definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,222 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.

2003 Ford Ranger engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Ranger Owner Comments

problem #9

Aug 012007

Ranger 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles


2003 Ford Ranger 4.0L 4WD at. Two of the six valve seats in the engine dropped causing the engine to lose compression after less than 70K miles. Noticed loss of power, took it in and had to pay over $2K in repairs even though it was still under warranty. The valve seats were replaced. The problem was fixed but a few months later while merging to freeway speeds the car stalled and would not re-start. Towed it in to find that the engine had jumped timing and bent all six crank arms. Again, repairs were made. Top end of the engine was replaced including the cranks. This is ridiculous for a truck with less than $70K miles on. I feel the original repair costs upwards of $2,000 should have been covered under the warranty as it was an internal engine issue and been reimbursed. Also a new engine should be installed or vehicle traded as this engine is obviously defective. All the meanwhile the main reason for taking the vehicle in for repairs three times prior was to fix the huge thump and delay on acceleration that almost caused me to get in an accident! the dealer said this was normal for 4WD trucks and there was nothing wrong with it. Yet every 4WD I've driven, even ones with over 100K miles on them, accelerate smoothly with no thumping or delay in acceleration. Nearing the expiration on my warranty due to mileage, I feel the dealership was trying to push the actual repairs off until then. They even said that the cause of the thump was that the transmission mounts were loose. So they "repaired" that but it had no effect and the issue still remains. This is where I stand currently and am trying to get the truck back in the shop, once again, to have this issue fixed so that I do not actually get in an accident. And to add to that, there is once again a loss in power, so we'll find out if the valve seats have once again dropped...

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #8

Feb 062007

Ranger 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 63,400 miles
Truck bucks/jerks during drive cycle when in 3rd or 4th gear, RPM ~2500.

- Prospect, OH, USA

problem #7

Sep 052006

Ranger 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 63,000 miles
A failed roller rocker destroyed a cam and lifter after only 66,000 miles. 3,000 miles previous I had taken it to the dealer who said they couldn't hear the noise. By the time they could hear it, the damage had more than tripled. The failure was definitely caused by the defective roller rocker(the part is available for inspection).

- Claremont, CA, USA

problem #6

Sep 302005

Ranger 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,300 miles


The consumer stated that his 2003 Ford Ranger caught on fire on 9-30-05. The vehicle started smoking while in motion. The vehicle was pulled over. The fire was viewed coming from under the hood. The fire department was called. The truck was declared a total loss. The consumer felt that the fire department was unable to determine the cause of the fire. The consumer experienced no prior problems with the vehicle. The dealer was made aware of the problem. The consumer contacted his insurance company. The truck was towed to a junk yard in Illinois. Pictures were taken of the engine and the vehicle itself. The consumer planned to notify the manufacturer about the fire. (11/22/05) a popping noise was coming from the engine and it begun to lose power. The consumer popped the hood and saw fire coming out of the engine. By the time the fire department arrived, the engine was engulfed in flames.

- Brentwood, MO, USA

problem #5

Aug 212005

Ranger 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Ranger. While driving vehicle stalled. The dealership had the vehicle 6 times, but could not find anything wrong with it. The contact stated the vehicle started jerking then it died, and after waiting approximately 1 hour the vehicle started back up. The dealership wanted to trade the vehicle with the contact. But the manufacturer wanted the dealership to find the cause of the problem before they would authorize the transaction. The consumer contacted the manufacturer.

- Rushville, IN, USA

problem #4

Sep 302004

Ranger 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
When the transmission is engaged, automatic, on acceleration, there is a chattering noise coming from the engine area. Happens whether A/C is on or not.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #3

Feb 122003

Ranger 6-cyl

  • miles


When placing vehicle in reverse, motor raced with foot on the brakes. It was later determined by dealership that it was a computer problem and was reprogrammed. This remedied the problem temporally. Failure has occurred numerous times since the part replacement. Consumer felt if Ford couldn't repair the vehicle without it failing again, then his money should be returned.

- Aberdeen, MS, USA

problem #2

Nov 062003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,295 miles
While driving vehicle intermittently stalled. The cause of the problem had not been determined.

- Asheboro, NC, USA

problem #1

Sep 032003

(reported on)

Ranger 6-cyl

  • miles
Brake and engine problems. The rotors were turned on the front brakes and a idler was installed because the engine stalled out. (twice after that the vehicle was returned the vehicle for the same problem)

- Huntington, WV, USA

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