I had a Passport Optima for about 4 years. I ran it to the ground, but it served me well. One excellent feature on the Optima surfaced when I broke down in Swift Current, SASK. After several hours of research, the mechanics at Canadian Tire found out that the timing belt can be ordered and is very easily and inexpensively replaced. I hope this random piece of information will help somebody, someday.
I too own a 1990 Passport Optima. I need a new axle boot, a new temp gauge, and gas gauge, and a muffler. I am debating whether its worth it or not, but we'll see. Post if you find any good places to order parts from.
I have own a 1988 4 door and a 1990 2 door passport. The car has been very dependable and inexpensive to drive for sure. I have found a junk yard that have approximately 12 of theses vechiles Optima's and lemans from 1988 to 1993 in there yard. It is Quicks Auto Wreckers in Leamington Ontario. The parts are reasonable in price. 286 Essex Rd 31, Leamington, ON N8H 3V5
(519) 326 8310 Hope this helps out anyone looking for parts.
I owned a 1988 Optima, bought new in early 1989, for more than 8 years. There were good points and bad points, but overall it was a car I loved to hate. Fastest depreciating car I ever owned, in part due to GM dumping the remainder of their inventory at several thousand dollars below what I originally paid for it.
The best point about the car was the fuel economy, at almost 50mpg on the highway (Imperial gallons). That I still miss. For some time I regularly drove the Optima 500km on the weekends. The worst point was the door locks and rubber seals which froze shut every night during the sub-zero winter months.
The body of the car was quite good and remained rust free for as long as I owned the car. As others have said though it was cheaply appointed, with lots of plastic bits that broke easily. Had a chance to drive a Hyundai model that was almost a clone and it by far better appointed.
The original oil pressure sensors were prone to cracking and twice while still under warranty the engine pumped out nearly all of its oil past the broken sensor. Other than that, and one burned out fusible link, the engine ran very well and was generally quite reliable. Three of the suspension coil springs broke, as did the driver's seat height adjustment crank mechanism, leaving the seat loose on its pivots. The factory air conditioner was a disappointment as both the condenser and steel tubing broke prematurely in around the 4th year. By then the repair cost of the A/C was almost more than the car was worth. The original exhaust system lasted 5 years, replacements no more than 2years. Rather than repairing everything that needed doing at the time I ultimately sold it to the wreckers.
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