Ford Ranger Lighting and Electrical Problems

grappgrapp Member Posts: 2
My dome lite stays on when my 1997 Ford Ranger is started and the cabin temperature is higher than the outside temp. Spraying chemicals in the door latch is not a fix.


  • sweet1plum2000sweet1plum2000 Member Posts: 6
    1992 Ford Ranger, about 209,000 miles on it. It runs.

    Ok, I have some type of electrical short somewhere. I try to crank the engine and sometimes it starts and sometimes it doesn't. If it does not start, I keep trying it will start after a couple trys. The air conditoning system is not working ever. Had the compressor checked and it is fine, mechanic said electrical problem...and these two things are related.

    Ordered a shop manual CD for it, but was wondering if someone had any ideas on what to check? I can drive it, but it is so freaking hot here now. Plus on a budget, ...

  • landdriverlanddriver Member Posts: 607
    I assume you're saying sometimes when you turn the key, there's no engine cranking sound, it's just dead. Could be the starter motor -- sometimes oil film builds up on the commutator brushes in the starter, effectively insulating them from the commutator and thus intermittently preventing them from making contact.

    However if the AC compressor problem is indeed related (both problems surfaced at the same time?) then it is not the starter and just a bad wiring contact problem somewhere. Shop manuals would indeed be invaluable for tracking this down.
  • sweet1plum2000sweet1plum2000 Member Posts: 6
    Correct. Everything started happening at the same time after the spark plugs were changed out. Electrical problem started then and effects:

    1. Tacho Meter does not work
    2. Temperature Gauge does not work
    3. a/c does not come on
    4. sometimes it does not start, when turning key there is nothing. Keep trying though and it will start up fine after a couple times. This only happens once in a while, not every time I try to start it.

    I was thinking of taking to ford to get a diagnostic test done to have them find the problem at least. On a tight budget though, and have the shop manual now but it is for all the truck engines and hard to sort through it all.

    Frustrated, and broke..
  • scotspitch56scotspitch56 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 98 ranger that does the same thing every once in a while. usually once winter hits and there's the warm spell it happens. but i used to take it in all the time and they'd end up replacing the damn thing. but i read on other message boards to spray WD40 in the door latch to clean out the censor and it will fix it.
  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    Take the door panels off and spray the switch directly, or replace the switch. Do both doors.
  • nyhosernyhoser Member Posts: 2
    high mounted backup lights on my 1998 Ford Ranger are not working. I have check the bulbs and they are OK. Checked with Volt meter and getting no current to the sockets when in reverse. The brake light in the same panel works OK. Does anyone have experience with this problem?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    Those are cargo lights, not reverse lights. They come on when the interior light switch is activated, or on some models when the door is opened.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • nyhosernyhoser Member Posts: 2
  • kansas1kansas1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 93 ranger I just put a new engine in that seems to run fine at low speed. As soon as I reach 25-30 mph I loose all power until my speed decreases to 15 mph. I've checked all my connections and cant find any problems. :confuse:
  • sweet1plum2000sweet1plum2000 Member Posts: 6
  • angler2angler2 Member Posts: 1
    break lights in my 05 ranger stopped working (i think)just after replacing my front pads the wiring,switch,bulbs and fuses are all ok. what the hell?there are 5 wires to the switch one is hot, one goes to the bulbs and the other three i got no idea where. you can jump hot to the wire to the bulbs at the switch and they light up and the switch tests ok. please help (if this makes any sense) thank you.
  • tukeanutukeanu Member Posts: 10
    The airbag warning light on my dashboard (do they still call them that?) just started to come on today and I was wondering if there was something I could do about it prior to taking it to the dealer and paying them large to make it go away. It flashes for a short period then stays on constantly. The manual says to take it to a dealer for service immediately if this condition arises. Anybody have any suggestions?
  • jjankowskijjankowski Member Posts: 1
    While driving my Ranger warm or cold,the engine ignition cuts out for 2 to 3 seconds at at time sometimes longer. When this happens the radio also goes dead but the AC fan does not. After a few seconds without touching anything the radio comes back on and the ignition system works again. I've tugged on every wire harness in the vehicle while it is running and cannot make it happen. Any ideas??
  • pcorveypcorvey Member Posts: 1
    The Lockswitch on my '91 Ranger no longer clicks between positions and is stuck in the "on" postion and will not activate the the starter when rotated to the start position. I cannot figure out how to remove the switch from the housing. This is not a tilt steering wheel. Can anyone give me any hints on how to replace this switch.
  • bath4130bath4130 Member Posts: 1
    Will a 2000 Ranger accept the headlight and corner lense assembly from a 2001+ Ranger?
  • dxnutdxnut Member Posts: 2
    Better late than never, I suppose.

