Is the Ford Ranger a fire hazard?

Where Can I Find the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer.

The VIN can be found in a couple of places including on the car's registration label (1), on the compliance plate in the engine bay (2) or on the passenger side windshield (3), or on one of the door posts (where the door latches when it is closed) (4). See the image below:

Look for the VIN in these other locations:

  • Insurance card/Insurance policy
  • Vehicle title and registration certificate

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26 Feb 18

The Ford Ranger is a versatile vehicle with plenty of appeal for all types of drivers. Ford has recently issued warnings to Australian owners of Ford Ranger utes purchased after July 2016 not to drive through long grass after 24 of the vehicles caught fire.1 While this only affects those manufactured since July 2016, it does beg the question: What could be the risks of buying a used Ford Ranger ute?

Being aware of issues affecting particular models makes it easier to know what to look for when buying a used car.

There are risks associated with purchasing any used vehicle, which is why it's so important to get a car history report to find out the reported history of a vehicle you're interested in before you buy. Being aware of issues affecting particular models makes it easier to know what to look for when buying a used car, so let's take a look at the Ford Ranger, what to keep an eye out for - and what the upside is!

Is the Ford Ranger a fire hazard?

Grass or vegetation accumulation produces high temperatures, which poses the potential for a fire to break out.And this is what happened with 2016 and 2017 models. If you've been eyeing a Ford Ranger ute that was built after July 2016, you should definitely check whether the vehicle was recalled and serviced, or you could even consider purchasing a different model. 

You should also be aware of the risk of fire hazards if you have purchased or plan on purchasing a model released between 1996 and 2000, as Ford Rangers from these years were recalled due to cruise control related fires.3

What else should you look for when buying a used Ford Ranger?

If you're buying a Ford Ranger - or any used car - it's important to be aware of the recalls for the year you're looking at. Ask your dealer whether all the recalls were done on the vehicle you want and that they were inspected by a Ford mechanic.

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In addition to fire risks, there are a few other things to look out for before parting with your hard-earned cash:

  • Airbags: Between 1995 and 2008, Ford Rangers all suffered from an airbag deployment problem, and many were recalled.4
  • Rust: This can often be a problem with Ford Rangers, particularly if they were used as mine trucks.5 It's a good idea to check that you're not buying a former mine vehicle, as rusting is often present in these.
  • Bonnet locks: There were recalls of Ford Rangers in 2010 for faulty bonnet locks.6 If you're buying a 2010 model, check it was serviced by a registered Ford mechanic before purchasing.

It's best to enlist the help of a trusted mechanic to inspect the vehicle for you before buying. They can take a look at the engine and all the other working parts to help ensure everything is functioning as it should - and advise you of any potential repairs you might be up for.

Do these issues mean I shouldn't buy a used Ford Ranger?

Absolutely not! The Ford Ranger is a great off-road car with plenty of benefits. It's a multi-purpose vehicle that can be used both on work sites and for commuting. It's won awards for best pickup and Ranger 4x4 of the year, and is an affordable buy.7

The best models to get your hands on include:

  • The 1995-1997 4.0L 4x4 with automatic transmission.8
  • The 1991-1997 4.0L 4x4 with manual transmission.9
  • The 2003-2010 FX4 Level II.10

If you want to buy a Ford Ranger from a year where there was a recall or particular issue with the vehicle, don't panic. Simply find out if it was dealt with in the right way. And getting a Car History report, that lets you know the reported history of a car, will give you additional peace of mind so you can drive away with confidence!

1 News.com.au. Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 recalled for fire risk: 70,000 utes affected after 24 catch fire. Accessed January 2018.
2 News.com.au. Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 recalled for fire risk: 70,000 utes affected after 24 catch fire. Accessed January 2018.
3 The Ranger Station. Ford Ranger Buyers Guide. Accessed January 2018.
4 The Ranger Station. Ford Ranger Buyers Guide. Accessed January 2018.

Drive.com.au. 2011-2015 Ford Ranger used car review. Accessed January 2018.

6 Motoring.com.au. Buying Used: Ford Ranger PJ/PK (2007-12). Accessed January 2018.

7 The Ranger Station. Ford Ranger Buyers Guide. Accessed January 2018.
8 The Ranger Station. Ford Ranger Buyers Guide. Accessed January 2018.
9 The Ranger Station. Ford Ranger Buyers Guide. Accessed January 2018.
10 The Ranger Station. Ford Ranger Buyers Guide. Accessed January 2018.

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