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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Gang,

This is sort of a PSA regarding this cold start grinding noise issue that a growing number of Ford F-150 Ecoboost owners are beginning to experience with their 2011 and some 2012 3.5L Ecoboost trucks.

The problem can be heard right here:


This is NOT the Vacuum Pump making noise. We've already gone through this and it's been ruled out by the Ford dealer, myself and anyone else who's had the issue. The Vacuum pump sounds very different.

There is a large thread at F150Forums discussing this issue as well.

Ecoboost Cold Start Grinding Noise Timing Chain, Tensioner Failure

To make sure the dealer heard my issue I left my truck on a Friday afternoon and met the tech Monday morning in Ford's lot and started the vehicle for him with his head under the hood. He confirmed it was an internal engine problem and didn't sound good. He agreed the timing chain, tensioners could be the likely culprit. They took the truck in that Monday.... Called me on Friday and stated that Ford Engineering Hotline advised them to perform no repairs on my truck.

They actually had documentation to tell the service rep to tell me that this noise was not harmful to the engine in any way and that Ford was working on a fix to address the issue. They wouldn't give me a copy of that.

If you follow the above linked thread on F-150Forums (which is now over 400 posts long) you'll see there are many other affected truck owners. This noise seems to eventually progress to failure where the truck will then go into "limp mode" and throw an error code P0016. They replace the timing chain and tensioner at this point.

Several truck owners have had the dealerships repair their trucks by replacing the timing chain, tensioners and gears. However, this has proven to be a short term fix for some of these trucks as there seem to be many people posting that the repair did nothing and the noise came back. Some of these guys were then outside their powertrain warranty....

One gentleman who posted very early in the thread was experiencing the exact same noise. His dealership replaced the tensioner only to have the noise come back.

His dealership inspected the motor and discovered:

-Timing chain and gears worn
-Main bearings worn
-Cam caps and cam worn

You can view the summary of his posts Right Here or the originals here, here, and here where he acknowledges the sound and how Ford handled the repair. Considering it was a new motor that fixed his problem. They are not going to be so quick to implement a fix for this issue.

For the record my truck (in the first video) had 64,000km when I bought it (1 month ago). The truck did this cold start grind the very next day and does it almost everyday, so it was definitely present for the selling dealer:mad:

I do not believe Ford or anybody who says that grinding noise isn't causing internal damage to the motor. A lack of lubrication to moving metal parts most certainly causes damage. In between the noises I am hearing (and other truck owners) and total failure and limp mode with error code P0016 there is certainly damage occurring in between.

If you are having this issue with your 2011+ F-150 Ecoboost truck and have had it repaired then please post in the linked thread or here.
 

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Atleast hear we shouldn't hear too much "shoulda bought a 5.0" and actually get some useful data.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Get ahold of Nick he is the Ford Rep here on .net. He's helped a couple guys with their problems.
I wish it were that simple. Unless Nick has a direct line to the engineering hotline he will be of no help. I've already got a case # with my regional Ford rep and they can only repeat the following. "There is no fix for your truck at this time... It will not damage the motor... Sorry sir, Sorry sir, Sorry sir"

I believe my truck needs a new timing chain, tensioner and I also believe the Main bearings and cam caps and bearings need to be inspected as well. My truck has a little bit of powertrain warranty left but then I also have a 5 year premiumcare ESP as well, many guys experiencing this issue are at the end of their warranty.
 

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Well truck sat for 3 days started it this morning and no noise at all, was about 11-12 Deg C. So until mine gets worse I am never going to be able to get it to replicate it at the dealer. And since Ford Canada won't take video evidence I can't even get it documented that it happened. We will see when the cold weather comes if it gets worse.
 

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Mines still in at ford for the third week now same prob. This is after they already replaced chain gears and tensioner. Lol I'm just going to keep driving the loaner and save gas for awhile I guess
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well truck sat for 3 days started it this morning and no noise at all, was about 11-12 Deg C. So until mine gets worse I am never going to be able to get it to replicate it at the dealer. And since Ford Canada won't take video evidence I can't even get it documented that it happened. We will see when the cold weather comes if it gets worse.
Damn... How many KM on your truck? (sorry if you answered already on the other thread) Mine does it almost every morning. Hopefully Ford Canada will start to accept video evidence as documentation because they are only going to get more and more of it.

