Ford 1.5L EcoBoost GTDI I-4 Engine: Specs, Problems, and Reliability. Ford Motor Company announced a new engine of the EcoBoost family in 2013. The new 1.5-liter version has the 1.0-liter EcoBoost I-3 design DNA. Ford also considered previous mistakes in the design of the 1.6 l EcoBoost engine which cause cooling problems. This 1.5-liter powerplant is an inline four-cylinder gasoline turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection and the newest Ford’s sophisticated technologies for EcoBoost engines. This engine debuted on the 2014 Ford Fusion (Mondeo since 2015), and in the future the Ford Focus, C-Max, Kuga/Escape, and almost completely replaced the 1.6-liter version on the market.
Like the 1.6 EcoBoost, the 1.5 l engine has an aluminum cylinder block with cast iron sleeves. It also has an open deck design for an efficient cooling. The engine was equipped with a new cast iron crankshaft with 4 weights and 5 main bearings. A hot-forged powder metal process and a cracked rod cap process is used in the connecting rods manufacturing process. Aluminum pistons are hypereutectic and have asymmetrical skirts with a friction-reducing coating. The engine block kept the same bore size. The reduced displacement was achieved by utilizing a crankshaft with a short stroke (76.40 mm).
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Ford 1.5L EcoBoost GTDI I-4 Engine: Specs, Problems, and Reliability
The engine acquired a revamped aluminum cylinder head with an integrated exhaust manifold. The heat from exhaust gases warms up the engine faster, simultaneously the reduced exhaust temperature prolongs the life of the turbocharger. Like previous head, it has 4 valves per cylinder (16 two exhaust valves and two intake valves; 16 valves total) actuated via solid buckets by two overhead camshafts (DOHC design).
The exhaust and the intake camshaft are equipped with variable valve timing – Ford’s Twin independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT). The 1.5 l engine borrowed an innovative camshaft drive system from the 1.0 I-3 cylinder engine. There is a timing belt, but this belt operates in engine oil that reduces noise and increases durability. Incidentally, the electronically controlled variable displacement oil pump also is driven by belt-in-oil designed for the entire life of the engine.
Ford 1.5L EcoBoost GTDI I-4 Engine: Specs
|Cylinder block material
|Cylinder head material
|Direct fuel injection
|Number of cylinders
|Valves per cylinder
|79.0 mm (3.10 in)
|76.4 mm (3.00 in)
|1498 cc (91.4 cu in)
|Type of internal combustion engine
|148-181 hp (110-135 kW)/ 6,000
|Torque, lb ft
|177 lb-ft (240 Nm)/ 1,500-4,500
|Engine oil weight
|Engine oil capacity, liter
|4.1 l (4.3 US qt)
|Oil change interval, mile
|9,000 (15,000 km) or 12 month
|Ford Focus, Ford C-Max, Ford Fusion/Mondeo, Ford Escape/Kuga
EcoBoost engines are very efficient as a result of the combination of turbocharger and direct fuel injection. The 1.5 EcoBoost features a high-response Borg Warner low-inertia turbocharger with a water-to-air charger-intercooler and an active wastegate integrated into a plastic intake manifold. The high-pressure direct injection system injects fuel directly inside combustion chambers via 6-hole injectors mounted on the head in the center of each cylinder (close to spark plugs). The engine operation is controlled by an electronic drive-by-wire throttle body and Bosch MED17 ECU. Together with a close-coupled three-way catalytic converter and applied enhanced technologies, the engine meets the tough European emission standard – Euro 6.
The Ford’s engineers decided to move on in the development of downsizing strategy. In 2018, Ford introduced a new 1.5-liter engine based on the 3-cylinder designed – the 1.5 l I-3 EcoBoost Dragon engine.
1.5 I-4 EcoBoost Engine Problems and Reliability
The 1.5 EcoBoost is a pretty trustworthy engine and does not cause a lot of trouble. To date, significant or common problems in the mechanical part are not reported by consumers. The engine doesn’t have any problem with the cooling system and it is not prone to overheating like the 1.6 EcoBoost. The turbocharger and catalytic converter will last longer due to a cooler exhaust compared to the 1.6 version.
Don’t expect the modern-day technologies became less demanding. The direct injection calls for high-quality fuel. It is very easy to clog fuel injectors. The engine is prone to fairly fast clogging of the fuel injectors and the formation of deposits on the backsides of the intake valves. That problem is similar to Ford’s natural aspirated 2.0-liter engines. The quality of engine oil also is extremely important for turbocharged engines. The engine oil lubricates and cools a hot turbocharger than prolong its life. Always follow the manual recommendation and do maintenance punctually. The engine life is over 150,000 miles (250,000 km).