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    Default Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    2020 Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6AT

    Hi everyone,

    Looking for some thoughts/advice on an issue I’m currently experiencing with the abovementioned vehicle.

    Herewith the facts as they occurred from purchasing the vehicle.


    • January 2020 – Bought a new Ford EcoSport from a Ford dealership in Pretoria.



    • June 2020 – We were notified by Ford of a recall on the vehicle. Our records indicate that you own vehicle VIN: WF01XXERK1KS68187 which is the subject of the product recall: 20B10 - EcoSport 1.0L EcoBoost Low Speed Pre-Ignition. Certain 2018-2020 Ford EcoSport vehicles built in Craiova Plant (Romania) may be susceptible to low speed pre-ignition, due to local fuel quality. This could result in an engine misfire, and a loss of power may be experienced by the customer. In some instances, the vehicle might present difficulty starting - or in severe cases not start at all. NB: FMCSA has authorised your Ford Dealer to update the Powertrain Control Module. Certain vehicles may also require the addition of Fuel Injector Cleaner to the fuel tank. This service will be completed free of charge (parts and labour) under the terms of this program.”



    • Shortly after we were notified of the recall we took the vehicle to our closest Ford dealership to have the necessary work done.



    • 1 September 2020 - The vehicle was taken to the same Ford dealership for its first 15000km service (ODO 14929km).



    • 12 November 2020 - On our way back home from the same Ford dealership, after dropping the company vehicle off for a service, the Ford EcoSport went into "limp mode", with a spanner warning light illuminating. This error code cleared by itself after the vehicle was switched off.



    • 13 November 2020 - The next day, on our way to the Ford dealership to collect our company vehicle, the Ford EcoSport went into "limp mode" again.



    • We immediately reported to the Ford dealership and were told that the reason for this could be the wrong octane fuel being used (93 ULP instead of 95 ULP) as the error code indicated an “engine knock/pre-ignition”. This did not sound plausible as we had only ever filled the vehicle with 95ULP.
    • After we told the Ford Technician that the engine doesn't sound right, he offered a few other possible causes, for example, that because it is a 3 cylinder 1000cc engine, it is "unbalanced" and it is quite common for them to idle unevenly. It was at this point in time that I starting getting doubts as to the knowledge and skill at this particular garage but I left it there for the time being.
    • The Ford technician cleared the error code and we were sent on our way.
    • As our vehicle was on empty, we proceeded to the Engen garage right next to the Ford dealership to fill up with 95ULP.
    • Not even 5 minutes later, even before leaving the town, the Ford EcoSport went into "limp mode" again. We headed back to the Ford dealership, where after the vehicle was booked in (13 November 2020).


    • 14 December 2020 - We received the vehicle back a month later, after the engine was replaced due to a cylinder failure. The odometer reading was 23008km. The replacement engine was sourced from Romania.
      The cause of the engine/cylinder failure was not confirmed, but the damage to one piston is evident on the photo attached.



    • 29 March 2021 - The Ford EcoSport went into "limp mode" again with the spanner warning light illuminating. I contacted Ford Roadside Assist and they arranged for the vehicle to be transported to the same Ford dealership.



    • 30 March 2021 – The Ford EcoSport was taken to the Ford dealership. The odometer reading was 28385km, a mere 5377km after the engine was replaced.



    • 5 May 2021 – I received a mail from the Ford dealership indicating that Ford will not repair the vehicle under warranty, claiming that contaminated/not up to specification fuel was used in the vehicle which resulted in it breaking down.

    The investigation revealed traces of discolouring/metal deposits found on the spark plugs, injectors, O2 sensors and catalytic converter. See photos attached.
    The strange thing however, is that the fuel sample sent away by the Ford dealership passed the quality tests. See attached.

    I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject of engines and fuel systems, but I have seen my fair share of sparkplugs and related components and from what I’ve observed, the reddish/brown colour on the components appears normal to me.

    What also bothers me is the fact that there had already been a recall on these models as a result of SA fuel quality as alluded to above.

    Am I right to be a little sceptical with regards to Ford’s diagnosis?

    It must also be said that we get our fuel delivered to the company premises from which tanks we also fill up from time to time, but this is still only 95 octane, and has been delivered by the same supplier for the past few years.

    Incidentally, this supplier (after learning of our experience) has offered to conduct his own independent tests on the fuel that gets delivered to make sure that same is up to specification and standards. I will then be in a better position to consider a way forward.

    May I ask for your thoughts on the matter looking at the photos etc. Can the wrong octane fuel really cause this type of damage? Any thoughts, advice or similar experiences in this regard welcome please.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    There are a number of things that pop up:

    1. The fuel used might be according to ''local'' specification but it appears that it might not be to the design requirement specification of the manufacturer, as confirmed by Ford in the initial recall.

