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Advice buying Ford Probe? Any problems?

psywexpsywex Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Ford
Can somebody tell me if it is a good buy? Planning to buy it from private buyer. Engines sounds ok, little crack on mirror.Little bit dings on body. nothing major. However, mileage kind of high it got 150789 miles on it. The seller asking $1600. I'm not sure whether it is a good bargain. Is there any major stuff that i should be concern with this 93 probe?. Can i someone guide me on this. Appreciate all the response. Thanks


  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Have you checked with Edmunds' Used Vehicle Appraiser to see what others are paying for a 1993 Ford Probe in your area?

    While you're waiting here for more feedback, you may want to check out this archived Ford Probe discussion: 93-95 Ford Probe. You won't be able to post a message there, because the discussion is closed; but you may find some helpful information just by reading through the posts.... Also, if you'd like me to open the discussion and move it back to this board, please send me an email ([email protected]). Good luck, and please keep us posted on your purchase.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Helpful Links- In addition to the feedback here, be sure to check out the Helpful Links on the Left side of the page. You'll find direct access to our Used Vehicle Guide and other related Ford Probe discussions throughout Town Hall.

    To psywex- To expand a little on the subject here... and welcome more Probe owners and shoppers into this discussion, I just edited the title removing the "1993". Consolidating our discussions to cover more than one vehicle year helps to increase the activity in any given discussion, and also helps to reduce the clutter on these boards. Thanks for your participation.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • javasmoothjavasmooth Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking at an '89 Probe with 103000 miles on it. I'm having it inspected but I think the only work it needs is a new CV-joint and some work on the air conditioning. The price on the table is $650. I'm planning on dumping a couple grand on mechanical repairs and putting some money into a new paint job and whatnot. I would like to keep this car for three or four years. How does this sound and do you have any suggestions as to what i might expect?
  • clang74clang74 Member Posts: 1
    I am the proud owner of my second probe. My first Probe was a 1993 purchased in spring 2000 while transferring to a new university. I bought it just shy of 70k and put on 45k more. The only thing that ever kept that car off the road was the accident that totaled it (ice storm). Even then It got me home with it's last gasping breaths, after smashing the radiator, intake and battery.

    The real problem with these cars is the driver. Many people get behind the wheel of a STOCK 2.0 and drive it like a performance car. You're boudn to have troubles if you approach it this way.

    My 93 Probe treated me so well, I bought a 94 GT as it's successor. Much sportier, and a very reliable car. In summary, the problem with probes are not the cars, but the drivers. Find a clean one, and you'll be set for many years.
  • maccaveilimaccaveili Member Posts: 1
    Well I hate to rain on any Probe lover's parade, but after hearing nothing but good things about these Probes, I felt compelled to chime in. I bought my '94 Probe back in 1998 when it was 4 years old. It was a GT with power everything and looked very sporty. It had a little get up and go back then but nothing special, I mean even a 4 cylinder Honda Civic could take it off the line, but that's alright because I didn't buy it intending to race it. I just drove it in town except for a cross country drive I made a couple of times. It had about 65,000 miles on it when I got it in '98, but in the past 4 years I've ran that total up to 108,000, so that's about 43,000 miles I put on it, not bad at all for 4 years of driving. Especially considering that about 10,000 of those came on the 2 cross country trips I made with it from Montana to Pennsylvania.

    Anyways, this Probe, as much as I've defended it whenever something went wrong, has never stopped needing maintanence. I don't know if I just got a lemon, or if it just doesn't like city traffic or what, but it has sure cost me a pretty penny or two just to keep it on the road. In the past 2 months alone I've spent over $2000 just to keep it running. But let me start in the beginning....

    About 6 months after I bought my 1994 Probe (in 1999) I noticed that it was running very sluggish. So first I started out small by changing the spark plugs, then the spark plug wires but that made no difference. By the way, spark plug wires for the V6 Probe GT will run you nearly $100 a set if not more depending on what deals you can find. So after getting a engine diagnostics test on it, I was informed that I need not 1, but both of my O2 sensors replaced. Who needs these things right? Well when they went out it made 1st gear feel like 2nd gear and 2nd gear feel like 3rd, etc. You definitely can't overlook them. These each cost about $200, and with the $100 in labor I ended up spending about $500 on this car which I had only used in town so far for the past 6 months. I defended my Probe though by blaming the previous owner for my O2's going out, it seemed easy enough, I mean afterall, it couldn't be my Probe's fault right.

    Aside from that, I learned very quickly how pricey things were for my 1994 Probe GT. A single tire ran me about $125, and since you usually buy them atleast in pairs, it was costing me about $250 a year in tires as I'd rotate the front to the back and put the new ones on the front. One Ford mechanic who I spoke to on the phone who seemed very knowledgeable when it came to my Probe gave me several examples of how much it would cost me for things on "other" cars compared to my Probe, and the differences in price were ridiculous. One example he used was that if a wheel alignment sensor went out in say a Taurus it might cost you about $20 or $30, but with my Probe I'd be looking at about $150-$200. However, I still defended my Probe by declaring that more expensive parts means better parts and longer lasting - wishful thinking I guess.

