Can't get my Ford ranger to run smoothly

I have an 04 Ford Rahger XLT. I cannot get it to rev past 3000 rpm. When I try to rev it, it just coughs an sputters. I have rplaced the plugs, wires and cap as well as the fuel filter to no avail. Last weeek I had the fuel injecters serviced and still nothing. I am not sure of the exact mileage I am getting but it seems low for a small 6 cylinder. I am unemployed with very few dollars to spend, so a costly process of elimination is not an option. Any suggestions?

This is still RickyB. I wanted to also mention that I have a spelling problem, but that’s a point for a different discussion.

Have you had the fuel pressure tested?


I would check the fuel pressure like Tester suggested. Also, did you replace the air filter too?

No, I don’t know what that is. Is it expensive?

No, that may be good suggestion that I need to act on. Thank you

Change the air filter for sure. That’s pretty cheap. Let us know how it goes!

I just got back from changing the air filter. I drove a few miles after and it made no difference. Another guy mentioned something called a crank angle sensor. I had never heard of it. Any suggestions?

By any chance is your “Check Engine” light on?

If you have someone else do it you pay typical labor costs, though you may find someone or someplace who would do it as a courtesy.

I have a basic fuel pressure tester that I bought at one of the chain auto parts stores for about $40. Or ask around among friends & family to see if someone has one.

If I were you I would want to know the fuel pressure before doing anything else.

Most any of the myriad of sensors on the vehicle will throw a code if there is a problem this noticeable. So unless the check engine light is on I wouldn’t start thinking about stuff like that. So is the engine light on?

No, the engine light is not on.

No, it is not. If somehow the timing was off, would that trigger an engine light to come on? And do these symptons sound like timing may be the problem?

Are you rev’ng it in neutral or park? If so, you are hitting the neutral rev limiter which is set at about 3K RPM. It is normal for the engine to shake when you hit this limiter, unless it is a throttle by wire engine. I don’t think that the 04 ranger was.
With the car in gear, the limiter is around 6500 RPM. Try it in gear and see what happens.

I wasn’t aware of the nuetral rev limiter. I will try with the car in gear and let you know. Thank you for the feedback.