Ford Dealers Waiting On Parts for Leaky 1.5-liter

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

As vehicle production rates begin tipping back towards normalcy, the pandemic continues to rattle supply chains. The wheels of industry may be in motion, but they’re not yet in sync — making a comeback difficult for some players.

Ford dealers report a shortage of replacement parts needed for repairs, with some components taking over to a month to arrive at service centers. Against this backdrop, the automaker issued a technical service bulletin telling dealers to check for coolant leaks in the cylinder head of the 1.5-liter EcoBoost engines found in the Escape (MY 2017-19) and Fusion (2014-19). The repair notice dropped in April, though Ford owners have complained about fluid leaks for a couple of years after a shocking number of owners noticed their engines were overheating — only to find that one of the cylinders was hoovering coolant.

The old 1.6-liter engine was also recalled for vaguely similar issues, making us think there might be something in the works for its little brother once Ford realizes there’s no escape. But it already seems to have it handled; at least, that’s what was claimed by the manufacturer.

“There were disruptions in parts supply in early May due to supplier closures caused by COVID-19,” Ford stated. “Upon reopening, parts production and delivery was expedited, resolving shortages by late June. Ford is not aware of any significant parts delays currently impacting dealer ability to repair these engines.”

Automotive News tells it differently, claiming several dealers are still waiting around for components. We’ve heard stories about coolant-impacted customers occasionally getting the runaround before having to settle for a long-term rental, too. However, it seems most of the supportive anecdotes we’ve heard were settled by the start of this month, or are now part of a class-action lawsuit that’s being cooked up by ​Newsom Law PLC (among others).

From AN:

One service manager, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters, called the situation a “nightmare” and said the store has a half-dozen Escapes sitting in the shop awaiting repairs. A second dealership official said enough customers had come in with the problem that the person raised it on a 20-group virtual meeting and heard similar responses from peers. An employee at a third dealership said the store cut a five-figure check in June to a rental company so that affected customers could have temporary transportation while waiting for a fix.

Tim Hovik, a member of the Ford council and owner of San Tan Ford in Gilbert, Ariz., told Automotive News that his store has experienced some parts delays, although he said they weren’t limited to any particular models.

“There’s a supply chain that’s trying to get back on line in terms of parts deliveries and how fast we can fill our orders,” Hovik said. “I think sometimes we forget how important some of our vendors are. It seems like we’ve had some issues as we’ve come out of this getting those ancillary businesses back rolling.”

Based on how these things typically play out, we imagine Ford was probably weighing its options before the lockdown and got caught with its pants down. Cars continued to suffer while the lockdowns were in affect, worsening the issue from both ends. Fortunately, the problem is being dealt with internally, and has since been exposed to daylight — which usually gives all parties a necessary kick in the pants to expedite a solution.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Slavuta Slavuta on Jul 28, 2020

    Some commenters here were telling me that Ecoboost has no problems. ha. ha. ha.

    • See 1 previous
    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jul 28, 2020

      Most trouble free cars in my fleet of late. Probably didn't put enough on the Fiesta ST to make a judgement (like 16k) but the 2.7 in the F150 is over 70k and all it has seen the shop for is the door latch and seatbelt pyro carpet or whatever recalls. 70k isn't high either, but is is beyond where a few of my non turbos have had issues. The 2.7 was also designed from the ground up for forced induction however which probably doesn't hurt. I did steer clear of the Honda 1.5T.l, but hat the Mark IX Fiesta ST made it here with the 1.5 Ecoboost 3 I probably would have leased one...It being on the horizon was why I went 2 years on the 18. Didn't work out though.

  • Fwardly Fwardly on Oct 21, 2020

    I've been waiting 4 weeks for parts to come in for a short block replacement on my 2018 Fusion 1.5 ecoboost (21k miles). The service manager told me this morning that some parts are on back-order and may be at least 2 weeks out yet. This may be my last Ford product.

  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.
  • EBFlex The answer is yes. Anyone that says no is just….. wrong.But the government doesn’t want people to have that much freedom and the politicians aren’t making money off PHEVs or HEVs. So they will be stifled.