Ford promised a direct-injected EcoBoost engine capable of producing power while achieving better fuel efficiency. But owners generally categorize the engine as under-powered, prone to catching on fire, and subject to shaking, shuddering and stalling.
If you’re considering a Ford vehicle with a EcoBoost engine, here are three things to keep in mind:
1. The EcoBoost Engine is Prone to Catching on Fire
On the list of “really terrible things to have happen to your car”, spontaneous engine fire is right near the top. That’s exactly what 2013 Ford Escape owners with the 1.6L engine found themselves facing, not once, not twice, but three times!
What’s that old saying? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, oh I must own a Ford.
The problem was so bad Ford urged Escape owners to park their cars and not drive them to a dealership for repair. Instead, Ford sent out a fleet of tow trucks and offered each driver a free loaner car. A nice gesture, but it just speaks volumes about how dangerous the issue was.
Ford claims to have found a fix which involves updating software that better manages engine temperatures.
Let's hope it works. It may have worked, but didn’t solve every issue that leaves the engine vulnerable to fires.
On 11/26/13, Ford announced they were recalling 9,500 Escapes because a previous recall might not have worked. Ford said the engine compartment fuel line may have been installed incorrectly when repaired under the prior recall. The placement of the fuel line could cause irritation to the line and cause it to leak.
All affected vehicles, regardless of being “fixed” under the earlier recall, will require an inspection and another “fix”.
2. The EcoBoost Engine Shakes & Rattles, As it Rolls
EcoBoost engines are known for shuddering, shaking and rapidly losing power while accelerating. Some owners say they’ve even experienced stalling and trouble maintaining highway speed in 6th gear.
“The truck ran fine yesterday. I drove it to church, no problems. Took it out to dinner after church, it ran fine. This morning the check engine light is flashing again. [engine shakes, driver laughs]. The entire truck is shaking violently. If it stays in 5th gear or 4th gear […] it’s not shaking nearly as bad […] but if it goes into 6th gear, that’s when the shaking episode starts.”
3. The Lawsuit Against the Ford EcoBoost Engine
In May, 2013 three Ohio Ford owners filed a lawsuit claiming the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine “can shudder, shake and then rapidly lose power while drivers are accelerating.”
The lawsuit says more than 100 drivers have complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the V6 EcoBoost rattling or losing power. Although there have been no federal investigations or recalls about the V-6 EcoBoost, the lawsuit alleges that Ford has known about the problem and informed their dealers, but they left the public out of the conversation.