When people new to automobiles think of turbo engines, they usually think of supercars.
But the thing is, nowadays turbo engines are featured in off-roading vehicles and trucks. One such engine is the 2.7 EcoBoost. Following the unmatched performance of the 3.5 EcoBoost, Ford saw an opportunity to introduce the 2.7 EcoBoost to deliver better performance and fuel efficiency in a compact design.
But like any other engine out there, it has received praises and criticisms from users. Let’s go through the key features of this engine to get a clearer take on 2.7 EcoBoost reliability.
Keep on reading to get to the details!
What Is the 2.7 EcoBoost Engine?
The 2.7 EcoBoost is a heavy-duty, direct-injection, turbocharged gasoline engine for Ford. The manufacturer took all the developments from the previous EcoBoosts to another level.
You’ve got an engine block that is compacted with stronger graphite iron. This engine can hold the cylinder pressures that make the smaller engine perform like a bigger engine. It also packs an incredible amount of torque.
The manufacturer took a look at all the different sensors, speed, engine coolant, and outside air, among other things. Then, they decided what to do with the different components of the 2.7 model: how hard to spin the turbos, where to put the variable camshafts, and what to do with the variable oil pressure pump.
The 2.7 is significantly different from the 3.5 EcoBoost engine. It features exhaust manifolds that allow the turbos to come much closer into the engine. This is what gives the 2.7 a very small compact design.
Why Does Ford Use the EcoBoost Engine?
The Ford brand initially introduced the 3.5 EcoBoost, which was originally intended to provide Ford trucks drivers with the power and fuel economy they expected from these amazing vehicles.
The engine’s popularity grew incredibly fast because it was more economical in the long run for Ford truck drivers. The EcoBoost engine is also more price-conscious compared to other options on the market.
Ford replaced its original EcoBoost in 2017, with a second-generation engine (2.7 EcoBoost), which was installed in the Navigator, Expedition, and F-150.
The new version has multi-port fuel injection ports and improved turbochargers.
Key Features of the 2.7 EcoBoost
The 2.7 EcoBoost reliability is mainly supported by the following features:
Direct Fuel Injection
The four cylinders in line are right at the center of the engine. Fuel from the fuel tank is scored directly into the cylinder. The advantage of this technology is that it allows the engine to control the amount of fuel that goes into each cylinder, and it can use less fuel for each combustion event.
Direct injection injects fuel at the perfect time right into the cylinder. This allows you to run regular gas without worrying about detonation or pinging because it cools the cylinder as the fuel is injected.
You can effectively run a much higher compression ratio on regular fuel. That is why this EcoBoost engine doesn’t need premium fuel.
A turbocharger uses the exhaust gases to fill up more air into the 2.7 EcoBoost. When you get more air into the engine along with the fuel, you can expect more power.
A turbocharger is made up of compressor housing, turbine housing, turbine wheel, compressor wheel, bearings, connecting shaft, and oil seals. This system sucks more air from the outside and pushes it into the engine. It basically acts as a pump, cramming more air into the 2.7 EcoBoost to get more power.
Integrated Exhaust Manifolds
With this great engine, you’ve only got the turbocharger. But you don’t have the normal exhaust manifolds.
This is so because the exhaust manifolds are integrated as part of the cylinder heads and they are water-cooled. This helps the engine warm up way faster during winter when the weather is cold. This, in turn, reduces the wear of the engine.
The unique system also lowers the temperature of the exhaust coming out, which helps preserve the life of the catalytic converters.
The integrated exhaust manifolds ensure you get a much more compact package, which is what allows you to have the twin-turbo. You get way less lag and a lot better low-end torque.
CGI (Compacted Graphite Iron) Engine Block
Another feature that strengthens the reliability of the 2.7 EcoBoost is the engine block, which is made of CGI (compacted graphite iron).
It may not be as strong as ductile iron, but CGI is 75% stronger as well as up to 75% stiffer compared to gray iron. The damping characteristics and thermal conductivity of CGI are 60 and 80 percent, respectively. We love its incredible fatigue resistance at higher temperatures compared to gray iron.
These unique characteristics are what make the CGI part of the 2.7 EcoBoost design. The engine is about 9% lighter with a block made of CGI. This material allows for thinner cylinder walls.
Oil Filter Cartridge Is Located at the Top
You’ve got your oil filter cartridge at the top, instead of having that conventional oil filter down at the bottom. This unique setup is more convenient to work with. Plus, it is not messy.
