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What did you do to your Ranger today? (Part Deux!)

Robertmangrum.rm

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All I’ve towed has been the 4X8 utility trailer. Even with it loaded down, it’s no where near giving the truck a work out. And I’ve not loaded the 2019 anywhere near what I’ve put in the bed of the 2011.

If I remember correctly, Ford quotes some ridiculous number like 100,000 or 150,000 miles before the first change.
Now I ain't going to pretend to know anything about transmissions. But I see a lot of people had problems out of the autos in the Sport Tracs. My dad's good friend owns a Transmission shop here local. When I took him my ST back when it was due ro have the fluid changed in the trans , he advised me not to. I took his advice and never had any issues. I would ask him periodically is it time ? He'd pull my dip stick and smell the fluid and always said no not yet. I may have just got lucky but I never and I mean never changed the fluid in that ST. 276k when I traded it in and never had any trans problems. I would always turn OD off when driving around town or towing. Has anyone else ever heard anything like that? Now he's about a 70 year old man with a thriving transmission shop so I took his advise and seemed like he knew something I didn't.
 


superj

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my dad never changed it in his sport trac either. who knows how many miles were on it though, probably over 200k when he traded for his new truck.

he said that was the nicest traveling truck though. he wanted a new one but ford had already stopped making them
 

rubydist

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My experience with Ford auto transmissions is that if it was not changed by the time it got to 60k miles, you are better off to never change it. I have never changed out trans fluid and never had a problem from the fluid going bad. But, I never tow huge weight, and I don't run them really hard. The truth is, all atf is full synthetic now, and the only way full synthetic oil breaks down is if it gets overheated. There are actually a fair number of new auto transmissions that have no dipstick, because the manufacturers have realized that the dirt and junk that gets in the system from people checking the fluid level causes more of a problem than the fluid being a bit low after a number of years.
 

sgtsandman

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Now I ain't going to pretend to know anything about transmissions. But I see a lot of people had problems out of the autos in the Sport Tracs. My dad's good friend owns a Transmission shop here local. When I took him my ST back when it was due ro have the fluid changed in the trans , he advised me not to. I took his advice and never had any issues. I would ask him periodically is it time ? He'd pull my dip stick and smell the fluid and always said no not yet. I may have just got lucky but I never and I mean never changed the fluid in that ST. 276k when I traded it in and never had any trans problems. I would always turn OD off when driving around town or towing. Has anyone else ever heard anything like that? Now he's about a 70 year old man with a thriving transmission shop so I took his advise and seemed like he knew something I didn't.
It depends on the transmission too. Some of Ford's offerings are known problems and others are pretty reliable. Some have mentioned that if you get past a certain point and haven't changed the fluid, it's better if you don't.

Since the majority of my experience is with manual transmissions, I have to depend on what others have to say when it comes to automatic transmissions. I do what most don't and change the fluid in my manual transmissions. Something that at least some insist never needs to be done. To each their own I suppose.
 

JoshT

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I'm staying out of the fluid change debate, all evidence there is ancidotal.

"I never changed it and didn't have a problem until it failed at 200k miles, so it must not need changing" What's to say that it wouldn't have lasted to 300k if you'd changed it atleast once? Can you prove it? No, you can't.
"I changed the tras fluid for the first time at 150k miles and it failed 5k miles later, it must have been the fluid change." Can you prove to me it wouldn't have failed at 155k miles if you hadn't changed the fluid? No, you can't.
"I changed the oil ever 60k miles, that must be why it lasted to 300k." Can you prove to me that it wouldn't have lasted as long if you hadn't changed the fluid? No, you can't.

There is plenty of ancedotal evidence in each case, but nothing that you can prove after the fact. Actually ancedotal doesn;t feel like the right work, but I think you'll understand what I'm trying to say.

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Now on the subject of what I did to my truck today. I ran out of gas! Don't worry it was intentional, and I had a full gas can in the bed. I said in a previous post somewhere that my 99 sat for nearly a year and a half untouched with a full tank of gas before I started tinkering with it a few weeks ago. Well several years before that I'd replaced the sending unit and since the gas gauge seemed progressive rather than linear. First half goes slow, second half goes quick. That's fine as long as full is full and empty is empty, but I'd never checked. Well when I Started tinkering with it, I wanted to run every bit of that old gas out of the truck and I wanted to check the accuracy of the gas gauge, figured this was a good time.

Left the house this morning with less than a 1/4 tank of gas, more like 8th, and a full gas can in the bed. I figured I'd have to dump gas in on the way to work since it's a 30+ mile trip one way. Got to work, no problem. Had to go out and run errands at one point during the day, a few miles worth of driving. Left work heading towards parents house, another 12 miles. My check gauge light comes on as I'm pulling into their driveway. I'm shocked that I've made it this far, but I reset my odometer because the next part is what I'm really curious about. How far will it drive after hitting "E". Work on ATV a bit, need part that was delivered at my house today. Hop in the truck heading home and expect to run out before I get a few miles down the road. I keep waiting for it to die and it keeps chugging along. 20 miles later as I turn into my driveway it finally dies.

