2019 Ford Ranger Problems (READ FIRST)

The Ford Ranger seems to have crossed all the T’s and dotted all the I’s with its new 2019 model which comes equipped with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, (10) Ten-speed automatic transmission. This 4-banger churns out a healthy 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Unlike its rivals, unfortunately, the Ranger is not offered in a V6 option. The 2.3 liter 4-cylinder Ranger offers decent gas mileage returning 19-21mpg in the city and 18-26mpg on the highway, not bad for a compact pickup. Plus, most of the hardware components are proven and tested which they borrowed from the Mustang and F150.

When the T6 Ford Ranger was released in 2012 it was a real game-changer for the mid-sized 4-wheel drive Ute segment. The Japanese Manufacturers finally got a run for their money after enjoying the monopoly of the market for decades. The Hilux appeared to, according to car journalists that is, be dethroned. However, like many new models in their initial production years, suffer from teething problems and niggling issues, which is quite normal. However, when the “teething” problems start piling up, like the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, and more serious issues start appearing, potential customers and new owners start to worry.

This article will discuss all the issues owners are experiencing with the 2019 models of the Ford Ranger and the possible solutions offered by the dealerships. Since at the time of writing this article, the 2019 Rangers were still under warranty, however, means many of the problems were taken care of by the dealerships without having to put in a claim. This article was written to assist current and potential 2019 Ford Ranger owners of what problems they could possibly expect going forward. This is the risk buyers take when purchasing a new model. They have to deal with all the teething issues.

I will be covering everything from engine problems, transmission issues, interior, exterior, electronics, to other minor miscellaneous issues experienced by the current owners.

Let’s do this!

2019 Ford Ranger Problems

The 2019 Ford Ranger was a major leap forward in technology, refinement, and off-road capability, offering a well-rounded package with a fairly decent price-tag, compared to the German Rivals in the form of the Amarok V6 and Mercedes Pickup truck, hence their popularity. The monthly sales figures will reveal how popular the Ranger has become, snatching sales away from the ever-popular Toyota Hilux in countries like Australia and South Africa.

But you didn’t click this article to read about sales figures, did you? No, you did not, since existing and potential Ranger owners will want to know what possible snags can be expected from their 2019 Ford Rangers

This article could potentially save you tons of cash in repairs, upgrades, and downtime if you plan on using the vehicle for business, since we all know, more time in the workshop means less money in your pockets.

The below list of problems on the 2019 Ford Ranger is on new models, some just a few days old with only a few hundred miles on. Many of the problems are production fit and finish issues, however, there are one or two nasty ones in the list. Most of them were resolved by the dealerships. 

Let’s ease our way in with the minor niggles and build our way up to the more serious problems. Feel free to scroll to the desired section you are interested in.

Interior

So the 2019 model interior is a comfortable place to be in with Apple/Android Carplay, SYNC 3 touch-screen infotainment system, 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. It also offers decent leg and headroom if you are of the taller variety. The entry and exit is easy enough with its full-sized doors.

The interior, however, seems to have a few minor fit and assembly issues ranging from, but not limited to the following:

  1. Excessive wind noise in the cabin
  2. Seatbelts Receivers not buckling
  3. Door panel noise
  4. Loose Headrest
  5. Broken Rear Seat Latch

Let us look at each problem in more detail.

Excessive wind noise in the cabin

The excessive wind noise is caused by bad fitting rubber trims. Owners report noise levels being excessively loud at speeds over 50mph. In the S-Crew models, some drivers reported excessive wind noise being emitted from the rear-seat side window area. Also, loud whistling coming from the driver’s side window mirror.

It turns out, it was the rubber seal that’s fitted around the driver’s window track next to the mirror. The rubber was loos-fitting and not seated properly. The rubber gasket around the mirror was letting air channel through the window. This issue was repaired/replaced under warranty at the dealership.

Seatbelts Receivers not buckling

A more serious problem in the middle seat belt buckle receiver in the rear. Once you insert the buckle into the receiver, it simply ejects the buckle. The dash seatbelt alert still functions as it’s meant to, however, nothing seems to hold the buckle into the receiver. Owners reports that the buckle appeared twisted. The center buckle was replaced at the dealership and covered by the warranty.

Also, a point to note is, the middle buckle is designed slightly different from the side buckles, and designed to only fit into the center receiver which is the proper receiver. Make sure you are inserting the correct buckle into the center receiver.

Broken Rear Seat Floor Latch

Owners of the Super-Cab Ford Ranger have reported when attempting to pull the tether strap to release seat base, the plastic housing literally broke into two pieces. The incident was reported to the dealership and the part was ordered under warranty.

