Ford Ranger Years To Avoid and The Best Years

Ford Ranger Years To Avoid – Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Ford Ranger! If you’re in the market for a used Ford Ranger pickup truck, it’s crucial to do your research and find the model years that are known for their reliability and performance.

On the flip side, it’s equally important to be aware of the Ford Ranger years to avoid, as some iterations may have experienced certain issues or shortcomings.

In this article, we’ll explore the provide you with insights into the worst years of the Ford Ranger.

Ford Ranger Years To Avoid

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned truck enthusiast, this information will help you make an informed decision and steer clear of potential pitfalls.

So, let’s dive in and discover the Ford Ranger years you should be cautious about!

Ford Ranger Years To Avoid

When considering a used Ford Ranger pickup truck, it’s essential to have all the facts at hand.

One crucial aspect is understanding the Ford Ranger years to avoid, ensuring that you make a wise investment.

Let’s explore the models that have garnered a poor reputation due to reported problems and provide you with insights to help you make an informed decision.

Ford Ranger Years To Avoid

So, let’s delve into the details and discover the Ford Ranger years you should approach with caution.

The 1999 Ford Ranger: A Troubled Year

The 1999 Ford Ranger has earned a notorious reputation and is often cited as one of Ford’s most disappointing vehicles. According to CarComplaints, this particular model year has accumulated over 1,061 reported problems.

Among the most common issues were related to the engine gauge, which frequently required replacement.

However, it is worth noting that the majority of these problems surfaced after the vehicle had exceeded 100,000 miles.

While this year posed significant challenges, it doesn’t mean that the Ford Ranger was an overall disaster.

Read Also: Ford Fiesta Years to Avoid

The 2001 Ford Ranger: Transmission Troubles

The 2001 Ford Ranger, while not as catastrophic as the 1999 model, still faced its fair share of issues. Over 720 problems were reported, with the majority centered around transmission malfunctions and shifting difficulties.

Another prevalent complaint involved the overdrive light, which would inexplicably flash and cause confusion among owners.

Similar to its predecessor, most problems emerged once the truck had surpassed the 100,000-mile mark.

Moreover, the 2001 Ford Ranger was subject to nine official recalls, further impacting its reputation. It is advisable to exercise caution when considering these two model years, as they have proven to be less reliable.

The Ford Ranger Standouts: Years to Embrace

While it’s essential to identify the Ford Ranger years to avoid, there are several standout models that have received praise for their longevity and performance.

One such model is the 1988 Ford Ranger, featuring a robust 2.3 L 4-cylinder engine and a durable frame built to withstand the test of time.

This model year is widely regarded as one of the best due to its exceptional reliability when properly maintained.

Another noteworthy contender is the 2000 Ford Ranger, introduced in response to the concerns raised by the 1999 model.

With improvements in mind, Ford released an off-roading version of the Ranger in 2000, equipped with wider tires and fog lamps, providing drivers with the option to venture off the beaten path.

Among the classics and most beloved models is the 1986 Ford Ranger. Even today, this year’s Ranger receives accolades from satisfied consumers.

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Boasting an impressive 18 mpg and a smooth drivetrain uncommon for older vehicles, the 1986 Ford Ranger remains a sought-after classic and a testament to Ford’s dedication to quality craftsmanship.

Most Reliable Ford Ranger Years

Finding a reliable and dependable truck is crucial for many buyers, and the Ford Ranger has been a popular choice for decades.

Most Reliable Ford Ranger Years

In section, we’ll explore the most reliable Ford Ranger years, highlighting their key features, towing capacities, fuel efficiency, and ratings from trusted sources.

Whether you’re seeking a budget-friendly option or a modern truck with advanced features, this article will provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

So let’s delve into the details and discover the top-performing Ford Ranger years.

2001 Ford Ranger: The Epitome of Reliability

The 2001 Ford Ranger stands out as one of the most reliable and trouble-free model years for this iconic truck. With zero recalls and only forty-three complaints reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2001 Ranger is considered the least problematic and most reliable choice.

Its athletic exterior, two-wheel drive, and 16-inch tires contribute to its rugged appearance.