Auto Start/Stop Technology
Another feature that boosts the reliability of this engine is the auto start/stop technology. This attribute has been uniquely tuned for the F-150.
This technology automatically shuts down the engine when the truck stops. The technology helps boost fuel efficiency and mileage. It also decreases carbon monoxide emissions by reducing idle times.
The engineers of the engine have also ensured smooth and refined engine restarts. This is made possible by hybrid vehicle technology.
Ford engineers also accounted for the cylinder wear that is expected to occur by ensuring that the cylinder holds oil a little bit longer. This allows it to stay lubricated and ready to take off again for another start.
Variable Camshaft Timing
Another incredible technology that Ford has integrated into the engine to boost 2.7 EcoBoost reliability is variable camshaft timing.
This unique feature adjusts crankshaft timing, depending on the change. This technology changes three parameters:
- valve duration, which is the period in which the valve stays open
- valve timing, or the points in the EcoBoost rotation the valves open
- and valve lift, which determines the distance a valve moves off its seat when opened.
Varying all these parameters helps improve power, mpg values, and it also lowers emissions to a significant amount.
Popular Vehicles With 2.7 EcoBoost
The most popular vehicles that use this great engine include:
- Ford F-150
- Ford Edge ST
- Ford Edge Sport
- Ford Bronco
- Ford Fusion Sport
- Lincoln Nautilus
- Lincoln Continental
- Lincoln MKX
What Is the Towing Performance of the 2.7 EcoBoost?
We should also look at the towing performance to help us measure the reliability of 2.7 EcoBoost.
The Ford F-150 with the 2.7 EcoBoost is unlike any truck ever built. This heavy-duty masterpiece was engineered to be efficient without sacrificing the capability and reliability required to get the job done. To prove the capability and reliability, we’ve put F-150 and RAM 1500 to a head-to-head towing battle.
It’s the RAM 3L Ecodiesel and the 2.7 EcoBoost. The latter is about half the size of the mid-range v8. When used to tow identical 7,000-pound trailers up a 3-mile road with a steep near the finish line, the 2.7 EcoBoost crossed the line ahead of the 3.0 Ecodiesel.
Ecodiesel got off the start line well, but it couldn’t maintain the speed while towing the 7,000-pound trailer. The 2.7 EcoBoost, on the other hand, demonstrated superior torque and doesn’t lose any speed.
The EcoBoost defeated the Ecodiesel by a significant margin when towing a 7,000-pound trailer. The F-150 is way lighter and that is what allows it to go up against trucks like the RAM 1500. The more fuel-efficient F-150 2.7 EcoBoost with its broad torque delivers superior performance.
What Factors May Affect 2.7 EcoBoost Towing Performance?
While the above battle between the F-150 and RAM 1500 has provided you with an overall idea of what the 2.7 EcoBoost can manage to tow, the exact towing capacity may differ due to some given factors.
Before we get into these factors, you should know that the maximum towing capacity of the F-150 on paper is 8,500 pounds. You mustn’t exceed the maximum towing capacity of the truck. The factors that affect towing capacity are:
The towing capacity of your 2.7 EcoBoost truck depends mostly on the amount of torque it can generate. You need torque to move the wheels and be able to gain and maintain speed. A higher axle ratio ensures sufficient torque goes to the rear tires for superior towing.
Length and Weight of the Trailer and Truck
Did you know that the length and weight of the trailer and truck can affect the towing capacity of your F-150? In other words, don’t hook a very big trailer to your F-150. The GCWR of your 2.7 EcoBoost has to be more than its weight as well as payload.
What Are the Common 2.7 EcoBoost Problems?
Are there any problems you should expect with this engine? Yes! And here are the most common ones:
Valve Guide Defect
This problem usually arises due to valve guide wear. It normally involves excessive clearance between the valve guide and the valve stem.
As the valve guide wears out, the movement from side to side can make the valves seat improperly. This can cause oil to leak into the combustion chamber. The oil will burn off, leading to increased fuel consumption.
You will know that you have a valve guide defect if you see your exhaust pipe releasing blue smoke. The truck is also likely to idle roughly.
This, however, is a problem that can be fixed at a dealership shop or a mechanic shop.
