1989 Ford Tempo GL 2.4L from North America


Economy, reliability, performance, all in one very in-expensive box


Replaced the Rotors twice since 1989.

The Brakes 3 times.

Leaks a little bit of oil out of the Oil Pan.

A/C went out at 90,000 miles.

Drivers side seat worn down a bit.

Alternator terminals melted numerous times.

Aligment somehow gets thrown off badly every 40,000 miles.

Little bit of stalling problems, but fuel injector cleaner fixed that in a jiffy.

General Comments:

I must say this car is extremely reliable, and still runs like a charm, starts fast, warms quickly, and all this with almost 244,000 miles.

The Ford Tempo has a bad reputation for being a lemon, but that is only because a lot of people own them.

I must say this is the best car I have ever own, and it has gotten me from point "A" to point "B" tens of thousands of times.

The repairs above are some of the basic things that happen to all cars. Considering the amount of miles and beats I have put this car through, I think it runs like a charm.

No paint peeling problems.

No real bad oil leakage.

No overheat problems.

No transmission problems.

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

Review Date: 2nd June, 2002

1989 Ford Tempo L 2.3 from North America


A mechanic's dream... your worst nightmare!!


Troubles were frequent and inconvenient.

Countless alternators! (each time leaving me stranded when the car died).

Brakes always wore prematurely.

As did tires.

Alignments were required almost with the same frequency as oil changes.

Vents worked only on def. regardless of the position you select.

A/C went early, but I never bothered.

Lots of front end problems (CV joints, ball joints, tie rod ends, etc...)

Starter motor went out twice (again, leaving me stranded both times).

Driver's side chair broke on one side, forcing me to always be leaning to one side.

Cooling system and water pump troubles (more adventures in being stranded).

Oil leaks.

Towards the end, the transmission would make scary banging noises in reverse.

General Comments:

I liked the way this car looked and drove when I bought it new, but this quickly turned into loathing as I found myself trapped in a nightmare of mechanical breakdowns.

If you think that the preceeding is a long list of problems, keep in mind that the majority of these problems happened several times over!

Fuel economy was subpar, especially considering the car's lackluster performance with the 3 speed automatic.

I would definitely never ever recommend a Tempo to anyone. I realise that they can be obtained rather cheap these days, but they're no bargain at ANY price (I gave mine away for free and felt sorry for the guy who took it!).

If you're ever in the market for a used car and see a Tempo, run away and never turn back!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th May, 2002

20th Jun 2003, 22:19

I had a lot of the same problems, but the car is very safe it saved my life. I have only a broken radiator and body damage while the other car was totalled. So it has tons of bad traits, but the car has deffanatly looked out for me.

2nd Dec 2003, 13:46

I don't see how you can say the '89 tempo has poor fuel ecomony... I drove mine 200 in city miles on less than 1 tank of gas. The fuel economy is one of the many things that I like about the car.

24th Dec 2008, 14:29

I had a '93 Tempo. Bad vibration in drive at a stop.

My mechanic said it was two bad motor mounts, It wasn't. Took me for $300 on that deal.

Fuel pump went out twice, $400 the first time. Other wise, fine car. Only the 3-speed trans was a joke at 70 M.P.H. with no OD.

1989 Ford Tempo L 2.3 4 cylinder from North America


Great reliable university car thru tumultuous times!


Replaced alternator, starter, battery.

Replaced gas tank.

Replaced ball joints.

Brake jobs.

General Comments:

Overall, despite the usual repairs and some quirks, this has been a fun, reliable, yet ordinary transport! Not too stylish for the chicks, but hey it got me through years of university both in Canada and the States! And hey it's at 251K and still going strong!! I'm sad to say it, but I'm retiring the Tempo this August and moving onto a new 2002 Nissan Altima 3.5SE!!! Time for a change... :) )

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th May, 2002