The Three Most Common Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Engine Issues. The Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engine first appeared in the 2017 Lincoln MKZ. The 3.0L twin turbo V6 is mostly seen in Lincoln vehicles, but it’s also making its way into the Ford Explorer. The engine shares many characteristics with the smaller 2.7 EcoBoost, but it produces significantly more power. We love the EcoBoost engines, and the 3.0L model is no exception. However, no engine is flawless. This page goes over Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engine issues, reliability, specs, and more.
What Vehicles Make Use Of The 3.0L V6?
The following Ford models use 3.0L EcoBoost engines:
- MKZ (Lincoln MKZ) 2017-2020
- Lincoln Continental 2017-2020
- Ford Explorer Platinum 2020
- Ford Explorer ST 2021+
- Lincoln Aviator / Aviator Hybrid 2021+
The 2017-2020 Lincoln MKZ with front-wheel drive produces 350hp and 400lb-ft of torque. For AWD models, including the Continental, this jumps to 400 horsepower. The Ford Explorer ST and Lincoln Aviator have remarkable 400hp and 415 lb-ft of torque.
Finally, the 3.0 EcoBoost Hybrid electric engine produces 494hp and 630 lb-ft in the Aviator. The relatively tiny 3L engine delivers good performance. The 400 horsepower equals the larger 3.5L EcoBoost in the 2021+ F-150. The 3.5 model, on the other hand, has a significant torque advantage.
Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Nano Specifications
The 3.0 EcoBoost (also known as the 3.0L Nano) has the following specifications:
*The maximum HP and TQ of 494 and 630 are only available with the addition of electric engines. Without an electric motor, the maximum output is 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft.
The Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engine specifications are identical to those of the other V6 EcoBoost engines. It has twin turbos for exceptional performance, as well as an aluminum head and block to reduce weight. It also has a DOHC engine with variable cam timing to boost power and efficiency even more.
3.0L EcoBoost engines receive a minor bore and stroke increase to raise displacement from 2.7 to 3.0 liters. The compression ratio is slightly lower than that of the other V6 EB engines. Nonetheless, it’s good for 350+ horsepower and 380+ lb-ft of torque.
Problems with the Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Engine
Some of the most prevalent problems with Ford 3.0L dual turbo V6 EcoBoost engines are as follows:
- Carbon accumulation
- Leaks in the oil pan
- System of ignition
We’ll go over the above 3.0 EcoBoost issues in the rest of this article. However, some quick notes must be added first. We’re categorizing these as the most prevalent issues. The word most appears for a reason. We don’t mean that they are common issues since they affect a large number of Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engines. Instead, these are some of the most prevalent areas where things go wrong.
However, there are a few things at work here. We like the reliability of the 2.7L and 3.5L EB engines, and we expect the 3.0 V6 will be just as reliable. However, these engines are still relatively young. Time will tell if there are any further potential reliability issues. Anyway, we’ll return to Ford 3.0 dependability near the end of the piece.
If you prefer to take this information visually, watch our Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Common Problems video below:
1) Carbon Build-Up Issues with the 3.0L V6 EcoBoost
We frequently write about carbon buildup on intake valves. Direct injection (DI) is becoming more popular in engines. It’s fantastic technology in terms of performance, economy, and emissions. One disadvantage of direct injection is carbon buildup. All of this is true for the Ford 3.0 EcoBoost twin turbo V6 engine.
Oil blow-by is a natural byproduct of engines. The oil then finds its way to the intake valves and ports. Traditional port injection sprays gasoline into intake ports while detergents remove any oil deposits. The DI 3.0L EcoBoost, on the other hand, sprays fuel straight into the cylinder. Because there is nothing to wipe away oil deposits, they stick to the intake valves and turn into carbon buildup.
There’s a reason direct and port injection are used in engines like the 2.7 and 3.5 EcoBoost. For whatever reason, Ford chose not to use this similar system on the 3.0 EcoBoost, making it susceptible to carbon build-up.
Carbon buildup does not usually endanger dependability or durability. However, it can have an impact on performance, thus we believe cleaning the intake valves every 100,000 miles is a smart idea. However, many 3.0L V6 engines will likely spend their entire lifetimes without this.
Symptoms of 3.0 V6 Nano Carbon Build-Up
Carbon build-up symptoms on the 3.0 twin turbo V6 engine include:
- Idle time
- Acceleration stuttering
- Power decline
As carbon deposits accumulate, they begin to limit airflow into the cylinders. This can cause AFRs to be thrown off and engine misfires. As a result, you may notice a harsh idle and stuttering or reluctance when accelerating.
Excess carbon build-up on Ford 3.0L EcoBoost intake valves causes significant power loss. It is, however, the more difficult sign to detect. Carbon deposits accumulate over tens of thousands of kilometres. As a result, power and performance decline is progressive rather than abrupt.
3.0 EcoBoost Walnut Blasting Ford
Walnut blasting is the most common method for removing carbon buildup from Ford EcoBoost intake valves. A shop-vac and walnut medium shells are used in this operation. To remove any build-up, the walnut media shells are blasted into the intake ports. A shop-vac then removes all of the shells and fragments of carbon that have fallen off.