Like I said this was intentional but I was still shocked when it made it home, even more so because of where it made it to. Probably some 10 years ago I was heading home from work arond midnight or early AM. Truck was making some awful noises. It was definitely wheel/tire/brake/bearing related, but I couldn't find anything wrong. I pulled over half way through my 30+ mile commute to look everything over. Everything. I was all over the truck. I even pulled out the lug wrench and hit all of the lugnuts. Nothing! I was so worried I even called dad and woke him up at midnight and we made to collective decision to get it as close to the house as it would make it.

That night/morning as I made the turn into my driveway the lugs on the driverside front wheel sheered and the wheel fell off. You might think that it happened there because of the stress due to the turn, but back then I was taking a very twisty winding road to and from work every day. There were a lot of opportunities that it could have happened that night on the way home and a lot of places that it would have been way worse results. It came to a stop in the exact same place that the engine died due to fuel today. That's two times the truck has gotten me home when it shouldn't have and died in the exact same spot. Those aren't the only times it's gotten me home when it probably shouldn't have, but those to inparticular it was like you're safely home so I can break now. I know us humans are bad a bout assigning human traits to inanimate objects, but some times they just earn it. I hate to say it, but I think it's also earned it's spot in the stable for a good while longer.
 

ekrampitzjr

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The fuel warning light on many vehicles is designed to come on when about 1 US gallon (about 4 liters) is left. But that's a rough guide at best. The light is there to tell you it's time to get fuel now, not in a few miles.
 

Robertmangrum.rm

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It depends on the transmission too. Some of Ford's offerings are known problems and others are pretty reliable. Some have mentioned that if you get past a certain point and haven't changed the fluid, it's better if you don't.

Since the majority of my experience is with manual transmissions, I have to depend on what others have to say when it comes to automatic transmissions. I do what most don't and change the fluid in my manual transmissions. Something that at least some insist never needs to be done. To each their own I suppose.
See me too. I have always been a manual trans guy. The Sport Trac was literally my first RBV with an auto besides my first car which was a 63 Fairlane with a built C6. It didn't get a chance to need one before it was taken away for me being a dumb teenager. So it was more of a question for me. The wife's focus is an auto but it had the trans worked on twice since we got it in 14 and only has 40k miles. All warranty work but on the paperwork it said both time fluid drained and replaced. I'm planning on following maintenance guides on my 2020 because I've heard the 10 speed is sensitive to dirty fluid. My dad's friend passed away about 3 years ago so don't have him to smell my trans fluid anymore haha
 

JoshT

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The fuel warning light on many vehicles is designed to come on when about 1 US gallon (about 4 liters) is left. But that's a rough guide at best. The light is there to tell you it's time to get fuel now, not in a few miles.
I know, but like I said I replaced the sender with an aftermarket unit several years ago. The gauge has read strange since, but never tested it. I didn't know if empty was empty and full was full. Now I know that it is not only accurate, it still gives a 1-1.5 gallon reserve.
 

Blmpkn

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There's probably close to 3 gallons left in the 19+ trucks when the light dings on. Light comes on at 50mi left and I've driven past 0 a time or two lol.

I seem to remember my subaru owner manuals saying there was 4 gallons left when their lights turned on
 

ericbphoto

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It’s good to know all that. BUT….

with a fuel pump inside the tank, the fuel is used to keep the pump cool.Running the fuel level that low in a as frequent basis will reduce pump life.
 

Blmpkn

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It’s good to know all that. BUT….

with a fuel pump inside the tank, the fuel is used to keep the pump cool.Running the fuel level that low in a as frequent basis will reduce pump life.
I've read that a time or two.. never had to replace a pump early though. I pretty much always bring it down to the light, at least.

That being said, I've probably never kept a vehicle for as many miles as a fuel pumps expected lifespan.

What IS a pumps expected lifespan anyways? I'm a hair under 35k right now.
 

JoshT

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I'm not going to argue the validity of that. IMO it's about the same as my statements concerning transmission fluid change.

That said, does twice in 20 years sound frequent to you? I'm normally filling up around 1/4 tank. I did it in 2005, not long after buying the truck, for the same reason. Then yesterday was the second time. The gauge has probably only hit "E" a handful of times since I bought the truck.
 

Blmpkn

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Its probably better to be self deprecating than self defecating.
Twice in 20 years isn't bad at all. Even if I'm cutting my pumps lifespan in half by taking it down to fumes pretty consistently I don't think I'd be too upset.. depends how much it costs to replace 😋
 

superj

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its 3 gallons on my 2017 nissan titan and was 2 or 3 on my old bmws when the light came on
 

Ranger850

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Now I ain't going to pretend to know anything about transmissions. But I see a lot of people had problems out of the autos in the Sport Tracs. My dad's good friend owns a Transmission shop here local. When I took him my ST back when it was due ro have the fluid changed in the trans , he advised me not to. I took his advice and never had any issues. I would ask him periodically is it time ? He'd pull my dip stick and smell the fluid and always said no not yet. I may have just got lucky but I never and I mean never changed the fluid in that ST. 276k when I traded it in and never had any trans problems. I would always turn OD off when driving around town or towing. Has anyone else ever heard anything like that? Now he's about a 70 year old man with a thriving transmission shop so I took his advise and seemed like he knew something I didn't.
My 08 Sport Trac didn't even have a dip stick to check.
 

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