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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • csargeantcsargeant Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Ranger XLT 4-door 4wd and the speedometer act erratically. I can be driving down the road at the speed limit and all of a sudden it jumps to 100mph and just hangs there. I took it to the dealership and of course it didn't do it for them and they said they couldn't find anything wrong. Any suggestions????
  • cpousnrcpousnr Posts: 1,611
    More than likely the spedo sensor.
    Think it is down on the wheel.
    Its electronic not a cable.
    That is what fixed my wifes LEbaron that had the same problem.
  • dle01dle01 Posts: 37
    I have a 1999 Ranger 4 door 2WD with the 3.0V6 and automatic transmission. The truck has just over 40k on it, which puts it out of warranty. I recently noticed a small oil leak, and asked my favorite local repair shop (a Goodyear ASC) to take a look at it while the truck was in for an oil change last week. They inform me that the leak is coming from the main seal between the engine and transmission, and that the transmission will have to be removed to replace the seal. In addition, they tell me they have seen this frequently in Rangers, most recently on a 2000 model with just 15k.

    Has anyone experienced this problem before? If it is a common problem, what are my chances of getting Ford to fix it even though the truck is out of warranty? Are there any known Technical Service Bullitins or recalls for this problem?

    I am going to fix it regardless, but I think it is pretty absurd that this kind of problem is occurring on a truck this new. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • If it's small, just put a dab of silicone on it. Unless you like spending money.

    Is it me or does it seem those who double post never check back?
  • dle01dle01 Posts: 37
    midnight_stang -- I have been checking back frequently. Thanks for your advice on the silicone. I'm going to check with the dealer first, and if no response then I just might try it.

    Is double posting some kind of bad net ettiquite thing? If so, I'm sorry.
  • I'm not sure how bad your main seal leak is, but all gaskets just wear out eventually. Try working with header gaskets on a 460 big block in a 67 mustang! I probably replace one side or the other twice a year.
    The silicone is what I'd do if the dealer makes you pay. Because all you have to do is spray a little carb cleaner or other grease cutter on the under side, start 'er up, and see where it comes from. Then you take a hefty amount of silicone and make a seal around the leak. It should take 15 minutes and 3 bucks, with that method. I also don't think there's any Ranger typicality or TSB related to it, or spoog would have posted it by now... (See Ranger vs Tacoma forum):)
  • Midnight -
    You cracked me up with the spoog comment. How true it is.

    Oil Leak -
    I'm not sure how long the silicon will last you down there. Definitaley it won't hurt but check it once a year. Heckuva lot cheaper and less problematic than letting your dealer dip into your tranny.

    How large is the leak? If it's say between 1 and 2 drips per day, try the silicon and make sure to degrease that area once every other month or so. Is this an automatic? If so, oil not degreased from those surfaces will adhere to the metal and collect dirt causing your transmission and motor to not be able to dissapate heat properly (i.e., it starts to act like insulation in a bad way) and will do things like cause transmission and engine oils to bake and fail prematurley.

    If it's a larger leak, say 3-6 drops per day, well, looks like your doing some maintenance. You may also want to try the Maintenance section of Town Hall.

