1992 Ford Thunderbird 3.8 from North America


A good, reliable piece of transportation


My head gasket blew at about 125k kilometers.

General Comments:

I have been very surprised at some of the adverse reports that have been listed about this model of car. With the exception of the head gasket, this car has been very reliable. And I must admit, the head gasket was my fault by allowing the car to overheat.

As a resident of Saskatchewan, Canada, this car is subject to very cold temperatures. It would be commong to put some kind of a winter front on the car to improve heating. When you get into temperatures of minus 30 - 50 celsius, you use whatever you can to get any extra heat. This idea works very well, but you have to be careful that you don't let it overheat. Usually I am, but on one occasion I left the car with my wife and she forgot about the winter front and it overheated. Hence the requrement for a head gasket.

Other than that instance I find the car very reliable. Other than normal maintenance I haven't put another nickel into it.

It is a very good starter in the cold. Now that I am retired, it is not uncommon for the car to sit in the winter outside for weeks on end. I have never had a problem with it starting.

An all round good car and I have been extremely happy with it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th April, 2003

1992 Ford Thunderbird Base 3.8L V6 from North America


Very Reliable and Cheap to Maintain


Failed at 70K miles:

Wiper Motor

Driver's Side Window Motor

Rear Axle Seals Leaking

Climate Control Panel vacuum leak

Driver's Side Seatbelt non-operative, pin switch inside door on striker replaced.

Rotors and Front Pads.

Failed After 100K miles


Upper Control Arms

Lower Ball Joints

Sway Bar Links


Water Pump

Driver's Side Seatbelt track stripped, never bothered repairing, just disconnected motor... problem solved.

Rocker panels starting to rot from inside out. Poor design on Ford's part.

Front pads and rotors.

Failed after 200K miles

Head Gasket at 206K $987

Water Pump

Fuel Pump

Tension Strut bushings.

General Comments:

Overall this has been a very reliable car in the 8 years I had owned it. Aside from the head gaskets letting go, it had never left me stranded. Always started and got me where I needed to go. Great gas mileage...24-25mpg. Geared way too tall, always shifted too early into 3rd gear, which I suspect is why I kept having front rotors warp on me. The rust problem with the rockers on these cars is a design flaw by Ford. I wash and wax my car religiously, but moisture and condensation has no way to escape a sealed rocker panel... therefore it eats it's way out.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd April, 2003

1992 Ford Thunderbird LX 3.8 V6 from North America


Slow piece of junk


Thermostat failed.

My head gasket blew at 102,000 miles.

Speedometer quit working at 100,000 miles.

General Comments:

This car was reliable for about 2 months after I bought it, then the thermostat went out.

As a consequence, the engine overheated and the head gaskets blew. I have been quoted $800 for repairs.

The engine is sluggish and acceleration is fairly slow.

The interior is fairly comfortable, but lacks cup holders.

The car is a chore to drive in the winter due to the rear wheel drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th March, 2003

1992 Ford Thunderbird LX 3.8 gas from North America


Nice styling good comfort


The head gasket (s) is/are blown.

General Comments:

I bought this car for $1500.00 at a donate your car auction. It is in near new condition. I thought I was getting a bargain, but tack on another $1000.00 for new head gaskets. I will evaluate it further once the gasket job is finished.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th February, 2003

1992 Ford Thunderbird LX 3.8 na from North America


Moderate performance money pit


Head gaskets at 160,000.

Anti-lock Brake System Master Cylinder at a cost of $1600 including labour. A used Master Cylinder was $1200 from the wreckers. A new Ford unit was $3440 + taxes. I bought the used.

Complete brake caliper, rotor and shoe overhaul at 255,000 km.

Battery blew up at 232,000 km.

New alternator at 236,000 km.

Right side wheel bearings replaced at 263,000 km.

Tie rods replaced at 242,000 km.

Driver side door sagging and currently needs new hinge pin or bushings.

Power steering line wore a hole in the oil pan after a rubber bushing rotted.

General Comments:

In over 3 years, including purchase price and regular service costs and many repairs, I have calculated that I have spent in excess of $24,000.

The car rides beautifully on the highway with generous top end.

It offers a great deal of unique options including a self-dimming rear view mirror, auto off and on headlights, power antenna, climate control, power drivers seat, power sport mirror adjust and leather steering wheel.

I would not buy this car again, however, given my investment, I will be keeping it for some time. I will not trade it if I was to purchase a new vehicle, again, due to my investment into it.

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

Review Date: 5th August, 2002

29th Sep 2002, 06:59

You bought the car used. Who knows how it was treated by the previous owner (s). You had almost 170,000 miles on it at the time you reported this. ALL cars wear out. You can't blame it on the Tbird or on Ford. Used cars are a gamble.