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Ford Ranger Starting Problems



  • Have a 2003 4L V6 Automatic with new battery that won't hold a charge. Truck has been in storage for the last couple years, but it was started and made a few short trips while being stored. The alarm system is what killed the old battery but it is now disarmed. I've recharged the new battery and can go about a day and a half without losing enough power for it not to click the solenoid but not start. The alternator will charge the battery. Any idea what might be drawing down the battery?
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Wild guess ??? Bad ignition switch????
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Is this an aftermarket security system? If so, 'disarming' doesn't take it out of the system. I would try to totally remove it.

    Problems like this is why I would never install an aftermarket security system or remote start. Their components and/or crappy connections break down and cause lots of problems as time goes by....
  • No, It was installed when the vehicle was new. I've charged the battery and have pulled the fuses for the alarm to see if that makes any difference. I've also found where all the wires on the security system lead to except the door unlock. Any ideas?

    I also agree not to instal a security sytem. I've had two vehicles with them and had nothing but trouble with them. Never again.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Was it a factory install or dealer install? Dealer install is just as bad as getting one at the local electronics or sound store.

    Otherwise, you are going to have to go into the 'usual' search for a power drain.

    Get a ampmeter that can handle 2 or 3 or more amps. Pull a fuse and put the ampmeter across the fuse contacts until you find the circuit that is pulling a big amp load. This just narrows the problem down to one circuit.

    Or get a Test Lamp that can also handle a couple of amps thru it. Pull one cable from the battery and wire the test lamp in series from the loose cable to the battery. The lamp should light up. Start pulling fuses until the light goes out, or dims down a lot. Again this just narrows the problem down to a circuit.

    To do further testing may just be guesswork of unplugging various things in this questionable circuit. Looking for pinched wires, etc.

    Finding what is draining a battery can be one of the toughest problems in a car. In may cases, a factory shop manual with wiring schemetic will be necessary.

    A tech that is a 'mechanic' and knows little about electronics may not be able to do this.

    P.S. If you have a sticking relay, the above testing may not work. Removing the power to a stuck relay, when you pull a fuse or remove battery cable, might cause it to reset correctly and then you will not be able to see the drain on a meter.

    Good luck. Finding a power drain is tough. I had a Caddy that would kill a battery in 2 days. Dealer did find it - replaced the radio/cassette/CD player. This probably was a thousand dollar part. Happy it was under warranty.
  • Thanks, great info. The alarm is a ford vehicle alarm but installed by the dealer. I had pulled all the fuses and looked for arching across the positive terminal on the battery. That didn't reveal anything so I've pulled the fuses on the alarm and left it hooked to the battery to see if I get the same drain. Thanks again for the help.

