what is making my ranger not start,just click.cant be starter or battery i replaced both

Asked by May 13, 2012 at 08:28 AM about the 1997 Ford Ranger XL Standard Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

my truck just makes one click when i turn ignition over.i have changed the starter and solenoid,changed
the neutral safety switch and the back up light switch and starter relay.still nothing but when battery is
disconnected and the positive cable is put back on my truck tries to start with ignition turned off

27 Answers


You either have a wiring issue or your ignition switch is bad. Does the ignition switch "feel" normal when you rotate it? Do all the accessories work normally with the switch? Try having the starter unmounted from engine and support it and try the ignition again. Watch to see if the starter spins and the solenoid engages. It is possible to have a new starter bad right out of the box. The issue of starter engaging when connecting the positive cable goes back to ignition switch or misplaced or wiring problem.

10 of 10 people found this helpful.

Do you have an alarm or a remote starter???

27 of 27 people found this helpful.

Sounds strange to say this. Had problems with 04 ranger. Replaced everything part by part and even paid to get theft device reset ($3000+ over time with labor) to get the single click sound again and again after it running then not. Was frustrated to the point to scraping it... simple dumbass problem. Turn the steering wheel straight and immediately cranks.

32 of 32 people found this helpful.

If the battery is fully charged and you try starting the truck and it only clicks the the starter relay is no good. If your looking from the front of your truck it will be located on the drivers side fender. It will have several wires going to it. I recommend you disconnect the negative cable from th battery and change the relay out.

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

My ranger will not start or shut off with the key why is that

19 of 19 people found this helpful.

I'm having a starter problem with my 03 Ranger. I also just turned my steering wheel a bit and it started right up. I know it's not my battery, alternator, starter, cables, or fuel pump. So, is it the ignition switch that's going bad?

37 of 37 people found this helpful.

I had the same problem tonight. Started to crank over and started then died. I tried to start it again and it only clicked. Then I read on here how turning the steering wheel worked. I tried it and started right up. Thanks. I have had problems with the radio not getting power for awhile now. I turn off the ignition switch and it works. I don't want to replace the switch, but will have to sometime I guess.

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

I have a 1996 Ford Ranger, I changed my starter and starter relay, got a new battery but it still wont start. the lights and radio work just fine. it does make a clicking noise any idea what may be wrong?

49 of 49 people found this helpful.

ignition switch

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

my 2003 ranger 2.3l 16v was running ok until I changed the alternator now will not even turn over. checked all connection and ok.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

I turn the steering wheel and it started right up thanks for your help

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I have a 99 ford ranger 3.0, I was driving it down the road and it quit never made a sound and now when I turn the key nothing happens my fuel pump dosnt come on,but I bridged out the solenoid and it turned over but won't crank

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Same thing happened to me

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Starting soleniod

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

my husband has a 03 ford ranger. Son was driving yesterday and he said just all the sudden the power went out and the truck started slowing down. He said it made no noise but he had lights and radio. Tried to start only to get 1 click. CHanged the starter and bought a new battery after we were told the battery had a dead cell. Still wont start. just 1 click any help would be appreciated.

20 of 20 people found this helpful.

On one of my vehicles with the same problem, it turned out to be a loose connection on the starter. Pulled the cables and it would start, I was lucky to find it. However, on my Ranger I'm gonna go with solonoid. Will let you know how it turns out.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I have a 2001 Ranger Manual Transmission. Starting has become increasingly difficult. To the point now that I have to slam the clutch in to get it to turn over. Even that is taking several tries. Any idea what would cause that?

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

2001 ford ranger battery is charged everything works inside headlights work. Clicks at relay but don't do anything else

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

Mark, if there is a clicking at the relay its either the relay or the starter. I would try jump the start with a starter button, if it starts you know its the relay, if not its the starter. Hope this helps you.

Someone probably went under the hood when you weren't looking and messed with it. I'd put it safely in a garage where no one can get to it.


I have a 98 Ford Ranger XLT Extended Cab 3.0 a starter problems I got the starter put it on and it would crank over just a couple times then it made this god-awful sound from underneath the truck sounded like a pulley or something was locked up but the pulleys we're all turning over and belts was all spent freely I took the starter back out then I had a guy look at my flywheel he said it was kind of hard to turn and it shouldn't have been that rough I was directly under the motor right where the oil pan is and mind you this is an automatic as you was trying to turn the flywheel I can hear a little squeaking what could that possibly be cuz I can't seem to ever get any answers about it I'm not a mechanic but I like my truck and I like to have it running again could somebody please help me with an answer

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

How many miles are on it and have you changed your timing chain lately? Did you over heat it? It could be vapor locked.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Good afternoon we having problem with the ford ranger 2010 4x4 model with starting. Its just crank and falling to start but if you push it it will start or if you use quick start it will start. What could be the problem? Please help

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Try your fuse panel on the side of the dash in the drivers side, it’s a 25 amp mini and if I can recall I think it’s fuse 19


If you can push it and it starts it sound like the starter solenoid. I do not know if it is on the starter itself or on the fire wall. Just something to consider.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a problem with my ford range 2008 when I start it doesn't start its just switch every thing on but the car is not starting

If it does not click fiddle with the two wire connection going to the starter motor I have just done the same thing to my ranger and sprayed the connection with WD40 after over a year of turning the key several times before the starter will engage. Now it is fine probably due to the damp atmospere at present. Hope this helps.

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