2001 Ford Ranger Bucking during snowy weather

Tiny
REDINGT3
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD RANGER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 75,000 MILES
The truck bucks or jerks when it is snowing. It even happens on a nice day when I get behind a semi with a mound of snow on top of the trailer that is blowing off. So I'm pretty sure the problem has to do with snow. It bucks whether I'm in 2x or 4x and at any speed over 20mph.

It almost feels as if the engine shuts off for a split second, or like the tires suddenly stop rotating and then quickly start again. The severity of the bucking is variable, sometimes really rough, other times soft but noticable.

Any thoughts on what the problem could be, and why this only happens when it snows?
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Thursday, March 11th, 2010 AT 10:44 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
First thing you need to do is have the codes read, Autozone does it free, Post the results with the code number(s). Even if the service engine light is not on, there should be freeze frame data stored.
If it won't make it to Autozone, buy a cheap scanner, they can be had for 30-40 dollars, a good investment, since they cover all cars sold in the USA from 96 on.
If the light is blinking, it means possible damage to the Catalytic converter. Misfires. Service it right away!
Check the MAF sensor, you can try cleaning it with MAF sensor spray cleaner, DO NOT touch the heated wire, or try cleaning it on a hot engine! It's located at the air filter box, BTW when was your last tune up? Air filter?
Why does it happen only in the snow? Could be the cold affects the MAF's heated wire, Ford recommends replacing these, but some improvement may happen with a cleaning.
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Thursday, March 11th, 2010 AT 4:03 PM
Tiny
REDINGT3
  • MEMBER
Thanks, merlin2021. I popped the hood yesterday and found the breather hose disconnected from the air intake. You think snow could have been sucked into the air intake and caused the bucking/jerking?

I went through my old service records and found that the breather hose had to be reconnected a couple years ago. I never checked it after that, so it must have popped off right away.

I sure hope that's the problem, but now I'm worried the hose won't stay connected, maybe a new hose is in order?

I'll get the codes read this weekend and get a tune up next week.
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Friday, March 12th, 2010 AT 7:43 AM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
New hose might help it stay on, it's probably heat hardened and not tight enough. This could cause the bucking. Clean the throttle body with the new throttle body spray that's out now. Turn engine off and clea it with a rag and the spray. Bucking diminsh if not dissapear after you plugged the hose back in?
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Friday, March 12th, 2010 AT 12:50 PM
Tiny
REDINGT3
  • MEMBER
Well, I probably won't be able to tell if the breather hose was the problem until next winter. I'm in Iowa and it's finally getting nice out. No more snow in the forecast! :-)

Thanks for all the help, merlin2021!
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Friday, March 12th, 2010 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Ok Your welcome, check back in with us!
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Friday, March 12th, 2010 AT 5:13 PM

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