Fuel pump? Inertia Switch? Intermittent starts... - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 11-10-2012
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Fuel pump? Inertia Switch? Intermittent starts...

OK, my Ranger is an '03 4.0. Had a a few issues lately with it not wanting to start, starved of gas. First instance about a month ago, wouldn't start, happened to be a t a gas station. Read 1/4 tank but after a few cycles of the key and putting more gas in it (full tank) started and ran fine. Have had a few more issues similar to that....cranks and cranks, wont start....cant hear the fuel pump. If you cycle the key to ignition on about 5 times the fuel pump starts running and it starts and runs fine. Mechanic neighbor said hes seen the inertia switch go bad on them but we took it out, noticed nothing unusual. He said usually if the fuel pump is going south it will draw more amps than usual and fry that switch of harnesses connected to it. It sometimes will be dead in the water, no fuel pressure at the rail and sometimes will be fine, regular pressure and start right on the first key crank. It only has 64K miles and has a newer fuel filter. Has anyone had a similar issue?

FYI, relay works fine, tested that. And not it's not a tune up/parts issue...truck has new plugs, motorcraft wires, etc. had them on the truck for year or more and it's seen less than 3k miles over that time. This problem started within the past few months.

Last edited by klc317; 11-10-2012 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 11-12-2012
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I figured it out...it was a failing inertia switch. Took a quick video. As you can see it wont start due to fuel starvation. I then hold the switch button down and it starts. Let the button go, the fuel pump shuts off and it dies again. Picked up a new switch today and all is fine.

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Old 11-12-2012
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Old 11-22-2012
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Well, worked for a few days...haha. Now fuel pump wont work at all. Tested power back to the fuel pump and its there with the key on, maybe it wasn't the switch after all....looks like its time for a fuel pump. Fortunately, once again it's in the garage when it failed. Got all the bed bolts out and tail-lights unhooked to take off the bed. I'll unhook the fuel filler right before I remove it. Gonna order a Motorcraft pump tomorrow hopefully. I'd hate to buy a parts store one and have to do it all over again soon. Not exactly wanting to spend nearly $300 this time of year but thats the way it goes sometimes I guess.
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Old 11-23-2012
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I ended up replacing my fuel pump this summer with an Airtex assembly. Similar symptoms, but mine faile when I was at the dump....how appropriate right? The week prior to that I was up in Cumberland and it just would not start after parking it for 20 minutes. I thought it was the IAC, because it couldn't hold an idle, so I got a new one and TPS as well and just threw them on. Fired up and I was able to drive the 3 hours back home.

***Oh, what sucked is that when it died at the dump I had JUST filled up to the brim. Luckily I took the bed off and worked from the top because that would have absolutely sucked.
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Old 11-23-2012
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Yep. I'm glad I put anti-seize on those bed bolts when I got the Line-X sprayed in a few years ago. Made them WAY easier to get out this time. Definitely going to get at the pump from the top.

The first time mine started messing up I was actually at a gas station. Gaguge read 1/4 tank and I though somehow I was actually out of gas. Pushed it to the the pump, put $20 in it and it just so happened to fire right up....fuel pump failures can be kinda eractic and misleading.
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Old 11-23-2012
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Got bed off today. Got a little cleaning and some POR 15 painting to do on the frame/spare tire cross member area but every thing is still pretty black, solid, and in great shape. Tested the power going to the harness to the fuel pump again and am getting 11.51 volts with the key on. Now just gotta wait on pump to get here.
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Old 11-27-2012
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OK...got my new Motorcraft pump today. Took all of 5 minutes to swap in. Got the bed bolted back on, all seems well. I can say that the new pump sounds way less noisy than the old one...I guess thats good. I'll let it run for a few weeks and change out the fuel filter again just to make sure nothing was knocked into the tank or if the new pump had a rouge piece of plastic or anything in it from being manufactured.
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Old 12-09-2012
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One week plus and all is good. Put a new fuel filter in it yesterday too. This poor truck sits most of the time, probably not good for it. Has just over 64k miles and has only seen about 6K total in about 2 1/2 years that I've had it. Guess I should have the wife drive it to work once or twice a week so it gets driven more. It's paid for, garaged, and is basicly a spare vehicle in case we need to haul something or need 4x4. It sure does idle and run differently with the new fuel pump in it. Guess it has been going south for awhile. I guess at least I did get a chance to mop on some POR 15 on the frame areas under the bed/frame areas. It was in good shape and so are the spring hangers and all...for being an Ohio truck all its life it is in suprisingly good shape underneath....frame and components are all still black and solid.

Last edited by klc317; 12-09-2012 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 12-16-2012
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klc.. where you located in cincinnati? i'm having similar starting issues as you. except mine idles fine. runs fine. i had the fuel pump replaced about two months ago and it started fine. then just recently it started taking four five six or even seven cranks to get it to start. but it has never not started. starts every time. just takes some cranking to get it to start lol. btw i'm from alexandria in northern ky
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Old 12-19-2012
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steffenaj14--I have the exact same issues as you do. Runs great, idles fine, has always started but has to crank quite a while before it will start. New fuel pump will be going is right after X-mas. If that doesnt take care of the problem the next thing I will be looking at is the ignition switch.
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Old 12-19-2012
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see thats the thing.. i replaced the fuel pump and it fixed it for about a month then it started happening again
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Old 12-22-2012
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I live near Amelia.
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Old 12-24-2012
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I agree, KLC, you need to make a point to drive that Ranger more. Mine is a spare vehicle for the same purpose as yours. Just sitting, gas will sour, seals will dry out etc.
I found this thread because I went through the fuel pump issue one year ago, right after I bought my truck. I'm glad you got it resolved.
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Old 10-10-2017
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When replacing the fuel pump, is it okay to just replace the pump, or should I replace the whole pump and sender assembly? Should I get any specific hardware with it? Any recommendations on brand?
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