    I just spent an hour figuring that out after my 99 Ranger failed NJ inspection for the high brake light. While removing the fixture, I saw that one of the clear lights was also burned out. Hell, I didn't even know these lights were there!

    They go on ONLY when you roll the dashboard light all the way up to MAXIMUM and then a bit more until it CLICKS. THEN, and only then, the cargo lights come on. Doesn't matter if the engine is on. The dash dimmer switch controls it. And NO, it ISN'T in the owner's manual.

    No wonder Ford's going down the tubes.
  • mred13pacmred13pac Member Posts: 3
    Apologize if this has been answered before and if my posting is too very long but my 2001 4X4 extended cab recently developed an intermittent but now permanent quirk which does not involve starting/running the pickup. When I open a door in the morning, after the pickup has been sitting for 12+ hours, the interior overhead light comes on but will not turn off until the pickup is driven FORWARD for 12-14 seconds and will not turn off with backing up for 12-14 seconds or sitting and running several minutes, only with driving forward for that time period. This 12 - 14 seconds is the same time period formerly needed for interior light shut-off after the door was closed when I exited the pickup. ? The "door ajar" light comes on with ignition turn-on and remains on for as long as the ignition is on. The interior light will not operate (after going off with the 12 - 14 seconds of forward driving) with opening the door(s) until the pickup sits for a few hours again. The electronic "gizmo" which locks/unlocks the doors (and is separate from the key) will lock/unlock the doors and turn on the interior light with unlocking and will activate the continuous horn beep but when it is used as two clicks to lock the doors and make the horn beep, it will not flash the lights and makes the horn beep twice, not once. ? I've sprayed electrical cleaner into the door-latch mechanism and tried silicone spray but I think that I have a "relay problem" rather than a switch problem - I've also tried disconnecting the battery for 12+ hours and that did not help. I've not checked fuses. Opening and securely closing all the four doors does not clear the problem. I did adjust the latches on the back doors several months ago because the doors were rattling on washboard roads but the problem started with the wet, cold weather and the first three times it happened was in a particular grocery-store parking lot after a drive of about 1 mile to the store in wet weather. Has the store jinxed my Ranger? TIA. ed
  • njdevils7njdevils7 Member Posts: 4
    hello , i think i can help you with your door ajar problem.. i just fixed a ranger with that issue. there is a switch that goes into the locking mec. inside the door. you will need to take off the door panel to get to it. the switch just twists out. hope this helps
  • mred13pacmred13pac Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the reply; I am baffled by what appears to be almost a complete reversal of internal lighting sequences - had hoped for a simpler solution than removing the paneling - I do thank you for your reply and I will save this bit of work for warmer weather. ed
  • dxnutdxnut Member Posts: 2
    The locks on both doors of my 99 Ranger are very difficult to operate. I have to jiggle the key back and forth many times to open the door, or sometimes I press the key in very hard and it seems to work better. Because it is the same on BOTH locks, I have ruled out a pin/cylinder problem, and am tending towards a simpler issue with the locking mechanism. Perhaps a freeze has bent the locking rods (or whatever they're called) Any ideas out there?
  • wireguy42wireguy42 Member Posts: 1
    Hi .. I'm Todd and i have the same problem with my locks. Jiggling them is very aggravating. It seems to do it more when it is cold outside. Please tell me that you have found a way to fix your problem, because I'm really tired of dealing with the same problem as well. Please reply. Thanx. -Todd
  • fordtechfordtech Member Posts: 34
    I had the same problem on my 2000, and I used liquid wrench on it, and fixed my problem. Going about a year now with no problems.
  • craftsmencraftsmen Member Posts: 3
    2003 Ford Ranger 4x4, 4.0 xlt. When I hit my high beam, both headlights go out. Runs fine on low beams. I checked bulbs and replaced multi switch on steering column, $79 for the new part. Did not fix the problem. Any ideas out there?
  • fordtechfordtech Member Posts: 34
    I would check fuse 1.38 and 1.42, which will be fuse #38 and 42 in the Battery Junction Box. The way the system is set up there is only one fuse for low beams, but both headlights have a fuse for highbeams. If that is not the problem, you might have to take it to a technician that has an IDS or WDS system so that they can run diagnostics on the DRL module. The reason I say that is because the power for high beams is routed through the DRL module. How bout your flash to pass? Do they work ok? Can you hit the FTP and everything stays on? If not I would definitely suspect the DRL module has a problem. Here is your wiring diagram. Just right click and click on save as, then you can print.
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  • craftsmencraftsmen Member Posts: 3
    Checked for high beam fuses under hood and in cab, but nothing for high beams. I'll pull all fuses today and check, in cab and under hood. When I am running with low beams then push down, no high beams and the low beams go off. When I pull back to low beams, they go back on. When I pull up on flash, low beams stay on, and brights do not come on. Checked all fuses, in cab and under hood. One out, in cab, a 20amp for brake pedal position switch. One in wrong position under hood, moved from 13 to 17, auxillary fan. 13 should be empty. Thanks
  • fordtechfordtech Member Posts: 34
    I need to correct myself. I was extremely tired when I posted that. The fuses in the batter junction box would only effect low beams. So if you have checked (for sure) fuse 33 in the fuse panel inside the cab, and it was good, then I would be hunting down the DRL module. Either that or if you have fog lights that module might be causing the problem as well. Does your high beam indicator light on the dash?

