The Top 5 Most Common Ford 1.6 EcoBoost Issues. Ford’s 1.6L GTDI engine was one of the earliest engines in the EcoBoost series. It first appeared in 2010 and is now found in a variety of Ford and Volvo vehicles. The 1.6 EcoBoost engines from Ford provide 148-197 horsepower. Not bad for a little, fuel-efficient, and dependable engine. While it is a fairly strong engine in terms of performance, some 1.6L EcoBoost owners have reported serious troubles. In this essay, we’ll go over some common issues with the Ford 1.6 EcoBoost before wrapping up with some general remarks on dependability.
If you want to learn more about the EcoBoost engines, we also offer guides for the 1.5L EcoBoost and 2.0L EcoBoost, which share many characteristics, difficulties, and optimal modifications with the 1.6.
What Vehicles Make Use of the Ford 1.6L?
The engines are simply known as the 1.6L EcoBoost engine under Ford. Volvo, on the other hand, refers to the engines as the B4164T. Depending on the variant of the 1.6 inline-4 engine, there is also additional number at the end of the Volvo engine code. In any case, the 1.6-liter turbo engine can be found in the following Ford and Volvo models:
- Ford Focus from 2010 until 2018.
- Ford C-Max from 2010 to 2018.
- Ford Escape 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016
- 2013–2014 Ford Fusion
- Ford Fiesta ST 2013-2016
- Ford Fiesta ST200 2016-2017
- Ford Transit Escape 2014-2016
- Volvo V40 from 2013 to 2016.
- S60 Volvo 2010-2018
- V60 Volvo 2010-2018
- Volvo V70 from 2011 until 2016.
- Volvo S80 from 2011 until 2016.
A few additional international models use the 1.6L EcoBoost engine. Around 2015, most models, particularly in the United States, began to use the newly designed 1.5 EcoBoost engine. Power ranges from 148 to 182 horsepower depending on the year and model. The Fiesta ST200, on the other hand, gets a 197 horsepower 1.6 EcoBoost engine.
Four Common 1.6 EcoBoost Engine Issues
The following are some of the most prevalent problems with the Ford 1.6 l EcoBoost engine:
- Timing chain
- Coolant Infiltration
- Carbon accumulation
- Plugs and ignition coils
We go over the aforementioned issues in further detail throughout the rest of the post. However, before we continue, let’s make a few quick observations. These are some of the most common difficulties. That doesn’t necessarily imply that they’re widespread and affect a big number of engines. When things go wrong, these are the most likely places to look.
Overall, Ford’s 1.6L turbo direct injection engine is quite reliable. There were a few serious issues in the beginning that were swiftly rectified. At the end of the post, we’ll examine where applicable and return to 1.6 EcoBoost reliability.
1) Timing Belt for Ford 1.6 EcoBoost
Timing belts on the 1.6 inline-4 turbo engine do not appear to be an issue. The Ford EcoBoost, on the other hand, is an interference engine. This means that the pistons and valves travel in the same area. If a timing belt fails, the consequences could be disastrous. It’s possible that the pistons and valves will collide, resulting in bent valves.
Ford recommends replacing timing belts every 10 years or 150,000 miles. It’s a long time between timing belts, but they’re quite reliable these days. We’re still amazed Ford chose a timing belt rather a timing chain, as many modern turbo direct injection engines use them. They are normally true lifetime parts, although some businesses have issues with timing chain tensioners and other badly built parts.
Anyway, the timing belt on the 1.6 EcoBoost engine is largely unimportant. We haven’t seen or heard of many timing belt problems. However, it is necessary to inspect the belt on a regular basis. Because belts rarely fail unexpectedly, this can help you prevent costly repairs. Rather, they deteriorate over time, so periodic inspections can help spot any problems early.
Symptoms of 1.6L GTDI Timing Belt Failure
Timing belt difficulties on the Ford 1.6 EcoBoost might cause the following symptoms:
- Ticking / strange noises
- Engine light on
- Ineffective operation
Ticking sounds or other strange engine noises may indicate that the timing belt is on its way out. It’s one of the symptoms that could appear before the 1.6L timing belt fails completely. Again, inspect the timing belt on a regular basis, especially after 100,000 miles. If a timing belt fails, you will most likely experience a slew of symptoms and poor performance. Misfires, check engine lights, poor idle, and other symptoms may indicate a timing belt issue with the EcoBoost engine.
Timing Belt Replacement on a Ford 1.6 Inline-4
As a reminder, the Ford 1.6L timing belt should be serviced every 10 years or 150,000 miles. Check the owner’s manual again for confirmation. We also believe it is a good idea to manually inspect the belt on a regular basis.
In general, timing belts are less expensive to replace or repair than timing chains. The belt itself costs less than $50, and it’s not a difficult repair for the do-it-yourself folks. However, it is critical to use the proper equipment to replace the 1.6 EcoBoost timing belt. People who are less sure can consider going to a repair shop, which can add $200-400 to the bill.