    The next summer my brakes wore down, but that is just normal wear and tear and it actually only cost me about $200 so I was happy about that, I had figured that with a Probe it would run me about $500 or something, but it didn't. However, soon after that my Probe began to run a little "off" again. Keep in mind that I got the oil changed every 3000 miles, and I really did take good care of it, spending time on it myself or the money for someone more specialized to make sure it was maintained properly. So I had the coolant system flushed and basically had the entire car looked over. Everything seemed OK now. Unfortunately, after a few good months, my check engine light start coming on as did my air bag light along with the brake light on my dashboard. The brake light turned out to be that it was just low on brake fluid, however, after I had to refill about 2 weeks after having just filled it, I figured that there was more to the problem than I first thought. That ended up running me about $200 to fix the rear caliber brake leak that had sprung. However, the check engine light is what I had feared most, and once again my precious little Probe started to bog down a little more than I liked. A mechanic who had looked at it not long before this told me that I had a couple of bad spark plugs and spark plug wires, this despite the fact that my wires were supposed to be guaranteed for life, and I had just changed my plugs a few months ago. I guess they meant the life of lab rat or something. So I went out and spent another wad of cash for a new set of spark plug wires while replacing all the spark plugs. Then about a half block up the road, my Probe died, and the next morning I had it towed for the 2nd time in 6 months.

    Turned out that my distributor went out and so that ran me about $500 to fix. Not bad when you consider the fact that a brand new distributor (I had one rebuilt) would have ran me $700+ not including labor.

    Then soon after for no reason one day, I heard a rattling sound when I made 90 degree turns. So back to the mechanic again it was, as he found the CV-joint to have gone "bad". So that ran me another few hundred $$$. But as if it wasn't enough, a major bracket on my sway bar was all mucked up. At this point I didn't have the money to spend another $300-$400 to get this fixed. It should be noted here that if I were to just get the bracket replaced, it would have cost me $494 for the bracket alone (plus $$ to drop the engine to get to it), however I found a welder who said he could fix it for a lot less and wouldn't have to drop the engine to get in there to fix it.

    Since I just use my Probe in the city, I figured the sway bar bracket could wait for a month til I saved up some dough, even the mechanic said that should be OK. However, less than a month later, one day my Probe just decides not to start. Keep in mind this is just a few weeks after getting a new rebuilt distributor in there. Turns out that my timing belt had gone out. No big deal right? How much could a belt cost anyways...Well maybe if I had seen it coming ahead of time it wouldn't have cost me $1000, but since it already went out I ended up spending $962 to fix it. So for the 3rd time in about 7 months and 2nd time in the past 4 weeks, I had my Probe towed again. How embarrassing, at this point my family and friends had moved beyond just telling me I need to get rid of it, to just flat out laughing about it right in front of me. Thanks Probe, love you too. At this point, just a day after getting my Probe back out of the shop again, I have had it. In the past 2 months I have forged over $2000 into this car, and it wasn't to make it look pretty either. I fear that next month my clutch or transmission is going to go out. Or perhaps my engine will need rebuilt. I will be trading it in by the end of the week thanks.

    -Macc ([email protected])
  • nachole1nachole1 Member Posts: 1
    Im looking at a '94 Probe SE the asking price is $2,750 with 117,000 miles, pw,pl,cd,tinted windows,auto I've test drove it along with my dad. The body is in good conditon except for a 1 1/2ft scratch along the rear passenger side. The only things we were concerned about is the water temp gauge runs on the high end of normal, the overdrive light constantly blinks (it works though), the shocks on the hatchback are worn and the car idles low when stopped. Could I please get some advice on these problems and if this is a good buy??? I want to keep the car for a few years if possible with minimal maintenece. thanks
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Have you tried plugging this vehicle into Edmunds' Used Vehicle Appraiser? This will give you the average cost others are paying in your region.

    "The only things we were concerned about is the water temp gauge runs on the high end of normal, the overdrive light constantly blinks..."

    You can check in Edmunds' Maintenance Guide for any TSBs (technical service bulletins) that might be related to the water temp gauge or overdrive. You may also want to check out our Maintenance & Repair board to see what kind of Ford Probe problems have been discussed there. Try using the open search box, on the left side of the page, for direct access to other Ford Probe discussions throughout Town Hall.

    Others here may have more to add. Good luck with your decision.


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • johnv43johnv43 Member Posts: 9
    I bought my 93 Probe GT in December 1997 with 79K miles on it. It now has 111K miles. I have had to make every repair that Maccaveili noted, plus a rebuilt tranny 4 years ago. I was told by the Ford Service writer that parts for the Probe cost 3 times as much as the same parts for a Mustang. He blamed it on the fact that parts have to come from Japan.
    The blinking overdrive light that Nachole1 mentioned was something I also had, it was traced to a speedometer problem that ran $450 to fix. The shocks on the Hatch run $400 to replace for the GT model, less for the SE. I use a ski pole to keep it open, cost $0.
    On the plus side the engine seems strong, and I think the suspension is original. If you are looking at a used one, call a Ford dealer with a list of problems and they'll give you an estimate, could be used as a bargaining tool. Good Luck....
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Member Posts: 265
    I used to own a 5sp '93 Probe SE, with a few options (wider, low profile tires, cruise, AC, etc). It was the most reliable, the most pleasant to drive car I ever had, including a few Toyotas. Alas, a minor accident on the freeway rendered front end and geometry hopeless. Despite attempts it was never made to run well again and was retired. I guess that's the price of a front wheel drive. Other than that, I loved that car dearly. I used it for desert crusing frequently. It *never* got hot even in Death Valley in the summer with a full complement of passengers and baggage.