Oil Pan Leaks
If you are driving 2015 to 2017 2.7 EcoBoost, then you are likely to experience oil pan leaks. This problem usually occurs when the oil pan is not properly connected to the engine.
The oil pan is connected to the engine with a sealant, which may fail at some point. You will know you have an oil leak if you find dark spots on your driveway. You can have the problem fixed at a mechanic shop.
Carbon Build-Up Issues
The 2.7 EcoBoost engine features direct fuel injection. The fuel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber.
That gas on a direct injection setup is not going through the engine’s intake manifold and over the intake valve. So, when gas is not being sprayed into the intake manifold, the engine will start developing carbon buildup, especially in the intake valve and intake ports. This happens due to blowby.
The common signs of carbon buildup in a direct fuel injection setup include lacking power, running rough, and could prevent the valves from closing or sticking, causing poor compression. You can help avoid carbon buildup in your 2.7 EcoBoost by using good-quality gas. But consider taking your truck to a mechanic shop for a better diagnosis.
Blown Head Gaskets
A head gasket is a ringed panel located between the engine block and the cylinder head to help prevent leakages.
After so many rapid temperature changes, the gasket may fail, leading to leaks. The worst that could happen is the gasket blowing up. This can lead to some serious damages to your 2.7 EcoBoost.
Signs of a blown head gasket to look for include depleted coolant levels, coolant leaks, white smoke from the exhaust, overheated engine, lowered compression, bubbles in the radiator, and milky-colored oil.
You can know right away that you have a blown head gasket if you see bubbles in the coolant or steam being released from the exhaust pipe. You can take your truck to a dealership or mechanic to get the problem solved.
Blocked Catalytic Converters
The main function of a catalytic converter is to minimize the emission of hazardous elements into the atmosphere. It is uniquely designed to convert carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and unburned hydrocarbons to eco-friendly gases.
But if the catalytic converter is clogged or blocked, then expect it to fail in its job. Common signs of a clogged, blocked, or failing catalytic converter include decreased engine efficiency, check engine light, and failed emission test.
Bad Spark Plugs
Another common problem that you may experience with 2.7 EcoBoost is a bad or fouled spark plug.
You will know that you have spark plug problems if the engine needs repeated attempts to start working, the engine stalls shortly after starting, the engine runs rough or misfires, the spark plug has rust or carbon buildup, and increase in fuel consumption. You can easily replace the fouled spark plugs or take the truck to a mechanic shop for a fix.
So, How Reliable Is the 2.7 EcoBoost Engine?
Regardless of the various problems that you are likely to experience with the 2.7 EcoBoost, we can still appreciate the reliability of this engine.
The aforementioned issues are things that can be easy to address. Things like valve guide defects, bad spark plugs, oil pan leaks, blocked catalytic converters, and blown head gaskets can be dealt with. Which engine doesn’t have problems anyway?
We truly appreciate the inclusion of turbocharging, direct fuel injection, and variable camshaft timing. These technologies combined allow for greater torque and power, superior combustion efficiency, and improved mpg values.
The 2.7 EcoBoost has managed to meet the performance expectations of most people. It appeals to different driving styles and environments.
What mileage can I get from the 2.7 EcoBoost?
The maximum reliable mileage you can pull out of the 2.7 EcoBoost ranges from approximately 200,000 to 230,000 miles. But the truck needs to be looked after and maintained properly.
Common issues that are associated with the engine must be addressed as soon as they are diagnosed to avoid any further damage. Issues like fouled spark plugs and oil pan leaks.
What’s better between 3.5 and 2.7 EcoBoost?
If you are after superior towing capacity and overall performance, then the 3.5 EcoBoost is the real deal for you. But if you want great towing and performance in a more compact design, then go with the 2.7 EcoBoost.
The smaller displacement ensures greater fuel economy, making the F-150 an exceptional option for daily driving.
Is the 2.7 EcoBoost engine underpowered?
It depends on how you define the term “underpowered”. This V6 engine is capable of delivering superior torque and horsepower of 400 ib-ft and 325hp respectively. It can tow a 7,000-pound trailer without losing speed.
How reliable is the 2.7 EcoBoost? Very reliable, thanks to its class-leading refinement, benchmark fuel economy, and outstanding responsiveness, flexibility, and performance. Will it last to reach its manufacturer’s claimed mileage of approximately 200,000 to 230,000 miles? Yes, but with a good driving style and regular maintenance.