Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Engine Problems - 2.7L Nano
| |

The 3 Most Common Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Problems

About Zach Mayock - TuningPro Founder & Writer

Meet Zach

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.

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. Ford 2.7 EcoBoost engines are excellent, but no engine is perfect. The engine is prone to some issues including carbon build-up, oil pan leaks, and the ignition system. In this post, I discuss these common problems with the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost engine along with overall reliability.

Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Engine Problems - 2.7L Nano

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

If you would rather consume this content via a video, check out our Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Common Problems video below:

1) 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 which causes carbon build-up. This restricts airflow 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.

Ford 2.7L EcoBoost Carbon Build-Up

*Above picture is from a BMW N54 engine, but serves as an example of what carbon build-up looks like.

2.7 EcoBoost Carbon Build-Up Symptoms

  • Misfires
  • Rough Idle
  • Stuttering / hesitation
  • Power loss

Misfires are where the problems begin. Uneven airflow 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 fully close. This would result in compression loss as the cylinder wouldn’t seal properly for the combustion process.

Carbon Build-Up Fix

Walnut blasting is one of the most common and effective methods of cleaning 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) 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.

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 giveaway 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) 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.

Anyway, 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.

Spark Plug & Ignition Coil Symptoms

  • Misfires
  • 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.

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 engine deserves 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 aren’t something we consider a true common problem, but it does highlight the fact that twin-turbo engines can be more demanding on maintenance.

Ford 2.7 V6 engine reliability 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 it 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-term ownership, especially as the cars age and accrue mileage. That can be said for any engine, though.

Similar Posts

41 Comments

  1. I have a 15 2.7 f150. I oil pan was resealed twice. Now it has a new pan. Hopefully this is the last time. (my warranty is almost over. I just hope that is the only problem I have with this Motor.

  2. I had the oil pan replaced under warranty..
    Misfiring was there,then rectified but
    it remains still..

    But the best I felt about this engine is the mileage.. 😁

  3. 18 2.7l stx 4×4 heavily modified.. this was a great article! I am one of those guys that have to replace the plugs every 10-12k. All 2.7 18+ be sure to use Motorcraft SP578. They do not like any other brand of plug, I’ve learned myself.. these plugs will last much much longer and you will have better MPG and less mechanical issues.
    This was a great article! One of the best and most informed, accurate I’ve read about the ecoboost f-150! Thanks for sharing

    1. We appreciate the positive feedback! Thank you for the input on spark plugs, too. It’s definitely important to have the right spark plugs – especially when increasing boost and power.

      Sounds like you’ve got an awesome truck. We’re all too familiar with the 10k mile spark plug changes and even sooner sometimes. It’s all worth it in the end, though.

      Best Regards,
      Zach

  4. My friends 2015 lost the main belt and destroyed the radiator in her ecoboost at 100k miles. Change those belts!

  5. 2015 2.7l f150. 111,800 miles. I went to replace plugs at 100k but they still looked brand new no wear at all so imma keep the OE ones in. No issues, no carbon build up, oil pan leaks. I only use 91 octane, change oil and filter every 3k miles with either rotella gas engine full synthetic or Mobil 1 full Syn. I have S&B air intake, full race intercooler, SPD Downpipes, 3″ exhaust w/ magnaflow muffler. Stock tune. Had oil analysis done at 100k miles, black stone stated no wear materials indicates engine is still like new. Hears to another 100k miles

  6. Brand new to this 2.7 engine. I am using 91 oct. gas and have ethanol free 91 available. Should I use ethanol free gas when available?

    1. Hi Don,

      There shouldn’t be any issues with running ethanol free gas in the 2.7 EcoBoost. Though, I don’t think there’s much upside apart from slightly better fuel economy. In the aftermarket/tuning world higher ethanol is generally a good thing. It burns cooler and cleaner than gasoline and greatly reduces the chance of pre-detonation. However, regular pump gas only contains up to 10% ethanol, so it’s unlikely to provide any real benefits.

      Ethanol free gas is also generally more expensive, so the roughly 3-7% improvement in fuel economy will likely be wiped out by higher cost. In essence, you can run ethanol free gas but I don’t really see any notable benefit or reason to do so.

      Best Regards,
      Zach

    1. Hi Michael,

      A quality oil catch can certainly won’t hurt. Some debate whether or not they truly work, but in theory they do. It should help slow down carbon build-up, but it’s not a complete solution. Without consistent fuel flow over the valves they’re still going to experience some degree of carbon build-up.

