Got me stumped


I have a 2000 ford ranger 250,000 miles. It’s been the best truck I have ever had, bought it new and babied it which has paid off. Recently I have developed a starter problem which I can’t figure out. After installing a new starter, relays and fuses I still have this strange problem. when the truck is parked facing up on an incline, the truck will not start. If I am level or facing downward, it starts just fine. I have checked everything for loose wires or shorts and can find none. On an incline, the starter cable reads 12.47v so I am stumped. I know there is a clutch switch which is designed kinda hokie by the way, could this be the source of my problem… HELP!


fuel pump?


It could be very possible that your clutch switch is not making full contact when on an incline. The clutch switch should be right at the top of the clutch pedal (im just assuming this is a manual transmission after reading your post, if not then disregard this post). Stick your head down there and see if you can see the switch. You may want to set the parking brake and depress the clutch to see if it is making contact and see if there is a wire that is loose or broken. If it is, and if you can fix the wire then do so. If not then the switch should be replaced then go from there.


It would be helpful if you describe the symptoms. Does the truck crank, but not start? No crank, slow crank? Lights on the dash? Clicking noise, no click?


more specifically… When on an incline it is as if the starter is not getting power. Everything else is fine, all other electrical systems work. When the truck is level the starter cranks spins right up as normal and the truck starts in seconds.


Thanks… Yes it is a manual transmission. I checked to make sure it was making contact but I will check the wires and just for peace of mind I will change the switch out.


Why would you suspect the fuel pump???


Normally when a car “does not start” when parked on an incline it is the fuel pump. A marginal fuel pump may not have enough power to pump fuel to start the engine when it has to pump it up hill.

You have indicated in a different reply that the starter is not functioning (Does nothing at all?) That would indicate that it is something other than the fuel pump.

I would suggest that when parked on that incline something may be shifting (like the engine due to a weak mount) and that may be causing a cable to stretch and temporarily fail.  Check out all your battery cables and wires to the battery and starter and switch. 

Do you have a security system than may be immoblizing the starter?


“When on an incline it is as if the starter is not getting power”

Does that mean it doesn’t turn ?

Or does it turn but slowly ?


So, have you checked the clutch interlock switch? I’m guessing that the uphill tilt is affecting the clutch switch. Ground wire problems are also a possible issue.

Oh, I suppose it could also be the ignition switch starting to wear out.