    2. Ford is clearly aware of this problem.

    3. The fact that the fuel used meets the local specification for the fuel yet Ford are now using the ''contaminated'' fuel angle might be due, in my opinion, a move to get out of another engine replacement as in the first instance, they admit to a fuel specification problem. They have now added contamination to the issue and they need to clarify their distinction between contaminated and not up to specification. Which one was it? Contaminated fuel or fuel not up to specification? If contaminated, what contamination did they find and if specification, what specification was not met?
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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    And the contaminant got through the x micron fuel filter?

    This might be no consolation, but my neighbour's wife's 1.0 EcoSport is on it's 3rd engine, 60,000km in 3 years. WeBuyCars offers them 15k below trade-in, and they accepted.
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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    What were the previous PCM fault code(s) that they cleared? Clear fault and go is not a repair, but a lack of proper diagnosis...

    What has actually failed? Did it ruin another cyl/piston?

    Any odd coloured deposits on components running unleaded fuel are suspect, but not cause to throw blame just yet...

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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    And the contaminant got through the x micron fuel filter?

    This might be no consolation, but my neighbour's wife's 1.0 EcoSport is on it's 3rd engine, 60,000km in 3 years. WeBuyCars offers them 15k below trade-in, and they accepted.
    Sounds something like the VAG 1.4Tsi engines that also had piston damage as a result of pre-ignition, the engines were not designed correctly for Sa fuel or something to that effect. VAG also left many customers high and dry but typically only out of warranty, Ford is taking it to the next level with the ops vehicle not even wanting to repair it again under warranty!

    The op hasn't made clear what the current issue is, same as before with piston damage?

    I haven't heard of contaminated fuel damaging the engine in terms of the piston side of things, normally it's the HP fuel pump and injectors that go fubar if the fuel is dodgy?

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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Those plugs do not look healthy

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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Here is a similar thread. Ford, blaming petrol quality seems to be blame shifting, much like blaming dirty diesel for engine failures.

    All the best.


    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app
    Last edited by Hennie84; 2021/05/08 at 04:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Quote Originally Posted by johann21 View Post


    • After we told the Ford Technician that the engine doesn't sound right, he offered a few other possible causes, for example, that because it is a 3 cylinder 1000cc engine, it is "unbalanced" and it is quite common for them to idle unevenly.

    Absolute hogwash. We've been driving a 3-banger Fiesta EcoBoost around Europe since we got it new in 2014. I have to look at the rev counter to be sure the car is running when at idle, I don't feel a thing. They compensated for the 3 cylinders with counter weights on the fly wheel.

    We have not had a single hint of trouble with this little monster of a motor. I give it a proper go on the German Autobahn, 150kph with my foot only 3/4 way down. I can't go any faster because the car is too light, weighing in at only 950kg. And even at that speed I don't feel any vibrations.

    Maybe fuel quality is a problem, or these engines are just that fussy, but I always thought SA petrol quality was up there with the best of them. And if it was a fuel quality problem, there would be lots more problems with lots of other cars. Is it?

    On the other hand, our TDi 300 Defender will be happy with a paraffin/cooking oil mix. It will only smoke marginally more than it already does on 500ppm
    Last edited by Naes-Landy; 2021/05/08 at 05:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hennie84 View Post
    Here is a similar thread. Ford, blaming petrol quality seems to be blame shifting, much like blaming dirty diesel for engine failures.

    All the best.


    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app
    But a good manufacturer should consider things like bad fuel when importing vehicles. Just as it would need to be imported with another aircon than those sold in Finland etc!?

    Bostoe

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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Quote Originally Posted by AardvarkNV View Post
    What were the previous PCM fault code(s) that they cleared? Clear fault and go is not a repair, but a lack of proper diagnosis...

    What has actually failed? Did it ruin another cyl/piston?

    Any odd coloured deposits on components running unleaded fuel are suspect, but not cause to throw blame just yet...
    I don't know what the exact error codes were, but they told me it indicated an engine knock.
    It has not ruined another cylinder just yet, but they want to replace the injectors, catalytic converter, spark plugs and a few other small items for R31K.

  14. #11
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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Quote Originally Posted by bostoe View Post
    But a good manufacturer should consider things like bad fuel when importing vehicles. Just as it would need to be imported with another aircon than those sold in Finland etc!?

    Bostoe
    A good point. If they know there is a problem they shouldnt be selling them
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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Quote Originally Posted by johann21 View Post
    I don't know what the exact error codes were, but they told me it indicated an engine knock.
    It has not ruined another cylinder just yet, but they want to replace the injectors, catalytic converter, spark plugs and a few other small items for R31K.
    I’d change plugs and maybe injectors after a test drive with the Ford IDS or equivalent scan tool... Hold off on the cat unless they can document plugging/inefficiency...

    You/they need to check for other issues like fuel press/flow, overboost, egr%/flow if equipped...

