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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • Does it happen only under heavy load, acceleration, or grades? Do you have an extended cab? Does premium fuel lessen the problem?
  • Yes, this is a extended cab. It happens only upon acceleration, and only when in gear. I can put the truck in neutral at 70mph and no banging, it was pinging also but after 4 months of phone calls and letters to FORD they have clean the valves and it's not pinging any more. As for as this noise goes the Manager at the local FORD dealership told me it was my tire that is making noise. I felt like punching the guy but.....
    I should mention that back in July they also tried to fix the problem by re building the transmission. I really think they don't know what the problem is, or just don't want to fix it. I am so sick and tired of this truck it gives me headache every time I drive it.
  • Fellow ranger owners:

    This august I purchased a 2001 4x4 4.0L 5sp auto 4door ranger. I like it overall except for annoying sounds/rattles:

    My engine has knock/rap/ping when accelerating hard (see messages 241-243). Had a Ford shop foreman test drive it. We then drove a new 2002 same model ranger and it had the same noise. I also drove my friend's ranger with the same engine. his too has this characteristic noise. dealer said to drive it - he didn't think it was a problem.

    There is a loud noise in the headliner in the area of the passenger sun visor. sounds like crackling glue.

    There is a noise in the drivers door that sounds like something metal hitting the glass of the window. (when window is closed)

    The worst noise is coming from below or behind the cab and somewhere along the drivetrain. It sounds like a metallic pinging/ringing and is evident at speeds of 45mph and higher. Real annoying on the highway. Its going back to the dealer for a second try at fixing it.

    There was also a rattle from the glovebox - maybe a hinge/bracket or something.

    Anyone else heard these?
  • longboarder,

    let us know what you find, I'm looking for the noise you mention behind the cab, but only when the left side hits a bump. I found both the cables on the tailgate rattle when you hit a bump, inside mine is very quiet. I do however have the engine noise under acceleration. I don't think it will hurt anything. If it does before 36K its Ford's problem. Again, let us know if you find the under body noise.
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    i too have an '01 ranger 4x4 supercab 4 door off-road 4.0 auto. i too have the little cable banging on something noise from the glovebox. but your rattle on the driver's side door, i just figured mine out today. you know the little lever you pull down to adjust the shoulder part of the seat belt? you know, the lower or raise part? that little black lever is not on there tight and it is making noise, a very minute and fine one, but i narrowed it down today on mine. i hate rattles, but there is no way that you can build something like a truck, and have NO rattles at all. those are the only two i have. i too have the engine sounds from hard acceleration, but its natural for that engine. my '97 explorer did it too, and my parents '99 explorer does it. dont you love how it feels like a turbo kicking in when you floor it at around 60 mph? amazingly fast for a little truck. again, let me know about your rattles if they find them. hope i helped you out.
  • jackkajackka Posts: 25
    I'm considering replacing my '89 Toyota with a new Ranger equipped with 2WD, 4.0L, manual tranny.

    Reliability is my main concern.

    Will it be as reliable and maintenance free as my Toyota was.

    No anti-toyota lectures, please; your candid observations about the Ranger will be much appreciated.
  • ...before purchase. That way you'll know if anything is out of wack, like highway vibrations, noises, or other mechanical problems. Turn the radio off, only test it in the parking lot... :) and keep your ears and senses open.

    Rangers can last a good long time, given proper care. My 93 is still ticking away. Regular cab with 2.3l 4cylinder, and A4LD 4 speed automatic. I have 138 thousand miles, and the drivetrain is still under warranty... But that's because I use zmax. I have never had to take the valve cover off for maintenance or repair, and still get over 21 MPG in the city(slightly more if I remove the A/C belt during winter). I had this truck since I was 16, so you know it's seen it's share of abuse. I did replace the auto trans at about 115 thousand miles, but that's what you get for drop shifting it at 4000 RPM to do burn outs at the high school parking lot. Plus I never changed the trans filter till afterwards. Only other things replaced were was the Radiator waterpump and thermostat at about 125 thousand miles. Original alternator still powers my 650watt stereo system(I did upgrade battery to 1045 CCA). But I still get 5 quarts out with each oil change (no oil burning, rings still good) and still feel motivated to wax it because it's held up great over the years.

