Ford’s EcoBoost Losing Steam With Ford Loyalists

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Update: Brian J in the comments below asked me to support my post with some data – here’s the data that supports the original conclusion.

When Ford’s EcoBoost engines came out, a lot of people (myself included) saw the engine as a game-changer. A bold new step forward for trucks, one that promised better fuel economy without sacrificing much power.

Ford truck owners question value of EcoBoost

A growing number of Ford truck owners are questioning the reliability and fuel economy benefits of the EcoBoost V6. That’s bad news for Ford, as they’ve put all their eggs in the EcoBoost basket.

Years later, we’ve seen copious amounts of evidence to suggest that the EcoBoost isn’t the game-changer it promised to be. From anecdotes about mediocre fuel economy to problems with stalling and hesitation to hefty turbo replacement costs, there is ample evidence for skeptics like me to grab on to.

But what about Ford loyalists? Are they too seeing that EcoBoost isn’t what it’s cracked up to be? The answer seems to be yes – at least partially.

Some Ford Owners Openly Revolt Against EcoBoost is a popular resource of Ford truck owners, and a recent thread asking for opinions about the 5.0L V8 vs the EcoBoost V6 generated a number of incredible comments, most of which seemed to agree that:

  1. The EcoBoost’s fuel economy ratings are overblown and
  2. The known issue with stalling (caused by condensation) is a deterrent to buying the motor

A couple of sample comments:

…the lingering [EcoBoost] condensation issue…is a big factor. Granted It’s a small portion of owners but still can’t be ignored. Ingesting water can’t be good for any engine and it’s long term effect on some of these engines is unknown. I personally didn’t want to take a chance and deal with the BS to have it fixed or band-aid fix (learn more about the condensation problem here)


 i’ll revisit the [EcoBoost] option if I decide to get another F150 in a few years, but there were simply too many issues and I could not justify the extra $1750 or so (with rebates) for the Ecoboost


Nobody gets the Eco because it gets better gas mileage unless they are uninformed. It might net 1-2 better mpg, but it might not. Depends on the person….get the Eco if you want more power. Gas mileage shouldn’t matter much.

seem to strike at the heart of the key benefits of the EcoBoost, at least if random forum posts are any indication.

In summary, I can’t say that I’ve done any sort of scientific analysis to support this point, but here goes: When loyal Ford owners argue that the new EcoBoost isn’t reliable OR fuel efficient, there’s a problem. Why will consumers lay down additional funds to get an engine that a) doesn’t really save gas and b) has concerns about reliability?

It says here that the EcoBoost is in danger of becoming the EcoBust…and that Toyota is wise to forgo twin-turbo V6 technology just so they can brag about MPG ratings that their owners never actually get.

Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. LJC says:

    Anyone out there with an EB performing regular oil analysis? If condensation were truly an issue, it would show up as water in the report.

  2. DJ says:

    Good write-up, I’ve felt this way for a while. What you did leave out is the millions in advertising dollars Ford has spent on brainwashing folks about the superior MPG the EgoBust gets.
    Truck Trend just released their long-term review of their EgoBust. While they enjoyed driving the truck (shocker all these magazines fawn over the big three) they averged, get this, 14.6 MPG. Identical to what I get with my 5.7 liter Crewmax Tundra driving like an idiot around town. Yet I don’t have to ever deal with turbo issues and costly replacement.
    You’re spot on, the idea of the EgoBust is a good one, and groundbreaking in the 1/2 ton truck market, but the way it’s executed in real life, it’s not an MPG saver. It’s an alternative way to get HP and Torque numbers comparable to a V-8.
    In closing, it’s a marketing scam for the ages.

