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After owning a 94 Ford Probe SE I have to say I fell in the drivers seat and took off down the highway. It was one of the first times ever I saw people move out of my way while going down the fast lane!
The car had awesome handling, lots of power for a 4 cylinder automatic, and got decent gas mileage (20d-23 in city which is pretty decent for a 1994 four cylinder automatic with 160,000+ miles on it). The interior is nice, but if your 6 feet tall it can be a little awkward to drive. The suspension is stiff, which I was told is normal for a sports car, so it might seem to hit the bumps really hard at times but it can take corners like there is no tomorrow.
Some repairs (like the alternator) could be done easily but others should be done in a garage or where you can get the car on a life. When I bought my car it had over 160,000 miles on it but didn't need any major work done to it (had the timing belt, water pump, cv axles, front brakes done). Although I sold the car a while ago, it is still on the road and still runs top notch.
If I ever find a second one and can afford it I will definitely pick one up again, and this is why I will recommend the ford probe to any friends of mine, who are looking for a dependable car with dependable power.
Ford probes go the distance. It's now 2010 and people searching for info on ford probes are looking at buying a second hand one that is more than 10 years old now.
for those of you out there, this car is a good, reliable find. The big thing you want to look out for is whether there are problems with the distributor. I have never had a problem with mine, but according to mechanics and various website reviews, the distributor going on a probe is horrendously expensive to fix. Beyond that, I have found that there is probably 'above average' costs in repairing and maintaining it, but nothing too extreme.
Mine is 1994 V6 2.5 and is the most reliable car i've ever had. As others mentioned, the probe is not good for rocketing off at the lights, often beaten by newer cars with smaller engines. However one thing i'd add is that it has a poor first gear that revs alot without pushing your speed up, but the second gear is very long and can propel you forward. Most of the acceleration performance seems to be between 20 and 50 ...
Great car that's fun to drive and recommended, especially if there's a good service history.
I was seeking a second car and got going with ebay the internet and autotrader. Having stumbled upon a Ford Probe 2.6 V24 for sale I looked, looked away, and forgot about it.
But then I had another look, and those criticisms of this gorgeous car (now 13 years old) are dated - IT IS STUNNING.
So, £800 later (and that is actually the going rate for one of these privately) I now own a lovely looking, mint condition, good to drive headturner.
It's not the fastest car in the world, but in 3rd at 5000RPM it goes like a rocket - but the handling is awesome - one could throw it round a roundabout at 60 and it sticks (didn't mean to but had to try!).
So don't discount the poor old things - they are truly and modern classic and if you look hard enough you might find one like mine - shiny and perfect with everything working.
Give it a go!
I'm now on my second ford probe.I tryed a change in between and soon went back.Great car, very comfortable to drive and loads of extras like electric seats,mirrors,sunroof and cruise control to name a few.I currently have a V 24vavle version.Not the fastest car on the planet, more of a cruiser although saying that for a now 10 year old car theres more then enough power at hand.The probe now sells really cheaply, mainly down to bad press and the misconceptions about the car.The best advice i would give any one that owns or is thinking of buying on is,Join a good probe club.Grab your self a bargain,Buy a ford probe.Cheap, sporty fun and rewarding to drive and own.
I got my 95 M plate Probe last March. I fell in love with the car at first sight. Silver, 70000 miles, FSH, multispoke alloys (poor looking 3 spokes had gone . . yay!!) what more could I want? Apart from £800 p.a. insurance fully comprehansive :-(
It was a dream to drive, smooth, relaxed and simple. Good old Ford, or should I say Mazda? I didn't need a car to go flying at a million miles an hour, so this car was just something nice.
The day I went to collect it, I got a call. Head gasket had gone. I had to wait 2 weeks for the thing to be fixed. Ford just didn't have the parts readily available, which showed more as I owned the car.
After installing a multi disk and new head unit, I was in heaven. Large opening doors without a frame, huge boot, large car, long bonnet, smooth lines, comfortable, I could live in it! I came to discover over the summer the car got incedibly hot, but thanks to the big electric windows, it cooled down rapidly. I'm no poseur, but I felt like a right charmer in this car, especially when clean!!!
