2012 F-150 King Ranch – 2 Blown Motors in 23,500 miles

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Quite often on this site, we like to point out what we see as errors and shortcomings of all the truck brands (Toyota included). Yet, I can’t help feel for this Ford truck owner and his issues. Is he making it up or does Ford have some explaining to do?

2012 F-150 King Ranch - 2 Blown Motors in 23,500 miles

This King Ranch F-150 has gone through 2 motors in just 23,500 miles. What a lemon!

Over on F150online.com, there is a story about a Canadian oil worker and his 2012 F-150 King Ranch (see: $67k) truck with 23,500 miles. His truck is relatively new and is on its third motor. He has chronicled his story on F150forum.com under the name, GhostintheMachine. Here is his first post on the problem:

I was on my way to work. I work about 12 hours from home in the Canadian oil fields. I was roughly 3 hours from home. It was a nice warm spring day. Not hot but pleasant.

I pulled out to pass a mini van and heard a loud pop. The truck immediately said no oil pressure. I coasted the truck to the shoulder and shut it off. Called roadside to pick the truck up. Had approx 37000 Kms on it.

Roadside picked me and the truck up and took it to the nearest dealer. Before we left the driver and myself found a hole in the block, some pieces of the block, and what I think was a wrist pin. Still not sure.

The service advisor I talked to initially told me “it would be a hard thing to warrant” and if they decided to warranty the repairs “it will probably take 1.5 months”.

I found these responses really disturbing. My truck is a 2012 King Ranch. It had a sticker price of 67 thousand on the window. I also purchased extended bumper to bumper warranty to 180 thousand Kms. I obviously didn’t pay anywhere near 67 for it. I’m just making a point.

At this time I called ford of Canada to try and let a customer service rep know what I was told and to try and get some more answers. I was advised I’d hear back within 2 business days. Not exactly a great answer. At the time I remember thinking that was probably a token “cover their ***” type of comment. I thought I’d probably hear from a rep within 24 hours if not sooner.

2012 F-150 King Ranch - 2 Blown Motors Towing

A common sight on this F-150 King Ranch.

A few posts on, we hear about engine 2:

I bummed around the week after I got the truck back. Just did general stuff around the house. Really happy my truck was home.

Thinking back it did have a strange idle. Seemed higher than before. I thought maybe that was the fix for the intercooler condensation. I wasn’t too worried about it. Truck ran good.

I set off for work again. Did a 16 day stint.

On my way home the truck started clacking. I called ford roadside and explained the situation. I also explained I’d like to keep driving to try and get to the closest city where I could catch a flight home. The gal I talked to agreed that was an ok plan and to call back if I needed any help.

About a half hour later I called back to explain engine number 2 was done. It did the same thing as engine number 1. Hole in the block. Cloud of blue smoke.

2012 F-150 King Ranch - 2 Blown Motors in 23,500 miles Blown

Apparently, these things blowing out of an engine are bad for it.

What seems to be the issue? He explains: “Another new long block will be going in as well as turbos and whatever else I need. They found cylinder 3 and 6 had been flooding/running rich and blew apart. Same problem as before. He says they will be testing the fuel injectors and fuel system all around.”

The thread is 70 some pages and frankly, it is way too long to read it all. Although it is quite entertaining. Here are the highlights I found:

  • The EcoBoost “fan boys” are sticking up for their engine while calmer heads are saying it could have happened to any engine.
  • The moderator has closed the thread and accused GhostintheMachine of “leaving out key details.”
  • The GhostintheMachine is requesting owners to complain to Ford Canada reps on his behalf.
  • A U.S. Ford Rep has been notified to provide assistance.
  • Ford has paid reimbursed him for just one hotel room throughout this ordeal. Really, one measly hotel room.

While, you can blame the EcoBoost, it seems more like a dealer issue to me.

The really sad part is that he is stuck with the truck. The local dealer is offering a pittance on the trade in because of the mechanical issues and says he simply got a lemon. Sad.

What do you think? Another terrible dealer story or is something amiss? Oh and apparently, he is trying to buy a different Ford truck. Maybe someone should introduce him to a Tundra!

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Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com


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  1. Brian J says:

    I have some key questions:

    Is he running the engine hard? Is it low on oil? Is he running the correct grade of oil? Is he exceeding payload or towing limits? Or is he just F.O.S.?

    Just because you read about it on the internet doesn’t always make it true.

    • Brian J says:

      Also wondering if he chipped or upgraded this engine as that could possibly create internal pressures in the engine leading to catastrophic failure. With all of the Ecoboost engines on the road I would think we would see more of these failures if it was an internal design flaw.

      • Tim Esterdahl says:

        Good thought. I really don’t think so though based on his driving to work and back. I think the last thing he would want from this work truck is a performance chip upgrade.