  3. Brian J says:

    This is a very uninformed, biased post. I used to always be impressed with how this website has provided mostly well-rounded articles, but this one leaves me disappointed. You cannot take a few posts from a forum and write an entire article on it. Like you said, you need to do scientific research. You need to get a representative sampling of Ford owners and get their opinions. I know guys who didn’t like my 5.7 Tundra because it had camshaft issues and those awful air pumps with water intrusion that cost $2-3000 to replace. Sometimes issues happen. Overall, the 3.5L V-6 has been a good horse for Ford. They’ve sold a ton of them and an overwhelming majority are running strong with no real issues.

    Fuel economy is all about how you drive it. If you are on the gas all the time keeping the turbos spooled up its going to get a decrease in mileage. If you drive a little more gingerly it will turn over better numbers. I could drive my Tundra like a hot rod and get 10mpg if I want. Even on the best day I’ve never bested 19mpg on flat land with a tailwind on the open road. I’ve been to the same sites listed here and a lot of guys turn over decent numbers with the EcoBoost (21-23mpg) along with other guys claiming they get awful mileage. No one really knows but the owner.

    Like I said, this is a very disappointing article. I have been coming to TundraHQ for over 3 years now. This makes me want to never visit again.

    • RIck says:


      I have a SC Tundra, so I ignore any comment on the reliability of turbos (blown motors). I also had a worked Duramax with chip and mods that was reliable over 100k miles. (I sold it at 100k)

      My sister had an early 80’s Turbo 4cyl Thunderbird that was all the rage back then. She beat the bejesus out of it for years and never had any problems. Expectedly, the lag was glacial. Still, it was good! Can’t believe that was a 4cyl! Lol.

      A close friend had a loaded ’12 Ecoboost F-150. He let me drive it to the lake one day with his boat in tow and I was impressed by its low end torque! It just pulled his 28 ft boat out of the water without breaking a sweat. I was shocked and a little jealous! My stock Tundra would have had the throttle down to do the same chore. However, he recently traded it in citing “dismal MPG and turbo lag”. I was shocked. He only drives back and forth to work, a middle aged guy with a kid. I asked him if he was ‘into the throttle’ and he was like ‘once in a while’ – not unlike me and my blown Tundra. But I avg 15.7 mpg – mostly city with a 4.88 posi. He was getting 11! He made no mention of a condensation issue.

      He traded it for – I almost passed out – 2014 loaded Ram with Hemi! I rented one and it’s a dog.

      I told him I would have at least gotten the 5.0L since I rented a 5.0L Crewcab for a weekend in DC. That motor is surprisingly strong and I avg’d 19 mpg hwy @75 mph on way home. You can SC that 5.0L from Stillen, but it’s a lot more than my Tundra’s SC. I’m not sure about their warranty but you will pay dearly for the dealer to install.

      Btw, when my computer coded and dumped fuel, I was averaging 12.5-13 mpg with some vigorous testing involved. I’ve NEVER seen 10 mpg in my truck unless I was towing. But that is NORMAL with any big truck (sans diesel). but my friends who have Chevy’s say they reach 11 mpgs city. However, I rented a Chevy 5.3, extra cab, and it got me 15 mpg combined (to your point!).

      I still believe this site is a good one and have gotten a few good tips to help me with my truck. I too ignored the camshaft issue with the Tundra and never looked back! I realized it was an anomaly. Hang in there!

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Sorry you didn’t care for that article. I just had a chance to read it myself and I thought Jason was just asking the question if Ford fans are like wam on the EcoBoost. I think that is a fair question and a good conversation to have.

      I really think that was Jason’s goal. Sparking a conversation.

      BTW, I hope you like tomorrow’s article. You might see it as bashing, but again, it is more about “starting a conversation.” You’ll see tomorrow.

