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I have a 1987 Ford Tempo (automatic)… my car is very unraliable due to the fact that it randomly stalls out whenever it feels like it… sometimes… at a stop sign… sometimes in a parking lot… but most of the time… right when i start it up… if i dont gas it immideatly (or enugh) she stalls instantly and then will not start again, unless Jumped by another car… it will almost always start if jumped after a stall out… this happenes randomly… sometimes it will run great for a week… then stall when i start it… sometimes it will run for 2 days b4 next occurance … sometimes it will do it everytime i start my car… ive taken it to the shop a few times… and natrually… everyhting is fine on that day and it wont do it for them… so they have no idea whats wrong…— a frined of mine said his ex-girlfriend had a similar car with a simalar problem and it turned out to be a temputure gauge (i think) ? does this sound like it could be the problem… i have a “parts” car and could easly change temp gauge… but wondering if anyone has any other ideas!

Your temperature gauge has nothing to do with stalling.
A defective temperature sensor is one of the myriad of possibilities, but the temperature gauge is not part of the problem.

In order to give us some basis for trying to help you, you need to help us by supplying some additional information, such as:

Current odometer mileage?
Is the Check Engine Light illuminated?
Date & odometer mileage when you last replaced spark plugs, plug wires, air filter, and fuel filter?

My Dad had an 86 or 87 Tempo a long time ago. If I recall, the Tempo had an inertial fuel pump switch switch that would shut off the pump in the event of a collision. The switch on his Tempo was a bit flaky and was shutting off the engine randomly.

I believe the switch reset button was either inside the glove compartment or accessible through a hole in the right front kick panel.

Beside all the other things VDC mentioned, how old is the battery and what is its state of charge?

Ed B.

You really need to define the no-start a bit more as that info could really help in trying to narrow this down.

Stall and no-start with no dashboard warning lights or any click sound from the starter solenoid? If so, possibly a faulty ignition switch or corroded fusible link end. (at the starter solenoid)

Stalling followed by cranking and not starting could be the ignition switch or the ignition module. Your car is one of those TFI cars that are prone to module failures. Any module tests are generally pointless as they may test fine and still be faulty. This is one of those replace and hope repairs and considering the TFI history it’s a good place to start.

The temp gauge is not the cause. Likely what happened with the girlfriend’s car is that it was hot weather, the engine temp was higher than normal, and the ignition module shut down.
Heat is what does them in.

Temp gauge can do this by not getting the cold start cycle(ie extra fuel) going when cranking a cold engine. That is the Air temp not the coolant sensor.

"Heat is what does them in."
Well , that and being a 23 yr old Tempo with who knows how many miles on it. The 80’s Tempos were not know for longevity.