Welcome to the forum.
Car/truck batteries last 5 to 7 years, 2000 Ranger, 16 years old, could be on 3rd battery
Get new battery, reconditioned will cost more over the 5 to 7 years when you have to replace it in 1 to 2 years.
But if you have a manual trans and a good charging system then a dead battery is just an inconvenience because you can push start engine, bump start.
If you have an automatic then you need a good battery........period
It is very important to test charging system, or you will ruin any new or reconditioned battery.
Engine off, key on, Battery Light on the dash should be ON
Set Volt meter to DC Volts
Battery voltage should be 12.3 to 13volts, under 12.3v means battery is drained or going bad
Start engine, Battery Light should go OFF
Battery voltage should now be above 14volts but below 15volts, alternator is working
Above 15volts can "cook" a battery, so not good.
If battery voltage still shows what it did with engine off the alternator is not working, could be blown fuse or wiring, or alternator itself
After engine has been running for 5 minutes or so test battery voltage again with engine idling
Should be 13.5-13.8volts, this is the normal operating voltage of the vehicle
Turn on the head lights and voltage should drop and then come back up to 13.5v
Turn on heater fan to high, voltage should drop and then come back up to 13.5v
This means voltage regulator in alternator is working.
Last edited by RonD; 06-13-2016 at 11:40 AM.