Ford 1.6L EcoBoost GTDI Engine: Specs, Problems, and Reliability

Ford 1.6L EcoBoost GTDI Engine: Specs, Problems, and Reliability. Ford presented the 1.6 L EcoBoost version in 2010 in the Ford Focus and Ford C-Max. Together along with 2.0 EcoBoost, it was the first turbocharged engine developed by Ford according to the Downsizing strategy. It is a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline turbocharged engine with the direct injection fuel system. The advanced technologies allowed replacing larger engines (2.0 L and 1.8 L Duratec) using no loss of performance and along with lower fuel consumption and emissions.

Ford 1.6L EcoBoost GTDI Engine

The engine’s cylinder block has an open-deck style and made from high-strength aluminum alloy. The open-deck layout helps lower weight and boosted cooling balance. The engine block has a very thin cast iron sleeves (liners) cast directly into aluminum cylinder walls. The block was equipped along with a cast iron crankshaft along with four counterweights and five main bearings, forged connecting rods, aluminum hypereutectic pistons with low-friction resin-coated skirts. Piston pins feature a diamond-like-coating (DLC). The oil pan is also made from aluminum and adds some structural support to the engine block.

Ford 1.6L EcoBoost GTDI Engine: Specs, Problems, and Reliability

The EcoBoost 1.6 L has a 16-valve aluminum cylinder head. Between cylinder head and engine block, there is a multi-layer stainless steel (MLS) head gasket. The head is designed as one piece by using camshaft casing. It also has 4 valves per cylinder (two intake valves and two exhaust valves) and D-shaped intake ports for efficient airflow from the intake manifold into the cylinders. The valvetrain uses more convenient and simple shimless buckets for valve activations. There are not hydraulic lash adjusting mechanism in the engine.

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These buckets are available in 36 different thicknesses to set proper lash clearance. Intake valves diameter is 30mm, while the tire valves diameter is 25mm. The valve steam for intake and tire valves is only 5 mm. EcoBoost engines feature double overhead belt-driven camshafts and variable intake and exhaust valve timing (Ford calls it Twin Independent Variable-Cam Timing or Ti-VCT). One camshaft has an additional cam lobe to drive a high-pressure fuel pump. The fuel pressure is supplied for the high-pressure direct fuel injection along with six-hole injectors. Each injector is located in the center of the cylinder, near the spark plug.

Ford 1.6L EcoBoost GTDI Engine: Specs

Manufacturer Ford Motor Company;
Ford Bridgend Engine Plant in Bridgend, Wales, United Kingdom
Production years 2010-present
Cylinder block material Aluminum
Cylinder head material Aluminum
Fuel type Gasoline
Fuel system Direct fuel injection
Configuration Inline
Number of cylinders 4
Valves per cylinder 4
Valvetrain layout DOHC
Bore, mm 79.0 mm (3.10 in)
Stroke, mm 81.4 mm (3.20 in)
Displacement, cc 1,596 cc (97.0 cu in)
Type of internal combustion engine Four-stroke, turbocharged
Compression Ratio 10.0:1
Power, hp 150-180 hp (110-133 kW)/ 6,000
Torque, lb ft 180 lb-ft (244 Nm)/ 1,600-4,000
Engine weight 251 lbs (114 kg)
Firing order 1-3-4-2
Engine oil weight SAE 5W-20
Engine oil capacity, liter 4.1 l (4.3 US qt)
Oil change interval, mile 9,000 (15,000 km) or 12 month
Applications Ford C-MAX, Ford Focus, Ford Mondeo, Ford S-Max, Ford Galaxy, Ford Escape, Ford Transit Connect, Ford Fiesta ST, Ford Fusion, Volvo S60, Volvo V60, Volvo V40, Volvo V70, Volvo S80
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The turbocharger is a key part of EcoBoost engines. The 1.6-liter version has a high-response Borg Warner KP39 low-inertia turbocharger affixed to a separate cast iron wear down manifold (a non-turbo-fold turbocharger system). A center section of the turbocharger is water-cooled. The compressed air after an air-to-air intercooler enters a plastic intake manifold through the 52.0 mm drive-by-wire throttle body controlled by the ECU Bosch MED17. The hot wear down gases after a turbocharger enter the close-coupled three-way catalytic converter. The 1.6 EcoBoost engine meets the Euro-5 European emission standard.

Since 2014, the manufacturer uses the upgraded version of 1.6 EcoBoost engine by using smaller displacement named as the 1.5 l I-4 EcoBoost engine.

1.6 EcoBoost Engine Problems and Reliability

The 1.6 l engine of the EcoBoost family, essentially, is Ford’s first attempt to launch a turbocharged engine into automation. The engine has many disadvantages in reliability as well as many advantages such as low fuel consumption, high power, etc.

The problem of heating up is the biggest issue that has been already solved on new vehicles. Owners report the engine starts to consume coolant without any found reason. The level of coolant from full to low, which causes coolant warning light, may drop during 1,000-2,000 miles mileage after the coolant was filled up. The 1.6 EcoBoost engine underwent the huge recall. The campaign touches the EcoBoost engines, cylinder heads of which may crack and warp due to heating up, as a result of that oil may leak. 13 car fires were reported due to oil leakage. There were 29 fires total in the U.S. and Canada reported to Ford. In 2017, Ford recalled over 360,000 vehicles by using 1.6 EcoBoost as a result of a risk of engine fires brought on by a “lack of coolant circulation”. Just make sure the recall for your vehicle is done (or get it done ASAP).

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Like all engines using direct injection, fuel injection nozzles can easily become clogged by poor-quality fuel and soot. The backside of the intake valves is being covered with carbon deposit as a result of lack of fuel as a cleaner inside the intake ports. The cleaning process is quite expensive.

For the rest, the engine has no more serious problems. The other engine failures are not systematic and mostly depend on operating maintenance, mileage, and condition. The engine life is about 150,000 miles (250,000 km).