Wierd Ranger Problem

Tiny
TOMJ
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD RANGER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
  • 48,000 MILES
2001 Ford Ranger 6cyl FWD. Problem:
Drove it about 50 mi to destination. Stopped, shut off engine. It would not start up again. It cranked, sounded like it was starting but died. Had it towed. Had it in their shop for a week and it sometimes started for them, sometimes didn't. They replaced the fuel pump relay. Seemed to be working ok. I drove it home, stopped 3 times on the way, shut off engine and it started each time. Got it home, wouldn't start the next morning. Tried each day and after 3 days it started. I drove it to another garage where they tried to diagnose the problem but it started for them almost all of the time. Each time it wouldn't start they would test it with every instrument they had. Then it would start. Finally they replaced the ignition coil block (?) And it seemed to work ok. At this point this second garage had the truck for 4 weeks. I picked it up and I drove it about 10 miles, shut it off for a few minutes, and started it again ok. Drove it about 20 feet and it died like it was out of gas. Continued to try starting it until the battery ran down. Had it towed to Garage No. 2 again. They have had it for 5 days now and it continues to start for them. They try it 5-4 times every day and it won't fail.

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Monday, February 21st, 2011 AT 10:44 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Problem is intermittent and symptoms indicates some running of vehicle is required before it stalls and could not be started.

The most likely cause would be a loose connection somewhere resulting in power to some components not being available to start the engine. Check fuse box and wireharness connectors for signs of overheating, contamination or looseness.

http://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-cranks-but-wont-start

Above link explains what to look for when you are able to crank and not starting.

After 2 shops, what were their findings regarding the non starting? Is it a fuel or ignition sparks fault?
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Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 AT 2:23 PM
Tiny
TOMJ
  • MEMBER
As I said, the first shop thought it was a fuel problem and they replaced the fuel pump relay. Apparently they didn't think it was the fuel pump.

The second shop thought it was a sparks problem because he said that when it wouldn't run, it was "losing spark". This is why they replaced the ignition block (?). The tough part of it is that it is so intermittent. It's like it fails when I have it and it rarely fails when the shop has it. The second shop said they did a fuel pressure test and that was ok. But that was when it was running. It's like they need all of their instruments hooked up at the point when it fails, if only that could be determined.
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Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 AT 3:00 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
It is never easy to diagnose such intrmittent problems and if both fuel and ignition sparks had been tested and found to be missing when it could not start, the most likely source would be the PCM.
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Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 AT 3:29 PM
Tiny
TOMJ
  • MEMBER
I reviewed your replies with my mechanic (garage #2) and he felt that there was only a 2% chance of it being the pcm. One thing he told me that he hadn't told me before was that on one of the rare occasions where it wouldn't start for him, he checked for fuel pressure and during that occurrence and there was none. Since the fuel pump relay has already been replaced, he feels that the issue is probably is the fuel pump. He said that fuel pump problems occur more frequently when trying to start the engine as opposed to after the engine is running. This problem has always (with only one exception) been when trying to start the engine. He hates more than anything to just start replacing stuff and hoping for the best but I told him that I would go along with a new fuel pump.

As the monkey said as he peed into the cash register, "This is running into money".
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Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 AT 6:47 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Seems to me when it dont start all you have to do is check if pump is running/getting voltage.
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Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 AT 5:42 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Fuel pumps are known to fail intermittently but it must be remembered that the fuel pump relay is activated by the PCM and PCM are also known to intermittently fail when capacitors on the circuit boards are leaking.

Anyway, f you have not replaced the fuel pump yet, when problem occurs, give the fuel tank some knock with a piece of wood and see if the pump fires up. If it is the fuel pump, in your case that shoudl work.
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Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 AT 12:04 PM

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