fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
44,500 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. helicoil tap (1 reports)
2002 Ford Ranger engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Ranger Owner Comments

problem #1

Jan 282015

Ranger 2.3L

  • Manual transmission
  • 44,500 miles


My wife purchased this vehicle to drive back and forth to work, which is only five minutes away from where we live. We also use it to transport cargo too large for our car. We have only 44K miles on the vehicle, which is unusually low for it's age. We have never abused the vehicle in any way and always brought it in for regular maintenance.

On January 28, 2015 while returning from the Post Office, the spark plug ejected itself from the head. Fortunately, it happened one block away from home while accelerating from a stop sign. According to the mechanic, it's a good thing I wasn't traveling at a higher rate of speed. He said this is a fairly common problem with a lot of Ford's because of the ALUMINUM head. Didn't car manufacturers learn their lesson with the Vega? As some of you may recall, it was a huge lemon because it had an aluminum engine block.

After doing some research on this "spark plug pop out" problem, I find that it is more common than Ford would care to admit. So common in fact, that it should have been a scheduled recall because it is so potentially dangerous. My Ranger has been recalled for a faulty cruise control switch that could cause a fire and my truck doesn't even have cruise control. If it did, the fix is quick and inexpensive.....this makes Ford happy. Fixing an aluminum head that spits spark plugs out unexpectedly however, is not. Ford would have you replace the whole head at a cost of anywhere from $1500 to $3000. My mechanic fixed it with a helicoil tap and some locktite. This is considered a temporary fix. It may or may not happen again....or it may happen with another cylinder just like it did with the first one.

I SAY FORD SHOULD RECALL VEHICLES WITH ALUMINUM HEADS THAT SPIT SPARK PLUGS. IT IS DANGEROUS AND CAN CAUSE ENGINE FIRES. This would cost them too much money however, so don't expect it to happen any time soon, if at all.

- , New Orleans, LA, USA

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