      If you’re planning to own the 2.7 EcoBoost for the long-run then it’s not a horrible idea. A catch can should buy some extra time between intake valve cleanings. If you have the tools and experience to DIY the intake valve cleaning it might not be worth it, though. Sorry if this isn’t the direct answer you’re looking for, but it really depends. Oil catch cans are a good investment for some, but for others it might not make sense. Again, it should slow down the carbon build-up.

      Best Regards,
      Zach

    2. If 2.7L is 2018 or newer the catch can is a waste and is completely in-needed. That’s why Ford went to direct and port fuel injection. Use premium oil and Top Tier fuels. Peace

  7. Great overview! I own Ford Fusion sport with 2.7l engine and it works well. I drove more than 100k kilometers and changed spark plugs once as preventive maintenance. Also I have an oil pan leaking, so, need to perform exchange for a new one. However, the oil drips very slowly, and do not cause oil level change, so maybe it’s better not to change it over before a large leak occur? The point is that some owner has already changed the oil pan twice and it continues leaking. What do you think?

  8. Is walnut blasting the only way to resolve the carbon build-up? Are there any additives that would adequately clean the carbon?

    1. Hi Jim,

      Once carbon deposits form it’s really hard to clean them with any additives. Fuel additives are out of the question since there isn’t any fuel flowing over the valves or ports. There are some intake sprays that MIGHT help slow down carbon build-up. However, once some build-up is there the spray just isn’t enough to clean anything effectively. Catch cans might also help slow build-up. Ensuring the PCV system is functioning well also helps slow the process.

      Combine all of this together and you’ll like buy some extra time between intake valve cleaning. It’s not going to completely eliminate carbon deposits, though.

      We’re very familiar with the BMW N54 engine, which came out in 2007. We’ve been around that platform for over a decade, and still to date there is no simple solution to eliminate carbon build-up. Apart from adding port injection and/or spraying a LOT of water-methanol injection often. This is exactly why some manufacturers – including Ford – are starting to combine port and direct injection.

      Best Regards,
      Zach

  9. 2015 F150 4×4 2.7, purchased used with 21,000 mi 3 yrs ago. .Love this truck! Just had a leaking turbo oil pressure switch replaced at 40 k. No other leak issues

  10. Love the way my 2016 2.7 looks, feels and drives, when it doesn’t have problems. When I pull a trailer is when I have the issues. Sometimes the truck randomly shuts off at stop lights and takes a few minutes to start back up. The truck just went into limp mode while pulling a Polaris razor over a Colorado mountain pass. That is where I am at now, truck on trailer. People tell me about replacing the throttle body is the fix. I have had the truck in to fix oil leaks on valve covers already. Any insight would be appreciated as I would really like to have faith in the truck, but it is not happing. 66K miles.

  11. 2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7 – consistently noticed exhaust odor in the cabin under firm acceleration, from about 68K. Dealer techs confirmed the odor problem but said it was from oil leaking from the plastic pan onto the hot exhaust pipe. Oil pan replaced under extended warranty but exhaust odor persists inside cab at 72K. Is this a 1st gen problem I have to live with – AC off and windows open? How to fix?

    1. I have heard the exhaust is coming through the tailgate seals. My 2016 Edge Sport has the same problem, which I notice only on WOT acceleration. The 2021 Explorer ST has fake exhaust tips which direct the exhaust to the ground and not straight out the back. The intent is to keep the exhaust from entering through the tailgate seals. Ford needs to rethink their tailgate seal issues.

  12. I have a 2017 2.7l that has treated me very well and has 187k on it so far with only routine maintenance. Did have a fluke alternator go out before I hit 5,000 miles but otherwise flawless.

  13. I bought my 2016 f150 with the 2.7tt in Feb of 2017, I had problems immediately, a quart of oil gone for every 1,000 miles driven. Oil leak issue addressed, waste gate module eventually replaced, as well as the turbos, at 43,000 miles the left bank shattered due to the tech not torqueing the crank bolt after the turbo replacement work. I now have a 2nd gen 2.7 (took 6 months of fighting with Ford and the engineers to get fixed properly) and now have 12,000 miles onto the new engine, my economy went from 21.1mpg to currently at 24.4 mpg. I am very happy with the new motor.

  14. I’ve recently purchased a ’16 f150 with eco boost motor, it had 37500 miles. It doesn’t get driven alot..150 miles a month or so. Upon the first start up of day I get a cloud of white smoke from exhaust for 5 seconds. Dealership said its condensation within the exhaust probably from not driving much. I was thinking that could be the case and was told to start up daily and let come to temp. I have some solid warranty in place yet but wondering if I should push further testing. Any thoughts…Thanks, Ray

    1. TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN 19-2188
      2.7L EcoBoost – Excessive White Or Blue Smoke From The Exhaust At
      Start Up After A Cold Soak

      1. I’ve had my ford in for the same issue blue white smoke at start up at 52m they replaced the left turbo supply line until warranty now did it again at 77m . They call me and said I need a new engine at $14000 how convenient now it out of warranty. Ford won’t fully replace the vehicle or take responsibility for defective engine . It sucks im a one owner only serviced at same dealership every 6m miles now I need a new engine . Ford sucks I’m having them replace the engine but I’m dumping the ford after my 3 ford it’s crazy !! Never again will I buy another ford !!
        Ford doesn’t stand behind there product clearly!!

