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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • tuneman62tuneman62 Posts: 1
    I have a '96 Ranger 4X4. I've noticed a roaring noise (sounds like a tire on pavement) when turning to left only. I inspected the tires and moved them all around but it didn't stop. Is there anything else I might check???
  • so here is my problem, i have a 2001 ranger 4.0 4x4 and my check engine like came on. well what happens is when my engine is idling, it revs to 1000 rpms then back to 500 rpm and it keeps repeating that, it doesnt do it when i drive just when im stopped, what is wrong
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Idle Air Control valve.

    It might be cleaned. On older 4L, it's a silver and black cylinder on left side of motor on upper intake, about middle of the motor. It has wires into it.

    Remove bolts, careful with the gasket under it. It's a mechanical valve (for air bleeding into intake) with an electric solnoid on the other end.

    The valve gets carboned up. It can be CAREFULLY cleaned with carb cleaner. DO NOT GET CARB CLEANER INTO THE electrical end, it will eat the windings up.

    If it cannot be cleaned, a new one can be bought aftermarket.

    I would also check the throttle valve to see if it is sticking.

    Also clean the MAF sensor. It is in the big black tube that goes between the air cleaner and the intake. Takes a special tool to remove the screws, or vicegrips. CAREFULLY clean with ELECTRICAL cleaner - the very fine wires inside the MAF sensor. Do not use q-tip or such, the wire/s is very fine and you may break them.

    Also, the older 4L (156HP) needs the lower intake bolts tighten occassionally, this causes pinging and oil usage.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    You have battery, battery cables, starter solnoid, and/or starter motor problems.

    Why allow this to go on so long? When it takes this many multiple 'trys' to crank the motor, you are just asking to be stranded somewhere.

    It's probably the solnoid. But could also be one or more of the others also.
  • bsmart1bsmart1 Posts: 377
    YES, this sensor is position sensitive! It needs to be mounted in the orientation prescribed to work properly. My guess has failed internally. Is the metal type or the black plastic type? The metal ones tend to fail and FORD came up with an 'improved' version made of plastic. This is what it took to fix my 2000 Ranger.
  • rangerograngerog Posts: 1
    i also had this problem. when i took off the idle air control valve, it didn't have a gasket between it and the housing. inside there is a spring and it was caked up with carbon. i used carb cleaner to get rid most of the carbon and got a small brush inside and got the rest. the spring was frozen in place. with the help of a large screw driver handle i gave it some whacks and freed it up. i sprayed some WD 40 on the spring and put it all back together and fried up the motor. it runs just like it use, very smooth. before this all started, i would hear a LOUD humming sound coming from under the hood. i couldn't figure out where it was coming from. at first, i thought it was near the air cleaner or the tube leading up to throtle friend told me it was the idle air control valve.from the dealer they cost $111.60, for the generic brand $50 to $89. this is in L.A.,CA
  • dona1speeddona1speed Posts: 1
    on these rangers there is a clutch safety switch where you have to push in the clutch to start it, there is a possibility that it is going bad also the ignition switch itself (on the column)may be out of alignment..
  • danf2danf2 Posts: 5
    I inserted my grease needle into the little hole on the front Universal Joint and enptied a whole small tube of grease into it. Looks like a bottonless pit. Whats with that?

    Also how do you lube the rear U joint? Don't see a hole for the rear joint.
  • mpwbwmpwbw Posts: 7
    I used to believe that crap too. Yes, owners do themselves in, but I had to write a response based on your comments (that were probably not meant harshly). I have a v6 4.0 liter extended cab Ranger 04'. It has highway miles (approx. 27,000) I have been feely some of the same complaints as the users posted.