    P.S. Any idea where to find a wiring diagram for a 2003 Ford Ranger. I'm thinking of yanking the security system.
  • bmppmffbmppmff Posts: 1
    My 05 ranger shut off yesterday while at idle. It sputtered and shut off. It will not turns over but won't start at all. No warning lights have come on prior to that and I have had no other problems til now. What else can I do??
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    If the it's dealer installed, I consider it aftermarket. Probably still junk. Failed components inside the 'box/es' could be causing the problems. Cutting into wiring and and/or using the cheep clamp on connectors will cause future problems.
  • blueroachblueroach Posts: 1
    I had the same problem with my truck. Check the timing belt..
  • Thanks for all the help. I removed the security system and haven't had any problems. Your advice on the Alarm system was spot on.
  • ronz1ronz1 Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 Ranger XLT 2wd - new problem: sometimes I can't turn the key in the ignition - it's stuck until you jiggle the steering wheel. I don't want to wait until it gets permanently stuck off and needs to be drilled--- So, is there any alternative to taking it to a Ford Dealer to get the lock cylinder replaced ? I also don''t want to end up with 2 different keys - one for the ignition and one for the doors. This seems to be a Ford problem-same thing happend on my Villager and the dealer wanted $400 to fix it. Any ideas ?
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Fords are long known for doing this. My 91 SHO did this.
  • arnieboy1arnieboy1 Posts: 1
    i drove my truck to store, tried to start 3min later cranked like it wanted to start but didn't check for spark good checked fuel at in injectors good ??????
  • loqutusloqutus Posts: 1
    Similar to Arnieboy1, I stopped off at a store and when I turned the key to go home, all I got was a hard click. The engine would not even turn over. I turned the lights on, but even they did not dim after the click. No power to what?
  • yachtmanyachtman Posts: 1
    where is the starter relay located on a 98 ranger. i was told passenger side firewall searched for hours and didnt find a thing
  • loosenutloosenut Posts: 165
    wow!lots of peep's with old ford troubles..whodathunkit??
    if yiu turn the key,and nuthin happens,think solenoid..find the positive terminal on the battery,usually the red one,and follow it the six/ten inches to a round box bolted to the fender..take a jumper wire from the battery side to the little wire terminal,and this should make the starter work--if it's a stick-make shure it's in neutral-as you're bypassing all the idioit switches,and it WILL run over you!!..if the solenoid's ok,trace down the safety switch on the clutch pedal..or,the starter..
    to the guy with nuthing comes on,it's probably a fuseable link..these are the main power feeds located back at the solenoid,with a smaller wire in them,and should you short something,the wire is thin enough to burn through-like a fuse,before your wiring system does a "china syndrome" meltdown..get a circut testewr,and probe through the insulation-going more than a foot away from the connection at the solenoid..on gm's,it's down at the starter..wher the bater wire isfind a pattern here?/
    --a real primitive method for checking out a fuseable link-is to pull LIGHTLY on the wire..if the wire is good,that's not where the break is,but if it is,then all you will be pulling apart is the plastic insulation..
    be shure to replace with another fuseable link,but-to get home,you could strip it past the break,and make the connection..rember this is the last thing protecting your wires from the battery..a short WILL melt wires-think "cigarett lighter"..?!
    i've also had a "no start-will crank,but not run" situation,and altho i was getting a spark out of the coil,it wasn't hot enough!..replaced coil,and HAPPY MOTORING!!
    good luck! :shades:
  • loosenutloosenut Posts: 165
    follow the force,luke(rofl)..seriously,find the positive cable on the battery,and follow it!'s less than 1 foot from battery,two big brass bolts,with cables bolted to or two small wires,this activates the solenoid(the other big wire-it goes down to the starter..if you "jump" the little wire to the battery terminal,the starter WILL engauge-if it's working,so if it's a stick shift-put it in neutral,and set the will be ok..if you jump the solenoid,and don't hear a heavy click,or the starter engauge,replace the solenoid..if you DO hear the click,but not the starter,replace starter..
    good luck!
  • cntry60cntry60 Posts: 1
    It has a new solenoid and it wont start. You can try to jump the solenoid between the bolts and all it will do is the enterior lights come on. You can push start it and it`s fine. But if you shut it off you have to push it to start it. Give a guy some advice and thank you.
  • I have a 92 ranger 4x2 that i had got from my brother that had the same problem that i am having with it it wont start for the 8 months that i have had it there has been problems starting it i could pop the clutch on it and it would start but now it wont even do that a mechanic friend of ours said that it is an electric prob i put a spark tester on it and on the left hand side of plugs i could get it to blink the whole time i was turning it over but on the right hand side would only blink once when i tried to start it then wouldnt blink again i have asked alot of diff peps what it could be some say the crank sensor some say the fuel pump it cranks over like it wants to start just wont start when it went out on me i was on my way home it cut out just like the cruise control went off but then i hit the gas pedal and nothing so i pushed in the clutch and it died so i put it in 5th gear and it pop started again but still nothing from the gas pedal so i pushed in the clutch again and it died again this went on for a time or 2 more thank god i was less then 1/4 mile from my town pulled it into a strip mall and let it sit went back 2 or 3 days later wouldnt start so i was gonna tow it back to my house pushed it back outta the parking spot and the wife tried it and it started anyone got any suggestions on what to try next
  • loosenutloosenut Posts: 165
    if your near a auto zone-there EVERYWHERE here in ohio,or most auto parts places,and have them hook up their computer to your truck's saves the TROUBLE CODES..and will give you a better idea of where to start than my guesses..if it's not starting with the starter,try starting by fixing that..and going from there..that isn't as hard as push starting it..
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