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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • I am new to this board, and about a month ago i bought a 98 automatic four-cylinder and my air bag light stays on it will flash when you first start it then go off and then stay on after that. i have tried disconnecting the battery and it still comes. I would just like to know if my air bag is disengaged or what. If you have any clue it would be a big help
  • dunny6dunny6 Posts: 6
    Thanks for the info. I actually was able to eject the stuck CD (with the help of a small knife). The problem CD was a copy and had a sticker label on it. I guess with the heat, the sticker began to bubble which caused the problem.

    Be careful with sticker labels in the 6CD changer (& probably all CD players).
  • pennyipennyi Posts: 1
    Hello everyone I'm in the process of buying a 2003 Ford Ranger Edge. Tell me the pro's and con's of this? I have been reading about the ride and all but my thought on that is a smaller truck rougher ride. And about what price range is everyone paying if you don't mind me asking?
  • jtc411jtc411 Posts: 15
    Guys its me again, just to refresh a little. I have a 98 ford ranger xlt auto 2.5 4 cylinder. My idle is extremely rough. The truck runs just fine, but when i go to stop at a light it bogs down low and runs rough, and it gets even worse when i have my heat or A/C on. I have had it looked at several times and everyone says thats just how they run, but i cannot believe that ford would put out vehicle that runs like that. My truck only has 53k miles on it! can someone please help, i am no the verge of selling it because its pissing me off! thanks guys!
  • harriet, I don't know what you were trying to say in post 674, but I am on my 2nd Ranger. My first '93 made it 140,000 miles with the only major replacement being a transmission at 120,000 (auto). Not bad for my first teenage vehicle. My 2003 is just a good, if not better. All vehicles will last if 1. They are not a lemon and 2. They are maintained correctly. and 3. You follow the maintenance schedule.

    slickhead, your airbag light is stuck? Is this the passenger button disable light, or the dash light by the guages? Since you bought the vehicle used, it's a possibility it has been in a wreck and was deployed. Perhaps it was fixed by a shadetree mechanic who only replaced the airbag, and not the sensor that tripped it. Just an idea. I don't know 98's, so maybe it's supposed to be on all the time? I know blinking is definitely a problem... Maybe on is good? I don't know... :)

    dunny6, I hate CD Labels... They eat up toner, and jam up many cd-players (not just fords) I much prefer a sharpie marker, but it doesn't look as good...

    pennyi, I own a 2003 Edge and I love it. My truck is an Edge model too, so it has a 4x4 suspension, just not the drivetrain. That does make it a rougher ride than cars, but it is still very smooth and civil on the payment. I paid a little over 14,000 on after TTL & Rebates, payments are $301. Not too shabby. Only complaints, 4.0l v6 not a regular option on the regular cabs any more, the 4 speakers are fairly weak, but the 6 disc cd-changer is great. I love the ride height, the 60/40 bench seats with high backs, and my 3.0l with a manual transmission is pretty quick. It's a tough and fun little truck to own!

