The EcoBoost line of turbocharged engines from Ford is popular for being some of the most fuel-efficient powerplants on sale today. These engines can be found under the hoods of almost all modern Fords. However, there are some caveats about EcoBoost engines that require further investigation.
Today, we’ll be focusing on the 2.7 EcoBoost. By the end, you’ll know everything about the most common Ford 2.7 EcoBoost problems, and how to prevent them.
When it comes to the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost, ignition problems, carbon build-up, leaky oil pans, and head gasket issues are some common reliability concerns. If you own a vehicle powered by this powerplant, it is important to be on alert for these troubles.
Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Engine
Ahead of deep diving into its common issues, we thought of giving you an introduction to Ford’s 2.7 EcoBoost.
Made at Ford’s factory in Lima, Ohio, the 2.7 EcoBoost mainly powers the Blue Oval’s truck and SUV lineups. It initially joined the EcoBoost lineup in 2015 with the then-new F150, while a revised second generation entered the market in 2018. The Fusion Sport, Lincoln Continental, Edge Sport, and Lincoln MKX are some other popular models powered by this economical engine.
The 2.7 EcoBoost is a 2694 cc twin-turbocharged V6, making anywhere between 315 and 335 horsepower depending on the make and model of the vehicle. It also produces between 350 – 400 lb-ft of torque, making it an attractive choice for pickup trucks like the F-150.
This Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) engine combines an aluminum block with cylinder heads made from the same material, keeping the overall weight at a minimum. It also has cylinder-integrated exhaust manifolds with water cooling, as well as four valves per cylinder. Other notable features of the 2.7 EcoBoost V6 are its reverse-flow cooling system, direct fuel injection, and the integration of a start/stop system which further improves fuel economy.
The second generation of this engine brought along several improvements for even more efficiency and performance. Now it had an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system which reduced harmful NOx emissions, as well as a lightweight camshaft.
Not only that, but Ford updated the two turbochargers with this second generation as well. Now, they came with a wastegate that was electrically actuated. The addition of a lightweight camshaft and an electronic variable displacement oil pump should also be highlighted.
The latest iteration of the 2.7 EcoBoost powers the brand-new 2023 Ford Bronco, which gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 19 MPG in the city and 20 MPG out on the highway.
With that overview out of the way, It’s time for us to focus on the most common Ford 2.7 EcoBoost problems.
7 Common Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Problems
When going through the history of the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost, several common issues pop up. These include,
- Bad Ignition
- Carbon Build-Up
- Head Gasket Problems
- ECT Sensor Issues
- Poor PCM Calibration
- Leaking Oil Pan
- Faulty Check Engine Light
Want to learn more about these issues? Let’s get into it!
Being a turbocharged engine, you’d expect the 2.7 EcoBoost to have minor issues with the ignition coil and spark park wear. But, according to user reviews, this engine seems to suffer in this aspect more than others.
Failed spark plugs and ignition coils result in impure combustion of the air-fuel mixture. This causes symptoms like engine misfires, intermittent power loss, and engine hesitation, among others.
In addition to the use of turbochargers, the direct injection technology used in the first generation 2.7 EcoBoost engines also intensified spark plug and ignition coil wear. Remember, although modifying engine components will increase the performance, it will also increase the rate at which the EcoBoost chews through its spark plugs and ignition coils.
As some of you may already know, Carbon is a byproduct of the internal combustion process. Over time, excessive carbon buildup can interfere with the engine’s operation, which results in poor performance, bad fuel economy, emissions issues, and much more.
The first generation of 2.7 EcoBoost engines made between 2015 – 2018 are notorious for carbon build-up inside the cylinder head and intake valves. The main cause behind this issue was Ford’s decision to use a direct injection system, resulting in oil blowby.
You see, unlike port injection (which Ford later used in the second generation 2.7 EcoBoost) where the fuel is injected through the cylinder head’s intake ports, the injectors of direct injection engines lay on top of the cylinder head. Although this increases overall engine efficiency, it also increases the risk of Carbon build-up.
