About 70% of F150 Owners Uncertain About EcoBoost Reliability

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Last week, I wrote a quick post about the EcoBoost’s quality perception problem with Ford owners titled “EcoBoost Losing Steam with Ford Loyalists.” I talked about some EcoBoost forum comments left by (presumably) Ford truck owners that were less than positive, and concluded that Ford might have a perception problem with their EcoBoost engine family among their loyal customers.

I was (rightly) called out by one of our frequent commenters for that article, as it wasn’t heavy on data. While it wasn’t as if the conclusion I offered was relying exclusively upon comments on some forum (it wasn’t), it certainly did seem that way. SO, I invested $100 in a Google Survey and asked 200 self-identified F150 owners the following question: Do You Think The Ford EcoBoost V6 Is A Reliable Engine?

In what may be surprising to some (but not me), 70% of Ford F150 owners answered either “No” or “Maybe, I’m Not Sure.”

Ford F150 EcoBoost reliability survey

We asked F150 owners if they believe the EcoBoost is a reliable engine. Here’s what they said (click the image for the full survey results).

A couple of points here for those who might doubt the integrity of our survey:

  1. The survey was completed using Google surveys. 2,123 random people were asked “Do You Own a Ford F-150?”. Those that answered in the affirmative were then asked about EcoBoost reliability. The data is based on a fairly random sample set (Google users) and as you can see from the graphic above there is a confidence interval of about 8% (each result could be off by as much as 8%).
  2. The results are available for the whole world to see here. You don’t have to take my word for any of the above. Just click the link and see for yourself.
  3. The results I’m sharing here are based on Google’s statistical assessment, meaning that they have been weighted. The actual results from the survey are worse than shown…49.5% said “Maybe” and 26% said “No”. Only 24.5% (again, unweighted) said “Yes.” I’m using data that’s more beneficial to Ford.

Again, you can see all of this data for yourself here.

What The Survey Results Mean

While the survey proves that there’s a bit of an EcoBoost perception problem, it’s far from certain that this problem will be long-lasting. In the years to come, it may be that Ford owners come to universally trust the EcoBoost engine family…or maybe not.  There’s simply no way to predict the future, which is why I say the EcoBoost is “in danger of losing” the trust of loyal Ford owners.

However, the survey shows that there can be no doubt about EcoBoost’s perceived quality problems. In addition to our survey, it’s easy to find thousands of forum posts, Facebook comments, etc. from supposed Ford truck owners who say that a) the EcoBoost engine is unreliable and/or b) the EcoBoost engine doesn’t get great gas mileage.

What’s more, my dealership contacts (whom I speak with fairly frequently) have been telling me that EcoBoost engines are becoming harder to sell now that consumers are learning about stalling problems and less than promised fuel economy.

Bottom Line: There are about as many Ford F-150 owners who think the EcoBoost is unreliable as those that think the opposite, and a near majority who aren’t sure about the engine. If 70-80% of Ford’s loyal customer base isn’t sure about the EcoBoost, there’s a problem. The EcoBoost is in danger of becoming the EcoBust.

Finally, to those that say our survey is bogus, that our questions are poor, etc., I have a solution: Buy your own survey data and prove us wrong. Here’s a link to Google Surveys to get you started.

Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. Mickey says:

    Perception is half the problem.

  2. Brian J says:

    The results are certainly interesting and I applaud you for putting forth the effort to get a sample of F150 owners. As you said, time will tell if the uncertainty many owners have about the engine’s reliability will be founded or unfounded. Just as a curiousity, I wonder how many of those who were uncertain about the EcoBoost or said “No” had actual reliability issues. If I was a betting man I would say those that said “No” would be either owners that had actual issues or owners that owned a Ford, but opted for the 302 V-8 instead of the blown V-6 because of their reliability concerns. At any rate, thank you for gathering this data. It shows once again that Tundra HQ is not a mudslinger website, but a place for intelligent (and respectful) discussion.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Brian J,

      Thanks for the compliment on the site! When the comments first started coming in about our previous post, I immediately went to Jason and said we need to do something. I think this survey was the best way we could respond. As you can see, we take your opinions and comments seriously. Thanks for reading, commenting and keeping us on our toes!


