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2006 Ford Ranger Lack Of Power While Driving Update: P0300 P0301 P0305 Code Reader

I have a 2006 Ford Ranger manual 4 x 4 sport, with 160,000 km (100,000 miles) that I bought back in August. It ran well until today. On my way to work, I drove a few blocks when I noticed when I accelerated there was little power, and it was idling rough. I drove it back home and noticed there was this black soot coming out of the exhaust. I can’t have it seen until the 2nd, so I’m just looking for any insight on what the problem can be.

Update: code P0300 P0301 P0305

Thats bad! your engine is burning oil.

Blue smoke indicates burning oil; BLACK smoke means incomplete combustion caused by either a too rich mixture (injectors leaking ) or insufficient air supply.

Have it checked by a competent mechanic; the solution may not be that expensive.


Agree with @Docnick. Rich condition, black exhaust. Might be a fuel injector stuck open.


Agreed on smoke type and color…


Check engine light on? Can you get a scan done at AutoZone or local mechanic?

The exhaust is black. The check engine light is on. I had someone who had a code reader check it out. It showed up with code: P0401. I don’t know what that means, and I can’t have it looked until the 2nd.

I am surprised that someone with a code reader does not know how to look up the codes up on the internet.


And I’m surprised that someone that can find cartalk on the internet looking for help, can’t do a google search for P0401


A P0401 off the top of my head is the EGR… The EGR valve being stuck open…probably due to a bad vacume solenoid or the EGR itself just being physically stuck. At least it shows the EGR tube is free flowing however…lol.

I didn’t look it up tho, but I’m fairly certain that is what it be. Look into the EGR valve health itself and also the solenoid that switches its vacume supply.

The update with the po300 codes indicate that the engine is misfiring, which would definitely explain the black smoke and poor running. The 301 code indicates cyl 1 is misfiring, 305 code indicates cylinder 5 is misfiring. It seems odd that you’re getting multiple misfires suddenly. Unless you just fueled up and got a tank of contaminated gas.

Does anyone know if this engine has coil on plug ignition, or a set of coil packs for each bank? Are cylinders 1 and 5 on the same bank?

@VOLVO_V70 and @It_s_Me, colorfulpoet can see these comments, and please don’t act like the question shouldn’t be asked.

And to be fair: isnt it possible someone (who doesn’t pass his/her free time answering car questions online) has a code, googles it, and still doesn’t know what it means?


The 401 code will induce misfires because the EGR valve is most likely stuck Open. There is a problem with either the vacume solenoid switch that supplies the EGR with vacume…or the EGR got physically stuck open and is unable to close. You will indeed get black smoke and misfires…because the EGR is open when it shouldn’t be.

As stated before… Check the physical health of the EGR valve…it is stuck open either because it is getting vacume when it should not be (failed vacume solenoid switch) or it is physically unable to close itself. The only positive thing here is that you at least know the EGR tube is not clogged with carbon because it is drowing the engine in its own exhaust gasses. So the tube is clear.

You have two things to look into… The physical health/movement of the EGR valve and the vacume solenoid that supplies it with vacume.

DTC P0401 = EGR system insufficient flow detected.

This would have to mean that the EGR valve is stuck CLOSED.

But, if the engine is running so rich that there’s soot coming out of the exhaust, this soot could also plug the orifice for the DPFE sensor, causing this code.

One thing that can cause the engine to run rich is a defective fuel pressure regulator. But on your vehicle, the regulator is part of the fuel pump assembly. So have the fuel pressure tested to see if the regulator has failed, and the fuel pressure at the injectors is too high causing an extremely rich condition.


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The gauntlet must be run Miss Carolyn. No exceptions.

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Oh, yes: the beatings will continue until morale improves, or something.


Tester was correct about the 401 being related to low EGR flow. Let me preface my post with this statement ahead of time… I would NEVER challenge Tester to a mechanical knowledge/diagnostic competition. I respect Testers mechanical opinions to the absolute highest degree.

I just want to share a successful repair of a 401 on a Toyota Camry earlier this month.

The 98’ Camry posted a 401 which is low EGR flow. In this vehicles instance the EGR flow was calculated based upon how far open the Vacume Switching Valce (VSV ) was operated…if the vacume switching valve (VSV) did not register the expected result the ecu assumed it also did not open the EGR valve enough as requested (which would be low EGR flow). The EGR valve in this instance was all manual…no electronics/intelligence associated within it, so the only reference to how far open or closed the EGR valve was came from the result of the VSV. Fuel trim and MAP could be factored in I believe but still it posted the 401…

What repaired the problem was a new VSV…which was pulling the EGR valve open when it should not have been. Because it was in a position of being stuck open slightly. Stalling the engine, running very rich, misfires, black sooty exhaust.

What confused me was how can “low flow” make my EGR be open? I believe the answer was that the VSV did not signal as opening enough when requested, thus posting a low flow code. In reality the VSV stuck open slightly and probably registering a “closed” result back to the ECU. So while the ecu thought it wasn’t opening the valve to the value being asked (it wasn’t) it did not know that it was stuck open or hard to move/not being in the closed position.

So… this was just my experience…if I am interpreting the hows and whys of it all incorrectly then I apologize. The solution was the new VSV. After the new valve was installed…it instantly fixed the issue. Before the new VSV, the EGR was half to wide open even at idle…if it would idle… Vacume was constant at the EGR till new VSV was installed yet it registered as a 401 which indeed is low flow. The old VSV was indeed stuck open slightly as tested afterward. The low flow was a result based on how far open the ecu thought it operated the EGR based on the VSV result…which made it think the EGR also did not open as far as commanded. When in reality the EGR was almost wide open.

If anyone can correct my misinterpretation of this successful repair, I am welcome to be properly informed for my own sanity and future reference.

It’s usually possible to connect a hand-held vacuum pump to the egr vacuum input at idle as a test. the egr valve should open and stall or nearly stall the engine when vacuum is applied. if it doesn’t, something wrong. that’s how I have always tested the egr valves on my ford truck, corolla, and rabbit. concur w/advice above, fix this egr problem first. if you still have the black smoke and poor performance after that, and no indications of vacuum or exhaust systems leaks, then the next step is measuring the intake manifold vacuum & measuring the fuel trims.

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That vacume valve should be closed at rest…and commanded open to variable degrees to then open the EGR. But maybe your system is operated on a different principle. Either way…with curiosity placed on the solenoid valve and the EGR valve and its operation, one would most likely find out what is going on.

Would it be possible (or practical) to block off the egr port completely to confirm or deny that the issue is egr related?

I assume this wouldn’t cause any damage short term, but I don’t know. My only egr experience is with tbi 350 equipped trucks - which didn’t seem to care much if the egr system functioned or not - other than a check engine light.