I have been a fan/listener of Car Talk for many years. Thank you for sharing your extensive knowledge, wit, and entertainment.
Recently I encountered a problem with my 2000 Ford Ranger truck. It has 142,000 miles and runs great. However, the cruise control suddenly stopped working. My brother-in-law, who owns a used car dealership, offered to help which would result in significant savings for me.
Summary of repair attempt:
• Replaced the touchpads in the steering wheel.
o Instead of pulling the steering wheel off, he said he could save labor by just tucking the wiring harness underneath the horn/cushion assembly and be “A-O-K”.
o The left pads has the on/off; the right side has the RSM, Set, Accel, Coast.
o There were 2 black ground wires. He said they were the same and we only needed to use one. He snipped one of the black wires off and attached the other.
o We raised the hood of the truck to locate the solenoid actuator – the one that goes to the throttle that sets the speed.
o His son, who also works at the dealership, was assisting. He got behind the wheel and either turned the ignition and pushed the control pads or something to this affect – I was looking under the hood and could not see what happened. My brother-in-law and I heard an electrical surge – a zap like something just got fried.
o We searched for a fuse but could not locate one that was burned out.
o The cruise control still did not work and the only comment from the son was – “Not my fault”.
• Replaced the cable actuator under the hood
o Cruise control still not working.
What do you think the problem is??
• Could there be a fuse panel that I have overlooked?
• Is there a problem with the truck’s computer/brain? (Obviously there is with mine since I took it to my in-laws instead of a local Ford mechanic).
Thanks in advance for any advice/help you can provide.
PS – Do you know the difference between outlaws and in-laws? Outlaws are wanted….