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OT: Odd problems with the "new" Ranger

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  • OT: Odd problems with the "new" Ranger

    The thing has an "autostop engine" feature, where it stops the engine at stoplights etc, if the brake is on. Recently it stopped doing that, and investigating, it comes up with "vehicle charging". It will be "vehicle charging" even when I have driven 200 miles non-stop.

    Measured the battery this morning, before the snow got too deep, and the "12V" battery was at 11.5 V, clearly under charged. It seems that the charging system is not performing, although it has not yet quit on me.

    The other one I did not notice until recently, since we have had some unusually cold weather (-18C). Before it warms up, the transmission kicks like a Missouri mule, and nearly stops the engine, because it does not fully shift. The only way to warm it up seems to be to either let it idle for 15 minutes, or to drive it about 3 blocks. I suppose the fluid does not fully circulate unless the drive shaft is turning.... dunno.

    Both are problems which have developed more recently, as the vehicle has 22000 miles on it now (Many trips to MN).

    Interesting, I think.

    It went in but they went home early due to the snowstorm.
    2801 3147 6749 8779 4900 4900 4900

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan


    It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

  • #2
    Jerry, The charging/battery problem is obvious and confirmed by your tests. The transmission problem MAY be related. Modern vehicles are nothing more than a rolling computer with glitches in hardware and program code. Nothing like your specific problem, but I have a 95 Isuzu Trooper that had an alternator failure which caused an extreme overcharge condition. The wife and I were on an out of town trip and about 4 hours away from home when the problem surfaced. We came out of a store to go on our way and the vehicle became possessed!!! The transmission began shifting at random, forward, reverse and everything in between. The dash warning lights flashed like a slot machine in Vegas and the instruments were just reading weird.... Fortunately I had a power point expander for usb and 12 volt power that had a supply voltage display (thank you China). That display was reading 16.9 volts while the engine was running. There was a plug that allowed to completely disconnect the alternator from the electrical system. With the alternator disconnected the rig fired up and everything was normal except, no charging. We went to lunch and cut the trip short as there were no parts available for that old of a rig in nowhere Washington. We made it home on battery and ordered a new alternator. A few days later with the replacement alternator installed the rig is still going strong almost 2 years later.
    Robin

    Happily working on my second million Gave up on the first

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    • #3
      How many years are on the battery? Im guessing not too many, but still worth wondering about. Have you checked the voltage with the engine running? Id be interested to see what the alternator is putting out, figuring out if its the battery not being properly charged or if the battery just wont hold said charge

      Cant say im all too surprised about the transmission kicking in the cold, down at those temps id imaging the fluid starts getting pretty vicious. Probably not a bad idea to let it idle for a bit when its that cold, warm things up. Bit of gas is cheaper than prematurely killing the transmission after all

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      • #4
        Approximately a year and 3 months on the battery since I bought it new in Oct 2019. It is almost certainly NOT the fault of the battery, although the battery may have been seriously reduced by the apparent charge system failure. (The battery could indeed have a problem, but that is not typical of such a problem.... )

        I measured voltage after the truck had idled for several minutes..... no way it should be that low, even in the cold, after just being charged. In any case the trouble began when it was warmer. And a single 2 second start cycle hardly removes ANY ampere-hours capacity, the battery should not have even noticed. A 15 second crank at several hundred amperes is still only a couple of ampere-hours.

        We'll see.

        The tranny thing.... well the fluid cannot be suitable for cold temps, but Ford should know they happen in the US.... There may be a bulletin out. Or not.

        Usually, problems with the computer are due to HIGH and not low voltages, as per your example. The computer likely works on 2.7, 3.3 or 5 volts, possibly all 3 in different portions. The 11.5V vs 12.6 V would not be even noticed except by the monitoring system. The computer MUST work down to below 9V, as that is a typical system voltage during a hard start.
        2801 3147 6749 8779 4900 4900 4900

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan


        It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

        Comment


        • #5
          11.5 volts is half charged, 10.5 volts is dead on a car battery. I had shifting problems on a Dodge Ram and the advice was clean the battery cables and check the grounds. Worked. Battery voltage should be 13.5 to 14.5 engine running, 12.6 or 7 engine off. If it discharges with everything off suspect alternator. Get battery tested, it may have internal leakage.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
            The thing has an "autostop engine" feature, where it stops the engine at stoplights etc, if the brake is on. Recently it stopped doing that, and investigating, it comes up with "vehicle charging". It will be "vehicle charging" even when I have driven 200 miles non-stop.

