Ranger 4 cyl Gas milage ??

jecmecjecmec Member Posts: 1
I commute 126 highway miles to work each day, I know the smart decision would to buy a fuel efficient car such as the Ford Focus, but for $15k I would like something that's more practical such as a P/U. I'm trying to justify purchasing 2002 Ford 4 Cyl 5sp regular Cab, the sticker has 24 /28 mpg but would like to find out actual gas mileage, and also if the 4 Cyl is peppy enough. I had a Toyota R22 4 Cyl P/U that had plenty of power for my needs.


  • midnight_stangmidnight_stang Member Posts: 862
    I own a 1993 Ford ranger, 2.3l 4spd automatic with just under 140,000 miles. I think a lot has changed since then. My engine has two spark plugs per cyclinder. The Ranger then switched to a larger stroke (I believe offhand) to make it a 2.5l. Then the 2.3l was reengineered with 4 valves per cylinder, and I believe still 1 spark plug per cylinder. But the gas milage should be better than what I get.

    I've owned the truck for 9 years, and even with my high milage, my engine still has the stock valve cover gasket (never removed). New timing chain and water pump, but still the 4 cylinder is a great mill. (Especially because it survived my teenage years).

    I get 20-21 mpg still, and that is mostly a 15 minute drive to work and back, and occasional errands here and there. On the highway, it still gets about 25-28 MPG, at 75MPHish, but it is hard to compute because of all the mixed in city milage and also because wind has a great affect at that speed on my truck.

    Expect this to be your minimum. You said you had a 5 speed transmission, but that could be the new automatic or the manual.

    A 4 cylinder with a manaul transmission will have some pep, but the automatic will be a little sluggish. I can still beat most civics and other 4 cylinders off the line, plus I can carry alot more in the process... :)

    Anyways, hopefully a newer Ford owner will see this and let you know more current statistics, but I have confidence.

    P.S. With any type of special available, you should be able to pick up the 3.0l v6 (manual) for around 15k, and that in a regular cab will be very peppy. The 3.0l has had reports of pinging under heavy load, grade or acceleration, so Ford has made some changes to the motor for 2002 models. I haven't heard any feedback on it yet, but on a regular cab, it should not have to work hard at all to get you through traffic.
  • jackkajackka Member Posts: 25
    The new 2.3L engine in the Ranger hasn't been around long enough for you to gather many owners' reports.

    One negative aspect that I've read is that it will require a timing belt change at about 60k unlike most other 4 cyl. engines. This can cost $600 or more.

    On the other hand, the big savings in purchase price compared to the competing engine from Toyota may justify the timing belt expense.

    Thanks for posting the question. I'll be interested in reading more responses.
  • artwisartwis Member Posts: 66
    Have only had my 2002 Ranger XLT, shortbed, 2wd, 5spd manual, 4 cyl for two weeks and 1100 miles. So far mpg is 27.8 to 30.2. The 27.8 came with air cond. on. I drive mostly hiway miles. I asked about the cost to replace the timing belt at 60k and was told approx $300. before I bought mine I asked quite a few folks in person about their similar truck. All of them told me only routine maintenace and some had over 100k on their 4 cyl rangers. Right now prices seem good on Rangers. With the XLT, 2wd,short bed,5spd manual and 4cyl (ac is no charge, power equip group is no charge) You should be able to get to $200 or less over invoice AND a $2500 rebate.
  • losangelesemtlosangelesemt Member Posts: 279
    Just hit 100,000K on my 94 Ranger a few weeks ago. It's the 2.3 4cyl. 5 speed manual. Truck has only had 3 oil changes done, brakes once, and maybe an air filter. No other problems with the truck, it runs like a champion. Getting around 24 mpg on highway, maybe 20 on city streets, but again the truck isn't totally in tune.
  • midnight_stangmidnight_stang Member Posts: 862
    If that's all you have ever done, you might look into a tune up, and new plug wires. One of my spark plug boots had shook itself apart at about 110k. So for one cylinder I only had one spark plug firing. That should give you some extra mpg and power.

    Also zmax is highly recommended, it will smooth any engine and increase it's mpg. If it doesn't you get a full refund.

