Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Engine Problems & Reliability!

Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Engine Problems & Reliability!

August 27, 2023 0 By CarGuy

Are you interested in purchasing a Ford with the 3.0 EcoBoost and want to learn more about the Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engine problems?

If that’s correct, you are in the right place because, in this article, there will be a lot to cover on this engine.

Doing your own research is always a good idea before you make a purchase of a vehicle. There are a ton of models that are available in different engine configurations. And each of these engines performs differently and carries different problems. This is why research is key and we are here to help you out.

First, we are going to learn about the Ford 3.0 EcoBoost specs of this engine, as well as the applications. Then, in the second part, we are going to cover all of the Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engine problems in detail, as well as our opinion on the reliability of this engine. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the topic.

Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Specifications

The 3.0 EcoBoost engine is a V6 engine that was derived from the 2.7L EcoBoost engine that we previously covered.

This Nano engine has a bigger displacement and was designed with the purpose of replacing the old-school 3.7L Cyclone that Ford offered for a really long time.

So, what Ford did with the 3.0L is basically add some displacement to the 2.7L engine. This engine has an increased bore compared to the 2.7L and also a longer stroke than the 2.7L. All these changes allowed the 3.0L EcoBoost to create a lot more power.

When it comes to the design of the 3.0L EcoBoost, we can say that this is a very modern engine design that has a very strong block. The block itself is made out of compacted graphite iron and aluminum at the bottom.

The cylinder head implements a double overhead camshaft layout (DOHC) with variable valve timing. In order for the engine to get more power, a turbocharger is installed.

And the turbo makes this engine very versatile and good for tuning. You can tune this engine to produce more than 550 hp. Which is a pretty good number for an engine of this size.

Nevertheless, here are the full specs of the 3.0L EcoBoost engine.

  • Configuration: V6
  • Displacement: 3.0L
  • Cylinder Bore: 85.3 mm
  • Piston Stroke: 86 mm
  • Block Material: Compacted Graphite Iron
  • Head Material: Aluminum
  • Head Design: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
  • Variable Valve Timing: Yes
  • Turbocharger: Yes
  • Horsepower: 350 – 494 hp
  • Torque: 400 – 630 lb-ft

Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Applications

Now let’s move on and learn more about the applications of the 3.0L EcoBoost engine.

  • 2017 – 2020 Lincoln MKZ
  • 2017 – 2020 Lincoln Continental
  • 2020 – Present Lincoln Aviator
  • 2020 – 2021 Ford Explorer
  • 2020 – Present Ford Explorer ST
  • 2022 – Present Ford Ranger Raptor
  • 2022 – Present Ford Bronco Raptor

Common Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Engine Problems

Now let’s list the most prominent Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engine problems.

  • Spark Plug & Coil Failures
  • Carbon On Intake Ports
  • Oil Leaks
  • Cam Phasers Failure
  • Turbocharger Failure
  • Injector Failures

Now let’s move on and cover the most common problems of the 3.0L EcoBoost in detail. Why do we think that this is necessary?

Well, this is essential because you need to understand the conditions of when and how these problems occur on this engine. In other words, you need to learn the symptoms the vehicle is producing. So, let’s cover all of these problems in great detail and further understand them!

1. Spark Plug & Coil Failures

The first and most common problem with these EcoBoost engines is the situation with the spark plugs and ignition coils. In other words, there are many issues with the ignition components. So, why is this the case?

Well, this is the case because these ignition components are very stressed out. So, they tend to fail more often compared to the ones in older engine designs.

Direct injection is far more demanding compared to your regular port injection used previously. And also turbocharged engines often stress these components more.

So, these two combined results in problems with these ignition components. These problems can become so excessive that you will have trouble running the engine.

Symptoms associated with this include check engine light, rough engine idle, poor engine work, low power, and higher fuel consumption.

Whenever these problems happen, the engine will produce less power and this will be quite noticeable.

The solution in many of the cases is to replace the spark plugs and coils. This would fix the problem permanently. Spark plugs are not that expensive but coils are. So, you better use a diagnostic tool in order to make sure which coil is affected before you decide to replace it.

Now let’s move on to the next Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engine problems.

2. Carbon On Intake Ports

Carbon deposits on the intake ports are another very common problem with the 3.0 EcoBoost engine. So, what are carbon deposits, and why do they occur?

Well, the 3.0 EcoBoost V6 engine is using a direct injection system. This new method of injecting fuel uses a special injector and does not use the intake ports as in older engines.

Inside the engine, there are a lot of oil fumes that find their way and end up on the intake ports, more especially on the intake ports.

Then they solidify and create very hard deposits of carbon. Problems of this kind can prevent the valves from opening and closing properly and cause issues like misfires and even cylinder head failures.

So, it is really important to check the condition of the valves and clean them off with a method called walnut blast every 60,000 to 80,000 miles.

If you delay this, there will be serious symptoms like engine misfires, check engine light, and other running issues. The engine will not hold compression if the valves are not sealing properly.

