Common Ford 2.3 EcoBoost problems

The Ford 2.3 EcoBoost engine is a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine designed to power compact, mid-size, and full-size cars, pickups, and certain utility vehicles. The engine was first introduced back in 2015 to power the Lincoln MKC and has since been the beating heart of many Ford models such as the Focus, the Explorer, the Mustang, and the Ranger.

When it comes to reliability, the 2.3 EcoBoost seems to be fairly dependable, but the engine hasn’t been out for too long for us to confidently say that it will be able to stand the test of time as some Ford iconic engines. Power output ranges between 270hp and 345hp which is indeed a commendable number for the size of this engine.

The EcoBoost tends to suffer from high operating temperatures that can cause a myriad of issues. It also suffers from carbon build-up which has to be cleaned in order to preserve the engine’s output and longevity. We also need to mention the fact that the head gasket can fail, especially on earlier RS models.

To finish off this list, we also need to mention issues with both the turbocharger and excessive oil consumption both of which can severely impact the performance of the engine. All in all, the 2.3L EcoBoost is a good engine that should last if you take proper care of it.

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Ford 2.3 EcoBoost – Overheating issues

The very first recall that was done on the 2.3L EcoBoost was due to the engine running way too hot, especially at the underbody section of the engine. They realized that the exhaust was running a bit too hot and could potentially damage many surrounding wires, especially those associated with the parking brake, fuel vapor lines, and the fuel tank itself.

This isn’t the only problem with the 2.3 EcoBoost because we also need to mention overheating issues with performance models like the Focus and the Mustang. Even though the intercooler is able to cool down the 2.3L engine without any issues on normal Ford cars, performance cars can overheat more often.

 Ford 2.3 EcoBoost – Carbon build-up issues

Carbon deposits building up on the valves is not necessarily an issue because if you clean it, you will have absolutely no worries at all. However, if you fail to clean it regularly, your engine is eventually going to start struggling. These carbon deposits will eventually lead to restricted airflow going into the engine which can cause a myriad of other issues.

Many people don’t even realize that carbon build-up is a thing and they don’t even notice the lack of power. However, if you are driving a performance car, the last thing you want is less power. Walnut blasting is the best possible method for cleaning and it is likely going to cost you around $300-$600 to do it.

Ford 2.3 EcoBoost – Head gasket issues

This issue is almost entirely exclusive to the Ford Focus RS which, for some reason, came with an incorrect head gasket that was originally intended for a Mustang. This issue is resolved completely and there shouldn’t be any Focus RS models left with this.

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However, if you are interested in buying a used Focus RS, be sure to pay close attention to this as it can cause very expensive repairs. Ford has records about this issue, so be sure to give your local dealership a call before you buy a used Focus RS.

 Ford 2.3 EcoBoost – Turbocharger issues

Naturally aspirated EcoBoost engines don’t come with a turbocharger which is both a good thing and a bad thing. For starters, non-turbocharged units do benefit from a linear power band, but they don’t have all that much power to begin with.

Turbocharged units are much more powerful and arguably more fun to drive, but the turbocharger can fail and it costs a whole lot of money to fix it. Some have even said that Ford quoted a new turbocharger to cost almost as much as the entire engine itself, so be wary of that.

Ford 2.3 EcoBoost – Oil consumption issues

The Ford 2.3 EcoBoost is also sometimes known to burn too much oil without any apparent reason. Be sure to pay close attention to your engine oil levels as these can prematurely retire an engine. If your engine becomes a bit too dry, it is going to start damaging itself from within, and potentially even cause complete engine failure.

This can only be repaired by completely replacing the engine which, as we previously discussed, costs a lot of money.

FAQ Section

How long can a Ford 2.3 EcoBoost last?

The Ford 2.3 EcoBoost engine should have absolutely no issue lasting at least 200,000 miles before needing any serious repairs. However, this is highly dependent on how well and how often you maintain your engine. Even the world’s most reliable powertrains can’t last a year if they aren’t properly taken care of.

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It does seem like there are some issues that could retire the 2.3 EcoBoost, but if you stay vigilant and do your best, chances are that your 2.3 EcoBoost is going to last you a long, long time.

How efficient is the Ford 2.3 EcoBoost engine?

The 2.3 EcoBoost engine may not be the most efficient 4-cylinder engine on the market. However, we do need to realize that the 2.3 EcoBoost offers upwards of 300hp in many variants, so you can’t expect it to be as efficient as some Hyundai 4-cylinder powertrain.

To be exact, the Ford Mustang that comes with this 2.3 EcoBoost engine is rated to return 22MPG in the city and 31MPG on the highway. If you consider how powerful this engine is, these MPG numbers are actually really good.

Is the Ford 2.3 EcoBoost better than the V8?

The 2.3 EcoBoost is a lot cheaper to buy, a lot cheaper to repair, a lot cheaper to run, and a lot more efficient. The 2.3 EcoBoost is the better engine in almost every possible way, but people will always love the 5.0L V8 more because it is a naturally aspirated large V8 that sounds amazing.

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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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