1996 Ford Thunderbird LX V8 from North America


Overall Good Car, Except..


When we first got the vehicle from my girlfriends dad, which was the origiinal owner, he had been driving the car for the past 3-4 years with bad Cat's and O2 sensors.

A test of the motor showed that along with the Cat's and O2 sensors, the Perge Valve Silonoid was going bad, so that had to be replaced in order for the check engine light to go off.

6 days after we replaced the Cats, O2 sensors and PVS, the stupid Electric Fan blew out on us. The dealership said that when the fan blew out it messed up the thermostat, the timing chain, and the belts that drive the motor. Now how all of this stuff blows beacuse of the fan stopping is beyond me, but the Ford dealership fixed it.

When we went to go pick up the car from the dealership, we had 2 big dents on our T-Bird. I was pissed, and told the manager to fix it. He fixed it about a week later.

The stupid AM/FM Cassete player in it, the volume will not go down!!! Gets really annoying when you want to turn down the music.

General Comments:

Overall, once everything was fixed on the T-Bird, she was very quiet, smooth, and generally reliable. Reminded me of a Cadilliac.

The interior of the Bird reminded me a lot of the Ford Mustang, but a lot bigger, which I liked a lot better.

I have owned a lot of cars, and none of my German, or Japanise cars that I have owned have ever had this many problems. My Air Cooled VW's run better, with more reliability than this Ford does.

Good car overall, just needs to be built a little more reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th September, 2004

15th Oct 2004, 10:51

According to your review you acquired this car with 245 thousand miles. If this is correct then you shouldn't be surprised if you had a few problems with it. A lot of cars don't even make it with a 1oo thousand miles. Now if you got the car with 24,500 miles, then I can understand why you are so displeased with the car.

31st Jan 2005, 11:40

Since the V8 in these cars is a Single Overhead Cam design, it has two timing chains, one for each cam. Even so, I don't see how the electric cooling fan quitting could have done anything to damage the timing chains.

28th Jan 2006, 21:52

The Ford dealership is generally the WORST place to take your car when you want to get it fixed. These are great cars, but they really screwed you over, because the fan going out wouldn't make all of that go out. I would suggest learning how to fix it yourself, or take it to a more reliabe mechanic that knows their Fords, because the dealer service shops sure dont.

3rd Sep 2009, 13:34

Well I own a 1996 Thunderbird with the 4.6 that has 212,000 on it. Nothing goes wrong with it. But if you or the person you bought it from drives around with problems, they are only going to get worse. Don't blame the car, blame the driver.

4th Sep 2009, 10:28

If all these things were never replaced before you purchased it, and had all this mileage, they replaced it so you would not be back in another week with more problems. As another commenter said, if the timing chains were never replaced, you were waiting on a blown engine in any case. You got lucky.

As for the Ford Radio, defective plastic in the back of the button, get a new/used Ford radio off eBay for $20 and the removal tool for $5 if you drive it that much that you use the radio a lot.

1996 Ford Thunderbird LX 4.6 V8 from North America


Very disappointed in the longevity the car


Brakes never really worked well. Rotors replaced twice.

New pads on front twice.

Computer problems at 10,000 miles.

Hood and trunk lifts replaced when car was new.

Paint is faded.

Intake manifold failed at 60,000 miles. Had to be towed in.

Car will not run now (72,317 miles). Appears a head gasket has blown.

Front stablilizer bar squeaks and groans.

General Comments:

Seats are comfortable and back seats actually have ample room.

Afraid to take a trip in the car due to it's unreliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th August, 2004

3rd Sep 2009, 13:42

Sounds like you got Saturday night car.