Additionally, the 2001 model boasts a spacious cargo bed and a powerful 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine.

Manufacturers also included features like anti-lock brakes, 3-piece split bench seats, and front bucket seats for added comfort and versatility. With its affordable price and dependable performance, the 2001 Ford Ranger is certainly worth considering.

Read Also: Ford Escape Years to Avoid

2021 Ford Ranger: Modern Reliability and Advanced Features

Most Reliable Ford Ranger Years

For those seeking a more contemporary option, the 2021 Ford Ranger is a prime choice. This model year impresses with its turbocharged engine and state-of-the-art infotainment technologies and advanced safety features.

The 2021 Ranger offers a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds with its base 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine, making it suitable for various hauling needs.

Moreover, its fuel efficiency ratings of 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway (with the five-speed manual transmission) ensure cost-effective journeys.

With positive consumer reviews, high safety ratings, and its blend of reliability and modern features, the 2021 Ford Ranger is an attractive option for those seeking a dependable truck.

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2023 Ford Ranger: Power, Efficiency, and Safety

Most Reliable Ford Ranger Years

The 2023 Ford Ranger represents a strong contender among the best mid-sized Ford Rangers available in the market today.

With its anticipated more powerful and efficient engine, including a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivering 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, the 2023 Ranger is set to impress.

This model year is expected to offer advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Boasting a towing capacity of up to 7,500 pounds and a fuel efficiency rating of 21 mpg city / 26 mpg highway, the 2023 Ford Ranger strikes a remarkable balance between power and efficiency.

With no reported recalls or complaints, this upcoming Ranger is poised to be a reliable choice for those seeking the latest advancements in performance and safety.

2022 Ford Ranger: Versatile Performance and Enhanced Interior

The 2022 Ford Ranger presents a solid option for truck enthusiasts looking for a vehicle with added extras. This model year offers rear-wheel drive as standard, with all-wheel drive as an available option.

With various trim levels and cab combinations to choose from, the 2022 Ranger provides versatility to match individual preferences.

Equipped with a turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission, the 2022 Ranger delivers a balance of power and efficiency.

Its towing capacity of 3,500 pounds and fuel efficiency ratings of 21 mpg city / 26 mpg highway (with the five-speed manual transmission) make it a capable and economical choice.

While there have been a few recalls and complaints, the 2022 Ford Ranger still garners positive consumer and expert ratings, cementing its reputation as a reliable mid-size pickup truck.

By considering these top-performing years, you can make an informed decision and select the most reliable Ford Ranger that meets your needs and expectations.

Read Also: Ford Expedition Years to Avoid

Ford Ranger Problems

Ford Ranger Problems

If you’re considering buying a pre-owned Ford Ranger, it’s essential to be aware of the potential problems associated with different model years.

While the Ford Ranger has been a popular choice for many truck enthusiasts, certain years have exhibited recurring issues.

We’ll explore some of the most common problems reported by consumers for various Ford Ranger models.

From engine misfires to transmission troubles and steering issues, understanding these common problems will help you make an informed decision and be prepared for any potential challenges.

So, let’s delve into the details and uncover the key problems you may encounter with a Ford Ranger.

1. Engine Misfire: 2004-2006 Model Years

One prevalent issue reported by owners of Ford Ranger models from 2004 to 2006 is engine misfires. Drivers experienced symptoms such as power loss, slight tremors, and stalls.

Ford addressed these problems through Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 05-26-3, which attributed the issues to exhaust valve seat recession.

While this problem affected a specific range of model years, it’s important to note that not all vehicles within this range experienced the issue.

Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any symptoms can help mitigate engine misfire concerns.

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2. Transmission Issues: 2002 Model Year

While not as widespread, the 2002 Ford Ranger model year had notable transmission issues. Owners reported erratic shifting, gear loss, and shift flares.

Rebuilding the transmission was a common fix, but it didn’t always resolve the problem entirely.

It’s crucial to carefully inspect the transmission and conduct a thorough test drive when considering a 2002 Ford Ranger to ensure its smooth operation.

