Home TroubleshootingEngine Ford EcoBoost Problems – What Should You Look Out For?

Ford EcoBoost Problems – What Should You Look Out For?

by Kelvin Yates

The Ford EcoBoost engines are a family of turbocharged, direct-injection gasoline engines made by Ford. There are a wide variety of EcoBoost engines, from as small as 1.0L 3-cylinders to as big as 3.5L V6 engines. This engine series has been around since 2009, and Ford uses it for many of its vehicles. We’ll be discussing common Ford EcoBoost problems in this post.

If you’re planning to buy a Ford with an EcoBoost engine, it’ll be good to know what some common problems and reliability issues might be present. This will let you anticipate any costly repairs that you might encounter. And we’ll let you know of the preventive maintenance that you will need to do.

3.5 EcoBoost Problems

Ford EcoBoost Problems

This is the largest EcoBoost engine that Ford makes. It has a displacement of 3.5L (3,496cc) and a V6 layout. This engine now has two generations: the first one was introduced in 2009.

Ford used the first generation engine in a number of their vehicles up until 2016. These vehicles include the Ford Flex, Ford Explorer, Ford Transit, and Ford F-150 just to name a few.

The second-generation 3.5 EcoBoost engine was then introduced in 2015, and it started production in 2017. Making appearances in the Ford F-150, Ford Expedition (just be wary of the best year for Ford Expedition), and Lincoln Navigator with power ranging between 375 to 450 horsepower. Ford also uses this engine for their Ford GT supercar, making as high as 660 horsepower in the 2020 model.

The 3.5 EcoBoost engine is relatively reliable, with not many owners reporting reliability issues. But the first-generation engine has been around for a while now. So you’re bound to encounter some problems, especially with the first-gen engine. Here are some common problems:

1. Timing Chain Problems

The timing chain is an engine part that synchronizes the rotation of the camshaft and the crankshaft. The timing chain is susceptible to excessive wear and tear if the owner doesn’t change the engine’s oil at Ford’s recommended intervals.

This is because the timing chain needs to be well lubricated to work smoothly, otherwise, the timing chain can misalign. When this happens, the camshaft and crankshaft will also misalign. Disrupting the engine’s operation, and can eventually lead to damage.

However, this problem is easily avoidable. If you’re buying a 3.5 EcoBoost engine, check the service history and see if the owner misses any service. The 3.5 EcoBoost requires an oil change every 5,000 miles or so.

And this goes without saying if you’re driving a Ford with the 3.5 EcoBoost, don’t wait too long to change your engine oil. This will help keep the timing chain in great shape and avoid costly repairs.

2. Spark Plug And Ignition Problems

Spark plugs are a device that creates a spark to ignite the fuel and air mixture inside the engine’s cylinder. When the fuel and air mixture combusts, it moves the engine’s piston down and this is what powers your car.

One of the side effects of the turbo in EcoBoost engines is heavier carbon build-up on the spark plug. So you may need to replace the spark plugs more often, but spark plugs are usually no more than around $50 for a set.

However, if the carbon buildup is bad enough, the spark plug boot may also need to be replaced. The boot is the rubber plug that connects the spark plug to the ignition coil. If the engine is still having misfiring problems even after changing the spark plugs, see if the boots need replacing.

Additionally, the excessive carbon build-up can also be caused by an engine that’s running hot, and fuel or exhaust gas leaks from the manifold. If you see a check engine light, scan with the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system to find out what the problem is.

One final note, a carbon build-up is quite normal, especially in turbocharged engines. You may need to change the spark plugs more often, but this shouldn’t put you off from buying a car with a Ford EcoBoost engine.

3. Intercooler Condensation Problems

To properly explain this, we will need to explain how a turbocharged engine works. A turbocharger works by spinning a couple of turbine wheels inside the turbo housing by using your engine’s exhaust gas.

When the exhaust gas enters the turbo, it will spin the turbine wheel. This turbine wheel is connected to a compressor by a shaft, and the compressor wheel turns along with the turbine wheel.

When the compressor wheel spins, it will take in ambient air to feed into the engine. However, this air will be very hot which isn’t very good for the engine. That’s why this compressed air will pass through an intercooler. This cools the air down, making it more dense and efficient for the engine.

