2001 Ford Ranger XLT Intermittent fail Start - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource

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Old 06-22-2016
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1
2001 Ford Ranger XLT Intermittent fail Start

Forgive me, im new here, and have been unable to find posts relating to this precise problem.

driving home one day, i loose power, thing dies, and i cant get it restarted. tow to me mechanic, dude says battery was dead, he jumped it, and everything checks out, no problems, started right up fer him, but he ran the electrical system for giggles anyhow, all fine.

next we will go with a couple times it stalled when i get where im going, put it in park. come back the next day, it starts up no problem. while driving, no odd noises or handling, when it dies, no odd noises, it just dies.

finally, its given a fail to start, went to church, came out an hour and a half later, and the thing wouldent start, no crank, nothing. battery good, electrical all working (lights windows ect). the little "theft" light would blink faster when i try turn it over, and i head a rapid clicking, electrical like, coming from the brake pedal area.

had it towed to me mechanic, next day, it started right up, no issues, he checked everything again, no problems. ive sadly got a lot of money into this stupid truck, id rather not give up on it now, but..... HELP!
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Old 06-22-2016
TheArcticWolf1911's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 1,667
If the theft light blinks rapidly upon trying to start, this would hint at a PATs issue.

The Ranger (amongst other Ford vehicles) uses PATS, or Passive Antitheft System. When the incorrect key is inserted, it will prevent the starter from engaging, should the key be able to turn the lock cylinder in the first place. This also prevents someone from crossing a couple wires and stealing the Ranger.

However, to actually look at the PATs system, you need some 'sophisticated' equipment, equipment than can talk to these systems. Needless to say, having someone just looking at it can wind up costing quite a lot in short order. For example, Pepboys wanted 100 bucks just to hook mine up to their machine to look at the ABS codes. Guess what they didn't get.

However, all is not lost. If you want to pinch some pennies, there is a way you can look at it on the cheap. I recommend this software quite a bit, and I'll do it again. You're going to need three things. A laptop, an OBDii to USB adapter, and software. Believe it or not, but the software is free (for windows at least) over at Forscan.org. Yeah I know it sounds like a shill but bear with me. This is some seriously powerful software. It can read and clear any and all codes from the Ranger, and a multitude of other vehicles as well as see live data. Handy if you have other issues down the road or if you're just bored. It also enables you to run some tests as well on each system, and even do some PATs work yourself; although I wouldn't recommend tampering with PATs much by yourself as you can wind up clearing your existing keys.

Chances are, even if it isn't necessarily PATs itself causing the issue, a code will be set and will at least give you a general direction to look at instead of just guessing and wasting money.

As for the laptop, nothing spectacular is needed. Any old laptop will do, new or old. The USB to OBDII connector however is the thing that you need to connect the truck to your laptop, letting the software do it's thing. You can do a simple search on Ebay for them. Of course there are several models of OBDii to USB connectors, so try to get an ELM327, which can be had for around 12 bucks. These are very popular and are compatible with most other programs. Since OBDII is the standard since 1996 and up, with the right software, you can talk to virtually any vehicle and find out what's wrong; all the way from simple, generic, check engine light softwares all the way up to the expensive and professional diagnostic software.

If your ELM327 does come with software, you can simply put it aside and go straight to forscan as it doesn't require any other software to be used with it. Very simple and user friendly.
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