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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • Thanks for the info rickc5. I'll go back and clean the door switches with some PB Blaster. I heard that was a good product.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316's more a heavy-duty rust-buster.

    I don't know that I would use it for switch cleaning...
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I am not expert. However, ANY tranny trouble with the Ford automatic troubles must be followed-up within the warrantly period, or you're SOL. IMHO, that "clunk" you describe is similar to a phenomenon I get in my 00 Ranger (XLT 4x4, pushrod shaker motor 4.0) with the 5 speed auto: It will clunk pretty severely when going down a hill SLOWLY and TURNING at the same might be the rearend. {Are you convinced this is not an artifact of the differential's behavior, instead of the tranny ?} However, with my Ranger, it is not a "problem" as such, and never does it any other time. There are a number of Ranger trannies out there that are defective, however, or Ford would have never issued that extensive TSB in the first place. As I have said many times, I like 90% of my Ranger, but it is the 10% that I don't like that will prompt me to sell it this summer ands buy a new, shiny Tundra. At least that way, I'll get my quality Toyota dealer back and ditch this ludicrous "Blue Oval Dealer"..what a JOKE perpetrated upon humanity.
  • Frey44,

    Don't think it's the differential. if i kick it into neutral before full stop no clunk. definitely think its the trans. As i said still have warranty left, so i won't baby it for sure. a total failure is much better for Ford to deal with. Thank you for the input. I read where Tundras tend to shake?? My last Toyota was a corona s/w. Still going strong at 240K when we sold it. I think that was my favorite car.
  • Has about 6100 kilometers on it right now.

    Having problem with the RPM's. When l engage the clutch the RPM's keep rising, mostly doing it in 4th to 5th. Shifting at 2500, it will climb to 3000. Doesn't do it all the time. The dealer has it right now they are having problems finding out what is wrong with it. If anyone have any ideas or had this problem before could help would be very helpful.

    Also there is a whisseling noise coming from the rear-end, the dealer says that it needs to be worked in not sure that l believe then that been 1200 kilometers ago.

    There is also a loud noise coming from the engine into the cabin. They are trying to figure that one out too.

    If anyone can help it would be very helpful.
    my email address is
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Ask the service manager to drive you around in a new pickup with same engine and tranny. If you don't hear the noise, ask why it doesn't need to be 'worked in'.

    They are giving you the run-around. Very, very little on a vehicle gets quieter as it ages.
  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    I got this offanother forum some time ago and whenever someone has this problem I post it. its kind of long but it does work. I hope it helps.

