Apr 182017

1999 Ford Ranger

Looking at buying a 1999 Ford Ranger

Looking for gut reaction to this truck – Like are they ‘nightmares’ – – this Ranger is an XLT – Supercab – Stepside – 6 cyl – auto – 4×4 – – which looks to be in excellent condition inside and out – – thoughts?


I like the Ford Ranger. For the 1999 though, I would steer clear of the 4.0 SOHC engine. They are common to issues with the timing chain components failing. When the timing components start to fail you will hear a distinct knocking coming from between the engine and transmission. The knocking noise is coming from the rear timing chain guides. Expensive to repair.  Other than that, my gut reaction is go for it.

Make sure you look it over and perform a thorough inspection. You may want to review our Used car buying guide for some great tips.

Apr 182017

Ford Escape2000 Ford Escape wont start

While sitting at a stop light car quietly stalled. I have checked spark plugs, injectors functioning, engine rotating, has oil, temp Gage was normal, has plenty of gas, What could it be?

Try spraying some starting fluid in the air filter. If it starts you know it is a fuel related issue. Use the link provided to take advantage of the no start diagnostics chart. Follow the steps on the chart to help isolate the problem.

Apr 172017

Ford ExplorerSo the other day the temp gauge was reading hot. So I refilled the radiator with what must have been almost the full amount of water. Around 3 or 4 gallons at least if I had to guess.

The car was running fine and dandy after I drove on the highway about 20 miles. Then I saw that there was some fluid dripping when I backed out of my parking spot the next time I drove. I guessed this could have been water that I spilled trying to put in the radiator fill area. There was no fluid underneath when I looked the next location I parked.

So last night I was on the highway. And I had to give it a lot more gas to keep the speed up and it eventually died out on the freeway.

I thought it was the oil so I added 2 quarts of oil. I also refilled the water in the radiator. After that the car cranked and I drove another 5 miles, it started struggling again then died.

I did some research but cant figure out what the issue is. I’m guessing there may be a crack in the radiator and there is a slow leak?

The car will crank up and turn over if I rev the engine and give it some gas. But you have to keep revving the engine or it cuts out and dies.

I am having the car towed to a mechanic. And just want to have an idea of the issue before I go there. I know sometimes they can try and sell you on a lot of things when there really only needs to be a minor fix. I bought the car for 1200 dollars and have had it for a while so I am in a position where I have to weigh the options financially.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Temp gauge reading hot

Good thinking wanting to see your mechanic armed with knowledge. You stated you filled it with “water”. If you do not use 50/50 water and coolant the engine will overheat every time. From the sounds of it the repair may end up costing you what you paid for the car. If the engine was overheated bad enough, it may have blown a head gasket. So you would be looking at that initial repaired followed by the cost for whatever was leaking in the first place. Once you have the car diagnosed and are presented with a quote, post it below and I’ll take a look at it.

Apr 122017

2013 Ford Mustang

My clutch has a whining noise

My clutch has a whining noise when not engaged but as soon as I depress the clutch it spools down. Once the clutch is released it spools back up to a whine. Took car to dealership and they said the roller bearings are out and the synchronizers are bad. My question is if my car is sitting in neutral should my clutch be whining even if the synchronizers are bad? As for the roller bearings, wouldn’t it only make noise if the car was in motion or moving?


The whining noise is coming from the release bearing(throw out bearing). The release bearing is built as part of the Clutch Slave Cylinder. The syncros may be bad but the noise has nothing to do with it. Bad syncros would just make it difficult to go in gear and possibly pop out of gear.

Worn or damaged release bearing

  • Rotate the release bearing while applying pressure. If the bearing rotation is rough, install a new clutch slave cylinder.

Clutch Release Bearing

The clutch system is disengaged when the clutch pedal is pressed and engaged when the clutch pedal is released. When the clutch pedal is pressed, it pushes the clutch master cylinder push rod and piston, which transmits hydraulic pressure to the clutch slave cylinder. The slave cylinder compresses the clutch pressure plate diaphragm spring through the release bearing, releasing the pressure on the clutch disc. This displacement removes the spring load from the clutch pressure plate and eliminates the coupling friction between the engine and the transmission.