Client reports that the plastic was not of very good quality and appeared to be corroded. Check the driver’s side floor latch as well, since this was also reported to crack. The plastic appears to be of inferior quality.

Rear Seat Latch

On the 2019 Ford Ranger Crew-Cab, there seems to be an alignment issue with the top rear seat latch. Owners report having to use excessive force in an attempt to close it. Basically slamming the seat back into place. Using a grease or lubricant in an attempt to improve the closing without slamming proved unsuccessful.

Bent Floor Pan

Owners reported that the rear bench rubber feet to be badly damaged on the rear bench. This is the rear bench that folds up to gain access to the under-seat storage compartments.

Upon inspecting the feet seemed to be chewed up due to misalignment of the floor pan. The metal-on-metal causes a rattle on uneven road surfaces as a result of the bad fit and alignment. Ford explained that it was as a result of a bent floor pan and a Ford Engineer would need to be sent out to investigate and report on the possible repairs.

Discoloration on the driver side door panel

Multiple owners reported a noticeable discoloration in the driver side door panel. It is not severe but noticeable and an issue that possibly occurred in manufacturing or production.  Owners tried using multiple products to rectify the discoloration such as degreaser, interior trim cleaner, soap (dawn) and water. Nothing seemed to have made a difference. Ford Service denied the claim and the dealership manager agreed to only cover 40% of the cost.

Door Panel Noise

Rattles inside the passenger side door panel have been reported when driving on an uneven surface. The sound seems to be coming from the top section of the passenger door panel. Users report when the music volume level is a bit loud or certain bass levels hit, you can hear a distinct rattle coming from inside the door. The rattle is coming from the door latch cord that runs along the frame of the door. Users have opted to do a DIY fix by removing the door panel and using Velcro tape to secure the cable properly against the metal door.

Now these are isolated reports from owners reporting them online on various forums and not major production problems with recalls. Most of these issues could be chalked down to plant assembly and quality control flubs.

Exterior

The new 2019 Ford Ranger is bound to have a few production problems regarding the exterior. Below is a list of a few of the issues detected by owners with exterior body panels and alignment.

Rear Passenger Door Misaligned

When looking at the alignment of the rear passenger door behind the driver, the door seems to be badly misaligned and protruding as if it was not closed properly. Multiple owners have reported this problem to the head mechanic and were told, this is normal for the Ranger but can be bent back into position if the client wants it corrected. Could be the rear door latch that simply needs adjustment.  The rear door needs to be slammed in order to close properly. Fleet managers report this to be normal build quality of the new 2019 Ford Ranger. I’m sorry, but that is an unacceptable response!

One owner reports that the bulge could be caused by the weather stripping around the door frame and not the actual door that is causing the misalignment. The bulging causes the door to hit the weather stripping when closing, hence extra effort required to close the door.

Faulty Front door locks

There have been reports of faulty door locks on the front doors of the Lariat 4×4 models. The key fob not functioning, nor the inside panel. The doors can still be locked manually with the key. The cause was reported by the dealership to be bad actuators in the front as well as the front passenger doors, which they subsequently replaced, but did not solve the problem. There is power to the actuators, however, they fail to function due to corrosion on the contacts. They went on the replace the entire wiring harness from the dash all the way to the tailgate. This was on a 3-month-old truck that was built in January 2019 and the problem reported in March 2019.

Electrical

Multiple users reported the information screen freezing after adjusting the climate control. This results in the touch screen, steering controls or phone connection to be disabled. The radio power also went out, however manual controls for the climate control functioned fine. Even after multiple restarts the screen remains in a frozen state and appears to be on even when the vehicle is switched off. Other owners reported, after using Google maps, caused the above unresponsive state.

Users reported the SYNC3 takes a few minutes to register all the inputs. It resumes the last played satellite station, however, the screen remains in an unresponsive state. Plugging an iPhone in and unlocking the phone to activate CarPlay results in the screen freezing.

Suspension

The rear suspension on certain Ford Rangers appears to lean drastically to the driver’s side. Certain Ranger owners who reported the issue had the vehicle in to be rectified. The dealership inserted a metal plate on the driver side to level the rear suspension.

Other dealerships resorted to shimming the suspension which appeared to have sorted the problem out, albeit temporarily. Reports to ford customer care have concluded that it is within spec and rejected owner claims. Owners who have noticed this ride height discrepancy are very unhappy with the response and solutions offered, feeling it’s a cheap fix to keep customers happy until the warranty runs out.

Owners have reported sending the vehicle to the dealership only to wait up to ten days after their trucks being sent to body shops to have the frame measured. Ford responded to owners that the lean of the trucks were the right side is +12mm difference to the left which is -12mm, is within factory specifications. This is almost an inch difference, which is unacceptable.

