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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been experiencing an intermittent loss-of-power/acceleration issue for about 4 months now.

The problem is apparent, if not obvious, at low speeds, but really shows at highway speeds. A normal amount of pedal doesn't result in much of any acceleration. I need to push it up to ~ 4000+ RPM to not lose speed up a modest hill. The cruise control cannot maintain speed up a modest hill. Upon more significant throttle I usually get an odd, rhythmic, whining sound from the front of the vehicle (at about 20 seconds in video) (
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The dealership has been unable to replicate the issue during test drives. The problem has occurred on ~ 6 occasions. The first ~5 times it happened when the ambient temperature was near or below 0 Fahrenheit. However, the most recent occurrence was at 70 degrees. On all occasions it lasted the entire time the vehicle was running, was driven for greater than 20 miles on the highway, and persisted after reaching full operating temperature.

Here's the real head scratcher: on all occurrences, and after being driven a ways, reaching full operating temperature, and then turned off and allowed to sit for 10+ minutes, the problem spontaneously resolved after restarting the truck and was not repeated for at least a week afterwards.

The Ford mechanic working on this is baffled. Not knowing what else to do I asked them to flash the PCM to the latest update (assuming there is one) and I'll keep driving it until it happens again. Thoughts?

Edit: I forgot to mention that the truck has never thrown a code, or dash light for any of this.
 

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Sounds like it's dumping boost.
What year truck is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds like it's dumping boost.
What year truck is it?
2011. All stock I think (except for skids). Have had 3 coolant leaks, including one at the connection to the passenger turbo, and currently the whole reservoir is being replaced (engine didn't overheat though). I run Mobil 1 EP 5-30 with Mobil 1 EP filter, change whenever the truck tells me to, and occasionally send oil for analysis (always normal), but I haven't sent any since this problem happened. Transmission, etc, was flushed last summer, and no problems were noted. Mechanic told me the turbos seem to be working fine during his test drives.

-Mike
 

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The turbos might be working normally when tested but dumping boost when the issue arises. You can parts swap/ troubleshoot (I'd start with BOV which are not great pieces to begin with) - or simply data log and have the normal versus issue to help narrow the issue. It goes to 4,000 RPM and doesn't show 15+ pounds of boost your area to troubleshoot decreases exponentially.
 

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Drill your intercooler
 

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Drill your intercooler
Whoa!!! Easy there Elkhart! LOL

The OP doesn't sound like he's dealing with condensation shudder or ingestion. ;)
 

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How old are you spark plugs? But yes, it sounds like your BOV is opening for some reason.
 

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Waste gate solenoids are also a known cheap issue to fix.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the ideas everyone. Software was old so I had them reflash updates. Gonna keep all this in mind while I drive it and wait for it to happen again. When/if it does I'll try to get better info, and better quality video/audio also.

-Mike

Also, plugs were done about 10k miles ago.
 

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After reading that your coolant lines were leaking I was thinking its your bearings on whichever turbo had the leak. That would explain the "screeching" noise once boost starts to build the impeller is contacting the compressor. BUT the audio makes it tough to tell. When the impeller contacts the compressor its very high pitched and goes away with in a second or two (almost identical to clutch plate chatter but way higher pitched sound). Wouldn't be surprised if one of your turbos is almost completely frozen.

If the screech you're hearing sounds like "air whooshing" <--- sounds so dumb to even type, then I agree with everyone saying your wastegate is fubar.
 

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Waste gate solenoids are also a known cheap issue to fix.
And to add to this, it could also be bad wiring/connection to the wastegate solenoids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After reading that your coolant lines were leaking I was thinking its your bearings on whichever turbo had the leak. That would explain the "screeching" noise once boost starts to build the impeller is contacting the compressor. BUT the audio makes it tough to tell. When the impeller contacts the compressor its very high pitched and goes away with in a second or two (almost identical to clutch plate chatter but way higher pitched sound). Wouldn't be surprised if one of your turbos is almost completely frozen.

If the screech you're hearing sounds like "air whooshing" <--- sounds so dumb to even type, then I agree with everyone saying your wastegate is fubar.
The coolant leak to the turbo was 2 years ago, and this interimittent problem only started like 4-5 months ago. Also, the sound doesn't go away as long as I continue to accellerate. When it's making the noise it keeps doing it so long as I keep the RPMs over like 2,500 or so. It's a repetitive sound that starts at low volume, builds to high volume within a fraction of a second, and repeats. It isn't a grinding noise, but it doesn't exactly sound like compressed air blowing off either -- it almost sounds mechanical (like a rubbing/friction noise). Unfortunately, with regular road and engine noise I cannot hear it perfectly.

