5 Common Ford 1.0L EcoBoost Engine Problems (Fiesta, C-Max…)

Ford’s 1.0 EcoBoost engine seems to be everywhere these days, at least in the Ford’s line-up of vehicles, that is. We’ve received numerous request to do a deep dive on this engine and here we are, doing exactly that.

Doing good and thorough research is always a good idea. You just don’t want to end up in a money pit. And when it comes to Ford models, this is highly likely because they can often have some serious problems. So, researching is the key to having peaceful ownership without major issues in the long run. And this is why we are here to pinpoint these issues for you.

First, we are going to cover the specs of this 1.0L engine and see what kind of power this engine makes. Then, we are going to cover the common Ford 1.0L EcoBoost engine problems and learn what troubles the 1.0L EcoBoost. Lastly, we will discuss the models that have this engine. So, let’s start discussing.

Basic Ford 1.0L EcoBoost Specs

The 1.0L EcoBoost engine was introduced in 2012 and this engine was designed mainly for the European markets, but it was also sold in America for some time without major success because these small engines in the US are not as attractive as they are in Europe for example.

The 1.0L EcoBoost is an interesting design. This engine features an open deck block which is made out of cast iron. This makes the engine very strong compared to aluminum engines.

Cast iron also makes the engine warm up more rapidly than aluminum. In addition to this, the crankshaft is also made of cast iron.

The only thing made of aluminum inside the engine are the pistons. And this is understandable since these components are not affected a lot by heat as the block is.

The head design is a double overhead camshaft layout (DOHC) with 4 valves per cylinder. In total, there are 12 valves on this engine. Also, there is variable valve timing, which is Ti-VCT or dual variable valve timing. Since there is variable valve timing both for the intake and exhaust.

What is fascinating is that this engine uses direct injection, and also turbocharging. Both of these technologies allow this engine to create a lot of power in a small package.

Nevertheless, here are the full specs of the 1.0L EcoBoost engine.

  • Configuration: inline-3 cylinder
  • Displacement: 1.0L
  • Bore: 71.9 mm
  • Stroke: 82 mm
  • Block Material: Cast Iron
  • Head Material: Aluminum
  • Head Design: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
  • Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
  • Variable Valve Timing: Yes
  • Turbocharger: Yes
  • Horsepower: 100 – 125 hp
  • Torque: 130 – 150 lb-ft (170 – 200 N-m)

Common Ford 1.0L EcoBoost Engine Problems

Common problems of the Ford 1.0L EcoBoost engine include:

  • Carbon Buildup
  • HPFP Failures
  • Head Gasket Failure
  • Oil Leaks
  • Coolant Leaks

Now let’s further elaborate on these problems. Why do we feel obliged to further discuss these issues?

You need to learn how and when these problems appear, as well as the symptoms they develop and how serious these issues are.

So, let’s further elaborate on each of these problems in detail.

1. Carbon Buildup

One of the biggest concerns with the 1.0L EcoBoost is the carbon buildup that is created inside the engine. So, why is this an issue?

Well, this engine uses a direct injection system, and each engine that runs direct injection is prone to develop carbon on the intake ports.

This is the case because direct injection uses a different method for injecting fuel. Unlike the older engines that were using port injection.

So, on the older port injection engines, the gasoline constantly cleaned the valves. In direct injection, this isn’t the case.

Inside the engine there is a lot of evaporation and over a long time, these oily vapors start to stick to the valves and create a big messy sludge.

The solution for this problem is to manually clean them. There are not a lot of methods for this job. The only method that works 100% is the walnut blast method.

With this method, walnut shells are blasted into the intake ports and these shells clean the intakes without damaging anything. Toyota managed to solve these issues in their dynamic force engines by implementing a second row of injectors that clean the valve seats.

There is also a chemical method that is a little bit less effective. Either way, both methods are expensive.

