Ford 3.5 Ecoboost Problems

issues with 3.5 ecoboost engine

The Ford EcoBoost 3.5 is a game-changing engine. There are several reasons for this, with the main one being its efficiency. The EcoBoost has shown Ford’s diehard consumers that Ford pickup trucks don’t need to have gas-guzzling V8s in order for them to be powerful.

As a result, the engine caught on but it isn’t without its issues. There are some common Ford EcoBoost 3.5 problems that need addressing.

The problems include but aren’t limited to carbon deposit buildups in the valve intakes and on the ignition coil. Some have also reported problems with their intercoolers which tend to condense water instead of turning it into vapor. There’s also the very common premature wear and tear of the engine’s timing chain. These issues aren’t as recurring as they seem though.

The following looks at the issues of this engine in-depth:

Ford EcoBoost 3.5 Problems

According to online users, the following are the most common complaints regarding the 3.5 EcoBoost:

Intercooler Issue

The truck’s intercooler condenses water instead of evaporating it. This is because it gets vaporized too slowly in the stock intercooler, as a result of which it gets trapped. This can be problematic, especially when you’re driving at high speeds.

Carbon Build-up

The 3.5 EcoBoost utilizes a direct fuel injection system which sprays fuel directly into the cylinders. This is in contrast to the injection process in which the fuel passes through the valve intakes, which tends to keep them clean. As a result of this, carbon deposits tend to build up in the intake valves. This can lead to a handful of issues including engine misfiring.

Timing Chain

This is a common issue but it only happens when you fall behind on scheduled maintenance. This means that you have used up oil lubricating the engine. As a result, the timing chain tends to wear out before its time and this eventually ruins the alignment of the engine. Those who tend to schedule regular oil changes shouldn’t have to worry about this one.

Ignition Problems

The fuel injection system isn’t responsible for the truck’s misfires alone. In fact, a bad injection coil can also be the culprit. Similar to the valve intakes, carbon deposits can build up on the ignition coil. This adversely affects the truck’s performance.

Exhaust Smoke

Some users of the 3.5 EcoBoost have complained about their truck producing white- or blue-colored smoke from the exhaust. The reason for this is a leaking Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) hose valve cover adapter, according to Underhood Service. It is a design fault which is unfortunate.

Did Ford fix the 3.5 EcoBoost problems?

Yes, and no. It sorted out the intercooler issues by getting rid of the air deflector at the top and changing its position to the intercooler’s bottom. Ford has also done some calibrations to fix the ignition issues. They also fixed the carbon buildup problem in the valve intakes by changing the fuel injection type.

Ford didn’t fix the timing chain and PCV problems though. However, these issues aren’t as common as one might think while reading this article. In fact, the timing chain issue can be prevented altogether by maintaining the engine right.

Is the Ford 3.5 L V6 a Good Engine?

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost is a fantastic engine in all of its aspects. The reason for this are the high power outputs and the towing capacities that you can get despite the engine being a V6. This is what empowered V8 users to switch to this engine.

Of course, you cannot compare it to the good old V8 engines, yet. There is still an existing difference of power when it comes to reducing two cylinders. However, it shouldn’t exist in the future and there is a general notion that this V6 will replace the V8 in the next generation of the F150.

Is 3.5 EcoBoost reliable?

Yes, it is quite a reliable and hence a dependable bit of machinery. Most of the problems listed above are rare to find, especially since there are half a million of these engines out there. They can be fixed with aftermarket parts.

Ford has also made some changes to the design of the engine, and these can be seen the 2nd generation 3.5 EcoBoost. As a result, it is even more reliable than the 1st gen. So, you won’t have to worry about anything falling apart if you get one of those.

How many miles will a 3.5 EcoBoost last?

According to Hot Cars, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost can easily last up to 250k miles without a major overhaul. This is a great number and it shows that it is a true Ford pickup engine. This is provided that it has been maintained on time and has been in good hands.

You’ll be glad to know that there are drivers who have taken their 3.5 EcoBoost to the 300k mark and they’re still not complaining. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t have to deal with any pesky repairs; however, there were no breakdowns that rendered the trucks unable to move.

Ok, but how many miles is too many for a 3.5 EcoBoost? Well, according to 4WheelDriveGuide, if you’re getting a used 3.5 EcoBoost, there are some experts that’ll recommend you not to get one that has around 125k miles on it. This is especially if the engine has been tuned or not maintained well.


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