97 Ranger put jumper cables on backwards - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource

General Technical & Electrical General technical and electrical discussion for the Ford Ranger that does not fit in any other sub-forum.

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-31-2016
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 2
97 Ranger put jumper cables on backwards

I have a 97 Ranger 4 cylinder and I put jumper cables on backwards to jump another car. afterwards truck would not start. then a few hours later it started. then the next day would not start. then a day later it started again. I changed out the ignition switch and it started, then a day later it would not start again.

when it does not start it makes no sound at all, as if there is no battery in the truck. can anyone help????
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2016
RF Veteran
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 7,582
Welcome to the forum

Just to clarify, one day the truck won't start, so you let it sit and the next day it will start, nothing is done in between, no battery charging or jumping?

You will need to get a Volt Meter

You did good if your key was off during the jumping of the other vehicle, jumping from a running engine to a dead one is a bad thing now-a-days with the newer electronics

It is recommended to disconnect 1 battery cable from your vehicle then use jumper cables to start the dead one, this isolates your electrics from dead vehicle electrics when it starts, there may be a bad reason the other vehicle needs a jumps, i.e. it's alternator failed and fried the battery and some electrics, so if connected to yours it could be fried as well.

Could be the reverse connection just caused separation at the battery terminals, remove and clean both terminals.
Leave Negative cable off

Set volt meter to DC volts, get voltage of battery, 12.3v to 12.8v means battery is OK

'97 positive battery cable should run to starter motor, if there is a smaller cable coming off the positive cable follow it to either a starter relay type box or the main fuse box in engine compartment.
If it goes to a post on a relay then there will be 3 wires on that post, remove all and clean them so they can make a good connection, re-install them.
Check that there is same voltage here as there is on battery.

In the fuse box there will be some 50 to 60 amp fuses, remove each one and test for voltage in its slot, only 1 side will have voltage, should be same as battery voltage.
Re-install fuse after checking that its tabs are clean, no corrosion.

If truck starts now and then fuses are good, you are looking for corrosion or similar build up that is causing intermittent power issue.
You may want to pull out each fuse in the engine fuse box look at the tabs then re-install, this in and out also helps to get clean connection in the slots

Follow negative battery cable and check its connection to the block, loosen and clean.
If there is a smaller cable on it as well, follow it and loosen and clean.

Reattach negative cable to battery.
Try to start engine
If it starts check battery voltage again, should be above 14volts with engine running, but below 15volts.
If it still shows 12.x volts then alternator is not working.

If engine doesn't start and key on doesn't get dash lights like the CEL(check engine light) then in engine fuse box find the EEC(ECM) relay, remove it and check its tabs then re-install, and try again to get CEL to come on.

Last edited by RonD; 03-31-2016 at 11:57 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2016
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 2
thank you for you reply

I will run the tests and see what happens. thanks for the time that you gave to my problem.
Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What do you put in your secret compartment behind your jumper seats? dgiomett General Ford Ranger Discussion 33 03-04-2012 03:00 AM
Can I tow 4x4 auto ranger backwards on tow dolly? ronsfun96gt General Technical & Electrical 33 08-09-2010 09:54 PM
Jumper Cable Recall - Autozone FireRanger General Ford Ranger Discussion 1 12-16-2007 09:54 AM
jumper cables: 10 gauge enough? Bhavesh General Technical & Electrical 10 12-10-2006 08:34 PM
Taking rear jumper seats out? 998sFE Interior Semi-Tech 7 11-24-2005 07:28 PM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:57 PM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.