2) 1.6L EcoBoost Coolant Infiltration Problems
Owners of Ford’s 4-cylinder EcoBoost models, notably the 2.0L engine, have complained about coolant intrusion. Despite the fact that the 1.6L EcoBoost is less affected, coolant intrusion has been demonstrated to be a problem on practically every first-generation EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine. The issue is in the open-deck cooling system, notably in the head gasket that secures the engine block to the cylinder head. Coolant leaks into the combustion chamber as a result of the inadequate mating surface, generating a variety of potentially significant complications. Cylinders 2 and 3 are the hardest hit. This issue, however, has been mainly fixed in Gen II 1.6L EcoBoost engines made after April 2019.
Coolant intrusion can cause catastrophic, even fatal, engine difficulties. When coolant leaks into the cylinders on a frequent basis, it quickly depletes the coolant levels and causes other problems if not monitored routinely. Ignoring the issue can lead to corrosion, misfires, overheating, fouled spark plugs, engine fires, and even engine failure. Due to the severity of the problem, Ford was obliged to release a technical service bulletin, and a class action lawsuit is in the works.
1.6L EcoBoost Coolant Infiltration Repair
When it comes to a 1.6L EcoBoost, coolant intrusion is rather clear. You can tell if your engine consumes a substantial volume of coolant although there are no obvious leaks beneath the vehicle. Unfortunately, repairing the problem is not easy and frequently necessitates the purchase of a new engine. Many owners of 2.0L EcoBoost engines have had difficulty getting Ford to resolve the issue, particularly if their vehicle is no longer under warranty. Because second-generation engines have a stronger deck design, this issue is more widespread in first-generation 1.6L EcoBoost engines.
As a result, it’s critical to keep an eye on coolant levels. If coolant levels are low, overheating might develop, resulting in long-term reliability and longevity difficulties.
3) Overheating Problems with the 1.6L EcoBoost
When it comes to overheating Ford 1.6 EcoBoost engines, there’s a lot to unpack. Several lawsuits, service bulletins, and recalls have been issued as a result of overheating issues. Ford recalled certain 2014 Escape, 2014-2015 Fiesta ST, and 2013-2014 Fusion cars in 2017. The main problem appears to be a lack of coolant, which causes the cylinder head to overheat, break, and leak oil. Some even caught fire as a result of high-pressure oil leaks. As part of the recall, Ford installed coolant-level sensors.
Anyway, we aim to avoid posting about recalls and other concerns that have already been resolved. It appears that these issues largely impact older models, though certain components have been upgraded. However, given the number of cases filed in the last year or two, it’s difficult to evaluate whether or not these issues were totally rectified.
Overheating Ford 1.6 GTDI Repair
The ultimate cause of overheating appears to be a lack of coolant. Normally, this would not be considered a flaw because all engines lose some coolant over time and must be topped off as needed. However, if there is excessive coolant loss, it is reasonable to suspect that coolant is leaking into the cylinders.
Regardless, keep an eye on the coolant level and top it out as needed. If done correctly, the chance of overheating, shattering the head or head gasket, and so on is small. Of course, coolant leaking into cylinders could result in other long-term issues with engine reliability and lifetime.
4) Carbon Build-Up Ford 1.6 Turbo EB
This is not the first time we’ve discussed carbon buildup on direct injection engines, and it certainly won’t be the last. Direct injection (DI) is a good technique with numerous advantages in terms of power, fuel efficiency, and emissions. It’s found on several current turbocharged gasoline engines, including the Ford 1.6L EcoBoost. However, DI does have one major disadvantage.
Oil blow-by is a normal byproduct of all engines. This oil goes toward the intake tract and frequently becomes clogged on intake ports and valves. It’s not an issue in and of itself, yet it was formerly a taboo subject. Port injection (PI) was once the most prevalent method of feeding gasoline engines. Because PI sprays fuel into the intake ports, any oil blow-by is easily removed by the fuel.
The 1.6 EcoBoost direct injection engine, on the other hand, lacks this advantage. As the name implies, direct injection injectors spray fuel directly into the cylinders. As a result, these oil deposits accumulate on intake ports and valves, causing carbon buildup over time.
It’s not a significant issue, and many newer DI engines are fine with it. Many Ford 1.6 turbo engines will undoubtedly live their entire lives without ever having their carbon deposits cleaned. Excess carbon build-up, on the other hand, might cause certain performance and drivability concerns over time. Cleaning the 1.6 liter EcoBoost intake valves every 100,000 miles is probably a good idea.
1.6 EcoBoost Carbon Deposit Symptoms
Some indicators of excessive carbon buildup on the Ford 1.6 EcoBoost engine include:
- Power outage
- Idle time
Carbon deposits on the intake valves begin to limit airflow to the cylinders as they accumulate. As a result, the Ford 1.6 EcoBoost loses power and performance. However, power loss is difficult to detect because it occurs gradually over years and tens of thousands of miles.