  15. I’ve owned 2004 4.6. 2010 4.6. 2017 5.0 coyote and now the 2019 2.7l.
    I don’t haul any big trailers but the bikes and sleds I do haul. No issues with the 2.7. On her own in sport mode she feels just as fast as the Coyote was. Maybe even quicker. I was a little sceptical at first. Go big or go home attitude. But pleasantly surprised.
    G in Ottawa

  16. I absolutely love my 2017 MKX black label 2.7 eco-boost engine. I drive like a race car driver and beat the hell out of this engine every single day. Lincoln should pay me to test drive and tortured test their vehicles because that’s what I do every single day and I am an expert. There isn’t a day that this engine does not see speeds of 100 mph. I am amazed at what this engine can do and the abuse It could take. To give you an idea of how hard I drive my car I am averaging about 14 to 15 miles per gallon on a car that should get 24. If you take the time and actually test drive a 2.7 engine Lincoln you will buy that car over any Lexus or Acura.

  17. Recent motor oil formulations are supposed to be addressing the DI intake carbon deposit problem. Just as the detergents and additives in gasoline were formulated to address the issue. Is one of the parameters the EPA uses to set minimum standards for additives and for quantity to use.

  18. 145,000 miles. Always change the oil sooner than recmmended. Love this truck. No problems so far. Loved this information I can understand and follow. Does a fuel additive help with Carbon build up?

    1. Short answer: No. Fuel additives will not help with carbon buildup.

      Slightly longer answer:
      If you have an early model with direct injection the fuel will not wash over the intake valves. So fuel additives won’t do anything to prevent or remove any carbon buildup.

      Newer versions have port injection, meaning fuel is injected so it washes over the intake valves keeping them clean. This does not recuire any fuel additives.

      The year model where they added port injection can be found in the article.

  19. I bought a 2021 Lincoln Nautilus and we live on a hill and the 2.7 has no compression when cold going down the hill. If warm, second gear holds the speed to 20 mph with no braking. I’ve talked to the dealer but I’m wearing out brakes fast. Any idea why they program it this way and what can I do other than warm it up and waste gas? Please.

  20. 97,000 miles and still running fine. 2016 F-150 4×4 with 2.7L V-6. 18-19 mpg city/hwy. Guess I’ll need to check out carbon build up and new plugs and coils maybe. It is still running smoothly.

  21. Newbie here to the 2.7L GDI motor – 2015 Ford F150. Just bought with 53K miles. This forum is GREAT – appreciate everyone’s input. If anyone has proven results for getting the intake valves cleaned and helping to maintain, please add a thread. So far I see adding a can to trap oil vapor helps. Will any of the intake additives from Berrymans, BG or CRC harm the turbo or catalytic converter? Seems worth a try if not as I have a small rough idle and not getting the fuel economy I should.

    1. Lanny – an oil catch can will help a lot. Outside of that your best bet is to get it walnut blasted as necessary. Fuel injector cleaner won’t hurt the turbo or cats so it isn’t bad to use every once in awhile but you don’t need to be adding it every time you fill up.

      1. So appreciated Jake. I just received Berryman’s 2216 cleaning kit and am researching catch cans. Any recommendations? 50.00 – 500.00 and lots of opinions.

        1. UPR has a solid base kit for something around $150. The stuff that is $400+ is usually dual valve or a dual can setup which is a bit overkill for what you need, in my opinion.

  22. 2015 F150 2.7 ecoboost with 165k miles. I have had this truck since new and have followed the recommended maintenance schedule including replacing the radiator fluid at 150k miles. I use regular unleaded gas and I have had no issues up until now. On my last trip pulling my 7500# 5th wheel RV I am starting to experience overheating and loss of power when climbing. I never had this happen before. I checked the engine temperature against the transmission temperature and they both get hot until I crest the hill, then in less than 1 minute both temperatures drop back to normal. In addition I also started getting the dreaded wrench warning light come on but not at the same time as when it was overheating. The repair shop didn’t see any problems when they checked it out. Any one else experience this? Any suggestions? I love this truck so I don’t want to replace it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *