Interesting, in that anyone I ever knew who bought a Ford had nothing, but trouble with it.
Huh...I have also never heard of this much trouble on a nearly new Ranger. I have been involved with Ford Trucks and cars for a while, and while I will never claim they are anything more than average in reliability, nor are they anywhere close to bottom of the barrel. None of the ones I have had any experience with had any troubles approaching this level, especially for a 1 year old vehicle. Though it's hardly my fault this has happened to you, I apologize, you have indeed had a bad experience.
PS: the power steering going out shouldn't scare you. Power steering is a convenience item, not a safety or control issue. You won't lose control if you lack power steering, at worst it will be really hard to turn the wheel at slow speeds, and it may even be impossible when stopped. I learned to drive in a vehicle without power steering (yes, there were cars long before power steering!), so certainly it's nothing to be afraid of. In fact, if you live with it for a while, your girlfriend will love the fact that you've been "working out"!! :D.
It's strange to read of problems with the Ranger. I have a family member who owns a contracting company and all they use in the way of small trucks is the Ranger because they are so reliable. Some of these little trucks go 300,000 miles with nothing but oil changes, brake pads and timing belts (required at 100,000 miles). I've personally owned 4 Rangers and not one of mine has ever seen the inside of a service department.
I'm really annoyed right now because my 2005 Ranger Rdge is sitting in my driveway and won't start with only 7800 miles on it. It's getting towed tomorrow and is still under warranty, but this situation still sucks.
Since they came out in 1984 I've never even known anyone who had any trouble with a Ranger. None of ours has ever seen a service department in the first 100,000 miles.
I too have driven rangers for years. I had my 1999 ranger for 6 years with nothing going wrong. I got it with 26,000 miles on it and ended with 147,000. Only reason why I don't have it anymore is because my garage burned down. For what they are they are tough little trucks that can drive for ever as long as you don't overly beat them. I am currently waiting for my insurance check so I can cash it and put it down on a 2005 ranger.
The person who commented you can harm your vehicle if you change your transmission fluid before the recommended interval is WRONG.
The reason your friend told you not to change your original trans fluid in your vehicle that had over 100k on it is because you had never changed the fluid, and you have ruined your transmission. The fluid actually contains more clutch fluid than actual transmission fluid. If you had changed your fluid on a regular basis, your trans would last much longer.
All oils need changing; they all break down. Every fluid in my vehicle gets changed every 30k, regardless of condition. If the filter in the trans is paper, then yes it should be changed every 30k; if not it can go every 60k.
Another VOTE for the Ranger here... Got one with 200,000 plus miles on it and still going Strong! Small V6 1989 XLT model. Love this truck!
Toyota trucks are good as well, but way overpriced for what you get. I've owned Toyota, Nissan & Ford. Metal is too thin in the toyotas bedside. Nissan is a great truck too.
Price and Value RANGER beats um all! Just needs a little diesel and it would be perfection in a small truck.
My 04 Ranger edge is a great truck.
At nearly 40K, I have no complaints.
One thing I've noticed though is there seems to be a delay when the auto. trans. shifts from 1st to 2nd gear, not necessarily slipping but a delay nonetheless.
Has anyone else noticed this?
I've owned a few Fords and like any other vehicle they all require repairs.
My 4 litre had an exhaust valve spring break at 65k, 5 beyond the warranty, but Ford picked up half the bill.
The passenger window in the summer time stops working, but in the fall it will resume operation.
The drive train clunks and is a known problem.
Likes to go through front brake pads.
The centre arm rest has broken just like my previous Fords.
Other than those items, it's not a bad truck.
I just went out and got the 2005 Ford Ranger Edge package used from a dealership and I've got to tell you, this is the best little truck I've ever driven.
There aren't any problems whatsoever, though I got it with 42,000 miles on it, and I got it really cheap. The internals all checked out with just a little rust on the engine block, but the whole thing is great. It won a pulling contest against a buddy of mine with a GMC (not sure what kind it is).
Overall, I'm happy with this thing. Taking her out in the mud tomorrow, can't wait.