The 3.5 EcoBoost’s intercooler (the first generation engine in particular) is susceptible to condensation problems, especially in high-humidity conditions. When there’s too much vapor in the intercooler this can cause the car to misfire and jerk while driving. Many owners report that this problem often appears at highway speeds.

There’s an aftermarket solution that can help solve this problem by using a “catch-can”. This device uses the vacuum created by the turbo to catch the water vapor from the intercooler. They will cost you around $200 to $400, with another $150 for labor costs.

4. Intake Valve Problems

An internal combustion engine has valves that allow fuel and air to enter the cylinder, commonly known as the intake valve. These valves will open and close accordingly, depending on which stage an engine cylinder is at.

If a valve isn’t functioning properly, this will affect the engine’s operation. It will potentially lead to damage to other components such as the gaskets and engine seals. The problem is that the intake valves in the 3.5L EcoBoost engine are susceptible to damage if owners use aftermarket engine cleaners that aren’t compatible with the engine.

If you have a 3.5L EcoBoost, be sure to use engine cleaners that are recommended by Ford to avoid damage. The intake valves themselves don’t really have any design flaw, it’s just that it isn’t compatible with certain aftermarket products.

Additionally, these incompatible cleaners may also damage the turbocharger’s bearings, seals, and turbines.

5. Turbocharger Failure

The Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine relies heavily on its twin-turbochargers for performance. However, the turbochargers can sometimes fail prematurely, often leading to costly repairs. The main reasons for turbocharger failure in the EcoBoost engine include oil starvation, foreign object damage, and over-speeding of the turbocharger.

Oil starvation occurs when there is not enough oil to lubricate the turbocharger’s bearings. This can be caused by infrequent oil changes or a clogged oil supply line. Foreign object damage happens when small debris enters the turbocharger and damages the turbine or compressor wheels. Over-speeding of the turbocharger occurs when it spins too fast, generating excessive heat and causing the bearings to fail.

To avoid turbocharger failure, make sure to change the engine oil regularly, check the air filter for debris, and avoid over-revving the engine.

6. Coolant Leaks

Coolant leaks are another common problem with the Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine. The coolant can leak from various places such as the water pump, radiator, hoses, or engine block. This can cause the engine to overheat and lead to severe damage if not addressed promptly.

If you notice a puddle of coolant under your vehicle or see the coolant level dropping frequently, it is advisable to get the cooling system inspected by a professional. Additionally, make sure to use the recommended coolant and maintain the cooling system according to Ford’s guidelines.

7. Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve Problems

The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve is an essential component of the emission control system. It helps reduce the nitrogen oxide emissions by recirculating a portion of the exhaust gases back into the engine’s combustion chamber. However, the EGR valve in the 3.5 EcoBoost engine can sometimes become clogged with carbon deposits, leading to poor engine performance, increased emissions, and reduced fuel efficiency.

To avoid EGR valve problems, it is recommended to use high-quality fuel and perform regular maintenance on your vehicle. Additionally, if you notice any unusual symptoms such as rough idle, reduced power, or a check engine light, get the EGR valve inspected by a professional.

8. Fuel Injection Problems

The Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine uses direct fuel injection for better fuel efficiency and performance. However, there have been instances where the fuel injectors become clogged or fail, leading to poor engine performance, misfires, and reduced fuel efficiency.

Clogged fuel injectors can often be cleaned by using a fuel injector cleaner. However, if the problem persists, it is advisable to get the fuel injectors inspected and replaced if necessary. Additionally, using high-quality fuel and performing regular maintenance can help prevent fuel injection problems.

9. Oil Consumption Issues

Some owners of vehicles equipped with the 3.5 EcoBoost engine have reported higher than usual oil consumption. This can be caused by a variety of factors such as worn piston rings, valve seals, or a faulty PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve.

Excessive oil consumption can lead to several problems such as reduced engine performance, increased emissions, and eventually, engine failure. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor the oil level regularly and address any oil consumption issues promptly.

