Ford Ranger Forum - Forums for Ford Ranger enthusiasts!

Go Back   Ford Ranger Forum - Forums for Ford Ranger enthusiasts! > >
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Welcome to Ford Ranger Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread

  #1  
Old 02-09-2011, 06:26 PM
dragonstar dragonstar is offline
Learning to use the forums
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5
Default 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

My 97 Ranger recently showed its battery light and the gauge dropped. Replaced the battery as it was 4 years old. Auto parts guy tested new one and it was charging. I live in a small town and yes, the auto parts store guy will put in the battery and even test it. And, yes, dogs run free in the store. Anyway, light came on yesterday and gauge dropped. Drove to work (only mode and had to get there), light on and low gauge. Same thing on the way home. Took my chance today. Same thing in the morning. BUT when I came home, light was off and gauge smack dab in the middle. Light came on 20 miles down the road. Stopped at a store. When I started the truck up, no light, gauge in the middle. Turned the headlights on as it was dusk and all is fine. Any ideas?
__________________
97 Ford Ranger XLT, 4 cyl., 2 WD, Stand. Trans., manual everything (the way I like it)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-09-2011, 08:45 PM
jmonck jmonck is offline
Like the Forums
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 49
Default Re: 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

sounds to me like you should have your alternator tested. i've fried a few in my day and that sounds like a familiar story. I fried my first alternator on a ranger last month, and the scenario was virtually the same, turns out the bearing was shot. Be careful driving if the guage isn't showing it charging. Your battery will only run your truck for so long. I actually carried a charger with for about a week, and charged it every chance I could until I could get another alt.. Turning the truck off and back on worked a few times to get it charging.
__________________
1994 2.3L 2wd 5spd...just won't Die!
On Deck: 1993 4.0L 4x4 auto... hopefully
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-10-2011, 06:56 AM
sgtsandman sgtsandman is offline
Tank Diver
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,078
Default Re: 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

It sounds like the alternator to me too. My battery light was on but the battery was charging just fine. When I replaced the alternator after checking everything else out, it fixed the problem.
__________________
Sgtsandman's Work in Progress
2011 Ranger XLT, 4X4, 4 door Super Cab. 4.0L, 5 Speed M50D-R1HD, 3.73:1, 8.8" open differential, Jason Pace cap
1999 Honda CR-V EX, RT4WD, 2.0L, 5 Speed MT, 4.56:1, open differential
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-10-2011, 07:17 AM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
Blinded by the light
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 7,674
Send a message via AIM to FireRanger
Default Re: 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

That light has nothing to do with the battery. Yes, it is a picture of a battery. Yes, your battery will get low. But the problem isn't the battery. The problem is the alternator. That light will illuminate if the key is on and the alternator is not generating power. If you've checked all your wiring on the alternator, battery, and power distro box, then the alternator is probably toast.
__________________
(Formerly)
FireRanger
2003 Edge 4.0 4wd

How to: Aux light wiring, relays, & fuses
Info: 300+ intake threads here on FRF
Info: HID Projectors
How To: NO HEAT Troubleshooting Guide
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-10-2011, 08:21 AM
dragonstar dragonstar is offline
Learning to use the forums
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5
Default Re: 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

Thanks. Getting a new alternator put in now. Will et you know if it fixed the problems. Hope so!
__________________
97 Ford Ranger XLT, 4 cyl., 2 WD, Stand. Trans., manual everything (the way I like it)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-10-2011, 02:42 PM
dragonstar dragonstar is offline
Learning to use the forums
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5
Default Re: 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

Okay, new alternator is installed. All seems fine. BUT, just picked my daughter up and coming home the check engine light came on. Any idea on what caused this?
__________________
97 Ford Ranger XLT, 4 cyl., 2 WD, Stand. Trans., manual everything (the way I like it)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-10-2011, 04:34 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
Blinded by the light
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 7,674
Send a message via AIM to FireRanger
Default Re: 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

