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The 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine in the Ford F-150 can make an annoying grinding noise when starting. The noise is often heard during cold starts, especially after the truck has sat for a while. It is most common with Gen 2 F150s with over 30K miles on them, but it’s not a major problem that will require costly repair. Thankfully, this issue can be easily fixed with a simple DIY fix.
Problems with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine
In 2013, Ford owners filed a lawsuit in Ohio, claiming that their EcoBoost 3.5L V6 engines misfired and lost power. The lawsuit noted that this problem was widespread, and that the problem could affect any EcoBoost engine. A subsequent NHTSA investigation narrowed the cause to the intercooler.
Although the 3.5 L EcoBoost V6 engine is reliable, it does come with a number of problems. While the engine is relatively durable and reliable, it can develop carbon deposits in the combustion chamber, which reduces the engine’s power output. Other problems with the engine include misfires, hesitations, and poor fuel economy.
Another problem with the engine is that the throttle body is defective in some models. This can cause the vehicle to shut off while driving on the highway and start again when it stops. A recall campaign is currently underway to replace these throttle bodies. Affected vehicles may incur repair costs of up to $10,000.
Vacuum line leaks
Vacuum line leaks can lead to a sluggish engine. When the vacuum leak causes the engine to run lean or stall, the Check Engine light will illuminate. This light is an early warning sign that the engine is having problems, and it may be a simple fix.
You can check the vacuum line integrity by disconnecting the manifold vacuum line from the IWE solenoid. Make sure that the vacuum line is completely disconnected before attempting to replace it. The IWE solenoid has a vacuum reservoir that should not be more than one inch per minute.
The vacuum line is the first component to locate and test. Try to locate it on the passenger side of the truck, next to the battery. Use a vacuum gauge to check the pressure. The vacuum should be constant while the engine is running, but should only increase in pressure when 4WD is engaged.
Cracks in the plastic lines
The problem with the Ford EcoBoost engine is related to a design defect in the engine block. This results in the leakage of coolant into the combustion chambers. This is a problem that affects several models, including the Ford Fusion and the Ford Edge. It’s a widespread issue that has caused many complaints to NHTSA, but the company has not yet fixed it. While it has offered some solutions, these do not prevent the leak.
One possible solution is to replace the timing chain. While timing chain failure is not a common problem, it can still affect your vehicle’s performance. To identify the cause of the problem, check the timing chain, clutch, and gearshift.
Failure of the starter solenoid
If you are experiencing difficulty starting your Ford F-150 Ecoboost, the solenoid in the starter motor is probably to blame. This part of the engine is designed to run a long time, but after prolonged use, it can become damaged and stop functioning properly. Fortunately, there are a few simple fixes for this common issue.
To begin diagnosing the problem, disconnect the big terminal post of the starter motor and use a voltmeter to measure the voltage. When the solenoid closes, a small amount of electricity flows to the solenoid and sends the pinion gear to mesh with the flywheel ring gear. The starter motor then spins to begin the engine.
Failure of the Integrated Wheel Ends (IWE)
If you’re experiencing intermittent grinding, it’s likely that your car’s Integrated Wheel Ends (IWE) have failed. Fortunately, this problem can be easily solved by examining your vehicle’s IWE lines. By doing so, you can avoid a costly replacement of the IWE actuator or hub.
One of the main causes of failure of the Integrated Wheel Ends (IWE) is a faulty in-line vacuum check valve. This valve allows the wheel ends to operate at a lower vacuum than they should, causing the IWE to partially disengage or fail to apply completely. As a result, the IWE will eventually need replacement. You can test the integrity of the check valve by using a hand vacuum pump. Make sure you use a large port and not the small vent port.
In the case of Ford F150 models, failure of the Integrated Wheel Ends (IW) system can cause grinding sounds when driving. This sound typically occurs when the vehicle first starts and gets worse over time. The problem is often caused by a lack of vacuum that prevents the IWE actuators from disengaging from the hub.