10. Carbon Build-up

Carbon build-up is a common issue in turbocharged engines, and the Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine is no exception. Carbon deposits can accumulate on the intake valves, turbocharger, and other engine components, leading to reduced engine performance, misfires, and poor fuel efficiency.

To avoid carbon build-up, it is recommended to use high-quality fuel, perform regular engine maintenance, and occasionally use a fuel system cleaner. Additionally, driving the vehicle at higher speeds for extended periods can also help reduce carbon build-up.

11. Transmission Issues

Some owners have reported issues with the transmission, such as hard shifting, transmission slipping, or even transmission failure. These issues can be caused by a variety of factors such as a faulty transmission control module, worn clutch, or damaged transmission components.

If you experience any unusual transmission behavior, it is advisable to get the transmission inspected by a professional as soon as possible. Regular transmission fluid changes and avoiding excessive towing can also help prevent transmission issues.

12. Engine Misfires

Engine misfires are another common problem with the 3.5 EcoBoost engine. This can be caused by a variety of factors such as faulty spark plugs, ignition coils, fuel injectors, or a malfunctioning mass air flow sensor.

If you experience engine misfires, it is crucial to address the issue promptly to avoid further damage to the engine or the catalytic converter. Regular maintenance, using high-quality fuel, and replacing faulty components can help prevent engine misfires.

13. Faulty Throttle Body

The throttle body controls the amount of air that enters the engine. A faulty throttle body can cause several issues such as erratic idle, stalling, reduced power, or poor fuel efficiency.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is advisable to get the throttle body inspected and cleaned or replaced if necessary. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the throttle body can also help prevent these issues.

14. Brake Booster Failure

The brake booster is a critical component that assists in braking. Some Ford vehicles equipped with the 3.5 EcoBoost engine have experienced brake booster failure, leading to a hard brake pedal and reduced braking performance.

If you notice any change in the brake pedal feel or braking performance, it is crucial to get the brake system inspected immediately. Regular brake fluid changes and maintaining the brake system according to Ford’s guidelines can help prevent brake booster failure.

15. Engine Overheating

Engine overheating can occur due to various reasons such as a faulty thermostat, water pump, radiator, or a coolant leak. Overheating can cause severe engine damage if not addressed promptly.

If you notice the engine temperature rising above normal or see coolant leaking, it is advisable to stop the vehicle and get the cooling system inspected immediately. Regular maintenance and using the recommended coolant can help prevent engine overheating.

In conclusion, while the Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine is generally considered to be reliable, it does have its share of common problems. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any unusual symptoms can help keep your EcoBoost engine running smoothly for many miles.

2.7 EcoBoost Problems

Next on our list of Ford EcoBoost problems are the 2.7L and 3.0L “Nano” V6 engines. We’re discussing them together because they’re similar engines, and to be frank, there doesn’t seem to be much wrong with these engines.

The first-gen 2.7 EcoBoost was introduced in 2015, and Ford put it in the Ford F-150, Lincoln MKX, Continental, and Nautilus, and the Ford Edge lineup and Fusion Sport also use this engine. Depending on the car and trim level (for more insight, check out our guide on what does SE mean on a car), this first-gen engine produces anywhere between 315 to 335 horsepower.

Ford then unveiled the second-gen “Nano” engine in 2018, making small changes to improve performance and fuel economy. You’ll find this engine in the Ford F-150 from 2018 and onwards, and in the all-new – and rather handsome, I might add – Ford Bronco.

3.0 EcoBoost Problems

Meanwhile, the 3.0L version is heavily derived from the 2.7L version, sharing many components. You’ll find this engine in several Lincoln vehicles as well as in the Ford Explorer ST. It takes anywhere between 350 to 494 horsepower.

One of the problems you might encounter with these engines is carbon buildup on the intake ports and valves. But to be fair, you’ll encounter this problem pretty much in any direct injection engine. If you have the first-gen 2.7L Nano engine, you might experience oil pan leaks.

But, likely, many owners have already replaced their faulty oil pans under warranty. But if you happen to find one that still has the old faulty pan, expect the replacement cost to be as high as $500. Aside from those, there isn’t much wrong with the engine and it isn’t a widespread issue.