    jtc, that doesn't sound normal. It sounds like a tired motor. It's been about 5 years, Have you tried a tune up, new filters, flushing the motor oil and coolant, cleaning your throttle body, changing out the fuel filters, and maybe adjusting your throttle cable? I would start with the throttle body, and try the cheaper fixes first.
  • evernerfevernerf Posts: 5
    My recently purchased 98 ranger seems to stay revved up as I engage the clutch as I come to a stop. When I slow down to below 5mph it will idle down. It is very annoying. I have the 2.5, 5 speed. Any ideas?
  • tgordotgordo Posts: 6
    Got '02 XLT 4X4 OffRoad pkg. Started hearing lo-pitch whine/whirring noise,especially after a long drive. Now,sometimes even hear it on take-off,cold start! Didn't hear it till 20000 miles or so. Naturally, took it to Dealer& didn't do it THAT time! They said it was my TIRES!,cupped,from lack of rotation! Almost all driving done on winding mountain roads,so sure their cupped!Also had as another hall member said"Engine stalled on severe sharp turn once!
  • jtc411jtc411 Posts: 15
    Thanks but i have already done: fuel injection cleaning, fuel filter, oil change, mass airflow sensor, air filter, cleaned the throttle body, and i have had diagnostics and they find nothing. I am sooo annoyed by this problem you dont even know. I LOVE my truck, but I am seriously considering just dropping it and getting a car, sad huh? but if this problem can be resolved somehow the truck will stay with me for sure, if you or ANYONE has had a similar problem or can somehow figure this out i would be estatic. Thanks fellas
  • stannersstanners Posts: 1
    My '99 Ranger has 31K miles and was purchased on 9-30-99. I was doing the spring wax job and noticed that the paint was bubbled along the bottom tailgate seam and would peel off with my finger nail! I took it to he local dealer and was first told by the Body Shop Mgr that Ford would repair. Now, when I take it in for repair, I am told Ford will not cover and I would have to pay!

    I called Ford Consumer Affairs and got the standard line how they sorry they are but I exceed the 36 month warranty!

    I have 3 other Ford products and this call was a test to see how Ford would handle and they failed!

    I was going to trade my '98 Mustang for a '03 but not now!

    Ranger owners check your tailgates for paint problems!
  • tgordotgordo Posts: 6
    Had a bad wreck(Head-on,Not My fault!)Wemt lookin for a replacement. Tacoma 1st. Salesman didn't wanna sell one I guess(Even tho I had CASH!)Chevy didn't have a S10 4X4!Went around corner,Loved the Ranger!Still do! Live in trailer park along with 10 other Rangers. Brother has new Silverado,wants trade to Ranger!I don't care if the Dealer(s)suck,I'll fix it myself.As my ol' Gramps use to say:"Boy those Fords got the best styling"(Him OLDS MAN,from Mich.)Now I'm Disabled,won't have cash for new one again,I'll Drive 'er Up To Heaven!
  • I have a '98 3.0 Ranger, 57K mi. About two weeks ago, the serpentine belt started squeeling, originally only in cold and would normally go away. But now it is all the time. I have bought both "Belt Dressing" and "Silicon Spray", to try and help the problem. When I spray it on the belt while it is running it will instantly go quiet, but only for a short time, sometimes only a mile or so. It is a new belt 8 months ago, and does not show any signs of misalignment or improper installation. I don't know what to replace first, belt, pulley, or tensioner? Has anyone had this problem, or can you please help? Thanks
  • jtc411jtc411 Posts: 15
    I have a 98 ford ranger 2.5, and i had that problem with the serpentine belt, i finally broke down and brought it to the dealership and they put a new one on there, havent had a problem since. I tried all of that lubrication stuff, best thing to do is just replace it through the dealership, or take it to my favorite (car-x)
  • seyorniseyorni Posts: 9
    Zamboniman. Glad to hear you've solved the belt problem -- though I suspect there may be a tensioner problem since the squealing occurred on a relatively new belt. A few comments on belt dressings, though. Regular belt dressings make the belt stickier so it doesn't slip over the pulleys as easily. This is never a permanent fix. The problem will recurr. I've never used the silicon sprays but they appear to do the opposite of the regular, sticky sprays -- The belt will still slip but it will do it more quietly. Using both would create an interesting "battle of the dressings" Glue vs lubricant. Inasmuch as replacing the belt is relatively cheap that would be the best approach. Be sure to check the belt tension, though (simple) and the pulley alignment (more complicated but not rocket science)to ensure the problem won't recurr down the road
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Posts: 833
    I'm looking at '96 XLT V6 with 40k miles or a '98 XLT V6 with 82k miles. Both are asking the same price ($7,200)and appear to be clean. Is there an obivious choice here?

