Common Ford 3.5 V6 engine problems

The Ford 3.5 V6 was released back in 2007 and is commonly known as the “Cyclone” or the “Duratec 3.5”. This 3.5 unit was first used for the Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKZ but later found its way into many other models. With less than 300hp on tap, the 3.5L V6 certainly isn’t going to impress anyone as some EcoBoost Ford engines can make more than that with half the size.

Be that as it may, the 3.5L was not introduced to be used in a performance car, but rather to be efficient and reliable. As such, the 3.5L is a decently reliable engine that can last you a long time without any issues, but no engine is perfect, and now we are going to list common Ford 3.5 V6 engine problems.

The most common problems are associated with the water pump, oil dilution, cam torque phasers, and intercooler condensation. Before we dwell deeper into these issues, we need to address the fact that the 3.5L is a sound and reliable engine as a whole. These are merely common issues but aren’t common with all 3.5 units.

If you want this engine to last you a lifetime, you need to take proper care of it. The good news is that this engine isn’t as expensive to run as some might expect considering its size. All in all, it is a good, reliable, and efficient power plant that isn’t going to wow or offend anyone.

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Ford 3.5 V6 engine problems – Water pump issues

When it comes to engine cooling systems, water pumps are a known failure point. The water pump is tasked with circulating the coolant all across the engine which means that it is vital for keeping the engine temperature at a safe level. This makes water pump issues urgent repairs as they can quickly destroy an engine.

Unfortunately, the 3.5L V6 Ford engine is known to have a relatively faulty water pump which means that this issue can threaten the entire powertrain. The water pump is driven by the timing chain which makes it a lot riskier and more difficult to repair. As such, if you see your engine temperatures rising, be sure to turn off the car and check the water pump.

Ford 3.5 V6 engine problems – Oil dilution problems

Previously we talked about the fact that the Ford 3.5 suffers from water pump failures which can also cause the coolant to mix with engine oil and thus dilute it substantially. This is not as common as the water pump issue, but it does happen. If this goes unnoticed for a while, severely diluted oil will lose its ability to properly lubricate the engine and thus can cause catastrophic engine damage.

It also seems like there are a few lawsuits directly associated with these two problems. Engine oil is probably the most important liquid a car has which means that it always needs to be topped up properly and also needs to be replaced at correct intervals in order to safeguard the engine from a wide variety of issues.

Ford 3.5 V6 engine problems – Cam torque phaser issue

The Ford 3.5L V6 comes in two different variants. The first one is using a single camshaft while the second one relies on twin independent variable camshaft timing. This distinction is important as cam torque phaser issues only affect the latter. The idea of a twin-independent camshaft timing is to properly synchronize intake and exhaust timing for better performance.

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These torque cam phasers are designed to rotate those two camshafts in accordance with engine timing. When these stop functioning properly, they will cause rough idling, check engine light, power loss, and severe engine rattling. This is not the cheapest nor the easiest thing to fix, so be sure to inspect these components whenever you service the car.

Ford 3.5 V6 engine problems – Intercooler condensation

If you drive your 3.5L V6 Ford engine in especially humid places such as Florida, you may face issues with water being trapped inside the intercooler as opposed to it vaporizing away. As such, excess water in the intercooler is unable to vaporize and causes engine stumbling and hesitation, especially under heavy loads such as towing, hauling, or highway driving.

These issues can be solved with various aftermarket components such as a so-called “catch can”. A catch can rely on a turbocharger-derived vacuum to catch excess water and stop it from becoming trapped inside the intercooler. It is also worth mentioning that these issues only affect earlier 3.5L V6 engines as later ones were redesigned by Ford.

FAQ Section

Is the Ford 3.5L V6 a good engine?

It depends on what you want from an engine. If you want high horsepower, responsiveness, and high torque, the 3.5L V6 is not for you. Many people believe that this engine is really powerful because it is a 6-cylinder engine with a relatively large displacement, but that is far from the truth as even some Ford EcoBoost 3-cylinder engines offer similar power.

On the other hand, if you want a reliable, efficient, and dependable workhorse of an engine, the 3.5L Ford V6 is likely going to suit you well.

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How efficient is the Ford 3.5L V6 engine?

Considering how large this engine actually is, it is rather impressive that it can return up to 20MPG in the city and up to 26MPG on the highway. These MPG results can be altered in many ways, mostly by the way you drive. Sure, there are many smaller Ford engines that can offer better MPG than this one, but for a 2007 engine, this is more than good enough.

If you compare this V6 to other V6 and V8 engines, you will immediately see that this one is much more efficient and more sophisticated.

How long can a Ford 3.5L V6 engine last?

If you do your due diligence and take care of the engine properly, you are likely going to experience more than 200k miles without needing any major engine overhauls. Many things affect how long an engine can last which means that it is difficult to gauge the “true” limit.

Be that as it may, many 3.5L V6 Ford owners are proud to state that their engines have easily passed the 250k or even the 300k miles mark, but it is uncertain if these engines were rebuilt in any way, shape, or form.

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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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