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Old 12-27-2012, 09:34 AM   #1
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Eco-Boost issues

More of an FYI for all F150 eco-boost owners. This has been a hot topic on other forums regarding the moisture build up in the turbos and the truck going into limp home mode. Ford release a fix but some are still reporting problems.

What’s Causing the EcoBoost to Shudder and Go Into Limp Mode?

Most drivers reporting EcoBoost issues say the trouble begins as a vehicle shudder – which can vary from a slight wiggle to a violent shake – that occurs during normal operation.

From there, the shudder problem can escalate to a computer override that puts the F150 into “limp mode,” which essentially kills all engine power. Considering that some F150 owners have reported going into limp mode while driving down the freeway, this is a pretty disconcerting situation.

Based on our investigation, the origins of the problem stem from the Charge Air Cooler (CAC).

A CAC cools the intake air after it passes through the turbocharger, just before the air enters the engine. A Ford technician spoke out on a forum saying that the CAC is working too well, as it’s cooling the intake air so much that condensation is forming inside the air intake tube. We confirmed this explanation with a couple of experts (including a Ford dealership service manager in Texas who wished to remain anonymous), but were unable to get official confirmation from Ford.

Here’s how it happens:
1.As air is drawn through the charge air cooler, moisture collects inside the tubing. This typically happens when the engine is cruising on the highway, as the air flow into the motor is relatively slow.
2.If the driver hits the throttle, the sudden change in the intake air flow rate through the CAC causes the engine to essentially vacuum up all the moisture inside the tube.
3.If the amount of condensation (water) the engine ingests is small, you just get a minor shudder. If the amount of condensation is significant, the F150′s computer system throws a red flag and forces the vehicle into limp mode to prevent further damage.

For drivers in areas where the dew point is equal to the ambient temperature for hours at a time, condensation inside the CAC is a frequent and sometimes severe problem


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Old 12-27-2012, 10:16 AM   #2
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I wonder how big an issue this is for owners in regions of the country, such as the Gulf Coast states, especially in summer months when the humidity levels stay quite high for months, day and night. Sounds sort of like the venturi effect that can cause carburetor icing in a normally aspirated aircraft engine on a humid day, only the problem here is excessive condensation wrung out the air by the CAC.

Turbocharging is nothing new in gas or diesel engines. Wonder why this is an issue with this engine technology, and is it also happening with the 4 cylinder version of the Ecoboost?

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Old 12-27-2012, 03:43 PM   #3
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Causing a problem does not mean it's working too well. It means it's causing a problem. Just another reason to not jump on the first model year of anything. While the Eco-boost may have been around for a while, this is the first tim it's been put to the application of heavy towing. Somehow, I suspect there will be other issues as this thing matures.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:25 PM   #4
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Isn't it great how the auto manufacturers use the first few years of a new vehicle model as a beta test to work out the bugs... at the expense of the people that bought them? Sure, they'll fix them under warranty, but what a pain in the unowhat!

I think the Eco Boost is a good idea, but no way would I buy one until the guinea pigs find all the problems.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:28 PM   #5
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It looks like they have fixed it, but that is the least of some of the things I have read.

Edit: Looks like the TSB has not been released yet.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:44 PM   #6
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Two points to correct...

1.) Due to the air pressure drop at that point (LARGE end cap volume) condensate is most likely to FIRST form at the outflow end of the CAC crossflow tubing. The CAC air is being cooled while under slight pressure and thus the air expansion will be the most likely initial cause of condensation.

Even if things get so bad as to have condensation forming inside the CAC crossflow tubing it will most likely flow toward the outlet.

Think of your HVAC's evaporator condensate drain in the context. The evaporator cooling vanes are specifically designed to produce turbulent airflow, more air molecules coming in contact with the COOL vane metal surfaces. So, in this case wherein condensate will form inside the crossflow area, the blower "pressure" even at low speed will move the condensate to the downstream surfaces of the evaporator where it runs down the side and out the provided drain.

2.) The dewpoint need not necessarily be close to the OAT, Outside Air Temperature, for condensate to begin to form at the outflow, low(er) pressure, side of the CAC crossflow tubing.

The harder the engine must work but remain in "cruise" mode, the larger the dewpoint/OAT spread might be but still accumulate condensate.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:48 PM   #7
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Failure symptoms of EcoBust... Then the FIX!
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:11 AM   #8
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I have always said buy new... but never ever buy a product till it has been around long enough to get the bugs worked out.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:13 PM   #9
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Found an official TSB if any of you guys have an Ecoboost F-150.

Boy that site - Tundraheadquarters, is just full of good news for the Domestic makers.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:11 PM   #10
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Here is a fist hand report on the Eco-boost going into Limp Mode...
We had our 2012 F150-Eco-Boost built in May of 2012 and picked it up in June of 2012. The first thing I read was that if you are going to be towing a heavy trailer you need to put 1000 miles on the truck before towing. So we decided that we would go to Miami/Keys for the weekend. To our surprise we headed right into the tropical storm Debby. It gave us a real test, and as I was going to pass up a truck, we started accelerating and at 3000 RPM's the engine flat-lined. I tried to accelerate more, but it stayed at 3000 RPM's and the Engine Service Light came on. I took my foot off the accelerator and after about 3 or so seconds the power came back. Lucky no one was behind us. This happened 3 more times. So on our return we dropped off the truck at the dealer and they showed that 2 cylinders were mis-firing. They said there was dried water marks on the coils. Well, it happened again. So my wife started researching the issue and the ORIGINAL fix was to put a deflector plate on the drivers side by the air intake, but our truck already had that installed at the factory. Wife kept contacting everyone she could and was one of the original ones on a F150 forum that started. Finally, she got the TSB 13-03-03 that replaces the intercooler with a new version. We had it replaced and drove over 6000 miles to Colorado and in the mountains with no new issues, it now has been 21K miles since the problem. Here is the kicker, Ford is not going to notify you of this issue, IT IS UP TO YOU TO PUSH FOR THE PART TO BE REPLACED!!! The problem has been known since the Eco-Boost was first sold in 2009/2010 models. My neighbor had the same issue and had the replacement done. This fix does eliminate the problem. The new intercoolers were installed on new trucks starting in September of 2012, so if your truck is a Pre-September 2012 build date, take it in for the fix, even if you have not had the issue. Better to get it cared for now, than wait until you are towing your TT and have it happen.

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