Impossible to determine. There are about 100 different trouble codes and you'd have to have the codes read and tell us what the code is. Now, with that said, you could also disconnect the battery for a few minutes to clear the memory and start fresh. If the code was erroneous BS, it won't light up again.
__________________
(Formerly)
FireRanger
2003 Edge 4.0 4wd

How to: Aux light wiring, relays, & fuses
Info: 300+ intake threads here on FRF
Info: HID Projectors
How To: NO HEAT Troubleshooting Guide
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-11-2011, 12:23 AM
jmonck jmonck is offline
Like the Forums
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 49
Default Re: 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

If your four cylinder has eight spark plugs like mine, and you've noticed a slight decrease in power, The same thing happened when I put my new alternator in. The check engine light has been on for about a month now. When I bought the truck, the check engine light was on, and the guy said it had been like that for two years. I checked the codes and it was a dead ignition coil. replaced it and got a little more power, and no light. I f you only have one coil then I'm just honing my typing skills. Not saying thats what it is... just wanted to tell that story I guess.
__________________
1994 2.3L 2wd 5spd...just won't Die!
On Deck: 1993 4.0L 4x4 auto... hopefully
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-11-2011, 06:11 PM
dragonstar dragonstar is offline
Learning to use the forums
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5
Default Re: 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

Thanks. I had heard disconnecting the battery could clear the memory. Will see what happens tomorrow (rode with the wife today so haven't driven the truck).

My truck has more than 4 spark plugs. I thought it was six but could be eight. I tried to change them once but only got one out. Took it to my mechanic. I'm not very mechanical but have some good connections so any info I can pass along they appreciate. Didn't notice any decrease in power yesterday when driving it home and picking up my daughter. Not like it has a lot of power anyway. But I love this truck!

If the Check Engine light stays on, I'll get the code(s) and pass along what they say.

Thanks for everyone's help!
__________________
97 Ford Ranger XLT, 4 cyl., 2 WD, Stand. Trans., manual everything (the way I like it)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-11-2011, 06:34 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
Blinded by the light
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 7,674
Send a message via AIM to FireRanger
Default Re: 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

You have 8. Two per cylinder. Before you blindly replace them, have the codes read first. If the light stays on.
__________________
(Formerly)
FireRanger
2003 Edge 4.0 4wd

How to: Aux light wiring, relays, & fuses
Info: 300+ intake threads here on FRF
Info: HID Projectors
How To: NO HEAT Troubleshooting Guide
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-11-2011, 06:55 PM
jmonck jmonck is offline
Like the Forums
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 49
Default Re: 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

If you have 8 plugs, then you have two coils. If the problem lies there, it will show when you check the codes. They cost about 50 bucks each. But if your car is still running then only one is bad.
__________________
1994 2.3L 2wd 5spd...just won't Die!
On Deck: 1993 4.0L 4x4 auto... hopefully
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-14-2011, 08:14 PM
dragonstar dragonstar is offline
Learning to use the forums
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5
Default Re: 97 Ranger Battery Light/Gauge issue-Puzzled

Sorry if I confused about the spark plug thing. That was awhile back. This particular situation was all alternator/battery. Spark plugs not touched.

Today, Check Engine light on going to work (never got the chance to disconnect the battery over the weekend). But it turned off on the way home! Got the girl from soccer, dropped a friend off as well, turned the truck off and back on. . .no Check Engine light! Let's hope it was a glitch. I thank you all! Trust me, if it comes back on. I'll post.
__________________
97 Ford Ranger XLT, 4 cyl., 2 WD, Stand. Trans., manual everything (the way I like it)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alternator, battery, battery drains quickly

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Battery Light? 05RangerEdge 3.0 Vulcan Tech 28 05-14-2013 04:21 PM
1997 ranger fuel gauge issue csmranger General Tech 0 06-03-2010 09:54 PM
Battery Light Came ON nchamilton2105 4-Cylinder Tech 5 01-25-2010 04:48 AM
2.3L oil pressure gauge issue ej109 4-Cylinder Tech 4 09-06-2009 10:45 PM
97 Ford Ranger, Battery Light Flash? Timbo General Ford Ranger Discussion 3 12-25-2008 05:24 PM