Worst and Most Reliable Ford Engine Ever Made (2023)

The most reliable range of Ford engines is proof that sometimes it is not worth imposing your own design, it is better to take advantage of the competition's offer. It also shows that modern solutions are attractive but can be expensive.

Worst and Most Reliable Ford Engine Ever Made (1)

Under the Ford hood, you'll find machines of various designs and origins. It should be noted that "younger" sometimes means less reliable and unsuitable for command, but there have also been many successful units in recent years.

Interestingly, some designs were developed by Ford, others came from Ford subsidiaries or partner companies. We asked Ford repair specialist George Zarcki of Solid Garage to evaluate the unit.

We learned, among other things, that in the case of gasoline-powered vehicles, it is impossible to ignore the popular Zetec-SE/Duratec series, which for many years was the main source of propulsion for most models.

Although this machine needed to be refurbished more and more frequently, compared to the cost of other units, it did not cost a lot of money, and many mechanics praised the machine. The engine continued in production but was replaced by the not-so-great 1.0 unit - Mr. George emphasized that expensive repairs were not uncommon with 1.0. The higher EcoBoost (1.6 and 2.0) scored higher.

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Mazda Gasoline, PSA Diesel

In addition to the drawbacks, we also include a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine among the recommended units - this is a motorcycle developed by Mazda (the L-series has a positive rating). The larger gasoline engines (2.3, 2.5T) are attractive but indicate high fuel demand, so while durable, we don't recommend them.

Among the diesel engines worth taking out is the 2.0 unit, but we advise you to be careful, since the failed engine developed by Ford debuted 17 years ago. On the other hand, since 2004, it has been gradually replaced by the 2.0 turbodiesel, which has its roots in the attention of the French PSA - it is a very good engine, especially if we take into account the modifications after the 2011 modernization.

In the case of an older car, the wrong engine choice could mean you're spending more money on repairs.

On the other hand, we advise against buying a 1.8 diesel (not a bad unit at that point), and for the 1.6 diesel version, we advise caution: 16V is much worse than 8V.

The most reliable Ford engines

  • 1.6 Motor Duratec
  • 1.6 Motor EcoBoost
  • Motor 2.0 Duratec
  • Engine 2.0 TDCi

Below we will explain the reasons in detail.

1.6 Motor Duratec

Small, compact gasoline units are a treasure trove for manufacturers based primarily on compact models. Ford has one! The 1.6 liter Duratec engine has been used in many models from Fiesta, Puma to Mondeo. Of course, while the first car worked fine, the Mondeo was at least questionable, although only the most powerful variant with valve timing adjustments was used. EITHER1.6 DuratecThe engine is also offered in a version adapted from the factory to run on LPG and biofuel (Flexifuel).

The machine was evaluated very positively: simple, easy to repair and very durable. Of course, time and mileage do their job: in many cases, for example, Focus I can cope with an increase in oil consumption (even 1 l / 1000 km). This is the result of joining the piston rings. Restoration (along with new head gaskets) and removal of the thermostat housing gasket are minor issues.

On the Focus II, coolant leaks through the intermediate in the head (must be taken apart to repair). In turn, on the Focus III there were problems with the electronic controller. The variant with valve timing, released in 2004, was more flexible, but the variator failed - there was no power, the engine went into emergency mode.

1.6 Duratec Engine Advantages

Simple motor structure and long service life: cheap and easy to find parts, good mechanical resistance.

1.6 Cons of the Duratec engine

Limited dynamics and average fuel consumption, the condition of many cars is not very good (especially since the start of production).

The machines have been offered for almost 20 years! Of course, it has been modernized, but the basic characteristics of the unit have not changed.

¿Zetec o Duratec?

The Sigma family of machines appeared in 1995 under the trade name “Zetec-SE” (not to be confused with the Zetec-E family!), and after modernization it was renamed “Duratec”.

Yamaha Collaboration

The engine has an aluminum block and cylinder head, the intake manifold is plastic. In 2004, variable valve timing was introduced.

