After writing a review on the Ford Ranger, in which we sing its praise. Several critics from the comfort of their living room, have questioned how we could recommend a client purchase a car that has a reputation for catching on fire and burning occupants alive inside (no actual reports of Ford Ranger fires resulting in deaths have been found).
Admittedly I was unsure that this was deemed a common fault and went on the research road to discover if this was in fact a “common” Ford Ranger problem, and if so what was causing this to happen.
The assumption from those who like to combat the world from behind a computer screen is that these cars just randomly combust in a fire blaze of heat and light and can only be explained by The Doctor. Many of those attacking the Ranger for this fault seem to be missing a few facts and love to slam the vehicle because of the bade on the grill.
It needs to be said here that I am a Holden man myself so as much as possible I am trying to remove my bias opinion on the statements made about vehicles. If in doubt have a look at what we have to say about a lot of the stuff Holden releases.
In earlier years I hated Ford on principle. Them and their drivers were the competition for my childhood heroes, men like Peter Brock, Greg Murphy and Mark Scaife. In later years I have been forced to admit that some of the things to come from Ford have been very good, such as the 4.0 six cylinder engine. However Ford is also responsible for the Territory, a variety of cheap imported experimental European vehicle that are just as useful as a Frankfurt in a VCR and lets not forget the plethora of “high performance” skid kids who bought BA Falcons, a car that handles like a tin of baked beans and corners like a chest of draws and felt thy could now rub shoulders with people who owned STIs, GTRs and Evo Lancers.
Now thats out of our system lets get back to the matter at hand. The Ford Ranger is a great ute, we still recommend buying them, particularly for the trade based occupation however they did have a common fault with catching on fire. Here are the facts we have found surrounding this fault and how to avoid it.
The issue is a design fault in the underbody of the vehicle, the car was coincidentally designed in such a way that when driven through long grass, dead vegetation or anything more than a foot high, the foliage collected in a small nook under the car next to the exhaust. Once the vegetation dried out, the heat from the exhaust could ignite it and suddenly your fifty thousand dollar ute is well alight.
This fault obviously only effect vehicles used in rural locations or off road, however Ford issued a massive recall for this and the fault has been rectified. If your Ford Ranger burns to the ground now, its because you ignored a safety recall from Ford.
If buying one of these secondhand check the recall has been carried out.
These are still great cars and a Burning Ford Ranger is 100% avoidable.