Ford 1.0 EcoBoost Engine
Zach is a founder of 8020 Media and TuningPro. He’s been repairing, upgrading, tuning, and writing about cars & engines for over a decade. Zach has written over 400 automotive articles and continues to be a lead writer for TuningPro. His passion, experience, and deep technical knowledge make him a go-to resource for readers looking to take their car to the next level.
The Ford 1.0 EcoBoost inline-3 cylinder engine made its debut in the 2012 Ford Focus, C-Max, and B-Max. It’s primarily an international engine with only a small number of Focus models in the US receiving the 1.0L engine. Its small size offers great fuel economy and efficiency at the cost of power; the 1.0 EcoBoost only delivers 84-140 horsepower.
Despite low power the 1.0L inline-3 is still a good engine. The Ford 1.0 EcoBoost won 6 straight international engine of the year awards for the sub 1.0L category. Displacement is actually 999cc making it eligible as a sub 1-liter engine. Anyway, no engine is perfect and that applies here too. In this guide, we discuss Ford 1.0 EcoBoost specs, problems, reliability, and more.
What Cars Use the 1.0L EcoBoost?
The Ford 1.0L inline-3 turbo engine is in the following models:
- 2012-present Ford Focus
- 2013-present Ford Fiesta
- 2012-present Ford C-Max
- 2012-present Ford B-Max
- 2013-present Ford Ecosport
- 2013-present Ford Mondeo
- 2014-present Ford Transit Courier
- 2019-present Ford Puma mHEV
- 2020-present Ford Fiesta mHEV
- 2020-present Ford Focus mHEV
In the United States, the Ford Focus did receive the 1.0L EcoBoost engine starting in 2015. The Focus was discontinued in the US after 2018. Reports show only about 5% of US Ford Focus sales were with the 1.0 inline-3. As such, this engine is primarily in foreign markets where compact cars and smaller engines are more popular.
Anyways, most 1.0 EcoBoost engines deliver 99-140 horsepower. Some Focus models receive a less powerful 84 horsepower variant for 2018 and 2019. On the other hand, mHEV models use a belt-driven starter, alternator, and propulsion motor. Some of these models offer up to 153 horsepower.
Ford 1.0 EcoBoost Specs
Specs for the 1.0 inline-3 EcoBoost engine are as follows:
|Block Material||Cast Iron|
|Valvetrain||DOHC, 12 valve|
|Bore x Stroke||71.9mm x 82mm|
|Compression Ratio||10.0 : 1|
|Torque (lb-ft)||130-200 TQ|
Ford 1.0 EcoBoost engines are ultimately built for efficiency, fuel economy, and low emissions. The sub 1 liter displacement puts in company with few other engines, especially in the US market. However, the use of a turbocharger allows the 1.0L 3-cylinder engine to deliver respectable power and torque.
Interestingly, Ford went with a cast iron block. Cast iron is incredibly strong but it’s also very heavy – a major reason cast iron blocks aren’t common now days. The material does heat up faster which helps lower emissions on cold starts. Otherwise, these specs are pretty standard for a small, efficient engine.
1.0 EcoBoost Performance
There isn’t too much to discuss when it comes to 1.0 EcoBoost performance. If it’s not clear by now – this isn’t an engine designed for power or performance. The main goal of the 1.0L engine is to be economic and efficient. Looking at the 123hp Ford Focus it delivers a 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) time of 9.4 seconds, and a top speed of 129 mph (208 km/h).
Overall, performance is lackluster by modern standards. That said, it does deliver good performance for such a small and efficient engine. Its turbo aspiration also allows for some easy aftermarket potential if you’re really dying for more power.
Ford 1.0L Inline-3 Tuning & Mods
Even simple stage 1 tuning can offer gains in the ballpark of 20-25 horsepower. This is with a 1.0 EcoBoost tune only and no other mods. Then you can add the standard bolt-ons if you’re still after more power. An intake, high-flow downpipe, and intercooler can add some great performance. With these mods and stage 2 tuning you may see 1.0 EcoBoost hp gains of 30-40+ horsepower.
Add it all up and you could possibly end up around 170-180 horsepower. Again, it’s still nothing crazy in todays world. However, it’s pretty darn impressive for a small 1.0L engine. That’s the power of turbocharging. Tuning and basic mods can really take the 1.0 EcoBoost engine to the next level.