Luckily, these intakes do not have to be cleaned frequently. Clean them every 60,000 miles (ca. 96,561 km) and you will be good. If you don’t clean them, the valves can stop working because of the sludge and you will end up refinishing the whole cylinder head. Which is more expensive.

Now let’s move on to the next Ford 1.0L EcoBoost engine problems.

3. HPFP Failures

Another fairly common problem with the 1.0L EcoBoost engine is the situation when the high-pressure fuel pump fails.

So, what is an HPFP? Well, this is a special secondary fuel pump. The primary pump is in the gas tank and the secondary pump is located in the engine bay.

This pump compresses the fuel and creates extreme pressure so the direct injection works properly. What can happen is that this pump can fail and cause issues.

What is worth noting is that this HPFP is mechanically driven by an additional lobe on the camshaft. On top of that inside there is a special valve that regulates the flow rate into the pump.

Whenever the pump fails, it will start creating noises, leaks, and a common occurrence is the P0251 code along the way.

What is unfortunate is that this is a very expensive replacement. So, watch out for these HPFP pump issues.

3. Head Gasket Failure

Head gaskets are another big nightmare for the 1.0L EcoBoost engine. So, what is a head gasket, and why does it fail?

For those who don’t know, every car has at least one head gasket. In this case, you have one of these gaskets.

This is a gasket material that is placed between the cylinder head and the deck of the block. It is meant to hold a tight seal and not let fluids mix together.

What can happen on this engine specifically, is the head gasket failure because the engine has overheated. This results in the cylinder head warping.

In this case, the car can consume coolant, or there can be coolant leaks developing. Either way, it’s a pretty annoying problem.

Mainly because it is rather expensive to fix. You need to resurface the cylinder head and replace this gasket, which can cost a few hundred dollars.

Now let’s move on to the next Ford 1.0L EcoBoost engine problems.

4. Oil Leaks

Another concern with this engine is oil leaks. These engines are notorious for leaking oil from a couple of places.

These oil leaks usually come from different gaskets or O-rings around the engine. The most common place is the oil pan and valve cover. But they can come from the front or rear main seal as well.

Before buying, you should monitor for visible leaks that can appear on the engine.

5. Coolant Leaks

Another type of leak that often appears on this 1.0L EcoBoost engine are the coolant leaks. This engine can seriously leak coolant.

Specifically, the engines that were produced before 2014 have problems with the lower coolant hose that can split in half and allow all of the coolant to leak out.

In this case, the engine will seriously overheat, and you will have to replace the head gasket. So, if this engine was produced before 2014, you should make sure that this defective hose was replaced with a new upgraded one.

This way, you will avoid many potential problems that can easily cost you hundreds of dollars to fix.

Which Fords Have the 1.0L EcoBoost Engine?

  • Ford Focus
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Ford C-Max
  • Ford B-Max
  • Ford EcoSport
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Ford Transit Courier
  • Ford Puma mHEV
  • Ford Fiesta mHEV
  • Ford Focus mHEV


What Are The Ford 1.0L EcoBoost Engine Problems?

This engine has a lot of issues. Especially the early model years. Issues like overheating that can cause the head gasket to fail, problems with carbon deposits, oil leaks, coolant leaks, high-pressure fuel pump failures, and many other small problems.

This is why this engine is kind of risky business and very unreliable in some areas. This is why it is a good idea to simply avoid it, at least avoid the first couple of production years since these engines carry the most problems.

Is The Ford 1.0L EcoBoost Engine Reliable?

Well, this is questionable because the engine is not one of the best out there. As a design, it promises a lot but when it comes to the delivery, we can say that it’s lacking compared to other inline-3 engines. 

That’s why we would recommend that you avoid this engine because it has issues with overheating, coolant loss, oil leaks, and high-pressure fuel pump failures.

If you can, avoid the first few production years. Go for a newer model because these models tend to be more reliable in every aspect compared to the original ones released in 2012.

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