    • Thanks for commenting originally – if it hadn’t been for you, the survey wouldn’t have happened. 🙂

  3. LJC says:

    I see two problems with the Ecoboost. First, Ford’s handling of the matter. The fact of the matter is Ford is notoriously known for not addressing matters quickly. One case that comes to mind is that thing with F150’s catching on fire for some circut being continously powered.

    Second, I think the root of problem for the EcoBoost engine is the CAC. Cooling intake air creates condensation that has a direct path to the cylinders. I don’t buy the thing with the Turbos. Diesel engines have been using them reliably for years.

    • Larry says:

      It’s not reasonable to make a comparison of diesel and gas turbo systems.

      A cummins diesel does it work at 2000 RPM under heavy load we might run at 2500 with very high fuel flow. Redline it 3000. An ecoboost twin turbo running at 5500 is a whole different story. I have followed F150s towing 10000 pounds up long 10 mile grades at 70 MPH. That is very impressive but, I know that running the kind of load with a V6 under high turbo pressure is not a formula for longevity. Indy motors put out insane power but for about 4 hours if they hold together even that long. I will say it again, for heavy work a twin turbo v6 is the wrong motor.

      I still hold the view that eco boost motors will have costly problems at 10 years 150,000 miles. To be fair a turbo diesel with injector pressures over 20,000 PSI is also not free from repair expense. 6 Injectors and the high pressure fuel pump cost for a diesel with labor can cost 3000 and sooner or later they will need to be replaced. One bad batch of fuel and it can be sooner. However, the core of 5.9 Cummins diesel is good for 500,000 miles plus.

      The prof of the ecoboost is still at least 5 years away. The problem of water in the turbo system is embarrassing for sure but they will fix it. There is still the issue of a manufacturer like Ford screwing customers the day something is past warranty if not before.

      • Brian J says:

        Just out of curiousity, what component failures do you see happening on the blown V-6? I would argue that if used within mfr specifications that the internal engine components will hold up well even in continuous high boost applications. I can’t imagine an engineer releasing a motor to spend its life under boost without beefier rods, bearings, and shafts. Unless an engine is chipped or otherwise modified I really don’t see internal component failures being a large scale issue, but I suppose time will tell. What about a 6 cylinder makes you nervous? Would you have more confidence if the engine was a turbocharged, undersquare (long stroke) inline 6 over the V-6 configuration?

        As a separate issue, would you expect to see similar component failures on the blown 5.7 V-8 that Toyota also offers with a factory warranty?

        I agree that a turbodiesel can spend most of its life hard on the throttle and last hundreds of thousands of miles. Big rigs on the road are a testimony to that, but some of those also fail in big ways when not properly maintained.

      • LJC says:

        I disagree with the turbo comment: a turbo is a turbo, whether it be in a diesel or a gasser. It comes down to how well it is built. Same thing with with a gasser: if it is well built, it can go a long ways. A diesel’s durability has to do with the components. Case in point-since you mention Cummins-is the 53 block. That block series cracked when the engine was used in a way it was designed.

  4. To be honest, I’m not really convinced that the EcoBoost is a bad engine. The CAC problem is fairly limited in terms of scope, and enough EcoBoost engines have been running around now that we’d probably know if there was a REAL problem with turbos, internals, etc.

    Still, the whole point here is that Ford has a *perception* problem, even with the people that drive their product. Consumers – from casual car enthusiasts to died-in-the-wool gearheads – have genuine reservations about using a turbocharged V6 in place of a V8.

    While I’d be the first to argue some of these reservations are a bit old-fashioned, that’s a side issue. The perception of the engine is questionable. If the EcoBoost suffers another high profile problem – like a bad ruling in their pending class action suit, or a Dateline NBC hit job (like their “Runaway Toyotas” segment in 2009) – the EcoBoost brand is toast.

    I worked at a Ford dealership when the 6.0L diesel engine problems started to mount, and that was a particularly bad episode for Ford. While the HD truck segment wasn’t that competitive at that time, today’s LD truck segment is uber-competitive. Toyota, GM, and Ram all offer products worthy of consideration, and by all accounts Nissan is going to offer a worthy truck shortly.

    Considering this competition and all the eggs Ford has put into the EcoBoost basket – their MPG claims, their emphasis on innovation and technology – there are reasons to be concerned…at least if you work at Ford. 🙂

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