    From Edmunds, the only significant change I can see is a different trany implemented in '97. Does that mean the trany prior to '97 was prone to problems?

    Appreciate any advice.
  • jtc411jtc411 Posts: 15
    I have a 98 ford ranger 2.5 l4 with 53k miles on it, and i dont mind it besides the fact it has a rough idle(who knows no one can help) but other than that its a solid truck. Between 96 and 98 the only major difference is yes the tranny(they switched over to the mazda tranny) and the body of the truck. The 98 definately looks alot cooler, but for the asking price i would go after the 96 with lower milage, but definately try to slim that asking price from 7200 to say 6500 or so. Both years are solid though(more cab room in the 98)
  • volcom378volcom378 Posts: 16
    i dont know if you've gotten it yet but it tottaly depends on what you want in a truck. I own a 2002 edge with the 4.0L V6 and it is quick. the only problem is it guzzules gas quicker than a fat man eating twinkies, but thats normal for a truck nowadays. my truck was MSRP 22,000 i drove off paying 17,000 and with 0 down(ford has a crapload of incentives and rebates) i am paying 280(red-carpet lease) a month for 3 years and 15K a year. so do the math, its aforadable, fun and a truck, but i'm selling mine ($$$-gas is a biach)
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    A couple of things. And you might have already tried these.

    1) New plug wires. At 56,000 miles, I think you are due for these. Also new plugs. If you can work on it yourself, these are cheap, less than $40 or so.
    2) The Idle Control Solnoid (ICS) I think is the name. This is a silver and black cylinder on the side of the intake. It controls the idle. Has 2 wires into it. It basically is a solnoid and an air valve into the intake. It can clog up with gas vapors. Unbolt it, carefully, and clean the valve part (not the solnoid!) with carb cleaner. If done carefully you should not mess up the gasket under it. This can also be replace, but it is rather expensive, $50 or more.
    3)Has the fuel filter been changed? At 56,000 this also is due. If plugged up some, this usually causes high speed problems, but might also cause idle problems.
  • sbarone1sbarone1 Posts: 1
    I have a week-old 2003 FX 4 Level II with about 100 miles on it. It has a 5-speed and the manual floor-mounted transfer-case lever. When I had the truck to highway speed for the first time, I kept trying to turn off the ventilation fan, until I realized the noise was coming from the transfer case. At about 40 MPH and above, the case makes a lot of noise, almost like gears that aren’t lubricated. I know it’s near the case, because I can change the vibration “note” by placing my hand on the lever. At certain times, the case vibrates enough for the trim to go into resonance. Accelerating from about 20 MPH in third gear, the transfer case makes a sort of “zippering” noise. I don’t know how else to describe it. I took it to the dealer and, believe it or not, they replaced the tranny! But the thing still makes noise, and now they say “that’s as good as it gets.” I’ve owned four 4 x 4’s since 1994, and never heard one this loud. Anybody have any ideas?? It’s driving me crazy.
  • jtc411jtc411 Posts: 15
    Unfortunately Ford is starting to make crappy vehicles. I leased a 2003 chevy s10 4x4 and loved it, it felt high quality and was just an awesome quiet comfortable ride. Until i realized i couldnt afford it, i then went to a 98 ford ranger and everything about it feels cheap. But what your describing doesnt seem right, what you might wanna try doing is going and test driving another one and see if it does it, and if it doesnt go back to the dealer and tell them you want to switch vehicles( a good dealer will do that for you)

