1996 Ford Ranger Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1996 Ford Ranger as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

Bogging, hesitation or stalling may be experienced during moderate to heavy acceleration. This can be caused by a failing of many sensors or modules in the fuel injection system. It is recommended to have an experienced shop perform diagnosis to find the root of the problem.

The engine may misfire and/or buck while driving at freeway speeds with no fault code stored in the powertrain control module (PCM). This can be caused by an intermittent fault with the camshaft synchronizer assembly. This condition can be diagnosed by monitoring knock sensor data as per Ford service bulletin #05-22-12. Replacement of the synchronizer assembly will be required to correct this concern.

If a noise from the rear end is heard when going around turns or after driving at highway speed for an extended period, this could be caused by a failing deferential clutch kit. An updated differential clutch kit available.

If you experience cold starting problems, stalling at idle, or hesitations during acceleration, it may be the idle air bypass valve. This valve helps the vehicle idle steadily and run when the accelerator pedal is not pressed.

The engine may have a higher that normal idle at times. After cold start with an automatic transmission and when the clutch is depressed with a manual transmission. Our technicians tell us updated powertrain control module (PCM) software is available to address this concern.

The synchronizer shaft for the camshaft position sensor can cause a loud squeak or chirping noise due to failure of the upper bushing. The noise may be erratic and is usually present when the engine is warm.

Ranger 3.0L and 4.0L
The temperature gauge on the instrument panel may fluctuate and give incorrect readings. If this happens, a new gauge and sender kit should be installed. The sending unit "sends" the information to the gauge.

The magnet for the camshaft position sensor may fall out of its mount and damage the synchronizers. This causes long crank times when starting the engine and may cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate. If this happens, both the magnets and the synchronizers need to be replaced.