Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Engine Problems
Following the success of the 3.5 EcoBoost, Ford introduced the 2.7 twin turbo EcoBoost engine in 2015. The 2.7 liter engine makes a respectable 315-335hp and 350-400tq. 2.7 EcoBoost engines don’t offer quite the same power as the larger 3.5 liter engines. However, it’s more than enough power for most and comes in at a cheaper price. Ford 2.7 EcoBoost engines are excellent, but no engine is perfect. In this post, we discuss some of the most common problems with the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost engine along with overall reliability.
2.7L EcoBoost Specs & Info
Before diving into problems with the Ford 2.7 engine let’s knock out some quick background info and specs. The Ford 2.7 EcoBoost is a twin turbo, direct injection gasoline engine. It’s also known as the 2.7L Nano engine. Let’s look at a few 2.7 EcoBoost specs next to the 3.5 EcoBoost engine:
|2.7 EcoBoost||3.5 EcoBoost|
|Displacement||2,694cc (2.7 liters)||3,496cc (3.5 liters)|
|Aspiration||Twin turbo||Twin turbo|
|Block Material||Compact Graphite Iron||Aluminum|
|Bore x Stroke||83mm x 83mm||92.5mm x 86.6mm|
|Compression||10.3 : 1||10.5 : 1 and 10.0 : 1|
|Torque||350-400 lb-ft||350-550 lb-ft|
Both the Ford 2.7 and 3.5 engines share the same basic V6 twin turbo, direct injection design. They’re also options in the same models, such as the Ford F-150. However, that’s about where the similarities end with the 2.7 vs 3.5 EcoBoost engines. The 2.7L receives a stronger compacted graphite iron block and uses a square cylinder design. Horsepower and torque are also a little lower for the smaller 2.7 V6 EcoBoost when compared to the 3.5L engine.
1st Gen 2.7 EcoBoost
The original variant of the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost is found in the following models:
- 2015-2017 Ford F-150
- 2016-2018 Lincoln MKX
- 2017-2020 Lincoln Continental
- 2019-present Lincoln Nautilus
- 2015-2018 Ford Edge Sport
- 2019-present Ford Edge ST
- 2017-2019 Ford Fusion Sport
2nd Gen 2.7L Nano Updates
One more quick thing to discuss before jumping into issues with the 2.7 twin turbo Nano engine. In 2018, certain models receive the 2nd gen Ford 2.7 EcoBoost engine. It gets a boost to 400 torque. Most importantly, Ford adds port injection to couple with the direct injection that’s already on the engine. This has benefits like reducing carbon build-up, which is a 2.7 EcoBoost problem we’ll be covering.
A few other updates for the 2nd gen include: high pressure EGR system, lightweight cams, an electronically controlled turbo waste-gates. This isn’t an exhaustive list rather just a few notable updates. The 2nd gen Ford 2.7 EcoBoost is in the following cars:
- 2018-present Ford F-150
- 2021-present Ford Bronco
3 Common 2.7 EcoBoost Engine Problems
A few of the most common problems with the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost twin turbo engine include:
- Carbon build-up
- Oil pan leaks
- Spark plugs & ignition coils
As mentioned with the 2nd gen 2.7L Nano engine, the carbon build-up issues only affect the 1st gen engines that don’t have port injection. Oil pan leaks also primarily affect the earlier 2015-2017 1st gen engines. We’ll be diving into the 3 Ford 2.7 EcoBoost problems in-depth below. For now, let’s add some important notes.
We’re calling these the most common problems, which does not necessarily mean they’re actually common. Rather, when failures do occur these are a few of the common areas. Of course, there are tons of other things that can go wrong with an engine too. This is especially true as the 2.7L EcoBoost accrues age and mileage. We’ll discuss each of the above faults and then finish the article with overall thoughts on 2.7 EcoBoost reliability.
1) Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Carbon Build-Up Problems
Starting things up, we’re looking at an issue that affects the 1st gen engines. Calling carbon build-up a problem on the 2.7 EcoBoost might not be totally fair. In fact, almost any direct injection (DI) engine suffers from carbon build-up. All engines experience some oil blow-by. The oil blow-by makes its way thru the intake tract and begins sticking to the intake ports and valves. With port injection, fuel is sprayed into these intake ports and oil deposits are washed away.