Engine

Water leaking from the heater core has been reported. This does not appear to be a common problem but rather a one-off issue. It was really hard to trace where the leak was emanating from since it appears to be coming from the transmission when looking from below. Ford engineers finally traced it to the heater core after running the engine hot on a lift for quite a while in order to recreate the problem. The repair to the heater core requires the entire dash to be removed. This repair has subsequently resolved the problem.

Transmission

One case where the truck had less than 1000 miles on it when the transmission blew. Owner reports the transmission felt as if it had shifted into neutral with the engine revving freely. The cluster matched the gear state of the shifter itself, and the park would engage.

Once at the dealer, the diagnostic scan reported 14 PCM codes. All codes were related to transmission shift solenoids and pressure. Investigations revealed quite a bit of metal pieces in the fluid. Ford decided to swap the transmission with a new one since there was severe internal damage. There were also reports of the transmission slipping occasionally.

Miscellaneous issues

  • The Sun Visor on the driver side pops off unexpectedly. The clip that is meant to hold it in place is flimsy and loose. Owners report the visor popping off a few times in a single day of driving.
  • Loose headrest possibly caused by a missing plastic bracket designed to hold the headrest securely.
  • After a heavy rainstorm, one owner reported the rear doors being jammed. The door only opens a few inches. This is caused by a little plastic rod that slows the door down being covered with ice, restricting the door to open fully. Water leaked into the door which froze to ice and seeping into the grooves and freezing it into the first detent which is inside the door.
  • After washing the truck the wipers only function intermittently or on the high setting. The windshield washing fluid does not function at that time either. It works again after restarting the vehicle. The dealership had a trouble code for missing information which they cleared and resolved the problem.
  • Moisture build-up inside the right-side mirror-turn signal lens. That plastic lens is sealed with a thin, inconsistent layer of sealant. Water leaks into the lens when washing your car with a high-pressure hose.
  • Taillights not working due to a bent pin.
  • The rear USB port not working due to power source plug missing or not plugged in.

Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs)

Brake Transmission Shift Interlock Override – Wire Routing

Some 2019 Ranger vehicles may exhibit a rough brake pedal during a brake application. This may be due to brake rotor run-out and/or corrosion. Before making a repair, document any run-out readings and if corrosion is found attach images to report to assist engineering. To assist with the investigation use the Report a Vehicle Concern link at the bottom of the OASIS report and fill out the form. Monitor OASIS for updates.

Shift Cable Bracket Fasteners

Ford is issuing a safety recall for select 2019 Ranger vehicles. On some affected vehicles, the two fasteners that secure the transmission shift cable bracket to the transmission housing may not have been torqued to specification. Over time, an improperly torqued fastener could allow the transmission shift cable bracket to become loose and the transmission to be in a gear state different from the gearshift position selected by the driver. This condition could allow the driver to remove the ignition key (if equipped) with no instrument panel warning message or chime indicating that the transmission is not in park. This could allow unintended vehicle movement or roll away if the parking brake is not applied, increasing the risk of a crash or injury.

Inoperative Power Mirrors
 Some 2019 Ranger vehicles equipped with power fold mirrors may exhibit inoperative power fold mirror functions. This may be due to the mirror switch sticking in the bezel. To resolve the condition, remove the switch and retighten the mounting screws.

TSB: 19-2052 – 2019 Ranger – Engine Cold Start Runs Rough / Rough Shifting Transmission

Some 2019 Ranger vehicles built on or before 11-Feb-2019 may exhibit a rough, excessive fast idle and/or a rough shifting transmission condition when the engine is cold. This may be due to the powertrain control module (PCM) software parameters including cold start and warm-up drivability, idle speed control, and fuel injection delivery strategies. To resolve the condition, update the PCM software.

Conclusion

When faced with any mechanical fault on a new Ford Ranger that is still under warranty, make sure you do the following:

  1. IMMEDIATELY open a customer service request and do not believe what the dealership says.
  2. Contact Ford Corporate customer support and let them know your experience
  3. Do not let the dealership forgo their accountability by convincing you it’s your responsibility to cover the cost.
  4. Refrain from driving the vehicle anymore and have the truck taken via flatbed to the nearest Ford dealership if you are out of town or on vacation. Ford is capable of shipping it back to your home dealership.
  5. Insist on a courtesy vehicle of the same caliber.

Jade C.

4-Wheel drives and off-road driving techniques has been my passion for over 20 years. Here we strive to provide the most accurate, up-to-date, information about the functionality, common faults and latest technology built into most 4 Wheel Drives.

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