    Having had the above problems, like several of you, I can offer some advice. I have seen numerous posts with possible fixes, which may or may not have been successful. Well, hopefully, the following information will help all of you in the future.
    First for some background. My drivers side failed which caused the dome light and the warning chime to remain on. This was fixed under warranty. A few days ago, the dome light was remaining on. Knowing what the culprit was and since the door chime wasn't going off, I knew it was the passenger side door. I first tried the standard fix...flooding the door latch with electrical contact cleaner. I'll take the time now to warn everyone, DO NOT USE WD-40. WD-40 has a tendency to gum up, when it dries, and causes problems with electronics (contacts). This did not solve the problem, so off I went to the Ford Parts counter. I purchased a replacement contact switch for $11.03 including tax. (Sorry, I don't have the part number handy but email me and I'll send it to you). The switch is nothing more then a pin switch which is activated by the latch hook when it rotates to the door open position. The switch is located on the bottom of the latch assembly inside of the door.
    Remove the door panel. My '95 required the removal of four screws. Two under the door pull, which is then removed by carefully prying the trim piece out of the locking tabs holding it onto the panel. One screw, holding the panel to the door, is exposed once the pull is removed and the fourth is located at the bottom of the panel (outside edge, carpeted area). Once the screws are removed, lift up the whole panel and remove it from the door. Next, carfully peel back the plastic vapor barrier, if you are careful and take your time it will peel back without tearing. Pull the barrier back far enough to provide adequate access to the door latch. Find the wire leading to the door latch. The wiring is attached to the infamous contact switch at the bottom of the latch. Remove the harness from the switch. It has a standard tabbed connector. Now grasp the switch and rotate it 90 degrees towards the outside of the door. The switch can now be removed from the bottom of the latch assembly.
    The latch as I said, is a simple pin switch. The plunger (contact pin) has a tendency to stick in the switch. This may be from the door latch lube running down into it and gumming it up. Anyway, it fails to extend and break the electrical contact, hence the dome light and/or chime doesn't cancel when the door closes.
    There are two courses of action once the switch is out. Clean the contact or replace it. Since I already had the new one I replaced it. However, after cleaning the old one with contact cleaner, alcohol, and then applying an electrical contact cleaner/lube, the switch functioned perfectly. This was place in the box for the replacement switch and stored for future use.
    Once the new/cleaned switch is replaced (reverse of removal), functionally check the operation. If all is well, reinstall the vapor barrier (I used 3M adhesive spray to enhance the existing adhesive along the edge of the barrier), then the door panel (don't forget to line up the lock pull at the top of the panel), reinstall the screw(s) and your done.
    Having done this, I can understand why the problem occurs. Flooding the latch with solvent may not properly reach the switch plunger and free it. A few minutes of very light mechanic work can possibly salvage a perfectly good switch and solve a lot of frustration
    Hope this info helps!
  • I bought a 2000 4WD Supercab Ranger lastJuly with 13000 miles on it. It now has 30000 miles. During the 7 months I've had it, the fanbelt has broken twice, the driveshaft broke,and just his week the suspension control rod broke. I don't do any off-road driving. Luckily, everything but the suspension control rod was under warranty. I'm wondering if its a "lemon" vehicle. Would you bet on keeping it, or unload it while still some warranty left?
  • airman53airman53 Posts: 3
    I bought a 1999 Ranger last Nov. It has the 3.0L, 4x4, ext. cab. It only has 51000 miles on it, and I've had several problems so far. First, the gas mileage is terrible. I know that 4x4s don't get good gas mileage, but I'm getting the mileage of an Excursion (like 10 or 11 city, 14 on the highway on a good day). I don't have a lead foot, and most of my driving is on the highway. Not only that, I have a tonneau cover on it to help with the wind resistance. Anyone have a possible solution? Second, I had the backpressure feedback sensor go bad. I took it to the dealer, and they fixed it. Third, and the most annoying, I have this really loud squeaking noise coming from the front right wheel. It sqeaks everytime I go over even the smallest of bumps. I asked some people about it, and they told me that its probably the shocks. The way that I would know that is if the shock is wet. It's not. Has anyone had a similar problem? If so, what was the solution? Thanks.
  • redzx3redzx3 Posts: 16
    Well 51000 miles is alot of miles and your not going to get much better gas mileage with a 4x4 truck then what your getting thats just part of having a truck . Maybe you just need a new car or truck .
  • erkkilaerkkila Posts: 22
    I have a 2000 Mazda B3000 that pinged badly on 87 octane gas since it was new. The only solution I could find was to run it on 89 octane fall through spring and 91 or up in the summer. Just before Christmas, the check engine light came on. I took it to the dealer and they replaced the EGR valve. With our ridiculous ripoff increasing gas prices here in Canada I got fed up last week and tried 87 octane just to see what would happen. Not even the slightest hint of pinging, even with lugging the engine in fourth and fifth gears.

    BTW if you are reading this airman53, it sounds like you might have a bad ball joint. I had the same squeaking over bumps that you are talking about. I was lucky in that mine was covered under warranty.
  • bpiperbpiper Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Ranger, Ext. Cab, 4x4 Off Road, 4.0 Liter, 5 Speed Auto with 51,000 miles. I have been experiencing the annoying transmission "clunk" when starting and stopping as many of you have. Took it into the local Ford dealership for repair armed with the TSB. They were aware of this common problem. Took them 2 days to order and install. Now I have the aluminum driveshaft and the truck shifts better than it ever did. The drivetrain is truly better than it was when it was new. Cost was $270 for the driveshaft, $58 for the skid plate, and $65 for the labor. Well worth the money.
  • jbariljbaril Posts: 35
    I just bought a black 03 Ranger XL 2.3 four banger 5-speed, w/a long bed. No bells or whistles. Only options are A/C, split bench seat w/cloth. Hope I don't have any problems, but it looks like most problems are reserved for 6 cylinder, extended cabs, XLTs.

