Ford Ranger

The problem is it is hard to start after the truck has been parked overnight. It turns over ok but seems to take a long time to start. After it has ran, restart is normal, it fires right up. My ranger is a 2001(4.0 liter V6) and the problem is also with my daughter’s 2006 (3.6 liter V6). I have tried a new fuel filter but no change. If I turn the key to the on position without starting it for a few seconds and then try to start it the engine starts sooner but still a little longer than normal. Any ideas? Any solutions?


Sounds like a possible fuel pressure problem

Have someone hook up a gauge to the fuel rail

Report back what the pressures are at idle

Make sure the pressure holds after you shut off the engine

If the pressure doesn’t hold after engine shutdown, the fuel pump check valve may be bad, which means you need a fuel pump assembly


If it turns out to be a bad pump, I highly suggest installing only a genuine Ford Motorcraft pump

One way to confirm it is a fuel pressure problem is to see how long the pump takes to pressurize the system. You might just not be waiting long enough.

After letting the truck sit overnight, turn everything off, including the air conditioning and the radio. Then, turn the key to the “on” position and leave it there without cranking the engine. Listen carefully for the fuel pump. It might be hard to hear, but you should be able to hear it click off when it is done pressurizing the system. If you can’t hear the click, you might need a helper to listen outside the truck for you near the fuel tank. Once the system is pressurized, crank the engine. If it starts right up, fuel pressure is probably the problem.

A lot of small Japanese cars have this issue when the fuel tank is low. When the tank is full, it will crank right up even first thing in the morning, but if the fuel is low, giving the fuel pump a few seconds to build pressure will let it start right up as soon as you start the engine cranking. I’ve just gotten into the habit of letting my Civic’s fuel system pressurize before I crank the engine. It’s a habit I learned when I was a truck driver. If doing this solves your problem, and you aren’t leaking fuel, you might decide to do the same and just live with it.

Thanks for the input it gives me a direction.

It does indeed sound like a fuel pressure problem. Good advice above about getting a fuel pressure test done. If that doesn’t pan out, another possibility is an injector is leaking. The fuel rail is supposed to stay pressurized when the engine is turned off. Like a balloon, it is supposed to stay inflated. So it can spray gas straight away the next morning during start up. There’s two sides to the fuel rail, one side is where the gas comes from, and the other is where the gas goes. Either can leak. If the leak is back into the fuel tank, that’s a problem with the fuel pump check valve. If the leak is into the intake manifold, that would be a leaky injector. As mentioned above by @db4690 the check valve is the more likely explanation. The fuel pressure regulator could be a culprit too. Good idea to check for any signs of liquid gasoline at its vacuum connection port.

Before you get the fuel pressure checked, get the battery checked. I had a similar issue on my car and it turned out that the battery was bad. If your battery is 4 or more years old, it very well could be the battery. Take your Ranger to a chain auto parts store and aske the to check the battery. They should do it for free.


Do you have an update for us?

To check for a faulty anti drain-back valve on the fuel pump, the next morning turn the ignition switch to the run position so the dash lights come on for two seconds, and then turn the ignition switch off. Repeat this a half dozen times and then try starting the engine. If the engine starts right up, the problem is with the anti drain-back valve on the fuel pump assembly.