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Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair



  • 96flea96flea Posts: 38
    Chevrolet! What it really stands for: Constantly Having Every Vehicle Recalled Over Lousy Engineering Technology. Anyway, a freind of mine that owns an s-10 heard that somewhere. I went over to the s-10 forums and i thought Rangers had problems! Rangers come nowhere close to s-10 problems. Ranger problems are somewhat small but few biggies but s-10's blowing seals and gaskets at 10k! Trannys slipping, power windows failing, numerous computer problems all on s-10's less than 2 years old. My Ranger gets treated like an only woman on a pirate ship and nothing but a little engine light problem (better not brag yet, knock on wood).
  • Or titanium for that matter? If you go over 30 thousand miles you really start hurting your performance and MPG. Especially when a tune up costs about 20 bucks. And even with the dual spark head, you're not gonna get better performance with platinum plugs more than you would with fresh plugs. Aren't Autolite/Motorsport plugs like 1.25 to 1.50 anyways?

    And you can probably do the belt yourself, I forget if the thermostat housing needs to come off to take off the cover, but if you don't have a service manual (haynes) or the time and knowhow, it's best just to do it at the recommended intervals. Like I said, if it breaks, you'll just be stranded for a while, but the engine won't be hurt from valve to piston contact. However if it breaks while running, your bottom end is still turning while the valves don't. This would cause detonation in the intake manifold, and is not good at all.
  • 427435,

    I changed my 90 2.3 timing belt @ 90,000 miles. It still looked OK. It was just starting to crack on the inside at the teeth. I wouldn't go much past 90K. I've also done plugs on 90 & 95 2.3s lots of fun.....
  • 427435427435 Posts: 86
    I drive lots of miles and don't have the spare time to do unneccessary maintenance anymore (sooner go fishing anyway). I've been running the platinum plugs at least 50,000 miles without any problems. I also log every gas fill and keep an eye on mpg as that will give you an early warning on things failing. By the way, I've got 209,000 miles on a Topaz and no engine problems to date.

    To me platinum plugs are like the Mobil 1 oil that I run for 6,000 miles (winter) to 9,000 miles (summer). Less hours (and problably cost) doing maintenance and more time for other things.

    Also, the platinum plugs I took out of my son's fiance's '96 Ranger at 95,000 miles were probably the originals. Vehicle had been running OK except engine light had recently come on (who knows what turned that on). Changed plugs, wires, fuel filter because she had never done any of that since buying it at 50,000 miles. The plugs were erroded quite a bit and they needed changing but they were platinum Motorcraft with the original factory plug number. They also looked worse than the plugs I pull out at 50,000 to 70,000 miles on my own vehicles.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    There is a Idle Control Valve (ICV) (this is probably the wrong name, something about Idle Control).

    This controls the air mixture into the throttle area. It can carbon up and cause idle problems.

    On my 94 4L, it is a silver/polished alumium canister looking thing on the left side on the motor, on the intake housing. Has wires and a connector. It is the size of 35mm film canister, but longer, about 4 inches or so.

    Remove connector. Mine had 2 screws/bolts holding the 'cannister' on. The gasket under mine didn't stick or come apart and was easily re-used. You can take this apart. There is a plunger inside. I just cleaned with carb spray cleaner. I didn't have idle problems, but just cleaned as regular maintenance.

    You can also buy new one and replace. Not real cheap, maybe around $50.

    For general idle problems, this is first thing I would look at......

