2.0 EcoBoost Common Engine Problems
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Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Engine Guide

Ford first released the 2.0 EcoBoost engine for the 2010 model year, and it has since become a workhouse. Appearing in more than a dozen models throughout the Ford, Lincoln, Volvo, and Range Rover brands, the 2.0 EcoBoost is truly a stand out engine. Featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection, the Ford 2.0 EcoBoost utilizes some of the best modern tech in the automotive industry. Though it is only a decade old, the 2.0 has already made quite a reputation for itself.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about the Ford 2.0 EcoBoost inline-four engine. We’ll go over the EcoBoost history, technical specifications, vehicle applications, and basic engine design. We’ll also cover the 2.0’s reliability and common problems, and also give a brief mod guide to ramp up the horsepower and torque.

Previously, we’ve looked at the Ford 2.3 EcoBoost and compared the 2.3 vs 2.7 EcoBoost engines. Make sure to give those articles a look for more EcoBoost information.

2.0 EcoBoost Common Engine Problems

Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Engine History

The EcoBoost line of engines is pretty new, with Ford having just introduced it for the 2010 model year. They unveiled three engines that year; 1.6L and 2.0L single-turbo inline-fours, and a 3.5L twin-turbo V6. The point of the EcoBoost was to reduce emissions output and increase fuel economy, while still maintaining larger displacement power levels. To this end, Ford decided to combine small displacement with turbocharging, and it has proved very successful.

All three of the 1.6, 2.0, and 3.5 EcoBoost engines are still in production today, and Ford has added several more over the years. The 2.0 first debuted inside a variety of vehicles in both the North American and European markets. Stateside, the 2.0 was most prominently featured in the Volvo V60 and V70, but soon found its way into the Ford Edge and Explorer, as well as the Range Rover Evoque.

In 2015, Ford gave the 2.0 EcoBoost a refresh and update. The update improved peak power output as well as broadened the overall power band. It also made the 2.0 compatible with all-wheel drive configurations, where previously only front-wheel drive was an option. Ford has continued to use the engine both domestically and internationally. Depending on the vehicle, Ford/Land Rover/Lincoln rate the engine output at 160-250 horsepower and 146-280 lb-ft of torque.

As of 2023, the engine was still being used in a number of vehicles. This includes the Lincoln MKC, Nautilus, and Corsair, as well as the Ford Edge, Maverick, and Bronco Sport. Ford shows no plans of slowing down production on the 2.0, which should have many years ahead.

2.0 EcoBoost Technical Engine Specifications

Engine Ford 2.0 EcoBoost
Engine Family Ford EcoBoost
Model Years 2010-Present
Displacement 2.0 Liters (1,999 cc)
Configuration Inline-Four
Aspiration Turbocharged
Compression Ratio 9.3:1 (Gen 1); 10.1:1 (Gen 2)
Head/Block Material Aluminum
Bore & Stroke 87.5mm x 83.1mm (3.4″ x 3.3″)
Fuel System Direct Injection
Valve Train DOHC, 16V, VCT
Horsepower Output 160-250 horsepower
Torque Output 146-280 lb-ft of torque

Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Car Applications

Gen 1 Domestic Vehicle Applications:

  • 2010–2013 Volvo V60 & V70
  • 2010–2017 Volvo XC60 & T5
  • 2011–2014 Ford Edge
  • 2011–2015 Ford Explorer
  • 2011–2017 Range Rover Evoque
  • 2012–2018 Ford Focus & ST
  • 2013–2015 Ford Escape
  • 2013–2016 Ford Fusion
  • 2013–2019 Ford Taurus
  • 2013–2014 Land Rover Freelander 2
  • 2013–2015 Lincoln MKZ

Gen 2 Vehicle Applications:

  • 2015–Present Ford Edge
  • 2015–2022 Ford Everest
  • 2015–2022 Ford Explorer
  • 2015–2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport
  • 2015–2018 Lincoln MKC
  • 2016–Present Ford Escape
  • 2016–Present Lincoln MKZ
  • 2017–2020 Ford Fusion
  • 2019–Present Lincoln MKC
  • 2019–Present Lincoln Nautilus
  • 2020–Present Lincoln Corsair
  • 2021–Present Ford Bronco Sport
  • 2022–Present Ford Maverick

Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Engine Design Basics

The Ford 2.0 EcoBoost is a 2.0 liter (1,999 cc) inline-four engine with an aluminum head and cylinder block. The block is an “open deck” style, which means it’s less durable than a “semi-closed” or “fully closed deck” block. However, the cylinders have steel sleeves in them, which helps make up for the openness of the block. The cylinder head has an integrated exhaust manifold, which saves weight and helps with flow.

Internally, the engine uses a cast iron crankshaft, forged steel I-beam style connecting rods, and hypereutectic aluminum pistons. The pistons also have oil-squirters for cooling. The engine is partly based on the 2.0 Mazda L engine, which Ford had been using since the early 2000s. Ford equipped all first generation 2.0 EcoBoosts with a BorgWarner K03 turbocharger, running various levels of boost per application.

