really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,559 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Ford Ranger engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Ford Ranger Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #51

Jan 272015

Ranger 6-cyl

  • 72,300 miles


Pulled into a sloping down parking spot. Stopped, foot on the brake. Before I could shift out of drive, the engine abruptly revved up to max RPM. I had both feet on the brakes, the back wheels started spinning creating a cloud of blue smoke. I jammed the gears into park and they engine only quit after I turned off the key. I have several witnesses to the event. My regular mechanic disconnected the cruise control cable and it hasn't happened again. Ford contacted but refused to fix the problem.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #50

Sep 102012


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Ranger. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph the accelerator pedal fractured and detached from the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who stated that the rivets attached to the accelerator pedal and brackets were corroded. As a result, the mechanic had to reattach the pedal with new bolts. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Grand Island, NE, USA

problem #49

Jan 052012

Ranger 6-cyl

  • miles
Parked out on the street in front of my house, caught on fire around 9 pm. Fire trucks came and put it out and knocked on the door around 9:25 pm.

- Woodland, CA, USA

problem #48

Nov 182008


  • 160,000 miles


Engine surges when foot is off accelerator. Engine goes to high RPM and must be turned off with ignition key to keep it from exceeding RPM limits. This is an intermittent problem with no firm parameters for occurrence. This has happened even though there are no mats in the drivers side of the truck and drivers feet are flat on the floor not in contact with the accelerator, brake, or clutch. Dealer has replaced throttle body twice but that does not solve the problem. The dealer has no idea what is causing the problem. Problem has been in existence for at least 18 months.

- Live Oak, TX, USA

problem #47

May 232009


  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Ranger. After the vehicle had been parked for 13 hours, it caught fire. The contact filed a report with the police department. A recall notice for NHTSA campaign id number 07V336000 (vehicle speed control) was received prior to the failure and the vehicle was taken to the dealer on October 10, 2008 for the recall repair. The vehicle was repaired at that time; therefore, the contact does not understand how his vehicle still caught fire. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact called the manufacturer and was informed that he would receive a call back within 14 business days by their legal department. The failure mileage was 136,000.

- Laporte, IN, USA

problem #46

Mar 292009


  • 104,000 miles
I had driven my 98 Ford Ranger for a distance of about 10 miles prior to the incident. 2 hours after I got home my truck burst into flames. The truck is totaled now. I did nothing to remedy the situation because I was unaware of the problem. Thank you for your time.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #45

Aug 152007

Ranger 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


Recall # 05S28 - Ford has not made available to the dealer the necessary part (wiring with a fuse) to repair a defect (speed control switch)that I was notified about in a letter dated August of 2007. Now Ford tells me that the necessary part will not be available before June of 2008!

- Germantown, TN, USA

problem #44

Mar 172008

Ranger 6-cyl

  • miles
Recall 05S28 cruise control Ford Ranger 1998 received a notice Aug 2007. Have tried to have work performed three times. They tell me the parts are not available, maybe late April. How long does it take to make up a simple line with a fuse or even install a fuse in an existing line. Seems an inordinate time lag to get a repair. Thank you for your time, bob bucci

- Shepherdstown, WV, USA

problem #43

Feb 232008

Ranger 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Sitting in friends driveway, not running, no keys. Had been there for 2 hours. Neighbor was the one who noticed the fire and notified us. We could have lost the truck sitting next to it along with the house. My husband put out the fire before the fire department arrived. The firefighters told us there had been a recall on the vehicle and that it was definitely cause by the cruise control switch. The vehicle is a total loss which puts us without a vehicle which I had just purchased four months prior to the fire. I called Ford Motor Company and still have heard nothing back from them. They said it would be 7-10 days before I hear from them. In the mean time I am stranded and no way to get back and forth to work or school. This has definitely put major stress on my whole family.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #42

Sep 072007

Ranger 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Ranger. The contact received a recall notice for the vehicle speed control: Cruise control and took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer disconnected the cruise control and informed the contact to return in December of 2007. When the contact returned in December, the dealer stated that the replacement part would not be available until the second quarter of 2008. There had been no failure to date. The current mileage was 89,950. Updated 04/03/08.

- Nevada City, CA, USA

problem #41

Nov 302007

(reported on)

Ranger 6-cyl

  • miles


1998 Ford Ranger speed control recall. Consumer stated that he called the dealer when the recall was received and was told the parts would not be available until the new year.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #40

Jul 242007

Ranger 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,186 miles
I own a 1998 Ford Ranger. To begin the cruise control quit working. Then I noticed smoke from the engine compartment area. The brake pressure switch on the master brake cylinder caught fire. My husband was able to disconnect it and extinguish the fire prior to any significant damage occurring. I contacted Ford and they advised the vehicle was not on the recall list of vehicles for this problem. I spoke to the dealer and they advised the truck had a similar or the same switch as those on the recalled vehicles that have caused fires in the past.

- Randleman, NC, USA

problem #39

May 042003


  • miles
While pulling into the garage the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crashed through the back of the garage and resulted in over $12,000 worth of damage.

- Port Austin, MI, USA

problem #38

Jun 262002


  • miles
When coming to a stop and with no warning engine surges, and could cause an accident. Cause unknown.dealer notified.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #37

May 152001


  • miles
After approximately 10 -15 minutes after a cold start and running in city traffic, the engine speed increases to 2500 - 3000 RPM with the clutch depressed. This occurs when I am slowing to stop at a traffic signal. While my foot is on the brake, the engine RPM remains close to 1000 - 1200 RPM, about what your would expect. As soon as I depress the clutch, the engine RPM rapidly increases to nearly 3000. When the problem occurs, the engine RPM will remain high for about 10 seconds or until I release the clutch or turn off the engine. As soon as the engine has stopped, I restart the engine the engine. It starts normally without incident and continues usually without incident although if the traffic is exceptionally heavy, the problem may reoccur in approximately 30 minutes. This is sort of like rebooting a computer. Both team Ford and the Ford Motor Company tell me that this is normal for this type of vehicle and not to worry about it. I consider it to be a significant safety hazard because I must stop and restart the engine in heavy traffic. According to the Ford Motor Company, all Ford Ranger (1998 - 2000) with manual transmission and 3.0liter engine experience this problem. The problem never occurred until I had driven the truck for over 45K miles.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #36

Oct 032000


  • miles
This vehicle is not equipped with cruise control. The problem is the throttle sticks at various speeds, causing the engine to race and making it dangerous to stop the truck. I have nearly rear ended two vehicles due to this defect.

- 29 Palms, CA, USA

problem #35

Jul 072001


  • miles
While driving with the cruise control engaged, I attempted to pass another vehicle. My vehicle engaged in an uncontrolled accelleration. Depressing the brake or accellerator did not disengage the cruise control. Using the "off" button on the cruise control did not disengage it. Only shifting into nuetral at a speed of approx 70 miles per hour disengaged the cruise control. This happend at least three times in a 200mile round trip. The vehicle had previously been modified by the dealer based on a recall notice which I received about the cruise control.

- College Station, TX, USA

problem #34

Jan 292001

(reported on)

Ranger 4WD

  • miles
2 wheel drive switch jumped into four wheel drive, causing vehicle to accelerate out of control.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #33

Nov 282000

(reported on)


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
While waiting at either at stop light or sign vehicle would start to rev up, and later stalled out completely. Sometimes it felt as if engine was going to blow up because of the revving. Have taken vehicle to dealership & mechanic indicated that it was normal.

- Redding, CA, USA

problem #32

Sep 112000

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When the consumer holds the brake down the engine accelerates at a high rate, possible failure in the throttle linkages.

- La Puent, CA, USA

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