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Reasons For Ford Engine Failures Explained In TN Story

This week the Ford world was seemingly rocked by news that the 2.7-liter V-6 twin-turbo powerplant that powers some models of the super-popular Bronco had major mechanical issues. On looking at it more closely, it is possible that it is related to an earlier problem with the 3.0-liter V-6 that powers the Ford Explorer ST.


A couple of days ago, Torque News reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had opened an investigation into Ford's super-popular Ford Bronco. The reason for the investigation, as we reported Sunday, was to look into failures of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo engine.

Owners Of 32 Broncos File

Based on Autoblog information, Torque News indicated that the owners of three Ford Broncos, equipped with the 2.7-liter V-6 engines, had filed complaints with the safety agency, and the agency has opened a probe of the engine issue. According to the Ford Authority, which reported exclusively on this issue, another 29 Bronco owners also filed paperwork with the safety agency filed complaints related to this issue.

As the Ford Authority, in explaining this issue, said, "sources familiar with the matter have explained … that there are two main sources for these issues, which have led to total engine failure in certain cases."

The Ford Authority noted the problem: "As some are already aware, part of the problem with these 2.7-liter powerplants is that they utilize cheaper, sub-optimal valves that were acquired from a new supplier that apparently didn't properly validate those particular components. But, in addition to the faulty valves, the Bronco's version of the 2.7-liter V-6 EcoBoost also utilizes a less than optimal oil pan design as well, which allows the oil pickup tube to become uncovered and suck in air, which in turn can destroy not only valves but bearings as well, particularly during spirited or erratic driving when oil is sloshing around inside the powerplant."

Issues ‘Not Exactly New’

The Ford Authority (FA) explained in this week's story that "these issues aren't exactly new to The Blue Oval, which experienced similar problems with the twin-turbo Ford 3.0-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine used in the Ford Explorer ST, which is essentially a bored and stroked version of the 2.7-[liter engine]." And now, said FA, "those problems are once again surfacing in certain examples of the sixth-generation Bronco, too."

A "grand total of 32 Bronco owners" have filed complaints "related to engine failure thus far," FA noted. Ford "noted in its NHTSA filing that 25,538 SUVs could ultimately be affected by this issue. So far, affected owners claim that their vehicles experienced a loss of power while driving at highway speeds, after which the Broncos would not restart due to catastrophic engine failure."

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor co.

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise that I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.