Author Topic: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later  (Read 5808 times)

Offline Autos_Editor

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The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« on: April 30, 2012, 06:36:30 am »


Sometimes it is best to leave the past, in the past.

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Offline Allen

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 08:00:46 am »
my 85 year old mother is still driving her 1990, no problems although it only has  34K on it, a bit of rust which we got fixed last year and a few seals which we have had replaced because of age... 

Offline Mike

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 08:11:08 am »
my 85 year old mother is still driving her 1990, no problems although it only has  34K on it, a bit of rust which we got fixed last year and a few seals which we have had replaced because of age... 

That was my 89 year old grandmothers car.  Story is actually two years old.  She is now 91 and stopped driving.  Car is thankfully gone

Offline hemusbull

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 08:16:02 am »
You are blessed 'cause yours is the newest model Tempo that finaly conviced FordMoCo this is not competetive car...They discontinued it after the disasterous sales and terrible reliability record. Anyway, I had the first gen Tempo with "spontanous acceleration" problem no one ever soved. It left me on the road and I had to pay a 100 bucks to tow truck guy who "bought" it from me that way! It's a good candidate for the worst ever Ford!

Offline jbaker

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 08:30:27 am »
Back in 1989 I was driving an '88 Camry, but took a trip which necessitated my renting a car.  I ended up with a brand-new 1990 Mercury Topaz (same basic car as the Tempo), which I drove for about 500 kilometers.  What a terrible car, even new!  I could not imagine anyone test-driving even a lowly Camry and then buying one of those things!  To this day when I see a Topaz/Tempo I have to suppress a gag reflex...

Offline OliverD

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 08:46:04 am »
Back in 1989 I was driving an '88 Camry, but took a trip which necessitated my renting a car.  I ended up with a brand-new 1990 Mercury Topaz (same basic car as the Tempo), which I drove for about 500 kilometers.  What a terrible car, even new!  I could not imagine anyone test-driving even a lowly Camry and then buying one of those things!  To this day when I see a Topaz/Tempo I have to suppress a gag reflex...

The Camry was probably thousands more than the Tempo though.

Online tpl

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 08:51:34 am »
Back in 1989 I was driving an '88 Camry, but took a trip which necessitated my renting a car.  I ended up with a brand-new 1990 Mercury Topaz (same basic car as the Tempo), which I drove for about 500 kilometers.  What a terrible car, even new!  I could not imagine anyone test-driving even a lowly Camry and then buying one of those things!  To this day when I see a Topaz/Tempo I have to suppress a gag reflex...
In defence of the Topaz/Tempo.   ALL D3 small cars of the era were terrible as they were small and theefore had to be cheap and nasty.   The old D3 theory that everyone should drive a bigger car....which culminated in the Suburban and the Ford Excursion.
There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience.  And then there is California. - Edward Abbey (1927-89)

Offline aaronk

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 08:53:03 am »
My family owned several of these cars - I remember an '88 'loaded model', which had big cushy red velour seats with a burgundy exterior. After that one died, we ended up with a gray '89 in "L" trim (not like that cushy GL) which forfeited the cushy fabric and power features.

While these cars were far from excellent, they were affordable, simple, easy to fix and held up OK. Were there better cars? Probably, but the Temp has been woven into my childhood and has a fond place in my memory.

Offline redman

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 08:59:21 am »
My high school economics class did a tour of the Oakville plant early on the Tempo production, at the time these were just being built. It was the first time I saw such a large assembly and was both intrigued and a little intimated with the movement, noise and scope of it all. 
The other thing that really stood out was hearing "what the f*#k you looking at" by a large hairy rough guy, (to half our class) just for looking at him doing his task. I recall the denim shorts and mismatched shirt he wore and the sunshine girl posters around his work area.

Years later I recall the stark difference I felt doing the Toyota Cambridge plant were most staff were clean cut, young and wore 1 piece jump suits. They never looked at us and worked as if it did not matter that they were or not being watched.