  • You think Ford is making crappy vehicles by comparing a 2003 S-10 to a 1998 Ranger? LOL, how about comparing 2 vehicles from the same year, and in the same price range. Besides check the Chevy problem forums, and you'll see it's not like any vehicle make is the golden goose.
  • tgordotgordo Posts: 6
    2003 level 2 Noisy! If you haven't check out They have alot of Ford Techs giving you a history/solutions to Ford problems.I have an 02 Ranger 4X4 Off-Road XLT,No noises in my transfer case(although mine is shift on fly)You'll love that site!
  • jtc411jtc411 Posts: 15
    No dude, i was comparing it to the 2003 ford ranger i was considering. Im just saying the S-10 felt like it was made a little more solid. the insides of the rangers feel like they were cheaply made etc
  • soco2soco2 Posts: 9
    Recently, I replaced the shocks of my 16,000 mile-old 2000 Ranger Supercab 3.0 V-6. The originals were allowing too much body motion, the rear axle hopped so easily on washboard roads that the rear end swung out alarmingly on even very low-speed turns, and bumps and potholes produced suspension jolts and noises that created feelings of mechanical sympathy. Working the original units by hand, I was amazed by how little damping there was in the bump or compression mode, and how little gas pressure there was.

    I decided on Monroe Reflex shocks as the replacements. I wanted improved ride control, but not the stiffness of high-pressure units such as KYB’s. Now, with about 300 miles of experience with the Monroes, I can say that I am pleased with my decision. The ride is a more tightly-snubbed at low speeds (the gas pressure is surprisingly high for a low-pressure design, and the valving is less “soft” than The Shock Warehouse’s description indicated)), control of body motions is much better, and there is so much more absorbing of impacts going on!
  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    Some advice needed. I have a 98 XLT with the cruise controls in the steering wheel. One of the lamps went out and I can't seem to figure out on how to get at the bugger. I'm Worried on removal of the air bag housing as they can be tempermental and go off accidentally. Any suggestions would be appriciated.
  • rhighrhigh Posts: 6
    Just wanted to know is the timing chain tensioner still a problem in the 2003 4.0 soch motors??
  • dchinndchinn Posts: 64
    Just bought a 2003 Ranger XL 5 spd 2.3L (no frills base model) for $9.6K OTD rebates and all. Yes, I test drove it and realized that it was low on power to accelerate but I'm no speed demon. The price to too good to pass up compared to a Chevy S10, Mazda B2300 or Tacoma w/ the same std features. 1st 500 miles mpg was about 26 + both city/hwy.

    Only peeve is that the Ranger sits up higher than the other P/Us (higher center of gravity) which causes the truck to want to tip when rounding a curve. Besides adding suspension parts or changing to 16 inch rims and lower/wider profile tires which cost some $$$, is there any other practical or cheaper fixes to alleviate this tendency.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    My 2001 4X4 has accumulated a lot of dust/lint behind the clear lens that covers the gauges. Can anyone tell me how that clear plastic comes off so I can clean in behind it? There are two screws at the top of the housing but I am not sure what else is involved or if I must get behind the dash. I don't want to be too rough with it because I would hate to cause a rattle. Any ideas on the procedure? Thanks!
  • ronmcqronmcq Posts: 16
    Do I believe the dealer or not?
    I took my new '03 B2300 (Ranger Clone) into the dealer for a clunking that can be heard and felt through the steering wheel yesterday. They called late in the afternoon saying they could feel it too but were having problems tracking the source down. Got a call from them today saying it was normal on the trucks with the tilt wheel per the manufacturer. Has anyone else with the tilt wheel experienced this problem? If so I'd really appreciate your input.
  • limanliman Posts: 32
    Ron -
    I have a 2003 Ranger with tilt. Never have felt any kind of clunk, except for a bit of adjustment when I first tilt the wheel down, but that is common to all tilt wheels I have used. When does it occur?
  • ronmcqronmcq Posts: 16
    JC, the clunking is felt intermittently and generally within the first 1/2 rotation of the wheel while initiating a turn. I was thinking along the lines of a slight binding of the steering shaft/tilt knuckle. While not severe, it is a bit disconcerting. The dealer said they found the same non-problem in 6 other trucks they test drove after talking to the manufacturer. I've two other vehicles with tilt and have never experienced this before. I may have to test a few myself to be convinced.
    Thanks for your reply,
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