1989 Ford Tempo GL 2.3 liter from North America
A workhorse that just won't stop
The right tie rod end and water pump (original) were replaced at 242k ($280)
The left tie rod and alternator (original) were replaced at 256k ($275)
The driver seat support has broken years ago.
The air conditioner was not working when I got the car (at 218k in 1997).
Windshield has cracked due to stress and possibly corroded/rusted frame in 2001 (still cracked)
The body stood up wonderfully up until 2 years ago with no rust showing up until then. The back quarter panels and wheel arches are 10% gone. The sills are completely gone.
The shift linkage shaft broke this morning. It was welded together successfully ($30). This is the first time the car has left me stranded.
Exhausts replaced every two years.
The clear coat has faded badly which I believe was quite common for this year.
Brakes replaced every 40k.
Backlight on temperature gauges no longer working (since 2001).
Horn works sometimes. Usually in late afternoons on sunny days
Living in the an area that uses much salt on the roads, the Tempo gallantly endured well considering it's age.
The 2.3 motor is rock solid and is capable of high kilometers with no major work. It does leak a little oil, but no repairs are necessary.
I have driven Tempo's with automatic transmissions and find the manual transmission much much lower revving on the highways making for a very pleasurable and relaxing cruise at 120km (74 mph). The manual transmission has never been touched.
Engine has always passed the provinces bi-yearly emission testing.
The car is on the original clutch. The timing belt has never been replaced (I am not sure if it even has one or if it's a chain).
I don't think overall the tempo is as 'reliable' as some imports, but the cost of repairs and maintenance is incredibly low. Repairs can be done anywhere and there is a endless supply of common parts
(brake rotors, exhausts, brake pads, suspension bits)
This car is far better made than it's predecessors (1985 Mercury Topaz or 1985 Tempo's)
I would not buy another Ford product simply because Tempos are no longer made.
I have been extremely happy and satisfied with this car. At a cost $500 (and eventually total depreciation), I don't think I will ever get more value/dollar again.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 27th July, 2004