2003 Ranger 2.3 Automatic - Shuts off with no code - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 09-13-2017
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Location: Kennesaw, Georgia
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2003 Ranger 2.3 Automatic - Shuts off with no code

A couple of weeks ago I left work and had only been on the road 10 minutes and the truck completely shut off while going down the road at 40mph! No sputtering at all but rather instantly the dash lit up like a Christmas tree for ~2 seconds and I lost throttle, power steering, and power brakes. Coasted it into a turn lane. It wouldn't start back up. Waited 10 minutes and it started up like a champ and I drove it home 20+ miles with no issue.

Upon getting it home there was some visible light blue corrosion on the battery. My brother tested the battery and said it was good. We took it to a mechanic. They said the alternator had a weak charge so I had them replace it. Got it home and I test drove it quite a while thinking they fixed it but the next day it wouldn't start cold. Thinking about the corrosion we simply replaced the battery terminal. It started up but returned again last week when I was sitting at a red light. The Ford dealership has it since Friday and haven't been able to replicate the issue. I wanted to run it by you folks so if Ford hands it back to me I can try to self-diagnose.

A few notes:
  • No check engine light. We checked with our code reader, no codes.
  • The truck was not being driven more than once every week or two for a good while. My inclination is that it's related to that somehow. Either just due to sitting or perhaps and animals got into it?
  • The second time this happened I tried starting it up a 3-4 minutes after it would run for maybe 15 seconds then shut off again.
  • When the issue isn't presenting itself the truck runs fine otherwise.
  • Hadn't been in any wrecks, but reset the inertial sensor with no effect.
  • I've researched similar issues from others and some of the common causes are: IAC, fuel pump relay, crankshaft or camshaft position sensor, ignition control module/switch, auto shutoff relay.
  • I'm not a car guy, but my gut tells me it's not a mechanical issue but rather a ground or other electrical issue that intermittently gets loose/hot/cold/whatever and somehow self corrects after you let it sit for a bit.

Any idea what it might be based on the situation? Thanks so much for anything you can offer!
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Old 09-13-2017
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You have a 2.3l DOHC engine in your 2003 Ranger
Crank or Cam sensor issue WOULD set a code

IAC(idle air control) valve sets idle, so it can't shut off engine, unless you are idling

You don't have an ICM(ignition control module), PCM(computer) controls spark and fuel in 1995 and up Rangers

No sure what an "auto shutoff relay" is but no vehicle has one
You have a Battery Saver Relay, but just shuts of headlights or cabs light if you leave them on, couldn't stall the engine

Fuel pump relay is a maybe, they are $8 so just replace it, but fuel pump relay issue would set a code
Inertia switch issue would turn on light in dash (reset fuel switch)

Ignition switch might make sense if..............lights on the dash went OFF, like key was shut off, not "lit up like a Christmas tree"

Since there are no codes then I would suspect fuel pump itself, could be on its way out, bad connection or the motor itself, this won't set a code.
And no codes could also be computer issue
PCM connector is on upper firewall, passenger side center, unhook battery and pull off it's the 104 wire connector, big connector
Have a look at the pins and slots for corrosion
Where the connector is located can get water leaking on it if hood gasket isn't sealed
Ford added a cover plate because of this in later years

Battery or alternator problem would show up on the dash lights, i.e. they would go out when engine stalled
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