Ford Ranger Not Starting


I have an 88 Ranger, 6 cylinder, 2wd. last weekend, after driving all the way back from the mountains, it didn’t start. I jumped it and it started. But, it will not start on its own. When i turn the key, it clicks and makes a buzzing sound coming from starter relay area. I replaced the relay (is this the same as a cellunoid?)and it still won’t start. I’m baffled and not really in the mood to be spending my $$ at autozone for parts i’m not sure will fix it. Any suggestions??



Let’s start from the top; Check the battery terminals being clean and tight. Battery has a full charge (12 to 13 volts) and that it will hold a charge.

Relay and soledoid are 2 different things. I don’t think the starter has a relay in the circuit. What you mentioned as a solenoid might be the bendix, which is a type of solenoid and is part of the starter.

I am thinking that if everything I mentioned here is good, the starter is the culprit and may have to be rebuilt or replaced.


Most parts stores will test the battery and charging system for free. I believe it is a weak battery, but they can pinpoint the problem for you.


When I had the same problem on my 87 Ranger I used a set of jumper cables to find the problem.

Jumped from positive post on battery to starter side of the starter relay. No joy.

But when I jumped from the negative post of the battery to the engine block, it fired right up.

Replaced the negative battery cable & problem solved.


Where did you attach the negative jumper cable? IF you attached it to the battery negative cable, and the engine started, the battery cables should be disconnected and the battery posts and the inside of the battery cable terminal loops sanded, filed, or scraped. IF you attached the jumper negative cable to the fender or engine, loosen and retighten the engine ground strap or cable. Also, do the above to the battery cables (clean).


there have been a few cases where a battery just goes


try and replace it