1997 Ford Thunderbird LX 4.6 V8 from North America


Outstanding value


Have problems with the moon roof not popping up all the way. In addition, it sticks in the open position from time to time.

The brake rotors constantly are warping causing vibration during braking. I'm on my third set of front rotors.

Have had trouble with the gear shift sticking in park. Hard to release occasionally.

Check engine light has stayed on since the car had 60,000 miles on it.

Door ajar light won't go off. Started at the beginning of 2003.

Replaced harmonic balancer, idler pulley, belt tensioner and belt at 80,000 miles.

Replaced Firestone tires at 50,000 miles with exact replacements.

Replaced front brakes twice and rear brakes once.

General Comments:

This is my fourth T-bird in a row. Ford made a big mistake by ending it's production.

Great overall, handles well, looks great, rides good and gets extremely good gas mileage for a V-8.

Paint still looks like new. I have the basic white clear-coat.

Generally speaking, the T-bird is an excellent value if maintained properly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th August, 2003

13th Aug 2004, 20:40

If the check engine light is the same as in my 86 T-bird, it is set on a timer and comes on every 30,000 miles or so. Take it to a mechanic who knows Fords and he will reset it for you.

1997 Ford Thunderbird LX 4.6L V8 from North America


Beautiful car and smooth ride, but poor quality


I have gad an ongoing problem with water leaking into the rear (only) passenger floorboard.

The blinker lights go bad frequently.

The door ajar light stays on.

The intake manifold cracked in two places at 75,000 miles.

General Comments:

The quality of the 1997 Thunderbird was poor compared to my previous 1995 Thunderbird. I was not prepared for the annoying little things that persisted.

The leaking in the rear floorboard, which was quite heavy, caused the car to mildew. Despite numerous visits to the dealership to diagnose and fix the problem, the problem persists today.

The experience has left a bad overall impression. No more Ford's for me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th June, 2003

5th Dec 2003, 16:37

It's too bad that you rule out Fords completely because of an obvious "lemon". My '97 has over 130,000 miles on it, and it as pleasurable to drive today as it was when I first got it with 81,000 miles. Everything still functions as when it was new. The only thing that I would consider a problem is that the door ajar light stayed on until I disconnected the switch on the passenger door, a problem I can fix when I get the time. Also, the climate control goes berserk when driven through a high pressure car wash. I simply don't use those kind of car washes any more - easy fix. There are no squeaks or rattles in the body or interior trim parts. I'm getting nearly 30 miles per gallon with the V-8. The only thing that dissapoints me is that Ford decided to have the computer decide that the car shouldn't go over 105 MPH.

23rd Sep 2005, 11:42

Thanks for your review. I too, would like to know what anyone can say about this mysterious water leak on the right rear passenger floorboard. Does anyone have anymore info on the problem? If so, please send email to jmloy@triad.rr.com

30th Nov 2005, 07:47

I would reconsider your stand on not buying any more Fords. In the last few years I have had several GM products that gave much more serious problems than you describe such as bad transmissions and such, including the 95 Olds Aurora which should have its picture in the dictionary under the word "junk". I forayed into the import category and now own a 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante. I have had it since 20,000 miles and now with 40,000 miles and a slipping transmission, I am told that it will need a transmission rebuild. On the flip side, I owned three 93 Ford Taurus station wagons at the same time for business use with all of them giving very little problems after putting on over 160,000 miles apiece. I still own one with over 220,000 miles on it and it still runs fine.

16th Jan 2010, 09:27

If there is leakage into the rear passenger areas, I'd look at the rear window seals and the rear passenger window seals. Sounds like there may be a minor leak in there with water coming down. Remove the interior trim and see if you can spot a water trail, or look for wet spots in the trunk area.

12th Aug 2014, 20:49

If you have searched for window and trunk leaks and found none, then check for heater core leaks. This should contain anti freeze and be self evident.