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are Rangers reliable?

cdg19cdg19 Member Posts: 15
edited March 2014 in Ford
I was thinking of buying a Ranger and need advice.
From what I've heard, the 97 Ranger is more
reliable than a 96. I will be getting a 96-97
regular ca with the 2.3 4 cyl and a 5 speed. I know
a 3.0 V6 would be better, but I'll be traveling a
lot and gas mileage would be better wit the 4 cyl.
Also I don't plan to carry anythng in the back.
Would it be better to get a 97? Please let me know
what you all think. Thanks.


  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    Yes, Yes, yes it is reliable. Contrary to popular belief the 2.3 is a reliable little motor. Don't expect gur wrenching acceleration, do expect it to run and run. Go to www.carpoint.msn.com, www.rangerstation.com for just a few sites. The Ranger station will show you folks who have 100, 200 even 300K on their Rangers!!
  • lariat1lariat1 Member Posts: 461
    but my advise is to get the 3.0l even if it says it uses more gas than the 2.3. My experience with the larger engine you actually get better gas milage when you drive reasonably, of course the 2.3 will use less gas if you like to drag race from stop light to stop light. If you can test drive both the 2.3 and the 3.0 and ask people what thier mileage is. I had a 96 2.3l ranger and got about 18 mpg switched to a 4wd supercab ranger with a 4.0 and got 21 mpg both with the manual transmission.
  • dannygdannyg Member Posts: 131
    The 4cyl should get better MPG than the 3.0L particularily if you're talking mostly hwy miles. The EPA rates the new ones at 27mpg (2.5L 4cyl) vs. 23mpg (3.0L V6) hwy, assuming 4x2 manual. The 2.3L is probably even better.

    My old '85 Ranger is reliable, if that helps...

  • knkresortknkresort Member Posts: 79
    I have a 97 Ford Ranger with the 2.3L, 5 speed. I have a 75 mile roundtrip commute and get about 23 miles to the gallon. I travel about 65 mph most of the way. I only have 27k miles on the vehicle, but I have had no problems. Great truck. As for the 3.0 liter, it will have more power, but less gas efficiency. I have a buddy with the 3.0, and I get 4-5 mpg better.

    By the way, I am selling it, cdg19. I have 2000 Dodge Quad Cab on order. Need more space with a growing family. Still love the Ranger, just wish it were bigger.
  • cpousnrcpousnr Member Posts: 1,611
    XLT has been almost trouble free. Had the GEM module replaced for the wipers (they came on by themselves) and one door interlock switch.

