The Four Most Common Ford 1.5 EcoBoost Issues. The Ford 1.5 EcoBoost turbo engine, a somewhat smaller variant of the 1.6L engine, was introduced in 2014. This was due in part to lower Chinese automobile taxes for 1.5L or smaller engines. Despite the modest reduction, the engine performs similarly to the 1.6 EcoBoost. The Ford Fusion and Focus models have roughly comparable power outputs of 181 horsepower.
Overall, the 1.5 EcoBoost engine strikes an excellent blend of power, dependability, and efficiency. Having said that, there are some serious engine issues that can plague the 1.5L EcoBoost, even at modest miles. In this article, we’ll go over some of the most typical Ford 1.5 EcoBoost engine issues, as well as general reliability.
What Vehicles Make Use of the 1.5L EcoBoost?
Before we get started on the main problems, let’s talk about the 1.5 EcoBoost engine. It is used in the following Ford vehicles and years:
- Ford Focus from 2014 to 2018
- From 2014 through 2020, Ford Fusion
- Ford Escape from 2017 till the present
- Ford Mondeo from 2015 till the present
- From 2015 to the present, Ford C-Max
The Ford Focus and Fusion in the United States have 181 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. There’s also the Ford Escape 1.5 EcoBoost, which has 179 horsepower. Some 1.5L turbo engines in foreign vehicles only produce 148-158 horsepower.
Ford 1.5 Turbo Specifications
The following are the specifications for the Ford 1.5 inline-4 turbo engine:
- Inline-4 configuration
- Turbocharged intake
- Fueling Method: Direct Injection
- 79mm x 76.4mm Bore x Stroke
- 10.0: 1 compression
- Head and block are made of aluminum.
- DOHC, 16 volt valves
- Max Horsepower: 181hp @ 6,000 RPM
- TQ maximum: 185 lb-ft @ 4,300 RPM
All of these specifications are very normal for current high-efficiency engines. Small displacement improves fuel economy and reduces pollution. A turbocharger enables the little 1.5 EcoBoost to provide impressive power given its size. Direct injection is wonderful for performance and emissions, but it has a few drawbacks that we’ll go through.
Four Common 1.5 EcoBoost Issues
The following are some of the most prevalent problems with the Ford 1.5L EcoBoost turbo engine:
- The cooling system
- Carbon accumulation
- Injectors for gasoline
- Plugs and ignition coils
We’ll go through the above issues in detail throughout the rest of this post. Finally, we discuss the 1.5 EcoBoost’s dependability. However, it is critical to take a few quick notes beforehand. For good reason, we call these the MOST COMMON Ford 1.5 EcoBoost issues. This does not necessarily imply that they are actually common in the classic sense of the term. Rather, these are a few common areas where problems or failures arise.
However, all engines are susceptible to failure. This is especially true with some of the newest turbocharged direct injection engines. There is more technology in general, more parts that can fail, and more standard maintenance expenses. That fact will be highlighted in one of the following sections. Anyway, let’s get started and look at a few issues with the 1.5L EcoBoost engine.
1) Problems with the 1.5 EcoBoost Cooling System
In our 1.6 EcoBoost frequent difficulties post, we looked into this issue a little more. With that engine, there were a few items to unpack. Some of the same issues appear to be present in the newer 1.5 inline-4 engines as well. A lawsuit has been filed against the 4-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engines because of cooling issues. It doesn’t appear to be as common on the 1.5 as it is on the 1.6, but it’s still enough that the 1.5 EcoBoost is included in the complaint.
1.5L EcoBoost Coolant Infiltration Issues
Coolant intrusion has been a source of concern for Ford’s 4-cylinder EcoBoost vehicles, particularly the 1.5L, 1.6L, and 2.0L. While the 1.5L EcoBoost is less prone to problems, several Ford owners have reported coolant intrusion concerns with their 1.5L inline-4. To put it simply, coolant intrusion occurs due to a weakness in the mating surface between the engine block and cylinder head, which allows coolant to flow into the combustion chamber. This is mostly due to the open-deck cooling architecture of the 1.5L EcoBoost, which is prone to gasket failure. This has the greatest impact on Cylinders 2 and 3. However, the Gen II 1.5L EcoBoost engines introduced after April 2019 mostly resolved this issue.
