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Brad, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2366
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
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2003 Ford Ranger: theres no clicking sound on the starter...starter

Customer Question

2003 Ford Ranger Question

I was driving and it just died on me.. It won't turn over there's no clicking sound on the starter.. I have power to everything windows, lights, radio, but when I try to start it starter it won't make any clicking sounds..
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Brad replied 6 years ago.
Hello and welcome to!

I'm a bit confused about how it started after removing a fuse. Exactly what fuse are you talking about here?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It was a Tcsm fuse ,location 11. 7.5a
Expert:  Brad replied 6 years ago.
OK that's the security module fuse. I have a feeling that you have a problem with the truck's PATS (Passive Anti-Theft System). This is what prevents the truck from starting and running when it thinks that it's being stolen.

The most common failure for this is the antenna loop around the ignition lock cylinder (where you insert the key). What happens is that it intermittently can't pick up the code that is being broadcast from the chip in the key itself and without this code it can't start or run.

Unfortunately, there is no way to verify for sure whether or not this is the problem without having diagnostic equipment that can communicate with the security module of your truck. Since all of the signals have switch to digital, there is simply no way to properly diagnose this issue without it.

A few shops have invested in the equipment for these kinds of repairs but most likely you'll need to visit a Ford dealership.
Brad and 3 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I just used a second set of keys and it started right up,
It run for about 5 minutes and died again .
What do you think?
Expert:  Brad replied 6 years ago.
Well the stalling and the starting may be unrelated. Next time run it until it dies and without shutting the key off check three things.

1> Is the THEFT or SECURITY light on (or flashing)? If so then this is a PATS problem and there's nothing we can do to diagnose this without the proper equipment.

2> Check the voltage of the battery. If it is above 11.5v then this isn't a charging system or battery problem.

3> Find the fuel pressure test port on the fuel rail on top of the engine. There should be a small plastic cap over it and it looks like a tire valve. Use a small screwdriver to press in the center pin (like letting air out of a tire) and see if fuel sprays out. If the fuel only trickles out or nothing at all comes out then you have a fuel pressure problem - possibly a bad fuel pump or relay. I will say that it's rare for a fuel pump to quit while the vehicle is running but I have seen it happen on a couple rare occasions. Keep in mind this wouldn't keep the starter from turning over the engine.

Now try to start the vehicle. If the starter turns over the engine but it won't start then press the gas pedal down a little bit while cranking. If it starts now then you could have a vacuum issue or a bad idle control motor but again keep in mind this kind of problem won't keep the starter from engaging.

Let me take a look at the wiring diagrams to see if any systems exist (other than the security system) that can let it die while running *AND* prevent the starter from engaging. What size engine is in your ranger? (2.3L, 3.0L or 4.0L?) Also is it automatic or manual transmission? Also is it two wheel or is it four wheel drive?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
4.0 L 4/4
Expert:  Brad replied 6 years ago.
OK the computer has to ground the starter relay before the starter can engage. Assuming both problems (the stalling while driving and the starter not engaging) are related then the problem has to be either the computer itself or the PATS system.

Other than guessing there is no way to diagnose either of these without having dealership-grade equipment.