Ford EcoBoost Problems

2.3 EcoBoost Problems

You might be familiar with the 2.3L version of the Ford EcoBoost engine: it’s the engine Ford uses for their high-profile sports cars such as the Mustang EcoBoost, the Focus RS, and the Focus ST. Other vehicles that use this engine include the Ford Ranger, Everest, Explorer, several Lincoln vehicles, and the base model Ford Bronco.

Are there any 2.3L Ford EcoBoost problems? Not a lot, the engine is mostly very reliable and the “common problems” you might see aren’t exclusive to the EcoBoost engine.

Early versions of this engine had overheating issues but Ford issued a recall in 2015, so it should be fine now. And again, it has the same carbon buildup issue as other EcoBoost engines. But both the overheating and carbon buildup problems aren’t immediately urgent.

However, if you’re planning to buy early Ford Focus RS models, then you might have heard about head gasket issues with their engines.

Ford Focus EcoBoost

The head gasket is a seal that connects the engine block to the cylinder head. It’s there to prevent oil and coolant from entering the engine cylinder, as well as being a cushion for the engine block and cylinder head.

Over time, the head gasket will fail. When this happens, oil and coolant will enter the engine’s cylinders and this affects performance, fuel economy, and the general operation of the engine.

A head gasket will typically last for about 150,000 to 200,000 miles in most cars. However, there have been cases with the 2.3L EcoBoost engine in the early Focus RS model where the head gasket fails prematurely. But why does this only affect the Focus RS and not other Ford vehicles that use this engine?

The problem stems from incorrect head gaskets being fitted into these early Focus RS. While the Focus RS and the Mustang share basically the same engine, there are still differences. In this case, the Focus RS has a different head gasket with different coolant passages than the Mustang.

Some early Focus RS models had the Mustang head gasket installed, rather than the one made for them. Most likely because of vague and ambiguous markings on the part. This incorrect head gasket causes coolant to get stuck, boil, and ruin the head gasket much earlier than it should.

To be fair, this isn’t a widespread problem since this only affects a portion of all Ford Focus RS units. However, you might see this information online and it’s often blown a bit out of proportion. So, we want to remind you that this is unlikely to happen and you shouldn’t worry. It’s certainly not as bad as Subaru’s widespread head gasket problems.

2.0 EcoBoost Problems

Ford uses the 2.0L 4-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine in many cars. Some of the cars include the Ford S-Max, Galaxy, Mondeo, Explorer, Edge, and even the Range Rover Evoque among other cars.

So, it’s quite a popular engine and there have been two generations of the engine. The first generation was produced from 2010 to 2015, and then a new version had to be made in 2015 since Ford had to design their own engine. Up until then, the 2.0 EcoBoost was actually based on the Mazda L engine.

So, are there any 2.0L Ford EcoBoost problems? There are quite a few, actually. And it’s quite surprising to see such a widely-used engine has several notable design flaws. Here are the common problems you might encounter with the 2.0L Ford EcoBoost engine:

1. Exhaust Manifold Problems

Cracking exhaust manifold is a common problem for both generations of the 2.0L EcoBoost engines. This is because the exhaust gas temperature in this engine can reach excessive temperatures, especially when towing or climbing.

The constant heat cycles from the engine expand and contract the stainless steel exhaust manifold repeatedly. Eventually, hairline cracks will develop on the exhaust manifold.

If the exhaust manifold cracks, the exhaust gases will escape from the manifold rather than from the exhaust tips. Not only this is bad for the environment, but your engine will also lose all backpressure in the system.

This means your turbocharger will have to work extra hard even just to produce normal power levels since they require backpressure to operate efficiently. If you have a cracked exhaust manifold, symptoms you will notice include a whistling noise coming from the engine, loss of performance, and the smell of exhaust fumes inside the car.

Unfortunately, exhaust manifolds aren’t cheap to repair. A replacement job can cost as high as $1,000. If you’re planning on towing often, you might want to steer clear of this engine.

2. Boost Control Solenoid Problems

The turbo boost control solenoid is a valve that controls the amount of boost from the turbocharger. It controls the wastegate which controls the flow of exhaust gases to the turbo.

