Engine suddenly shut off, fuel pump or fuel pump relay?

Tiny
TOMMYT68
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD RANGER
  • 2.3L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 202,000 MILES
My truck stalled yesterday out of the blue. It had been running like a champ. It wasn't out of gas. So I thought maybe the fuel pump failed although it hadn't been displaying any symptoms of the pump going bad. It sat for about 20 minutes and started but immediately stalled again.
Then it wouldn't start at all. I listened for the pump to come on but couldn't hear it. So which is more likely, the fuel pump failed or the fuel pump relay failed? I have a new relay on the way. Just trying to ease my mind, hoping it's just the relay.
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Sunday, December 20th, 2020 AT 7:45 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
DL AUTOSHOP
  • MEMBER
Hello, I'm Danny.

It would save a lot of time and money if it's just the relay. Here is a tutorial showing how to test a relay:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-an-electrical-relay-and-wiring-control-circuit

I would suggest performing a fuel pressure test to rule out a weak or failing fuel pump. Here is a tutorial showing how to perform a fuel pressure test:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-fuel-system-pressure-and-regulator

The correct fuel pressure specification for your Ranger is 35-40 psi when running. After performing these tests get back to us with the results and we'll go from there. If the pump is bad here is a tutorial showing how to change an in-tank fuel pump:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-an-electric-fuel-pump

Here are picture steps attached below on how to drop the fuel tank and replace the fuel pump for your truck. Hope this helps and thanks for using 2CarPros.
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Sunday, December 20th, 2020 AT 8:10 PM
Tiny
TOMMYT68
  • MEMBER
Dude! Thank you so much for the info. The new relay will be here on the 28th. I'll keep you updated. Thanks again and Merry Christmas!
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Sunday, December 20th, 2020 AT 9:24 PM
Tiny
DL AUTOSHOP
  • MEMBER
You're welcome!
Keep us updated and thanks again for using 2CarPros. Merry Christmas.

Danny-
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Sunday, December 20th, 2020 AT 10:07 PM
Tiny
TOMMYT68
  • MEMBER
So, I just installed new relay. I hear it click when I turn the key on. Not sure if I'm hearing the pump come on. Seems like I do. It won't start although my battery is getting weak from trying to start it. I'll get a jump and try again. I checked the number 4 fuse 30 amp. I checked fuse 22 in the cab. They are good. Maybe the battery isn't allowing it to turn over good enough? I'm a terrible mechanic.
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Thursday, December 24th, 2020 AT 9:53 AM
Tiny
DL AUTOSHOP
  • MEMBER
Hello again.

Okay. Make sure the battery cables are clean and tight on the battery. Here is a tutorial for that:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/everything-goes-dead-when-engine-is-cranked

Here is a tutorial also on how to charge the battery:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-charge-your-car-battery

After you perform this let us know what happens and we'll go from there. Thanks again for using 2CarPros and Happy Holidays.

Danny-
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Thursday, December 24th, 2020 AT 10:48 AM
Tiny
TOMMYT68
  • MEMBER
Now I'm thinking I should change the coils and/or ignition coil module. I did the plugs and wires a couple months ago.
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Thursday, December 24th, 2020 AT 2:38 PM
Tiny
DL AUTOSHOP
  • MEMBER
Hello again.

Just curious to know the status of your truck. After charging the battery is your truck starting? Keep us updated and let us know if you have any further questions on this issue. Thanks again for using 2CarPros. Happy Holidays.

Danny-
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Saturday, December 26th, 2020 AT 12:02 PM
Tiny
TOMMYT68
  • MEMBER
So I figured out my trucks ignition module is integrated with the ECU. Where is that located? In cab, passenger side wall? Or top of fire wall passenger side in engine compartment?
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:00 PM
Tiny
DL AUTOSHOP
  • MEMBER
Hello again.

Yes, that is correct. The ignition control module is built into the pcm- powertrain control module. By using a professional scanner you can perform a PCM reset. You might want to try that before replacing due to the high cost of a PCM. You can save money by going online to get a refurbished pcm or find a site that is less expensive than getting from a Ford dealer. I've attached picture steps below on the reset procedure as well as how to remove and replace the PCM on your truck. The location is under hood on the firewall and its picture is attached as well and circled in red. Hope this helps and thanks again for using 2CarPros.

Danny-
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 2:23 PM
Tiny
TOMMYT68
  • MEMBER
Okay, so I changed the coils. Still wont start. So I sprayed starting fluid into the intake and still nothing. If the fuel pump was bad then it still should have fired with the starting fluid. I removed the ECM and removed the cover to inspect the board for anything broken or burnt. To look at it, it looked fine. The capacitors looked fine. I didn't see anything that would make me think it's bad. Although I'm going to order a new one. Could I be overlooking a fuse somewhere? I changed the fuel pump relay.
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Saturday, January 16th, 2021 AT 1:10 PM
Tiny
TOMMYT68
  • MEMBER
You are not going to believe this. I checked the fuel pump cut off switch and it wasn't tripped. So I checked the plug in part and low and behold, it was almost completely unplugged. I pushed it up in there like it was supposed to be and the dang thing started. Holy crap! Thanks for all your help anyways. I know a lot more about this truck now.
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Saturday, January 16th, 2021 AT 8:14 PM
Tiny
DL AUTOSHOP
  • MEMBER
You re welcome!

I m glad you were able to find the problem. Normally that cut-off switch only trips with an accident, flat tire, or huge pothole. Never thought the harness would pop off. Glad to hear you got the problem solved. Thanks again for using 2CarPros and we hope you will use our site again in the future.

Danny-
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Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 AT 7:15 PM

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