It appears to be a spring from a tensioner pulley that keeps the
serpentine belt in tension on the engine. Without this the belt would
be loose and fall off, so if your belt is still on and working it is
from another car.
I also think it's possibly from another vehicle and got thrown up into
the undercarriage. It then waited and fell out of it's hiding place
while parked in the driveway.
Not having anything to compare it for scale, it could also be the
heating element from the cigar lighter!!! LOL
Unless you are very good at maintaining your hood springs and have
prevented 12 years of rust and crud, I would have a look at that belt
tensioner. Check your trans shift linkage and the area around your trans.
One of the guys on the ranger forum says it is a power window spring.
That makes sense because I have a window regulator dismantled on a
Saturn right next to the ranger. However, it must have flew out while
I wasn't looking as I have never seen such an animal before and have
no idea where it goes.
It ain't a hood spring, Ranger's don't have them. Most likely out of
your Saturn door regulator; we used to call them "Jesus springs" cause
every time they took off like that you'd hear someone say, "Jesus
Christ, where did that go to?"
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