Inertia Switch - 2005 Ranger

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I have a Ranger that I got in February of this year. We have had a continuing problem with the Fuel Pump Shut-off Switch (Inertia Switch).
The switch has "tripped" several times since I got the truck. A few
weeks ago the dealer happily replaced it, it promptly "tripped" again, and then yesterday the truck stalled in traffic after crossing over some rough pavement and the switch tripped again.
I called and scheduled it to go into the shop next week to have the switch replaced again.
Somehow this seems to me to be a fairly important and safety related issue. While driving the truck at speed and in traffic the engine quits without any warning. This has happened to me on the highway at highway speed too.
Has anyone else had any issues with this? Are there other places to look to rectify this problem?
Thanks in advance -
Geof
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It is very unusual for it to trip on 'some rough pavement.' The switch requires at least a 'g' force to activate. Perhaps the mounting is not secure. I would install a bypass switch until you find a solution.
mike

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You dont describe the suspension package you bought with it.
I'd be willing to bet that with 500 lbs of sandbags in the cargo bed that wouldnt happen.
As it is, I'd pay attention to ride characteristics that might point to a body integrity problem.

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I dunno. I just dunno.
I belong to '94 Tbird LX V8. In '03, I was backended by a truck on the side of the switch. Like to took my head off. $5000+ in body damage. The switch didn't trip.
In '04, I was on the hiway when my garbage Firestone rear tire exploded. Was passing a truck at the time. The switch tripped, I lost control. Somehow managed to make it to the shoulder without getting bloody murdered.
I guess it was just po' me and Geof that got dysfunctional inertia switches. Couldn't have happened to anybody else. :-)
I'd estimate the chances of getting injured/killed when the switch trips for the wrong reason are about 50 times greater than the chance of preventing a collision-related fire ...
"Quality Is Job One!"
"'Tis a testament to FordGarbage!".
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Over the past 23 or so years me and my Father have owned a total of 5 Rangers with a mix of engines (2.3L, 2.9L, 3.0L, 4.0L), cab styles (2 Dr, Supercab, 4 Door), bed lenghts (long and short beds), and drive type (2WD and 4WD). We have never had a switch trip. And that includes my sons driving the truck around the pasture like a maniac, driving acrossed rows in a field at relatively high speed (I estiamate he was doing 45 and the truck was leaving the ground when I caught him), a couple of accidents, and having a tree dropped on one Ranger. In fact, I only know of one closely related person to have tripped an interia switch in a Ford (and that includes at least 16 Ford products that include the switches). My ex-sister-in-law tripped the switch in a Taurus wagon when she enetered her driveway at a high speed (steep driveway with a significant angle on the entrance from the street).
I suspect something is wrong with the truck's structure if the iniertia switch is being tripped during routine driving manuvers. I'd suggest taking a good look at the cab's floor pan and the cab to chassis mounting points.

The switch should not trip for the wrong reason. Something is wrong and it needs to be fixed. Looking for a good dealer is probably a key way to get it fixed. I am not sure I agree with your estimate of the chances of accident being increased by a factor of 50 compared to a fire if the switch cuts off the fuel inadvertenly, but then both outcomes are very rare. Clearly Ford is paranoid about fire related lawsuits. Persoanlly I've had a number of cars where the engine cut out on the highway,and have never had much trouble dealing with it. I guess driving older British cars trains you for things like that.
Ed
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I'd suggest entering a complaint into the NHTSA Complaint Database (see http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/defect/ ). I took a look at the complaints related to late model Rangers and inertia switches and found the following:
Model Number of Inertia Year Switch Complaints 2005 2 complaint, no injuries, none with multiple occurrences 2004 1 complaint, no injuries, 2 occurrences caused by passengers foot 2003 1 complaint, no injuries, 5 occurrences, caused by passengers foot 2002 0 complaints 2001 0 complaints
4 complaints for 5 years worth of production does not seem to indicate a major problem. I did think it was interesting that 2 of the 4 complaints specifically mentioned that passenger's feet caused the switch to turn off the fuel pump. One of these claimed that he switch connector was dislodged by the passenger's foot (5 times!). The other was less clear. Is the switch really that easy to hit with feet? The owner's Guide for a 2005 Ranger shows the switch mounted on the side of the truck above the carpet near the glove compartment. I can't imagine the passenger's feet hitting it in that location. Is it possible you have something heavy in the glove box that is banging around in the area creating a sharp vibration?
There were actually more complaints related to the rpm limiter built into the PCM, than about the inertia switch. You have to wonder about the sanity of people driving Rangers faster than 85 or 90 mph. Especially when they complain to the Government that the vehicles won't go fast enough. I especially love the people who complained that since the speedometer was marked to 125, the truck should be able to go that fast as well.
Ed
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Remember the time was when the safety nuts in Washington thought drivers would drive slower it the speedometer only registered up to 85 MPH? ;)
mike hunt