    • Brian J says:

      Sorry, I keep seeing more in this story that makes me wonder. Assuming thats a piston pin in his hand, look at the heat discoloration where the connecting rod would be. If the engine was being oiled and cooled properly an engine that new should not have those marks. Looks like it may have been running hot for a while. The deep pitting is also concerning. I’m not sure how awful the engine sounded, but to do that kind of damage it must have been giving many tell tale clues that it was dying. Damage and failure of this level does not happen alone. I would love to hear what Larry thinks about this story. Larry, if you’re out there give some input, please!

      • Tim Esterdahl says:

        Brian J,

        I’m sure there is more to this story and two sides to it. The last comment by the moderator before he closed the thread is pretty telling about that. But, I still don’t think he deserved the dealer hassles.


    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Haha! Of course it is true on the internet. 🙂

      He says he doesn’t ride it hard and changes his oil. What surprises me is the 2nd engine blew so quickly.


    • Larry says:

      From what I read, I didn’t see any comment about which engine but, it doesn’t really matter.

      As I have no direct facts about this which I can confirm, I can only say I have my doubts.

      Okay, with millions of trucks on the road, a connecting rod could break but, the odds of it are high. At the age of 60 I personally have never talked with any person who has told me a story of being in a car/truck which broke a rod,,,,, ever. So now we rebuild the engine and a second rod fails on the same truck. A million to 1 for sure. We are also told the second rod broke just after getting the truck back, would this make the odds somewhere above 100 million to 1?

      Like was already mentioned, the piston pin looked like it was from something older then a 1 year old engine. It just so happened it came out the side of the block instead of sticking in the rod or falling into the pan, more to add to the high odds.

      Something about this story just does not seem believable. Someone mentioned the possibility of the owner being F O S. I wonder about that also.

      While I still claim the Ford V6 twin turbo is unproven and if this allegedly happened to one of these new engines, I still would not believe the store unless I saw the damage first hand.

      If however the story is true, I would believe the dealer and Ford wouldn’t care much about it happening. Buy anything from the big 3 and you are on your own, no news there.

      So, this story has not altering my view of the Ford motors.

      67K sticker for a truck? I don’t know what a king ranch is but at that price it might be time for me to get into Ford stock or buy a ranch and not a truck. If a base F150 2WD is about 24K, some one made some good money even if the guy didn’t pay sticker. What the hell is a king ranch truck anyway? What could anyone add to a base F150 to make it cost an extra 43000? Have people gone mad?

      I have the resources to write a check for that price truck and still wouldn’t even look at a truck with that kind of price. No wonder people can’t afford health care let alone retirement.

      And,,,,,,,,, my 19 year old 3.0L V6 T100 with 150,000 miles with how many millions upon millions of crank rotations has all it’s connecting rods an piston pins still in their original locations. But, it’s not a nice cool luxury King Ranch T100, just a plain old truck for hauling dirt and rocks.

  2. Mickey says:

    I’m sure this guy in the traveling he does the oil changes are done professionally. As for running it hard I’m not so sure about that either. Running it hard doesn’t give the #3 and #6 the over fueling that cause the engine to blow. As for the dealership telling him he has a lemon and giving him very little trade in tells the story. They know that the truck is a lemon. He definitely won’t get what he paid for it. Now the issues begin with Ford on this ecoboost. Dealer would put a new or used engine back in the truck. That’s all they will do. They didn’t run any checks to see why the engine blew. 1.5 months to fix is a ridiculous timeframe. They easily forgot this man dropped $67k for a truck. Once you sign the dotted line then you get a swift kick in the rear and told to move on. They forget real easy. I can relate to this guy’s issues.

  3. tonyspin says:

    For 67k he could have got a Tundra and a Tacoma to make his commute.

  4. LJC says:

    I’ve read cases where the injectors for the new f150 engines have been leaking fuel. I suspect this has happened to this guy.

    What is really bad about this is the way he’s being treated by Ford. For example, on youtube there is a well documented f150 ecoboost case; search for kelley350x and check out this guy’s experience.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      That’s amazing, I watched two of the videos. I love the “the Ecoboost is designed for fuel economy.” Ok, so it isn’t designed to be a truck then? (shaking my head).

      That statement just reinforces what the other manufactures wonder. They state the EcoBoost is great, just NOT in a full-size truck.


      • Larry says:


        While it’s unfortunate that Kelley350x is having to deal with such trouble and is getting little help from Ford, I have to wonder if he spent even 5 minutes to learn anything about that ecoboost motor before he put his neck in the rope. Ford had enough trouble just keeping spark plugs in the heads then even more trouble removing them.

        Would cescna put that type of motor in an airplane? Not if they hope to be in business next year. That’s why they are still using the same 1950 engines. The work and keep flying.

        To all, don’t fall for this stuff. Stick with what works and don’t push Toyota for more complex engines, you may get what you wish for and then have to pay to get it fixed. Do your homework before buying such a complex engine.

        How difficult is it to search for “ecoboost troubles” these day? After about 5 reports like this hitting youtube anyone who then goes out and drops 40 grand for the same engine is asking for trouble.