Since DI sprays directly into the cylinder there’s no fuel to clean the intake ports and valves. Over time, the oil sticks and hardens on the valves and is known as carbon build-up. This restricts air-flow and can cause 2.7L EcoBoost cylinders to receive inconsistent amounts of air. Carbon build-up isn’t a serious problem that needs fixing immediately. Some Ford 2.7 V6 engines might even go their whole lives without cleaning the intake valves.
However, carbon build-up can cause some drivability issues. It’s enough of a problem that Ford addressed it by adding port injection on the 2nd gen 2.7 EcoBoost engines. Fuel washing over the intake valves ensures excessive carbon build-up doesn’t occur.
*Above picture is from a BMW N54 engine, but serves as an example of what carbon build-up looks like.
2.7 TT V6 Carbon Build-Up Symptoms
Symptoms of excess carbon deposits on the 2.7 EcoBoost intake valves include:
- Rough Idle
- Stuttering / hesitation
- Power loss
Misfires are where the problems begin. Uneven air-flow into the cylinders can cause misfires, which is partially to blame for the remaining symptoms. You may notice the 2.7 EcoBoost is idling rough or feels hesitant while accelerating. Carbon build-up also causes power loss that can be fairly significant in some cases. However, it’s often a tough symptom to notice since it occurs slowly over tens of thousands of miles.
In extreme cases, carbon deposits may affect the intake valves ability to full close. This would result in compression loss as the cylinder wouldn’t seal properly for the combustion process.
Ford 2.7L Nano Carbon Build-Up Fix
Walnut blasting is one of the most common and effective methods of cleaning the intake valves and ports. It involves walnut media shells and a heavy duty shop vac. No replacement parts are needed, but the intake manifold must be pulled off. Walnut blasting the 2.7 EcoBoost engine will likely run in the $400-600 ballpark.
Again, it’s not an urgent repair and some may not ever clean their 2.7 intake valves. Carbon deposits typically don’t pose any major reliability or longevity concerns. We still think it’s great maintenance to keep the engine running well, though. Expect walnut blasting to be good maintenance on 1st gen Ford 2.7 engines every 70,000 to 100,000 miles.
2) 2.7 EcoBoost Oil Pan Leaks
We’ll be fairly quick on this section. Oil pan leaks mostly affect the earlier 2015-2017 1st gen 2.7L Nano engines. The oil pans are made from plastic which isn’t the greatest design. Of course, the oil pan has to hold hot engine oil and plastic is prone to expanding a little bit with heat. That can cause problems with the 2.7 EcoBoost oil pan sealing to the block.
Once the sealant fails oil will begin leaking from the Ford 2.7L engine oil pan. In 2018, Ford remedied the issue with an update to the oil pan design. It’s a fairly small issue in the grand scheme since Ford was quick to fix it. However, it’s worth the mention since it’s one of few design flaws on an engine that’s otherwise pretty reliable.
Ford 2.7L V6 Oil Pan Leak Symptoms & Fix
There isn’t much to say in terms of symptoms. Look for any visible oil leaks under the 2.7 EcoBoost. That’s a dead give-away oil is leaking from somewhere and the oil pan is typically to blame on the early models.
Chances are a decent number of faulty oil pans were already replaced under warranty. Otherwise, parts and labor at a repair shop can add up to roughly $500. It’s not an overly challenging DIY but ensure to be precise with the sealant process.
3) 2.7L EcoBoost Spark Plugs & Ignition Coils
Well, earlier we mentioned it might not be fair to call carbon build-up a true problem as it’s simply a downside to direct injection. Spark plugs and ignition coils are another area that might not be fair to call common problems. However, we’re out of other common problems to discuss on the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost. Spark plug and ignition coil wear is simply the nature of turbo engines. All engines require these parts to be replaced at some point.
However, turbochargers put a lot of extra stress on the ignition parts thanks to high cylinder pressures. On naturally aspirated engines it’s not unusual for spark plugs to last 80,000+ miles while ignition coils can last double that. However, these parts on the 2.7L twin turbo EcoBoost likely won’t last nearly that long. Normally, problems are simply due to standard wear and tear, but premature failures can occur.
