2017 Ford Escape w/ EcoBoost 2.0 - intermittent stumbling/hesitation

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Hello all –

Talked with a good friend earlier today – he’s having car problems which have stumped him, the
dealership, and me, and thought I’d seek some advice here on the forum.

Vehicle: 2017 Ford Escape Titanium, 2.0 l EcoBoost (turbocharged inline-4), purchased new in mid-2017.

Mileage: 102K km (c. 64K miles) at onset of issues in November 2021, 115K km (c. 72K miles) now.

Symptom: Unpredictably starts running very roughly, sometimes recovers after being turned off and
restarted. Usually it hesitates/misfires then will run normally for sometime.

Codes: Some, including general misfire and perhaps specific misfire.

History:
Unfortunately, the 100K km powertrain warranty had just expired when the problems started. Based on
some online research and the diagnosis of a trusted indie shop, my friend replaced the original MAP
sensor with a genuine Ford part. The vehicle ran well for a month before starting to occasionally
hesitate/misfire.

He took it to the dealer he’d bought it from. They replaced the MAP sensor again, saying it had been
installed “incorrectly”. (The owner is quite proficient mechanically. I’m confident he did not install it
incorrectly.) Fortunately, because he had bought a genuine Ford part, the dealership did replace it
under warranty. (I’m not sure why they replaced it if they thought the installation was the problem.)

The vehicle has continued to run badly on and off since then. The dealership visits have been a mixture
of “No Fault Found” and firing the parts cannon. A pricey new ECU did not fix the problem.

A few weeks ago the service writer told the owner that there is a coolant leak into cylinder 2, and now,
after an inspection with a borescope, says that a new engine is required. The initial quotation was
$8000 for a long block installed, but the dealership has since worked with Ford of Canada to bring my
friend’s out-of-pocket cost down to around $2000. Fortunately, the dealership will refund the cost of
the new (and unnecessary) ECU.

I watched FordTechMakuloco’s video on YouTube regarding the problems Ford has had with their 4-
cylinder EcoBoost engines (1.5, 1.6, 2.0, and 2.3 l). It sounds like the problem is common, and involves a
weak block, with coolant leaking into Cylinders 2 and 3.



But here’s the thing – my friend’s vehicle has experienced no coolant loss or overheating. He suspects
the coolant leak may be a totally unrelated issue from the original problem and may have happened
coincidentally while the vehicle was at the dealership.

Anyway, with all of the contradictory diagnoses from the service manager, my friend is not convinced a
new engine will repair the original fault.

One thing FordTechMakuloco said that perhaps shed some light on the weird symptoms was that under
certain circumstances the engine was programmed to go into limp mode, shutting down two of the four
cylinders. That would certainly explain the poor running, and, presuming limp mode is cancelled when
the engine is turned off, would explain why the engine sometimes runs fine when restarted.

But I would have expected the trigger for limp mode to be the result of overheating or low coolant. I
wonder if it’s as simple as a bad sensor sending the wrong message to the ECU and triggering limp
mode. None of the codes have led the dealership techs to that conclusion.

Anyway, it’s all a bit of a mystery. All thoughts on this gratefully received!
 

dnewton3

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The symptoms you describe seem as they may be associated with the carbon buildup on the intake valves. FordTechMakuLoco also has some excellent vidoes on this issue as well. Heavy buildup disurpts airflow and the engine will hesitate and get misfires.

That the dealer and Ford are willing to kick in a substantial amount of money towards this is a great thing. I'd take as much of their generosity as they'll offer. Get the new long-block (which would include new head), which should make the issues go away if my suspicion is correct.
 
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Has it ever had a purge valve?
I had similar troubles on a 2016 2.0EB, turned out to need MAP and Turbo boost sensors to fix it
 
Last edited:

Number_35

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The symptoms you describe seem as they may be associated with the carbon buildup on the intake valves. FordTechMakuLoco also has some excellent vidoes on this issue as well. Heavy buildup disurpts airflow and the engine will hesitate and get misfires.

That the dealer and Ford are willing to kick in a substantial amount of money towards this is a great thing. I'd take as much of their generosity as they'll offer. Get the new long-block (which would include new head), which should make the issues go away if my suspicion is correct.
Is the 2.0 EcoBoost a DI engine? If so, carbon on the intake valves makes sense.

This may be a compound problem with carbon-fouled valves and the coolant leakage into the block.
 

Number_35

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Update:

The dealership nows says it has found a misfire code on #2, and a borescope has found coolant intrusion in same. A pressure test has resulted in coolant loss.

They are recommending a new long block. If carbon on the valves is an issue, the new engine will address that too.

The one good thing is that C$2K is very cheap for a new factory engine installed. Very glad Ford is stepping up for my friend!
 
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Its amazing how affordable these engines are. There is a big joke amongst parts people that we can tell when Ford is doing a recall when the price of the part drops significantly.

The one pain for the parts department side is there is no "install kit" for these. Every single one time use part has to be individually looked up and ordered. It is even worse for the ones where we do short blocks because you have all those other parts as well. Good times. Glad Ford is helping.
 

dnewton3

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Here's a very recent video about this specific engine series with good dets:


I'd say it's a great thing that your friend is getting comp'd (mostly) for a long block. The replacement engine should not have the same issues from coolant loss due to an improvement in design.

The DI intake valve issue shall remain, but at least with a new long-block, it'll be pushed out for a while again before having to deal with it.
 

Number_35

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Glad I bought the 2.5L NA Escape.

I'm shocked and happy for you that Ford is only asking for $2k CAD out ot pocket.
I think that's a tacit acknowledgement on Ford's part that with the first symptoms showing up barely over the warranty's mileage limit, the actual problem started when the engine was still under warranty.

But good on Ford regardless.
 
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I’m keeping my distance from the Eco Boost. My BIL has had terrible luck with his F150. Turbo failure, coolant loss, rear main seal leak (unbelievable on a newer vehicle). Mechanics are never surprised. They have plenty of failures in and out of warranty. No way you are saving $1000s in gas to justify the repair costs.
 
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