The higher the flow, the faster the turbo will spin and the more boost it will create. If this solenoid goes bad, it won’t be able to open and close the wastegate properly. As a result, the turbo won’t be able to produce the appropriate amount of boost.

For example, if you put your foot down, the turbo should produce more boost as putting your foot down means you want more power. But if the solenoid is bad, it might not open the wastegate in this scenario and you won’t get the boost you need.

As with any other car part, the boost solenoid will fail naturally over time. However, in many other cars with turbochargers, the boost solenoid usually goes bad after about 10 years.

While in the 2.0L EcoBoost, owners are reporting that the boost solenoid fails as early as 50,000 miles. When it fails, you will notice symptoms like loss of power, poor fuel economy, and a check engine light might appear.

The boost control solenoid only costs about $50 to replace. But replacing it might be a bit tricky if you’re not a trained professional. So you’ll probably have to put out around another $80 or so for labor costs.

3. Low-Pressure Fuel Pump Failure

The EcoBoost engine uses two fuel pumps: the low-pressure fuel pump (LPFP) and the high-pressure fuel pump (HPFP). The HPFP’s role is to deliver fuel to the injectors, while the LPFP is there to pull gas from the gas tank and deliver it to the HPFP. The LPFP can become clogged over time, and this can result in engine misfires and incorrect fuel and air mixture since not enough fuel is being delivered.

Keep in mind that fuel pumps in other cars will fail as well, but this is quite a common occurrence for the 2.0L EcoBoost engine.

4. Carbon Buildup

One of the common issues with the 2.0 EcoBoost engine is the carbon buildup on the intake valves. This is due to the direct injection design of the engine. Direct injection engines spray fuel directly into the combustion chamber. While this design is more efficient, it can lead to carbon buildup on the intake valves because there is no fuel being sprayed over them to help clean away the deposits.

Over time, this carbon buildup can lead to a number of problems, such as reduced engine performance, decreased fuel efficiency, and even engine misfires. To prevent this issue, it is recommended to use high-quality fuel with detergents and to perform regular maintenance such as oil changes and air filter replacements. Cleaning the intake valves periodically can also help prevent carbon buildup.

5. Coolant Leaks

Coolant leaks are another common problem with the 2.0 EcoBoost engine. The most common areas for leaks are the water pump, thermostat housing, and radiator. If you notice a puddle of coolant under your vehicle or if the coolant level in the reservoir is consistently low, there may be a leak.

It is important to address coolant leaks promptly because the coolant is essential for keeping the engine at the proper temperature. If the engine gets too hot, it can cause severe damage such as a blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head. Regularly checking the coolant level and inspecting the cooling system for leaks can help prevent this issue.

6. Timing Chain Wear

The timing chain in the 2.0 EcoBoost engine is known to wear out prematurely. The timing chain is responsible for keeping the engine’s camshaft and crankshaft in sync. If the timing chain wears out, it can lead to a variety of problems, including engine misfires, reduced performance, and even engine failure.

If you hear a rattling noise coming from the front of the engine, it may be a sign that the timing chain is worn. It is recommended to replace the timing chain every 100,000 miles, but some owners have reported having to replace it as early as 50,000 miles. It is always best to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the recommended maintenance schedule.

7. Ignition Coil Failure

Ignition coil failure is another common issue with the 2.0 EcoBoost engine. The ignition coils are responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel in the combustion chamber. If an ignition coil fails, it can lead to engine misfires, poor fuel economy, and reduced engine performance.

If you notice that your vehicle is running rough or if the check engine light comes on, it may be a sign that one or more of the ignition coils have failed. It is recommended to replace all of the ignition coils at the same time to ensure optimal performance.

8. Oil Leaks

Oil leaks are a common issue with many engines, and the 2.0 EcoBoost is no exception. The most common areas for oil leaks on this engine are the valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, and the turbocharger oil feed and return lines.

Oil leaks can lead to a number of problems, including reduced engine performance, increased oil consumption, and even engine damage if the oil level gets too low. It is important to regularly check the oil level and to address any leaks promptly.

