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  #1  
Old 12-13-2014
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Starting issue

Drove the 02 ranger (2.3 4x2 93K auto)in the drive two nights ago and all was fine.
Went to start it the next morning and you'd have thought a P51 Mustang was firing up with the coughing and black and blue smoke coming from the tail pipe.
Limped it down to the nearest garage,explained the situation and left it.
Garage owner calls to say his mechanic charged the battery (which wasn't holding a full charge) and the truck started right up no misfiring or smoke or..
They replaced the battery and took it up on the interstate as well as stop and go and it drove fine.
I called Ford and asked, and they are adamant low voltage wouldn't create the issue I had. Their thought was something either froze up (in the northeast)or stuck and then freed itself.
Wondering if something like this has happened to anyone else and if so what-if anything-was discovered to be the culprit.
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Old 12-14-2014
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Not sure who you talked with at Ford but it wasn't a mechanic, maybe a service manager.

If an engine is running "off the battery" and battery is low ignition spark would be marginal, and computer control "iffy" because of incorrect voltage reading from sensors.

Normally once engine starts alternator will take over powering electrics, BUT.......that is also controlled by battery when starting, so can actually draw voltage instead of producing it after startup, adding more load to dieing battery.

While your incident is not common it is certainly not unusual.

I would assume the shop checked your alternator?

A 2002 vehicle would usually need a new battery in 2008 and then again in 2014, so you would be right on average.
Battery's last 5 to 7 years, so 6 years is average.
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Old 12-14-2014
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The low voltage issue didn't jive with me and=as you said-once the engine started and the alternator kicked in the voltage issue should have corrected itself.
This was why I posted. Hoping someone had encountered a similar problem that had been diagnosed..So I have an idea where to start looking if this happens again.
The engine showed up 'normal function' on the garages diagnostic.
The only thing I can guess is something was frozen or stuck.
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Old 12-14-2014
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Not sure what year Ford added the "smart charging" to Rangers, but these like GEM and Computer(PCM) are micro processor based devices.
And I have never run into anyone who hasn't encountered an "odd" occurrence with a microprocessor driven device, especially in "brown out"(low power) conditions which is worse than no power.

That's why I find it odd Ford would offer the "never heard of that" "or "can't cause that" statement, Ford doesn't even make a vehicle that doesn't have at least 2 microprocessors in it, many have 5 or 6 now.

Like they say "it is all just 1's and 0's", but the 1's and 0's have to be set and correct, when you lower or vary power not all the 1's get set, and 1010 1010 is way different than 0010 0010, and that's why voltage is so important, just watch the Matrix, lol, kidding, but that's why your smartphone, computer and toaster have to be rebooted, 1's and 0's in the wrong places locked it up or gave it the ERROR screen.

Last edited by RonD; 12-14-2014 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 12-15-2014
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All this talk of binaryones and zeros reminds me of the programming I used to do back in the 70's....although most software today is still compiled to machine code of binary today, just as RonD mentions, its all either a 1 (5 volts) or 0 (ground) unless negative logic is used (then its the opposite).

If you're into this, go see the movie 'Interstellar'
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2014
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Thanks to RonD. This is why I posted.
Too often the people who are supposed to have the answers don't.
I situation like I experienced (no lead up to or prior similarities )is damn disquieting when you realize that:If a problem isn't corrected,it'll more than likely happen again..and odds are it will happen in heavy traffic or on the interstate or miles from home and out of cel range.
We have a newer (bought new last year)vehicle I'll be using for highway and long trips over the winter. The ranger is going to be relegated to short trips.
Thanks to all.
Info much appreciated.
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