I currently own a 93 Mercury Topaz GS. It has 179,000 miles on it, and it has kept me happy. I find it's power very adequate and the speed is enjoyable. It seems to get a lot of "highway exercise" if you know what I mean. The worst problem is the front tires, I have to change them quite frequently. It seems to like to smoke them on a right turn more than a left. I do find the Topaz to be a reliable car and would recommend it to any teen looking for a first car.
I bought a 1993 Mercury Topaz from an older woman on June 3, 2003. It only had 78,000 miles on it. I got my license two days ago, and I love the car. I enjoy the way it handles the road and doesn't feel as if it's going to topple over like the Ford Escort from that year does. It is a great car for a teen to start with.
As an auto mechanic for over two decades, I've driven very nearly everything with wheels. I'm also the owner of a '93 Topaz with the V6 3.0 Liter engine and can agree with most of the negatives listed for this car. I'm close to 6' tall and the entry/exit is rather cramped for someone my height. The lack of headroom also plays a factor.
There is a definite weakness to the rear window motors. Mechanically, the mechanism is sound, but several times I've tried to find why the windows lower fine, then jam in the down position. With nothing physically wrong with the gear, the motor is the only conclusion, which is odd since the same basic motor/lift mechanism is used without fail in the front doors.
The car has proven to be remarkably reliable in most respects. My biggest complaint is in the motor/transmission combination. It seems when Ford went to the V6,they opted to stick with the original 4 Cylinder transmission, rather than work with a new design. For cost considerations this makes sense and contributes to the relatively low price. Although, with it being a great city car, having the engine rev to 3500 + at highway speed is ridiculous and seriously cuts the mileage and durability. I also have a 2000 Sable with the same engine. Although there are almost 70 more horses under the hood, the engine runs at a more respectable low to mid 2000 RPM range and gets considerably better fuel economy.
The only other failure other than normal wear and tear was the rather limp design for the A/C clutch. This car had one of the best A/C systems I had ever seen until it failed. They replaced the historically reliable steel spring plate with a rubber isolated two piece that failed at 50,000 miles. The only option for repair was to buy the whole clutch package for close to $250.
One thing I found surprising is that in the V6 model, they added a rear stabilizer bar that greatly adds to the handling. A bit harsh ride with the tires I use, but I can't generally complain about what I have for the money. If they had installed the right transmission, this car would have been one of the great sleepers for economy machines.
I have had the same problems as the guy before me. Any ideas? I have heard fuel pump and fuel pump relay. Is the relay from the previous comment talking about the fuel pump relay or some other relay? Please help!!
Original Poster update -
Starter went out again at ~84,000mi; battery also replaced at that time.
Ignition lock cylinder seized around 89,000mi.
Transmission started upshifting ONLY at 4000rpm at ~92,000. This occurred regardless of throttle position. Unfortunately, I forgot what part failure caused this.
Vehicle was sold at ~94,000mi.
I have a 93 Topaz, with 75k miles on it; very low miles, but the only thing I had to replace was the fuel filter, the headlights, and the harmonic balance.
The fuel filter that came with the car was the problem of mine; turning over last week, had to change it out and let it sit for a few hours, after that it was running like a dream. I guess when the fuel got stuck in the filter, it was not letting the engine getting gas, but I still like the car.