    Otherwise, 25,000 miles trouble free. And I run it hard. It is a 4X4 with the 4.0 engine.
  • scrappy69scrappy69 Member Posts: 1
    I have an 93 xlt and has the 3.0 auto with 130,000 on it and has not had a lick of trouble. Picked it up in 96 with 50k on it and still drive it 100 miles a day.
  • drew35drew35 Member Posts: 6
    I own a 94,(66k mi.) reg cab splash with 3.0 (a real splash not a sport) I couldn't be happier. I get about 23mi to the gal. Besides some wear-n-tear in the cab the truck looks great and runs well. I would suggest buying a ranger. The only problem I have had with it that the motor in the electric mirror burned out, which was replace under warranty. I also had a recall on the parking brake which the parking wedge was replaced. Everything still works fine, including the a.c. which is as strong as the day I bought it....and more thing the car is still on its original battery(motorcraft) even after the harsh summers we have here in Texas. I have had the best of luck with my ranger and I hope you do to
  • loki99loki99 Member Posts: 14
    I had two ranger lemons, a 95 and a 98, got fed up with all of the problems, and bought a nissan,
    BTW the 95 had 37,000 miles on it, needed new ac, airbag and abs lights on and and a new engine. 98
    needed a new engine and had a rear end leak at 18,000 miles. and I am not hard on my vehicles, dealer service always, I never tow anything and haven't carried more than 4-500 pounds. If you do buy a ranger, buy the extended warranty, ford will give you all kinds of hell if you have a problem just 1,000 miles out of warranty. Better yet get a Nissan or Toyota or even a s-10, if you like the ranger get the mazda, same truck but better warranty.
  • drew35drew35 Member Posts: 6
    why would you buy another ranger if the first one was a lemon,(that should tell everyone something right there)Unless these two were bought new, what kind of person would buy a 95 and 98 that had, or needed a new engine, that should of told you something right there. Good god almighty be a little smarter do some research on your cars and/or trucks. All makes including Nissan, Toyota, and s-10's are probably going to be a "lemon" when bought USED under these conditions. By the way what other maker doesn't hassel you when your car is out of warranty----
  • loki99loki99 Member Posts: 14
    Both were bought NEW not USED, and of course being new did not have any problems, the 95 I drove until 37,000 miles, the 98 until 18,000 miles, I figured that I would give ford another chance, and try the different engine, besides the truck was only bringing a decent trade at the ford dealer. you are right, if I would have seen all of the bad complaints about the ranger I would have bought my first choice, the tacoma, but I went on the advice of a friend and I had seen alot of them on the road, I figured that they had to be OK. ANd actually the reason I chose the Nissan dealer I bought from instead of another is because a relative had their AC stop cooling at 38,000 miles
    and gave them no hassle what soever.
  • drew35drew35 Member Posts: 6
    When I have bad luck with something, I too, would of had bought something different, lucky for me though, I have had good luck with my Ranger. My brother owns a 94 Nissan(4banger extended cab) as well as a F150 lightning. He "rags" the hell out of his nissan but it just keeps going and going. I am pro-Ranger, but I am very impressed with his nissan. I hope your nissan does well for you.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    Hey Ranger Owners - this should make you feel
    good. The latest 2000 Consumer Reports Reliability
    Ranking ranks the Ranger (and I quote) "Worse Than
    Average". In fact, only two trucks ranked in the
    "Above Average" category for reliability. Tacoma
    and Frontier!! And before you go spouting off
    about how it's a biased ranking you'd better think
    again. The results are taken from surveys by
    actual owners. That's right - Ranger owners ranked
    their own trucks "WORSE THAN AVERAGE"
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    Yes, Rangers are reliable, go to www.carpoint.msn.com and see the reliability data yourself. It contradicts everything CR says. Whom do you believe, I guess who you want to believe. I have had 2 Rangers both have been very reliable. CR is known for being bias against domestics and favoring imports, their data has even contradicted itself at a some points, on an import they like a feature, on a domestic they bash it.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    The data has nothing to do with any test CR did. They just reported survey results from Gov't and Consumer reliability surveys. They do it every year. Ford Ranger was way on down the list in the
    WORSE THAN AVERAGE category. Owners don't think it's a very reliable truck. Same with the F Series trucks. They were ranked WORSE also (but not as bad as the Ranger. Ranger owners ranked their trucks as unreliable. Has nothing to do with a CR test or anything. Just survey results.
  • drew35drew35 Member Posts: 6
    All I have to say is that my Ranger is reliable and thats all that matters to me, and by they way who cares what some nancy boy article has to say...look at motor trend...all you have to do is come out with a new car/truck and you win car/truck of the year. Do "we" honestly think that the tundra is truck of the year...please....
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    It never seems to stop amazing me how folks can bash and bash Ford for quality/reliablity yet their profits/sales continue to rise. (Just bought Range Rover from BMW) Who has Toyota or Nissan bought?. The F Series has been a top seller for years now, right along with the Ranger. If their reliability was in question don't you think word would have got out after 12 years? (Ranger number one compact seller for 12 years running) and the F series is still outselling the Tundra about 15 to 1!
  • dberrydberry Member Posts: 22
    '91 Ranger xlt supercab 3.0L V-6. Currently 201,000 Miles. Went though 150,000 with only maintenance and only replacing the Radiator (factory defect). No major work to date, and is giving me no reason to expect any problem. Have only heard of (but never seen) Toyota's with such a good report.
  • superjim2000superjim2000 Member Posts: 314
    good point dberry, like a smart blonde or a UFO you always hear about em (the 'superior' imports) but never see em. you ford guys wont like this but my old 83 S10 was just as reliable, gave it to my cousin with 300,000 miles and its still going strong. Americans can build good trucks.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    Vince, why are you hung up on who Ford owns??? And who other companies own? Why would you care which billionaire at Ford now gets even more money because of some merger or take over? Anyway, Ford should pump some of that dough into the reliability of their vehicles. And yes, I agree with Superjim2000, Americans *can* build good trucks. Especially Full-Size trucks. In the compact market - I'll let the Ranger speak for itself. And I see superior imports all over the place. Many import trucks with tons of miles just keep on rolling - without the maintenance invloved with a Ranger. You can keep any truck like a Ranger running forever provided you empty your wallet every other weekend for repairs and new tranny's.
  • amoraamora Member Posts: 204
    Had a '95 Ranger XLT ext. cab 2.3L with manual tranny. Went 140,000 miles on orig. brakes, no problems. Very gutless on launch, but great passing power when downshifted at high RPMS, great hill climber. WATCH OUT IF YOU HAVE TIMING BELT REPLACED BY PRIVATE GARAGE. The grease monkeys may tear O-RING at coolant tube causing loss of
    coolant on freeway. I had P245-60R14 tires,
    K & N, catback exhaust and best MPG was 26, highest speed achieved was 116 MPH on 6% downgrade. VERY VERY reliable and trouble free vehicle. The 2.5L in newer Rangers is claimed to
    be far superior and I believe has chain driven camshaft.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    mviglianco1, is this just Ford? or is Mercury, Lincoln, Jaguar, Volvo, Austin Martin, Mazda, Land Rover, also included? Why didn't you post the link so we could see if the profits included all of Fords subsidiaries?
    And I notice noone has answered my questions as to why the Ranger has been the top selling compact truck for 13 years running. How does a truck achieve this goal when they are all supposed to be garbage and unreliable? It continues to outsell the Tacoma almost 3 to 1, Nissan about 4 to 1, Chevy S-10 3 to 1. With the 2001 coming out soon along with a new line-up of engines for the Ranger, I don't think Ford has much to worry about for the next 10 years. And I know I am going to get the lecture of how sales don't matter, bull....! Sales do matter that is what makes profit.
  • rooster9rooster9 Member Posts: 239
    You won't be seeing the Tundra's outsell the F-150's or any of the other Big 3's full size trucks anytime soon. Toyota only has one plant that makes Tundras, and they only are producing 100,000 a year. In order for them to compete with the others, they are gonna have to build a few more plants.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    mviglianco1, thanks for the link. Looks like Toyota is now #4 in the auto world due to the Diamler/Mitsu merger.
  • brooks9brooks9 Member Posts: 5
    Sorry, but I can't resist an opportunity to bash Ford. Why? Because I feel like the $2800 it cost me to be able trade that piece of garbage in gives me the right to vent. I had a 97 Ranger XLT w/ 5 spd AT. I'm not going to repeat the whole story (different post) but I'll just say that I'm glad many of you have Ranger's that are reliable, but mine started having problems just over 60k and now I'm a Nissan Frontier owner. My brother has had 2 Nissans and never had the kind of trouble I had with that 97.
  • mviglianco1mviglianco1 Member Posts: 283
    Think of it this way. Anheiser-Busch(sp?) probably makes more beer then any brewery on earth. It is cheaper and they own all kinds of smaller more specialized brands. But that doesn't neccesarily mean that their beer is better then many of the microbrews that you have in Portland. There are many that have never even tried anything but Budweiser or Busch-Light and dont even know what a microbrew is. Maybe a bad analogy but that is my thought process on this. I REALLY dont care how big the maker of my truck is in comparison to Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler. All I care about is that I personally think I purchased the best truck. I bet you used to be a Bulls fan and now pull for the Lakers. It still seems that Ford should make much more profit then they do for their size. Again, that really isn't importand except that you keep bringing up the size of the Ford Corporation in your debate about why you like your Ranger.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    I keep bringing up the fact that the Ranger has been the number 1 selling compact truck for 13 years STRAIGHT. The Tacoma has been around now for what, 4 years? And still no sign of the Tacoma making any sort of move to be numero uno. The Ranger doesn't keep this sort of record being, unreliable, or lacking quality, fit/finish. People would have caught on after 13 years that the Ranger was a terrible truck don't you think? I know I bought the best compact truck on the market today in value, quality and fit/finish, crash tests, comfort, ride..... The Ford Ranger.
  • brooks9brooks9 Member Posts: 5
    and maybe soon, even you'll believe it.
  • mviglianco1mviglianco1 Member Posts: 283
    I am not really arguing with you. I am not saying that the Ranger is a bad truck at all, just not my choice. I believe you have accurately answered the question as to why the Tacoma does not sell as well. It is more expensive, it is not as configurable as the Ranger, and it is an import(which many see as a negative). If you go back in any of these discussions I believe that you will not find me bashing the Ranger, except for maybe the first several posts when I first started posting just for fun.
  • drew35drew35 Member Posts: 6
    Have you ever noticed that most car makers always compare their trucks with that of ford, makes you wonder....chevy is the worst at it...you almost never see ford compare their trucks to anyone else..Why? you don't compare the best (ford) to second rate products. Don't believe, pay close attention when you watch those ads on t.v.
  • xena1axena1a Member Posts: 286
    Interesting observation. On a related note, there are many topics in this Pickup Forum where various other trucks are compared to the Ranger.