It gave good MPG at 50-70 mph, but was a bit poor in town, but a very heavy car does not do it justice. Cornered very well in the dry, but rain and snow were not it's friend. I had many a scary time going 15-20 mph in the rain and the back end sliding out, in town traffic.
After about 8 months of owning the car, things started to go wrong. Oil. On startup from cold, a huge plume of smoke would billow from the exhaust. I found out the piston rings had gone. I got a quote from Ford for a new head gasket kit, seals, rings, everything I would need. I found the price of £1000 (which included 10 head bolts at a tenner each) a bit on the high side.
I had no choice but to continue to use the car and watch it go wrong even more. Driver side spring broke, rear boot struts failed, temperature guage fluctuated when I pressed the accelerator (huh?) and a lovely tappety sound fron the engine to let me know she was going down the hill.
I cried (yes, a man crying over his car!) when I swapped it!!! I do miss the Probe a great deal, and would have no hesitation to get one again, however, if I do get the chance, I would want it to have a full overhaul before I get it.
I bought my Probe 2.0 in June 1999, three years ago. It's a M reg (1995) and black. I guess my biggest criticism is its performance or lack of it. From traffic light it is incredibly leisurely and cars often beat it that have much smaller engines. In 4th and 5th gears the performance is better and on motorways where with a bit of effort it can keep up with most cars if asked to do so. It is economical, around town it returns 30mpg. On a longer run on the motorway at 70/80mph it rises to around 38. I have had low 40s out of it on long journeys when using cruise control most of the time. Driving the car is really easy, the power steering does not get too light at high speeds, visibility is good, rear mirrors are large, clutch and brake paddles are light, I often drive the car without shoes. It's not a car that likes to corner fast and roles on tight bends. It does not look it but it is a big car. Parking can be a little tricky as the rear tailgate glass area although large is quite high and the sides of the car are rounded so you can not see the curb in the door mirrors. Having said that in three years I have not scratched the car so it can not be to bad. The doors are very large and this can cause problems when getting in and out of the car in parking spaces. If you have the room to open the door fully getting in and out of the front of the car is easy and even the rear seats are comfortable although there is no leg room in the back. The tailgate opens really high and being 5.2ft unless I am wearing high heels I need to stretch to close it, (especially if I am not wearing shoes). It also needs to be slammed to shut it. The boot is massive and can carry furniture, rubbish to the dump and Christmas trees although it has a large lip, which unless you are carrying flat items is not a great problem Because there is so much glass the car can get very hot in summer and mists up quickly. In bad weather the headl
ight can get very dirty very quickly reducing their effectiveness. The car has proved very reliable, it starts first time in all weathers and apart for replacement gas struts on the tailgate has required no parts except for tyres that cost £85 each and front brakes £60. Servicing once a year at Ford's cost about £90 and a major service that included a timing chain cost £385. It uses no water or oil in between services. Inside the car the equipment levels are good, everything still works and there is no signs of rips in the seats or carpet. On the outside the car has kept its shine and shows no signs of rust. I got two set of keys and fobs to disable the immobilises one of which got damaged. As I do not have a number supplied to the first owner when the car was new (who has moved to S.Africa) I can not get a replacement key or fob. I am now thinking about trading it in. Ford Cougar, MGF and MR2 are on my lists of possibilities, all have cheaper insurance ratings then the Probe (although the insurance came down a little this year). However I am in no hurry to say good bye to it and unless I get a really good deal the Probe will probably stay.
