Ford Ranger Years to Avoid – If you’re in the market for a used Ford Ranger, it’s important to know which years to avoid to make a smart purchase. The Ford Ranger is a popular compact pickup truck that has been in production since 1983.
With over 30 years of production, the Ranger has gone through many changes and updates over the years.
Not all of these updates have been successful, and some years are better than others.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the common problems with Ford Ranger models, the years to avoid them, and how to choose a reliable Ford Ranger.
Overview of the Ford Ranger Model
The Ford Ranger is a compact pickup truck that was introduced in 1983 as a replacement for the Ford Courier.
Over the years, it has gone through various design changes and updates to keep up with the changing demands of consumers.
Today, the Ranger is known for its reliable performance, versatility, and affordability.
The Ranger is available in two body styles: a two-door regular cab and a four-door SuperCab. It comes with either a 2.3-liter four-cylinder or a 3.0-liter V6 engine.
Depending on the year and model, it can come with either a manual or automatic transmission.
The Ranger also offers both two-wheel and four-wheel drive options.
The different generations of the Ford Ranger include:
First Generation (1983-1992)
The first generation of the Ranger was produced from 1983 to 1992. It was available in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive options and had a variety of engine choices, including a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a 2.3-liter four-cylinder, and a 2.8-liter V6.
The first generation of the Ranger was also available in a sporty GT version.
Second Generation (1993-1997)
The second generation of the Ranger was produced from 1993 to 1997. It featured updated styling and was available with either a 2.3-liter four-cylinder, a 3.0-liter V6, or a 4.0-liter V6 engine.
Third Generation (1998-2011)
The third generation of the Ranger was produced from 1998 to 2011. It featured updated styling and was available with either a 2.3-liter four-cylinder, a 3.0-liter V6, or a 4.0-liter V6 engine.
The third generation also included the Ranger EV, an electric version of the Ranger that was only available in select markets.
Fourth Generation (2019-Present)
The fourth generation of the Ranger was introduced in 2019. It features a new design and is available with either a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine or a 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine.
The fourth generation of the Ranger is also available with a variety of advanced features, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking.
Common Problems with Ford Ranger Models
While the Ford Ranger is known for its reliability, there are some common problems that you should be aware of when considering a used model.
Here are some of the most common problems with Ford Ranger models:
1. Transmission Issues – One of the most common problems with Ford Ranger models is transmission issues. The transmission can become noisy, slip, or fail altogether.
This is especially true for models with an automatic transmission.
2. Engine Problems – Another common problem with Ford Ranger models is engine problems. The engine can suffer from a variety of issues, including misfires, rough idling, and oil leaks.
3. Suspension and Steering Issues – The suspension and steering system of the Ranger can also be problematic. The suspension can become worn and cause a bumpy ride, while the steering can become loose or stiff.
4. Electrical Problems – Electrical issues can also occur with Ford Ranger models, including faulty wiring and malfunctioning sensors. These can lead to a variety of problems, such as engine misfires, warning lights, and electrical shorts.
5. Rust Issues – Rust is also a common problem with Ford Ranger models, especially in areas with harsh weather conditions.
The undercarriage, frame, and body of the Ranger can all be susceptible to rust, which can lead to serious safety concerns if left untreated.
List of Ford Ranger Years to Avoid
Now that we’ve explored the common problems with Ford Ranger models, let’s take a closer look at the years to avoid when considering a used Ranger.
1983-1988 Ford Ranger
The first generation of the Ford Ranger was plagued with issues, including rust problems, poor fuel economy, and unreliable engines. These issues were addressed in later model years, making the 1983-1988 models ones to avoid.
1990-1993 Ford Ranger
While the second generation of the Ford Ranger was an improvement over the first, the 1990-1993 models had several issues that make them less desirable. These issues included poor transmissions, unreliable engines, and electrical problems.
1998-2000 Ford Ranger
The third generation of the Ford Ranger had several updates that improved its performance and reliability. The 1998-2000 models had significant issues with their automatic transmissions, which can be expensive to repair or replace.
2006-2011 Ford Ranger
The fourth generation of the Ford Ranger was produced from 2006 to 2011. While these models were popular, they had several significant issues, including faulty fuel pumps, faulty transmissions, and engine problems.
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How to Choose A Reliable Ford Ranger
Now that you know which years to avoid, let’s take a closer look at how to choose a reliable Ford Ranger. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for a used Ranger:
1. Research and Read Reviews – Before you start shopping for a used Ford Ranger, do your research. Read reviews of the different models and years to get an idea of what to expect.
Look for models that have a good reputation for reliability and avoid models that have a history of issues.
2. Inspect the Vehicle Thoroughly – When you find a used Ranger that you’re interested in, inspect it thoroughly. Look for signs of rust, wear and tear, and damage. Check the fluids, belts, and hoses to make sure everything is in good working order.
Take it for a test drive to get a feel for how it handles and performs.
3. Consider a Pre-Purchase Inspection – If you’re serious about buying a used Ford Ranger, consider getting a pre-purchase inspection. A qualified mechanic can inspect the vehicle and identify any potential issues that you may have missed.
This can save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.
What year of Ford Ranger is the most reliable?
The Ford Ranger has had a reputation for reliability throughout its various generations, but some model years have proven to be more dependable than others. According to consumer reviews and expert opinions, the 2011 Ford Ranger is often regarded as the most reliable model year.
Models from the 2000s have also proven to be reliable choices.
Are Ford Rangers good in snow?
Yes, Ford Rangers can be good in snow, depending on the conditions and the type of tires used. Rangers are designed to handle a variety of terrains and weather conditions, including snow, but it’s important to ensure that the vehicle has proper tires for the conditions.
Is the Ford Ranger high maintenance?
The maintenance requirements for a Ford Ranger are similar to those of other pickup trucks in its class. Routine maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections, should be performed on a regular basis.
While some models may require more extensive repairs or maintenance, overall, the Ford Ranger is not considered a high-maintenance vehicle.
Are Ford Rangers expensive to fix?
The cost to repair a Ford Ranger can vary depending on the type of repair needed, the year and model of the vehicle, and the location where the repair is performed. Some repairs may be more costly than others, but overall, Ford Rangers are not considered to be expensive to fix compared to other vehicles in their class.
Are Ford Rangers good daily drivers?
Yes, Ford Rangers can make excellent daily drivers for those who prioritize practicality, versatility, and efficiency. They are compact and maneuverable, making them easy to park and navigate in urban areas.
Rangers offer good fuel economy, which can save money on gas over time.
What trucks compare to Ford Ranger?
Some trucks that compare to the Ford Ranger include the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier. These trucks are all similarly sized and offer comparable features and capabilities.
Each model has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to consider your individual needs and preferences when choosing a truck.
The Ford Ranger is a popular compact pickup truck that offers reliability, versatility, and affordability. However, not all years and models are created equal.
By knowing which years to avoid and how to choose a reliable Ranger, you can make a smart purchase that will serve you well for years to come.
Whether you’re using it for work or play, a Ford Ranger can be a great investment if you choose wisely.