really awful
Crashes / Fires:
11 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
19 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,790 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Jul 012016


  • miles


Cruse-control is very flimsy, some times it will not work, ,, have to hold it from back side when trying to start control.in motion, on highway.

- Chillicothe, IL, USA

problem #30

Jul 212016


  • 160,057 miles
Vehicle accelerates when brakes are applied. So far only has happened at slow speeds while parking the vehicle. I've seen a jump of 1,000 RPM's when it occurs, but if your pressing hard enough on the brakes you can control the acceleration

- Jurupa Valley, CA, USA

problem #29

Apr 142016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Ranger. While attempting to reverse, the vehicle independently accelerated without warning and crashed into a wall. A police report was filed and there were no injuries sustained. The vehicle was towed. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. The VIN was not available.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #28

Jan 072015

Ranger 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


2003 Ford Ranger suddenly accelerated upon attempting to park. I was pulling into my parking spot while apply the brakes when my vehicle suddenly accelerated, jumped a snow bank and hit a light pole. Independent witness reported the vehicle just took off, rear wheels rapidly started turning. I contacted Ford Motor Co. Who did not seem too concerned about the incident and had no interest to inspect the vehicle.

- Kimball , MI, USA

problem #27

Oct 222014

Ranger 6-cyl

  • 66,720 miles
Bought the 2003 Ranger new in Jan 2004. Last week, after coming to a stop at red light, it suddenly began revving up drastically ( 3000 + RPM's). Brake harder to keep it from ramming car in front. Put in park and turned off with key. Re-started and it ran normally. It has done this twice more since then, once when I put it in reverse to back out of parking spot. Both times it ran normally after the incident. Never had this happen before. Checked mats around the accelerator pedal, all clear. There are 66,720 miles on odometer, no major problems 'till now. "?"

- Milmont Park, PA, USA

problem #26

Jan 012011

Ranger 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Ranger. The contact stated that the rpms increased to 4,000, caused the tires to smoke, and the engine to suddenly accelerate. The contact placed the vehicle into neutral gear, released the brake pedal and the vehicle functioned normally. The contact removed the cruise control linkage; however, the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 59,000. The current mileage was 63,000....updated 11-12-13

- Pleasant Hill , IA, USA

problem #25

Oct 212012


  • 218,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Ranger. The contact stated that while stopped at a traffic stop, the engine pms increased abnormally to 3000. The contact held the brake down with extreme force as the tires began to spin and make a screeching noise.the vehicle was attempting to accelerate abnormally but the contact was able to stop the failure by abruptly applying the brakes and powering the vehicle off. The vehicle was restarted and resumed normal operation. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and advised the contact to take the vehicle to a dealer. The dealer stated that because the vehicle was over ten years old, they were unable to perform a diagnosis. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 218,000.

- Scituate, MA, USA

problem #24

Aug 252012


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Ranger. The contact stated that while driving 15 mph, the accelerator pedal became stuck. As a result, the vehicle accelerated independently and crash into a curb. The vehicle was destroyed. A police report was not file and injuries were reported. The vehicle was not inspected and the cause of the failure was not determined. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who stated that the contact needed to write a letter and mail it into Ford. The failure mileage was 72,000.

- Burleson, TX, USA

problem #23

Feb 152012

Ranger 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Vehicle with cruise control problem (not engaging) suddenly accelerated while driver was accelerating from stoplight. Reached approx. 45 mph under forced acceleration before was able to pull onto side road, stand on brake, shift to neutral, turn off engine. Restart engine still had engine racing. Second restart ditto. Tapped accelerator, engine returned to normal RPM. Whew! was in process of purchasing vehicle, dealership (not Ford) replaced cruise control cable, cruise now working, no repeat of problem.

- Port Angeles, WA, USA

problem #22

May 132003

Ranger 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Sudden acceleration with warning. Has happened several times in the past two years. Went to dealership to register this problem but the service manager was not concerned.

- East Brewton, AL, USA

problem #21

Nov 262010


  • 232,000 miles


I own a 2003 Ford Ranger I bought new. On November 26 2010 I pulled into the parking lot @ work and my clutch and brake pedals fell to the floor causing a minor crash. The pivot bracket that holds the steel pedals is made from cast aluminum. I have been a aluminum welder for over 10 years and in my opinion this bracket is very substandard. I searched the web and found that other people had the same thing happen on Ranger and other trucks and Ford cars. If I was on the road this could have been much worse. I sent pictures and a piece of the bracket to a recall investigator. He said its not a common failure since he cant find any complaints.