I wondered how much of this had to do with union vs non-union shop or American vs Japanese production philosophies.
Past New (8yrs) Car Dealer for : BMW, Lexus, Nissan and Toyota<br />Past Used Vehicle Dealer: All Makes and Models. Seen a lot of it. Drove a lot of it. <br />Four-stroke Otto Engine 1876. Modern timer, pop-up toaster 1919. Let's keep convincing yourself that you have the "latest appliance".

Offline mrthompson

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 09:19:23 am »
I had a 1990 Topaz during my college years and my grandmother owned a 1992 Tempo during the last 4 of her driving years.  Her Tempo had the V6 which made it feel like a rocket compared to my Topaz.  Ford's K-car.  :rofl2:

Offline dragonfly

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 09:38:56 am »
 I bought a used 89 in 1990 to commute my 200 mile round trip commute...I put about 100 thousand miles on it in a few years..Mostly trouble free...and it was good on gas...but a blah little jellybean otherwise...The most interesting thing about that car was that one of the original Michelin tires lasted over 100 thousand miles..(I was drinking too much back then...it was pretty bald and bulgy by then , so was I ,and I probably should have gotten a replacement long before it's actual demise)...Jack

Offline dirtyjeffer

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 09:45:02 am »
from the sounds of it, the Tempo in the article had a serious issue with its brakes...perhaps a seized (or easily seizing) rear drum?

Offline footlong58

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2012, 09:48:46 am »
Alas, Tempo or not, a car that dates back to the days when you actually had to drive, and not be concerned about a cup holder for his in vogue Hortons black coloured water...


Offline Just_A_Fan

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2012, 10:47:10 am »
Hmm, the rear of the car pulls to the left when you brake, so you steer to the right ???  Good thing the roads weren't slippery . . .

Methinks it's time to go (back?) to driving school  ;)

Offline Arthur Dent

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2012, 10:51:01 am »
I'd agree - sounds like a sticky brake on this one.

I've never driven an automatic Tempo but owned a 5spd one and spent a lot of time driving another 5spd one. Both base 1988 models. I suspect the 5spd is much better to drive than the lame 3spd auto. Automatics of this era really kill a small engined car. The A/C killing a large portion of the available power is definitely true though. I'd say they were decently modest cars - my parents never had much trouble with theirs - they owned it for 10+ years from new. The heat stopped working near the end (I think it was a thermostat because it eventually warmed up but they never fixed it). My '88 had 388K kms on it so the engines are robust at least.

Offline Mike

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2012, 10:56:29 am »
Hmm, the rear of the car pulls to the left when you brake, so you steer to the right ???  Good thing the roads weren't slippery . . .

Methinks it's time to go (back?) to driving school  ;)

Yeah, you are right, I got my rights and left wrong there  :-[

Offline sacrat

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2012, 12:45:59 pm »
One of the 41 cars I've owned was a 93 in a "gorgeous" lime green. Other than a persistent check engine light it ran acceptably but had scary braking on slippery roads. I agree about the windshield visibility issue. The PT Cruisers I owned (2) had the same issue. I've had much better and much worse over the years.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 12:47:39 pm by sacrat »
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Offline AP

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2012, 12:50:31 pm »
One of the 41 cars I've owned was a 93 in a "gorgeous" lime green. Other than a persistent check engine light it ran acceptably but had scary braking on slippery roads. I agree about the windshield visibility issue. The PT Cruisers I owned (2) had the same issue. I've had much better and much worse over the years.

Sacrat - 2 PT Cruisers?  As the saying goes, those who don't learn from history...  Doesn't sound as though you keep cars for very long though.

Offline Cord

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2012, 02:26:03 pm »
I remember selling those things new for $7995 back in the day. I couldn't stand driving them.

Offline aquadorhj

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Re: The Final Drive: 1994 Ford Tempo, 18 Years Later
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2012, 02:41:15 pm »
this was my little brother's first car..   took him back and forth to skool in edmonton all the time.  never a thing wrong with it.  (probably helped that i fixed that thing before it got broke..... )

sat on the driveway for 2 years, when he decided not to drive.  started right up when we decided to donate it..  couldn't believe it.

Driving thrills makes my wallet lighter.. and therefore makes me faster because i'm shedding weight... :D