The Problems with the Ford 2.0L EcoBoost Head Gasket. Since its introduction roughly 15 years ago, the Ford EcoBoost engine family has become a standard for a number of Ford-owned businesses. With 11 total EcoBoost engines used by dozens of various models from manufacturers such as Ford, Volvo, Range Rover, Lincoln, and Jaguar, Ford’s turbocharged direct-injected formula has proven to be a winner overall.
The 2.0L inline four-cylinder EcoBoost is an older Ford EcoBoost model. The 2.0 EcoBoost, which debuted in 2010, also added new technology to the EcoBoost family. The development of independent variable cam timing was the most notable of these innovations. The 2.0 EcoBoost, particularly older variants, has been praised as a solid and dependable engine with plenty of power on tap. However, it has its own set of challenges in addition to those shared by the rest of the EcoBoost engine family.
Head gasket failure is one of the most well-known and discussed problems with the Ford 2.0 EcoBoost 4-cylinder. This problem typically leads to coolant infiltration issues, which are frequently mentioned alongside 2.0 EcoBoost head gasket issues. This problem is most prevalent in late-model 2.0L EcoBoost engines with the new “open deck” block and cylinder head design.
Other 4-cylinder EcoBoost engines suffer from premature head gasket failure as well. The 1.5L I-4 EcoBoost, 1.6L EcoBoost, and 2.3L EcoBoost are all included. If not identified early enough, head gasket problems on the 2.0L EcoBoost can cause a slew of major difficulties such as cylinder wall corrosion, misfires, and full engine failure.
Models Affected by 2.0L EcoBoost Head Gasket Issues
Several Ford technical service bulletins have been issued regarding 2.0L EcoBoost head gasket problems/coolant intrusion issues. According to the service bulletins, the following cars are affected by the open deck block design:
- 2015-2019 Ford Edge
- 2017-2019 Ford Fusion/Lincoln MKZ manufactured on or before April 8, 2019
- Ford 2017-2019 Escape was constructed on or before May 16, 2019.
- 2017-2019 Lincoln MKC manufactured on or before April 18, 2019.
Ford changed the 2.0 EcoBoost one again in 2020. The third overhaul, still referred to as the second-generation 2.0 EcoBoost, includes a rebuilt deck with no coolant ducts between the cylinders. On recent 2.0 EcoBoost cars, this largely resolved the issue. Between 2015 and 2019, the 2.0 EcoBoost head gasket issues were largely limited to Ford and Lincoln models.
Engines: Early vs. Late Model 2.0 EcoBoost
Before we get into the intricacies of what causes 2.0 EcoBoost head gasket difficulties, let’s first discuss the generational divide between the first and second generations of the 2.0L EcoBoost. It is critical to understand the distinction because many of the head gasket troubles linked with the 2.0 EcoBoost derive from the 2015 design revision.
The 2.0 EcoBoost engine was primarily a borrowed design when it was initially debuted in 2010. The first-generation 2.0 EcoBoost engine was developed on the existing Mazda L engine platform, which also served as the foundation for the naturally aspirated 2.0 Ford Duratec engine. While the first-generation 2.0’s engine was mostly based on the Mazda L, Ford added their own cylinder head, fuel injection system, and twin independent variable cam timing system. Most crucially for this topic, the 2.0 EcoBoost engines from 2010 to 2015 employed a closed deck block with coolant tubes to keep the cylinders cool. This was an extremely solid and dependable construction, making early 2.0L EcoBoosts considerably less prone to experience head gasket difficulties.
The 2.0 EcoBoost engine’s architecture altered considerably for the 2015 model year. The second-generation 2.0 EcoBoost was first introduced in the Ford Edge and included a complete overhaul. Ford abandoned the Mazda block in favor of their own design in 2015. The new 2.0 EcoBoost block was designed with a “open deck” layout and extensive coolant passageways surrounding the cylinders. Small coolant passages between the cylinder walls also compromise the head gasket mating surface on the deck. This is the source of the majority of late-model 2.0 EcoBoost head gasket issues.
What Are the Causes of 2.0L EcoBoost Head Gasket Issues?