9. Throttle Body Issues

The throttle body controls the amount of air that enters the engine. It is controlled by the vehicle’s computer and adjusts the air intake based on the driver’s input. Problems with the throttle body can lead to a number of issues, including erratic idle, reduced performance, and stalling.

Common throttle body issues on the 2.0 EcoBoost engine include carbon buildup on the throttle plate, a faulty throttle position sensor, and a damaged throttle body motor. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the throttle body can help prevent these issues.

10. Spark Plug Failure

Spark plugs are crucial for the performance of the engine as they ignite the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber. The 2.0 EcoBoost engine is known for having issues with the spark plugs wearing out prematurely or failing. This can lead to engine misfires, reduced fuel economy, and reduced engine performance.

It is recommended to replace the spark plugs every 60,000 miles, but some owners have reported having to replace them as early as 30,000 miles. Using high-quality spark plugs and adhering to the recommended maintenance schedule can help prevent this issue.

While the Ford 2.0 EcoBoost engine offers a good balance of power and fuel efficiency, it does have its share of common problems. Regular maintenance and promptly addressing any issues can help keep your engine running smoothly for many miles to come.

1.6 EcoBoost Problems

Of all the Ford EcoBoost problems, the 1.6L version probably has the biggest problem. The engine was prone to oil leaks and combined with overheating problems, then the entire engine becomes a fire hazard. This particular problem affects certain models of the Ford Escape.

Then in 2017, Ford issued a recall for over 360,000 Ford vehicles due to engine fire risk caused by coolant circulation problems. Ford vehicles that were recalled include the Ford Escape, Fiesta ST, Fusion, Transit Connect, Ford Focus, and the C-Max hybrid. There have been 29 vehicles with this particular engine that has caught fire due to overheating.

While this is quite scary as far as Ford EcoBoost problems are concerned, the recall should have fixed all of the 1.6L engine’s problems and you are unlikely to encounter it. However, Ford has now retired this engine and replaced it with a 1.5L engine instead.

1.5 EcoBoost Problems

Ford actually has two 1.5L EcoBoost engines. This 4-cylinder version is the new and improved version of the previous 1.6L EcoBoost engine. That being said, the 1.5L does still have some problems.

First, they have cooling system problems due to a design flaw in the engine block and head. It’s not as problematic as the 1.6 EcoBoost, but it’s there and some owners report that they require an engine replacement.

The next problem you might encounter is the fuel injectors leaking or being unresponsive. To be fair to Ford, fuel injectors in most cars will fail somewhere between 50,000 to 100,000 miles, and this isn’t a widespread issue.

But expect to encounter a fuel injector problem with the 1.5L EcoBoost once you reach the 70,000-mile mark. If you need new fuel injectors, they will cost you somewhere around $100 – $300.

1.5 Dragon EcoBoost Problems

This 1.5L 3-cylinder engine from Ford is based on the 1.0L 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine. Ford unveiled this engine in 2017, and since 2018 it has been in several smaller Ford cars such as the Ford Focus, the Ford Fiesta ST, and the Puma ST, as well as the Ford Bronco Sport. This engine churns out anywhere between 150 to 200 horsepower depending on which car it is in.

The engine is only around three years old, so there haven’t been any problems reported by owners since not many of them have done high mileage with the engine. However, some owners have complained about how the engine feels rough and makes a rather unpleasant noise during operation. This is to be expected as 3-cylinder engines are inherently unbalanced and will vibrate and sound rougher than more traditional engines such as inline-4 and inline-6 engines.

Some drivers also complained about how it’s not very fun to drive. Additionally, drivers have complained about the cylinder-deactivation technology. This technology allows the engine to deactivate one of the cylinders when the RPM is low, allowing the engine to save fuel and be more efficient.

However, owners have reported that the engine makes a “boom” when reactivating the cylinder and isn’t particularly pleasant. The engine is well-received in the Fiesta ST, but Escape owners, in particular, aren’t satisfied with the engine.

1.0 EcoBoost Problems

This is the last engine on this Ford EcoBoost problems list. It’s also the smallest EcoBoost engine that Ford makes, the 3-cylinder 1.0L “Fox” engine. This engine makes anywhere between 84 to 153 horsepower depending on which car it is in.

