RepairPal is your advocate for car care advice and guidance

Q: Engine "hiccups" on 2005 Ford Ranger

While driving at normal highway speeds the engine will hiccup that is to say it's like someone turned off the key for just a half a second or so. This happens very infrequently. Yesterday I read the engine codes and as I suspected there were none. Any thoughts on what to look at next?
Get a Repair Estimate
Guaranteed by certified locations nationwide. Learn more
RepairPal estimates are guaranteed at over 1,700 quality certified locations nationwide. Learn more
Who read the codes and how were they read. A Ford has 5 different code modes. A parts store code reader will not even come close to really inspecting the code system. I would run all the KOEO ( key on, engine off ) and KOER ( key on, engine running ) codes which are specialized self-tests that are run in a service bay. The OBD codes are just the tip of the ice berg so to speak. how are your plug wires, plugs, coil pack meaning the basic ignition components. How old is your fuel filter and air filter? If you can access a good scanner, check your Long Term Fuel Trim? If it is high, ( over 12% ) your Ford is running lean, which could be a Mass Air Flow Sensor Baro reading that is going 'out of wack'. Check the Baro reading with the key on, engine off and calculate the altitude it says. Does it match Yerington? You can find the conversion tables on the Web, look up Baro reading to altitude conversion charts on Google. Is your Ford up to date with its maintenance? A sudden 'cut out' at high way speeds could be a Crank Sensor going bad or even a Cam Sensor. Have you visually inspected either of those parts? They will not set codes until they get REALLY bad. I know that this is a lot to deal with, but as a tech doing Diagnosis, these are some of the steps I take on a daily basis. I used to be a Diagnostic (EEC) Journeyman for Ford, so I know something about these vehicles. Good Luck and ask any other questions you may have.
There is a technical service bulletin from Ford that may or may not be related to this issue. Checking codes was a smart first step, I'd say the next would be to verify that the PCM software is up to date. Software issues are very, very difficult to diagnose, did I say they were difficult? If that is OK, then it may require using a special test equipment that can monitor all the data into and out of the PCM to see what is acting up.

FORD 2004-2005 Ranger
Some 2004-2005 Rangers equipped with a 4.0L engine and an automatic or manual transmission, may exhibit a surge sensation during cruise at steady speeds between 35-50 MPH (56-80 Km/h).
The condition will occur after a cold start and may continue for approximately 5 miles (8 Km) or 5 minutes.
Reprogram the powertrain control module (PCM) to the latest calibration level.
Didn't find what you were looking for?