1997 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab 3.0 from North America
Reliable truck and inexpensive to repair
The cam sensor went out causing service engine soon light. This was easily fixed. Normal problem for ford 3.0L.
Interior lights stayed on even after doors closed, engine off. Common problem for many Fords, but easily fixed. New door switches inside door latch fixes this problem. Replaced and no problem since.
DPFE sensor malfunction. Caused service engine soon light. This sensor senses exhaust recirculation. Replaced with junkyard part due to price and no problem since.
Tailgate cables were replaced. I live in the north where the cities use salt. This caused rust. Normal issue.
Rear axle seals were found to be slightly leaking when I replaced the brakes. Normal for high mileage.
Heater control valve (switch) leaked coolant. Easy fix. I replaced the part and fine since. I recommend getting this part from Ford.
The serpentine belt tensioner wore out and caused belt to go bad. I replaced the tensioner and belt and has since been good.
Other reviews mention excessive tire wear. An alignment is sure to fix this problem. I've done to mine and have normal tire wear.
Ball joints went out at 130,000 miles. I replaced them and aligned the truck. The original ball joints are non-greasable. It is recommended to replace with greaseable kind when bad. Out of all repairs, this would be the one that could cost more.
Most problems with cars start with their owners. I am an auto mechanic. First and foremost is maintenance habits. Lack of routine maintenance will cause other problems. Letting things go will bite you as well. If you do not get a tune-up (plugs and wires) before there is a misfire, you'll have a misfire.
I bought this truck with 120,000 miles on it. All problems with the truck are normal problems and pretty easily fixed. I cannot say there were any out of the ordinary problems yet, and certainly no reason why I wouldn't buy another one. The key is finding a good mechanic, which may not be the dealer.
In my opinion, being a mechanic, this truck is reliable and inexpensive to repair. I now have 140,000 miles on it and the engine starts every morning, running good.
If I had to speculate on major problems that no-one can avoid, no matter what car you have, I'd say the transmission would go first. At 140,000 miles it is starting to show signs. It still has life left in it. I'm not too concerned yet.
The engine is a strong runner. It will go 200,000+ with oil changes, maintenance, and a non-leaded foot.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd February, 2005
20th Jul 2005, 10:23
Excellent review on the 97 Ford Ranger. Need to know why AC air is only coming out of my defroster vents.
30th Jul 2005, 21:16
I have the same problem in mine with he air coming out of the defrost vents. It is because of a vacuum leak. All of the direction of air with the AC system is done by opening and closing valves with vacuums. Apparently the default (with no vacuum) is to come out the defrost. While you may lave a leak else ware, I found that mine is in my cab, and it appears to be right in the little plastic AC adjustment panel its self that the vacuum hoses hook up to. I have resolved that the next time I can make it to the junk yard, I plan on buying that whole piece.