3. High Engine Idle: Various Model Years

Abnormally high idle speeds have been reported by many Ford Ranger owners across different model years.

This issue typically occurs after disengaging the clutch in a manual gearbox or during cold starts with automatic transmissions.

Updating the powertrain control module (PCM) software is often the recommended solution for resolving high engine idle problems. Regular maintenance, including PCM updates, can help prevent or mitigate this issue.

4. Hard Starting and Hesitation: Various Model Years

Difficulty starting the Ranger from a cold state and hesitation during acceleration are commonly reported issues.

These problems can be frustrating and impact the overall driving experience.

While the cause may vary, routine maintenance and addressing potential fuel system or ignition system issues can help alleviate starting difficulties and hesitation.

Read Also: Ford Fusion Years to Avoid

5. Steering Issues: 2007 Model Year

Owners of the 2007 Ford Ranger reported clicking and clunking noises while steering, which became apparent at relatively low mileage.

Ford addressed this concern with Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 19844, which recommended installing an updated tie rod assembly to rectify the problem.

Ensuring that any potential Ford Ranger purchase from the 2007 model year has undergone this fix is crucial to avoid potential steering-related issues.

By being aware of these common problems, you can take proactive measures to address them and ensure a smoother ownership experience with your Ford Ranger.

Why is Ford Ranger popular?

Why is Ford Ranger popular

The Ford Ranger is popular for several reasons. One of the primary factors contributing to its popularity is its impressive performance and capability. Whether you’re looking to lease or purchase a Ford Ranger, you can expect a range of powerful engine options, excellent towing capacity, and robust off-road capabilities.

The Ford Ranger is renowned for its reliability, durability, and versatility, making it a preferred choice for individuals who require a dependable truck for various purposes.

How long will an old Ford Ranger last?

When it comes to longevity, the Ford Ranger has a reputation for being a durable and long-lasting vehicle. With proper maintenance and timely attention to any symptoms indicating a potential issue, an older Ford Ranger can last between 200,000 to 250,000 miles.

Many owners have reported their Ford Rangers reaching these impressive mileage milestones without significant mechanical problems.

The solid construction and robust nature of the Ford Ranger contribute to its longevity, making it a reliable choice for those seeking a vehicle with staying power.

Why are older Ford Rangers so expensive?

Older Ford Rangers can often come with a higher price tag due to their desirability and reputation for durability. These trucks are known for their exceptional reliability, with many owners attesting to their vehicles’ ability to withstand high mileage and still perform well.

As a result, the demand for older Ford Rangers remains strong, leading to higher prices in the used market.

The combination of durability, reliability, and high demand contributes to the increased price of older Ford Rangers.

Are old Ford Rangers easy to work on?

One of the significant advantages of older Ford Rangers is their ease of maintenance and repair. These trucks are often praised for their simplicity and accessibility when it comes to working on them. Whether it’s routine maintenance tasks or addressing more significant repairs, the straightforward design of the older Ford Rangers makes them easy to work on.

This characteristic is appreciated by DIY enthusiasts and mechanics alike, as it allows for more cost-effective maintenance and repair options.

Owning an older Ford Ranger can provide peace of mind, knowing that you can easily work on the vehicle when needed and keep it in good running condition for years to come.


Understanding the Ford Ranger years to avoid is essential when considering a pre-owned Ford Ranger. While the truck has garnered popularity and a reputation for durability, certain model years have exhibited recurring problems that potential buyers should be aware of.

The 1999 and 2001 Ford Ranger models have experienced significant issues, such as engine gauge and transmission problems, respectively.

However, it’s important to note that these problematic years do not reflect the overall reliability of the Ford Ranger lineup.

Taking the time to assess the vehicle’s maintenance history, inspecting it carefully, and considering expert and consumer reviews will help you make an informed decision.

Remember to prioritize regular maintenance and address any symptoms promptly to ensure the longevity and performance of your Ford Ranger.

So, whether you’re seeking a reliable truck for work or adventure, make an informed choice to find the Ford Ranger that best fits your requirements and avoid the problematic years.