    Tacoma vs Ranger
    Frontier vs Ranger
    S10 ZR2 vs Ranger
    S10 4cyl vs Ranger 4cyl

    The Ranger is obviously a major player in the compact truck market. I own a '99 Mazda B3000 4WD x-cab (4 door) with a 5-spd manual. I've been very pleased with the vehicle...
  • astarteastarte Member Posts: 3
    I have a new Ranger, 4cyl. 2wd. 2.5L. Has anyone else had a problem with very rough idling and the engine bogging after 75 mph? The dealer said it was ok, but even the salesman thought it was running rough. Thanks!
  • xena1axena1a Member Posts: 286
    I can't answer your question about the 2.5L. I own a Mazda with a 3.0L. You might want to post your question over in topic #1165 - Ford Ranger II. The folks over there are usually pretty helpful...
  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
    thank you, I'll try that
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    The PICKUPS Conference has gotten WAY too big....

    it is unwieldy to manage, and difficult to use for "newbies." There is entirely TOO much topic duplication, so I will be doing some SERIOUS topic consolidation in the next few weeks, getting us down to not more than 2-3 topics per vehicle type, and ultimately down to 200 topics or less.

    THIS weeks consolidation candidates are: Tundra's, Tacoma's and Rangers.

    In that vein,please consolidate this Ranger topic to Ford Ranger II and continue these discussions there.


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    SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host
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