    Guess we'll see.
  • I bought a used 99 Ranger Extended Cap 3.0 XLT I Have had problems with the shifting since I got it with it being hard to go into gear. I was told to pump the clutch if this helped it was the master cylinder. It did help so I took it in to have the MC replaced they did I was driving the same day and the clutch went all the way to the floor and was engaged in gear. Had it towed they said a locking ring had come off that they hadnt gotten it on right. They put it back together same day it doesnt it again. The tech says there is no retaining clip just the ring that locks into place this doesnt seem right anyone know what might be the problem??? Thanks in Advance.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    Here is a tranny TSB. Don't konw if this will anwer your specific problem, but it may be a start:
    M/T - M5OD Buzzing/Grinding Noise
    Article No.



    1998-2000 EXPLORER, RANGER

    Some vehicles may exhibit a "buzzing" and/or "grinding" noise or a "notchy" feeling during the 2-3 upshift. This may be caused by the 3-4 synchronizer.

    Replace the 3-4 synchronizer assembly. Refer to the following Service Procedure for details.


    First, verify that vehicle exhibits a buzzing/grinding/notchy feeling/sensation during 2-3 upshift and determine it your transmission serial number is greater than the serial number listed below. If the vehicle does NOT exhibit a buzzing/grinding/notchy feeling/sensation and is greater than the serial number listed on the chart below, proceed with other appropriate diagnostics for repair. Reference the appropriate Workshop Manual for assistance.


    Transmission Application Tag Transmission Serial Number

    2.5L I-4 4X2 F87A - AB less than 0629756
    3.0L V-6 4X2 F87A - CA less than 0628220
    3.0L V-6 4X4 F87A - DA less than D624514
    4.0L V-6 4X2 F87A - EA less than D639401
    4.0L V-6 4X4 FB7A - FA less than 0627480

    1. Drain all fluid from the transmission and remove the transmission following the procedure outlined in the appropriate Workshop Manual.

    2. Disassemble the transmission following the procedure outlined in the appropriate Workshop Manual.

    3. Inspect the brass blocking rings for any damage. If they are not damaged, reuse on reassembly.

    4. Replace the synchronizer. Additionally, replace brass blocking rings if necessary.

    5. Reassemble the transmission following the procedure outlined in the appropriate Workshop Manual.

    6. Reinstall the transmission and fill with new fluid. Test drive to verify repair.



    F2TZ-7124-AB Synchronizer Assembly (2.5L And 3.0L)
    F2TZ-7124-CA Synchronizer Assembly (4.0L)

    OASIS CODES: 505000

    Copyright © 2003 ALLDATA LLC
    Terms of Use
  • Any one who has just purchased a new 2.3 Ranger may want to check the BlueOval News. They are reporting defective cyl heads on 2.3L Rangers built at both plants between 2/3/03 and 2/6/03. Check with you dealer or call Ford VIN Support @ 800-555-9601 and refer to SSI03T01. BlueOval news reports engines prone to early failure.