        How many buyers of the ecoboost know about the system shutdown due to water problems with the turbo systems. People need to know about this stuff before they go to the dealer.

        In 2013 it is effortless to find out a ton of information about anything before we buy.
        People are being lazy and stupid and this is what they get, a big loan they have to pay for 6 years for something which flips them off with a check engine light as their truck will then go into limp mode and they have to drive it to the dealer at 10 MPH who then laughs at them.

        Wake up people.

        • Tim Esterdahl says:


          Oh, I absolutely agree! Although, I will willing admit I was one of those “lazy and stupid” people before I got hired to do this gig. It is amazing how much I have learned over the last 2 years. Looking at Ram trucks now makes me “queasy.” LOL!


          • Larry says:


            I too have been burned in business transactions and I will likely get caught again but, with each time I use the experience to my advantage in the next transaction of similar nature.

            My point is that things are becoming very complex and autos/trucks cost us so many hours/years of our working life to pay for them that we all must demand quality and when we don’t get it, it also becomes our responsibility to do our part to inform the market place to prevent others from being taken and to force manufactures to fix their products.

            Best of luck. Looking forward to you review after 2013 Tundra evaluation.

          • Tim Esterdahl says:


            Agreed. I am always striving to be a “smart consumer.” It is a never ending quest.


  5. Jay says:

    It’s Canada. Prices are higher up there and he did say it was MSRP and didn’t pay anywhere close to that.

  6. BOWEN says:

    They should replace the counter staff with iPad’s closer to the dream of not having to talk to anyone during the average day.

  7. mk says:

    everyone has opinions on ford vs. chevy/tundra same as HD vs. Honda. Everyone doesn’t like driving the same as everyone else. For me, I’m different than 90% of the people riding HD’s and ford/chevy around me locally and prefer to be different with what I feel is better to fit my needs: Honda and Toyota.

    I think this particular ecoboost issue is most likely a fluke going thru that many engines in so little time and maybe partially dealer install to blame maybe, only speculation though?

    • Larry says:


      It’s a bit difficult for me to understand your position of “prefer to be different” with regard to buying a 40,000 dollar truck. I try to evaluate the offerings and if different has an advantage then I would move that direction. I am only concerned with one issue, will the product do the job and at what cost. That’s my only criteria.

      I have put many hour into looking at the 5 manufacturers products mostly with regard to engine and transmission because these 2 items are the most costly when problems occur. If I looked at engine internals and I felt Ecoboost was the most solid that is the way I would go. If money was not an issue, I would go with Cummins engines but, too expansive so I have to dig deeper.

      I am interested in what you are looking for in regard to the issue of different. What issues do you look at? Would you care to add further comment?

      Your comments will add to all our evaluation procedures. If you have found something in a given model which makes it of more value to you, it will also be of value to the rest of us.

  8. Fordless says:

    Anyone who would buy a vehicle from a company that sold the 6.0L diesel engine for 5 model years should know what to expect. Not only are these owners out in the cold now, their ~$50K trucks are now worth 10-15K. This is simply because of the reputation of the engine. Good Luck guys! I learned my lesson a while back.

  9. RIck says:

    This is a good truck. I rented a 2013 F-150 (5.0L) and the truck was comfortable, fast and had good brakes. OF course though, I feel my Tundra is a better truck!

    I have to defend this guy who hasn’t been taken care of by his dealer. I’ve been there and had to fight dealers (and a manufacturer) and their not-so-subtle disregard for me while I had warranty work addressed.

    I had an ’02 Duramax that had a known fuel injector problem. The Bosch designed injectors flooded my engine/crankcase with diesel while I was in the mountains. Only after I hired an attorney & many months later, did they relent.

    This was not a poke at the Duramax which is IMO, an excellent motor. It’s a call to those that we have to be aware of our warranty and be relentless in pursuing repairs and proper care from our dealer and ultimately the manufacturer.

  10. gene says:

    Being a early adopter of any new technology/process or product has its risks. Manufacturers only test so much,using their own personnel and criteria. Those criteria may not be anywhere near realistic or important to you or I. Direct injection came from a large degree from racing. Worked great on motors that were torn down or replaced every 500 miles give or take. In our world, the real world,it has draw backs and causes issues. Dirty intake valves being one because they are no longer washed with fuel. Someone posted that the owner should have investigated and dug around more about the ecoboost. And that is exactly right. No one is looking out for you and your money, but you. So when government motors comes out with a 3 liter 16 cylinder quad turbo in a 1 ton ya might wanna dig around for owner opionions and not manufacturer propaganda.

  11. […] that was so why the TSB and Ford being sued? Also : 2012 F-150 King Ranch – 2 Blown Motors in 23,500 miles | Tundra Headquarters Blog You state reality for Ford which is bias on your part. Yes I towed and traveled in my CM. Never got […]

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