Apr 112017

1985 Ford F250

Have to push start

Truck set up for 3 years. I put in new fuel, battery, had to push start, then started well till it sits for a few hours, then have to push start again.

Replace the starter if you find battery positive at the “S” terminal with the ignition key in the “START” position when it won’t start.

How to Test Starter

Place the transmission in N or P. Disconnect the vacuum line to the Thermactor® bypass valve, if equipped, before performing any cranking tests. After tests, run the engine for 3 minutes before connecting the vacuum line.

Starter Cranks Slowly

  1. Connect jumper cables as shown in the Jump Starting procedure in Section 1. If, with the aid of the booster battery, the starter now cranks normally, check the condition of the battery. Recharge or replace the battery, as necessary. Clean the cables and battery posts and make sure connections are tight.
  2. If Step 1 does not correct the problem, clean and tighten the connections at the starter relay and battery ground on the engine. You should not be able to rotate the eyelet terminals easily, by hand. Also make sure the positive cable is not shorted to ground.
  3. If the starter still cranks slowly, it must be replaced.

Starter Relay Operates But Starter Doesn’t Crank

  1. Connect jumper cables as shown in the Jump Starting procedure in Section 1. If, with the aid of the booster battery, the starter now cranks normally, check the condition of the battery. Recharge or replace the battery, as necessary. Clean the cables and battery posts and make sure connections are tight.
  2. If Step 1 does not correct the problem, clean and tighten the connections at the starter and relay. Make sure the wire strands are secure in the eyelets.
  3. On models with a fender mounted solenoid, if the starter still doesn’t crank, it must be replaced.
  4. On vehicles with starter mounted solenoid: Connect a jumper cable across terminals B and M of the starter solenoid. If the starter does not operate, replace the starter. If the starter does operate, replace the solenoid.
    Making the jumper connections could cause a spark. Battery jumper cables or equivalent, should be used due to the high current in the starting system.

Starter Doesn’t Crank — Relay Chatters or Doesn’t Click

  1. Connect jumper cables as shown in the Jump Starting procedure in Section 1. If, with the aid of the booster battery, the starter now cranks normally, check the condition of the battery. Recharge or replace the battery, as necessary. Clean the cables and battery posts and make sure connections are tight.
  2. If Step 1 does not correct the problem, remove the push-on connector from the relay (red with blue stripe wire). Make sure the connection is clean and secure and the relay bracket is grounded.
  3. If the connections are good, check the relay operation with a jumper wire. Remove the push-on connector from the relay and, using a jumper wire, jump from the now exposed terminal on the starter relay to the main terminal (battery side or battery positive post). If this corrects the problem, check the ignition switch, neutral safety switch and the wiring in the starting circuit for open or loose connections.
  4. If a jumper wire across the relay does not correct the problem, replace the relay.

Start Spins But Doesn’t Crank Engine

  1. Remove the starter.
  2. Check the armature shaft for corrosion and clean or replace, as necessary.
  3. If there is no corrosion, replace the starter drive.


Apr 112017

2001 Ford EscapeI blew a hose that runs from the thermostat housing, auto places either swear its a vacuum hose ( theres a slice in it & antifreeze sprays out. When looking at the engine from the front, the hose is on the left of the thermostat & runs under the water pump pulley. This is the only car I have to take my husband to his chemo & dr appts, among other things. All I need to know is what hose it is, so I can either order one or get it from a junkyard. It feels like a short hose, but I haven’t removed the cover, belt & pulley yet. Can anyone please help?


Without seeing a picture it is difficult to know for certain but I am thinking the “Bypass Tube” may be what you are looking for.

Bypass Tube Location

bypass tube


Apr 072017

1993 Ford RangerI’m currently having a problem with my Ranger choking out or stalling right after it starts. It will run intermittently from time to time but only for a few minutes. I have replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, flushed the tank, replaced cap, rotor, plugs, wires, air filter, removed catalytic converter, checked for vacuum leaks, cleaned throttle body, and basically at a loss.