Also, and don't take this to the bank, but it seems like my MPG falls through the floor when this problem is happening. I think it chugged like 7 gallons in 60 miles.
 

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The coolant leak to the turbo was 2 years ago, and this interimittent problem only started like 4-5 months ago. Also, the sound doesn't go away as long as I continue to accellerate. When it's making the noise it keeps doing it so long as I keep the RPMs over like 2,500 or so. It's a repetitive sound that starts at low volume, builds to high volume within a fraction of a second, and repeats. It isn't a grinding noise, but it doesn't exactly sound like compressed air blowing off either -- it almost sounds mechanical (like a rubbing/friction noise). Unfortunately, with regular road and engine noise I cannot hear it perfectly.

Also, and don't take this to the bank, but it seems like my MPG falls through the floor when this problem is happening. I think it chugged like 7 gallons in 60 miles.
Can you pull the charge pipe off of the turbo and check the impeller for shaft play? If it wobbles freely, that's your issue.

Or it could be your front differential if its 4WD?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Can you pull the charge pipe off of the turbo and check the impeller for shaft play? If it wobbles freely, that's your issue.

Or it could be your front differential if its 4WD?

It is 4WD. I honestly lack the mechanical abilities to be comfortable doing that. The truck is driving normally at the moment, but if I experience the problem again I will bring these ideas up with the mechanic working on it.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So, I'm back to ask for more help.

Had the dealership flash the new software updates, and I didn't experience the problem for some time afterwards. However, it's back.

I'm noticing a nasty sound from the engine on most cold starts, so I think my timing chain is stretched, but no codes yet. My initial thought was maybe some sensor is sensing the timing chain is out of spec and kicking into limp mode, but I'm not getting any dash lights or stored codes.

It being summer now I'm driving with the windows down a lot, so I can hear exactly what is going on. The problem remains intermittent. It is evident as soon as the vehicle is turned on, and remains until I cycle the vehicle off and on again, which resolves the problem. The acceleration is sluggish, the pedal needs to be pushed farther than normal to get the RPMs up, but here's the real kicker: neither turbo is functioning. No amount of acceleration at any speed gets either turbo to spin up. Just high RPMs from the engine and poor acceleration. So, what in the hell would cause the truck to disable BOTH turbos, intermittently, with a restart resolving the problem 100% of the time?
 

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So, I'm back to ask for more help.

Had the dealership flash the new software updates, and I didn't experience the problem for some time afterwards. However, it's back.

I'm noticing a nasty sound from the engine on most cold starts, so I think my timing chain is stretched, but no codes yet. My initial thought was maybe some sensor is sensing the timing chain is out of spec and kicking into limp mode, but I'm not getting any dash lights or stored codes.

It being summer now I'm driving with the windows down a lot, so I can hear exactly what is going on. The problem remains intermittent. It is evident as soon as the vehicle is turned on, and remains until I cycle the vehicle off and on again, which resolves the problem. The acceleration is sluggish, the pedal needs to be pushed farther than normal to get the RPMs up, but here's the real kicker: neither turbo is functioning. No amount of acceleration at any speed gets either turbo to spin up. Just high RPMs from the engine and poor acceleration. So, what in the hell would cause the truck to disable BOTH turbos, intermittently, with a restart resolving the problem 100% of the time?
Almost sounds like an electrical problem....but I really have no idea


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, I thought about electrical, but I would think if it was it would not be so linked to an entire session of vehicle running, while restarting fixes it. I'm leaning towards electronic: computer, sensor, etc, but it's damn strange.
 

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It seems odd to me that your engine is turning 4000 rpm and the truck still isn't going anywhere. While the chains and the turbos may have problems if the engine is turning that many rpm and the wheels aren't turning accordingly, it sounds like something is being lost in the transmission. Another thought might be an exhaust system that has broken down (baffles in the muffler, ceramic in the converters) and it's not pushing air out the tail pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It seems odd to me that your engine is turning 4000 rpm and the truck still isn't going anywhere. While the chains and the turbos may have problems if the engine is turning that many rpm and the wheels aren't turning accordingly, it sounds like something is being lost in the transmission. Another thought might be an exhaust system that has broken down (baffles in the muffler, ceramic in the converters) and it's not pushing air out the tail pipe.
I certainly can't discount any of this, as I'm no expert, but the acceleration sluggishness seems like it might correspond to a turbocharged V6 trying to push the truck around with zero boost, since neither turbo is spinning up.

The truck accelerates very well during the 95%of sessions that this condition isn't present.

I think at the heat of this is figuring out why the truck is turning off the turbos that 5% of the time.
 
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