The 3.0 EcoBoost intake manifold must be removed, which takes a few hours of labor. Most establishments will charge between $350-600 for walnut blasting. Otherwise, some ingestion sprays may be effective. They can assist reduce the carbon buildup process, but they are ineffective in cleaning deposits once they have formed.
2) Leaks in the Ford 3.0 Nano Oil Pan
For the 2.7 and 3.0 EcoBoost engines, oil pan leaks are a big concern. It’s not difficult to discover 2.7 EcoBoost owners who have gone through several oil pans. The 3.0L twin turbo engine has the same design. It merely appears less prevalent because it is a lesser-known powerplant.
In any case, the issue stems from the oil pan RTV seal. Ford created a truly dreadful design. Bolting a plastic oil pan to an aluminum block is a formula for disaster. Ford redesigned the oil pan with a press-in-place gasket in August 2019. This appears to be a long-term solution to the oil pan leaks.
Anyway, it’s a Ford 3.0 EcoBoost issue to keep an eye on as time goes on. The new oil pan design is compatible with 2018 and later models, but not with 2017. Assuming it’s a long-term fix, this shouldn’t be a major issue for 2018+ Lincoln and Ford cars equipped with the 3.0L V6 engine.
Symptoms of a Twin Turbo V6 Oil Pan Leak
The following are some indicators of oil pan leakage on the 3.0 dual turbo EcoBoost:
- Visible dripping
- The odor of burning oil
- Light cigarette smoke
Oil leak indicators are typically straightforward. Because the oil pan gasket is located low in the engine compartment, oil usually drips to the ground. If you discover this, it’s time to dig deeper into the oil pan. In some situations, the Ford EcoBoost engine may emit odors of burnt oil. If the oil is seeping and burning off, there may be some light smoke.
Oil Pan Replacement for 3.0 EcoBoost
Many oil pan problems occur during the warranty period, making replacement less of a concern. The RTV sealant still needs to dry for a few hours, so this is an overnight or two-night process. It’s inconvenient to be without your automobile, but warranty coverage comes in handy.
If the oil pan does fail, you should request confirmation that the repair was completed using the new oil pan design. Replacing with the original design appears to be a temporary solution.
3) Issues with the Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Ignition System
Alright. We’ve reached the end of the list of actual engine issues for the Ford 3.0 EcoBoost. Spark plugs and ignition coils, on the other hand, are a hot topic in turbo engines. This is not an issue because it is normal maintenance on any ICE. However, boost pressure considerably raises cylinder pressures, putting a strain on the ignition system.
Turbo engines often consume spark plugs and ignition coils far faster than normally aspirated (NA) engines. Many NA spark plugs survive 80,000 miles or more, while ignition coils can last up to 120,000 miles. On turbo engines, spark plugs should be replaced every 50,000 miles, and ignition coils every 80,000 miles.
Expect even less if you plan to alter or modify your Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engine. We came from the BMW world, where we replace spark plugs on modified engines every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. The point is that dual turbo engines, such as the 3.0L V6, can be more difficult to maintain. Spark plugs and ignition coils are prime examples of this.
Symptoms of 3.0L TT EcoBoost Plugs and Coils
On the Ford 3.0L twin turbo engine, symptoms of old, worn spark plugs and/or ignition coils include:
- Idle time
- Engine light on
- Inadequate performance
As spark plugs and ignition coils deteriorate, they are unable to successfully ignite the air-fuel mixture. This causes 3.0 EcoBoost misfires, which may cause the check engine light to illuminate. Otherwise, aged ignition parts are prone to harsh idle and poor overall performance.
Ignition Coil and Spark Plug Replacement
Fortunately, spark plugs and ignition coils are inexpensive and easy to replace. Even inexperienced DIYers may complete this project in the driveway in an hour or two. A set of spark plugs costs around $50-100, and labor can cost another $50-100 if you can’t do the repair yourself.
Ignition coils are slightly more expensive, with a set of six costing around $150-250 and labor costs comparable to spark plugs. Again, these aren’t genuine issues with the Ford 3.0 EcoBoost. Just a brief reminder that turbo engines are a little more demanding.
3.0 EcoBoost V6 Reliability
Is the 3.0 EcoBoost twin turbo engine from Ford reliable? Yes, we believe the engine is more reliable than normal. The only actual and prevalent problem on the 3.0L V6 is a defective oil pan. Carbon buildup is only a minor drawback to otherwise excellent technology. The reliability of all Ford EcoBoost engines is excellent, and the 3.0 EcoBoost is no exception.
To avoid being extremely repetitive, another consideration is maintenance. Twin turbo engines, such as the Ford 3.0 V6, are a little more demanding in terms of the ignition system, fluid changes, and so on. It’s a price to pay for the excellent combination of performance and fuel economy.
Maintenance is an important aspect in Ford 3.0 EcoBoost reliability. Always use high-quality oils, change all fluids on time, and deal with problems as soon as they arise. If you do all of this, the 3.0L twin turbo engine can provide excellent reliability and longevity.