Check engine light on 97 Ranger

Check engine light on 97 Ranger

Posted in the Ford Ranger Forum


Tualatin, OR

#1 Jul 15, 2006
I have a XLT, the light just came on after I got an oil change, fuel filter replaced and fuel injection cleaned. It's jumps and bucks, it rattles when I'm in gear, but changes gears fine. I don't think it my clutch or anything, but something with engine. Could it be the gas or bad spark plugs? I have been using the cheap gas you get at grocery stores, but I could it be a spark plugs as well? Thanks

United States

#2 Aug 15, 2006
yes it could be the spark plugs, they are changed every 60,000 miles. The TPS sensor (Thottle Postion Sensor) likes to stick sometimes on the those rangers also, and light the Check Engine light.

Schenectady, NY

#3 Dec 10, 2006
no not tps its a 5 spd, tps is for auto so it can adjust the hydrolics and choose appropriate gear, 1 of 3, bad plugs and wires, bad coils, or clocked injectors from bad gas

Port Orchard, WA

#4 Jan 2, 2007
sorry kris but a form of the tps is on all fuel injected cars, it is a throttle position sensor it tells the computer where the throttle is in reference to how much air is getting in.
brent its possible one of the plugs is bad or the wires for it(i dont know if it has wires)

Baltimore, MD

#5 Mar 11, 2007
yep, malodin and Jon are correct, although this is a bit past due. My 97 Ford Ranger XLT check engine light came on one winter morning and, eventually, on my way to work, it just died on me. When I looked under the hood for the 2nd time while waiting for a tow I was horrified to see the housing, cabling, and much of the plastic plug for my TPS completely gnawed through. Later the mechanic found the guilty rodent dead further up the cable housing hose. No junker in the state of RI wanted to part with a TPS cable cut and instead wanted the full price for the whole unit. So I had to bug a friend back in Tx for one. I got it spliced and all was well again. Fast forward 4 years, my check engine light came on again. I had forgotten the previous incident so when I dumbfoundedly took it in again, they showed me that the cheap splicing wrapped with electrical tape had come undone and needed a resplicing. I had them do a better job this time. All set.

Birmingham, AL

#6 Mar 12, 2007
did you get the code read
free at autozone

Cornwall, Canada

#7 Jan 22, 2008
Hey I have a 97 Ford Ranger also, my check engine light came on, NOTHING seemed wrong at all so I took it to my mechanic and it was the oxygen sensors....
So check for that... BUT it isn't a cheap repair


#8 Feb 12, 2009
97 ford ranger 4cyl the throttle sticks and wont idle down when I come to a stop.check engine light has been on for 2 years.any suggestions?

Boise, ID

#9 Feb 12, 2009
****97 ford ranger 4cyl the throttle sticks and wont idle down when I come to a stop.check engine light has been on for 2 years.any suggestions?*****

Vacuum leak. Look for broken or disconnected vacuum lines under the hood. Listen for any hiss when idle. Look at vacuum canister in the right fender. Look at PCV valve. Brake cylinder is vacuum assisted. The climate controls are vacuum controled. These are hard to check since you need to open up dash. Better disconnect vacuum line to the climate control and plug it, see if it fixes vacuum leak. If you get vacuum gauge with a pump (Harbour Freight sells them cheap), it makes it easier to snoop for vacuum leaks.

Read the check engine light codes and reset them for free at any parts store.

Berkeley, CA

#10 Feb 18, 2009
In california its really tough to pass a smog test I had a oxygen sensor replaced and the check engine light came back on, Complained to the shop that did the work and they had no idea why the light returned finally found the answer on this site "On vehicles 1996 and newer, using an inexpensive "universal" oxygen sensor will cause problems with the emissions system." How frustrating is that these shops are using universal oxygen sensors and charging dealer prices for the part, They finally put the dealer part in and the light went off and passed smog only took three weeks and I had to show them this website before they would put in the correct part.
Ford Ranger owner

Abilene, TX

#11 Feb 28, 2009
I had that happen on two different rangers alot of times its the o2 censor that has went out making the check engine light come on. It has 3 of them and they cost way to much so if its not acting stupid and thats what it is than I would leave it alone. I have a question does anyone know anything about the swing bearing or steady bearing? I have changed mine 2 in the last two years and I think something is fcked up in maybe the alignment or something. But the little gasket or cushon around the bearing is getting wore off some how and the metal on metal screeches like hell. Then it will eventually seize up. What do I do about it? Any suggestions on what it could be?

Delaware, OH

#12 Apr 24, 2010
my 97 ford ranger's check engine light is on and they checked it and it says severity unknown....
Malcom Reynolds

Salt Lake City, UT

#13 Sep 21, 2010
Might wanna get that looked at. Granted, I totally understand being poor and wanting to fix it yourself, but sometimes ya just need a pro.

Orem, UT

#14 Oct 4, 2010
It sounds like it could be the timing belt.

Plug Wire

Salyersville, KY

#15 Aug 15, 2011
Probably a simple BURNED plug wire -- take more than 1 spark plug to give the symptoms you describe, and 2 plugs are not going to go bad at once. Otherwise, if someone dicked with your plug wires, check to see if the wires were put back on the correct plug.

Philadelphia, PA

#16 Nov 18, 2011
when I turn the engine light goes off and after a few seconds the light turns to light, every time I turn on the engine is hot but is accelerated about 30 seconds before returning to normal

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