In 2014, Ford recalled about 45,000 cars that had this 3-cylinder 1.0L engine made between 2011 to 2013. The reason was a nylon coolant pipe that was likely going to fail at high temperatures. But since then, this engine has been mostly reliable and if you need a small Ford, this engine comes highly recommended.

Facts: Common Problems and Costs to Repair Ford 3.5L EcoBoost Engines

  • Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost engine is known for its power and fuel efficiency, but certain issues are common in some variants.
  • Intercooler condensation is a problem in some F-150 models due to a design flaw that traps water in high-humidity conditions. A “catch can” apparatus can cost $200 to $400 to fix this issue.
  • Timing chain wear is a common issue that requires engine teardown and replacement of parts, costing over $2,000 for repair.
  • Ignition system issues can cause engine misfires, shuttering, and illuminated check engine lights. Replacing the worn-out spark plugs can cost between $241 and $284.
  • Carbon buildup can restrict airflow into the cylinders, causing power loss, misfires, and rough idling. Walnut blasting can cost $400 to $600 or more to fix excessive buildup.
  • Mechanically savvy individuals can catch some of these issues during a test drive, but it’s best to get a pre-purchase inspection from a local mechanic.
  • Maintenance is crucial for turbocharged engines like the EcoBoost, and neglect can cause premature timing chain wear and other issues.
  • Ford redesigned the intercooler to avoid condensation issues in later years of production.
  • First-gen EcoBoost engines are more prone to carbon buildup due to their direct injection system, while second-gen engines have corrected this design flaw.
  • The cost of repairing these issues can add up, making it essential to maintain the engine and catch problems early on to avoid expensive repairs.

Ford EcoBoost Problems: In Conclusion…

Just like any other engine family, Ford’s EcoBoost has its own problems and reliability issues. The 1.6L had terrifying design flaws that could lead to a fire, but Ford has since done a recall and fixed the problem.

The 2.0L and 3.5L V6 also have some common problems that owners are reporting. And these two engines seem to be the most problematic in the EcoBoost lineup. But for the most part, Ford has done a good job in recalling and fixing flawed components in the engine.

As far as we can tell, the 1.0L and the 2.3L EcoBoost engines are the least problematic. If you’re planning to buy a Ford that comes with those engines, then you can rest easy, as Ford EcoBoost problems aren’t as prevalent in these.

However, we still recommend doing a full inspection of the car if you’re buying it secondhand. A car may look good from the outside, but that doesn’t mean the engine is working smoothly. You can ask your trusted mechanic to do this, or look for car inspection services online. Either way, they should cost you no more than $250.

Ford EcoBoost Problems: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you’re still curious to learn more about Ford EcoBoost problems, our FAQs here might help…

Ford EcoBoost Problems

What Is EcoBoost

One of Ford’s most prized possessions in recent years is their EcoBoost engines. A portmanteau of ECO, denoting its fuel-efficient and low-emissions design, and BOOST, telling you that despite its more eco-friendly nature, it’s more than capable of outputting a lot of performance. This EcoBoost line of engines ranges from 1.0 liter to upwards of 3.5 liters. As for their general design, all EcoBoost engines carry turbochargers and direct fuel injection. As such, it’s capable of guaranteeing that healthy mix between healthy amounts of horsepower, but with plentiful fuel economy. Since 2009, EcoBoost engines have been fitted to a wide variety of Ford models.

How Does EcoBoost Work

Ford’s famed EcoBoost engines adopt a unique combination of a turbocharger and direct fuel injection. So, how do they both work in unison, then? Well, that turbocharger is able to force more air into the combustion chamber. Meanwhile, the direct-injection setup allows for a simpler and more potent fuel injection system. Combined, the turbocharger with direct injection forms a much more potent air-to-fuel ratio. Which, when ignited and combusted, could deliver a healthy and punchy amount of performance. Yet, it has a much cleaner burn rate, thus aiding in reducing fuel consumption (despite the added performance on offer).