Not only that, but Ford’s failure to implement a way of cleaning Carbon build-up without the risk of voiding the warranty also magnified this problem. Rough idling, stuttering, and engine misfires are some common symptoms of this issue.
Luckily, the introduction of dual injection with the 2018 revision of the 2.7 EcoBoost seems to have eliminated this issue once and for all.
Head Gasket Problems
If you know the basics of vehicle mechanical issues, you already know that head gasket problems are one of the worst reliability troubles out there. Sadly, this nightmare came true for some unlucky 2.7 EcoBoost owners. Once again, the first generation is more prone to this problem than the second.
The head gasket issues were brought about due to a manufacturing defect by Ford, who used low-quality gaskets during production. These gaskets would let coolant mix with the engine oil, creating sludge inside the cylinders.
Over time, the EcoBoost will face overheating issues, ultimately ending up with a blown head gasket. Wear on the bearings and engine knocking are two other common engine-related Ford 2.7 EcoBoost problems.
ECT Sensor Issues
The electrical system and wiring harness of the 2.7 EcoBoost engine also has some known defects. Sometimes, failures in the Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor may cause an incorrect warning indicating that the coolant temperature is too high to light up on the dashboard.
Poor PCM Calibration
Similarly, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) on earlier models has been found to be calibrated incorrectly. As a result, the vehicle may once again issue incorrect warnings and error codes.
Leaking Oil Pan
When talking about the 2.7 EcoBoost engine’s reliability, we cannot gloss over its Achilles heel – the leaking oil pan. Just like most of the other issues we discussed, this problem also affects the older, first-generation variants of the engine more than its revised second-generation.
Unlike other conventional engines, which use a metal oil pan, early 2.7-liter EcoBoost engines used one made out of plastic. Although Ford justified this decision by saying that it reduced weight, thus increasing fuel efficiency, ultimately caused more harm than good.
As the 2.7 EcoBoost engine warms up, hot oil accumulates on the oil pan. The heat causes the plastic to expand, resulting in leaks. Most of these oil pans were replaced by Ford under warranty. However, if you are one of the unlucky owners, you’re looking at a repair bill of around $500 for the installation of an updated oil pan.
Faulty Check Engine Light
By now, you already know that the 2.7 EcoBoost suffers from some electrical gremlins. The final problem we’ll be discussing today also falls under this category.
This problem mostly affects newer 2.7 EcoBoost-powered vehicles, generally the ones made between 2019 – 2020. Here, the check engine light will illuminate out of the blue for no reason. Although it doesn’t have any reliability concerns, it still can be a major annoyance, especially when you are in a hurry.
Preventive Maintenance Tips To Keep Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Running Smoothly
Want to increase the reliability of your EcoBoost and keep it running smoothly for longer? If so, here are some tips you should follow.
- Invest In an Oil Catch Can
- Change Spark Plugs and Coils On Schedule
Invest In an Oil Catch Can
From what we discussed so far, you already know that oil blowby causes Carbon residue to build up on the 2.7 engine’s internals. An oil catch can prevent this by extracting and separating oil particles from the air which is circulating inside the engine.
You can purchase an aftermarket oil catch can for the 2.7 EcoBoost for around $150. We believe that this is a worthwhile investment to prevent more severe maintenance issues down the line.
Change Spark Plugs and Coils On Schedule
Early EcoBoost engines aren’t particularly merciful on spark plugs and ignition coils. So, you’ll have to swap them out more often than on other engines.
Ford recommends replacing the spark plugs every 40,000 – 50,000 miles. Similarly, consider replacing the ignition coils every 80,000 miles for the best reliability.
It is safe to say that the 2.7 EcoBoost is one of the most reliable Ford engines in recent memory. By following our maintenance tips and keeping an eye out for known issues, you’ll be able to enjoy this V6 powerplant for years to come.