Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 Engine Problems – Is This A Reliable Engine?

Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 Engine Problems – Is This A Reliable Engine?

September 1, 2023 0 By CarGuy

Are you interested in purchasing a Ford with the Duratec 37 engine and want to learn more about the Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 engine problems? If that’s correct, you are in the right place because, in this article, there will be a lot to cover.

Having good and thorough research done beforehand is always a good idea. Out there are a ton of problematic vehicles that can be very expensive to fix. That’s why you need to be aware of the possible issues with these engines. This way, you will be a step ahead and will be aware of the possible drawbacks that each engine carries. This is why we are here to help you out.

First, we are going to learn more about the specs of the Duratec 37, then, we are going to cover the applications of this engine. In the second part, we will focus on the Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 engine problems and learn what troubles this engine the most. So, let’s dive into the topic.

Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 Engine Specifications

The 3.7 Duratec, also known as the Duratec 37 is an engine developed by Ford in the mid-2000s. This engine debuted in 2007 and was included in models up until 2020 when it was replaced with the EcoBoost engines.

What is worth noting about this Duratec 37 engine is that this engine belongs to the Cyclone family of engines. It is the largest engine in fact, the smaller ones are the 3.3L and 3.5L.

So, what is the difference between these engines? The difference is mainly in the displacement. The 3.7L has 200cc extra displacement compared to the 3.5L Duratec V6 engine. This was needed for the heavier and more premium cars that Ford offers in the Lincoln lineup.

When it comes to the design of the engine, this 3.7L implements a modern layout. It uses an all-aluminum block with aluminum cylinder heads.

The head design is DOHC with four valves per cylinder. This engine also uses some advanced technologies like the Variable Valve Timing. This technology saves a lot of fuel and also increases power.

There are models that come with iVCT which is the single cam variable valve timing, and there are also models under the name Ti-VCT, which use variable valve timing both on the intake, as well as the camshaft of the engine.

Here are the main specs of the 3.7 Duratec engine.

  • Configuration: V6
  • Displacement: 3.7L
  • Bore: 95.5 mm
  • Stroke: 86.6 mm
  • Head & Block Material: Aluminum
  • Head Design: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
  • Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
  • Variable Valve Timing: Yes
  • Horsepower: 268 – 305 hp
  • Torque: 260 – 280 lb-ft

Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 Engine Applications

Now let’s take a look at the applications of this engine, in other words in which models this engine was installed.

Ford Models

  • 2011 – 2014 Ford F-150
  • 2011 – 2017 Ford Mustang
  • 2011 – 2014 Ford Edge Sport
  • 2015 – 2019 Ford Transit
  • 2013 – 2019 Ford PPV Utility
  • 2013 – 2019 Ford PPV Interceptor

Lincoln Models

  • 2009 – 2016 Lincoln MKS
  • 2010 – 2016 Lincoln MKT
  • 2011 – 2018 Lincoln MKX
  • 2013 – 2018 Lincoln MKT
  • 2017 – 2020 Lincoln Continental

Other Models

  • 2008 – 2015 Mazda CX-9
  • 2009 – 2013 Mazda 6
  • 2012 – 2019 Morgan Roadster
  • 2013 Radical RXC V6
  • 2012 – 2015 Ginetta G60
  • 2016 AM General MV-1

Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 Engine Problems

Now let’s list the common problems with this Duratec 37 engine.

  • Spark Plugs & Ignition Coils
  • Cam Phaser Noise
  • Water Pump Failures

We listed the most common problems with the 3.7 engine, now let’s further elaborate on each one of these problems.

We feel the need to further explain these problems to those who are not familiar. Since these are complex issues. And for you to be an expert on these problems, you need to have a further understanding of them. So, let’s discuss.

1. Spark Plugs & Ignition Coils

The first problem on our list is the problem with the spark plugs and ignition coils that tend to fail on these engines.

And this is a fairly common problem on Ford models, these components tend to fail more often compared to other makes.

Whenever these components fail, there will be a check engine light that will produce codes that are related to engine misfires and similar codes.

There will also be clear signs that the engine is misfiring. So, how can you tell that the engine is misfiring?

Well, misfires often are represented through ticking sounds from the top of the engine. The exhaust flow will also be pretty uneven. There will be pops and bangs.

In addition to this, there will also be rough idle, poor engine performance, and poor fuel economy.

The solution to this problem is to replace the faulty components with new ones. Spark plugs are cheap, while coils are more expensive. That’s why it might be better to replace only the affected coils.

Now let’s move on to the next Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 engine problems.

2. Cam Phaser Noise

Problems with the cam phasers are common on these engines. Just like with the 3.5L Duratec and the 3.5L EcoBoost. So, what are cam phasers?

Well, these components are basically sprockets for the variable valve timing. They are mounted on the head of the engine.

So, on this engine, you have four cam phasers since there are four camshafts, two for the intake and two for the exhaust.

These components tend to fail and produce noises. Especially at startup. The noises will resemble a strong rattle.

You might also lose the ability of the variable valve timing since these components are basically regulating this system, as well as a check engine light.

The solution is to replace them, this can be somewhat expensive to do because these components are difficult to reach.

The whole front end has to be removed and then the timing covers, and only then you can reach the phasers.

This is a multi-hour job that will drain your wallet. And since you are already there, you might also swap the water pump and the timing chain. Since you don’t want to repeat the same job all over again in a few thousand miles.

Now let’s continue with the next Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 engine problems.

3. Water Pump Failures

And the last problem on our list is the water pump failures that can often destroy the engine.

This is fairly common on these Duratec engines. The water pump is installed in the valley of the engine, which is not a normal practice.
The water pump is also driven by the timing chain, another bad design feature. Because this leads to engine failure.

When the water pump fails, it ruins the timing of the engine. Just imagine a wobbly shaft moving around. This isn’t good for the valves and pistons because in this case, they will collide together and cause damage.

Also, the water pump can leak coolant into the engine oil passageways and mix the oil with the coolant. In this case, you get a milkshake substance that also ruins the engine.

In these situations, you don’t have proper lubrication or cooling. That’s why it is a good idea to be aware of this problem.

Luckily, from the 2012 model year, these problems are not that common since the sprockets were redesigned along with the timing chain.

Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 Engine Reliability

The reliability of this engine is pretty strong, but after the year 2011, the timing chain and the sprocket mechanism were redesigned.

This reduced the problems with these respectable components and the problems were more or less sorted out.

This is why we advise that you get a newer engine. Avoid the older engines because of the issues that we listed.

These issues can easily ruin an engine and this could cost you a ton of money to replace the engine.


In this article, we covered quite a lot when it comes to the 3.7 Duratec engine. First, we learned the specs and applications of this engine.

In the second part of this article, we covered the most common Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 engine problems and we added a comment on the reliability of this engine. Overall, this is a pretty strong engine, but only after 2011 when the timing mechanism was redesigned and improved. That’s why we advise that you get a newer model year and avoid the years until 2011.


What Are The Common Ford Duratec 3.7 V6 Engine Problems?

This engine has a small amount of problems but serious ones. The main issue is the water pump that when fails, would ruin the engine timing and fail the engine. Also, the seals of the water pump can leak coolant and allow the coolant to mix with the engine oil. Which will create a milkshake substance. Also, a common problem with this engine is the cam phaser failure.

Is The Ford 3.7 Duratec Engine Reliable?

Yes, the 3.7 is a pretty reliable engine. But only the models after 2012, the older ones tend to have issues with the water pump and problems with the cam phasers. This is why we advise that you get a newer engine and avoid the early ones.