    good luck.
  • dom55dom55 Posts: 4
    I just purchased a 2003 Ranger Supercab XLT 3.0 v6 on 3/29. The steering column/wheel is not straight, it is slightly shifted to the left. That is, if I sit perfectly straight in the seat in the normal driving position, the left side of the wheel is further away from me than the right side. I got suspicious that the vehicle had some transportation damage that was fixed by the dealership. I went to a dealership close to where I work and went in the new truck lot and sat in every Ranger with an open door. I put the antennae across the wheel, and sure enough, every Ranger steering column/wheel was shifted to the left. Anyone else notice this?
  • I own a 2003 Regular cab edge, and will have to check that on my way home. I haven't noticed it yet, but I can see how it would bug ya.
  • jtc411jtc411 Posts: 15
    Hey guys, i am new to this forum. I have a 98 ford ranger xlt with the 2.5l 4 cylinder, with the automatic. I just bought this truck about 2 months ago, and have had a rough low idle since day one. When i went to the dealer they replaced the MAF(mass airflow sensor), put a new fuel filter in, and had full fuel service(injectors, line etc). They also cleaned the throttle body, and i brought it back again and still no luck. The truck when i stop idles down really low...then comes back up and stays normal for a little while...then idles really rough again. I am stuck, i dont know what to do...does anyone have any suggestions? they would be appreciated
  • replace the PCV valve? The rest sound like a good attempt... Maybe you can adjust the throttle body for an extra 100 rpm's at idle?
  • jtc411jtc411 Posts: 15
    yes, i just came back from the dealership again and he manually adjusted the idle. He said its not very common, and that the 4 cylinder generally has a rough idle just because its a small engine. But now that he manually adjusted the idle it runs just fine. I must say though, i should have bought the 6 cylinder, i was going to get a 4.0 6 cylinder in the identical truck, but opted for the 4 cylinder because of the fuel economy, and i must say i dont think its that big of a only getting about 19mpg
  • my old 93 had the 2.3l, same engine as you, just a little less stroke. It received 21 MPG in the city even after 140,000 miles. Other than remove the air intake snorkle, and keep good wires and plugs in it, it was bone stock. I did run injector cleaner every once in a while, and also notice a big difference from using zMax. I tried duralube and other brands but they just didn't seem to last. zMax make my engine purr like a kitten, and greatly reduced internal friction. You might look into it as your truck increases in milage. Hopefully the recent fuel filter change will help too. And don't forget the o2 sensors...

    Also, FYI, my 2003 3.0l gets about 16 MPG in the city. Which is quite different from the 20+ you can get with a 2.3l, but my engine only has 2,500 miles on it. Still gotta break her in. I have heard the 4.0l getting equal or better milage, but I am sure it will suck it down worse if you have the lead foot. A manual transmission usually increases your MPG too.
  • chstr1000chstr1000 Posts: 32
    I have a 2002 Ranger. I do all services myself. Just wondering if anyone could tell me if there are any grease fittings. I have not been able to find any. Just curious.

    Thanks, David
  • dunny6dunny6 Posts: 6
    I have an 2002 Ranger with the 6 CD changer. I tried to eject a CD and I got a CD Error on the display. Now the CD opening is open, but I cant eject (or play) any CDs. Has anyone had this problem, is there a quick fix, or do I have to take it to the dealer.

  • dunny6,

    I have an 01 with the 6 CD radio. I always felt warm to me, then one day it went stone dead. Dealer replaced it with a brand new one. The new one does not even feel warm at all. If it's under warranty, take it back, they should replace it with out a problem. The Ford audio warranty for all SE US is here in Jax, FL. They were suspossed to open the radio (Ford dealer won't do it) and return my 6 CDs. Took a letter to the GM of the dealer to get them to move on that. I seem to remember reading an earlier msg on one of these boards of this radio getting hot and melting CDs causing them to stick. Get a new radio.

    Good Luck
  • harriet4harriet4 Posts: 2
    I have a 1986 Ranger that has been nothing but problems since I bought it - but I keep it for my son's insurance at this point. I've been looking for a new truck, and was very disappointed in the Tacoma; the cab is tiny, and the power is poor. The Tundra seems too large. SO, what I am looking for is info from current Ranger owners to find out if they are better than when I bought mine. Are they reliable? Do you need a full-time mechanic to keep it running? Thanks!
  • harriet4harriet4 Posts: 2
    51000 is NOT a lot of miles for most vehicles - maybe for Fords! That's barelygetting started for Toyotas and Subarus!
  • jroman4jroman4 Posts: 1
    Upon cold starting my truck it doesn’t want to run. On some warm starts it acts the same. But once I drive it awhile and warms up it is fine. Upon staring it cold I have to drive the first few miles with a foot on the brake and one on the accelerator so that when I stop the truck doesn't die. I dropped it off at an ASE certified mechanics shop and they can’t figure out the problem. If anyone can advise if the have had similiar problems and can point out any possible causes and fixes for this problem it would be appreciated. Thanks
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    I've heard these symptoms come from a defective temperature sensor.

    You have 2 temp sensors, one for the temp gauge, and another for the 'computer', telling it when the engine is cold/hot. The 'computer' one is probably bad. Both are on or around the thermostat housing. I think the one you need to replace has 2 wires to it......
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