If you want the bigger V6, 4.0l SOHC, then make sure it is in a 2005 or later Ranger, 2004 and earlier could have timing chain issues.
Look at brake pedal rubber pad and drivers seat wear, that can tell you "true mileage" vs what seller or odometer is saying.
Manual transmissions need clutches but are still a better option than automatics, IMO.
If truck has an automatic or that is what you want, pull out the dip stick and look at the color of the fluid, and smell it.
If trans fluid(or engine oil) has just been changed it could be just good maintenance, or a sign seller is covering something up.
Ask when fluids were last changed.
When you turn on the key(of any vehicle) make sure CEL(check engine light) comes on, and then goes off, you would be surprised how many "car flippers" disconnect or blank out that bulb to hide the fact CEL is on all the time, indicating a problem.
Ask if you can take the vehicle to have it inspected, Ford and other places offer 100+ point inspections for used vehicles, for $150 or so, you pay of course.
Whether you do have it inspected is up to you, but asking if you can will tell you alot, lol.
And an inspection can pay for itself and even more.
If seller is asking $8,500 and you have it inspected and find a couple of minor issues you can show them the results and offer $8,000 or whatever.
YES, I am a cynic, purchased many used vehicles over the years.
Beware of low miles, just below average is fine, alot below means one of two things, neither is good for you.
It was either broke down and sitting
Or it was just sitting.
Engine and drive train seals need to be kept moist with oil, this happens when they are driven, when they sit for months at a time gravity does it thing and when driven the seals can tear abit on startup, it adds up to premature wearing out, or in the case of valve guide seals they just dry out and crack.
Vehicles driven only 5-10 minutes at a time get sludgy, they never heat up fully to burn off water vapor in the engine, this causes a sludgy build up inside the engine.
Ford Rangers have the PATS(passive anti-theft system), this is part of the computer system and requires PATS keys to start engine.
PATS key has an RFID tag inside the handle, it requires no battery, make sure you get at least TWO working PATS keys with the vehicle, with 2 working keys you can add a 3rd key yourself, which you should do right away, so if 1 is lost you still have 2.
If you only have 1 PATS key you have to pay a locksmith or Ford to add a 2nd key to the system.
PATS has nothing to do with keyless entry or alarm systems, it is "passive" anti-theft, it disables fuel system and starter motor if "known" PATS key is not used to start engine, 3 or 4 PATS keys are programmed into the computer at the factory, these are then "known" keys that can start engine.
Last edited by RonD; 08-08-2015 at 11:43 AM.