This can result in severe, and sometimes fatal, engine difficulties. If coolant is frequently leaking into the cylinders, your 1.5L EcoBoost can deplete coolant quickly, leading to further issues if the levels are not checked on a regular basis. Coolant intrusion can cause corrosion, misfires, overheating, fouled spark plugs, engine fires, and even full engine failure if not corrected. It grew so bad that Ford published a technical service bulletin about it, and a class action lawsuit is in the works.
We usually avoid covering recalls and lawsuits because the information is readily available. In any case, the fault appears to be in the design of the block and head. Coolant leaks into the combustion chambers, resulting in low coolant, corrosion, misfires, and, in extreme cases, engine failure.
Ford 1.5L Turbo Coolant Replacement
When coolant incursion is present on a 1.5L EcoBoost, it is fairly obvious. The most obvious symptom is if your engine is consuming a substantial volume of coolant although there are no visible leaks beneath the vehicle. Unfortunately, repairing the coolant intrusion problem is a difficult process that frequently necessitates the replacement of the engine. Many 2.0L EcoBoost engine owners have had difficulty getting Ford to resolve the issue, especially if the vehicle is no longer under warranty. Because the second-generation engines have a more robust deck design, this issue is more widespread in the first-generation 1.5L EcoBoost engines.
In any case, it’s critical to keep an eye on coolant levels. Low coolant levels can lead to overheating, which can lead to additional long-term reliability and longevity issues.
2) Carbon Build-Up Issues with Ford 1.5 EcoBoost
Carbon build-up is a common concern with modern engines. Previously, port injection was the major technique of fuel delivery. However, direct injection (DI) offers numerous performance and efficiency advantages. As a result, numerous engines, including the Ford 1.5 EcoBoost, have transitioned to DI. It’s fantastic technology for many reasons, but it does have a problem.
Oil blow-by occurs in all engines to some extent. This oil then enters the intake tract, where it adheres to intake apertures and valves. Fuel sprays into the intake ports of a typical port injection system, wiping away any oil blow-by. DI, on the other hand, directly sprays fuel into the cylinders. There is nothing available to clean the valves. This causes carbon to accumulate on the 1.5L EB intake valves and ports.
Carbon buildup rarely causes other reliability or lifetime issues. Some 1.5 EcoBoost engines will very certainly spend their whole lives with excessive carbon deposits. However, it can create many drivability and performance concerns, therefore cleaning the valves is good maintenance. Carbon buildup issues on the Ford 1.5 EcoBoost should appear between 80,000 and 120,000 km.
Symptoms of 1.5L EB Carbon Build-Up
Excess carbon deposits on the Ford 1.5 turbo engine cause the following symptoms:
- Power outage
- Idle time
- Ineffective operation
Excess carbon deposits begin to limit airflow into the cylinders. As a result, the 1.5 EcoBoost will lose power, which can be significant at times. However, it is one of the most difficult symptoms to detect. Carbon buildup develops over years and tens of thousands of miles, resulting in incremental power reduction.
Otherwise, keep an eye out for poor overall engine performance. Misfires, harsh idle, stuttering while accelerating, and other issues may be observed. However, these might all be signs of a variety of other problems.
Cleaning the Ford 1.5 EcoBoost Intake Valve
Walnut blasting is a time-tested process for removing carbon deposits from intake valves and ports. Cleaning the intake valves is primarily work, so it’s inexpensive maintenance if you’re a good do-it-yourselfer. A shop vac and walnut medium shells are required for the job.
To have access to the intake ports, the 1.5L inline-4 intake manifold must be removed. Once inside, the walnut blasting process takes around an hour or two, depending on the amount of build-up. At a repair shop, this job should cost between $400 and $600.
3) Clogged 1.5L Inline-4 Fuel Injectors
Another shortcoming of some direct injection engines. Since using DI, many manufacturers have had problems with high-pressure fuel pumps, injectors, and other fueling concerns. Some Ford Fusion, Focus, and Escape models equipped with the 1.5 EcoBoost have fuel injector issues.
Fuel injectors can malfunction in a variety of ways. One of the most common seems to be fuel injector clogging on the 1.5 GTDI engine, therefore that’s where we’ll concentrate our efforts. However, leaking or unresponsive injectors do occur on occasion.
Of course, fuel injectors are critical to the 1.5 EcoBoost’s operation. Faulty injectors can cause a variety of drivability concerns. It’s not a typical occurrence, but look for potential concerns north of 70,000 miles.