The design of the engine’s cylinder block is the primary cause of 2.0 EcoBoost head gasket difficulties. When Ford debuted the second-generation 2.0L EcoBoost engine, they hoped to be able to extract more power and efficiency from it. Because of the closed block architecture of the first-generation 2.0L EcoBoost, cooling issues limited the engine’s safe upper limits. As a result, they shifted to an open deck block with cooling ducts that encircled the cylinders.
The images below show the difference between the early first-generation 2.0 EcoBoost block design and the revision. The second-generation Ford EcoBoost not only has cooling channels around the cylinder walls, but it also has a small cooling slit sandwiched between the cylinder walls on the deck’s mating surface. Because of these added channels, the 2.0 EcoBoost head gasket has very little room to effectively seal the block to the head. Because the 2.0 EcoBoost is a turbocharged engine, the head gasket must be able to endure much greater forces than a naturally aspirated engine.
A couple of complications arise as a result of the thin walls between the cylinders and the additional cooling channels on the deck. Because the head gasket has such a short mating surface, it is known to commonly blow out between cylinders two and three. Furthermore, the thin cylinder walls can split, allowing coolant to seep into the cylinders. If not addressed soon, this can lead to a number of major concerns.
Symptoms of a 2.0L EcoBoost Head Gasket Problem
One of the most frustrating aspects of Ford 2.0L EcoBoost head gasket problems is their unpredictability. While some second-generation EcoBoost owners have driven hundreds of thousands of miles without incident, others have experienced problems as early as 40,000 miles. The most prevalent symptoms of Ford 2.0L EcoBoost head gasket problems are misfires, dash lights, overheat warnings, white smoke from the tailpipe, and low coolant levels.
Symptoms of the Most Common 2.0L EcoBoost Head Gasket Problem
- P0300, P0301-P0304, P0316, P0217, P1285, and/or P1299
- The tailpipe emits white smoke.
- Overheating of the engine
- Excessive use of coolant
Engine codes associated with the problem include P0300, P0301-P0304, P0316, P0217, P1285 and/or P1299. These codes are associated with cylinder misfires and cylinder overheating. On the 2.0L EcoBoost, a crack in the block will almost always form between cylinders 3 and 4. As a result, if your vehicle displays an engine code related to either of those cylinders, it is critical that you have your vehicle diagnosed as quickly as possible.
Another indicator of probable 2.0 EcoBoost head gasket concerns is constant overheating. If the block is fractured or the head gasket has blown out, coolant spills into the cylinders. This disrupts the flow of coolant. This will cause the engine to overheat and generate an error code. If you see this, you must immediately turn off the vehicle and get it towed to a service center for diagnosis.
White smoke from the tailpipe is another symptom that your 2.0 EcoBoost’s head gasket has been compromised. This is because coolant is entering the combustion chamber and burning off. The engine’s coolant level will fall over time as more coolant enters the cylinder. If your 2.0 EcoBoost’s coolant level drops rapidly after a refill and you don’t see any visible leaks, it’s worth investigating potential head gasket issues.
Problems with the Ford 2.0L EcoBoost Head Gasket
Most Ford 2.0 EcoBoost head gasket and coolant intrusion issues are significant and necessitate serious fixes. Because the problem is caused by a design error in the open deck block, the only true cure is to replace the block entirely.
All of the Ford technical service bulletins on the subject state this. If you merely replace your head gasket, there is a good possibility that the problem will reoccur. Of course, if you have coolant intrusion concerns due to a damaged 2.0 EcoBoost block, the block must be replaced regardless.
One of the most aggravating elements of 2.0 EcoBoost head gasket and coolant infiltration issues is Ford’s lack of support. Finally, the outcome of resolving this issue is greatly dependent on the warranty that you acquired with your vehicle. Many 2.0 EcoBoost owners who have had this issue have been fortunate to have the repair completely covered by their powertrain warranty. However, if your warranty period has expired, the repair will have to be paid for out of pocket.
