How To Test The Fuel Pump (1998-2001 3.0L V6 Ford Ranger)

Using Starting Fluid

How To Test The Fuel Pump With Starting Fluid (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 3.0L Ford Ranger And Mazda B3000)

The starting fluid test is usually the first test I run when beginning an engine no-start diagnostic.

This test simply involves spraying starting fluid into the engine's throttle body and then starting the engine.

If a lack of fuel is causing the engine to not start, the starting fluid will cause the engine to start and run for a few seconds.

While this is not the most accurate way to diagnose an engine no-start problem caused by a bad fuel pump, it will definitely steer your troubleshooting efforts in the right direction.

IMPORTANT: The accuracy of the starting fluid test depends on all six spark plugs delivering spark to their cylinders. If you haven't checked the spark plug wires for spark (using a spark tester), do so before beginning the test. Otherwise, you may get a false positive result with this test.

  1. 1

    Remove the intake air duct from the throttle body.

    You don't have to completely remove it, since you'll have to reconnect it in one of the next steps.

  2. 2

    Open the throttle manually, and spray starting fluid down the bore.

    When you have sprayed a good squirt of starting fluid, quickly reconnect the air duct to the throttle body (you don't have to tighten the hose clamp).

    Reconnecting the intake air duct is a very important safety precaution in case you get a back-fire thru' the intake manifold.

  3. 3

    Crank the engine once the intake air duct is back on the throttle body.

  4. 4

    You'll get one of two results:

    1.) The engine will start momentarily and after a few seconds will die.

    2.) The engine will only crank but not start at all.

OK, let's analyze your test result:

CASE 1: The engine started and ran for a few seconds. This result confirms that the engine no-start problem is caused by a lack of fuel.

Next, I suggest that you test the fuel pump fuel pressure with a tester. For this test go to: Using A Fuel Pump Pressure Tester To Test the Fuel Pump.

CASE 2: The engine DID NOT start, even briefly. This result generally tells you that a lack of fuel is NOT the reason the engine won't start.

Remember what I said about this test not being very accurate? Well, I suggest you do one more test and test the fuel pressure with a fuel pressure tester. For this test go to: Using A Fuel Pump Pressure Tester To Test the Fuel Pump.

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Ford Vehicles:

  • Ranger 3.0L V6
    • 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001

Mazda Vehicles:

  • B3000 3.0L V6
    • 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001