    Bad plug wire could cause an idle 'miss'. I changed my plug wires when I could hear the ignition on my FM Radio stations. The AM was even worse, but I never listened to those. I had about 60,000 miles when I changed the plug wires. Bought then at Autozone/ORiley for about $25-$30. I don't believe in high-dollar plug wires, regular ones work fine.
  • pinettedpinetted Posts: 104
    I have a 96 Ranger XLT 4x4 with about 57K on it. We purchased it used with 10K on it and the only problem we have had is with the clutch slave making noises. It has been replace twice under warrenty and has started acting up again. The truck is now out of warrenty and I am getting ready to fight with the dealer about the repair. Anyone else have a similar problem.
  • Mine has had tranny problems. Have any of you 98 owners experience anything with your tranny in the standards regular cab.
  • bobhohbobhoh Posts: 6
    Hey folks with stalling Rangers. I just had this happen to my 1999 Ranger XLT with 29,000 miles. I have been driving the car exactly the same way I always have since I purchased the truck used, but on Friday it died twice while I was slowing for a light in neutral. The air conditioner was on once, but not the second time. I noticed that no one seems to have any words of wisdom on this stalling problem. Are there any on this issue? It seems like something minor is always going wrong on this truck. I've never had a "newer" model car. Is this normal? I had a Ford Bronco II for ten years and I NEVER had these little problems all the time. I guess the "Fix Or Repair Daily" saying still fits.
  • 96flea96flea Posts: 38
    I am now getting a vibration around 65-85mph. I just had the tires balanced and they are fairly new. Anyone had the same problem? I have a 96 reg. cab 2wheel dr w/4.0 auto, its still a pup w/ only 46000 miles. I have noticed that it leans toward the drivers side on the front. Maybe a balljoint or maybe u-joints and how can i tell if its either?
  • spoogspoog Posts: 1,224
    "Hey folks with stalling Rangers. I just had this happen to my 1999 Ranger XLT with 29,000 miles. I have been driving the car exactly the same way I always have since I purchased the truck used, but on Friday it died twice while I was slowing for a light in neutral. The air conditioner was on once, but not the second time. I noticed that no one seems to have any words of wisdom on this stalling problem. Are there any on this issue? It seems like something minor is always going wrong on this truck. I've never had a "newer" model car. Is this normal? I had a Ford Bronco II for ten years and I NEVER had these little problems all the time. I guess the "Fix Or Repair Daily" saying still fits."

    this is due to the ignition ring melting...

    Ford has announced a HUGE recall, around 5 million vehicles. This malfunction causes the Ranger to stall.

    Ford is junk.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    what the heck is an "ignition ring melting"??

    If you're suggesting the Thick Film Ignition(TFI) is at fault you are either very ignorant or just trying to spread false rumors or both. The TFI affected vehicles from '83-'95.

    Bob, I'm assuming you're still under warranty. my guess is it's a TPS that needs adjustment or the servo(forget what it's called) that ups idle RPM with A/C on. Both probably Japanese parts.

