Intermittent starting and shut down problem.
I have a 2002 Ranger. 2.3 liter, no 4x4, single cab, stick shift, no a/c. Essentially the most basic model. It has an electrical gremlin that I cannot seem to solve...
Sometimes when I turn the ignition it simply does not turn over. I can tell when it is not going to because I don't hear the fuel pump come on. Sometimes when it is running the motor shuts off abruptly. Power is still on. Lights on etc... in both cases.
It started about a year ago. I thought it was the ignition switch so I put in a new one. That didn't work but I was convinced it had to be the ignition switch so I assumed the one I bought was a dud. I changed it again and the problem has been gone for the last year. This week it started doing it again. Out of the blue after a year of problem free driving. I figured the ignition switch I changed the second time have gone bad and changed it again with a different brand. Still same problem so I am guessing it's not the switch. I also hosed out the connector with electrical contact cleaner and used dialectic grease in the male end of the terminal.
It only does this some of the time... I don't think it is a bad battery connection because I'm pretty sure it would continue to run on the alternator and besides, the lights and dash, fans etc... all continue to work when it dies and/or when it will not start.
Any advise or insight into the problem is much appreciated.