really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,000 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.

2004 Ford Ranger transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Ford Ranger Owner Comments

problem #11

Nov 012010


  • 65,000 miles


With less than 70K miles, the 5 speed auto transmission in my 2004 Ford Ranger (3.0 2wd) frequently refuses to engage gears when cold. When in drive or reverse, increasing engine speed produces engagement with a harsh thunk. Shortly after I purchased this vehicle new, Ford issued a recall for which the dealer placed an additive to prevent harsh shifts and prevent transmission damage. I assume this is a stopgap measure to allow the vehicle to exceed its warranty period. Interestingly, an autoparts store cashier asked me if I had a Ford Ranger based on my description of the problem.

- Loudon, TN, USA

problem #10

Jul 032010


  • 69,350 miles
"O/D off" light flashing. When slowing down at toll booth transmission down shifted but RPM remained high. Had to stand on brakes to get vehicle to stop. Shifted into neutral RPM dropped slowly. Shifted back into drive and vehicle leaped forward. Found hundreds of complaints on internet regarding transmission problems with Ford Ranger and Explorer between 2002 and 2004.

- Lunenburg, MA, USA

problem #9

Mar 152007

Ranger 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles
2004 Ranger 4X4 aod trans slipped and missed shifts while under warranty. Took to winner Ford newark de, was told "no codes came up, it's ok". slipping continued, got worse, now, with 40,000 miles trans will shift late to 2nd, makes the shift very roughly, then O/D light flashes and trans will not shift into od. These symptoms are the same as many of the complaints with 2003 Explorer auto trans. NHTSA should hold manufacturer accountable.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #8

May 022005

Ranger 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,467 miles


2004 Ford Ranger fire started under hood. The consumer was advised that the cause of fire was due to a transmission fluid leak which leaked onto the wires and ignited.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #7

Dec 172004

Ranger 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
2004 Ford Ranger FX4. Auto transmission slips frequently, and also seems to "float" gears even at highway speeds. Transmission cannot seem to find right gear at times and often goes into either too low or too high of a gear. Transmission makes scraping noise when put into reverse. When shifting from one ghear to the next, (applicable to all gears) it often "jolts" the vehicle as opposed to making a smooth transition. Visited dealer on three occasions, nothing has been done because "no code comes up on the obd computer". problem still occuring. Date given is date at which problem began.

- St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #6

Aug 062004

Ranger 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 12,000 miles
2004, Ford, Ranger XLT, front brakes on driver's side are grabbing. The vehicle has been in repair shop twice. Consumer can mash the brakes down, and hears a grinding sound. Dealership has looked at the truck, and they could not find any problems. When the weather is cool the brakes feel like they are freezing up. Also, has been inspected by the dealership, who still could not find the cause of the problem. In addition, the front seal on the transmission was defective. The truck was having problems with the seal when it was taken to dealer for brake problems. The owner told the dealership to fix what ever necessary, and the seal was not fixed. The vehicle has 40,000 miles.

- Bee, VA, USA

problem #5

Mar 112005

Ranger 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles


Ford Ranger 2004 speed standard transmission, loss of power and stalling during standard operation, known by Ford since 1997 for that type of engine.

- Spring Valley, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 012004

Ranger 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
2004 Ford Ranger 3.0L 5spd automatic transmission changes gears in an excessive amount when inclining over the slightest hill (eg 5th to 4th to 3rd to 4th to 3rd). Is not healthy for a transmission to act this way when not under strain.

- Del Rio, TX, USA

problem #3

Dec 272004

Ranger 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,184 miles
Truck has been sent to the shop three times already; 1. transmission problems, back window popped out, check engine light remained on-----put in new valve body in, put window in and reset check engine light. 2. transmission problems, check engine light on------new purge valve canister in engine, fuel pump, new fuel tank. 3. transmission problems(transmission slips), rear window out again. 2. transmission problems, check engi

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #2

Nov 132004

Ranger 6-cyl

  • miles
While driving it felt as if the gears were going to jump. Consumer went out to start the vehicle, and went back into the house, and gears jumped from park into reverse, causing a collision. Consumer took vehicle to dealer several times for this problem, and was told there was nothing wrong with the vehicle.

- Dickinson Center, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 292004


  • miles
Consumer was accelerating from a stop sign and without warning transmission down shifted on its own. Consumer was able to shift the gear from park to drive after five minutes. Consumer took vehicle to dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that the transmission needed to be replaced..

- Saint Marys, GA, USA

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