    At least you don't have to worry about your head gasket blowing or your sheet metal rotting away. (neither does spoof, since he doesn't own a truck)
  • bobhohbobhoh Posts: 6
    Thanks for the advice on the stalling Ranger Jason. I must confess that I find it disconcerting when individuals provide such wildly different responses to Ranger problems. I have looked on the Alldata listing for 1999 Ranger recalls and I did not spot anything of the nature mentioned by Spoog. Not knowing what anyone's credentials are, how does one know who to believe? I will call the dealership (probaby a bad idea) today and have them make some suggestions.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    i have a nightmare vibration problem in my ranger (as i have already posted). it is fully loaded extended cab 2000 model 4x4 with 5 speed auto. i LOVE the truck EXCEPT for the vibes at freeway speeds (just as you describe). many have posted that a driveshaft problem is possible in EXTENDED cabs because of a yoke slip-joint manufacturing problem. that is apparently NOT the cause in my case (i do NOT know if this same problem exists in reg cabs ??). i had new Michelins put on and balanced via Hunter 9700: perfectly round and balanced. i suspect mine is an axle or engine resonance problem (it is NOT suspension jitter; it is a foot numbing vibration, much like motorcycle footpegs on a Harley), and after 6 lengthy trips to the dealer, have given up. i am now trying to sell it to buy a new Tundra. [this experience truly makes me sick, as it is my first NEW vehicle in my life, and my first 4 x 4, and my FIRST, my last]. i am DONE with American brands forever. the 4.0 pushrod is a shaker (but i LOVE its torque), and i am pretty certain it is transferring vibes to the undercarriage as it dances around under load in those rumbber mounts. i would first have your driveshaft removed and have it checked for trueness and balance, and check VERY CAREFULLY all joints. next, check wheel bearings and engine mounts. ALSO MAKE SURE you do NOT have even a slightly bent wheel. ALSO don't overlook shocks for any slope or mounting loosness. make sure BOTH shocks are fully damping properly (my stock shocks from Ford were flimsy when new !! they work, however.) good luck; i hope you have a better outcome than me !!
  • kit1404kit1404 Posts: 128
    That is like going from a Ranger to an F-150 which is what I did with no regrets. Frankly, I agree and I have been an a long-time off and on Ford purchaser - the Rangers leave a lot to be desired. After a major engine problem with a 1998 4.0 loaded 4X4, traded it for a very nice F-150 5.4 4X4 and just could not be happier with this truck. Maybe before you go the Tundra move - which I also checked out (really not very big and not enough engine) you might want to see what you can do trading in your Ranger on an F-150. By the way, mine averages nearly 17 mpg at high up and down New Mexico altitude.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I am not especially opposed to the F 150. I think it is far superior to the Ranger (knowing what i know NOW, after the fact, I was an idiot to buy the Ranger in the first place...only I am to blame for that dumb mistake). The F150 is a real nice truck. However, my local Ford dealer leaves a LOT to be desired (doesn't care about the customer AFTER the sale...he is a "Blue Oval" dealer...what a joke !!)) SO, my decision to go with the Tundra is more DEALER related than brand at this point. If I did buy an F 150, I would opt for a 2 x 4 with LS and the small V8. SO, I am planning to buy a Tundra with those same specs. I honestly think the Tundra, Silverado and F 150 are ALL very nice machines (I have learned, FOR ME, ride quality and lack of noise and vibration is very important...this is where the Tundra REALLY has the edge). All the problems posted about the Chevy have scared me away from it, seems that GM can't get it quality control act together. I am beginning to think that the Tundra buyer is quite different, anyways from the typical Ford, Dodge, Chevy "macho" crowd anyways. I am not sure that it is any more fair to compare an F 150 to a Tundra anymore that it is to compare a Chevy Malibu to a Lexus. They are quite different in concept, and I think these trucks are clearly being marketed to different "crowd" altogether. I don't care about going up logging roads or towing 8000 pounds or cruising around trying to look macho. I just want a quiet, smoother, reliable truck to drive on the highway: I think I am the type of buyer Toyota is trying to sell Tundras too anyways.
  • Just make sure you take your new purchase for a test drive before you sign the paperwork... And at speeds over 45 mph. :)
  • soco2soco2 Posts: 9
    We'd appreciate suggestions/advice re our '00 Ranger 3.0 A/T
    1) After entering a highway from a gravel road, loud metallic pings are heard (even felt) as stones fly out of the Mich. LTX tread and hit the rear fenderwells. Is there a Ford or aftermarket plastic fender liner (like the front well liner) available?
    2) The '01 Ranger we rented from Budget for our Wisc. vacation rode more smoothly than ours, and there was less noise and vibration from the engine. Which '01 changes could be retrofitted at moderate cost?
    Thanks for your help.
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    Your 3.0 Ranger has undergone 2 mportant changes for 01: All aluminum drive shaft with redesigned hub flange and yoke (only on the 3.0, NOT found on the 4.0), and a re-jiggering of the engine mounts, to allow them to absorb more vibration. A lot of the floorboard buzz is from the engine-drivetrain resonance, and is a common problem in Rangers. You will notice it even on perfectly smooth pavement at highway speeds. Also, ignition timing and fuel flow has beenaltered slightly to try to reduce pinging, another nororious problem of the 3.0 motor. A lot of guys would switch to hi octane gas to try to eleiminate that.
  • I own a 97 ranger. Had same problem the dome light/door ajar switch is located inside the door latch area. The switch is getting all gunked up. Buy a can of PB blaster at you local auto store and spray the latch assembly. This will clean the door ajar/dome light switch and correct the problem. I got this tip from a ford tech. Worked for me no more problem.
  • I'm not sure about a plastic inner fender wall you could buy or install, but you could probably make do with a thick coat of Rhinoliner or other "paintable" bed liner. Just give your '00 a good washing, let her dry, and apply liberally under the wheel well. That should really help the rock noise, and a tiny bit of road noise as well.

    "A lot of the floorboard buzz is from the engine-drivetrain resonance, and is a common problem in Rangers. You will notice it even on perfectly smooth pavement at highway speeds." -Not a common problem frey, just a reason you test drive every car you are looking into buying.
  • my 97 ford ranger has a rough idle more noticable when engine is cold. I had IAC module changed(Idle Air Control). Changed air filter, plugs, and fuel filter. Still not corrected. Had to dealers and independent mechanic. No one can seem to pin point. Any suggestions. My ranger has only 43k miles, 4x4, 4.0L v6 auto
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I would make sure there is not a VACUUM leak somewhere, especially in the intake tract. Check ALL joints and hoses for leaks. This can be a hassle, but I had a throttle body leak in a Nissan motor that I solved (by trial and error) by re-torquing the bolts (very carefully !!!) that hold the throttle body assmbly onto the cast intake plenum. I had the same rough idle for over a year !! To this day (with 167 000 miles) it runs very smooth.
  • frey44,

    My 01 (built 11/00) 4.0L, 5spd auto, supercab has a Large aluminum drive shaft.
  • Found this TSB on your Truck:

    Service Bulletin Number: 12174
    Bulletin Sequence Number: 132
    Date of Bulletin: 9811
    NHTSA Item Number: SB613224
    Make: FORD TRUCK
    Model: RANGER
    Year: 1997
    Component: ENGINE

    You should investigate with the dealer and go through the list of TSB's with them since there are several TSB's related to rough noises from the engine for 1998 (you can check them out at The TSB I'm posting could be the one for you but again there were a bunch...just a matter of finding which one it is.

