Much like the whole line of Ford EcoBoost engines, the 2.0 EcoBoost delivers a great balance of power, fuel economy, and reliability. However, it’s also subject to a number of common engine problems and failures. These include coolant intrusion, cracked exhaust manifold, boost solenoid, LPFP, and carbon build-up. In this guide, I discuss each of these common 2.0 EcoBoost engine problems, symptoms, fixes, and reliability.
Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Common Problems
- Coolant Intrusion
- Cracked Exhaust Manifold
- Turbo/Boost Control Solenoid Failure
- Low-Pressure Fuel Pump Failure (LPFP)
- Carbon Build-up
If you would rather consume this content via a video, check out our Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Common Problems video below:
1) Coolant Intrusion
Coolant intrusion has been a major issue on a number of Ford 4-cylinder EcoBoost models including the 1.5L, 1.6L, and 2.0L EcoBoost. To break down the term ‘coolant intrusion’ into simpler terms, there is a defect in the mating surface between the 2.0L EcoBoost’s engine block and cylinder head that allows coolant to seep into the combustion chamber. The 2.0L EcoBoost coolant intrusion issue is largely caused by the engine’s open-deck cooling design which is prone to gasket failure. Cylinders two and three are the most commonly affected cylinders by this issue. This issue was largely fixed with the Gen II 2.0L EcoBoost engines built after April 2019.
This is a very serious issue, as coolant intrusion can lead to potentially destructive results. With coolant constantly leaking into the cylinders, a 2.0L EcoBoost with coolant intrusion issues will consume coolant at a rapid rate, leading to additional problems if you aren’t constantly monitoring your coolant levels. Additionally, 2.0L EcoBoost coolant intrusion can lead to corrosion, misfires, overheating, fouled spark plugs, engine fires, and complete engine failure if not addressed. It has been such a problem in early model 2.0L EcoBoosts that Ford issued a technical service bulletin that can be seen here. There is also an ongoing class action lawsuit about the problem.
For more information about 2.0L EcoBoost coolant intrusion and head gasket issues, we wrote an entire article about it here.
Symptoms of Coolant Intrusion
- Engine overheating (often triggering a P0217 engine code)
- Engine misfiring (especially on startup)
- Lack of acceleration
- Overly rich running engine
These are the most common symptoms of 2.0L EcoBoost coolant intrusion, but not all of them. However, the easiest way to tell is if your EcoBoost is consuming a ton of coolant without any visible leaks under the car. There is no easy solution to the coolant intrusion issue and, in most cases, the affected car needs an entirely new engine. Unfortunately, many 2.0L EcoBoost owners have had an extremely difficult time getting the issue resolved through Ford. Ford won’t repair the issue if the vehicle is out of warranty, even if the affected engine is a low mileage example. Once again, this issue is far more common on first-gen 2.0 EcoBoost engines, as second-gen 2.0Ls switched to a more sturdy deck design.
2) Cracked Exhaust Manifold
Both generations of the 2.0 EB have an integrated exhaust manifold design. The manifold is made of stainless steel and integrated directly into the cylinder head. Note on European version of this engine, the exhaust manifold is not integrated, using a traditional cylinder head with individual exhaust ports and a conventional manifold.
On the 2.0 EcoBoost, exhaust gas temps can reach excessive temperatures, especially when towing or driving up grades. The constant heat cycles created by engines and fluctuating temperatures expands and contracts the stainless steel exhaust manifold. When you combine the continuous expansion and contraction with a vibrating engine, the exhaust manifold can form hairline cracks.
When an exhaust manifold cracks, air begins to seep out of the crack instead of flowing out of the exhaust. While this is not healthy for the environment, it also has significant performance and drivability implications. Turbochargers need back pressure to operate efficiently. When the exhaust manifold cracks, all back pressure is lost which means the turbo has to work extra hard to produce normal power levels.
Symptoms of a Cracked Exhaust Manifold
- Whistling, whining, or chirping noise coming from the engine
- Poor performance
- Lack of acceleration
- Excessive boost or psi from the turbo
- Exhaust fume smells inside the car
Driving with a cracked manifold is a really easy way to blow your whole turbocharger as it makes the turbo spool excessively. Unfortunately, when the exhaust manifold cracks, the repair can be rather expensive. On the 2.0 EcoBoost, the turbocharger is integrated with the exhaust manifold. And the exhaust manifold is integrated with the head.
As noted above, this most commonly occurs while towing vehicles, especially when towing up steep inclines. However, it is becoming more and more common on stock cars under normal driving conditions.
3) Turbo Boost Control Solenoid Failure
The turbo control solenoid or valve, also known as a boost solenoid, is responsible for controlling boost. It is an electronic component that controls the wastegate on the turbo via vacuum pressures and the ECM. The wastegate controls the flow of exhaust gases to the turbo turbine, essentially controlling how much the turbo spins and how much boost it produces.
