• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

'96 Ranger hard to start, then dies.


New Member
Jul 18, 2022
Reaction score
Austin, TX
Vehicle Year
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Hey y'all,

I've spent many hours reading the forums and many dollars and trying to diagnose and fix my issue, all to no avail thus far, so I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. It's worth noting that the truck sat for quite a while before I acquired it.

Observations and symptoms:
* Difficult to start the engine (if it starts at all, which seems to be more likely when the engine is cold)
* If it starts, it'll idle just fine for a few seconds before sputtering out and dying.
* Seems to be running rich
* Increasing the throttle bogs down the engine, if not kills it.

Things I've done thus far:
* Took it into a trusted shop to have the old fuel pumped out, and the entire fuel system cleaned, including fuel injectors. A new fuel filter, fuel pump, and serpentine belt were also installed.
* Put in new Motorcraft spark plugs (I checked to see if there's spark, and there is)
* Put in a new battery
* Replaced the air filter
* Cleaned the MAF sensor
* Replaced the IAC valve
* Expressed my frustration with lots of colorful language (this didn't help at all, so far as I can tell)

Any guidance that can be provided would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,


Well-Known Member
Jun 2, 2012
Reaction score
Vehicle Year
Make / Model
Welcome to TRS :)

Couple of quick and easy tests
On 1996 Ranger there will be an FPR(fuel pressure regulator) on the engines Fuel Rail
It will have the Return fuel line attached
Will also have a Vacuum hose attached
If the FPR should leak raw fuel will be sucked into the engine causing it to run Rich or Flood out
Check this vacuum hose for gasoline, if found replace FPR, new or not

Crank engine over a few times, no start
Pull out any easy to get at spark plug and look at the tip, should be WET with fuel, light that fuel with a match/lighter, should burn easily

While cranking the engine in above test watch the CEL(check engine light)
CEL should come on with key on and stay on, means computer has booted up OK
When you crank the engine over CEL should go OFF, that means computer is getting a good Timing Signal from Crank sensor, no signal = no start

50/50 test always, with a crank and no start, or no stay running
Pull off the larger air tube from upper intake end
Spray fuel into the engine, gasoline, ether, carb cleaner, ect
Try to start engine
If it starts instantly then spark is OK and if it starts to stall spray more fuel and see if it stays running by adding more fuel manually
If it doesn't start instantly then spark is the problem
50/50 fuel or spark instant results

All fuel injected engines/computers have a Clear Flooded Engine mode
Key on
Gas pedal press down to the floor(WOT) wide open throttle, 0 rpms and WOT tells computer to enter Clear Flooded Engine mode
Computer will NOT open injectors but spark will still be working
Try to start engine, hold gas pedal DOWN all the way
Engine should not start, or even fire unless fuel is leaking in

Sponsored Ad

Sponsored Ad