Routine Maintenance Schedule for a Ford Ranger

The Ranger is a truck model from the Ford company that has been around since the 1983 model year. Like all vehicles, it requires maintenance, some of which is done at specific intervals. However, the requirements and suggestions pertaining to the Ranger (and for all vehicles for that matter) in terms of maintenance has changed over the years. In addition, the age and condition of an owner’s specific truck comes into play when determining a maintenance schedule. As a result, it can be difficult to offer a universal schedule for maintenance that applies to all Ford Rangers. Even following the service schedule that comes with the vehicle owner’s manual may or may not be the best schedule to follow, as use by owner varies. However, there are recommendations that can be made that can be used as a general outline for the maintenance schedule, and these are detailed below.

Oil Changes

The oil change is the most common maintenance procedure among all vehicles, and it is arguably the most important maintenance procedure that a vehicle will undergo on a regular basis. Oil is the life’s blood of an automobile’s engine, and without it, the automobile’s engine will die. When oil is dirty, it needs to be changed. Historically, oil changes have been recommended every 3,000 miles or every 6 months, though this is no longer the case with most vehicles. By today’s standards, most vehicles should be able to go 5,000 miles or better between changes, with some people suggesting up to 10,000 miles being a good threshold. For a vehicle that is in good running order with proper oil levels, 5,000 miles can easily be achieved with good oil and with a good filter. If the vehicle is older, is run down or has some other engine-related issue, you should consider oil changes around the 3,000-mile mark.

Spark Plugs

Spark plug changes are another common maintenance procedure that is done on all vehicles. Each chamber of a vehicle’s engine has a spark plug attached to it, and they are responsible for the proper firing of each chamber. Misfires can lead to various issues including stalling, higher gas consumption and more, making proper functionality of the spark plugs of the utmost importance. The suggested change schedule for the Ford Ranger varies based on the type of plugs that are used, on the age of the vehicle and on other factors. Iridium plugs generally last longer than copper plugs do, and there are other types of available plugs as well. If there is an engine issue, it can actually cause the need for more frequent changes. There are other variables as well. For instance, a new Ranger could easily go 50,000 miles between changes but older or run down Rangers may need changes at 20,000 miles. When all else fails, pull a plug for inspection. If it looks too worn, it is probably a good idea to change the plugs.

Tire and Wheel Care

Tire and wheel care is one of the things that some people seem to think does not matter. The tire connects the car to the road, and any problems with the tire will show through when driving. Care is based on use and wear. When a tire’s tread is down to 1/8-inch, it needs to be changed, though changing it earlier will not hurt either. If you note that there is uneven wear, the tires need balanced immediately. If the car’s alignment is off (meaning that it wants to veer to one side instead of the other), it needs to be corrected immediately.

Transmission Fluid Change or Flush

For heavy-duty trucks, the transmission fluid should be changed around every 50,000 miles. For light duty trucks, 100,000 miles can be achieved before a change is needed. A flush may be ideal as well. For older Ranger trucks, a maintenance schedule of 50,000 miles should be adhered to, but keep in mind that this does not take into consideration transmission problems or other issues.

Other Fluids

Other fluids should be added or changed as needed. Fluids such as the power steering fluid may last the life of the vehicle, and with many newer cars, regular changes or flushes are not recommended. Coolant change may be recommended, but the intervals can vary widely based on the use of vehicle, on the climate and on other factors.

Body Work

Body work is not always recommended in a Ford Ranger’s vehicle care guide, but it should be. Some people believe that regular waxing or paint touch-ups are only done for vanity reasons, but this is simply not the truth. While vanity is a factor, regular waxes and paint touch-ups protect a car from fading and rusting. Once rust starts to form, it is very difficult to stop. In addition, it is best to wax a vehicle twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall. It can be done more often as well, if you so choose. Washing removes the wax and the more the car is washed the more wax is removed. When chips in the paint appear, fill them. When rust appears, remove it and protect the area where it was appearing.

The above information is intended to serve as a simple overview of how to approach the maintenance schedule for a Ford Ranger, regardless of your model’s year. As noted, there are differences among each Ford Ranger based on the condition, the year and other factors, but these guidelines should support proper maintenance of almost all Ford Rangers, as well as many other vehicles. Regular maintenance of your Ford Ranger (or any other automobile) is essential, because when you take care of your car, it will take care of you.