How To Join Ford EcoBoost Class Action Lawsuit

At present (and it’s still ongoing, as of writing), there’s a class-action lawsuit against Ford, concerning its EcoBoost engines. Specifically, this lawsuit claims that Ford’s 1.5-liter, 1.6-liter, and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines are prone to coolant leakage. Hence, causing engines to easily overheat and cause significant internal damage. This is due to cracked cylinder walls, faulty engine blocks, and bad cylinder heads (and cylinder head seals). But, this issue doesn’t just impact Ford vehicles, as Lincoln owners suffer a similar issue. Currently, Capstone Law APC is the main legal firm leading the class-action lawsuit on behalf of owners, against Ford.

Is The Ford 3.5 V6 A Good Engine

Ford’s 3.5 EcoBoost V6 is one of its most iconic modern-day engines. It’s an incredibly versatile engine, with Ford cranking out as much as 650hp (or closer to 350hp in most of its cars) from it with simple tuning. Moreover, Ford’s 3.5 EcoBoost isn’t just powerful, but it’s pretty fuel efficient and emits fewer emissions than its predecessors. It still isn’t immune to problems, though. Ford’s 3.5 has been documented to suffer from issues ranging from intake valve carbon build-up, and timing chain issues, as well as faults with the spark plugs and ignition coil. So, be wary of these concerns when you’re out buying a Ford with the (in)famous 3.5 EcoBoost V6.

What Ford Engines To Avoid

Owing to the vast number of vehicles that Ford produces – everything from muscle cars to crossovers and pickup trucks – they have a huge collection of engines to power them, too. Unfortunately, not all of these engines were reliable. So, it’s worth taking a closer look at which ones you should avoid. At the very top of the list are Ford’s Modular series of engines in the late 90s and early 2000s. Specifically, the 4.6, 5.4, and 6.8-liter ones, which are known to suffer countless spark plug issues. In addition, Ford’s Powerstroke 6.0 and 6.4 diesel engines have also been rather problematic. As is, the first-generation 2.7 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost motors.

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Jim White July 20, 2022 - 6:24 pm

You failed to cover the coolant intrusion issue on Ecoboost 2.0, 1.6 and 1.5 engines. There is an active lawsuit against Ford on this issue – and many videos documenting Ford techs doing complete engine replacements – since the root cause is cracked cylinder wall – once it happens the engine is toast. Many failed engines are still under factory warranty – but some are not – failing just past 60K miles. This is a very serious issue – it impacts current owners and the value of Ford vehicles with those engines as their re-sale will be impacted due this reliability concern. A new engine is not cheap – and Ford has not done enough to help owners out of warranty.

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Zack Norman September 29, 2022 - 4:29 pm

Thanks for the comment, Jim White!

Ah, we missed that one, so thanks again for covering it a bit and providing some context into the issue. Cracked cylinder walls are definitely very serious (and hugely expensive to fix!), so I do hope Ford comes around to help owners who’ve had to fix them out-of-pocket.

uptoword November 20, 2022 - 4:24 am

Ford EcoBoost Problems

If you’re experiencing problems with your Ford EcoBoost, there are a few things you should look out for. First, make sure you’re using the correct fuel. Second, make sure your car is properly maintained

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Paul Hadley July 25, 2023 - 4:52 pm

Thank you for sharing your insights on the potential problems with Ford EcoBoost engines. Indeed, ensuring the usage of the correct fuel and proper maintenance are crucial aspects in avoiding or addressing any issues. It’s important to emphasize that using the recommended fuel grade for your vehicle, as specified in the owner’s manual, can help optimize engine performance and prevent potential complications.

Furthermore, regular maintenance is essential to keep the engine running smoothly. Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, including routine oil changes, filter replacements, and overall inspections, can help detect and address any potential issues early on. This proactive approach can potentially save you from more significant problems and costly repairs in the long run.

By being attentive to these aspects, Ford EcoBoost owners can maximize the reliability and longevity of their vehicles. It’s also worth noting that staying informed about any recalls or technical service bulletins related to your specific model can provide additional guidance in addressing potential concerns.

Overall, being diligent in fuel selection and adhering to proper maintenance practices are key steps in maintaining the performance and reliability of your Ford EcoBoost engine.


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