1998 Ford Ranger, good sized list of problems, repair or replace?

ford
ranger
repair
clutches

#1

I have a 1998 Ford Ranger with a 4cyl and a 5 speed manual transmission that yesterday had it’s entire clutch system died. There is no pressure on the clutch pedal and I know the plate is very worn. This was the latest of problems such as needing a new wheel rim, rotors that are probably starting to go, and an check engine light that autozone’s diagnosis could just identify as “P1451” and “P0141”, which they didn’t even seem to know what it means and suggested I ask a dealer. Never a good sign.



The truck has 215,000 miles on it, I have already gone through 3 clutch kits in 4 years on this thing, and I have been unhappy with the mileage since I got it. The highest I have gotten on it is 24 and the salesman told me 30, which I believed because my 92 Dakota could get that.



I would like a new ride, but I haven’t saved up much money, maybe enough to fix the truck. I don’t know how or if I can get a trade in or a decent amount of money to help on a down payment, but I can probably afford up to 250 a month in payments. I am not particularly excited about a specific car to replace it with, just something newer with better gas mileage, and I am not emotionally attached to the ranger.



So, now than I am done ranting about the thing, what’s your advice? Repair or replace? If repair, how much do you think the total bill cost. If replace, how can I get some money for the ranger and how much would I get?


#2

How much would a good 1998 Ranger sell for? Can you fix yours for less?


#3

Well, a good condition 1998 ranger like mine with 215k miles is priced at 1350 on KBB. I doubt I can fix all of it’s problems for less.


#4

Then price selling it “as is.”


#5

P1451 is evap canister. Do you by any chance keep fueling after the gas pump has automatically shut off, to get that extra 1/4 gallon? If you do, you broke your evap canister. Knock it off :wink:

P0141 is a O2 sensor heater circuit malfunction in bank 1, sensor 2.

With that many miles on a 90’s Ford, I think you’re on borrowed time. If you have no attachment to the vehicle, sell it, use that as your down payment on another used vehicle. If you do not absolutely need a truck, don’t get one. You’ll get better mileage from a car. If you want reliability, consider looking at Japanese makes like Honda.


#6

Actually, no I don’t keep fueling it after the pump stops, but sometimes it overflows a little. I had recently replaced the O2 sensor within the last year too.

But yea, I have already paid more in repairs than in paying the truck off. I don’t need a truck and only bought one because I like rear wheel drive and do occasionally help friends move. Right now, an Acclaim or Civic does sound like a good car, though.


#7

Wow, I’m at almost exactly 1/2 that on my 1995 Ranger, and it is nearing the end of the line. You can probably get a much newer small truck for $250 (not new, newER). Ranger never got good mileage until the overhead 4 liter (I have the old 4 liter that just throws gas around the engine bay hoping some will burn - I get around 10-14 now, I got 17 at it’s peak).

I think it is time. You might even donate it and take a better tax break than you will sell it for, then by used.


#8

Yes, that’s a good point. And if it’s so old that a charity won’t take it, call fire departments and emergency managers - they like to get old vehicles for use in wreck extraction training.


#9

215k out of a 12 year old truck is a pretty good service life, I see no problem with you hauling away this thing.

Check out the April copy of Consumer Reports and turn to the used car section. It will have a comprehensive list of “good bets” and “avoiders” to suit virtually every price range.


#10

Good Idea, I’ll look into it.


#11

My first thought is that sending this truck off to the happy highways in the sky that has given such long service would be worse than kicking Bambi out of the forest. However, what is more important is how you use the truck. Do you have to commute long distances each day? How many miles do you travel a year? Are there any safety issues (steering gear, tires, brakes, etc.)

I would get a couple of estimates about putting the truck in safe driveable condition if you are not doing road driving or long distance commuting and are driving no more than 15,000 miles or so a year. This would buy you some time to save for a newer ride if the cost of repair is not too high.


#12

I drive about 70 miles a day going to work and back, 5 days a week. Thats why it’s miles are so high, and why I am so concerned with gas mileage. When gas was 4$ a gallon a couple of years ago, I was paying 370$ a month in gas.


#13

I think you are a good candidate for a newer ride under these conditions.


#14

Dump the truck. It’s probably at the end of its service life. This is about the time that tie rod ends, ball joints, and differentials start to develop problems. A few years back, my girlfriend at the time convinced me to buy a high mileage Ford Ranger. The truck turned into a “black hole of need”. Actually, so did my girlfriend, but that’s another story. I traded it in for a newer model with less miles. I got rid of the truck too.