    I have always driven trucks, never cars -- so I can attest to how trucks are supposed to run. My 1st pickup was a 97' Ranger regular cab purchased used a t 10,000 miles. Not a bad vehicle -- despite the small 4 cylinder. Age began taking its toll at 70,000 miles. All of a sudden I needed brake work, muffler work, tranny work (radiator had sprung a leak and mixed with the tranny fluid). I got rid of that to lease an 02' extended cab 4*2, which wasn't too bad of a truck. I had vibration in the leg area and tranny didn't shift right -- seemed to go through fluid, but leak was never detected. Even had the tranny fluid changed before turning it in at 36,000 miles. I was considering purchasing the vehicle. Now I'm glad I didn't. Now I drive a leased 04' 4*4 and my problems are worse. I intermittingly get a dead right leg due to the vehicle not having a smooth ride. I have had tranny problems again with fluid seems to disappear. I haven't had a leak, but shifting is harsh (and is getting worse). It seems stuck in first gear -- and it's an automatic. I heard of some users saying their is pressure loss in this vehicle and a replaced part for $900 will fix it. I, was thinking of buying this vehicle, but I don't think so. I had no idea there were this many problems with the Rangers, and how can they be so popular. I guess the old saying is true -- you get what you pay for. On the flip side one of the reasons I want to get rid of this is the gas mileage. My 02' got 20 mpg per highway. This gets 18.5 -- which doesn't seem too bad. No tonneau cover -- no excessive speeds or special gas. For maintaining highway speeds I expected a little more. I'm also have braking trouble. Shouldn't with low miles. Last, I have heard a thump when starting up. Can't quite put a finger on it. I think my 02' was like that, but not as frequent.
    Other than that, I don't know what I would get if I got rid of this. I like the look of the smaller trucks, and all the manufacturers are pumping out vehicles with problems now adays.
  • ed420ed420 Posts: 1
    ive got a v6 3.0 2wd ranger with the check engine light on. the codes it reads are p1443-manufacturer control auxiliary emission controls and p0401-egr flow insufficient.
    i've replaced the egr valve a couple months ago and it still reads them codes.
    also.. i have to wait for the check engine light to come on before the truck starts.. it cranks and everything.. it just wont start til that light comes on.. and sometimes it takes up to 10 minutes... any answers to this problem??
  • danf2danf2 Posts: 5
    I am replying to my own question because I want to see how this works, but I still don't know where all that grease went, or if I should keep squirting more into that little hole in my front U-Joint. Also I still don't know how to grease the rear U-Joint!
  • mpwbwmpwbw Posts: 7
    Two questions please:

    What exactly does the EGR sensor do? Mine is a lease and I'm possibly interested in purchasing the vehicle cause the miles are low 27,000 highway on an 04' 4*4 extended cab V6 4.0 liter.

    I too think I have a problem with the driveshaft. My complaints are to the "T" with other posts. It seems that I am stuck in 1st gear with an automatic. It is sporatically sluggish, and when I push the gas my foot gets tired -- the truck doesn't want to go.

    My previous truck was an 02' 4*2 that had the same problem, but I didn't know what I now know, and I got rid of it. Both trucks were taken to the dealer -- I was complaining of tranny fluid loss, but a leak was never discovered. Then with this one the dipstick on a couple of occasions was nearly dry. I added some Mercon fluid, but when I took it back to the dealer they said it was overflowed. They took some out. I even had a tranny flush because in the process Ford had put a dye in the fluid to see if they could spot a problem. They said it wouldn't hurt the vehicle. I then got a recall notice from Ford saying that my vehicle had the wrong mixture from the factory and an additive was added. All in all do you think all my tranny problems are related? What can cause me to lose fluid? It even seemed a little burnt, but I have always driven Rangers and my mechanic told me not to worry Ford's all run a little hot, and that is why regular maintenance is crucial -- esp. the tranny. Every 30,000 I should have faithfully replaced the filter and fluid. What do you think? Last, I too have experienced a thump when I start my vehicle. It does seem to come from the rear. What could this be? Thanks in advance.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Most UJoints from the factory are sealed and have NO grease zerks. Usually, only replacement UJoints have a grease zerk. And, one pump from a hand grease gun, two at the very most, is all a UJoint needs for grease. More, and you will probably blow the seal.

    If you have a 'hole', then a grease zerk has come out.

    But, I don't think any of the above discussion really pertains to you. I don't think you are dealing with a UJoint. I think you have found a hole on the front 'slip joint' of the drive shaft. It is a splined joint where the front of the driveshaft slides into the tailshaft of the transmission. And, this slip joint can hold a lot of grease. A lot may not be needed, because it will just move out of the slip joint and be slung up on the vehicle and down on the road. If this is what your are greasing, you can probably stop after putting a lot in it. You probably haven't hurt a slip joint, since it does not have a seal at the rear, and overfilling will just come out as I said.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    I hope I don't insult you, but I'm not sure you seem very knowledgable about what you are doing.

