Couple of problems with my 3.0L Ranger XLT - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 05-22-2016
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Couple of problems with my 3.0L Ranger XLT

First, ever since I got the truck three years ago, I have had to be careful gassing it up. At many pumps, if you just set the pump to automatically fill, it will begin leaking fuel from the filler tube and then stop pumping. At other pumps, it will fill the tank, then continue to add fuel, which will leak out, then stop pumping. While frustrating, this has been a small enough nuisance for me to not bother taking it to a shop.

Second, two years ago when I took the truck in for a smog inspection, it maxed out on hydrocarbon emissions. I addition, it runs rough at idle, which I imagine is related.

Third, it is definitely losing oil, or was when I last drove it (have had a car for most of my driving for 8 months now). Not sure where it is going, but the entire engine compartment seems to be pretty dirty, most of it a black film.

It is undrivable right now, as the battery went dead because of the electronic lock on the ignition (keeps the light blinking 24/7), plus massive corrosion on the terminals which leads me to believe the battery might need replacing (terminals are new and wires have been cut back).

By the way, it is a '97 Ranger, and any thoughts or help would be appreciated.
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Old 05-23-2016
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The fuel filler neck itself is probably rusted out, or the seals are bad. A new one can be had from rockauto, which is probably the easiest way to fix it.

I don't know hardly anything about emissions, so unfortunately I can't speak about that. I can offer the advice of tossing a set of spark plugs and wires at it, if they're old. I would still research the problem to better understand emissions and go from there. If there's a check engine light, you can take it to autozone and they'll tell you what the code is. With the code, you can google it and find out what the code's definition is. That will point you in the right direction.

As for engine oil, it's going one of two places. One, it's leaking the oil or two it's burning the oil. Look around under the truck, both on the ground and on the truck itself. If no oil is present, then it's not leaking the oil.

If it's burning the oil, it's probably one of two things. Either the PCV valve is bad and sucking oil into the engine, thus burning said oil, or the seals are bad and they're leaking oil into the combustion chambers. PCV valves are cheap, so I'd toss one at it and see if it still burns the oil. If it does, well, might as well cut your losses with that engine, unless you want to tear it apart and fix it. In that scenario, you're probably best either putting a new engine in, or getting another vehicle.

Corrosion on the battery terminals doesn't mean the battery itself is bad. Corrosion can happen on any battery for a number of reasons. Just clean off the crust, but I'd recommend staying away from those sprays you can buy to keep corrosion away. Not only to they make a royal mess out of your terminals, but they have an insulating quality to them. The connection of the battery must be very clean and free of resistance to work properly. If you really want to keep corrosion at bay, you can use those green and red disks under the terminals, and/or you can spread a little grease over the top of the terminal to keep oxygen at bay.
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Old 05-23-2016
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ArcticWolf, my uncle and I thought it might be the filler neck. I will be replacing the bed at some point (it was wrecked a while back, the bed took the majority of the damage) and was thinking it might be easier to access the filler tube when we remove the old bed?

Unfortunately, no check engine light :( And this truck is old enough to need an actual emissions test, not just a reading of the computer. Plugs, wires, and air filter were all new the last time I did a smog, so they weren't the problem. I had also just done an oil change and checked all fluids.

I have not noticed any direct spots on the ground where it has leaked, but the engine and many things in the engine compartment are coated with what I believe to be oil. I see some in the fan blades, and a decent amount on the bottom of the passenger side of the engine. The is something on the bottom of the engine that seems to be saturated with oil, I will post pictures later if I can get any to come out. I was also in the process of replacing the PCV Valve, but it is hard to get to (can't remember what exactly made it difficult, since it was a few months ago).

Green and red disks? Not sure I have seen those, might have to look into it. Do you mean dielectric grease?
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Old 05-23-2016
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Oh yeah, that filler neck will be dirt simple without a bed in the way. Otherwise you'll be reaching up into uncomfortable places with rusty metal and gasoline fumes.

And yeah, it certainly sounds like that engine is leaking oil, although I have absolutely no idea how it would end up on the fan, unless the truck was upside down at one point in time, but if that were the case you'd think it would be in a junkyard or the like. It's possible the rear main seal is bad.
What I would do, is crack out the engine degreaser. Clean most of it off and see where it returns. Since oil is everywhere then it'll be a lot more difficult to pinpoint where it's coming from. When new oil appears, bingo.

As far as the disks, I'm talking about these green and red felt disks you stick under the battery terminals. They supposedly help to prevent corrosion. Considering how cheap they are, I see no reason to try and disprove that, so I buy 'em anyway.

These are them. Available just about anywhere. Autozone, walmart, pep boys, really anywhere that sells batteries.

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Old 05-23-2016
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kind of makes sense, help prevent the metal parts from touching anything leaking from or landing on the battery. It's worth a shot. I figured cleaning the parts of the engine I can would be a good next step, although for all I know the stuff I am looking at may just be years of grease buildup and road grime ... the downside to getting used vehicles, most people don't fix things like oil leaks or bother to clean the engine.
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