- Victoria, 00, USA

problem #20

Nov 182010

Ranger 4WD 6-cyl

  • 118,256 miles
When I accelerate quickly with my 2003 Ford Ranger, the vehicle's accelerator gets stuck and will not return to normal until I turn off the ignition and put it in park. After a minute when I start it up everything is normal. Bad computer??

- Damascus, OR, USA

problem #19

Oct 112010


  • 96,500 miles
As I slowly pulled my 2003 Ford Ranger into a parking space at work this morning with my foot on the brake the truck suddenly accelerated. I applied the brake harder and the truck stopped. I verified that I did not have my foot on both the brake and accelerator, only on the brake.

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #18

Aug 052010


  • 56,000 miles
I have a 2003 Ford Ranger, when I apply the brakes the vehicle surges. Forward; I put the truck in park & shut off the ignition. When I restart. It returns to normal. This happens on once in a while.

- Alamo, TX, USA

problem #17

May 172010


  • 133,000 miles
I have owned my 2003 Ford Ranger XLT since it was new, and have had all scheduled maintenance. I have had 4 incidents since March 2010 where the vehicle has accelerated when I was braking to stop, with 3 of those incidents within the past week. The first incident caused my truck to push thru a gate, damaging the gate and the front of the vehicle. In this case, the engine did finally drop to an idle. I thought the behavior must be a fluke, so didn't report the incident. The 2nd thru 4th incidents have occurred on a limited access road in omaha (Dodge street) at stop signs and at a gas station outside omaha, and as I was nearing a stop the engine started accelerating and pulling the vehicle forward. Maximum pressure on the brakes allowed me to stay stationary so no vehicles or pedestrians were hit, but caused my rear wheels to burn rubber. I turned off the engine to stop the acceleration. The most dangerous incident was when this occurred at a gas station, when I was pulling slowly to a gas pump behind another vehicle and the strong acceleration began. While the truck has cruise control, it was not engaged in any of these 4 incidents. I had the vehicle in for repairs to correct this issue last week, and the last two incidents occurred after the dealer charged me about $880 to fix the issue (replaced throttle valve assy, gasket, potentiometer engine throttle, procharger fuel injection service). The dealer insists that there are no sudden acceleration issues with Ford vehicles, but there are reports of issues on the internet.

- Walton, NE, USA

problem #16

Mar 102010


  • 109,500 miles
The first time the car engine started racing uncontrollably I was at a stop sign. The second time, the same day 3/10/2010 I turned a corner and we took off at a very high speed. Both times I put the vehicle in neutral and "goosed" the gas pedal and the engine settled down to a normal speed. 2003 Ford Ranger.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #15

Mar 012003

Ranger 6-cyl

  • 250 miles
Brake pedal and accelerator pedal toooo close together! distance of 2 & 1/4 " causes contact with accelerator when brake is being applied numerous incidents since purchased vehicle in 03.. I wear a size 9 &1/2 to a 10 & 1/2 size shoe. Even though I am aware of the problem, I find that it keeps happening repeatedly; but I only bumped a curb once with my tires.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #14

Feb 042010

Ranger 6-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
2003 Ford Ranger sudden acceleration. While braking the vehicle suddenly accelerated. I was able to turn off the engine after the engine speed reached about 4,000 RPM. After shutting off the engine I checked to see if my floor mat was causing this problem, I removed it from the driver side and restarted the engine without touching any pedals. The engine started and revved up to 4.000 RPM again. This is the 3rd time my Ranger did this. I took it to river view Ford in oswego, they checked it and said they could not replicate the problem. The second time this happened I nearly collided with the vehicle in front of me. I took it back to Ford for the same reason, and they told me the next time it happens drive it to the dealer, at 4,000 RPM. (I don't think so) there are no recalls for my vehicle as the dealer checked. What can I do?

- Oswego, IL, USA

problem #13

Apr 012004

Ranger 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Consumer requesting information on 2003 Ranger defects. A friend of the consumer's downloaded complaints that were similar to the problems the consumer experienced with his vehicle. While driving 55 mph with the cruise control on the truck began to accelerate. The vehicle sped up to approximately 80 mph before the consumer could get it to stop. Three months later while stopped at a traffic light the vehicle accelerated suddenly and struck several vehicles. This accident caused serious injuries to four people. The consumer was unable to prove that the vehicle caused the accident therefore he was sentenced to 70 months in jail.

- Ontario, OR, USA

problem #12

Nov 152005

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer complaint regarding 2003 Ranger suddenly going at full speed and caused an accident. The first time this occurred the vehicle was taken to the dealer. The dealer was unable to duplicate the problem, therefore nothing was fixed. Complainant writing on behalf of consumer.

- Nampa, ID, USA

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