Ford Admits 2.3-liter EcoBoost in early Focus RS Models Burn Coolant
And, they have an excuse but no fix yet....by Kirby Garlitos, on
The pin has finally dropped on the Ford Focus RS’ beleaguered 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine. After months of investigating, Ford has acknowledged that the Ecoboost engine powering the hot hatch has an issue that causes it to consume coolant fluid. Speaking with Autocar, the Blue Oval admitted that the problem causes some 2016 and 2017 models of the Focus RS to produce “white exhaust smoke,” a by-product of burning coolant during cold running.
The good news here is that Ford has figured out the problem and it’s admitting it to the world
The good news here is that Ford has figured out the problem and it’s admitting it to the world. It’s taking responsibly for the issues that have plagued the 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine in the Focus RS. That’s a good first step. The next step, however, is a lot trickier. It’s determining the cause of the issue. To that end, Ford has yet to identify why the problem is manifesting itself, even on cars that have as little as 6,000 miles on them.
For now, a spokesman for Ford said that the automaker is already working hard on finding a repair program that can address the issues. It didn’t elaborate on the details of this program so there’s no telling how long that’s going to take. For now, Ford is advising owners of 2016 and 2017 Focus RS models to stay vigilant in case the symptoms manifest on their cars. In the event that they do, the Ford spokesman said that “customers should visit their dealer for an inspection and repair under warranty.”
Ford has replaced several affected engines with all-new units
The scope of repairs are unclear themselves, but Ford has replaced several affected engines with all-new units, including one example early this year when a Focus RS owner posted a video on YouTube to point out the issues on his hot hatch. Others have also come out and suggested that one of the likely issues on the engine revolves around the head gasket failing to seal the engine block to the head effectively.
Editor’s Note: Various sources have said that the problem comes from deformation between the engine block and the cylinder head that occurs as the engine heats and cools. When the engine warms up, the block and head seal as they should. When the engine cools down, the gap returns, and engine coolant can enter the combustion chamber of one or more cylinders. This problem, however, is limited to the 2.3-liter EcoBoost found in the Focus RS. The EcoBoost Mustang with the 2.3-liter is free of this problem because the engine block and cylinder heads used for the engine in that model are composed of different materials. Until a fix can be put into place, which could include replacing the cylinder head, engine block, or the entire engine in affected vehicles, your best bet is to let the engine idle until it reaches operating temperature before driving. This will limit the damage caused by burning coolant when the engine is cold and prolong the life of various components like the spark plugs, turbocharger, and catalytic converters.
Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus RS.
Read our full driven review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.
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