Ignition Module

I have found that the most common cause for this would be a faulty ignition control module.

The part is less than $50 and can be sent to the house.

Replace Ignition Control Module 3.0L engine

1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
2. Remove the distributor assembly from the engine.
3. Place the distributor on the workbench and remove the module retaining screws. Pull the right side of the module down the distributor mounting flange and back up to disengage the module terminal from the connector in the distributor base. The module may be pulled toward the flange and away from the distributor.

NOTE: Do not attempt to lift the module from the mounting surface, except as explained above. The pins will break at the distributor module connector.

To install:

4.Coat the base plate of the TFI ignition module uniformly with 1 ⁄ 32 inch of silicone dielectric compound WA–10 or equivalent.
5.Position the module on the distributor base mounting flange. Carefully position the module toward the distributor bowl and engage the three connector pins securely.
6.Install the retaining screws. Tighten to 15–35 inch lbs (1.7–4.0 Nm), starting with the upper right screw.
7.Install the distributor into the engine. Install the cap and wires.
8.Reconnect the negative battery cable.
9.Recheck the initial timing. Adjust if necessary.

If the check engine light is on you can pull the engine trouble codes without a scan tool.


Apr 042017

My truck wont start. But when I tap the battery cables red post I get fire. Then when I try to start it, it just clicks and goes back to no fire. Help? It is a 1999 Ford Explorer Sport.


Sounds like you just need to do some cleaning. Remove the battery cable ends and clean the inside of the the cable ends. Also clean the outside of the battery terminal.

clean battery terminal endsClean battery terminal ends in 5 easy steps

  1. Pour hot water over the outside of the battery terminal. This will remove any unwanted corrosion (Works better than baking soda and a brush in my opinion).
  2. Remove battery terminal end from battery. Clean battery terminal ends on the inside with a tiny wire brush or tool. I like to use a pocket knife and scratch the surface area. Make sure all surface area has been cleaned.
  3. Clean the outside of the battery terminal. Use a wire brush or tool and clean the outside area of the terminal. Make sure all contact area is cleaned.
  4. Install battery terminal end in battery.
  5. Done! No need to coat the surface with anything.

Tip. Attach a battery charger or battery jump pack to the battery before removing the terminal ends. This will save the radio stations and time. I use a memory saver that plugs into the cigar lighter and has a 9-volt battery that attaches to it like this one.

Mar 292017

2003 Ford MustangI’m aware how crazy this is gonna sound, but please bear with me for I drive this car every day. My Mustang will not run properly if it is over 65° outside temperature. When it gets warmer than that, I will be driving along and it will start to sputter, cough, backfire, knock, and eventually die. I will pull over, turn it off, let it rest 5 minutes or so, turn the key 3 ones and let the fuel pump prime and she will generally start back up and run fine. The warmer the temperature outside, the longer she has to rest and the shorter the length I can drive before I have to shut her down again. With summer already here in March, this is a critical problem because sometimes I can’t pull over and get stuck in a lane of traffic. I cannot sell her because I took her to a dealership to fix this problem and they put in a $3900 computer. The problem is not fixed AND no one can hook up to my car and run diagnostics because it saying “linking failure”. I have to have a dependable vehicle and unfortunately it has to be this POS. Thanks for your help in advance. I promise I’m not crazy!


This could be one of those that is as simple as replacing the Mass Air Flow Sensor. But you will need to be able to connect to the engines on board computer to run diagnostics. Without the codes it is just guessing and throwing parts at it.

Linking Failure

Concentrate your efforts first on fixing the “linking failure” issue. Once you can connect and get the codes we can pinpoint the cause. This can sometimes be remedied by checking and replacing blown fuses.

Additionally when the engine will not start is when to check to see if it is not getting fuel or spark. Knowing what is it isn’t getting may help rule out some options.