    • Mickey says:

      I’ll let Jason reply to you. I’ve been on here since 2007 when I got my 07 CM. You can go if you want. The article states what is actually happening to eco users. As far as the mpg’s I’ll get 20-22mpg anytime like the eco does with my 5.7. Jason doesn’t own a Tundra to start with to be bias. Especially the info comes out of a Ford forum. We have eco users on a Tundra forum saying that it’s the best thing since slice cheese. He still thinks the water intrusion is only the cpu causing this issue. He doesn’t believe there is any condensation in the engine. As far as the cams issue they were before production issue was out back in 07. The article is on here if you care to read it. Yes the 3.5 v6 is a good engine for Ford until they put turbo’s on it in a truck. If this article makes you disturbed then you might as well be disturbed. If you read articles on here you would see Jason plays the middle of the road. He does state some of Toyota’s downfall as well as other manufacturers. If you are crying foul for Ford then by all means I suggest you find your info some place else. Where were you when Ray LaHood wanted Toyota’s exec’s neck for the so called acceleration issue which they couldn’t prove? When Ford had the same issue where was Ray LaHood? He didn’t go after Ford’s exec’s like he did with Toyota.

      • Brian J says:

        My issue is more that I have been so pleased that Tundra HQ has been so un-biased in the past that this article took me for a loop in the way I interpreted it to read without really good hard facts to stand on. I am not gunning for one mfr over another, but if you are going to throw stones at least have something good to stand on. That was my point here.

        As far as gas mileage…my hat’s off to you for getting 20+mpg with the 5.7. I have never seen those numbers personally (CM 4×2, btw). Even if I drive like a grandpa and run 0W-20 with a 20 mph tailwind on flat land with the cruise control on I can’t do any better than 19.5. My biggest shock was when I pulled a 1000lb box trailer with only a 300lb piano and got 12mpg!!! For such a powerful engine it blew me away it would need so much fuel to keep that little weight moving. Granted I never knew the trailer was back there because the 5.7 is so powerful. I’m guessing it was mostly aerodynamic resistance that dropped the kmileage so drastically. I similarly got 12 mpg fighting a headwind through central OK on my way to TX while running empty with no trailer. Maybe my engine is just thirsty, I don’t know. Anyway, I digress. The bottom line is I would like the quality of this site to stay high with good reliable sources and intelligent talk. Thanks for allowing me to voice my concerns.

        • Mickey says:

          Understand Brian J. I have a 4×2 also. When I did a trip from Jax, Fl to West Palm beach doing a whopping 55mph on I-95 south and back again I avg 24.9mpg. I can be done but eviromentals as well as street tires, and the willingness to do that slow speed in the right lane with all the gestures and fingers I was surprised with the mpg’s. Pulling my 18.5 ft Bayliner with an I/O 3.0 Mercruiser Alpha One I get 16-17mpg. That’s is basic city driving to the launch and to the car wash and home. I haven’t taken it on a hwy over 50 miles to see what I would actually get.

    • Brian – I seriously contemplated surveying Ford F-150 owners to support some of my conclusions, but a) that costs money and b) I feel pretty confident in my conclusions for other reasons (which I will explain below).

      First, please don’t assume that I’m writing this purely on the basis of a forum thread. I’m not. I’ve had *numerous* conversations with people at Ford dealers, people on the retail side of the auto industry that don’t work at Ford dealers, and I’ve been particularly keen to pay attention to EcoBoost discussions on forums, Reddit, Facebook, etc. since the engine debuted. The same memes – unexpectedly average fuel economy and questionable reliability – come up often.

      However, your comment has inspired me to spend the money and answer this question more definitively – Do Ford F-150 owners think the EcoBoost engine is reliable? I’m going to put $100 on Google survey, get 200 responses, and then update this post.

      Stay tuned.

      • Justin says:

        Jason: Great idea on organizing a survey. One problem. How are you going to validate the people in the survey actually own an EB F150? If you can’t validate this, I could skew the results saying I get nothing but 18+mpgs (heck, why not say 20+mpgs) in an EB F150 all day everyday, even though I don’t own one. Just the same, someone who hates the EB F150, Ford or simply wants to make it look bad in the results, can post they get 12mpgs (heck why not say 10mpgs) all day every day.