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Thanks all for your replies - it seems as if there are other owners who are having similar problems with their Rangers. I believe that I can successfully re-create the problem predictably and can go show the service manager at my local dealer the problem. If I get any resolution I'll be happy to post it here.
Geof
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I have a 2004 ranger edge 3.0 v6 with the same problem. I'm currently trying to fix it (without the help of the dealer, those guys are either complete morons or lying bastards you pick) . you guys are looking at the symptoms not the cause. I think my inertia switch is tripping because its heating up. get in to your footwell and unplug the switch. look for any melted plastic around the clip for the wires. in my truck it apears the fuel pump is bad and making resistance in the wires wich heat up, screw up the fuel pump relay and trip the inertia switch. it also causes the engine to idle rough but only somtimes, usually when its hot. first I bypassed the inertia switch (dont tell ford) that solved the random fuel shut off issue but brought to light the other issues. I noticed when I unplugged the inertia switch that the plug was melting so after I installed my bypass I checked for heat and sure enough with the engine running for a minute or two those wires were hot enogh to burn my fingers instantly. so I pulled the inertia switch and took it apart and found the internals melted. next I got out the voltmeter and did some poking around the power to the fuel pump and the inertia switch and got some strange readings namly 6.75 volts. so I grabbed the fuel pressure gauge and put it on the fuel rail up front and found the pressure very low. next I pulled out the fuel pump relay and took that apart to inspect it and found a bunch of carbon on the poles and windings. I'm not a big elecrical guy but that to me says "bad". My plan is to replace the pump, relay, inertia switch and the connection to the inertia switch. not very cheap but if it stops the problem its worth it, better than having a $14,000 lawn orniment. We origanally bought the truck for my wife but I've been driving to work everyday because she wont get in it anymore. personaly if I didn't owe money on it I'd set it on fire just for the satisfaction of watching it burn. I can't say if you're having the same problem but it sounds close to me. I'm hoping to install this weekend as soon as I get the parts. I'll repost with the results. hope this helps
P.S. DO NOT TRUST YOUR DEALER! They wanted to charge me $250 to replace the inertia switch $60 parts and $190 labor. the inertia switch is $9.34 online and is only held by 2 7/32 bolts. I took mine out and put it back in it took two minutes!
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Wow!!! I couldn't handle too much of your rant, Skippy... and you probably don't want to hear from me (being as I'm either a complete moron or a lying bastard - you pick).
You seem to have a lot of issues with a fairly new truck..... I'm going to bet that they didn't surface until after you installed a new sound system and various other electrically powered accessories (oh, yes.... I made sure my son didn't turn into an electrical tape asshole when he did this stuff to his truck).
FWIW... Ford doesn't give a rats ass what you personally do to your inertia switch.... however, your insurance carrier and the relatives of anyone you roast will speak volumes about your social responsibility... and we can all be reassured by your diagnosis beginning with the words "I think".
If you hate this truck so much, would it not be easier to be rid of it?.... Or are you so smart that you managed to get "upside down" on the payments. For the uninitiated... "upside down" refers to the all too common practice of getting into a car you can't afford through financing "tricks". You wind up owing more than the vehicle is worth..... when you realize your mistake, you will usually take your frustrations out on the vehicle in question.
This guy needs to spend more money on drugs..... the cheap ones are screwing him up too bad...
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rant deleted....
Look... you had ONE problem, or TWO if you want to include the dealer estimate.
The problem may be either a high (relative) resistance short in the pump or the wiring leading to it. Your post makes it look like a series of problems, which it isnt.
So.... it comes down to what an reasonable person might think when apprised of the situation:
Simply, you were unlucky enough to get a truck with a bad part in it.
And most reasonable people when seeing evidence of overheating in wiring designed to last ten years, at least... and replicated in hundreds of thousands of vehicles.. would think that something might be wrong with the motor being supplied power through that wiring.
And most reasonable people wouldnt expect to see hundreds of thousands of systems being built without an occasional bad part; and they certainly wouldnt act as if Ford intended it.. or that it was a personal affront.
And the reason this forum exists is to help you find the problem, if needed... and allow you to rant about it.
Job seems pretty much done... from our side, anyway. Psychological help to help you deal with such in the future, however, will have to be sought elsewhere.
BTW, it's a 2005, right? That should be under warranty, I'd think.
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Backyard Mechanic wrote:

I think he should have ran an 8 gauge wire from the battery positive straight to the pump, then diagnose some more :)
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<snip>

Early on, yes. As of late, more cars are coming with access panels in the trunk/under rear seat/axle kick area that allows R & R of the fuel pump/gauge sender without dropping the fuel tank.