Do you have a Ford ESP?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mines still in at ford for the third week now same prob. This is after they already replaced chain gears and tensioner. Lol I'm just going to keep driving the loaner and save gas for awhile I guess
3 weeks is unacceptable to be without your vehicle and without answers. I would be calling them every day.
 

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Right around 53K Km and no I don't have an ESP.
 

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I had the same problem on my 2013 FX4. They had to tear down my engine to find the problem. They said it was the phaser that was bad causing the timing issue. Took 2 weeks in the shop to diagnose and repair.
 

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I had the same problem with my truck. 2011 FX4 with approximately 90,000 miles. The truck had the noise for a while and then it developed the code P0016. Took the car to the dealership and was going to cost $3000 to change the timing chain. Got a manual online and just got done changing the chain, tensioners, and the cam sprockets/phasers. So far no noise yet.
 

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There is now a TSB out as of yesterday for this, TSB 14-0194. Not that it helps the guys out past warranty but sounds like it will be covered emissions warranty.
Seen this on the other site.
 
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Dang. I'll be keeping a note about this in case mine starts doing that later in life (after it gets higher mileage. Supposedly the emissions warranty is good for 8 years or 80,000 miles. Let's hope it's truly covered under that.

Anyway, I wonder if this chain stretch is happening as a result of normal light duty driving conditions or if it's really only a problem if you do more heavy duty driving like heavy towing/hauling or rough driving? I tend to be pretty easy on my truck, using it as a daily driver with no heavy towing and no rough driving (no off-roading and so on). I paid a lot of money for my truck (around $36,000 after discounts), so I try to take good care of it. I have no problem with paying for replacements of normal things like alternators, water pumps and other items you'd expect to go bad over time, but I'd be extremely disappointed if for example at 100,000 miles I have to pay a couple thousand out of my own pocket to replace a timing chain (due to a manufacturing or engineering error). That would be a good reason to be upset in my opinion....for anyone. Especially if it happens even as a result of light duty normal driving conditions. I've got a long way to go before I hit 80.000 miles (truck has only 6500 on it now, but I could probably hit 80k in about 3.5 years), 'but'...if I do get bit with this after the warranty expires, it's safe to say I'll be rather irritated. Who wouldn't be?...because it would be totally not my fault (not from rough driving or heavy duty usage of the truck).

For now, I'm just going to assume I won't be affected by this, but I'll keep the TSB in mind for the future, just in case. Every manufacturer makes mistakes and don't and won't have any hard feelings against Ford if this happens to me in the future, but I always hope that any pricey problem that comes my way due to no fault of my own is something covered during the warranty period. My last F150 went 10 years with pretty much no problems other than a few minor issues that didn't bother me at all (window regulators - a $120 or so easy repair at home).
 

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Has anyone with this issue used FULL synthetic oil form the start? The ones were seeing this on are generally using the factory syn blend, and with any modern double overhead cam engine timing chain stretch is an issue and the extra protection from a full syn VS a blend I am convinced is needed.
 

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I think this may be caused by oil being diluted with fuel over a long term.

Last month I was having several issues with my truck. I never got the P00016 code but I did get a cam sensor code (can't remember the code #). The truck would go into limp mode after driving for a few minutes and would run like crap when it wasn't in limp mode. Then the rattle started happening about 1 out of every 2 cold starts.

I was not even near due for an oil change, but knew I would be taking into service for the issues I was having so I decided to change the oil prior to bringing it in. I couldn't get a good read on the dipstick, the oil seemed super thin and I could not tell where the actual oil level was, but it definitely was not low. The oil had less than 2500 miles on it since last change.

Immediately after changing my oil, the truck started to run normally again, and after several cold starts on the engine, even letting it sit over the weekend, the rattle did not occur anymore.

