988 gold Tempo with 225,000 miles. Two small spots of rust, a new clutch at 195,000 (did it myself for $75) and some front end work at about 200,000 ($300). Still runs smooth and the A/C is cold. Still cranking out 30 mpg on the highway. Don't know about the chicks anymore. I am married with 3 kids. But it does my 80 miles a-day work route with no problem.

20th Jun 2004, 21:30

Haha.. great review, thanks for the laughs -- picking up my 1989 Tempo for 600 bucks tomorrow.

1989 Ford Tempo GL from North America


A special little gem of a car that keeps you guessing


My Tempo was my first car and it drove awesome the first couple of years I had it. I went away to college and it sat without being driven for a year. When I started driving it again, the problems began:

* Alternator went out

* LED display went out on the clock

* Exhaust had to be replaced because the tail pipe fell off when driving to work

* Air conditioning died

* Seat belts didn't always release

* Car didn't start at night. I had to make the key hot for it to start. Don't ask me why that worked!

* Car didn't start without at least half tank of gas.

* Transmission out.

* Engine was burning oil.

Some of the problems that the Tempo had were unexplainable by mechanics. They swore there was nothing wrong with the car, but it NEVER started at night.

General Comments:

My Tempo, "The Tempstress," was basically a piece of junk, but I loved it. I couldn't get ANYTHING for it when I got a new car, so I had to donate it to charity.

The Tempo will always be remembered.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2002