Common Ford 1.5 TDCi Engine Problems

Ford Focus

Ford is known for making some of the world’s best engines, but most of those are large and beefy V8 muscle car engines which aren’t the only engines Ford makes. On the lower end of the spectrum, stands the 1.5L TDCi which is designed for mass-market purposes which means that it needs to be able to stand the test of time even better than a Ford V8 which typically does not do similar mileage.

As such, we are going to mention all the common Ford 1.5 TDCi engine problems and tell you what you need to know when it comes time to fix it. Knocking sounds seem to be a thing with these engines while the camshaft is also known to cause problems. Other issues include problems with the EGR valve and potential oil leaks.

All in all, the 1.5 TDCi seems to be a decently reliable engine as many people tend to drive these for hundreds of thousands of miles without needing any major mechanical overhauls or rebuilds. As such, it is imperative for you to take care of this engine properly which means doing all the maintenance and repairs whenever needed.

Even so, things can happen and your engine could suffer from serious problems even if you do everything you can. It’s sadly a thing with virtually all engines out there, but one this is for certain, doing everything you need to do in due time is going to lower the chances of anything out of the ordinary ever taking place.

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Knocking Sounds

Engine knocking sounds have often been reported for the 1.5 TDCi. A few owners have reported these happening intermittently and even led to the engine prematurely dying. The connecting rods are sometimes linked to causing these problems and connecting rod issues are indeed serious and need to be dealt with immediately.

It’s best to take your car to a dealership or a Ford specialist the moment you notice any weird noises coming from the engine area. Noises such as these tend to lead to a mechanical shortcoming, potentially even timing chains, which can be terminal in some cases.

Camshaft Problems  

One of the more notable recalls linked to the 1.5L diesel is the one related to camshaft problems. The sprockets on the cam are known to break which could cause relatively serious issues. Some even state that the camshaft should be replaced every 7-9 years or so as these problems can happen multiple times even after the cam is replaced.

If the cam sprocket detaches from the rivet, it can cause belt problems as well. If that happens, your engine could be in very big trouble. As such, take your car to a mechanic as mentioned in the paragraph above as ignoring issues such as these can also be terminal.

 EGR Valve Problems

The EGR (exhaust gas recirculation valve) is tasked with controlling fuel fumes and using them for combustion processes which helps the engine be less harmful to the environment while also being more efficient. As such, if the EGR valve starts causing problems, you should be able to notice them with excessive smoking, bad MPG, inconsistent power, and excessive diesel fuel odors.

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The best thing would be to clean the EGR valve as that can sometimes solve the issue cheaply. However, if this issue persists over a longer period of time even after you clean the valve, it’s best to inspect all of the lines that lead to and from the EGR valve and test the system for any leaks. Lastly, replacing the EGR valve in this instance is always the best idea.

 Oil Leaks

Oil leaks are a common occurrence on a wide variety of engines and the 1.5 TDCi is no different. The most common places where an oil leak can occur are the gaskets on the pan which aren’t the highest-quality gaskets out there. The oil line seals can deteriorate over time while the oil lines themselves tend to be sturdy enough not to leak.

Either way, it’s always best to perform a leak test, especially if you notice any puddles underneath the car. Checking the oil dipstick and topping up the oil whenever you notice it’s missing is only a way of prolonging the issue. Test the car for leaks, and fix/replace all the components that are causing them.

FAQ Section

Which Ford Models use the 1.5 TDCi engine?

The Ford 1.5 TDCi engine is used throughout Ford’s diesel mainstream range from cars such as the Fiesta to the Ford C-Max large family hauler. The reason why Ford uses this engine across its range is that it is cheap to buy, cheap to fill up, fairly reliable, and decently long-lasting, all of which are qualities needed for good daily driver cars.

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The 1.5 TDCi pushes out between 75hp and 120hp which does not make it overly powerful, but its 185-270 Nm of torque is more than plenty for what this engine is typically being used for.

Which Diesel Engines Does Ford Offer?

Ford has quite a few diesel engines in its lineup. The 1.5L is now the smallest Ford diesel engine while top-spec Heavy Duty trucks can be had with engines pushing above 7 liters in displacement. Basically, all of these are designed to last hundreds of thousands of miles and all are fairly dependable.

The top-spec Powerstoke units are beasts when it comes to torque, towing, and hauling while smaller diesel units are best for daily commuting and even long-distance highway driving.

Should I buy a Ford 1.5 TDCi?

If you want an affordable, dependable, and easy-to-live-with Ford that comes with an adequate diesel powertrain, the 1.5L TDCi is a really good choice. If you take proper care of this engine, it should be able to endure all the daily stresses without experiencing major mechanical issues, or any at all.

The idea behind this engine is to stay on top of all of its potential niggles. They might not be the best diesel engines on the market but are more than plenty for what they are designed to do.

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Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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