1988 Plymouth Reliant K from North America - Comments

11th Oct 2001, 12:32

I had bought a 1988 Plymouth reliant station wagon 4 cylinder 2.2 used, and it has been driven as if it were a truck!! It has been hit twice broadside front and back, and in all honesty I've not kept up with repairs... it's still going today after 13 years of total abuse from me and my teenage son.

I call it the "Mother Ship", ooh yes I would buy another one in a heart beat, but this one just won't quit!!

13th Jun 2002, 20:13

I live in Qu├ębec/Canada and we get a lot of snow during the winter. I see a lot of Reliant Ks like mine on the road. Even if they are old, none of them seem too rusty.

I did a few long rides with it (400 km non stop and 2x 200km non stop). I noticed it is making a strange noise since those trips, but it still runs like a charm.

I did also hit a caravan on the door side, but it still runs smoothly.

I began last week painting inside the car. It'll be the most original Reliant K in town!!

Mathieu -> wilbrod@videotron.ca

30th Sep 2002, 07:42

When I was 16 I had my parents reliant. Now, I'd have to agree with these cars being built like tanks. That one lasted for many years and was passed down through the family having many teenage drivers. Last September I ended up running off the road into a house totaling the car. A couple months later I got a 89 reliant K and still drive it. As much as I've put the poor thing through I'm surprised it's still running. It's been through fields and typical teenager adventures. Also being female and liking these wonderful cars is quite odd. So yeah I'd have to agree that these cars are tanks, as long as you don't run them into something big.

27th Oct 2002, 00:20

Aah yes the Chrysler Corp. K-Car The Reliant is what the boys in Detroit named it. They knew what it was on it's way out the door. It was the Valiant of the 80's. These vehicles to date can go much further than even the above. I am an ASE Tech. and specialize in engine repair. It so happens that I did a term paper in college on these and other reliable engines. By their design, I have seen these engines perform the same as and place 2nd to their infamous big brother, the "slant 6" 225CID produced by the same motor company. Known as the greatest car engine of all time and the king of all engines, the slant 6 is literally blow proof, with a properly operating stock cooling system, these motors will round trip the country with one (1) quart of oil in the crankcase. In fact these motors will run without any oil at all. Sound incredible, it's a for sure bet to place.

Folks, a new battery will resurrect and launch one of these engines straight out of the bone yard. Know that no slant 6 or K-engine ever dies. They are either first, disassembled or secondly, abandoned, or both. The first thing is the only way I know to make this engine so it will not run; to disassemble it past a certain point. It will still run and offer enough power to limp home on only 1 of 4 cylinders which is incredible. It will run without an exhaust manifold, oil pan, oil pump continually. Remove the cooling and charging system and it will still run until the point of either super heating or loss of spark. Cook your favorite meal on it as a stove. After you have eaten and it has cooled, it will be ready to go again and will perform predictably the same every time. Think about that. This engine will run without its systems of lubrication, exhaust, cooling and charging system

Lastly in speculation, I would still vote for the engine if it was extracted somehow (by cutting tip on a blow torch?) from a car that had already been through the great crusher.

I was at the pomona auto show and a guy was selling his version of a P.T.F.E. (teflon additive similar to slick 50). Many were amazed because he was demonstrating the product by using a running engine with the oil pan cut away. He was selling his product like crazy as he goosed the throttle every few moments. This engine wasn't even to ever be in a car anymore and still ordered to perform under extreme conditions.

The point made in this entry is that although there are quite a many engines that are extremely reliable, there are a couple out there that even step out much further, and can be practically considered as invincible.

5th Mar 2003, 15:21

I am having problems with my 1987 plymouth reliance station wagon losing power and shutting down on me while driving on the freeway. After about 10 minutes it will restart and run fine for quite some time; then the problem appears again. Any one experienced this same problem?

29th Mar 2003, 14:23

I got My Reliant K when I was 16, yes yes my first car.. to tell you the truth when I first got it I wasn't so happy, as most of you know the car is Ugly. but I've had it over a year and a half and one thing is for sure it will not break! I'm starting to wonder if these are left over tanks from WWII??? or alteast parts from the tanks? all I have had to replace is my fan/shroud. yeah! If you need a car to last and it be cheap get a Reliant!

24th Jun 2003, 19:10

In my life, I have acquired a 1984 Dodge Aries wagon, a Plymouth Reliant K wagon, and a mid 80's Dodge Omni. I have never seen any other kind of car that works like these cars. I have run these cars into trees, off jumps, and many other acts of destruction, and I cannot get them to stop running. No matter what I try, they will not die. And what is best about these cars is that they are practically being given away. Actually, that's how I got the Omni, and what a time I had with it.

2nd Jul 2004, 15:52

I've owned an 88 Reliant since new, and the car has always been trustworthy. It has 140,000 miles on it, and the rear spindle has a crack in the weld on the driver's side, and it made noise for a while, and now the noise has subsided. I don't know how dangerous it is to drive this way. I've learned that this spindle problem was recognized by Plymouth as a flaw and they have redesigned the replacement, but it will cost $850 for a shop to purchase and install.

I've also learned that if you take it to a decent shop, they will either weld it or replace with junkyard part for under $100. You must look around.

The radiator and head gasket were replaced 2 years ago, brakes redone a couple times. Not bad for 16 years.

The worst part is the noisy ride and squeaky springs and dash, the door seals are bad; were replaced and went bad again.

Otherwise, the car is a tank.

Oh, and for those who have problems (noticed in other posts), make sure you check the computer codes when the problem is occurring. Here is a great web link, which tells you what to look for and how to check the codes. What a great car - it will even tell you what is wrong, if you just ask it!!

http://www.allpar.com/fix/stall.html

I was recently in an accident, and the claims adjuster wanted to total the car. I pleaded with him and was able to convince him not to, by getting a lower estimate from a shop. Frankly the car is worth more on the road, than crushed for metal. I couldn't bear to see her decommissioned while still in her prime!

FYI: if they had totaled it, I would have gotten a $1300 check. Paid $9600 tax and tags when new, and can still get $1300 16 years later. What a car!!!