Problems with the 1.5 EcoBoost Injector
The following are some signs that may indicate a problem with the EcoBoost fuel injectors:
- Cranks that are long
- Idle time
- Inadequate fuel economy
The troublesome cylinder will not receive enough fuel flow if the injector is clogged. There is too much fuel in the case of a leaking injector. Long cranks, choppy idle, and misfires are all possible symptoms of Ford 1.5 EcoBoost injector difficulties. Leaking injectors may also result in low fuel economy.
Fuel Injector Replacement for Ford 1.5L
Depending on the specific issue of the fuel injector, you have a few possibilities. Leaking injectors almost certainly require new seals, but this is a time-consuming process. There are additional methods for cleaning blocked fuel injectors. But that isn’t necessarily the best long-term answer.
Fortunately, a set of four fuel injectors for the 1.5 EcoBoost costs between $100 and $300. Because they are quite inexpensive, some people choose to simply replace the injectors. If the operation is done at a repair shop, fixing or cleaning the seals may cost as much as buying new injectors. However, it is a terrific way for the do-it-yourself type to save money.
4) Plugs and Coils for Ford 1.5 EcoBoost
This part will be brief before going on to 1.5 EcoBoost reliability. Spark plugs and ignition coils are routine maintenance items. As a result, we don’t think it’s fair to call them a fault on the EB turbo engine. Premature failures do occur, although they are uncommon. This topic concerning plugs and coils, on the other hand, is here for a reason.
Modern turbo engines, such as the 1.5 EcoBoost, can be a little more demanding in terms of routine maintenance. Turbo boost raises cylinder pressures, necessitating a higher spark. As a result, spark plugs and ignition coils wear out faster than in normally aspirated engines. The 1.5L EcoBoost, on the other hand, is a little engine with minimal boost and output. It shouldn’t be as taxing as some of the larger engines, such as the 2.7 or 3.5 EcoBoost.
Anyway, plugs and coils are simple components that can cause a variety of symptoms. Those who run tunes or other upgrades on their 1.5 EcoBoost will most likely have substantially shorter spark plug and ignition coil lifespan. Spark plugs may not be required in stock engines until over 70,000 miles, and ignition coils can last roughly twice as long.
Symptoms of 1.5L Inline-4 Plugs and Coils
The following are some signs of aged, worn spark plugs and ignition coils:
- Idle time
- Inadequate performance
As plugs and coils deteriorate, they are unable to fully ignite and burn the air-fuel mixture in the cylinder. Misfires are frequently the first indicator of this. As they age and deteriorate, you may experience misfires and poor overall performance.
Replacement Spark Plug for Ford 1.5 Turbo
Spark plugs and ignition coils are two of the simplest maintenance parts to replace. Even inexperienced DIYers can do it in an hour or two in the driveway. A set of four spark plugs costs roughly $30-50, while ignition coils cost between $100 and $200.
Reliability of the 1.5L EcoBoost Turbo
Is the 1.5 EcoBoost engine from Ford dependable? Yes, we believe the 1.5L inline-4 turbo engine gets average to above-average reliability ratings. The Ford 1.5 EB has few notable design issues aside from the less-than-ideal open deck design. Some complaints and concerns have been raised about engine block/head faults that allow coolant to seep into cylinders. While it is possible, the issues do not affect every model, with some 1.5L EcoBoosts lasting well over 200,000 miles.
However, some dependability is simply a matter of chance. We have no control over that, but we do have control over upkeep. This is true for any engine, not just the 1.5 EcoBoost. Use high-quality oils, change fluids on time, and address problems as they arise. If you do all of this, the 1.5L turbo engine will most likely last a long time.
Summary of Ford 1.5 EcoBoost Engine Issues
The 1.5L EcoBoost debuted in 2014 as a smaller version of the previous 1.6 EcoBoost. It provides an excellent overall combination of pricing, fuel economy, dependability, and performance. Although 181 horsepower may not be appealing to some, it is sufficient for many Focus, Fusion, and Escape owners.
The 1.5 EcoBoost, like all engines, has a few flaws to be aware of. There are various lawsuits involving coolant leaking into cylinders, and some of these cases result in engine replacement. Fuel injectors occasionally fail, but it’s a minor and inexpensive issue in the great scheme of things. Otherwise, carbon buildup is simply a disadvantage of an otherwise excellent technology.
Turbo engines, such as the Ford 1.5 EcoBoost, might be more difficult to maintain. However, it is difficult to locate current engines that do not include turbo and direct injection technology. Most critically, keep the 1.5L engine in good working order. With proper maintenance, the Ford 1.5 EcoBoost should have a long and dependable life.