    Also I have recently put Castrol GTX for High Milage vehicles oil (10w30) into my engine. The last tank gave me 21.5 mpg in purely stop and go traffic to work. That's 139,900 miles and that's with an automatic transmission.
  • losangelesemtlosangelesemt Member Posts: 279
    Ya I never intended to have the truck run on 3 oil changes and basically no other maintenance. It kind of started out as a silly bet and now its more of a personal mission to see what this Ranger in its current condition will do. Hope to trade it in anyway soon, time for a bigger truck.

    That castrol high mileage seems to be some good stuff from my experiences at least. Might have to tune this puppy up and see what happens. Hey the domestic trucks may not be as well known to run 200K miles plus, but these Rangers take a beating man and still hummin away.
  • eharri3eharri3 Member Posts: 640
    Regular cab, 5 speed manual. I've usuallly averaged low to mid 20's, sometimes as high as 26 if all highway and under 70 mph. Also, stuff like timing belt isn't that expensive on this truck. The labor isn't too difficult since it's a real small engine sitting in a space designed for a much bigger engine. I had both my timing and fan belt replaced at 65 thousand miles at the dealer for 292 bucks.
  • fedforesterfedforester Member Posts: 16
    The new 2.3 four is a new aluminum engine, not related to the old Lima 2.3/2.5. Overhead cam is driven by chain which does not need to be replaced like the old belts. Should be a good engine---driving one at the dealers indicates performance similar to my old 3.0. Will probably get one when the 3.0 goes.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Member Posts: 172
    mine gets 22, and last tank i had much more highway than usual and almost reached 26. thats the most it gets. its a 2.5 liter with an automatic, and a tonneau cover.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Member Posts: 172
    if youre around...
    my wife's saturn is having a fit...when we start it at first in the morning, it makes a loud HRMMM moan until it warms up and it also revs itself to 2,000 rpm when we put it in park. whats the deal?
    we JUST replaced the idler pulley and i assumed that would fix all those problems, but those two remain. any help would be appreciated. by the way, i DID say WIFE...June 1 is our BIG DAY. :) wish me luck.
  • midnight_stangmidnight_stang Member Posts: 862
    As far as the idling problem, it it probably sensor related. Try cleaning or replacing the MAF sensor, the throttle body, EGR or PCV Valve, and vacuum lines. Could be just needing a tune up or air filter too. A faulty PCV Valve could cause oil to backup into the throttle body, which causes heck with the sensors and/or airflow. I would try to isolate the noise in the engine bay, and check every fluid/part for trouble if you still are stumped.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Member Posts: 172
    its got a new air filter and plugs...so those are out as culprits...throttle body...i am not even sure where it is on this engine. sensors would have set off the SES light, and i havent seen it at all.
  • farmallfarmall Member Posts: 3
    I have 1900 miles on my new 2002 4x2 XLT supercab 4 cyl. 5spd and am getting 24.7 MPG* (first tank brought down the average @ 23.1 MPG --> 25+ thereafter). Mixed miles, but mostly highway @ 70MPH with AC running and a passenger (around 450 lbs total people weight).
    This compares well to my "old" '94 4x2 reg. cab long bed 4cyl. 5spd ranger and my "old" '97 4x2 B2300 (ranger clone) reg. cab short bed 4cyl. 5spd. They both got 24-26 MPG for me under the same driving conditions (23-24 in the winter with the addition of 200 pounds of sand).
    * I've found that hauled weight (both passenger and payload) reduce MPG to the tune of about -1 MPG per 200 LB (so my truck should be getting around 26 mpg with a normal-sized person driving).
    The 2002 has a good bit more power at highway speeds (nice job with the gear ratios matching the torque curve) - alot less need to downshift to 4th.
    I keep good records and will post updates on the MPG periodically.
  • rocket727rocket727 Member Posts: 1
    Hi folks ! I'm considering from an 88 Club Wagon to a '99 Ranger 4x4 XLT with a 4.0 V6 and trailer pkg...Owner says it's 4dr but I'm thinking hinged extension...What's the word on the 4.0 gaswise and performance ? and are there any true 4dr Rangers...Thanks !
  • clintonjohnclintonjohn Member Posts: 99
    I've got a 2000 Ranger with the 4 cylinder 5 speed manual now with about 34000 miles. I started out getting really lousy mileage-about 18-21 mpg highway, which the dealer said is within acceptable limits. Over time, it got a little better-about 22-23mpg. I was very disappointed, especially in light of the fact that the window sticker said I should be getting 24-28mpg. I put in a K&N air filter and mileage did go up a few mpg, which was nice. Really don't like the dual plug design-half the plugs are almost impossible to get to. If I had to do it over, I'd probably go with a Toyota.
  • farmallfarmall Member Posts: 3
    Now have 6010 miles on it (2.3L w/5spd) and am getting 24.9 MPG (did a bit of hauling over the last 2 tanks which brought the average under 25MPG...)
    Good pep (especially @ highway speeds) and not too bad with a load considering its a 4 cyl.
    FYI: Used Castrol GTX 5-20 since 3000 miles (first and second oil change) and noticed just a bit of engine knock that wasn't there with the OE oil... Will probably change brands at 12,000 mi. (after I use the remaining 4 quarts).
  • sloan4sloan4 Member Posts: 2
    My 94 2.3 5spd RegCab 111k miles gets 28 Highway, 27 if the air is on. New plugs/wires at 85k. I drove it for a tank keeping it at 55mph to see what it could do and got 30 out of it.

