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How Reliable are used Ford Festiva/Aspire?

13

Comments

  • rrijkenrrijken Posts: 2
    My 95 Aspire has a lot of road noise at 60+ MPH, is there a way to deaden the noise from the floor?
  • heckel2heckel2 Posts: 19
    I had a 93 festiva and it was reliable just boring got rid of it and wished I had it back very cheap to maitain and drive. Should of kept it and bought a new house.
  • Hey! Anybody here know if it's possible to modifiy Festiva's. My friend is looking to buy one right now, but he would like to know if bigger wheels (rims not mags) can be fitted (and does it improved handling in a noticeable way) and if there's any way to boost the power significantly? He doesn't want (or can't afford)to turn the Festiva in a rocket, but raising the power would just make the car safer and nicer to drive. So, has anyone modified the air intake or things like that, and did it help?

    Is there an accessories aftermarket for Festivas?
  • marbymarby Posts: 34
    See Hidden response #55 for link to a neat e-group. It's FREE and hope you and friend will join.. They have much technical data.. as well as engine swaps (larger engines that will bolt in) and all kinds of modification
  • that you posted in number 60? 'Cause the link in number 57 sends me to an edmunds forum (the I love my Festiva one).
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    I just bought a 1995 Aspire. It's a white 2-door hatchback with 5-speed, air, stereo, and 75K. It has a flood title and has been wrecked a couple of times. It drives fine though. I am only having one problem so far, finding parts. The Ford dealer does not sell what I need. I need caps for the air conditioner ports under the hood. I need miscellaneous interior screws and grommets from poor re-assembly jobs. I need some plastic pieces for the cargo area and one for the parking brake cover. I need a rear ashtray. And I need an owner's manual. I expect the owner's manual to appear on eBay any day now. But the little plastic parts are not in Ford's catalog. And the junkyards either don't have any Aspires or they won't sell small stuff. I need one screw cap for the screw on the rear edge of the door panel but the YourFord junkyard only sells complete door panels. And the one he showed me was missing the same cap. I need the two screws that go on either side of the console. And the YourFord guy wanted to sell me the whole console, but wouldn't even include the screws. I already have a console in perfect condition, I just want the stupid screws with the plastic caps! And those caps for the A/C recharge ports are only sold with a complete set of A/C hoses. I am going to have to buy a R-134a retrofit kit just to get the two plastic caps for my car which already has R-134a! What a bunch of crap?!! Maybe I ought to post this in Maintenance and Repair! Maybe these junkyard owners ought to let us take what we want off the car, not what they think we ought to buy.
  • marbymarby Posts: 34
    It directs you to e-groups. It has lots of information about Festiva and Aspire. I might have been too persistent in letting everyone know that there is no cost to join. And the I Love My Festiva is a Frozen topic in Edmunds (2/9/99). To refer people there since it has many replies.
    FESTIVA FOR EVER !!!!
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    I joined the egroups Festiva list.

    www.egroups.com/groups/festiva

    The archives are a year and a half deep and are chock full of technical stuff. I learned that an Aspire or Festiva can be upgraded to Mazda 1.6/1.8 engines from the Miata/Protege/323, etc. And many different intakes are usable. All these 1.3/1.6/1.8 engines share the same B block. So after a couple hundred thousand miles you can swap out with a nice low mileage Miata or Protege engine and gain power and still get tens of thousands more miles out of a Festiva/Aspire. Nice...

    Also visit

    www.fordfestiva.com

    because much of this engine/transmission info is available there, too.
  • marbymarby Posts: 34
    Yes it is amazing the Festiva/Aspire information they have. http://www.egroups.com/group/festiva
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    Found a very stripped red Aspire in a junkyard north of town. All I got was the one screw cap for the door panel (free). That car was done, they need to pull the blower motor and the quarter windows out and crush it, there was NOTHING else left but those. I got the seatback release lever from a Festiva in the same yard ($1). That yard has a '93 tach cluster with 136,800 miles, green backlighting, white numbers, and orange needles for $50 plus tax, if anyone wants it email me, I'll send it to you for cost of part, tax, and shipping. I pulled it hoping he would let it go cheap fo I could auction it on eBay but he knows it is worth the $50.

    So I am still irritated about not being able to find soft parts. But I did install a Sony cassette player (bought open box at Best Buy for $80) and window tint ($125) and the car is working comfortably as a courier vehicle. I also removed the entire back seat. It is nice that even this most basic Aspire is carpeted under the seat, saves me from buying a remnant to match.

