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Ford Ranger Running Rough
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  1. #1

    5 Ford Ranger Running Rough

    I have a 2000 Ford Ranger. I got it in 2001, it had been gently used. In the ten years since I've had it I've not had a bit of trouble with it. Never had to have anything done to it besides routine maintance, except replace the driver door after hitting a deer a few years back. About 2 months ago it suddenly started running really rough. One day it was fine and the next it runs rough and vibrates a little around 55 mph. It feels kind of sluggish like it is having to work overtime just to run.
    I don't have money for a mechanic and no men in the family to take a look at it. I'm always a little leary of getting honest responses from the shops being a single woman who knows almost nothing about cars. I haven't had much luck in the past.
    Any ideas of what might cause this to suddenly start? If I had some idea of what it might be before going to a shop I would feel a little better about it. Not going in totally blind would help.
    Thanks in advance for any ideas.

  2. #2
    check the spark plugs / the spark plug wires / the distributor cap and rotor / have the spark timing checked / timing belt or chain which ever it has / have the compression checked / have the fuel system checked if the problem is the engine..
    now on to the rest of the truck.. as for the vibration it could be because of the engine or it could as simple as a tire out of balance.. from your description i would not think it is a bearing as it would let you know it as soon as you started to drive down the road ask me how i know that one.. i know this sounds like a lot to do but it is some thing i have done many times myself..
    the best thing for you to spend money on first is a repair manual for you truck and read it you will be amazed at what you will learn about your truck.. also you will know what the mechanic is talking about when you talk to one.. but best of all you may be able fix it your self i always say if you can read you can fix them your self most of the time.. and if you can read the instructions for baking a cake you can use a manual to fix it your self.. your a preper this is something we on this board should know .. because what happens if your out in boonies when you cant get it to a mechanic and need it to run.. we all need a repair manual in our BOB'S

    i have 2 for my 2000 blazer a Haynes and Chilton manuals..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    SE Louisiana...
    Inline 4 or v-6? Any check engine light? How many miles? From your description, it could be something as simple as a vacuum hose...but there are many possible causes. You really should have it checked out by a competent mechanic, as it is all too easy to throw parts at a problem, costing more than the correct repair would have been.

    BTW, a vibration at highway speeds can also be caused by an engine misfire or a faulty lockup clutch in the torque converter...or is it manual transmission?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    A couple more things are the coil or coil packs, whichever it has, and the MAF sensor. Open the hood at night in the dark and start it up and see if the are any sparks from bad plug wires.

  5. #5
    I thank you all for your replies. Sorry it took me a while to get back here. Just got out of the hospital due to a nasty pneumonia.
    That's a good list of things to look for. It will help in talking to someone about getting it looked at.
    byronandkathy2003, I will find a repair manual and begin the reading. Good, practical advice, I should have already thought of that.

    tech, it's an automatic, a little over 100,000 miles on it. The check engine light has been on for over a year. I did have that checked a long time ago and was told it was not anything to worry about. The mechanic turned it off for me and said it would come back on eventually and it did. The next time I had it inspected the mechanic then turned it off again. I forget what thay called it but it is apparently a common thing.

    Hardpan, I will start it in the dark and watch for sparks.

    Again, thanks to all of you. Hopefully, soon, I can report the problem is solved.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    New England
    Well if you have not fixed the truck yet a couple of things to try , first run a bottle of injector cleaner through a tank of gas, I like and recommend Lucas injector cleaner after that change the oxygen sensor I don't remember if that model has one or two? also the check engine lght has a trouble code before you turn it off ask what the code and problem is. These are good small trucks and generally easy to keep running for 200,000 miles as I have with the ones I own.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    West Texas
    Go to autozone and see what code the check engine light actually is... I've seen cars do what you are describing from a catalytic converter coming apart. Also, if you have an O2 sensor failing it could be causing your engine to run rough or even may have fouled a spark plug. Once you get back with what the SES light actually is, i can help you out more, until then its kindof like trying to find a needle in a haystack of needles


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