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Old 12-29-2019, 11:28 PM   #1
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New Ford Ranger Transmission Problems

Over on a 2019-2020 Ford Ranger forum, there are two reports of trashed 10 speed transmissions after flat towing.

Not surprisingly, both dealers are blaming the owners even though they claim they religiously followed the procedure in the Owners Manual.

Somewhere in IRV2 I saw a couple of similar complaints on F150 ten-speeds.

Has anyone here heard anything about this?
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:03 AM   #2
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While my intent here is not to bash Fords, Ford has had its issues with towable vehicles a few times in the past. Since we don't tow any Fords, I can't recall all of them but, there was some or, maybe one in particular that, you needed to actually remove some transmission fluid BEFORE towing and then, re-install it when you were done towing. I think it might have been an Explorer but, not sure. Then, there's the Ranger. The early ones required some sort of alteration to the engine ECM and or transfer case in order for it to be towed. I think it was called the "NTK" or, Neutral Tow Kit". Why didn't they do that in the first place?

I've read on here, (don't know any in real life) of a few that were promised by their dealership, that the vehicle they were purchasing, was in deed, flat towable. So, they wrote the check and bought the car/truck/whatever. Then, shortly after they purchased it, not sure of the time frame here but, in short order, Ford retracted the ability to tow that particular vehicle. Guess what, Ford had to buy back, all of those that were "supposedly" fully towable. Can't remember the model. Ford, unlike GM and Dodge, did not allow any of its F-150 4x4 fleet to be flat towed, all the way 'till 2012.

They kind-a lost out for quite a while before they finally got smart in 2012 and made the changes to their fleet to allow for them to be flat towed.

Now, are they having problems with their F-150? Hmmmm.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:48 AM   #3
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2019 Ranger has Motorhome "Neutral Tow" transmission mode.

I was looking in to getting a 2019 Ranger to tow behind my RV. Still haven't decided yet. I researched what steps are needed to tow.

The 4WD version has a "Neutral Tow Mode" for the transmission. There are a series of button pushes to put it in Neutral Tow mode. I read about this in the 2019 Ranger Owners Manual.

I also saw this in a youtube video.

Have not heard about any real world issues yet.

Regards,

Jerry
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:03 AM   #4
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I haven't seen any Ranger issues reported here. I can think of two previous F150 posts.

The most recent one said a dead battery was the cause. There was never any followup from the poster. I found it hard to believe that an electronic transmission shifted itself out of the mode because of a dead battery. The procedure to put it into the mode has several steps and to take it out you have to shift back to park.

The other one that I recall said that his odometer acrued. That sounded like he was never in the mode.

There are enough Ford's out there with this feature. I would expect to see more failure reports than what we've seen, if it was an actual issue with the vehicles. At least I hope that is the case!

I had every intention of purchasing the Ranger. Had one on preorder, but it kept getting delayed. Ford had some huge rebates on the remaining 2018 F150s. I found one that I liked and I guess someone else has bought my Ranger by now. I have no regrets on the F150. It ended up being cheaper than the Ranger. It's only a little heavier and much roomier.

At first, I didn't have a charge line but then thought... Why don't I have a charge line? $27.00 from etrailer. It's a wire and breaker connected to the battery and wired to the aux terminal of the connector. It's a trickle charge.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:52 PM   #5
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Too late for me. I have a brand new Ranger sitting in the garage waiting for me to install the baseplate. Like the dealers, Iím inclined to believe it could be operator error but both guys insist they followed the Owners Manual instructions to the letter. The second best possibility is dead battery causing the transfer case to shift out of neutral. Iím going to test my theory by disconnecting the battery and watching to see what happens.
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad2018 View Post
I haven't seen any Ranger issues reported here. I can think of two previous F150 posts.

The most recent one said a dead battery was the cause. There was never any followup from the poster. I found it hard to believe that an electronic transmission shifted itself out of the mode because of a dead battery. The procedure to put it into the mode has several steps and to take it out you have to shift back to park.

The other one that I recall said that his odometer acrued. That sounded like he was never in the mode.

There are enough Ford's out there with this feature. I would expect to see more failure reports than what we've seen, if it was an actual issue with the vehicles. At least I hope that is the case!