    I also learned that the factory rear speakers cannot handle 35 watts of power. I shall be replacing those. The ones in the front doors sound good. Maybe the previous owner replaced them at one point.

    Have 76K on it now. We'll see how long this previously flooded and wrecked car holds up!
  • the previously wrecked and flooded (and rolled back) Aspire is still driving fine at 79K. With a total investment so far at $2050, the 4800 miles I have so far just cut my costs below 40 cents a mile. And to think I was considering buying a new car?!! If I buy a new leftover 2000 Metro for $8000 it would take well over 120,000 miles to get the costs down to my goal of 10 cents a mile with gas and basic maintenance (assuming 40mpg). This Aspire will hit that mark (without major repairs) with only 36,000 more miles and it is also averaging 39mpg (exactly the EPA combined estimate of 36 city 42 highway 39 combined). I really like sitting up higher and I like the fact that the car is tall, like a Focus or an Echo. The pocket below the radio is the perfect size to slide in my two-way radio for work. I cannot use the cupholder or the ashtray with it in place though. And I do have complaints. There is no inside release for the hatchback nor is there an outside release. You have to use the key, and the lock is balky. The driver's door window is tough to roll up and down (accidents' damage probably bent it). The headlights are aimed poorly (again probably from the accidents). Teh carpeting has shrunk all throughout the car but it is not moldy. It simply does not fit smoothly and is bunched up around the spare tire and under the driver's seat. The steering wheel has changed colors, unlike the gray interior, it has turned greenish gray. Time for a cover. At least the seats are nice. I also don't like the visors, they are less than half the length of the front door window so the sun is always in the corner of my eye. I guess while I'm nitpicking, the tires are wearing hard on the insides all around, so I'm buying a new set of General Touring A/S tires and an alignment. If these get eaten up then I will buy used tires and save my money for more important things like clutches and drive axles, which are fine for now. I hope to see the 115,000 necessary to reach my 10 cents a mile goal.
  • I am impressed. You have it down to the cost per mile. i have not taken it that far. I do however get cars at wholesale and find great deals all the time. I might have to figure out my cost per mile one day, i like the sound of that. God im frugal.
  • I need to combute about 30 miles a day. Looking for a small car like Ford Aspire. But the Edmund's ratings for 1997 Ford Aspire 2dr Hatchback is lower than the 1995 model. Which is better??
  • the reason I would choose a 94-96 model over a 97 is the 97's have different headlights, taillights, and bumpers which are more expensive to buy because they were only used for one year. 30 miles a day isn't a long commute. I use my 1995 for courier work and I put over 250 miles a day on it. I am about to turn 82K, which is 8,000 miles in 6 weeks. I would rather have a Geo Metro though, especially if you want the automatic. The Aspire automatics are painfully slow whereas the Metros are MUCH better in city traffic and on the highway. They are geared better. A Geo Metro is also probably going to be more reliable. Most automatic Aspires and Metros were rental cars so be careful, although the 1995 Metro LSi I had was a rental and did fine through 2 accidents, 5 alternators, and 112K. I would still drive it today if I could have made the payments.
  • the dealer after 70-plus days could not obtain a title for me so I got my refund. I got about 9,000 miles of use for a total cost after refund of $625. That's 7 cents a mile. I didn't even get a chance to run it to death and try to sell the ailing carcass which is always so much fun. Bought a 1997 Accent GS (wrecked) for $1100, as soon as I get some parts together we'll see how long it lasts. It has 95K right now and needs a windshield, hatchback, door panel, door handle, and lots of small stuff. This car has seen better days. Again I have to prop the eGroups list for tons of technical help received and given. Now I have to find an Accent eGroups to get me through the winter.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    With 308,200 miles on my 88 Festiva LX,with rear wiper no less, I can speak from experience. Same engine, original clutch! Has it cost a bit in repairs? You bet. But...the alternator lasted until 301,000, tires last 70,000 miles plus, and I just replaced the radiator. Mileage--33-43. Takes a quart of oil after 3,000 miles or so. Never did until around 225,000. Sure the engine is underpowered. But you won't find a more efficient small package with incredible interior head room. I understand that this was sold as a Mazda 121 in Japan. Even the key reads Mazda. Good luck. These cars might join cockroaches as the only things to survive a nuclear war!
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Due to speculated demand, this discussion has been moved back here from our Archived Folder and re-opened. Hope this is helpful.