    Here is a quick check to make sure you dont have any corrosion or loose connection issues on the signal wire to the DRL module. Unplug your DRL module and the Fog lamp relay. DRL module is located down by the dr. fog lamp (under the drivers side head light) attached to body. Probably looks like a relay. The fog lamp relay is located in the battery junction box (see underside of lid for list of contents). See if the high beams come on.

    If they come on skip next section and go to bottom.

    If they dont illuminate, then get an 1156 or 1157 bulb and start tracing back through the wiring system that left to find where you last have power. The next connection or the wire between the point you last checked and the one where you found power will be your problem area. My personal favorite is to overlay the wire (splice in a new wire through the whole length) and see if the lights work then, before you plug the relay and module back in.

    If they come on, plug one thing at a time back in till they quit working. The piece that you plug back in that makes them quit is your problem child. Replace that part. If it is the DRL module, verify no water in the wiring, and add more dielectric grease to the front and backside of the connector to prevent future concerns.

    Think you can do this?
  • craftsmencraftsmen Member Posts: 3
    Thank you thank you. I tried another 15amp fuse in 33 in the cab and guess, what. It worked. Appreciate your help. Bob
  • rugbeegirlrugbeegirl Member Posts: 6
  • rugbeegirlrugbeegirl Member Posts: 6
    Can someone please tell me where the heck the Vehicle Speed Sensor is located? I've looked on both sides of the tranny and there are two wire clusters coming out of the right side if you are looking at the Ranger from the front. Is this the right spot? The harness does not look the same!
  • cogswellcogcogswellcog Member Posts: 2
    I just had my camper shell from my 94 Ranger installed on my 06 Ranger and I can't figure out how to wire the brake light since I don't have a separate brake wire from the turn signal.

    Anyone know how to get this to work without blinking when the turn signal is on?
  • imacomedianimacomedian Member Posts: 1
    HI, I have a 96 for ranger and recently my gauge lights and tail running lights stopped working. I'm not to sure if they are realated or not but I checked the fuses and they are fine. My brake, reverse, and signal lights however DO work. When I switch the light knob on my dash board my headlights come on but the tail running lights and guage lights don't come on.
    Any help would be great. Thanks
  • jalostjalost Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 ranger 4x4 when I turn off the ignition the engine shuts off but then I hear a series of clicks coming from behind the dashboard and the radio and other electronic items stay on and drain battery. can anyone please help!
  • sceleysceley Member Posts: 3
    I have a 96 ford ranger, 4 cyl., standard 5 sp., 2 wd. My State requires an annual I/M safety inspection. Besides the standard checks of lights, brakes, etc.. they run an emissions test. will not allow the test without the "check engine light" working. checked instrustment cluster bulbs, ok. All fuses ,ok. circuit board of instrustment panel. ok. no voltage present when keys is turned on at the bulb. self diagnoistic shows "Bank 1 burning Lean." any advice other than a PRO. thank you.
  • fordtechfordtech Member Posts: 34
    Why you runnin a self diagnostic?? Get an OBD II scanner and get the code... LOL Otherwise:

    Sounds like you got a vacuum leak or exhaust leak to me, but get me a CODE to cross reference..

    The vacuum leak would allow excess air into the combustion chamber effectively making the mixture lean..

    An exhaust leak would allow air into the exhaust and thus the O2 sensor would read lean as there is too much oxygen in the exhaust stream..