I had every intention of purchasing the Ranger. Had one on preorder, but it kept getting delayed. Ford had some huge rebates on the remaining 2018 F150s. I found one that I liked and I guess someone else has bought my Ranger by now. I have no regrets on the F150. It ended up being cheaper than the Ranger. It's only a little heavier and much roomier.

At first, I didn't have a charge line but then thought... Why don't I have a charge line? $27.00 from etrailer. It's a wire and breaker connected to the battery and wired to the aux terminal of the connector. It's a trickle charge.



oh yeah
the smoked transmissions were most likley from user failure to ensure shift was done and DASH agreed.


the new ranger is nothing like previous generations
the 10 speed 4x4 does have a procedure to shift and if battery power like in the expeditions or f150s is lost the system CANNOT shift back into 2wd on its own


ford does rec a battery charge line be incorporated to power the aux brake devices . we do this with the EDGE and the 2016 expy.
zero issues to date


my edge scares me as its PLACE in N and look at dash to verify N. thats it.


expy you have to stick out your tongue, wiggle a toe and rotate the 4wd selector a few times and it then tells you its in tow mode right on the dash.



we need a BIG light to say RELEASE parking brake.
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:30 PM   #7
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I am thinking of getting one as well. Haven't heard of any problems yet.
Sorry off topic, but what kind of mileage is everyone getting?
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:32 PM   #8
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I've heard of a couple of F150s that had transmission issues when flat towed. I know from experience that letting the battery go dead won't cause the transfer case to drop out of neutral tow if the battery goes dead. Even with a check list I managed to run the battery down by leaving the key in the on position.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:33 AM   #9
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Good to know it may not drop out if neutral when battery dies.

I wish that was the cause, however, since it's a major concern to me and that would be easy to fix Once you're all hooked up there's no easy way to verify the transfer case is in neutral.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jmckinley View Post
Good to know it may not drop out if neutral when battery dies.

I wish that was the cause, however, since it's a major concern to me and that would be easy to fix Once you're all hooked up there's no easy way to verify the transfer case is in neutral.
Are you sure? Once I get it in neutral tow I see ďneutral tow enabledĒ on the DIC. Once I turn the key as far as it will go toward off, the DIC goes dark, but it flashes the message for a few seconds if I open the door. I always double check. It seems odd to not be able to verify some how.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:19 PM   #11
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My point was I'm not sure we can trust the dashboard indicator. Just because it's on doesn't mean it's actually in neutral unless you let the vehicle roll, but then how do you hook up?
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:26 PM   #12
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My point was I'm not sure we can trust the dashboard indicator. Just because it's on doesn't mean it's actually in neutral unless you let the vehicle roll, but then how do you hook up?
we could go down a rabbit hole,

not believing the dash.
easy to snap a pic as warm fuzzy and yes if it rolls freely is a good indicator but not 100% as mine will roll in reverse or drive if engine is off.


there is no real manual way to verify the ford is in neutral tow, we must rely on the dash indicators. its logged in the vehicle computer.
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:06 PM   #13
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We bought our '19 Ranger in July and immediately started towing it. The only problem I've had is the cigarette lighter plugs shut off after about 10 minutes of towing so I found an you tube video on how to add outlet connected to fuse panel under dash. I needed power for the auxiliary braking system. I have probably towed 4-5k miles so far without issues, but I always double check myself when setting it up for towing.

The other thing I did was I ordered a "bra" for it. Covers whole front, fenders, hood and windshield. Custom made, costs $460 (if I remember correctly), and has lifetime warranty repair to original purchaser. Well worth it. If anyone wants more info about it, let me know. I won't be back home for a week and can get the info then.

We actually bought the Ranger for DW, she got the gold color for our 50th anniversary. So now we have a Leprechaun pulling a pot of gold. We were pulling a Mini on a tow dolly but DW wanted something larger and more roomy/comfortable.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryP View Post
I was looking in to getting a 2019 Ranger to tow behind my RV. Still haven't decided yet. I researched what steps are needed to tow.

The 4WD version has a "Neutral Tow Mode" for the transmission. There are a series of button pushes to put it in Neutral Tow mode. I read about this in the 2019 Ranger Owners Manual.

I also saw this in a youtube video.

Have not heard about any real world issues yet.

Regards,

Jerry
You are right - the owners manual gives you a step by step method to flat tow the ranger. I have a new one that I am getting ready to tow cross country.

Luckly if there is an issue I will be under warranty.
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