    To sum up: Ford makes some of the toughest trucks around. As I've matured and been through a few mechanic jobs I know what to do to keep it running pretty much like it's new. And it's soo nice not having car payments for the past 4 years. Just be picky when buying, and do all you can preventative maintenance wise and you'll have a loyal dependable truck.
  • kbf2kbf2 Posts: 1
    Drove me crazy. Tracked it down to a sticking lock which would ride up when the cab flexed and suddenly snap back into position producing the metallic noise. Lots of lubrication tried but the cure for me was to clean lock well and pack the lock with lithium white grease. Do not use WD-40 in the winter- it freezes! No reoccurances in 2.5 years. I put it down to close tolerances in the new lock. My passenger door also did the same to a lesser degree. Windy days also increased the noise frequency as the cab was buffeted by winds more and so the cab flexed more.
  • Thanks for your resopnses. Picked my Ranger up from the dealer on Saturday and both the drive train ping and the door noise are still present. They fixed the headliner...but it came back after about 10 miles of driving, so I'm back to square one. I'll try out some of your suggestions.
  • Earlier I posted a heater problem........ heat stays on high and cannot be adjusted.
    The local Ford dealer diagnosed it as a Blend Door problem ($75 to find this out), and tells me it will cost $625 to replace the Blend Door because the entire dash has to be dismantled. I am quaking at the thought of all the problems these guys will introduce by dismantling my truck.
    Ever hear of this problem?? Any tips?? I am trying to find out more about it or hope that God makes it start working again.
    Oh yeah....... Merry Christmas!!!!
  • In February of this year I purchased a 1999 Ranger XLT extended cab with a manual transmission. I loved the look of the truck and bought it even though the shifting seemed a bit "notchy" in the lower gears when I went for a test drive. I thought that it would just take awhile to get used to the new shifting mechanism and the RPMs required to synchronize, but it is now December and I'm still having troubles getting the truck into the lower gears. I have always driven Ford manual transmission vehicles (1965 Mustang and 1988 Bronco II) and it has never taken me this long to get the shifting down. The Mazda dealer suggested that I put in a high-performance transmission fluid, but the Ford dealer refused and said it would not help anything and that there was absoutely nothing wrong with the truck, even though they only drove the thing around. I don't know who to trust on this and thought that maybe you guys could give me some advice. This is my first almost new car and it is still under warranty. The Ford folks will not do more than drive it - is that normal since taking out the transmission is such an undertaking?
  • I found a lot of info on the Internet with regard to Ford Blend Door problems. Long-standing problem with an improved part designed in 97-98.
    I called Ford Customer Service and pleaded my case and asked for help in paying for the repair. (truck is out of warranty).
    The next day they agreed to pay half of the repair. Not bad and I thought it was pretty fair.
    Mileage on my 6cyl 3.0 is 20 in Summer and 18 in Winter.
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    Since its a modern transmission and it's synchronized. I had a problem like that with my 95, though I dont know how similar it is to yours. I was sometimes locked out of 1st and reverse, and when they did work it was quite difficult to get it into gear without grinding or stripping a bit. Solution: was low on clutch fluid. Have you checked that?
  • Can anyone suggest what key items to check out on a used 99 Ranger XLT 3.0? A check of the history on line came back spotless, makes me wonder. It has nearly 64,000 miles, a lot but it looks well kept. Tires seem evenly worn, but well worn. Can I trust a dealer not to swap out tires? It had a little shake in the steering accelerating between 60 to 70. Dealership salesman says it's sat for a while(45 days)and perhaps the tires have a flat spot that will work itself out. Is a shimmy in the front end a typical Ranger feel. Note, I've never owned a truck, is it just a rougher ride then my 94 Escort GT? I'm listening to you Ranger owners out there, speak up.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i have a 2000 ranger, and i have no shimmy. i feel the air conditioner compressor come on, through vibrations in the steering wheel, now and then but i never have a shimmy where the vehicle is actually vibrating.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    ...with Firestone F480 tires has been about impossible to align and/or balance to eliminate all the shimmy, shake, bounce.