When the boost solenoid goes bad, it improperly opens and closes the wastegate. When this happens, the turbo either products too much or not enough boost compared to the amount of pressure you are putting on the accelerator pedal.
Boost solenoids naturally fail over time. They are electrical and can go bad from corroded wires, dirt buildup, water, and various other natural wear and tear causes. While on most vehicles, solenoids tend to last around 10yrs or so, boost solenoids on the 2.0 EcoBoost are known to fail in half that time or around the 50k-80k mileage mark.
Symptoms of a Failing Boost Solenoid
- Engine builds no boost under acceleration
- Poor performance, loss of power
- Rapid changes in boost pressure
- Decrease in fuel economy
- P0299 engine code and check engine light
While replacing the boost solenoid costs about $50 for the part, it can be a little tricky to DIY since the valve is located on the turbocharger which is buried in the engine bay. If you are interested in repairing your 2.0L EcoBoost boost solenoid yourself, check out this video.
4. Low-Pressure Fuel Pump (LPFP) Failure
Direct injection fuel systems use two fuel pumps: a high-pressure and a low-pressure pump. Because direct injection systems deliver fuel to the injectors at nearly 30,000 psi of pressure, it would be extremely difficult for one pump to grab fuel from the gas tank and send it all the way to the injectors while maintaining these pressure levels.
Therefore, a low-pressure fuel pump is used to relieve the stress and demand on the HPFP. The low-pressure pump pulls gas from the gas tank and delivers it to the high-pressure pump.
On the 2.0 EcoBoost, the fuel filter that sits within gas tank can become clogged which forces the LPFP to overwork itself trying to pull enough fuel from the tank to send to the HPFP.
2.0 EcoBoost High-Pressure Fuel Pump Failure
It is worth noting that the high-pressure fuel pump is also prone to failure. This is pretty normal on any direct injection engine as the HPFP operates under extremely high pressures. The HPFP has an impeller on the inside of it which builds the pressure and pumps the gas toward the injector. This impeller can break or weaken which results in low fuel pressures.
LPFP / HPFP Failure Symptoms
The result of both of these failure are generally the same. A bad HPFP will deliver low fuel pressure, whereas a bad LPFP will cause the HPFP to not deliver enough fuel.
- Engine misfires
- Air-to-fuel ratios are running lean
- Poor performance
- Lack of acceleration
- Rough idling
- Check engine light
5. Carbon Build-up
As with all direct injection engines, the 2.0 EB suffers from carbon build-up. On DI engines, the fuel is delivered directly to the cylinders via fuel injectors. On port injection engines, the fuel is delivered to the intake manifold where it is then delivered to the cylinders. When the fuel is delivered via the intake manifold, you have highly pressurized fuel passing through it, which helps keep the intake valves clean.
However, with direct injection, the fuel completely bypasses the intake valves. Over time, carbon deposits build up inside the intake valves which restricts the airflow to the cylinders. While excessive carbon build-up won’t happen overnight and likely won’t be noticeable early on, it can have some performance impactions.
As the engine ends up with less air, air-to-fuel ratios can be impacted, overall performance will decline and the 2.0 can lose power and feel sluggish.
Carbon Build-up Symptoms
- Cylinder misfires
- Sluggish performance
- Lack of acceleration
- Rough idling
Usually, the first sign to appear will be misfires, and the misfires will be the cause of poor performance. The carbon develops on all of the intake valves, but it does not do so evenly. Ultimately, various cylinders can have more build-up than others which causes an uneven amount of air to enter each cylinder. Typically, any power losses occur over a number of years so it is difficult to diagnose any issues here before misfires kick in.
The best option to prevent any carbon build-up performance issues is to walnut blast your intake ports. This process uses a shop vac and walnut media shells. The shop vac blasts the shells through the intake ports which clears out all of the build-up.
Walnut blasting typically costs around $500. We recommend doing it every ~80,000 miles on any direct injection engine. Again, this is not something that needs to be done immediately unless you are experiencing serious issues from the build-up.
Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Reliability
The 2.0 EcoBoost is a reliable engine. Generally speaking, there are not very many common problems and the internals and major engine components have solid longevity. Despite Ford building their own block in Gen 2 vs. using the Mazda block for Gen 1, both versions are just about equally as reliable.
These engines should easily withstand 150,000 miles. However, once you break past these mileages, you should naturally expect to start having to replace various material components of the engine and its systems. LPFP/HPFP, water pumps, hoses, turbo seals, etc. are all relatively expensive problems that commonly pop up on high mileage 2.0 EB’s.