    First, are you checking the tranny fluid the way the manual says it is to be checked? Usually, this is after driving and warming the vehicle up, with the tranny in park and the motor idleing. Not cold or not hot after a lengthly drive in hot summer weather - both may give bad readings. But, some vehicles are checked with the motor off.

    If you did not check the fluid the correct way, the reading could be 'off' a great deal.

    If you are losing tranny fluid, the main 2 ways I know about are 1) A leak. You should see this. Or, 2) The vacumn modulator has a busted diaphram and tranny fluid is being sucked up its vacumn line and burned in the motor. This usually only happens on older vehicles. A vacumn modulator usually does not give much trouble.

    And, most important, this 2 year old truck with 27,000 miles is still under warranty. Why are you messing around with it? If you have tranny fluid loss, 'thumps', and 'stuck in 1st gear' - take it to a dealer, have all these problems documented on a warranty repair and make Ford fix them.

    I owned an older 4L, and have test driven the new OHC 4L, and by no means did these motors feel like it was 'stuck in first gear'. (Or, do you mean it will not up-shift to second? If so, you really need to have Ford work on it, this sounds like a tranny problem.)

    And, if it is having tranny problems, why would you even consider buying it at the end of the lease? Getting rid of a questionable vehicle is one of the better reason to have a lease in the first place.
  • ironman60ironman60 Posts: 1
    I have been having a very hard time also bleeding the clutch on a 96 ford ranger. With the cap off the master and the bleeder valve is opened how long should it take for slave to fill? Any suggestions?
  • 94hopes94hopes Posts: 2
    I have a 94 ranger with the 4.0. My therrmostat went, and I delayed in changing it(stupid). So, i was driving and i started to smell burning antifreeze. I pulled into a nearby gas station to put some in to get me home. When i open it the stuff that came out was rust colored. I put a jug in and went home. After changing the thermostat, and flushing the system, it still is running bad and i am getting a rediculous ammount of smoke from the exhaust, not to mention my loss of power. I have no idea what is wrong, and causing this. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  • mpwbwmpwbw Posts: 7
    You are absolutely correct. I got rid of my 02' because I felt there was something wrong. My 04' is experiencing the same type of problems.

    In response to not knowing how to check tranny fluid, I don't take offense, but I do know how to check it. I leave the vehicle on not on a cold start nor after a lengthy trip, and I pull the dip stick up. I also do not mess around with my vehicle. I took it into Ford three or four times in six months. They treated me fairly, but couldn't find a problem. As I said in my first post they added the dye to try and find if and where it was leaking. If it is not leaking then it is burning. However, it does not appear like it is burning, rather disappearing. You read the posts too. It could be a small fix, which would make the vehicle very nice to own. This isn't a bad vehicle -- just not a great one. Also, I test drove the two vehicles before I got them. Noone can tell when a vehicle has 6 miles on it how it will feel when it has 26,000. This is what a forum is about. People display their problems and others "help" or describe theirs. The problem with the vehicle in first gear is that it just literally started. The automatic won't upshift to second gear. I have an appointment with the dealer. I appreciate the feedback.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Are you saying you overheated the truck?

    If so, you possibly have a blown head gasket or cracked head. Either is pretty bad, with the cracked head much worse of course. Either might cause 'smoke', which is water/antifreeze getting into the cylinder and 'burning'.
  • bruce24bruce24 Posts: 3
    I have a 1996 Ranger extended cab with only 10k miles on it. While driving in the rain and using the wipers, all of a sudden they stopped working. In addition, I then noticed that the speedometer wasn't working and the dome lite wouldn't come on either.

    I stopped and checked all the fuses on the side of the dash board and all the fuses in the engine compartment and they are all GOOD. I thought I might have smelled burning wiresm but it soon went away and everything else works fine.

    I can't see the relationship between these things since they would be on different fuses. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to start?

  • abbyv3abbyv3 Posts: 1
    Help, please. My brother is working on our Dad's '89 Ford Ranger. They have replaced the head, which had tiny cracks in it, and it still won't start. Then he found some wire with the insulation gone and fixed that.

    He can't retrieve any codes out of the computer module. He has used a code scanner and a multi-meter. We know this is probably a silly question, but he would like to triple-check himself before any more money is spent on this vehicle. I'm assuming this means the computer module is bad. Is this correct?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

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