2003 Ford Ranger Jerks when I get close to 75

I have a Ranger and when I’m driving on the tolls where the speed is 75 mph, my truck will start to jerk like it is having problems changing gears. The truck will shudder almost and I have to slow down so that it can stay in a lower gear. I keep my overdrive for when I drive on the highway and I’m afraid that the problem lies in the gears or clutch.

Has the tranny fluid ever been serviced?


What year is it? Which engine? How many miles on it? I’m guessing it is a manual transmission since you mention a clutch? But you say “it” seems like its having trouble changing gears which makes it sound like an automatic. Seriously. You’ve got to give people something to work with.

Is the check engine light on? How old are the plugs and wires? Filters?

Based on your description I assume it’s an automatic.

My guess is that it lacks the power to pull you along at 75mph in OD on the tolls (I like that term). My guess is that it needs the lower gear.

First, we can help you better if you answer cig’s questions.

Then, I’d start by evaluating the engine. Get all the maintenance up to date (including tuneups) and check the compression. And “read” the spark plugs when you pull them. Post the results here.

By the way, low power problems have been solved with new sparkplugs and tuneup ignition components way often. That may turn out to be all you need.

+1 for mountainbike because that’s exactly what I was thinking.

You might try replacing the fuel filter. It may be the engine is being starved for fuel. The pump may be getting weak also.

If you read the tittle you would see that its a 2003. it has 75000 miles on it. its the 3.0 engine NOT flex. Edge model of the Ranger if that helps with anything. Automatic transmission. Trans fluid is good, Spark plugs are a year old and about 10000 miles on them, but I had them changed when I first noticed the problem. Only filters I know about are the oil and air, and they’re both recent. Let me know if you need any more info.

Yeah, sorry that I spaced out on the year in the title. I’m more accustomed to people starting a thread with complete vehicle info in the text.

Is the check engine light on? If so then starting with the error codes is the way to go.

If not I would want to check out the fuel pressure under load. This might mean rigging a gauge that can be read when it acts up.

If you can get access to a scantool that reads live data, it would also be very helpful to hook it up and drive until it acts up. The fact is that there are plenty of things that could be creating this problem.

When you say that you “keep my overdrive for when I drive on the highway” I assume that you are talking about where you put the gear selector? Has the transmission pan/filter ever been serviced?

Try the fuel filter. It’s due for replacement every 30k so it’s a maintenance item anyway. Also something else to try is cleaning the MAF sensor.