1996 Ford Thunderbird from North America


I've liked it... would keep it if I thought it would go another 150K miles, Ford's usually don't


Driver's side door wouldn't close... hinge couldn't hold large heavy door (on this 2-door coupe) even with door latch. Has been repaired.

Just the usual maintenance that any high mileage car needs... ball joint replacement... etc.

General Comments:

Strong, reliable engine. I feel safe in it... solid body.

Not good in snow -- RWD so it helps to put weighty items in the trunk and to create more clearance by using slightly larger than standard tires.

Not much leg room... best for shorter people.

A sporty, reliable car for a good price. Practically a collector's item... T-Bird enthusiasts will go for it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th December, 2009

7th Jun 2010, 10:22

I don't understand your headline. Show me a brand that "usually" does 300 000 miles, please. It has to be "usual" not just "often".

A friend of mine had a Ford Tempo for more than 300 000 miles. I said I can't believe it lasted that long. He said: "if you keep repairing it..."

7th Jun 2010, 21:25

I agree with the original reviewer. And I do understand what they are saying. All the Ford's I've owned have been great up until 150,000 miles. They're done right around then.

As for regularly achieving 300,000 miles, nearly all of my Honda's did (the ones that didn't were traded-in running just fine before they got the chance!)

1996 Ford Thunderbird LX 4.6 from North America


Good reliable vehicle


Heavy rust around moon roof.

Plastic intake manifold cracked twice.

Alternator replaced.

Ignition switch replaced.

Water pump replaced twice.

Battery replaced 4 times.

Heater core replaced.

No issues with transmission at all.

This has been a good car, though I wonder what caused all the heavy rust?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2009

1996 Ford Thunderbird LX V6 from North America


Rock Solid dependable car


Transmission typical of these years is starting to shudder.

General Comments:

I've loved this car and wished I would have gotten the V8 model. My prior car was a '71 Dodge Charger with a 340 (replaced the 360) and that is why the low performance on the T-Bird.

Comfort and reliability are great. The key to the modern car is PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE. While the V6 model is known to have head gasket issues, it is seldom known or told to you by a dealer that coolant FLUSHING either normal or 'reverse' flushing will speed along head gasket leaks. The transmission failures is a FORD issue. They know it, and the replacement of about $50 worth of plastic with aluminum or stainless pistons in the automatics valve bodies would have solved these issues.

Overall, I cannot say enough about the car. Admittedly the last few years rust has been creeping in, but I lived in MD/PA border and worked in PA, where they love the salt in the winter (and no garage) with a good set of tires. I have NEVER used snow tires during any of the blizzards we had had. I use low 1 and leave the engine rev limiter engaged. But the T-Bird will stick to the road if the person driving it has any skill and not bald tires.

Again, cannot say enough good things. I do know every manufacturer makes a good and bad one now and then, and some of us get lucky.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2009

1996 Ford Thunderbird LX 4.6L V8 from North America


I wish I could keep it forever


In the 3 years that I've had this car, not much has gone wrong with it.

The plastic arm that links the ignition switch to the key switch on the steering column snapped. The part was only about $30, but the labor was upwards of 3 hours (I did it myself).

The alternator failed at about 110,000 miles. Rebuilt alternator failed shortly after, but I put in a brand new one and it works fine. Voltage drops significantly sometimes when sitting at a stoplight.

It does leak a small amount of coolant, but I keep it topped off.

There is a strange ticking noise from the passenger side of the engine compartment when the car is idling. This has gone on for about 2 years, however the performance isn't affected at all. Car just keeps going!

General Comments:

I absolutely love this car, mostly the fact that it is pretty much fully loaded. Leather, climate control, power moonroof... you name it. Of course, the interior is getting a little worn, and some rust is forming along the bottom, but the car is after all 12 years old. My T-Bird is still ridiculously fast, comfortable, and reliable even after all these years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th February, 2009

4th Feb 2011, 20:41

The engine ticking is more than likely your fuel injectors. I have a ticking too, and I used a mechanic stethoscope to track it down. It's just noisy injectors, it's actually pretty common on Ford 4.6L engines.