A good way to avoid this problem is by installing an oil catch can. This oil catch can traps the oil contaminants and prevent them from ending up in the intake ports. A small mod but can definitely be a lifesaver.

3. Oil Leaks

Oil leaks are also very common on the 3.0L EcoBoost. In fact, this is the same problem that troubles the 2.7L EcoBoost. Oil leaks that come from the oil pan.

These engines are using plastic oil pans that tend to cause problems. The factory RTV is failing after some time and this allows oil leaks to develop.

In some cases, these oil leaks can be so serious that you can lose a significant amount of engine oil in the process.

Engines that have this problem are the ones produced between 2016 and 2017. The problem was reportedly solved on engines from 2018 or newer.

Now let’s move on to the next Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engine problems.

4. Cam Phasers Failure

Another common problem for which these EcoBoost engines are famous is the cam phaser failure. This is a common problem on the 3.5L EcoBoost and less of a problem on the 3.0L EcoBoost. But it still can happen at some point.

These phasers are simply two sprockets for the variable valve timing system of this 3.0L engine.

There are four cam phasers, one per each camshaft and they tend to fail at some point. Whenever they fail, they will start to produce rattling noises, especially at a cold start.

These noises can be very frustrating to deal with and the only way around this problem is to replace the affected cam phaser. And this can be a very tedious process because the technician who will do the job also has to know how to adjust engine timing.

One bad move and you can destroy the engine. So, this is a pretty expensive job to do. According to some people, it requires about 9 hours of labor to get it sorted out. That’s why watch out for these rattling noises that happen on idle when these phasers fail.

5. Turbocharger Failure

Turbocharger failures can also happen on these engines. So, what is the turbo, and what does this component do?

Well, the turbo simply allows more air to get into the engine. So, the engine is able to create a lot of power.

As you can see, this engine can produce some wild figures and all this is thanks to the turbos. There are two of them on this engine.

And what is bad is that they can fail at some point. The shaft inside becomes wobbly and the turbo will start to leak oil, produce strange whistling noises, and will eventually fail.

The solution to this problem is to get a rebuild on the turbo or get a new turbo. There are a ton of options when it comes to these EcoBoost engines and you can easily make them produce far more power than stock.

This will affect the long-term reliability of the engine. But if you are after performance upgrades, reliability is probably the least of your concerns.

Now let’s move on to the next Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engine problems.

6. Injector Failures

And last but not least is the issues with injector failures. These engines are using direct injection. This way of injecting fuel requires far more complex injectors.

These injectors are very expensive to fix or replace. Whenever they start to fail, they will create uneven spray patterns. And can fail in two ways, they can clog up and they can leak. The check engine light will also turn on the cluster.

Both situations will cause engine running issues. Your best bet will be to replace them if they are deemed faulty.

Usually, these problems happen on high-mileage engines well above 150,000 miles. That’s why if the vehicle is newer, you don’t have to worry about this problem.

Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Engine Reliability

The reliability of the 3.0L EcoBoost engine is good, almost the same as the reliability of the 2.7L V6.

These engines are basically the same design but with different displacements. This means that the problems of these engines often overlap.

So, in the 3.0L EcoBoost, you still have the oil leaks from the oil pan and the carbon deposits in the intake ports like on the 2.7L.

But overall, these engines are not a bad package, the 3.0L is a less popular option and these engines are rarer. But if you can snatch one for a good deal, you shouldn’t avoid it.

Just make sure that the engine has good compression, runs well, makes good power, and does not rattle or produce any strange noises and you will be good.


In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the Ford 3.0L EcoBoost engine.

First, we learned more about the specs of this engine, as well as the applications in which you can find this engine.

In the second part, we covered the most common Ford 3.0 EcoBoost engine problems and learned what troubles this engine the most. Lastly, we learned more about the reliability of this engine and we gave our score.

Overall, the 3.0 is not a bad engine and is definitely worth your attention. If you can find one for a really good deal, you should definitely not avoid it. Just make sure that the engine is good and holds compression well.


How Much Horsepower Does The 3.0 EcoBoost Make?

This engine is a high horsepower engine that makes anywhere between 350 and 494 hp. And when it comes to torque, this engine produces anywhere between 400 and 630 lb-ft of torque. And this torque is available relatively low in the RPM range, specifically at 2,750 rpm.

What Are The Common Ford 3.0 EcoBoost Engine Problems?

Common problems with this engine include issues with the ignition components like spark plugs and coils, this engine also suffers from carbon buildup in the intake ports, oil leaks from the oil pan, as well as some rarer problems like problems with the cam phasers, injector failures, and turbo failures.

Is The 3.0 EcoBoost Engine Reliable?

Yes, definitely. This is a pretty solid engine that makes a lot of power for its size. That’s why we definitely recommend checking it out. If you cannot afford this engine, the 2.7L is also a good engine that has similar performance.