    Good Luck,
  • 96flea96flea Posts: 38
    Took my 96 4.0 w/45000 miles on it to Pepboys cause the engine light came on. They found nothing and resat the computer. 120 miles later the light came back on so i took it to a private owned garage. They found a tranny code came up on their computer. They resat it and said it was really nothing to worry about. The light has not came on again yet. Has anyone else had this problem? The truck runs good. It has the occasional clunk in rear end but its done that for a while. Also, how do you get swirl marks out of a black paint job?
  • Swirl marks typically come from scratches occured while washing or waxing with dirt on the sponge or towels. You can usually minimized the appearance, or even clear up the not-so deep ones by using a good product line of waxes. I use Mcguires. Basically you'll need to use a body scrub/paint cleaner/scratch filler. Some people like clay bars to help remove the particles. Then a paint polish to get paint oils and colors back to new. The a clear coat wax/carnauba wax to seal it all in. Since you have black paint, really top it off with a lot of clear coat polish to keep the UV's from fading the paint.
  • 96flea96flea Posts: 38
    Thanks for that info but i think i'll have it done. Never heard of a clay bar but i've seen a Blue Coral product that claims to get rid of swirl marks. As for the code that came up it was a emmisions code. The secretary thought the mechanic said transmission code, big difference! He said it had someting to do with a canister, but what? Clean it or does it stick? He did not tell me so has any one had this problem before? I cannot complain about this truck. Usually every used car i buy something goes wrong in the 1st year i buy it. Since the Ranger got a better reliability rating than the Civic in the 96' year it makes me feel better.
  • 96flea96flea Posts: 38
    I find it hard that my Ranger is to go 100,000 miles until 1st tune up. So any of you suggest when i should change the plugs, fuel filter, pcv valve, wires (what type of wires and where should i buy them) and when should i have the fuel injectors cleaned? I have a reg. cab, 2 wheel drive, 4.0 v6 w/46000 miles.
  • 100,000 miles until the timing chain should be replaced. Plugs could last that long, but would be pretty bad at that length of service. I think the plugs are on a separate schedule anyways. But everything you listed will cost under 20 bucks to replace, except a "in-tank" filter or the injectors. So I'd say check them every 15-20k or so, and see if they are bad. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, you can change any of the above (except intank filter or injectors) in less than 30 minutes. And keeping on top of those items will only help your power output and fuel economy. Don't forget things like belts, air filter, hoses, and fluid levels and replacement.
  • So true to their form a distributless motor removes most of the need for having a tune up (most of which is adjusting the distributor to TDC and ensuring the vehicle has the correct timing).

    Most vehicles with a Tune-recommendation of 100K miles recommend that the plugs be changed every 60K - 100K miles. The reason is not really obvious but if you think about it...your car/truck is keeping better timing without the distributless system. Therefore your spark plugs, becaused of the increased precision, tend to last in most cases, 5-6 times as long as they previously did (i.e., there is less fouling on the insulators and electrodes which will cause the plugs less damage and wear with every mile you drive). It's normal and if you feel you need to change them, it won't hurt the car. Just your wallet.

    The fuel filter for a pressurized injection system (all fuel injected cars) is generically 20K miles. Check your manual though and it will tell you exactly.

    PCV valve? A $.97 part you can do yourself or tack it on your tune up when they do it. Don't waste your money on this one till at least 40K miles.

    Spark plug wires? You would only need to change these if: A)They're corroded or B)They're failing or C)You want to waste your money. Unless you bought the car used, I wouldn't concern yourself with these too much.

    Good Luck
  • 96flea96flea Posts: 38
    I got the left tube off the filter but cannot get the right side off. What trick is there if any. Its a 96 w/4.0. Help!!!
  • The fuel filter should have clips holding the fuel lines to either end of the filter. Make sure you have the clip off. If one end is stuck, first try to rotate the filter inside the hose, until it is freed. If it's still on there, take some pliers and using minimal force as to not rupture the line, hold the fuel line while pulling on the filter. Still stuck? Try a little penetrating lube or wd-40. Last resort is to cut off the hose right where it is wrapped around the filter nozzle. Before doing this, make sure you have plenty of slack so you aren't buying a new fuel line because you cut it too short...
    Consult a Chilton's manual for more help.
  • 96flea96flea Posts: 38
    The filter is able to rotate within the fuel line. It looks as if the notch that is in the tube of the filter could be jammed into the fuel line. I looked at Chiltons and was no help.
  • 96flea96flea Posts: 38
    Just went to and they said i need a specialtool cause the one side of the filter is spring loaded. Guess i'll spend another $10-20!
  • jcc6jcc6 Posts: 8
    I have a 2001 V6 4.0L 4WD XLT Ranger. It has a manual transmission, and I am very satisfied with the horsepower and the way the truck handles. However, on three separate occasions, I have stalled out downshifting from 3rd to 2nd gear. All three times I've had the A/C on and it has been raining. The rpm's really take a dive with the A/C on when I downshift, but the stalling has only occurred during rainstorms. I've took it in to be checked but they found nothing wrong....Any Suggestions??
  • dbkc413dbkc413 Posts: 1
    Hey! It seems like we have identical problems. I have a '95 Ranger 3.0 - I have that clunk in the rear end and that check engine light. I belive the code was scanned at 1443, which indicates a evaporative emissions system purge control valve circuit malfunction in the vapor canister. In one book it got more specific and stated that the valve was stuck open. I have to get around to fixing that. But one question -- Have you figured out what that annoying clunk is in the rear end? I have had people tell me it is from spring wrap and others have told me that the slip yoke on the drive shaft sticks. They said to drill out and put a grease fitting on - I don't know about that one. My clunk usually only happens when I am compleating a turn. I think it may have something to do with the differential. E-mail me at and tell me about your clunk.
  • dmoulddmould Posts: 76
    JCC6 - I too have had a problem with my 2001 Ranger XLT 4WD stalling. It only occurs with the A/C on, when I press the clutch when coming to a stop. It has probably happened about 10 times in 5000km of driving, and not just on the rainy days. I have not gone to the dealer yet. Let me know what you come up with!
  • on my 2k1 XLT supercab the right window chatters/shudders when lowed in the morning and its damp out. Not so bad when it warms up. I notice a TSB on All Data .com. Has anyone else encountered this?