Ford Probe GT: Underated for its absolute ability to make you want to drive it. I will tell you right off the bat that my car has several options on it that are hard to find all in one probe; manual trans,leather,CD,digital equalizer for the sound system and moonroof as well as the modifications I've put in the engine. This car is sooo fun to drive and it has a relatively powerful engine. It started with 160hp and the gear ratio setup for the GT model is very well engineered. Acceleration is amazing for having only a 2.5 litre V6. I have clocked the 0-60mph and lets just say that with a 5 second run I was greatly surprised(although this is with several modifications, including turbocharge). Gas mileage is somewhat average as I like to push the car a lot, but I find myself getting great mileage on freeways. Cornering and all-around stability is good, however, this is because of a rather stiff suspension that really lets you feel the road(bumps included). The last thing I'd like to say about Ford's probe is that among the american made cars, this car is quite easy to add high performance parts to(although this is due to the fact that most parts in the engine are Mazda-made).
The 2.5 is the one that gets the plaudits, I've got the 2.0litre which suits me but I offer my opinions for anyone weighing up both. The 2.0 litre looks similar but lacks the skirt kit and has naff 3 spoke wheels, I've upgraded to the 2.5 wheels but watch the tyre prices, anything from £75-£180 each! The wheels are prone to lacquer flake due to porous metal so check carefully around the wheel centres and rim edge. Interior spec is excellent, lots of gizmos such as two stage locks, drivers side then passenger (US design to deter traffic light thefts) Wiring loom is Mexican and looks like a trainee Aztec has been unearthed to do it, very sloppy. Mudflaps tend to come adrift a bit too easily. Corrosion resistance looks average to poor, I've waxoyled mine as it exhibits rust levels similar to a 12 year old VW though it's only half it's age, nothing bad if you get it early enough. Back hand brake mechs are prone to seizing apparently but waxoyling may have saved me from this one. The worse niggle is the distributor which can be similarly afflicted to the 2.5 l model. There are kits for the 2.5l but not the 2.0l so the friendly Ford garage will know all about fixing this for approx. £800 (new distributor, no components available separately), ouch!. Ford denies there is a general problem though everybody seems to know this is a design fault associated with the immobiliser. Acceleration and power are well short of the 2.5l though economy is better, still don't expect anything over 30MPG even if you nurse it. It's a big car and probably underpowered, a Vectra or Mondeo of 1800 and over will eat it and you'll scrub a lot off the £160 a time tyres trying to get away quickly.
Although an older Ford, the Probe still manages to carry itself against the more modern sports coupes available on the market. Usurped by the Cougar the Probe is a not often sighted car but if you are in the market for a more affordable fast sports coupe read on: The Car My 2.5 litre V6 is the 95 model, in black, it looks great…from a distance, the biggest problem with the Probes being the paint used. Unfortunately the paint jobs are not the most sturdy and prone to chipping and scratches check the finish very carefully, find a good one and you are laughing. Black suffers from this the most followed by the metallic blue. Go for silver if you can. The wheels are alloy 5 spoke. The 2.0 litre version gets 3 spoke alloys that have been likened to looking at the top of a walnut whip, not the most attractive feature. The visibility all round is fantastic as there are no rear quarter posts. The windscreen is very prone to stone chips though and it is rare to find a probe that hasn’t had the windscreen replaced. On earlier models this is not too much of a problem but on later models a heated front screen was fitted so make sure the replacement is heated also. The doors on this vehicle are massive and when in tight parking spots it can be difficult climbing in and out of this car. A friend of mine reckons it is the most awkward car to get into and he drives an MR2! The rear tailgate is very heavy and the gas struts have to cope with a lot of strain expect to replace these, and probably find out they need replacing when the lid hits you on the back of the head…ouch! Lifting the tailgate reveals a boot large enough to house a family of four and their dog! Whatever you want to carry this car will haul. With the rear seats folded down you could almost move house. The car has some excellent touches such as moving the door handle triggers the lock to illuminate and the ignition key h