    Ford SA blocks my Ford manuals for all offerings there, but I do have access to most of the worldwide Ford products all the way up to F-750 if that car/engine is used in EU or Middle East

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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    I think and can be wrong this is a software problem. I had also a 1.0 Ecosport which i bought back in 2013 and trade it in on a Kuga in 2015. I have done 65000 km with no problems. I know of a few 1.0 with nearly 200000km on. My Kuga just after i bought had a problem also with engine light comming on and fuel according to Fury Ford was aslo the problem but they never investigate it. The next time the engine light came on i took it to Lazarus Ford. They investigated and reset it agian. 2 weeks later they phoned me late on a Friday afternoon and told me i must bring the Kuga in the Saturday morning. They loaded new software and never had the problem. They told me never to put in lower than 95 which i never did.
    Last edited by EGO; 2021/05/08 at 06:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Estee View Post
    A good point. If they know there is a problem they shouldnt be selling them
    That’s not how Ford does it, sell it then figure it out later...

    ...I actually read a Ford Oasis bulletin for a F-150 transmission problem that said “do not attempt repair at this time, engineering is aware and working on a solution”

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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Quote Originally Posted by EGO View Post
    I think and can be wrong this is a software problem. I had also a 1.0 Ecosport which i bought back in 2013 and trade it in on a Kuga in 2015. I have done 65000 km with no problems. I know of a few 1.0 with nearly 200000km on. My Kuga just after i bought had a problem also with engine light comming on and fuel according to Fury Ford was aslo the problem but they never investigate it. The next time the engine light came on i took it to Lazarus Ford. They investigated and reset it agian. 2 weeks later they phoned me late on a Friday afternoon and told me i must bring the Kuga in the Saturday morning. They loaded new software and never had the problem. They told me never to put in lower than 95 which i never did.
    It could need a newer PCM version if available, but the dealership should be aware of it if on top of their game...

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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    That oil ring to gudgeon pin gap looks pretty small to me and seems to be a common failure point. 3rd piston from different vehicles with exactly the same type of damage
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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Johann as stated by the other members, maybe try and ascertain from Ford exactly what failed with the first engine so that one can know whether it is similar issues.

    Estee also raised a very valid point in that Ford cant sit on two chairs simultaneously. Was it contaminated fuel now, or was it substandard fuel. Any word on the fuel supplier that will have his own tests conducted? This will be very important to know.

    I am convinced that Ford is trying to shift the blame elsewhere as was the case with burning Kugas. Took them months if not years to admit there was problem and come to the party.

    If it was me, I would tell them look, here is your vehicle, you will buy it back from me, fair usage considered and deducted from the original purchase price. As a guideline, one could look at what it would've costed to rent a similar sized vehicle over that period or kms traveled.

    Maybe at less 15-20% value they should buy it back. I would not leave it there, especially since this is the 2nd engine and still under warranty!

    Maybe some of the experts here could advise of who to contact to accomplish this, but I believe an independent engine assessment by an accredited establishment is required to break it down to the bare bones in terms of a proper diagnosis. You would not believe how good some of those experts are. Yes it will cost a few bob, maybe R5-10K but I think this will be worth it.

    This should be done with Ford's full knowledge. In fact, you should tell upfront that this is what you are going to do and offer them the chance to buy your vehicle back. If not, legal action will follow. They should be able to fix your vehicle for themselves for probable less then half of what they're charging you now.

    There is enough feedback here of similar issues experienced by members or some of their acquaintances that all points to sub standard inferior engines.

    My two cents.
    Last edited by Die SwartKat; 2021/05/10 at 10:23 AM.
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  23. #18
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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Quote Originally Posted by faniedup View Post
    Those plugs do not look healthy
    Could you perhaps elaborate on this a bit? Is there anything specific visible in the photos that are concerning?

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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Holes in pistons on the rangers, now the petrol cars destroys their pistons also?


    WTF does ford use for the pistons in their vehicles? marshmallows?



    I have never seen or heard of a petrol engine going bang with crappy petrol....



    Nee wat they have taken this built in obsolescence WAY WAY too far...
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    Default Re: Ford very finnicky over petrol - 2nd engine replacement imminent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Johann as stated by the other members, maybe try and ascertain from Ford exactly what failed with the first engine so that one can know whether it is similar issues.

    Estee also raised a very valid point in that Ford cant sit on two chairs simultaneously. Was it contaminated fuel now, or was it substandard fuel. Any word on the fuel supplier that will have his own tests conducted? This will be very important to know.
    The first engine failure was due to the broken piston, as can be seen in the photo attached above. What caused this is still uncertain. I've asked the particular Ford dealership about this but have not had any feedback.

    The fuel sample from the pump has been collected and I should have the results in about 8 working days, so probably 2 weeks or so....

    The fuel sample tested by Ford passed the "quality" tests. i.e. the fuel is up to local spec. Maybe I should insist they do further tests to determine if the fuel was contaminated, as they claim?

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