  • jcc6jcc6 Posts: 8
    I had a 2000 XLT SC w/ power windows and both driver and passenger side vibrated when I would put them down. First the driver's side window started, and I had it fixed. Then the passenger side started, and I had to get that fixed. I had the truck for 9 months before I traded it in, and right before I traded you could hear the passenger window starting to drag again. Now, I have an '01 XLT SC w/ winding windows, and my drivers side squeaks like hell when I wind it up. Ford just isn't good with their windows. They seem to only fix them temporarily.
  • 427435427435 Posts: 86
    I just did a bunch of maintenance stuff (plugs, wires, fuel filter, and front brakes)on my son's fiance's '96 Ranger with the 2.3 four cylinder. When I volunteered to do it, I thought the motor would be like the 2.3 in my '94 Topaz---boy was I suprised by all the spark plugs (8) in next to impossible places to get to. Did get them all changed, however, and yes you need a little tool to release one end of the fuel filter. I needed it for my '93 Grand Marquis so I had it already.

    Anyway, I also noted that this motor evidently has an overhead cam with an external belt drive. The truck has 95,000 miles on it and I'm wondering what the life expectency is for this belt. Also, if the belt breaks, do valves hit pistons and other bad things?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.
  • the 2.3l sohc wants a new belt I believe every 60,000 miles(It might be as high as 80, will check my manual on a lunch break). You don't have to worry about any contact in the combustion chamber in the event of the belt goes south (But make sure it's not a 2.5l, as they are identical, just a little more stroke.) Besides if it does snap, then you gotta realign the cam and crank, so it's easier to just keep on top of it.
    Did you have fun changing the exhaust (driver's) side of the spark plugs? :)
  • pjameshpjamesh Posts: 1
    My 93 3.0/5spd with 132K has started to surge at idle, especially (but not only) when the engine is cold. The idle will dip very low then surge back to normal. I have never had any other major problems. Any ideas?
  • 427435427435 Posts: 86
    It's bad enough that the rice-grinder engines need timing belts changed before 100,000 miles but I'm sure not inspired by a Ford engine that needs a timing belt changed as often as one changes platinum spark plugs!!

    I noted on that many posters claimed no problems with their 2.3's to 150,000 miles plus----are they just treating a $300 timing belt replacement as "routine maintenance"? Or is Ford's recommendation designed to pump up service business?

    Anyone out there with lot's of miles on a belt or experience with when a belt actually broke?

    Appreciate any feedback as my son and his fiance are on a tight budget and I don't want to tackle replacing it myself. (That is unless it's easier then changing the plugs---and it could be).
  • 427435427435 Posts: 86
    A vacuum leak could cause a surging idle.
  • 96flea96flea Posts: 38
    I changed my fuel filter and pcv valve and my engine light came on again. I'm gonna try looking at the control purge valve that might be stuck open as i see many posts of that nature. But, where is it? Is it that canister next to my battery? And will i mess it up just by opening it? And how do i make sure it stays unstuck? Any info would be helpfull.
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