ole to light allowing easy insertion of the key in the dark. Interior The interior is sumptuous leather although for some reason Ford chose to use a light grey finish. Although this provides and airier feel to the cabin it can start to look shoddy in cars with a higher mileage. The dashboard is clearly laid out and illumination superb. All the switches are in the right place and easy to reach. A very nice touch being the Japanese designed air flow, instead of a clunky knob to turn to redirect airflow, or a lever to slide you simply select the desired airflow from an array of buttons. Why more manufacturers have not gone down this road is beyond me as they not only provide the functionality required but look superb as well. The only downside to the Japanese influence is the reversal of the indicator and windscreen stalks compared to European designed cars. The seats are very comfortable and supportive with the drivers side having any number of lumbar and bolster combinations to hug any shape. The rear seat is also comfortable but legroom is at a minimum and if the driver is any taller than about 5 foot there is no legroom at all. Mechanics At the business end, lifting the bonnet reveals the Mazda designed V6 levered in with hot spoons. Mazda I hear you say, well this car is based on the Mazda MX6. There is no room to work on anything. Checking the oil, water, and windscreen washer fluid is easy but for anything else plan to spend some time. The V6 provides a fantastic response although the accelerator is somewhat heavy, along with the clutch meaning that you can have a full workout in heavy traffic. Figures for this car state a 0- 60 mph in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 137 mph. A Bosch immobiliser is fitted by Ford as standard. This cannot be removed so bear this in mind when fitting a third party alarm immobiliser you will end up with 2 key-pads. The engine management computer can
be wired to think the immobiliser is still there but I have found nobody who can do this and Ford do not recommend it. Please note make sure the distributor/immobiliser have had the repair noted in Ford technical bulletin 124/2000 dated 12-10-2000. These cars suffer from a fault especially the 93 to 95 models whereby the car will cut out losing power steering and braking. This is due to the distributor ignitor module failing. This causes the distributor to draw too high a current causing cooking of the soldered joints in the immobiliser if left too long. The bulletin mentioned above lists the repair required at the Ford dealer. The V6 does tend to drink oil and excess smoke reveals that new valve seals are required. This is so common on these vehicles that I do not think I have seen one on the road that does not smoke a little. If you are prepared to check the oil regularly and keep it topped up this will have no ill effect whatsoever. Check the ignition leads very carefully to ensure their heat guards are intact. The close proximity with the rocker cover means they are prone to scorching and you cannot just nip to Halfords for a replacement set these are very specific leads available from Ford or Ford supplied stores. Driving Starting the car produces that satisfying deep V6 grunt and driving this car is an absolute pleasure. For toddling round town the car is light on the steering, provides great visibility, and a dream to park alas as I mentioned earlier the clutch is fairly heavy. It is on the open road that this car comes into its own; punching the accelerator pedal shoots the car forward with a more than impressive acceleration. The thick tyres, 225/50 by 16, hold the road like glue and the car corners superbly with very little body roll. If you can get the back to slide out you are a maniac!!! Long journeys are a dream set the cruise control on the motorway and just point the Probe where you want to go.
There is very little tyre and wind noise and the factory fit speakers provide a decent sound. The air conditioning keeps you cool on those hot summer days. Petrol consumption is not the lowest in the land but at 70mph I can get a fairly decent 23 to the gallon that is not the worst for an engine and car of this size. Servicing costs safe reasonable and the insurance fairly cheap. (Younger drivers get a quote first!) Conclusion For someone who loves that sports car feel but needs a boot big enough to carry a house this is the car for you. Fast responsive with sleek good looks. Take the usual precautions when buying though, get the car inspected by the AA or some other equivalent and an HPI check for finance is definitely a must. Driving this car is great fun and very involving the steering provides nice feedback and the ride is smoother than a cashmere codpiece (thanks to Black Adder there). For some really useful information visit the ford Probe owners site www.fordprobe.co.uk the guys here are really helpful, they provided the technical bulletin number for the fault mentioned. Overall if you have around 3500 to 4500 and want a bigger fast car then the Probe is the one for you, either that or you could have a 1.0 Saxo..the choice is yours! Update 6th June 2001 Well I finally traded in the Probe against an MX5 and can you believe after about 18 months I got back on trade in exactly what I paid for the car £3,500. There are not many cars on the market that you can do that with. My total motoring costs with this car can be no more than about 250 excluding insurance