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Intermittent no crank no start


03 RangerJoe

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so I'm having an intermittent no crank no start after I drive the truck for a little while warms up sometimes it lasts for just a few seconds sometimes the last about 5 to 10 minutes is that a truck will start up like nothing happened change relays I've changed neutral safety switch and I was thinking of changing the ignition switch but I've read that people have done this and still the problem persists people even change their starters and they still have the problem so has anybody come across this problem could it be the linkage between the key and the ignition switch? Or I'm leaning towards a loose connection somewhere in the starter wiring? This is an 03 Ranger 3L any help would be much appreciated.
 


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RonD

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Welcome to the forum

2003 Ranger will have PATS(passive anti-theft system)
There will be a THEFT light on the dash, looks like a padlock some years, other years it Spells THEFT
PATS will disable starter motor if Key in the ignition doesn't "pass the test"

When you turn the key on look for the Theft Light to come ON and then go off, if you don't see it come ON the Bulb may be burned out
If the Theft light starts to flash then PATS has disabled the starter, wait, with key on for 45-60 seconds, and theft light will start to flash a 2 digit code, 1 flash and then 1 to 6 more flashes and it will repeat a few times
so 11 to 16 are the code numbers
That will tell you WHY the key didn't "pass the test"
If bulb is burned out then you will have no way to tell if its a PATS issue
You can listen for the fuel pump in the gas tank, it should run for 2 seconds each time key is turned on, its not quiet, you will hear a HUMMMMM from behind the cab if its working
If you don't see a THEFT light key on(no bulb) and don't hear the fuel pump then its a PATS issue


Its possible the ignition switch is not being pulled into the full START position by the key turning, easy to check for that
Fuse 24 in the cab fuse box will get 12volts when ignition switch is in the START position, 0 volts when its not
You can pull out that fuse and put a test light or volt meter on fuse slot and do repeated turns of the key to see if 12volts is intermittent

In a 2003 that 12volts leaves fuse 24 and goes out of the cab to the DTR switch on transmission, on a pink wire
DTR(Digital Transmission Range) switch must be in PARK or NEUTRAL position to pass that 12volts to Starter Relay in the engine fuse box on a tan/red wire
The column shifters on the Ford trucks often got loose, this would cause the DTR switch to not show FULL PARK every time, so intermittent no crank
Try shifting to Neutral and see if it now cranks

Ignition switch------------fuse 24---------(pink wire)-------------------DTR------(tan/red wire)---------------starter relay


PATS disables the starter relay in engine bay fuse box
If you hear this relay "CLICK" when key is turned to START but no crank, then starter motor is the problem
 
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03 RangerJoe

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Thanks for the response, the anti theft light blinks normally when I turn the key I do hear the fuel pump going but no crank at the starter I've used the new key and it still does the same thing. I just changed the ignition switch to a new one drove to the gas station and it did not start for like about 2 minutes till finally started on the 10th try. It's hard to test for because it's intermittent and it just happens at the gas station or at 7-Eleven or at the grocery store and it's hard to be prepared to test it just like that. I switch the relays around so I know it's not a relay I've switched out the neutral safety switch to a new one and that seemed to help for a while but doing it more than ever now. There's a guy here at O'Reilly's he's kind of like there mechanic go to guy he says it sounds like the starter solenoid is going bad I said well it doesn't even click you'll sometimes you won't hear a click I'm hesitant to change it out and I think I have to put in a whole new starter and I've heard other people say it didn't help? I'm at a loss right now because it's a great running truck Once it started. Lol I did notice that the starter solenoid is really close to one of the catalytic converters so I'm wondering if the guy at O'Reilly's is right?
 

RonD

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If you don't Hear the relay in engine fuse box "click" then problem is not at the starter motor

As said, next time try shifting to Neutral when there is a no crank in Park, to take that off the table

Pull out fuse 24 and look at the contacts to make sure they are clean
 

03 RangerJoe

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I really appreciate this information Ron. I tried that moving the shift lever into neutral and starting it and it didn't help. thinking it was the neutral safety switch I would move the shift lever all the way down to first gear and then back to park a couple of times to reset the switch and sometimes it would start but I don't think it was a neutral safety switch it was just the time that went by that reset something? plus I put a new neutral safety switch on there And it's still doing it. Now one thing that's different about my truck after I lend it to my sisters at the parking paw doesn't always go into park I now have to roll the truck a little bit for it to latch I wonder if that would have anything to do with it although sometimes I roll the truck into park to latch it and it still doesn't start so I'm not sure? I feel like just running the truck until whatever it is completely break so that way they can just track it oh, I tried listening to the relay while I turn the ignition switch but I can't get close enough by myself in other words my arm isn't long enough LOL but I like that idea of listening for the Relay so that way I can determine where it's coming from. I'll keep you posted. since I replaced the ignition switch and it still did it I'm pretty sure the problem is under the hood somewhere from the fuse box to the starter. Well I had the ignition switch off I checked the linkage. I put the key in the ignition and turned it and checked for play there was no play so it's not mechanical from the key Either to the ignition switch. I did check fuse 24 and the ends do look like they've been treated to heat and I checked some other fuses and the same thing they don't look shiny they look like they've been under some heat but they're not burnt out? so at this point since it does start up after a while I feel like just driving it until it completely dies so that way I can just fixed whatever it was or two take it to an automotive electrical specialist to try to track it down but since it's intermittent it still might be hard for them to do it Google, it'd have to drive the truck around and then shut it off and diagnose it wherever they shut it off at. LOL
 


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