Otherwise, carbon buildup on the 1.6L EcoBoost engine could result in misfires. These misfires, in turn, can produce rough idle, stuttering, and overall poor performance.
Ford 1.6L Turbo Carbon Buildup Removal
Walnut blasting is a tried-and-true procedure for eliminating excess carbon deposits from intake valves. A heavy-duty shop vac and walnut medium shells are used in the procedure. If you have the necessary tools, this is a relatively affordable job to accomplish because it is largely labor-intensive.
Cleaning the intake valves can take up to an hour once you have access to them. To access the intake ports and valves, the 1.6L GTDI intake manifold must be removed. Labor costs might mount up, so expect this job to cost $300-600+ at a repair shop. Again, it’s probably excellent maintenance to perform every 80,000 to 120,000 miles, but it’s not usually a significant or urgent problem.
5) Issues with the 1.6 EcoBoost Ignition System
Alright. We’ll end this essay with something we don’t consider a true issue. Any gasoline engine, including the Ford 1.6L EcoBoost, requires spark plugs and ignition coils as normal maintenance. Ford recommends replacing spark plugs every 90,000 miles. Ignition coils typically last 1.5 to 2 times longer than spark plugs.
The 1.6 EcoBoost, on the other hand, is a turbo direct injection engine. Turbos and DI can be much more difficult on spark plugs and ignition coils. Those who do not use turbos or performance often may get a good life out of the plugs and coils. However, if you use the boost frequently, the spark plugs and coils will quickly wear out. This is especially important if you wish to tune or modify the 1.6L turbo engine.
Spark plugs and ignition coils are both subject to normal wear and tear. On the 1.6 EcoBoost, they rarely fail suddenly, but rather become less effective as they age. Again, it’s not a major issue, but we’d be amazed if many people got 90,000 miles out of their spark plugs. Don’t overlook such a simple fix because it’s inexpensive.
Symptoms of a Ford 1.6L Spark Plug
Ford 1.6L EcoBoost Spark Plugs
Ford 1.6L EcoBoost Ignition Coils
Symptoms of worn spark plugs or ignition coils on Ford 1.6L turbo engines include:
- Idle time
- Inadequate performance
Misfires are often the first indication of worn spark plugs and/or ignition coils. This could be followed by a harsh idle and overall poor performance. Ignition coils are more expensive than spark plugs and last longer. As a result, if you have these problems, spark plugs are usually the best place to start.
However, ignition coils are located on top of the plugs for simpler access. If you experience misfires, examine the fault codes to determine which cylinder is causing the problem. The ignition coil from that cylinder can then be swapped to another good cylinder. If the misfires continue, it may be time to replace the coils. Otherwise, spark plugs are most likely to blame.
Spark Plug Replacement for 1.6 Inline-4
Fortunately, plugs and coils are among the simplest to maintain. Even inexperienced DIYers can complete the work quickly in a driveway or garage. A set of four 1.6 EcoBoost spark plugs costs around $65. Ignition coils are a touch more expensive, costing roughly $90 for a set. These are quick jobs for mechanics, and the labor shouldn’t cost more than $150, so be wary if anyone quotes you anything higher.
Reliability of the Ford 1.6L EcoBoost
Is the Ford 1.6 EcoBoost engine trustworthy? We’ll assign the engine an average rating for dependability. Due to some recalls and litigation, it has not gained the finest reputation. The 1.6L turbo engine, on the other hand, is far from the worst. The 1.6 EcoBoost has few flaws or failures, which is great news. Some may be suspicious owing to the overheating issues, however the internet has a propensity to exaggerate things.
A large part of the 1.6 EcoBoost’s dependability is due to maintenance. Use high-quality oils, change fluids on time, and address problems as they arise. It’s all standard maintenance for any engine. It is, however, more critical on turbo direct injection engines such as the EcoBoost. If you keep up with maintenance, most people will have an enjoyable, dependable time with the Ford 1.6L inline-4.
Summary of 1.6 EcoBoost Common Issues
Ford 1.6L models were among the first in the EcoBoost family, which now powers the majority of Ford’s current lineup. They’re fantastic engines that deliver impressive performance, efficiency, and dependability for their size. However, the 1.6 EB appears to have a few more issues than some of the others.
One important source of concern is the possibility of design defects resulting in coolant leakage into cylinders. This results in low coolant, which can lead to overheating, head cracking, fires, and other problems. We believe it is likely exaggerated as a result of several recalls and litigation related to these issues. Aside from that, there don’t appear to be many serious drawbacks with the Ford 1.6 EcoBoost.
Because this is an interference engine, timing belt failures may cause additional damage. Carbon buildup is a concern, but it is merely a disadvantage of direct injection, which is a fantastic technology. Turbo engines can also be more difficult to maintain because they tend to burn through items like spark plugs and ignition coils.