How To Test The Starter Motor (1992, 1993, 1994 2.3L Ford Ranger And Mazda B2300)

This tutorial will explain how to test the starter motor on the 1992, 1993, and 1994 2.3L 4 cylinder equipped Ford Ranger (Mazda B2300).

The cool thing is that testing it isn't hard and you don't even have to remove it from your Ford Ranger to do test it.

Contents of this tutorial at a quick glance:

  1. Important Safety Tips And Precautions.
  2. Symptoms Of A Bad Starter Motor.
  3. Tools Needed To Test The Starter Motor.
  4. TEST 1: Applying 12 Volts To The Starter Motor S Terminal.
  5. TEST 2: Verifying The Start Signal.
  6. TEST 3: Voltage Drop Testing The Battery (+) Cable.
  7. More 2.3L Ford Ranger Tutorials.

NOTE: You can find the starting system wiring diagram, of the 1992, 1993, and 1994 2.3L Ford Ranger here: 1992-1994 2.3L Ford Ranger Starter Motor Circuit Wiring Diagram.

Important Safety Tips And Precautions

TIP 1: Place your Ford Ranger on jack stands when lifting it to access the starter motor. Don't trust the jack!

TIP 2: The starter motor tests in this tutorial are done with the starter motor in its place on the engine, but if you have removed it, you can bench-test it witht the help of the following tutorial: Bench Testing The Starter Motor.

TIP 2: To get accurate test results, the battery on your Ford Ranger must be fully charged. Also, the battery cable terminals and battery posts must be clean and corrosion free.

TIP 3: If your vehicle has a standard transmission, make sure that it's out of gear and in neutral, and that the parking brake is activated/on.

Symptoms Of A Bad Starter Motor

For the most part, when the starter motor fails, the engine won't turn over when you turn the key to crank and start it.

In some cases, the starter motor will fail intermittently. In other words, it'll work some of the time and some of the time it won't.

If you're testing an intermittent ‘no crank’ problem, you have to perform the starter motor tests when the engine won't turn over. Otherwise, the starter motor will test good.

You'll also notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Jump starting the engine doesn't make it crank over.
  2. The battery has been charged and/or replaced and still your 2.3L Ford Ranger does not crank.
  3. When you turn the key to crank the engine, all you hear is a small knock and nothing else.

Tools Needed To Test The Starter Motor

To test the starter motor, you'll need a few tools. Nothing that'll break the bank. Here's the list:

  1. Remote starter switch.
    1. If you'd like to see what a remote starter switch looks like, you can follow this link: Actron CP7853 Remote Starter Switch.
    2. You can either buy this tool online or you can buy it at your local auto parts store (AutoZone, O'Reilly, Pepboys, etc.).
  2. Multimeter or a 12 Volt automotive test light.
    1. If you don't have a multimeter or need to upgrade yours, check out my recommendation here: Buying A Digital Multimeter For Automotive Diagnostic Testing.
  3. A wire piercing probe.
    1. This tool is not an ‘absolute must have tool’ but I can tell you from experience that it makes it a whole lot easier to probe the S terminal wire for the start signal.
    2. If you'd like to see what this tool looks like, you find out more about it here: Wire Piercing Probe Tool Review (Power Probe PWPPPPP01).
  4. A helper.

Nothing expensive, as you can see. OK, let's turn the page and get starter with the first starter motor test.