    Good Luck,
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    Very interesting. I am satrting to conclude that Ford's "dirty little Ranger secret" is driveshaft vibration problems !! All of the early 01 Rangers (4.0) that I looked at had the steel shafts (all rusted to heck in Ford's typical "rust under the Ranger" fashion !! [Something I wish Ford would fix is the huge amount of ugly rust on all the steel drivetrain and suspension members under the Ranger...very ugly.] Aluminum shaft !! Very interesting ! Maybe Ford knows something that "we don't", eh ?? I wonder if the alloy job would fit my older 2000 model, of course with a different 4.0 motor ?? Maybe that would help solve the vibes. Of course, they won't recall them; they will let owners battle to get what is already owed to them. They will be forced to go back to the dealer 7 or 8 times to get a replacement shaft. {A joke: "Get the shaft to get the shaft"...get it !!??} But, I am ready to unload my Ford and don't care anymore anyways. I hope you get many enjoyable miles out of you truck !
  • frey44,
    you are right there. My 01 was built 11/00. I bought it 4/30/01 in Jax FL with 7 miles showing. It had been sitting on the back lot and not touched in months. Battery was stone dead. I was surprised at all the rust underneath. Solved it with 3 cans of spray on undercoat from Walmart $2.93ea. I have not experienced any vibrations. Have however had two trips to the dealer for binding/chattering window. The got silicone grease all over the weather stripping & it gets all over the window. Oil driped out the bottom of both doors. Really sloppy work. Also had one head light replaced (warranty) as the reflector started to discolor. Both are doing it now, so will get new ones before warranty expires. I had a 90 2.3L with 167K on it. Ran, looked great. I'm almost sorry I sold it. I'm still learning to like the 01 4.0. I will keep it for a while anyway. When I look at the GMC pages it really scares me. Looks like Trundras have their share of troubles as well. Good luck with yours as well.
  • As this one Dealer here in Louisiana told me. After the 36,000/3 year waranty FORD has meet all obligations. (Meaning) F.U.
    Through my experience's with my Ranger and Taurus. I will never concider buying another Ford Product.
    My past experience's and troubles come back to the people whom are repairing our vechicle's have shown me poor craftmenship. Either they are simply retarded, or most of my experiences with them are intentional.
    With all this I am choosing to buy from another auto maker. With my past problems with the service dept, Ford Motor Co them same problems was never dealt with nor corrected. As a result they loose me. Loosing me isnt gonna hurt them. But its silly that ford hires a bunch of retards to work on them FOUND ON ROAD DEAD PRODUCT OF THEIRS.
  • I purchased a 2001 XLT, supercab 4.0L, 5 speed manual, 4x4 in April. I have had nothing but problems with it! For starters, I ordered the truck from the factory, when it arrived there was a laundry list of problems. The passenger side door is hard to open with the outside handle, the power window "chatters" on the way down, there is marks on the inside of the instrument cluster glass, the carpet in the rear seat is bunched up, the drivers side view mirror vibrates at anything over 45mph, worse yet, when I checked my air cleaner for the first time, I found 2 cap screws inside the housing. But yet it still gets worse! The clutch is about ready to go and I only have 9000 miles on it! I have been to 4 different dealers all tell me that there is no adjustment for the hydraulic clutch! The friction point to disengage the clutch is about 1/2" into the pedal. In 1st or 2nd gear, you can slip the clutch with the brakes! But no dealer will even drive it. There is excessive play in the driveline that makes a rather loud and annoying clunk when shifting from 1st to 2nd. After all this, I have decided I no longer want this vehicle and am looking at stepping up to a F150. The best trade in offer I can get is $15000! Remember, the truck is only 5 months old with 9K. Sticker is $23000. Maybe ford needs to consider making there own power train rather than Mazda. I am a long time ford owner and have been more than satisfied with my previous vehicles. If ford keeps building trucks this way, they will surely loose the "#1 for 20 years" Any advice?
  • I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to get 2 child seats into my '95 Ranger extended cab. I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. One child seat fits in the passenger seat (after disabling the air bag) but I'm not sure if there is a place for the second seat. Has anyone heard of a way to do this?
    Thank you.
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