Many Ford 2.0 EcoBoost owners are irritated that this problem has not been addressed in a recall. Because the fault is the product of the long block’s poor design, many EcoBoost owners believe Ford should be held accountable for correcting the condition, even if it is out of warranty. As a result, a class action lawsuit concerning head gasket and coolant infiltration issues on all Ford 4-cylinder EcoBoost models is still underway.
Cost of Ford 2.0L EcoBoost Head Gasket Replacement and Coolant Intrusion Repair
The average cost of repairing Ford 2.0L EcoBoost head gasket problems is $4,000-$7,000.
In reality, the cost of repairing your 2.0L EcoBoost due to head gasket issues might vary greatly. Again, if you have a regular Ford 8-year, 60,000-mile warranty and your 2017-2019 car has less than 60,000 miles on the odometer, you may not have to pay anything out of pocket to have your engine replaced completely.
If not, Ford usually works with owners on an individual basis. Ford has neither reimbursed or assisted certain 2.0 EcoBoost owners who have experienced this issue. Others, on the other hand, have approached Ford for assistance in paying for an engine replacement. Unfortunately, it is a highly variable arrangement that is dependent on both the dealership and Ford’s attitude toward your position.
As previously stated, a class action lawsuit is currently underway to address the issue. The complaint was filed in 2020, and it has gathered hundreds of 2.0 EcoBoost owners who have experienced the head gasket/coolant infiltration issue. People have taken matters into their own hands because Ford has been mainly inattentive to the issue. At this moment, it appears that the lawsuit has been filed, but no verdict has been rendered. More information about the case and technical service bulletins are available below.
Resources for the Ford EcoBoost Lawsuit and Technical Bulletin
Below is a complete list of both EcoBoost lawsuit information and related technical service bulletins. These materials are all directly dedicated to 2.0 EcoBoost head gasket and coolant infiltration issues. While no verdict has been reached in the complaint, second-generation 2.0 EcoBoost owners may be entitled to compensation pending the verdict.
Technical Service Bulletins for the Ford 2.0L EcoBoost
TSB 19-2375 – Escape 2017-2019; Fusion 2014-2019
- 2015-2018 Edge; 2017-2018 Escape, Fusion; 2017-2018 MKC, MKZ
- TSB 19B37-S1 – Escape, Fusion 2017-2019
- TSB 20-2100 – Fusion 2014-2019, Escape 2017-2019
- TSB 19B37-S3 – Fusion, Escape 2017-2019
- SSM 48991 – F-150/Edge/Fusion 2015-2020, MKX 2016-2018, Nautilus 2019-2020, Continenta 2017-2020
2.0 EcoBoost Class Action Lawsuit Information
- Overview of the Ford EcoBoost Lawsuit
- Discussion in the Ford EcoBoost Class Action Lawsuit Forum
- Ford’s position on 2.0 EcoBoost coolant incursion and head gasket problems
Summary of Ford 2.0L EcoBoost Head Gasket Issues
The EcoBoost engine family has been a great addition to the Ford lineup as a whole. Having said that, a few engines in the group, notably the majority of the 4-cylinder EcoBoost versions, have some severe flaws that could lead to serious concerns in the road. The most common of these are Ford 2.0L EcoBoost head gasket issues.
These concerns did not exist in early model 2.0L EcoBoost engines built between 2010 and 2015. The issue didn’t arise until Ford redesigned the EcoBoost with an open deck block. The revised coolant passages between the cylinders provide the head gasket limited room to seal to the deck. Excessive combustion forces can then blow away the head gasket or shatter the block. Coolant intrusion, cylinder wall corrosion, misfires, and engine failure can all result from this problem.
Constantly low coolant levels, overheating, and misfires are some of the most prevalent symptoms of 2.0 EcoBoost head gasket problems. There is also white smoke coming from the exhaust and a variety of engine codes. If you detect a combination of these symptoms, you should avoid driving and go to a repair shop.
Finally, the only true solution to this problem is to replace the entire long block with a fresh, redesigned block. If your vehicle is still under factory warranty, the engine can be replaced for free. The cost of the repair, on the other hand, is normally determined by Ford’s interpretation of your case.