    If I throw the 17' Sailboat behind it I drop to about 22.
  • farmallfarmall Member Posts: 3
    Getting 25.2 MPG overall (9050 miles/357 gallons). Mostly highway miles @ 65-70MPH with a passenger and always with AC running (either to cool or to defog). Have done a fair bit of heavy hauling (for a ranger) after work and on weekends: 1000-1500 pound, 5 mile trips of concrete/blacktop debris and gravel seldom out of 3rd gear. Third oil change. Last of the Castrol GTX 5-20. Still getting the occasional "tick". Am going to go with a different oil to test the theory that the tick goes away when not using Castrol...
  • fedforesterfedforester Member Posts: 16
    Picked up my new 2003 ranger 2.3 2-wheel drive about a week ago. Don't even see a screw out of place. Milage so far is around 30 mpg in mixed driving. Looks good.

    Has as much power as the 91 3 liter I traded for it (at 267,000 miles), I think partly because vehicle weight is much less.
  • fedforesterfedforester Member Posts: 16
    Incidentally if your 2.3 feels like it has a "sticky throttle" on idle, making take offs or acceleration from idle jerky, the fix is very simple---there is a curb idle screw on the throttle body assembly (just below the spring and its hammer) which needs to be set up till the throttle is just cracked open a hair. End of stickiness.
  • chip37chip37 Member Posts: 1
    Have the 2002 Ranger w/4cyl 2.3 w/stick.Now with 5500 miles.Gas mileage about 28 hiway.This is a FANTASTIC engine.Talk about peppy,heck its powerful.Granted I'm mostly running around with the(short)bed empty.Quiet at idle,smooth as butter goin' thru the gears.I only peak at 4,000 rpm.Savin'gas in 5th at 1,800 a/50-70mph.I love this truck! Cost $12,160.And the Harvest Gold paint job is A-1! [email protected]
  • dangerangerdangeranger Member Posts: 1
    i have a 97 ranger 2.3 with 213,000 miles yes your reading right i bought 1 1/2 years ago when i was still selling cars{ford}its an xlt flareside with most options for the drivetrain
    ive am very satisfied it has made 5 trips from va to ohio in the last 6months alone{more than 600 miles each way}and i get between 23-26 miles per
    my 2.3 has 2 plugs per cylinder its still purring
    it had a clutch at 175k im currently looking at buying either an identicle truck with either a 4.0 or 3.0 IM LEANING TOWARD THE 4.0 BECAUSE
    NOT BAD!!!!
  • dc1stforddc1stford Member Posts: 1
    HI folks!

    I just bought a 98 Ranger reg cab, stepside with 37,000 miles. Paid $3900 (at auction, I thik it was a lease vehicle) and it seems to be in perfect shape inside, outside, and mechanically. Dealer says (via vin #) that it has the Mazda transmission. No recalls or anything in warranty repair in the last six months. Anything I should look out for as far as problems?
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