Ford 1.0 EcoBoost Engine Problems
The Ford 1.0 EcoBoost did go on to win 6 straight international engine of the year awards. That goes to show the Ford 1.0L inline-3 is a great engine. However, no engine is perfect and that applies to this engine too. A few of the most common Ford 1.0 EcoBoost problems include:
- HPFP Failure
- Carbon Build-up
- Oil Leaks
Throughout much of the rest of this article we will discuss these 1.0 EcoBoost engine problems in-depth. However, it’s important we add a few quick notes before moving along. We are considering the above issues among the most common for good reason. It doesn’t mean the problems are common in the true sense of the definition. Instead, when Ford 1.0 EcoBoost issues do occur these are a few of the most common areas.
That said, 1.0L inline-3 turbo engines do deliver good overall reliability. The small design and minimal cylinders also help keep maintenance costs down. Anyways, we will circle back to the topic Ford 1.0 EcoBoost reliability at the end of the article. For now, let’s move along and discuss the above issues and failures.
1) 1.0 Inline-3 HPFP Failures
Up first are Ford 1.0 EcoBoost HPFP failures. HPFP refers to the high-pressure fuel pump, which is necessary on direct injection (DI) engines. DI relies on extremely high pressure that cannot be achieved with a standard fuel pump. The 1.0L EcoBoost uses a HPFP from Bosch, and the design is the same as found on many other direct injection engines.
The Ford 1.0 EcoBoost fuel pump uses a small piston internally to pump the fuel. It’s then driven by a triangular cam lobe, so each rotation of the camshaft leads to 3 piston cycles for the HPFP. In essence, the piston inside the pump is moving very quickly. Not only does that make it prone to failure, but there are also a few other important parts of the HPFP. The pressure relief valve and fuel control valve are both built into the pump and are a few other possible areas of issues.
Point is – HPFP failures aren’t due to any design flaw or other underlying issues. Instead, it mostly boils down to the nature of direct injection. These pumps run at high speeds and deliver very high fuel pressures (usually in the ballpark of 2,000 to 5,000psi vs 50-100psi for standard fuel pumps). The HPFP simply takes a lot of wear and tear and is prone to failure, especially as it accrues age and mileage.
Ford 1.0L HPFP Failure Symptoms & Fix
Look for the following symptoms that may point 1.0 EcoBoost HPFP problems:
- Long cranking
- Hesitation/stuttering acceleration
- Rough idle
- Poor fuel economy
- Poor engine performance
- Engine fault codes (DTC)
A long crank – especially on cold starts – is a common sign of HPFP trouble. Of course, consider the basics like the battery before automatically assuming long cranks mean HPFP issues. Improper fuel flow often also causes a lot of hesitation or stuttering while accelerating as well as rough idle. Poor fuel economy, performance, and HPFP-related fault codes are also common symptoms.
Fortunately, the Ford 1.0 EcoBoost fuel pump is relatively easy to access. Pumps are also a lot less expensive than they were in the earlier days of direct injection. Still, expect the HPFP to be a $400-600 job if you go to a repair shop for the work.
2) Ford 1.0 EcoBoost Carbon Build-Up Issues
Carbon build-up is another problem pertaining to the 1.0 EcoBoost direct injection system. We actually don’t think it’s fair to consider carbon build-up a true problem. Rather, it’s a downside to direct injection which is otherwise phenomenal technology. DI helps with fuel economy, lower emissions, and more power. It’s almost too good to be true if it weren’t for carbon build-up on intake valves.
Anyways, all engines produce some degree of oil blow by. This oil makes its way into the intake tract where it often sticks to the intake ports and valves. With typical port injection the fuel is sprayed into the intake ports. Detergents in fuel then wipe away any of these oil deposits. However, with direct injection the fuel sprays directly into the cylinder. As such, oil deposits begin to harden on ports and valves and cause what’s known as carbon build-up.
As this occurs, the build-up begins to restrict air-flow into the cylinders. This can lead to many different 1.0 EcoBoost symptoms as well as overall performance problems. The good news is that carbon build-up is rarely a serious issue that’s detrimental to reliability or longevity. Many Ford 1.0 EcoBoost engines will likely go their whole lives without carbon cleaning. It’s good maintenance roughly every 100,000 to 130,000 miles, though.