Right now the truck is at the dealership getting the fuel in oil TSB addressed along with a few other minor issues I was having. Hopefully this will solve my problems.

I would be interested to know how many people who haven't had the fuel in oil TSB addressed are having the timing chain issue.
My guess is that with 50,000 or so miles of driving, even with regular oil changes, the oil is becoming so diluted between changes in these motors that the timing chain is prematurely wearing, and/or the tensioners cannot operate properly due to the oil becoming too thin.

Mobil 1 full synthetic and Motocraft filter every 5k or sooner for me from now on!!
 

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Has anyone with this issue used FULL synthetic oil form the start? The ones were seeing this on are generally using the factory syn blend, and with any modern double overhead cam engine timing chain stretch is an issue and the extra protection from a full syn VS a blend I am convinced is needed.
I was wondering about the oil choice too. I decided on the Pennzoil (Shell company) Platinum PurePlus synthetic made from natural gas as my oil I'll be using (since first oil change).
 

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I think this may be caused by oil being diluted with fuel over a long term.

Last month I was having several issues with my truck. I never got the P00016 code but I did get a cam sensor code (can't remember the code #). The truck would go into limp mode after driving for a few minutes and would run like crap when it wasn't in limp mode. Then the rattle started happening about 1 out of every 2 cold starts.

I was not even near due for an oil change, but knew I would be taking into service for the issues I was having so I decided to change the oil prior to bringing it in. I couldn't get a good read on the dipstick, the oil seemed super thin and I could not tell where the actual oil level was, but it definitely was not low. The oil had less than 2500 miles on it since last change.

Immediately after changing my oil, the truck started to run normally again, and after several cold starts on the engine, even letting it sit over the weekend, the rattle did not occur anymore.

Right now the truck is at the dealership getting the fuel in oil TSB addressed along with a few other minor issues I was having. Hopefully this will solve my problems.

I would be interested to know how many people who haven't had the fuel in oil TSB addressed are having the timing chain issue.
My guess is that with 50,000 or so miles of driving, even with regular oil changes, the oil is becoming so diluted between changes in these motors that the timing chain is prematurely wearing, and/or the tensioners cannot operate properly due to the oil becoming too thin.

Mobil 1 full synthetic and Motocraft filter every 5k or sooner for me from now on!!
I was just about to post this exact thing. I never go over 5k for an oil change in a FI motor and I've never had an issue. I will say in previous cars with timing chains I've heard of chain stretch, but only on vehicles that were going 7-10k+ between oil changes. For less than $30 I can get 6 quarts of Mobil 1 Full synthetic and a Motorcraft filter, worth it to me.

Also, giving your truck a minute or two to warm up (for us in cold climates) before taking off would help too I would think.
 

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Mine only has 54K KM and it has never towed heavy, since I have had it that's around 8K KM it has had Full synthetic in it (Castrol Edge). Not sure what was in it when I bought it nor what the previous owner had in it. To be honest I only heard it after I put full Synthetic oil in it. I doubt the dodge dealer I bought it from used anything more than a semi synth blend. I am doing an oil change this weekend Motocraft filter and Penz Platnium oil. My oil does have the fuel smell but I already have a block heater in mine.

I have not heard it in the last two weeks though, I think I scared it by getting my video camera out all the time.
 

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Curious, ford recommends oil changes at 8500km(5200mi) which is rediculas in my mind, especially with turbo's(they want you to buy a new truck at 100000km(60000mi) due to engine problems hence the extended oil change intervals).
I change mine with full synthetic and synthetic oil filter religiously at 5000km(3100mi) no more.
Are most of you guys from the states going the full 5200miles(8500km)???
If so, i know it is what ford recommends but i just think it's way to long.
Being an auto mechanic who has seen the effects of extended oil change intervals and low octane fuel on the inside of engines, you won't catch me extending my intervals no matter what they say about synthetic oils.
The more often you change your oil the better, oil is like blood to your engine,(without it, it won't survive) sure don't want dirty blood.
 
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