    So, it could be tire problems, especially if they are orginial with 60,000+ miles. New tires, balance, alignment might solve this problem.

    I don't know of any other problem with this year, except the long standing 3L pinging problems.

    There have been lots of problems with chimes and various warnings not stopping when the doors are closed because the 'door open' switches are bad. And these switches are inside the doors, not in the jam. I think these might have been fixed by 1999.

    With extended cabs, there sometimes are problems with the split driveshaft and the center bearing. I've haven't had this problem. This can also feel like tire balance problems sometimes.

    The 3L pinging problem - goes back 10 years or so. Many, many 3L ping, and nothing can be done about it. There is a TSB and dealers can change out the 'coil pack', not sure what years might be effected by this. One trick I've heard dealers will do on a used truck is fill it up with premium so it will not ping on your test drives. Running mid or premium grade is about the only solution to the ping. So, you might think about either living with ping, or buying higher grade gasoline in a motor that should run on regular grade.

    Other than these issues, I think the 3L, and Ranger is a great truck. And, it of course is a truck and will not run like a car. And gas milage will suck.

    At 60,000+ miles, I would replace the plugs, wires, fuel filter, air filter, transmission fluid, antifreeze (unless you have receipts this has been done already). You should then be ready for another 40,000 miles...

    For my 94, a 4L, 'I Love My Truck'!
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    my dad has an '88 2.3 with 4x4. it has 195,000 miles on it. runs great. no engine work at all. just oil changes. it hauls wood all the time. 4x4 still works perfect. a little rusty, but blame that on iowa winters.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    ..if you want a reliable, low-maintenance ride for a HIGH MILE holding period. A Ranger is no real comparison to a Taco for reliability..sepecially if you're talking 4 bangers. The Toyo 4 cyl. is the most bulletproof small truck motor around. I have a Ranger with the pushrod 4.0. It is a decent truck, but a Toyota it isn't by a LONG shot (and, it was 4000 bucks cheaper which was why I bought it. So I didn't EXPECT it to be the same quality as a Taco, and it isn't. A BIG mistake NOT paying up for the Taco, IMHO). These trucks are aimed at different types of buyers, I think. Whatever you do AVOID the 3.0 liter "pinger" snap, crackle pop motor in the Ranger. Either get the 2.3 or the OHC 4.0. If you get the 4.0 just be prepared for 16 to 17 mpg. Good luck. Both the Ranger and Taco are good trucks. The Taco simply has the edge in engine reliability, smoothness and refinement. And, the Taco will also have a higher resale value (as I am finding out trying to sell my 2000 Ranger...I am gettting KILLED on depreciation).
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    are your claims frey. where are the facts that back up what you say? 200K on a stock 2.3 with still stock clutch is pretty "reliable" if you ask me, especially if those are on a 4x4 2.3, like my pop's. and if you look in the manual, or go to any ford service tech., the knocking is NORMAL on the 3 and 4 liter engines, and causes no damage. also, who does ford aim to sell a 4x4 to that toyota doesn't? people who want a more powerful engine? more standard features? if you check the 2001 kbb prices for retail value, the ranger is more than tacoma. loaded up im talking. and what do you expect trying to sell a 2000 ranger so soon. you're gonna lose your [non-permissible content removed] unless you aren't very motivated and don't really have to sell. ALWAYS try and get your payoff. there are a lot of deciding factors on resale value- miles, condition, features and options. you just can't say the things you did without some facts to back them up.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    my truck was making some "hot" smells and so i checked my fluids and realized that my tranny fluid was low. i filled it to where its supposed to be...but could i have done damage to it by driving it with it low?
    the dealership, i thought, would have maintained it, and so i checked the oil and steering fluid, and i smelled the tranny fluid but didnt check the level since it shifted fine. any thoughts? i am used to a stick and this crap is a little annoying.
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