It would be unusual to find an Asian or Euro import where the in-tank fuel pump can NOT be accessed via the trunk/back seat/axle kick area. Some Subarus had the pump external to the tank, so did the [Nova chassis] Cadillac Seville (gas engine).

Question is a bit vague... ...was -what- required by the U.S. Federal regulations?

No, the rear pump does not qualify as a "bad design." There are valid logical reasons to have the fuel pump as close to the gasoline supply as possible. The way many are/were implemented leaves a lot to be desired though. The inertia switch seems to be mostly (AFAIK) a Ford exclusive.
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On Sat, 18 Mar 2006 22:35:54 GMT, aarcuda69062

PRAISE LORD!!! :-)

The pump is -inside- the tank? And it can be accessed by pulling a panel or plate or somesuch?

Placement of the pump by/on-top-of the fuel tank in the back of the vehicle. You might recall that fuel pumps used to be under the hoods of DetroitMobiles years ago ...

I'd be interested to hear about such reasons if you'd care to elaborate ...

Not prevalent on GM, MoPar? Goes to show how little I keep up with the Silly Stuff.
Then the inertia switch was -not- mandated by any regulatory (i.e. Fedral Gummint) entity?? That being the case, then WHY IN THE FLYING FLOG DID THEY ... ('scuse me, I gotta go and take a Chill Pill)! :-)
Thanks, Puddin'
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Literally, a ten minute job!

Years ago when fuel pumps were underhood, the fuel metering systems were carbureted. Modern fuel injected systems are best served by a pump that puts as much of the system under pressure as possible and keeps the system under pressure to aid in fast start up. Even when the engine had a carburetor and an electric fuel pump, it was usually found in the tank (Chevy Vega and Monza chassis)

Generally, when a fluid is put under pressure, its boiling point is raised, likewise, when it's under suction, its boiling point is lowered. Having the fuel pump in the tank allows that only an inch or so of the supply is under suction, this reduces greatly the incidence of vapor lock and fuel foaming, problems which were quite prevalent back in the mid 80s when the last of he carbureted vehicles were produced. Vapor lock is pretty much unheard of now days except around this time of year when we still have winter blend gasoline supplies and a region gets caught in an unexpected warm spell.

GM and MoPar never used inertia switches.

Nope.
Ford probably felt they wanted an extra measure of protection in the event of a crash.
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On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 13:22:20 GMT, aarcuda69062

PRAISE <insert the Asian God of your choice here> !!!

I hadn't heard of vapor lock since the 60's.
Would've thought the right elec. pump and a larger diameter line would've covered the FI, VL bases ...

As usual, I Believe Every Word they Say. The Ford inertia switch has been an industry orphan for 11+ years ...
Much thanks to aarcuda69062 for some very interesting info.
There's nice guys in this forum. They don't wanna hear me rant. So I won't.
But nowadaze it's easy to create your own bumper sticker. I'm gonna get started on mine today:
---------------------------------------------------| | I Drove For 9 Years With A Ford Inertia Switch | | AND FLOGGING LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT!!! | ---------------------------------------------------
:-) (-:
Cheers, Puddin'
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Ihatemyford wrote:

by the way .... when the inertia switch melts its usually cause by a fuel pump that is drawing too much current.
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I purchased a 2005 Ranger Edge for my 17 year old daughter. Just returned from dealer with THIRD reset of inertia switch. Even had switch replaced on second "Death". Dealer has no idea of what is causing problem ... my daughter says she's not getting back in it? Any chance this may fall under Lemon Law?
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john367 wrote:

Inertia switch mount, suspension problem, rough terrain, driving habits, boys trying to meet girls by "bumper kissing" with their cars. Lemon law? - doubtful.
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Is it a manual transmission? Can she use the clutch very well? Is she running over curbs? :) Did the dealer show her how to reset it herself? That would be a good idea.....
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