    Revka

    Host

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    needed a serious brake job and the synchros were getting a bit notchy. Other than that, I had very little trouble. One of my favorite cars. Sorry I got rid of it.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Had 320,000 miles on the original 88 Festiva LX engine and original clutch when it overheated. Rather than pay an expensive repair, I sold it to a guy who collects them for parts to keep a few running. Great car! Bought a new Hyundai Elantra GT hatch. Phenomenal car! Good Luck with the Festivas/Aspires. They were too good to be Fords.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    pleasant cars (even if crude like the Festiva) tend to be ones you want to hold on to. I still miss my Festiva. At this point I'm planning on holding onto my Elantra until it hits 200K. I feel that it will be out of date by 2010 but I think I'll still like it, just like I still miss my old Festiva.

    (and no, I'm not calling my Elantra crude)
  • gt_fangt_fan Posts: 159
    Does everyone who owns an Elantra have a past history with a Festiva? Personally, I put 120,000 miles of pizza delivery (no highway miles to speak of) on my '88 Festiva. After all of that abuse, I paid out a total of $14.95 for non-maintenance item repairs (an oil pressure sender). If my '02 GT treats me even half as well, I'll be ecstatic!
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    is that Kia was far better quality wise in the 80's than either Hyundai or Daewoo. I think in some ways the brands have flipped since then, although Daewoo is certainly getting long in tooth.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Here's an article from Edmunds' Write & Drive that you may find interesting: Five Good Cheap Cars, by Christian Wardlaw.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • Actually, most of the praise was reserved for the German made Ford Fiesta, not the Korean made Ford Festiva ... that said however, the little Festiva was a damn good bare-bones type automobile!
  • rgarrorgarro Posts: 2
    The people say me that the Ford Aspire and the Kia avella is the same car !. I had an accident and the front of my car is very damaged. The original PArt is very expensive. Does I can use the parts of Kia avella for my car ?
    Please sendme your comments to rgarro@chiquita.com
    Thanks for your help !
  • rgarrorgarro Posts: 2
    The people say me that the Ford Aspire and the Kia avella is the same car !. I had an accident and the front of my car is very damaged. The original PArt is very expensive. Does I can use the parts of Kia avella for my car ?
    Please sendme your comments to rgarro@chiquita.com
    Thanks for your help !
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    I just got a Hyundai GT last month, and I too had a festiva (92 L). Very basic, but I loved the car for it's go-cart like handeling. It was small, "spunky", and GREAT on gas! Covered with dents (it seemed if you looked at it funny it would dent), but it had 109k hard miles on it when I sold it (for a profit, no less!).
    I'm hoping my new hyundai will give me as many trouble free miles. It sure is night and day to drive!
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    I recently went on vacation to Panama, Central America and saw sedan and coupe versions of the Ford Festiva being sold as the original Kia. The model there is called the "PRIDE". I would love to bring one back to the States to replace the 1993 Festiva LX that I could kick myself for selling. Since the Pride hasn't got airbags I imagine that it would not make it past a U.S. inspection.

    I noticed in Central America that things like airbags are an option. That's really not a bad idea. I found Toyota Echoes being sold as the Toyota "Yaris" with a/c and manual transmission for only $ 7,500. This is well below the price of the U.S. version.

    A previous poster (Costa Rica?) wanted to know if the Aspire and the Avella are the same car. Since the Aspire was discontinued in 1997 I would imagine that the Avella has some cosmetic differences that would make the two vehicles not identical in parts. But it never hurts to compare.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    Just don't get into an accident with either car. The Festiva was one of the top five cars to be involved in fatal accidents when sold. The others were sports cars (which probably ment they hit trees, etc), but the Festiva is just small. Not much there to keep an Expedition from driving through you!
    The Aspire has airbag's, but not much else.
    Of course no one wants to be in an accident, but they happen. If you drive one of these cars (or most any sub-compact) you learn to drive a little more defensivly (maybe a lot more)!
  • curt3curt3 Posts: 101
    You are right about the small car defensive driving, jofficer. I drive 80 miles a day for work and an additional 70 miles a night when I have night school, so I really have had a few close calls on the road. I am 6'5" but have always driven tiny cars--Datsun 310, Protege, Festiva, Aspire, little Nissan trucks. I cannot even imagine paying for gas in an Explorer or an Excursion for that matter.
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