        So in theory you poll and survey would be great. Only issue for you, is organizing and validating only true EB F150 owners results are included in your final outcome.

      • Two things:

        1. The survey results are in and shared here:

        2. To @Justin’s point about verification: That’s a problem with pretty much any random survey. The solution is to ask a sufficiently large number of people to have some confidence that the data isn’t being skewed by false answers.

        Additionally, Google Surveys (which is what I used) are designed to encourage legit participation. While I agree that no survey method is 100% perfect, I doubt that the results we gathered came from a bunch of people who lied about owning a truck.

    • Larry says:


      Your are on it. My 6000 pound RAM cummins get almost 21 MPG driving on the flats at 60 MPH with the cruise control running the engine.

      Drive at 70 – 75 MPH with cruise control and it goes down to 16. Floor it and pump turbo pressure into the system and it starts drinking fuel.

      I have said this before and people laugh at me. Turbos are not there to conserve fuel, they are there to consume it. Who is going to drive twin a turbo ecoboost with a light foot, no one that’s who. 23 MPG from a gas motor is a dream. Run that motor under hight boost for pulling and it won’t last long. It is flat out the wrong motor for heavy duty use.

  4. Matt says:

    The numbers speak for themselves.
    Ford F-150 registration data 2013:
    Jan: 12,300
    Feb: 12,400
    Mar: 14,100
    Apr: 13,800
    May: 15,600
    Jun: 14,300
    Jul: 14,600

    • Matt says:

      Sorry, should have said F-150 3.5L V6 DI TCI (EcoBoost) 2013CY registration data.
      Jan: 12,300
      Feb: 12,400
      Mar: 14,100
      Apr: 13,800
      May: 15,600
      Jun: 14,300
      Jul: 14,600

  5. Randy says:

    It is really sort of sad, the owners of the EcoBoost that have had problems “know” what the problems are (at least in basic concept); Ford engineers do not.

    As an elementary over view; the condensation causes all sorts of havoc with the truck. Just a few of them: Temporary and/or permanent loss of MPGs. Sticky throttle butterfly (vary dangerous and caused by the gook from the intercooler), frozen water in the intercooler (some European cars have had this problem too), damaged components throughout the truck: Valves, piston rods (bent, cracked, and finally broken), clogged catalytic mufflers (failures in combustion), damaged transmissions, torque converters, U-joints, etc., cracked engine blocks.

    At its fundamental core, the F150 Ecoboost is experiencing various levels of hydo-lock. Unfortunately the engine computer can only put the truck into “limp mode” in moderate to medium levels of “continuous” water ingestion. If you have sudden and larger amounts of water ingested you can often experience significant damage, the ECU cannot catch that in time. Conversely if you have exceptionally light amounts or water ingestion the ECU will not catch that, but interfering with combustion causes the catalytic mufflers to fail (raw gasoline, fire, melted cats).

    It is bad enough that Ford does not understand the problem, their only goal seems to be push the owners beyond warranty and deny the claim.

  6. Justin says:

    Being a member of the forum this thread originated from, as well as many others, let me chime in not my personal experience with the EB, but from what I’ve gathered over the past couple years from owners.

    Keep in mind this is the 1st generation of the EB. As with a new design of any product, there are bound to be flaws, especially when mass produced such as the F150 EB. There are owners who experience these issues and owners who do not. I’d assume there is a link somewhere along the line, but couldn’t say what that may be. Also with forums, you can’t ever gauge the actual occurrence rate. People with issues are more likely to post on a forum than those who have no issues. I’d venture to say there are many more happy EB owners out there who’ve never experienced an issue than those who have encounted such a problem.

    As for the mpgs, the EB (15/21) is only rated about 1mpg better city and 2mpg better hwy than the 5.0L (14/19). So those owners expecting a clear difference are going to be disappointed and only see slight benefit. Also keep in mind, are owners driving RCab, SCab or Screw models. Is it 2WD or 4WD, long or short bed, what are the gears 3.15 or 4.10? What is the owners driving style? Are they using quality fuel or the cheapest available? All the above, plus other factors play into the mpg game.