EcoBoost Carbon Build-Up Symptoms
A few potential symptoms of Ford 1.0 EcoBoost carbon build-up are:
- Rough idle
- Power loss, poor performance
Again, the main issue that carbon deposits cause is uneven or inadequate air flow into cylinders. This can cause symptoms like rough idle and stuttering or hesitation while accelerating. Those symptoms are often due to incorrect AFR’s and engine misfires.
Power loss is the main symptom, but it can be challenging to detect. Carbon build-up occurs slowly over years and years and tens of thousands of miles. The power loss is gradual which can make it tough to notice.
1.0 EcoBoost Carbon Cleaning & Walnut Blasting
Once excessive carbon build-up occurs one of the best methods to clean intake valves is walnut blasting. This involved walnut media shells and a heavy-duty shop vac. The walnut media shells are blasted into the 1.0 EcoBoost intake ports. This helps wipe away deposits and they’re then vacuumed out.
Other methods exist that are a bit more manual and labor intensive. Some use options like soaking the valves in brake cleaner (or other solutions) to get any deposits out. Anyways, intake valve cleaning is mostly labor and can run about $300-600 at a repair shop.
3) Ford 1.0L EcoBoost Engine Oil Leaks
To wrap up the list of most common Ford 1.0 EcoBoost problems we have a pretty generic topic. As such, we’ll keep this pretty quick to keep things moving. It’s far from the first time we’re writing about engine oil leaks. Combustion engines use many different gaskets, seals, o-rings, etc. These parts are often made from rubber or rubber-like materials. Over time, they simply wear down and lead to possible oil leaks.
That’s exactly the case with the Ford 1.0L inline-3 turbo engine. Yes, some premature problems and oil leaks occur. However, 1.0 EcoBoost oil leaks often boil down to wear and tear. Gaskets degrade, begin cracking, and oil leaks develop. Again, it’s an issue on many combustion engines as they age.
Symptoms of Ford 1.0 EcoBoost oil leaks are pretty simple. Look for any visible leaks, burning oil smells, or light smoke from the engine bay. The parts are often cheap seals and gaskets, but labor can add up depending on the specific leak. The oil pan gasket, valve cover gasket, and main seals are a few common areas for leaks.
1.0L EcoBoost Reliability
Is the Ford 1.0 EcoBoost engine reliable? Yes, we believe this engine earns average to above average remarks for reliability. The 1.0L EcoBoost didn’t earn the best reputation in its early days. However, all brand new engines and designs have their share of kinks to work out. Many of the early 1.0 inline-3 turbo issues were worked out within the first couple years. As of now, the Ford 1.0 EcoBoost doesn’t suffer from any major design flaws, problems, or reliability issues.
Of course, maintenance is one of the keys to owning a reliable EcoBoost (and the same applies for any engine). Change all fluids on time, use high-quality oil, and fix problems if/when they occur. Do all of this and the Ford 1.0L EcoBoost can deliver great reliability. Luck does play a role, and sometimes people run into random, fluky failures. We can’t control that, and it can be said for any engine.
In summary, Ford 1.0 EcoBoost engines are very efficient and economic. They’re not all-out performance engines, but considering the tiny 1.0L displacement they do offer respectable power and torque. Combine that with a balance of good reliability, and the 1.0L turbo engine is a great choice.
What’s your experience with the Ford 1.0 EcoBoost? Are you considering one?
Leave a comment & let us know!
Hey Zack, nice writ!
My thoughts have become, after a fair amount of research that, between the GM 1.2 and 1.3L I-3’s, the little ford is the winner. Cast iron block nets more rigidity over the lifespan, despite dreams by talented engineers claiming otherwise. On weight-reduction vs. longevity, iron cannot be beat, with more static-mass as counter to engineered 3D models. In that, and regardless the tiny size; I’m trying to acquire one. I found a ’19 with 98K miles on it, well maintained fleet vehicle, and was considering that for a a test model a la the Volvo that ran 1-Million+ miles.
Keep at it, and if you wish for assistance with your research; hit me up, I’ve been described an “avid” mind(WTF?) and we might split the rewards as it were!
L8r, Gregory W.