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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 02-03-2014
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Randomly Cuts Out

Hi guys. I know you won't be able to solve this problem for me but some suggestions would be helpful of areas to look at.

2003 4.0L, Auto, 4x4, 145K

Basically the truck cuts out for a split second when driving. It feels like when I used to mess with my brother and tap the kill switch on the wood splitter. It happens so quickly I don't have time to see if the tach drops but no lights come on. It seems to only happen in the winter or when its wet. It will sit there an idle all day long. I'd really like to figure this out before I get stranded somewhere. Sometimes it will happen a dozen times in a few mile stretch and sometimes I can go months with no problem. The check engine light is on but the the codes say O2 sensors and the problem has existed long before the light ever came on.
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Old 02-03-2014
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I've also notices a strange whistling sound right after I start it up. It goes away after it warms up. I've noticed the "sweet" smell of hot antifreeze every once in a while. I've not had to add any but I haven't changed my oil myself the last few times so the shop could;ve topped it off. Could this be the intake gasket I'm reading about?
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Old 02-03-2014
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Originally Posted by Newman View Post
I've also notices a strange whistling sound right after I start it up. It goes away after it warms up. I've noticed the "sweet" smell of hot antifreeze every once in a while. I've not had to add any but I haven't changed my oil myself the last few times so the shop could;ve topped it off. Could this be the intake gasket I'm reading about?
Usually if anti-freeze gets in oil it creates a "mikeshake" look on the dipstick,another old trick to look for a blown head gasket was to remove rad cap and run engine and look for bubbles after warmed up,a indication that compression gasses are entering cooling system.The stalling issue might be a funky fuel inertia switch which shut the fuel pressure off in case of a accident.You can unplug and pigtail it to be sure.I don,t think new switches are expensive.Some guy,s just bypass it.
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Old 02-03-2014
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I will look into bypassing the inertia switch. I'm not getting any water in the oil. I check that regularly and it's always clean (no water) and right at the full mark.
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Old 02-05-2014
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Originally Posted by Newman View Post
I will look into bypassing the inertia switch. I'm not getting any water in the oil. I check that regularly and it's always clean (no water) and right at the full mark.
Would be great to let everyone know what solves it to help other members out.Good luck
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Old 02-05-2014
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Originally Posted by vstar650ca View Post
Would be great to let everyone know what solves it to help other members out.Good luck
I had planned on it. It sounds like my problem is unique and random. The hardest to solve. And thanks for good luck.

A bit more info to add. It feels like more than a single cylinder misfire. I probably won't dig into it too much until it gets warmer or it leaves me stranded. In that case it will be much easier to solve!
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Old 03-11-2017
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I know this is old thread and member probably not responding anymore. I have the exact same issue with same truck. 03 4.0 4X4 cuts out very briefly and no engine light. I call it bucking. It is like engine is turned off then on. It is like for a split second. Many times in a row sometimes then sometimes maybe a couple times in many miles sometimes not at all. It has all been winter weather since it started. Makes me nervous that it is going to cut out permanently. Again no engine light.
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Old 03-11-2017
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Originally Posted by niwroc View Post
I know this is old thread and member probably not responding anymore. I have the exact same issue with same truck. 03 4.0 4X4 cuts out very briefly and no engine light. I call it bucking. It is like engine is turned off then on. It is like for a split second. Many times in a row sometimes then sometimes maybe a couple times in many miles sometimes not at all. It has all been winter weather since it started. Makes me nervous that it is going to cut out permanently. Again no engine light.
Welcome to the forum

You should start your own thread for this, as you said this one is old and so most won't read it again.

Have the OBD codes read, WRITE THEM DOWN
Check Engine Light(CEL) does not come on for all codes, only the ones computer thinks require immediate attention.
Computer may have set codes for the power loss

Common fixes are:
Clean MAF sensor, once every 2 years
Replace fuel filter, once every 5 years
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Old 03-13-2017
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I never did find the problem. Seems to have fixed itself... *knocks on wood*
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