Which ford ranger years to avoid and Why?

The Ford Ranger has been a popular choice for many car buyers for years. It is a reliable, affordable mid-size pickup truck that can handle off-road terrain and the daily commute with ease.

Quick answer: Avoid The 1999 Ford Ranger and The 2001 Ford Ranger. And best model years are 1986, 1988 and 2000

But not all Ford Rangers are created equal; there are certain generations and model years that you should avoid. Here’s what to know before buying a Ford Ranger.

Which ford ranger years to avoid and Why?

Generation 1 (1983–1992)
The first generation of the Ford Ranger was produced from 1983 to 1992. During this period, the engines were generally underpowered and prone to leaking oil, while the body frames were known to rust quickly.

This generation also had some of the lowest safety scores in its class – so if you’re looking for an older model of the Ranger, it’s best to skip this one.

Generation 2 (1993–1997)
The second generation of the Ford Ranger was released from 1993 to 1997 and came with improved engine power and fuel efficiency over its predecessor.

However, this generation still had issues with rusting body frames and was known for having particularly poor headlights, making nighttime driving difficult.

Additionally, these models featured manual transmissions that could be tricky to learn how to use properly.

Generation 3 (1998–2011)
The third generation of the Ford Ranger was available from 1998 until 2011 and is generally considered more reliable than previous generations.

This version featured updated engines that offered increased power while still achieving good fuel economy ratings, while also boasting improved interior features like air conditioning and audio systems.

However, some models within this generation have been reported as having transmission problems or issues with window seals leaking water into the interior cabin – so it’s important to have any used vehicle inspected closely before purchasing.

Common Ford Ranger Issues

  • Engine misfire: Ranger models from 2004 to 2006
  • Transmission issues: Not widespread, the 2002 model’s transmission issues
  • High engine idle
  • Hard to start cold
  • Steering issues: 2007 Ford Ranger has this issue


If you’re in the market for a vintage Ford Ranger, it’s important to know which model years are worth avoiding due to their poor reliability ratings or subpar performance on the road.

While some earlier generations can still be found on used car lots or online classified sites, they may not be worth investing in due to their age or lack of safety features that newer models offer.

For those who want an older vehicle but don’t want to take a risk on an unreliable model year – it’s best stick with Generation 3 Rangers made between 1998 and 2011 for maximum peace of mind when behind the wheel!