1st Generation (1983—1992) Ranger Problems

This generations ranks 19th out of 102 Ford generations in reliability and is one of the safer bets out there. Owners have the most complaints about the engine (39%), electrical (21%), and the fuel system (21%). We've listed some of the most recent complaints below, see them all on CarComplaints.com.

  1. Total Clutch Failure 1 complaints at an average of 27,962 miles in the 1992 Ford Ranger.
  2. Problems Starting 3 complaints at an average of 144,787 miles in the 1988 Ford Ranger.
  3. Bad Spacers Between Gears 1 complaints at an average of 80,000 miles in the 1987 Ford Ranger.

What Ranger Year is Most Reliable?

Generations are a good baseline for prediciting reliability, but there will almost always be year-to-year differences. We've calculated a reliability score for each model year within this generation, but we've based that score on how the model year compares to all Ford model years.

Watch out for the 1988 model year which has the highest PainRank™ score in this generation.

Year Complaints Recalls TSBs PainRank (?)
1992 7 6 58 1.42
1991 4 6 55 0.85
1990 3 5 42 0.33
1989 1 3 30 0.4
1988 19 2 28 1.99
1987 5 5 21 1.3
1986 6 5 23 0.41
1985 0 3 20 0.0
1984 1 8 11 0.23
1983 0 7 9 0.0

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