Anyways, expect the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost to need new spark plugs every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. Ignition coils will probably last about twice as long. If you start tuning or modding the 2.7L twin turbo engine then the life of these parts can go down drastically. We have some modded twin turbo engines that burn thru spark plugs every 10,000 miles.
2.7 EB Spark Plug & Ignition Coil Symptoms
A few symptoms of spark plug and/or ignition coil faults on the Ford 2.7L include:
- Rough idle
- Stuttering / hesitation
- Power loss
- Check engine light (misfire codes)
Spark plugs and ignition coils both show similar symptoms as they begin to fail. As they wear down they can no longer properly ignite the air/fuel mixture for a complete burn. This causes misfires which lead to many of the other 2.7 EcoBoost symptoms above. We typically recommend replacing all 6 spark plugs at the same time if one goes bad. This is especially true if it’s been a while since they were replaced; chances are the remaining spark plugs are also soon on their way out. The same can be said for the 2.7L V6 ignition coils.
Ford 2.7 V6 Plugs & Coils Replacement
Since the two problems share similar symptoms it can be hard to determine whether the plugs or coils are to blame. Here’s a good way to determine. Check the 2.7 EcoBoost fault codes to see which cylinder(s) is misfiring. Pull the ignition coil from the faulty cylinder(s) and swap them with cylinders that are NOT misfiring. Drive around for a little and pull the fault codes again. If the misfires followed to the new cylinders then ignition coils are likely to blame. Otherwise, it’s likely the spark plugs and you can try the same strategy to confirm.
Fortunately, spark plugs and ignition coils are extremely simple and cheap repairs on the 2.7 EcoBoost. Even less experienced DIY’ers can knock the job out in an hour or two at most. Spark plugs usually run in the $40-100 ballpark while ignition coils can be about $200-300.
Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Reliability
Is the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost engine reliable? Yes. We believe the 2.7 V6 EcoBoost receives above average marks for reliability. The engine really doesn’t suffer from many common problems, especially 2nd gen and 2018+ engines. Ford was quick to remedy the issues with the oil pan leaks. They also added port injection to the 2nd gen 2.7 EcoBoost to help prevent carbon build-up. Ignition parts isn’t something we consider a true common problem, but it does highlight the fact that twin turbo engines can be more demanding on maintenance.
How reliable each 2.7 V6 engine is sometimes simply comes down to the luck of the draw. Unfortunately, we can’t control that aspect. However, there are plenty of things 2.7 EcoBoost owners do have control over. Maintain the engine well, fix problems as they pop up, and allow the engine to warm up before pushing it hard. Otherwise, it all comes down to the basics like using high quality oil and changing it on time.
Maintain your 2.7L EcoBoost well and it will likely reward you with a fun and reliable life. The twin turbo, direct injection design does add some extra maintenance, but we think it’s all worth it. Ford 2.7 EcoBoost engines offer a great balance of power, torque, fuel economy, towing, and fun. It really is a solid engine, overall. Most well maintained 2.7L V6 engines shouldn’t have any major problems making it to 200,000+ miles. That’s pretty good longevity.
Ford 2.7L V6 Common Problems Summary
As we were with the Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine, we’re genuinely impressed with the smaller 2.7 EcoBoost engine. We believe the twin turbo 3.5L engine beats the 5.0 Coyote in almost every regard. The 2.7 EcoBoost might not be quite as potent, but it’s not far behind. It’s also an excellent option as the 2.7L comes in a bit cheaper than both the 3.5 V6 and 5.0 V8 engines.
Early 1st gen 2.7 EcoBoost engines run into some problems with carbon deposits and oil pan leaks. Ford was quick to fix both issues as they updated the oil pan and added port injection on later engines. Otherwise, ignition parts were the only other thing we could even think to write about. They’re not true issues but do highlight an important fact – turbo engines can be a little more demanding on maintenance.
Nonetheless, maintain the Ford 2.7 engine well and it’s an awesome, reliable engine. Chances are some small issues will pop up with long ownership, especially as the cars age and accrue mileage. That can be said for any engine, though.
What’s your experience with the 2.7 EcoBoost? Are you considering one?
Drop a comment and let us know! Or check out our 3.5 EcoBoost Common Problems article