Valvetrain wise, the Ford 2.0 EcoBoost uses a dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) configuration. There are four valves per cylinder, making it a 16 valve engine. The engine also has Ford’s proprietary Twin Independent-Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) technology for improved power and fuel economy. The camshafts are chain driven.

The cooling system is a fail-safe system to protect the engine. Basically, after the coolant reaches too high of a temperature a warning light comes on, and eventually the engine will start deactivating cylinders to cool down. If the engine keeps operating, eventually it will shut down to protect itself. The Ford 2.0 EcoBoost also has adaptive knock control, which allows for the engine to utilize 87 octane fuel without risking damage.

EcoBoost Direct Injection Fueling

You may have also seen the 2.0 EcoBoost referred to as the 2.0 GTDI. This stands for Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection. While the gasoline and turbocharger are pretty obvious, the direct injection is actually pretty new for Ford. It was originally developed in Europe following the Second World War, but has not been widely used in production automobiles until recently. Ford first started using it in the EcoBoost series, where it has since become a mainstay.

The name “EcoBoost” comes from two important factors: direct injection fueling and turbocharging. Direct injection reduces emissions output and increases fuel economy, hence the “Eco.” In addition, every EcoBoost is equipped with a turbocharger, hence the “Boost.”

So what exactly is direct injection fueling? It’s a form of electronic fuel injection, but with a different style of fuel injector placed in a different location. On standard systems, the injector sits above the intake valve and squirts fuel into the combustion chamber upon the valve opening. While some of the fuel inevitably hits the valve, it serves the purpose of washing the valve clean from carbon.

On direct injection systems, the injector instead sits just above the combustion chamber. It injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber, hence the name direct injection. DI-systems run at much higher fuel pressures than standard systems. Some pressurize the fuel as much as 3,000 PSI – roughly 50x more than a standard fuel injection system.

The high pressure atomizes the fuel as it squirts it into the combustion chamber, which minimizes emissions and improves fuel economy. The DI also allows for more precise fuel injection timing, which also helps to boost fuel economy, improve emissions, and increase performance.

EcoBoost Direct Injection Downsides

While direct injection has a lot of positive characteristics, like improved fuel economy, decreased emissions, and improved power, it also has some significant downsides. One of the most obvious is the increased costs of DI-systems. Basically everything about a DI-system is more expensive, from the injector, to the supplemental high pressure fuel pump, to the fuel rails. The technology is much more complex than older systems, and costs a lot more.

Unfortunately, even though these systems are much more expensive, they are also prone to failure. Part of it is to be expected, as early electronic fuel injection systems had their faults when they were first introduced. The biggest failures have to do with the high pressure fuel pump, and less often with injectors. Especially if you are using high amounts of ethanol, HPFP are prone to seizing up and failing. Injectors have also been known to alternatively seize or become stuck open. With more time and technological advance this will improve, but as of now it can still be an issue.

However, by far the biggest downside of a direct injection system is the buildup of carbon on the intake valves. As we mentioned earlier, in non DI electronic fuel injection systems, the fuel washes over the intake valve which stops carbon deposits from forming. But, since DI injectors sit above the combustion chamber and the fuel does not touch the intake valves, they eventually become caked with excessive carbon buildup.

This leaves them to develop carbon deposits over time. Exhaust valves burn off the excess carbon due to the heat of the exhaust gasses exiting. However, the intake valves see much cooler temperatures, so the oil is never burned off and it leaves behind carbon.

Direct Injection and Walnut Blasting

For the vast majority of drivers, the carbon buildup is minimal and will not affect operation of the engine for well over 100,000 miles. However, in some cases the carbon deposits can become too caked on, which can cause issues with misfiring, starting, and engine stalling. The only way to remove the carbon is through a process known as walnut blasting, which is unfortunately somewhat expensive and not always easy to find.

However, the vast majority of people will not have issues with carbon buildup affecting anything, at least not for well over 100,000 miles.

If you do need to Walnut Blast your engine, we created a guide for you on YouTube! The engine featured is the BMW N54, but the same concept and process applies to the Ford EcoBoosts.

The 2.0 EcoBoost 2015 Updates

For 2015, Ford gave the EcoBoost some pretty significant updates. The aluminum cylinder head with integrated exhaust manifold was revised for the new twin-scroll style turbocharger. Ford also put in new pistons, which resulted in an increased compression ratio from 9.3:1 to 10.1:1. The crankshaft was strengthened from cast iron to forged steel, and new connecting rods and pistons were also put in.

Both the fueling and oiling systems were given moderate upgrades to improve flow and lubrication. The 2.0 EcoBoost is rated to tow up to 3,500 lbs, pretty good for a two-liter four-banger. Horsepower improved moderately, but engines now made torque earlier and sustained it for longer.

By far, the most important upgrade was the addition of a twin-scroll turbocharger. The first generation had a single-scroll, and Borg Warner manufactures both generations of turbos. Twin-scroll turbos increase efficiency and allow for greater power outputs over single-scrolls.

