When it comes to the new Ford Ranger there is a growing chorus of discontent on Ranger forums. While most love the 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder engine and 10-speed transmission a common problem continues to plague the pickup. At low speeds, there is what some call a “shudder” and others describe as a vibration. Search any variation of those two words next to Ranger and a flood of forums blow up about the problem.
What owners are experiencing is upon low-speed acceleration there is a vibration at about 10 mph. Various online Ranger forums feature complaints a-plenty. Some have placed the shudder coming from just behind the driver’s seat. One forum comment described it as “running over the rumble bumps on the side of the road but less intense.”
The problem occurs mostly at takeoff
When the shudder occurs it’s mostly from takeoff and lasts just a couple of seconds. It is especially noticeable accelerating from a stop at about 10 mph.
Even Cars experienced the problem on not one but three different 2019 Rangers it tested recently. Of those three, two had four-wheel-drive and one didn’t. All three were SuperCrew models. Ford notified the site that two of the three Rangers had been sent to Ford engineers for evaluation. No word has come back as to what is causing the issue.
The “Check Engine” light sometimes indicates a fuel injector code
Sometimes a “Check Engine” light pops on which is usually a fuel injector code. Owners are saying that dealerships sometimes find nothing while at other times the PCM is replaced. PCM stands for Powertrain Control Module. It works to monitor and help control the engine’s control module or “ECU” and transmission’s control unit, or “TCU.”
Some owners have taken matters in their own hands. By adjusting tire pressure to 30 psi and using 92 octane gas the vibration has been minimized. It doesn’t go away, but it gets knocked back about 75% according to several forums.
Ford has issued a response saying it is an issue with the two-piece driveshaft. According to Phil Schilke, a Ford Ranger engineer, you can loosen the center bearing bolts once the Ranger is put in Park. Bounce the front and rear a few times, then reassemble it. Making sure all of the U-joints are operating on the same plane is another idea worth looking at.
Lots of focus is on the driveshaft and/or U-joints
Also, the driveshaft balance could be playing a part. Other solutions are being offered as well. Since no one seems to know what’s going on replacing the transmission with a new, used, or remanufactured transmission is being suggested. Others say replace the U-joints and the problem goes away.
The other complaint that seems to be more of a design issue is the constant movement of the body. Especially in four-wheel-drive models, the pickup has been described by Motortrend as “constantly feeling like a buoy in rough seas.”
Owners have checked to make sure the pickup has anti-roll bars and if they’re connected. In those cases, both were confirmed.
Seemingly out of nowhere these issues are springing up within the first few hundred miles. If we find there is a common fix we’ll be sure to inform our readers with another post.