1988 Plymouth Reliant Reviews - Page 3 of 5

1988 Plymouth Reliant LE 2.5 Fuel Injected from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.5 Fuel Injected Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired86684 kilometres
Most recent distance86713 kilometres
Previous carFord Mustang

Summary:

Nice reliable cars, but look underneath

Faults:

Bought the car from a high school friend of mine, took it to the shop for a safety check and was handed pieces of the sub-frame and frame by the inspecting mechanic. That was the end of that idea.

General Comments:

It looked like a great car, air conditioning and fresh paint, and lots of goodies, bought it from a good friend who BABIED it beyond belief. Unfortunately, it was not able to pass a safety check and wound up in the scrap yard.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th October, 2003

25th Mar 2006, 20:59

Are you sure it wasn't your mustang that was falling apart?

Now that's a real piece of junk!

11th Feb 2008, 13:50

I agree with the last guy. My dad's first car was a Mustang and his last ever Ford. He became a Chrysler guy after that.

1988 Plymouth Reliant K 2.4L from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.4L Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired9000 miles
Most recent distance81000 miles

Summary:

Best cheap ride there is.

Faults:

Gone through 9 tires.

Needs a lot of alignments, and now the struts are shot (probably mainly my driving).

Fuel injection clogged, had to be replaced.

Fuel lines deteriorated, had to be replaced.

Air compressor froze, causing welds to break on the disk. Now I just drive it without that belt attached.

Speakers blown, even though the stereo never goes up past 1/4.

Felt around windows melted to windows.

General Comments:

This thing just keeps going. I keep abusing this car waiting for it to take it's last breath and it won't give up.

Not too comfy, but will keep running with cheap repair costs. Parts are easy to find and replace. Good car to learn some maintenance on.

Definitely worth the $1 I spent on it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th October, 2003

1988 Plymouth Reliant K 2.2 Electronic Fuel Injection from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.2 Electronic Fuel Injection Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired68000 miles
Most recent distance84000 miles

Summary:

Best car for a hands-on automotive work experience

Faults:

My brake pads and rotors went bad.

My drum brake pistons started leaking.

My head gasket blew and coolant leaked.

My power steering pressure hose leaked.

My radiator had a huge leak.

My water pump failed.

My cylinder head was cracked (overheated).

My original speakers blew.

General Comments:

This is the best do-it-yourself car I have ever seen. You can virtually do anything yourself and save thousands on labor. Junkyards and auto stores have tons of parts for this vehicle. Due to it's non-flashy appeal, you can feel safe that nobody is interested in carjacking or breaking into the vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2003

1988 Plymouth Reliant K 2.5 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.5 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired118000 miles
Most recent distance148000 miles
Previous carDodge Colt

Summary:

A true work horse at a bargain price

Faults:

Replaced front brakes at 118000 miles.

Replaced rear brakes at 122000 miles.

Replaced timing belt at 127000 miles after car broke down.

Replaced washer pump at 131000 miles.

Replaced oil pan and other lubrication related items at 134000 miles.

Replaced exhaust pipe at 135000 miles.

Replaced steering column (used) at 137000 miles.

Replaced radiator at 140000 miles.

General Comments:

This car has surprised us with its longevity. We purchased it as our work-horse from a friend of a friend for just under $200 and hoped it would last a year. That was two years ago and the engine continues to perform well.

However we have began having trouble with the body. One the windows no longer opens, the window washer fluid works sporadically, and electrical wiring is beginning to deteriorate.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th March, 2003

1988 Plymouth Reliant LE 2.5 EFI from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.5 EFI Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance0 kilometres

Summary:

Once a K-Car, always a K-Car

Faults:

Sensors (many, many) needed to be replaced.

Fuel injector replaced.

Fuel system cleaned.

Suffers from extremely low gas mileage.

Torque converter slipping.

General Comments:

This car even to this date is a very reliable car. My K-Car is the sole longest surviving car in my family. Up until recently, it was very cheap to run, and even cheaper to maintain.

Unfortunately, my car started to smoke black smoke and idle hard. So I got a fuel system cleaning, which replaced my fuel filter, sensors, throttle body cleaning and fuel injector replacements. The mechanic I took it to said this was the problem, nothing else was wrong. 600 dollars later I suffer from the same problem. Yet the mechanic maintains that this is the best this car is gonna run.

The body is very strong on these cars. Very little rust and up till recently, very fun to drive. Not a bad car as this thing, even after all the problems, still manages to get me from point A to point B, and sometimes point C on weekends in a safe and reliable manner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 19th March, 2003

28th Mar 2003, 23:58

I knew someone who had one of these that did the same thing. His would even smell so strong you would smell it inside the car. The engine eventually blew up. When it was doing this the car also had no power. 35 was the top speed on it. Nobody ever figured that one out either.

25th Jan 2004, 19:32

Perhaps a blown head gasket... they are WELL known for that fate. http://www.thedodgegarage.com/the_reliant_1999.html this guy found the cause... a poorly located return coolant thermostat.

31st Dec 2004, 08:46

If the black smoke is only when it is cold out, and goes away when the car warms up, it could be, believe it or not, the camshaft! My Reliant blew black smoke when cold... it could stall and flood if you weren't careful. My friend's did the same. He had all the fuel system stuff checked out to no avail. I found a repair manual called "the dirty dozen" which outlines repairs for odd problems. They suggested the cam if all other items checked out, and they were correct. I never did mine... I just feathered the gas on cold startups if it was below 15 degrees.

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 21 reviews