    Oh, I did have the shocks on the hatch go weak after a few years, but I found new ones quite inexpensively (after market). I think I paid $70 a pair. They were easy to install and worked very well.
  • gust334gust334 Member Posts: 75
    My 1994 was special ordered late 1993 and I put 139k miles on it before I traded it December 2002. I believe I would have kept it and continued to maintain it for at least another two years or so, had it not been for back surgery that has now made it nearly impossible to crunch down low enough to get in and out.

    Mine was a GT 5-speed with every other factory option except leather seating and the equalizer. Stock V6 Probes had adequate straight-line acceleration, but it certainly wasn't anything to brag about. However, with the low center of gravity, sticky low profile tires inflated to maximum, and the taut suspension setup, Probes handle twisty corners better than most. One of my favorite ways to deal with people who tailgated right on my bumper was to take my familiar daily highway cloverleaf exits without disengaging the cruise control. The Probe rode the curve as if it was on rails, even at twice the indicated ramp speed (kids, don't try this at home). If the tailgater took the same exit and tried to match my speed, they soon discovered new things about Newtonian physics. (Chevy Suburbans tailgating me were my favorite.)

    maccaveili reported many issues, seeming to validating the old joke Fix Or Repair Daily.

    In my experience, most of those seemed to be standard maintenance items and were expected. Plug wires wear out. Tires wear out. Brakes wear out. O2 sensors wear out. Water pumps wear out. Timing belts wear out. Refrigerant seals wear out. Most of these have replacement intervals in the manual, and most of mine lasted at least as long as specified. Given the potential for damage to the engine, I had the timing belt replaced at 60k and 120k even though it hadn't yet failed.

    Like hwyhobo, I also had to replace the gas struts for the hatch once, and I paid about the same amount for a pair of aftermarket struts. I also had to replace the fog light bulbs quite often until I realized the housings were cracked and water was getting which shattered the bulb. Another use for duct tape....

    Many of the parts on the car could be obtained either from Ford or Mazda (Probe, Mazda626, MazdaMX6 share many parts.) I can see that if you're buying used (yes, it is kind of hard to buy a new Probe these days) you don't know how many of these repairs you may need to do right away. But this is common to any used car.

    The only warning I would offer to owners/prospective owners of 1993-1995 cars with 4-wheel disc brakes has to do with the rear brake calipers. I understand they were redesigned in 1996 to eliminate this problem. The issue I had was that the pivot pin that permits the hand brake to engage the rear wheels either corroded or lost all lube, thus preventing the brake caliper from releasing. This can (and did) result in rear wheel lockup.

    One sunny day in July my caliper stuck. I sort of noticed that the tension on the hand brake as I released it felt lighter than usual but did not think it was significant. The car seemed to be a little slower accelerating onto a highway but I ignored that too. I was cruising on a straight level road. About 0.75mi later the left rear wheel locked up and the rear end started to spin around on me and it caught me completely by surprise. I was unable to recover. I continued spinning across a gravel shoulder, down a grassy embankment and eventually nosed squarely into a drainage ditch, flipped end-for-end, and rolled (on the wheels) backwards into a cornfield. I was wearing my seatbelt and the airbags deployed. A testament to the car's overall engineering was that I walked away without the slightest injury.

    The car was not as lucky. The hood folded, the fenders bent, and the passenger airbag punched out the windshield and broke an internal mounting point for the dash. The tires showed flat spots, the gravel chewed up the alloys. Powder from the airbags went everywhere. The power antenna got folded too. Amazingly, insurance decided to fix it. Even more amazingly, after resetting the fuel cutout the car started and drove under its own power, and the radiator was intact. The body shop repair was extraordinary and it I noticed no significant differences in driving and handling after the repair from when it was new.

    Since the accident, I became hyper-sensitive to the hand brake release. On those occasions over the years when it wouldn't fully release, I found sometimes I could pull really hard on it and crack it loose. When that didn't work, I would crawl under the vehicle and whack the pivot arm with the lug wrench until the pivot arm moved. Around 1999 I found out about the 1996 caliper redesign and asked my mechanic to replace both rear calipers when I was having other work done, and I don't remember having any brake problems after that.
  • joekool35joekool35 Member Posts: 5
    I have owned a ford probe for about 2 years and the overdrive light came on a few months ago and then it just somehow went out 2 weeks later, i learn to just ignore the dashboard lights on the probe. It is also very reliable. Never had 1 single problem with it and it is almost 10 years old!
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