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CHECK YOUR SPARKPLUGS! TSB 23-2011


elawton

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Hello. I'm new to the forum. Just created an account today to post about the spark plug issue for other Ranger owners. I have a 2020 Ranger XLT crew cab that I bought used from a dealer in Burlington Ontario. It had 48,000 km (29,000 miles) on it when I bought it in November 2023. It now has 58,000 km (36,000 miles).

It suddenly started acting strange when I was out yesterday literally for a Sunday drive with my wife. Engine suddenly started vibrating and there was a clicking sound coming from the left front wheel area. The CEL came on and it went into limp mode. We could not drive it home and had to call CAA to come and tow us.

I was worried it was something to do with the transmission, which I had heard is an issue for some of these vehicles (TSB 22-428 on May 26 2023 titled Automatic Transmission - Harsh/Delayed Engagement And/Or Harsh/Delayed Shift). I thought this could be the issue because I was slowly backing up and turning around when the problem appeared. I was scared that I'd be facing a big repair because it's no longer under comprehensive warranty. That expired a month before I bought it, but it's still under the powertrain warranty up to 100,000 km.

The dealer called me today and told me the issue is a BROKEN SPARK PLUG! Apparently, this is an issue with Rangers that don't have an engine cover (like mine) which means rainwater can collect on the depression in the valve cover around the spark plug. This causes the plug to rust prematurely, it can't dissipate heat properly. It overheats and fails.

Fortunately, there is no damage to the pistons or cylinders because it's an electrical failure (misfire). It's not a mechanical failure like a broken timing belt or timing chain that can cause catastrophic engine damage. I know about that because the previous vehicle I had before this Ranger was a Land Rover LR2. The "lifetime" timing chain failed and the engine was a write off as a result. A spark plug failure doesn't run the risk of that sort of damage.

Although you might think replacing a spark plug is easy, the overheating caused damage to the valve cover and engine coil which means they need to be replaced. Total cost of the repair (parts and labour) is $CDN 2,400 tax included. I had declined the extended warranties and here we are. I never would have guessed this could be an issue, especially on a relatively new vehicle.

Lucky for me, the dealer got Ford to cover 70% of that under an "After Warranty Assistance" program based on the fact that the vehicle's mileage is under 60k km and the dealership was willing to chip in as well. I just bought the vehicle less than 90 days earlier.

The service manager told me there a TSB out on this problem. Part of the remedy is to install an engine cover. He thinks he's going to start to see more vehicles come in with this type of problem since it will take a few years for the problem to develop.

Be forewarned!! Check, or better yet replace your plugs now! Don't wait until the scheduled maintenance at 100k to do it!

I'm still out of pocket to the tune of $370 or 15% of the total cost of the repair, which pisses me off because it's a problem that never should have occurred. But as my wife said, I could look at that as the cost of the engine cover it needs to prevent the problem from occurring in the future. Depends on how you want to look at it.
 
Last edited:


CMOS

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At what mileage are you suggesting we replace the plugs???


CMOS
 

elawton

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Well, obviously, based on the mileage of my vehicle when this problem appeared and caused costly damage to the engine, I would suggest replacing the plugs at or before 60,000 kilometres (36,000 miles) and installing an engine cover, especially if you park it outside.

However, it’s more of a time-dependent issue. My vehicle has been on the road for a little over three years. That’s approximately how long it took for rainwater to collect around plug #1 and cause the problems on my Ranger. You may have more or less rainfall where you live, and consequently different conditions affecting your vehicle. Your mileage may vary, as they say.
 

Blmpkn

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The engine cover is unnecessary and may just convince a family of mice to move in underneath it.

As bought up earlier in the thread.. the easier&cheaper option is to just slip a peice of pipe insulation across the cowl.
 

CMOS

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The engine cover is unnecessary and may just convince a family of mice to move in underneath it.

As bought up earlier in the thread.. the easier&cheaper option is to just slip a peice of pipe insulation across the cowl.

Details? Do not understand.....


CMOS
 

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