    I’ve found that the EB motors in general, regardless of motor size, the amount of throttle is key. These motors are very sensitive to throttle input. So if you keep your foot on the go pedal, you may see a decrease in fuel. Owners have found if you get up to speed and let your foot off the pedal slightly, rather than keep constant pressure on the skinny pedal, there is a significant difference in amount of fuel used. And with any forced induction motor, if you drive like a bat out of hell, you will get similar mpgs. Too many owners like the power and are always getting into the gas because it’s addicting. Most are willing to admit they do this, some though do not like admitting their driving style is partly the culprit of their low mpgs and simply want to use that society motto of blaming someone or something else.

    I’ve seen owners of EB F150’s state they get from 14mpg-23mpgs. Using a forum as your rational or basis is a poor choice. Due to the various configuration differences, driving styles and driving environments, the results will be skewed. Do you have more SCrew or RCab owners posting? Lead foot or grandpa drivers? Are there more city or country folk posting?

    As for EPA ratings, it’s an “estimate” and individual results may vary. I’m sure some Tundra owners bring home excellent mpgs, just as I am sure there are those that bring home lackluster mpgs.

  7. Justin says:

    As for the Turbo cost and condensation issue. How many F150 EB’s are on the road? Typically Ford sells in excess of 12K of them each month. So we’ll use some basic rough math and guesstimate, knowing some months they may sell 15K and others they may only sell 10K. 12K units x 30 months (roughly 2.5yrs the truck has been on the road) = 360,000 Ford F150 EB’s on the road today.

    From my frequenting of Ford forums, I have yet to see anyone have to replace a turbo on the EB F150. So we’re talking almost 400K vehicles and not one turbo that I’ve seen reported needing replaced. Sure it’s possible it’s happened, as I’m not privy to all cases of course. But what percentage of EB F150s sold have had this occur in the 2+ yrs the truck has been on the market? And as of cost, just exactly how many owners actually paid for the replacement out of pocket? I’d again venture to guess few to none. Looking at Fords 2013 model vehicle warranty, all vehicles equipped with an EB motor receive a 7yr/70K mile warranty on the turbocharger and of course many other parts. So how exactly is this any different than some of the parts that have gone faulty on the Tundra, such as the Air Injection Pump System, which Toyota extended the warranty on, but has shown to cost $4K to replace?

    Also, what percentage of EB F150 owners have actually experienced the condensation issue that has caused the limp mode? How many have had the issue cured by the Ford TSB, versus the problem repeating itself after the TSB was performed? What have we seen, 100-200 reported cases of this occurring? I can’t say what the figure is, as again I do not know about all reported cases. But even if we say 2K units were impacted, that’s only 0.5% of all EB’s on the road. Personally, such a miniscule percentage and including the fact it’s practically a new product/technology on the market actually provides me with confidence that the issue isn’t as pronounced as some would make you believe, and that this issue will be rectified in future TSB’s or vehicle releases.

    Now I’m not trying to say the owners who’ve experienced a turbo replacement or have the condensation issue need to shut up. They’ve put down their hard earned cash, and I too would be upset if I experienced said issues. I do think Ford needs to do what must be done to assist and accommodate those owners who do experience either of these problems. Just not keen on people blowing things out of proportion, which appears is being done with threads such as this.

  8. Gregaryous says:

    Such utter BS and negative propaganda…!!!

    Ford can’t keep E oBoost F150s in stock they are selling so fast!!!

    Toyota BABIES create negative BS because that’s the only way you can compete
    against a superior product!!

    Lets talk a out Tundra box separations n suspe soon failures n weak engines that
    can’t pull a load like a real truck should!!!

    Notice you don’t see many Tundras at construction sites because they are
    not a real truck… Just a weak attempt at a truck!

    Real men drive F150s… B

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