            Measured the battery this morning, before the snow got too deep, and the "12V" battery was at 11.5 V, clearly under charged. It seems that the charging system is not performing, although it has not yet quit on me..
            You only did one of the two standard tests for battery/charging system problems. First one is measure the battery voltage with the engine off, second one, which you did not mention, is measure the battery voltage with the engine running. With only the one test, it could be either a battery or charging system problem, the second test shows which one. I am surprised you skipped that second test, or maybe you just failed to mention you did it and the results.


            Last edited by Sparky_NY; 02-16-2021, 10:02 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sparky_NY View Post

              You only did one of the two standard tests for battery/charging system problems. First one is measure the battery voltage with the engine off, second one, which you did not mention, is measure the battery voltage with the engine running. With only the one test, it could be either a battery or charging system problem, the second test shows which one. I am surprised you skipped that second test, or maybe you just failed to mention you did it and the results.

              This above, also - about the idle stop, perhaps its the same as my hybrids and it does not shut off due to the cold temps, I have climate control and all kinds of different ways of using it including cancelling it all out, point being is if I have the climate control on and the car is trying to heat (or cool) the interior the auto-stop will not activate until the interior is up to snuff --- sometimes that's never in cold ot hot temps the programming will not allow due to knowing how much "catch up" even a slight pause will cause....

              keep in mind this is back in 2000 when my car was built so im sure you may have at least just as an advanced system but then again it's ford compared to honda so maybe not...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sparky_NY View Post

                You only did one of the two standard tests for battery/charging system problems. First one is measure the battery voltage with the engine off, second one, which you did not mention, is measure the battery voltage with the engine running. With only the one test, it could be either a battery or charging system problem, the second test shows which one. I am surprised you skipped that second test, or maybe you just failed to mention you did it and the results.

                Good advice.
                Also check the output under load as under the conditions it operates under, high beams on, heater blower on high. A defective battery, although rare at this early age, will also skew results.

                The 10 speed transmission uses an ultra low viscosity fluid and is designed to function smoothly when cold. It use 2 fluid pumps to ensure optimum shift smoothness and volume under varying operating conditions. However the TCM's programing may have been compromised due to the electrical anomalies you have encountered. Although I do recall both Ford and GM have had some issues with shift harshness with this transmission in the past.Your dealer should be aware of any TSBs that may be applicable.

                Who knows, with any luck at all these issues can often be rectified with a simple re-flash of the appropriate control modules. We can only hope.
                Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                Location: British Columbia

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                • #9
                  Did you measure voltage at the output terminal of the alternator? Both regulated and un-regulated? Do you have a loose or corroded connection?

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                  • #10
                    I have one of this type of cheap volt meter which plugs in the cigarette lighter socket. It shows the increase in voltage as the alternator charges the battery, which should be at least 13.4V.

                    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-1A-USB-...Cclp%3A2334524

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                    • #11
                      Something to try:
                      A friend has a Chevy pickup that for a few years would do odd things in the electrics. A couple dealer warranty trips netting shoulder shrugs, a new alternator and it still was doing the odd things.
                      Someone suggested swapping the battery from another vehicle and all the problems ceased. Consider that perhaps something as simple and overlooked as this might be the issue.

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                      • #12
                        Did you put a charger on the battery and see if actually takes and holds a full charge?

                        I had a battery once that would take almost, but not quite, a full charge (~12.4V) and then drop down to ~11.7V over the course of a day or two. My car just couldn't keep it topped up.
                        Last edited by Galaxie; 02-16-2021, 01:13 PM.
                        Location: Northern WI

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by old mart View Post
                          I have one of this type of cheap volt meter which plugs in the cigarette lighter socket. It shows the increase in voltage as the alternator charges the battery, which should be at least 13.4V.

                          https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-1A-USB-...Cclp%3A2334524
                          Not totally foolproof method with modern cars as many start-stop cars have voltage stabilization dc-dc converterbetweethe battery and rest of the electronics.
                          forford calls it voltagece quality. Module
                          Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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                          • #14
                            Ipad went nuts in the last posting, Ford call the module voltage quality module
                            https://kusplifeinthefastlane.wordpr...rt-technology/
                            Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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                            • #15
                              The stop start cars don't usually have an ordinary battery, they have AGM type which are much more expensive. You would have to do a lot of stop starts to pay for one of them.

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