The difference is in how the exhaust gas pulses reach the turbo internals. On single-scrolls, all of the exhaust gas is forced into a single port on its way inside. This causes turbulence and can be overly restrictive. On a twin-scroll, there are two ports instead of one. By separating the pulses, the flow is much smoother and faster, which allows for more pulse energy to be transferred from the exhaust to the turbo. This allows for quicker and more sustained boost response.

Ford’s tuning utilizes this, in conjunction with DI, to massively increase power output and efficiency on the EcoBoosts. It results in earlier peak torque and a flatter overall curve, while increasing horsepower everywhere in the power band.

Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Common Problems and Reliability

Previously, we’ve looked at the common problems and reliability of the Ford 2.0 EcoBoost engine. We’ll just summarize below, but if you want some more in-depth, check out our Top 5 most common Ford 2.0 EcoBoost problems guide. Alternatively, you can also watch the YouTube video below.

Top 5 EcoBoost Most Common Problems:

  • Coolant Intrusion
  • Cracked Exhaust Manifold
  • Turbo/Boost Control Solenoid Failure
  • Low-Pressure Fuel Pump Failure (LPFP)
  • Carbon Build-up

First up is coolant intrusion. There is a flaw in the EcoBoost design where the cylinder head and cylinder block meet together. This allows coolant to leak into the cylinders, as is a product of weak gasket and the open deck block design. This is mainly an issue for first gen 2.0 EcoBoosts, as it was largely rectified with the second gen’s redesign.

Next are cracked exhaust manifolds. As we mentioned, the EcoBoost uses an integrated exhaust manifold on the cylinder head. While this is good for flow and emissions, the manifold is prone to cracking. Exhaust leaks are serious issues on turbocharged cars, as they can result in severe overboosting.

The turbo/boost control solenoids are also prone to failure. These solenoids are responsible for making sure that the turbo achieves the proper boost and does create too much or too little. Some have failed as soon as 50,000 miles, and they seriously impact performance.

The in-tank or low-pressure fuel pump (LPFP) is also prone to failure at times. This fuel pump works with the high pressure fuel pump (HPFP) to supply enough fuel for the engine, and the HPFP is also known to be prone to premature failure.

Our final issue is carbon buildup, which we briefly mentioned earlier. It’s a result of the direct injection system, and is inevitable on all 2.0 EcoBoost engines. Walnut blasting is the only solution, as you can use our linked YouTube video above for instructions on how to DIY.

EcoBoost reliability

Overall, we consider the 2.0 EcoBoost engine to be above average in terms of reliability. These engines can easily go past 150,000 miles without an issue, and many have surpassed the 200,000 mile mark. While the above mentioned problems are serious, they do not affect a huge amount of 2.0 EcoBoosts. The second generation has some improvements over the first generation, to make it even more reliable. But both generations should be considered sturdy and capable.

Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Engine Performance Upgrades

From the factory, the Ford 2.0 EcoBoost engine is already decently formidable. The most powerful versions make 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, which is not too shabby for an economy car not necessarily geared towards performance. In addition, the 2.0 EcoBoost is also capable of towing up to 3,500 lbs, another good feat for a 2.0 liter inline-four.

However, if you are still looking for more horsepower and torque, there are several upgrades you can make. Luckily, we’ve already created a host of Ford 2.0 EcoBoost mod guides. We’ll just summarize them here, and if you want the full in-depth breakdown make sure to check out the linked guides.

Top 5 Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Performance Mods:

  • Tune
  • Intake
  • Downpipe
  • FMIC
  • Fueling

The top 5 best Ford 2.0 EcoBoost performance mods are tuning, performance intakes, downpipes, front mount intercoolers (FMIC), and alternative fueling. While these are in no particular order, we’d probably recommend going with tuning first. Tuning can add 5-15% more horsepower and torque without any hardware changes. Performance intakes are also great mods for adding horsepower, and FMIC are very useful for those living in hot climates.

For those with the Focus ST, Upgraded 2.0 EcoBoost downpipes are also great mod choices. The downpipe connects to the turbocharger, and is one of the most restrictive parts of the exhaust system. Upgrading the exhaust usually involves replacing the stock catalytic converters with high flow cats, which adds a lot of horsepower and torque. Focus ST upgraded charge pipes are also relatively inexpensive mods that can improve airflow while adding minimal power.

We also have guides for the 5 best Ford Maverick upgrades and the 5 best Focus ST performance mods.

Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Engine Guide Conclusion

Overall, the Ford 2.0 EcoBoost engine is incredibly solid. It has above average reliability and produces worthy performance with a good towing capacity. Even though it’s only 2.0 liters of displacement, it can rival many V6s with its performance and power. Depending on the make and model, the 2.0 is capable of as much as 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, as well as 3,500 lbs of towing capacity.

If you’re looking to get even more performance out of the 2.0 EcoBoost, we have several mod guides that should help you with your build. From upgraded downpipes and charge pipes, to full guides for the Focus ST and Maverick, we can help you get your 2.0 build started.

Let us know your experiences with the 2.0 EcoBoost engine below!

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