Are you interested in finding out of the Ford Ranger is a good reliable truck? Which year models are the ones to avoid and how much mileage can these trucks rack up? Are there any common problems with them? If you’re in the market for a used Ranger then this article might help you.
Ford Rangers are well-built trucks and can easily last over 200k-250k miles if they are well maintained. Earlier models suffered from timing chain and transmission issues. T6 Rangers had transmission and Turbo problems with early models.
If you are in need of a practical, durable, mid-sized truck then the ford ranger should be high up on your list. These trucks have a strong loyal following and have a very good reputation for durability and reliability. There are however certain models to avoid, which we’ll get into later.
Let’s see what some Ranger owners have reported.
How Many Miles Can a Ford Ranger Last
These are real-world reports from Ford Ranger owners regarding their reliability and long-term ownership experience.
User Experience #1 (Ranger 3.0)
Rangers are well-known to surpass 300k with regular maintenance. As long as the price is right, and it’s thoroughly inspected, 180k isn’t a deal breakerhttps://www.reddit.com/r/fordranger/comments/34s2oa/how_long_do_rangers_last/
User Experience #2 (Ranger 3.0)
It really depends what motor it’s got, but none of the motors will die out early. The 3.0, in my experience, is perfect. I’ve got 252k on my ’94, and about to take it on a 9,000 mile road trip with no hesitation. Treat it right, and it’ll last you a long time.https://www.reddit.com/r/fordranger/comments/34s2oa/how_long_do_rangers_last/
User Experience #3 (Ranger 3.0)
My 3.0 has around 165k and since I bought it at 147k the only engine work it needed was timing chain cover gasket. While that was being done I opted for the timing chain kit and water pump and thermostat too. Engine runs perfectly as of now. My question is how long my transmission will last before it needs a rebuildhttps://www.reddit.com/r/fordranger/comments/34s2oa/how_long_do_rangers_last/
User Experience #4 (Ranger T6 3.2)
Turbo failed while out in the bush. Ford SA was fantastic in getting vehicle to the nearest dealer.https://www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Ranger/2013/engine/turbo_charger_failure.shtml
User Experience #5 (Ranger T6 3.2)
I’ve got 2013 3.2 Double Cab. 287 000km on the clock.
Bought second hand and as per Ford nothing mayor was done to it.
Had an issue with the 4×4 switch, the wires got damaged and shorted. Got that fixed and as good as new again.
Look after it service it and have all the critical parts checked regularly and you should be good for a long time.https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php/303824-Ranger-3-2-reliability-and-mileage
Ford Ranger 2.2 Mileage Expectancy
The 2.2 T6 Ford Ranger is almost as reliable as they come and they hold their value very well. As with most Fords, you want to keep your hand on the electrical system and it’s always a good idea to have your own Ford OBD1 digital Code reader handy. The head and block are relatively problem-free with their power and torque outputs well within the limits of the gearbox and the differential.
The 2.2-liter Ute has decent go and is much more fuel-efficient than the 3.2. If you get a low mileage 2.2 with a warranty, you could rack the mileage up well into 200k miles if you look well after it and keep a hand on maintenance issues.
Ford Ranger 3.2 Mileage Expectancy
The research will reveal conflicting reports regarding the early 3.2 models. Some owners swear by them vowing never to touch another brand while others have had endless electrical gremlins, cooling hoses popping off, and catastrophic engine failures. Then there’s the known oil pump priming issue you want to be aware of.
The most common failure is the serpentine belt tensioner that can give up the ghost as early as 60k miles. There have also been sporadic reports of air conditioners packing up.
The automatic transmission also seems to be a bit touch and go on the early 2013 models. It all depends on who you speak to and which year models you’re referring to on 3.2. Earlier models are a bit finicky
There have been a few reports about turbo failures, which were replaced under warranty. If your warranty expired, don’t panic since they’re relatively easy to recondition. I’ve also seen quite a few reports of engines going pop as a result of faulty injectors.
With that being said the 3.2 can rack up 200k miles and more, depending on how it was maintained and driven. Make sure you get one with an extended warranty.
Which years Ford Rangers to Avoid
The 1999 model recorded the most amount of complaints which makes it appear as if it was the worst year, however, they were mainly electrical at higher mileage and wipers had a mind of their own. The 2002 model was actually the worst model of the lot recording the most expensive repairs at lower mileage.
A quick search online will reveal the 1999 models to be one of the worst models ever produced by Ford. Carcomplaints.com lists over 1000 complaints on that year model. The 99 models were riddled with electrical problems as well as engine and interior-related issues.
I’d steer clear of that one
Moving a bit forward in time and 2001 was the second worse year for the Ranger. Most complaints logged were related to transmission problems, followed by interior accessories problems. Over 700 complaints were logged consisting of Onboard dash lights flashing, rough shifting, and transmission failures. These models still went on to rack up mileage well over 250k miles even with all the niggles. Probably a good idea to have a decent repair manual on hand.
Things seemed to have improved quite a bit at the Ford Production plant with only 354 complaints logged on carcomplaints.com. The worst 05 model problems consisted of a wheel bearing going bad, high-pressure power steering lines burst, and engine stalling while driving.
Doesn’t sound so bad when compared to the previous models…
Come 08 and things took a turn for the worst again with close to 400 official complaints listed. These consist mainly of air conditioning and body and paint issues. Not that serious when compared to the previous model’s engine and transmission woes.
By the time the T6 2013 rolled along, Ford seems to have a handle on things with less than 10 official complaints listed on carcomplaints.com. The worst 2013 Ranger problems consist of transmissions not shifting properly, transmission cooler failure, and door latch failure.
Roll on 2019 and the complaints withered to a mere 43 in total. There are sporadic reports of weird buzzing from the engine and a rattle on the dash you can read about here. The worst was the engine light coming on and loud wind noise from inside the cabin while driving. You can get a detailed list of 2019 issues here.
Is A Ford Ranger Reliable?
If you’re going to buy a used Ford Ranger, make sure you get it with a FSH (Full Service History) and an extended warranty. The Diesel engines are expensive to repair once things go south. For additional peace of mind, do an oil analysis before you commit to a sale. The oil analysis will provide an in-depth report on the overall engine health which could assist you greatly if you’re in the market for a used Ranger.
As previously stated, the earlier model T6 Rangers were not the most reliable. The 2.2 seems to be a lot more reliable and doesn’t suffer from the same engine and transmission issues. There are reports of turbo failures on low mileage 2.2 T6 Rangers.
Determining reliability vs high mileage is not by looking at individual reports but rather the overall statistics over an extended period of time. Also, are the issues major or minor, and were they at low or high mileage. You need to determine what percentage failure rate per 1000 vehicles to get a decent idea. Generally, it seems the 2.2 Ranger is more reliable than the 3.2 and can rack up higher mileage with fewer problems.