1st Jan 2001, 17:29
I think the problem you had was with the engine and tranny choice. The 2.8L engine is good for little else than a boat anchor. Another problem is previous owners. They may not have cared for the car like it should have been cared for. I own a 1988 Firebird Formula with the 5.0 and the 5-speed and it has performed wonderfully. I have owned the car since my freshman year in high school (4 years ago) and the only problem I have had is a water pump. It's too bad that a piece of junk firebird could ruin it for you. I definitely recommend trying another.
30th Mar 2001, 23:31
I also have a '89 with a V6 and automatic. I am the second owner, bought in December of 1998 with 135,320 miles, just hit 199,000 miles today. Although it had its problems (water pump, distributor, exhaust) and other normally expected problems, it got me around and looked good doing it. Engine is solid and I have never seen any oil smoke or rebuilt the engine, but I would much rather have a V8, it is SLOW. Make sure anyone looking for one of these cars checks it over carefully first!
28th Jul 2001, 02:11
I wouldn't get discouraged about the 2.8, my father has an 87 Camaro with the same drive train. Bought it in 91 with ~60,000mi, it's seen a lot; many long trips, 2 deer, 1 ditch, 3 hit and runs, 1 time broken into, had spaghetti and peanut butter smeared all over it by someone upset over a parking space, and much more. It now has 230,000mi on the original engine and tranny and is still ticking. Surely it doesn't look the best after all it's abuse, but it's still running and still a solid car. Different people have different experiences, I've seen a lot of relatives' Mazda's and Nissans break down while our beat up GMs still hold on.
10th Oct 2001, 19:42
I bought a 91 Firebird and it has 192,000 miles on it, and it needed a lot of things replaced ($800.00 worth).
I highly recommend this car, it's a lot of fun to drive and it handles corners awesome. I only have the 3.1 V6, but it's still plenty powerful.
It's a great car and shows that even with high miles, as long as you take care of the car, it will run forever because it's a great car.
I've had no trouble with the T-tops leaking or anything like that, just check that before you buy because it will be a problem. I had a car that used to leak and it's not fun!
All in all it's a great and fun car to own.
31st Aug 2002, 02:22
You bought it with 50k miles and with the problems you have had I can only assume it was trashed before you bought it. First off, the 2.8 litre is hardly man enough to move a Yugo, let alone properly locomote a Firebird. I hate to see someone get a raw deal on Pontiac, but honestly, did you buy a super car, or a super trashed car?
7th Sep 2002, 17:22
I own a 89 5.0 v-8 Firebird and all I can say is it is a joy to drive. Hope you all enjoy them as much as I do.
8th Sep 2002, 13:53
I don't have an 88, but I do have the 91 3.1 V6 with just over 120,000 miles now and I have very little problems with it. Maybe you got a raw deal, but I know that my Firebird performs great and is fun to drive. I like it so much, mainly because I love 3rd generation cars, that after I run the engine dead I have a 350 c.i. on the side that I'm going to drop in.
3rd Oct 2002, 16:01
I have had 4 third gen cars and have not had any major problems with ANY of them. Things like brakes, alternators, etc... go when you put 150k+ miles on a car. 2 of the third gens I've owned were over 150K, one of which was over 200K on original engine and trans...don't be discouraged to buy a firebird or camaro.
11th Dec 2002, 22:47
I have a 89 Firebird with a 2.8 and a automatic. This car has been used and abused, but with 150k miles on it still run great and looks it to. I get many looks and compliments and good mpg. under powered yes, but as I say any motor is a good motor as long as you take care of it.
10th Mar 2003, 19:58
I just bought a 89 Firebird Formula with the V8 305. Great body just needs a paint job, and a few odds and ends. My biggest problem is headlights they work fine when turning them on the just will not go back down. I have called several places for info and it all leads to the motors or the actuator itself. Both running over $100 each for motors or $125 for actuator. This is my first Firebird any ideas with the problems or good links to go to would be great. The car is very sound and runs like a top with a little smoke on start-up, but that's it. As far as engines go it is the best you rebuild a 305 V8 for pennies compared to other motors. Thanks for any input you can give.
22nd Mar 2003, 15:19
I just bought a 2.8 1989 Pontiac Firebird with 33,000 miles on it, owned by a 62 year old lady, and it runs fine, I just had to do the maintenance old lady's don't do, like Grease all grease fittings, fix the stuck caliper, add battery fluid, and replace the front belt, and the tire air pressure only had 15 lbs. in each tire, and they needed 37. I think I'm going to get many miles out of it. I only paid $4200 which is a better deal than Volkswagon, Honda's or Toyota's. The Honda's Volkswagon and Toyota's have about 150,000 miles on them, and they all want $5,500. I know that some of them COULD go more miles, but some can't. The best deal on the market now is low mileage cars owned by old people.
29th Mar 2003, 14:28
I have an 88 formula 5.0 v8 and I have had only problems out of water pump and tires are not cheap! Been a good car, fast car.
21st May 2003, 14:38
Well I just bought a 89 firebird 305 v8.Just wanted to know if anyone knew any sites that could help me to learn more about this kool car. What kind of oil to use what are the best kind of tires any other stuff and so on thanks a lot.
28th Aug 2003, 22:54
Sorry to hear your bad luck. I had a V-6 Camaro and it was the same way. One headache after another. The V-6 engine just wasn't a good designed engine. Trust me on this; get a V-8 engine next time. The 5.0 or 5.7 engines are tried and true performers. They will go the distance, and then some. Don't give up on Firebirds and Camaros because a lousy V-6 gave you a hassle. Just unload that junker. Get V-8 powered 'bird or Camaro or even better, a Trans Am GTA you will love the performance/reliability that goes with them.