The Ford Ranger is designed with the fuel pump installed in the fuel tank. The pump engages when you turn the key the fuel pump will engage and send fuel through the line to the fuel injectors. The pump is built to a housing that holds the sending unit and a strainer. The strainer separates any large debris before it can get picked up by the fuel pump suction. The fuel pump can be tested by hearing the pump and observing the fuel flow.
Hearing the Fuel Pump
The fuel pump sits in the fuel tank and when you crank up your Ford Ranger, the fuel pump will run for five seconds. You can hear the pump running when you turn the ignition key to the "start" position. Have a partner sit in the driver's seat. Take the gas cap off and have your partner turn the ignition key to "start." Ensure the gas door is open; when the key is turned, you will hear the fuel pump. If you do not hear the pump, then you will know the pump is gone bad.
Troubleshooting the Fuel Pump at the Fuel Filter
Test the fuel pump by checking for fuel flow at the fuel filter. Trace the fuel line from the fuel tank to the engine compartment to locate the fuel filter. In most cases, the fuel filter is located under the driver's door along the frame rail. The line running to the filter from the fuel tank is the inlet line. Take the inlet line off by squeezing the quick connect fittings and pulling the line off the filter. Have your partner turn the key to the "start" position. When the pump is engaged it will send fuel through the fuel line and it will spray the fuel out. If the fuel comes out with no pressure, then that is an indication that the pump is getting weak and will be ready to replace.
Troubleshooting the Fuel Filter
If the fuel comes out of the line with pressure, the issue may be with the fuel filter. Place the fuel line back on to the filter and remove the outlet line. Have your partner turn the key to "off" and then back to the "start" position. If you notice the fuel coming out with no pressure, it may caused by a clogged filter. You will need to replace the fuel filter. Once your troubleshooting is complete, ensure the fuel lines are installed back on to the fuel filter.