    Ford Tech
  • sceleysceley Member Posts: 3
    This would cause the check engine light to not light??? I though the check engine light was to light with an emission problem. however thank you very much for your advice, i will investigate for those problems. sceley
  • fordtechfordtech Member Posts: 34
    Only reason I said to get the code is cause you said you got a self diagnostic of "Bank 1 Lean"... OBD II doesnt do self diagnostics flashed out on the CEL. The CEL comes on only when there is a problem. On OBD II vehicles, that is all it does, is just come on, it wont flash a code or do any of that. You need a scan tool to do that.

    Back to why the CEL doesnt work..

    First, the PCM grounds that circuit (which is pin 2 at the PCM) to turn on the bulb. The fuse for the cluster #11 in the fuse panel (7.5A) is what provides the power to that light.
    However it also provides power for your oil pressure gauge, charge gauge, and Tachometer. If those things are working, then you have a problem with your printed circuit on the back of your cluster. You already stated you dont have 12v to that bulb during initial key on.

    Let me know if the Charge, Tach, and Oil Pressure gauges are working. If they are, you need a new pinted circuit..

    Ford Tech
  • sceleysceley Member Posts: 3
    Yes the oil pressure gauge and charging gauge as well as the rest of the instrustment gauges and lights are working correctly. I am an Electrician by trade so i am familiar with circuity. i checked the circuit boards physical condition, scratches broken circuits or burnt areas. all look and test good for continuity. i do not have a tachometer. there is a small plug in circuit board that i removed and cleaned connections.
  • fordtechfordtech Member Posts: 34
    The only reason I was concerned with the Charge and oil pressure gauges is because they are powered by the same fuse as the CEL.

    So basically what you have told me is that there is no possible way it can be any of the following:

    -Printed Circuit
    -Bulb for CEL
    -Power to the bulb for CEL

    Guess what is left in the equation.. The PCM, because it supplies the ground for the CEL. I would see if you can supply a seperate ground for that light during the KOEO sequence.. Thats key on, engine off. Power cycle the ignition like you are goin to start the truck, with your ground attached to the ground for that bulb.. If it lights up with the extra ground supplied, then check to see if you have power on the ground side of that bulb.. It should be dead during the power cycle.. If its not, fix the short to power.. If it is dead, its probably a new PCM for you..
  • cessna180cessna180 Member Posts: 9
    impossible to drive in low the switch stays lit in4x4 low even when its moved to 2high or 4high???
  • btrogersbtrogers Member Posts: 4
    My tach. will read zero and my truck starts to run bad. I wiggle the fuse box around (under the hood) and it seems to kick back up. There are 2 plugs (sensors) attached to the box. I wiggle just the wire and it does the same thing. Does anyone have any idea what is going on here? :sick:
  • cessna180cessna180 Member Posts: 9
    fixed # 28 fuse
  • daveflintstonedaveflintstone Member Posts: 3
  • daveflintstonedaveflintstone Member Posts: 3
    Anyone know how to disconnect the seatbelt warning sound on a 2001 ranger?
  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    Put your seatbelt on. It's there for a reason.
  • mred13pacmred13pac Member Posts: 3
    I adjusted the driver's side back door sill latch-plate (door was "sticking") and the door-ajar light goes out on door closing and the cabin light works normally.
  • rosser_42rosser_42 Member Posts: 1

  • galenfitzgalenfitz Member Posts: 1
    I noticed a check engine light when starting the engine. Then noticed none of the gages (oil pressure, temp, gas, etc.) were working. Tried to turn the engine off but the ignition switch was locked in the on position. I had to pull the coil wire to stop the engine. I would greatly appreciate any help on this problem. Thanks.
  • lucyfordlucyford Member Posts: 2
    i just push the red button on the seat belt that would click if you actually put the seatbelt on. that has always worked on mine. it you push the button, it thinks the metal clasp is in there and it will stop beeping at you.
  • straifstraif Member Posts: 2
    Cruise control in my 2006 Ford Ranger has recently stopped working. I checked the fuses and they are fine.

    I tried using it once with no luck. After I had been on the road for a while longer I tried it again and it worked, but ever since then it hasn't worked again.
  • kingvjackkingvjack Member Posts: 2
    I need help!!!
    I have a 93 ranger that was having an issue with the battery, changed battery out, hit ignition and now there is no juice anywhere, no dome lights, panel chimes, start or anything, fuses look good..... what happened?
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