FSO Polonez Reviews

1980 FSO Polonez 1500 1.5 petrol from Serbia

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership1984
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.5 petrol Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 kilometres
Most recent distance170000 kilometres
Previous carFiat 125

Summary:

Nice good old car, thank you FSO

Faults:

Brake disk broke due to wear. Got thin, under 8mm in front. The car was 26 years old.

Rear windshield wiper motor cam-rod broke due to snow weight on the wiper. Made a replacement one by myself, with a drill and a file. The car was 25 years old.

Electrical clock time-piece started malfunctioning when the car was 15 years old.

Radiator hose broke after 24 years.

Left hand door window lift disintegrated from the glass itself on welding points. The car was 27 years old. Screwed it back with 3 nuts and bolts.

Gearbox broke down in 2005, the car was 25 years old. After a top speed 8 hour drive on highway. Don't do it. Replaced, with a good one from scrapyard.

Brake pistons need to be cleaned and lubricated once a year in front. Brake pads last two years in front, 10 years on the rear. Every ten years the handbrake cable gets rusty and sticks in its shield. Replaced.

Rear transmission shaft bearings need replacement due to needle bearing disintegration every five years.

Front wheel ball-joints need replacement every 3 to 5 years.

Exhaust pipe and mufflers need replacement every one and a half year.

Horn contacts broke on steering wheel, needed soldering back. Car was 15 years old.

Light bulb check occasionally.

Distributor contact breaker needs checking and greasing once a year.

Spark plugs replacement every 20000 kilometers.

Fifth door hinge spindle broke due to rust after 26 years. Never greased before that.

Every five years clutch friction plate and bearing change.

Rust negligible due to anti-rust coating when it was new. Wings rusted a small hole in front of the wheel, on the lower side, when the car was 20 years old. Fixed with GREP patch. Small hole on the right wing on the right wing above the wheel, also fixed with GREP patch. Front door low edge gets corrosion, fixed at home with sanding grounding and brush.

Have changed the threshold sides below the doors every 13 years. And it runs proud.

Spare parts are cheap, from 5 Euros to 15 euros for any item. You can do 70% of all the repairs and maintenance as a hobby on the fresh air by your owns elf.. Including valve gap adjustments. 0.10/0.15mm is good.

General Comments:

Great Car. Strong and safe. Huge bumpers coated with rubber. It leaves the Polonez unscratched to collision speeds of 15-20 km/h, while the other party gets devastated.

Quite good on slow long journeys, with no racing ambitions. Consumption is an average 8.5l on open road. On highways and 4000 RPM it consumes around 11l. In the city around 13-15l of petrol.

Good ground clearance, for off road picnics.

Comfort: all that you could get before global warming, in the '80's, when airconditioning was unknown.

Fog lights standard, fog back lights standard, rear wiper and screen wash standard, wiper timer in front, rear glass heating, lovely purple red velvet on soft shellike seats that rest on springs. Soft and cosy. Removable headrests, for lowering the back of the seats and making a sleeping room of the car. Have a pillow, a blanket and sheet for those unforgettable romantic evenings in disguise. :) Above head two cabin lamps in the back. Each door has it's own cabin light actuator switch. Three ashtrays, child lock on rear doors. Foam insulated roof covered in pale cream velvet. Side hand rests, with lovely purple although plastic door inlays. Rich black carpet on the floor. glove compartment with light, trunk with carpet and light. A real luxury. Radio and built in speaker.

Instrumentation: All you can think of, rpm meter, oil pressure manometer and warning light, choke light, handbrake light, windshield heating warning light, engine temp meter, adjustable mileage reader, electric clock with analog display, fog light indicator, auxiliary dc power source beside the choke handle. Instrument panel illumination adjustment. And the rest is standard, I guess. Six direction indicators and emergency flasher, of course.

Yeah the ventilation could be stronger, no heating in the rear, heating can benefit from a radiator cover in winter. The engine is loud especially when you lost the insulation in the engine hood, and you use your exhaust until dragging it below you on the asphalt.. So, rebuild the insulation, and change exhaust in time. It is spacey like an Opel Vectra nowadays. A car for three decades plus, with reasonable and low cost attention, and with a touch of love and respect towards it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th September, 2008

19th Mar 2009, 15:00

I enjoyed reading the detailed description of your car, and wanted to say that I own myself, an old car. The old models are simple, reliable and easy to take care of.

If you need any technical data for adjusting your car:

If it's a 1500cc engine you've got:

Tappets clearance: exhaust: 0.2 mm

Intake : 0.25 mm

Contact breaker gap: 0.4 mm

Timing adjust. : 10 degrees at 700 r.p.m

Spark plug gap: 0.6 to 0.7 mm

Champion spark plugs N9Y

CO %: 3.5% at 700 r.p.m

Best wishes to you my friend

Youssef-Kamal Asfour (youkamyoukam@yahoo.com)

21st Dec 2010, 14:13

The valve clearance is in true, for intake valve 0.15 mm, for exhaust 0.20, especially if you have the 82BHP motor with slightly different cam-shaft. Don't rely on factory recommendations, in Poland many people adjust the valves in this way, personally I prefer the 0.15, 0.20 as the engine sounds nicer.

1992 FSO Polonez Caro 1.6 GLE from Poland

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.6 GLE Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired72000 kilometres
Most recent distance120000 kilometres
Previous carFSO Warszawa

Summary:

Cooool

Faults:

Well... once when I was doing 180 km/h something went wrong with propeller shaft. But it was my fault. I should put more attention for that part before that.

General Comments:

Polonez is really something nice. Car with spirit, history and potential :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th November, 2007

Average review marks: 6.9 / 10, based on 13 reviews