If you’re in the market for a Ford F150, you may have heard good things about the Ford 150 Ecoboost engine. This engine is supposed to increase performance while also making the truck’s engine more environmentally friendly. But how exactly does a Ford F150 Ecoboost engine operate?
Below you’ll find a guide on how Ecoboost engines work in Ford F150 trucks and all other Ford models that contain this engine system. For drivers who want to get the most bang for their buck in gas mileage, it’s worth knowing how the Ecoboost achieves it.
To learn how the Ecoboost engine works in Ford F150 trucks, the first thing you should know is the components of the Ecoboost engine system. Here are the major aspects of the Ecoboost that affect its engine performance (Source: Mainland Ford):
- Turbocharger system: The Ecoboost engine system in Ford F150s operates based on a turbocharger system. Turbochargers are turbine-driven exhaust systems that use an intercooler to take hot air produced by the engine and feed it directly back into the engine system. This keeps the engine cooler and increases its efficiency.
- Direct injection fuel system: The Ecoboost engine also has a direct injection fuel system rather than the traditional port-injection fuel system used by conventional gasoline engines. This system allows the engine to inject a precise amount of fuel into the fuel system for performance, reducing the amount of wasted fuel.
By making the engine on the Ford F150 more efficient, the Ecoboost achieves two goals: it makes the Ford F150 cheaper to drive, and it makes the Ecoboost F150 more environmentally friendly. The Ecoboost engine limits excess combustion, which in turn limits the amount of greenhouse gases that are expelled from the exhaust system.
Here’s a neat animation to help explain:
Drivers who purchase an Ecoboost Ford F150 can enjoy tangible increases in their gas mileage and reduced carbon emissions. The Ecoboost has been shown to increase the gas mileage of a car twenty percent while simultaneously decreasing its carbon emissions by fifteen percent. (Source: Towneast Ford)
However, this increase in gas mileage doesn’t come at the expense of engine performance. Thanks to the turbocharged exhaust system, the six-cylinder Ecoboost engine can perform with just as much speed and power as a conventional engine system.
The main advantage of the Ecoboost engine for drivers is that it decreases gas mileage. This means that if you have an Ecoboost engine on your Ford F150, you’ll be needing to fill up at the gas station 20% less than you normally would.
Think of all the gas money you could save if you could skip 1 in 5 trips to the gas station!
Does Ecoboost Need Premium Gas?
Even though the Ecoboost Ford F150 engine is a premium system, you won’t need to put top-shelf gas in it for it to run efficiently. The Ecoboost Ford F150 is rated to be operated with regular gasoline, with an octane rating of at least 87.
Although it isn’t necessary, it is possible to run the Ecoboost engine with a premium gas that has a higher octane rating. This may increase performance when the vehicle is under load or in especially hot weather. (Source: Ford Service Content)
The Ecoboost engine is considered reliable by consumers and critics alike, especially since the engine has had multiple generations for engineering kinks to get worked out. Most of the criticisms of the Ecoboost engine are related to engineering flaws that exist in the engine’s first iteration.
Here are the most common complaints against the performance of the Ecoboost F150 engine:
- Carbon build-up: Carbon build-up in the Ecoboost engine system is a result of the engine’s direction-injection fuel system. Specialized fuel additives and treatments can be used to help prevent the build-up of carbon in the engine
- Ignition system issues: Turbocharged engines naturally generate more power and heat than conventional engines, and this can gradually place undue stress on the ignition system. If the ignition system ignites the fuel too soon, it can cause massive damage to the entire engine.
- Timing chain: Some Ecoboost engines have a problem with the timing chain coming loose during operation. Since the water pump is also operated off the timing chain, water pump failure could potentially cause engine damage.
The biggest issues related to the performance of the Ecoboost engine are oil starvation and oil contamination. In short, maintaining your F150 with regular oil changes can prevent your turbocharger system from damaging any other component of the engine.
All cars require more than gas to keep their engines in good condition, and the Ecoboost is no different.
The first Ecoboost engines were added to Ford model vehicles in 2009, but since then there has been another generation of Ecoboost engines added to Ford’s production lines. This new iteration of the Ecoboost engine features a more streamlined design and higher performance efficiency than the previous model.
Along with the Ford F150, Ford also features Ecoboost style engines in its Fusion, Escape, Mustang, Fiesta, EcoSport, Explorer, Flex, Expedition, and Edge product lines.
Even though the Ecoboost system is known to be reliable in operation, there are still a few tricks you can use while driving it to help keep it in mint condition. Follow these tips to get the most out of your Ecoboost Ford F150:
- Put it through its paces. It’s beneficial to occasionally drive the F150 at high speed (70 miles-per-hour) and thoroughly heat-soak the engine. This can help keep the fuel and ignition systems clear.
- Let it idle before shut-off during heavy loads. If you’re driving your Ecoboost Ford F150 in hilly terrain or you’re hauling something heavy, allow the truck to idle for a minute or two to bring the temperature of the engine down before shutting it off. This can help prevent stress on the turbocharger system from rapidly fluctuating temperatures.
- Check the oil every two weeks. It might seem like a lot, but it’s easy to check the oil when you pull over to get gas. Keeping a careful eye on the oil levels in your Ecoboost engine can prevent serious engine issues down the road as a result of overheating or oil starvation in the turbo system.
The Ecoboost Ford F150 is a sturdy, hardy vehicle, so you shouldn’t have to baby it too much to get good performance from the engine. However, it’s always a good idea to have your engine’s condition in mind while driving to prevent small engine problems from snowballing into big ones.
Many drivers may get a turbocharged engine for the performance push, but the benefit of the Ecoboost Ford F150 engine is that you get improved performance and better gas mileage in the same system. The Ecoboost engine can make a big difference in the cost of maintaining your truck over time.