Early version of 2.3-litre Ecoboost unit has a known issue that Ford is working to fix
Sam Sheehan
11 December 2017

Ford has acknowledged that early versions of the 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine in the Focus RS can develop an issue that causes them to consume coolant fluid.

The company told Autocar that the problem, which appears to be affecting cars of as little as 6000 miles, is causing some 2016 and 2017 models to produce “white exhaust smoke” as they burn coolant during cold running.

When asked whether the issue will result in a recall, a spokesman said Ford is "working on a repair for all customers", suggesting a fix could be rolled out even to include cars not currently affected.

“In the meantime, if vehicles show these symptoms, customers should visit their dealer for an inspection and repair under warranty,” the spokesman added.

Ford has already replaced several affected engines with all-new units built to the latest specification under warranty.

No official line as to the cause of the problem has been released, but a large number of posts on internet forums from Mk3 Focus RS owners have suggested that the head gasket is failing to seal the engine block to the head effectively.

Ford Focus RS long-term test review

However, rather than being a design issue of the head gasket itself, the problem has been linked to block distortion. It is believed that the physical shape of the engine changes through multiple heat cycles, eventually preventing the gasket from sealing the two parts correctly.

This, owners have suggested, is allowing coolant to leak into the cylinders when the engine is cold, causing issues such as a smoking exhaust and misfire before the engine is up to its optimum temperature.

A Focus RS owner, YouTube user MarkCup70, claims in a video that he has come across a dealership report stating that another car with the aforementioned symptoms was “losing coolant” due to the cylinder block being “out of tolerance”. The report concluded that the car now had a “distorted cylinder head”.

The problem is not thought to affect Mustangs with the same engine due to the use of a different alloy for its block and head. The Focus RS’s engine is made from an upgraded alloy with a cast-iron lining and gets its own head gasket design – requirements for the car’s higher 345bhp output.

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Comments
28

11 December 2017

Well, at least they’ve held there hands up and fessed up.

Peter Cavellini.

11 December 2017
Peter Cavellini wrote:

Well, at least they’ve held there hands up and fessed up.

You have no idea. In South Africa, Kugas have been catching fire - with one death that gained prominence. It took government threats before Ford confessed to anything - poor engine design. Apparently Kugas have been blowing up in Australia too. In South Africa their response and action has been piss-poor - I'm very surprised this hasn't been news in the UK motoring press.

11 December 2017
I think vapour from the scrote driver's Ecig is being mistaken for smoke.

12 December 2017
Marc wrote:

I think vapour from the scrote driver's Ecig is being mistaken for smoke.

LOL

11 December 2017

What amazes me is that the mustangs engine is so different, I'd assumed they were identical units off the same production line with a different chip providing the extra power.

11 December 2017

producing white smoke. Geddit?

Spanner

11 December 2017

I'm surprised we haven't seen more of this kind of problem with so many engines running very high boost pressures.

Citroëniste.

11 December 2017

Poor quality and cutting corners. That is how Ford makes its money.

12 December 2017

Ferrari, Vauxhall, Toyota, VAG, BMW, GM, Honda, Suzuki etc. They've all had their problems 

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

11 December 2017

Are they sure that the engine is not overheating at certain localised areas due to poor design?

Overheating can distort the engine.

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