My Ford Ranger Won't Start When Warm


If your Ford Ranger is experiencing fitful starting issues once the air temperature or the engine temperature has become heated, then you may have one of a variety of problems. Although it is rare, unless you live in extremely hot desert environments, overheating can occur with hot air temperatures if your cooling system is not properly serviced. Knowing how to look for problems with your cooling system and other engine filters and components can lead to properly troubleshooting your Ranger's staring issues.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Funnel
  • Coolant 50/50 mix
  • Distilled water
  • Socket wrench set
  • OBD II scanner and OBD I converter
  • Spark plug replacements
  • Spark plug puller
  • Air filter
  • Screw driver
  • Ignition Coil
  • Allow the Ranger to sit for 3 to 4 hours. You may need to open the hood in order to allow the engine to cool off more quickly. If the engine has reached near the overheating mark, then you will need to let it sit before turning on again.

  • Open the hood on your Ford Ranger and inspect your coolant system. See if your coolant is below the minimum line indicated on your coolant reservoir. If it is, use a funnel to pour in more 50/50 coolant mixture until it is just below the maximum line. If you do not have any coolant handy or if your Ranger is leaking excessive amounts of coolant, you can use distilled water as an alternative.

  • Look underneath your Ranger for coolant leaks, which may be coming from the water pump. If the water pump is leaking, then you will need to have it replaced immediately so that you do not accidentally overheat your engine.

  • Connect an OBD II scanner to your Ford Ranger if it is a 1994 model or later. Previous models must use OBD I converters in addition to the OBD II scanner. Most Ranger OBD II ports are located directly beneath and to the left of the steering column. Turn the ignition to the accessories position and turn the scanner on. The scanner will indicate if there are any sensors which need replacing, such as the MAF (mass airflow), MAP (manifold absolute pressure), knock, coolant temperature, EGR (exhaust gas regulation) or air intake sensor, all of which are used to help time and fire the engine. Excessive heat in the engine may preclude these sensors from allowing the vehicle to crank properly.

  • Use a computer with Internet access to search for any factory recalls for your specific model and year of the Ranger. There could be multiple recalls out, some of which may deal with the cooling and temperature regulation for your engine. The Internet Auto Guide is an online resource that deals specifically with automotive recalls.

Tips & Warnings

  • Other standard maintenance procedures can also affect your truck's no-start in the heat, including the air filter, spark plugs and ignition coils.

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  • Photo Credit Vintage Car Engine image by itsallgood from
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