Time every 120,000 km

On most versions, Ford recommends changing the timing belt every 160,000 km or 8 years, but mechanics recommend shortening this distance and time to 120,000 km or 6 years.


The Ford 1.6 engine's manual gearbox is a simple 5-speed construction; It doesn't have many problems, although it does occasionally leak oil.

Anyone who wants to buy a Ford 1.6 with an "automatic" transmission should pay attention: in the old version a simple 4-speed automatic transmission was used, but in the newer version - the PowerShift "dual clutch" transmission, which was not one of the most durable, can increase costs.

1.6 Duratec engine installed in:

Ford Fiesta V

The Zetec-SE series debuted in the Fiesta IV (1995 - 1.25 version; 1.6 engine appeared in 1999). The Fiesta V used the 1.6 engine in 2002-08. The Fiesta 1.6/100 KM reaches a speed of 100 km/h in 11 seconds, and has an average consumption of 6.4 l/100 km (factory data).

Ford Mondeo III

1.6 units in a mid-range car? Mondeo had such a thing, in the “two” offer opened by the 1.8 engine, in the III (from 2007) the 1.6 engine (Ti-VCT) was returned. The Mondeo III 1.6 can have 110, 120 or 125 CV; in its weakest version it takes 12.7 seconds to reach 100 km/h.

Ford Focus II

The 1.6 unit is a very popular power source for Ford compact cars. In the Focus II, you'll find a 100- or 115-horsepower variant (with variable valve timing). The weaker engine took 11.9 seconds to reach "100" and burned more - an average of 6.7 l/100 km.

1.6 Motor EcoBoost

High power and sensible combustion: Ford showed that it was possible, but it needed a modern solution. Will driving really be cheap? Simple units, like the 1.6 Duratec engine described above, have great durability, but the power/fuel ratio is not impressive. Newer engines like the EcoBoost do much better in this regard. Unfortunately, its intricate design makes the service more expensive.

How is the arrangement? Totally decent, but not perfect. issues1.6 Green impulseStarting and lack of power are most often caused by a malfunction in the high-pressure circuit of the fuel system (pressure regulator built into the pump).

The turbocharger can break, unfortunately sometimes the casing breaks, which prevents its regeneration. The engine is also not without the typical defects of gasoline direct injection, namely carbon deposits on the valve and in the intake manifold (symptoms: rough operation, misfiring). Mechanical cleaning is better.

However, all these problems are not common, nor are they very expensive to eliminate. On the other hand, this unit has advantages: good dynamics and culture of work, reasonable fuel consumption. That is why we recommend it to people who expect a good performance from a car (mainly from the B and C classes) and are willing to spend more money on its operation.

1.6 Advantages of the EcoBoost engine

The drive is very pleasant (especially with Fiesta, Focus model), reasonable fuel consumption, acceptable durability.

1.6 Cons of the EcoBoost Engine

Significant structural complications make repair costs more expensive, possible damage e.g. Turbo and fuel system.

modern construction. The name "EcoBoost" stands for: direct fuel injection, turbocharging, variable valve timing. Fuel consumption similar to that of the 1.6 Turbo engine is associated with high fuel consumption, but it is outdated: the 1.6 EcoBoost consumes as much fuel as the 1.6 Duratec, but it is much more dynamic.

Toothed belt

The EcoBoosty 1.0 has an oil bath belt, a 2.0 chain and a classic 1.6, which must be changed every 200,000 km or 10 years.

Corrective action

In 2017, Ford recalled 350,000 owners of cars with 1.6 EcoBoost engines due to possible overheating and fire.


A manual gearbox (6 gears each) is standard on the EcoBoost engine. They mostly had small leaks.

Automata is rarely combined with the 1.6 EcoBoost engine. We found one on the Kuga model, and it's a classic gearbox with a torque converter: a well-operated one is durable and costs nothing.

1.6 EcoBoost engine installed in:

ford fiesta saw

The 1.6 EcoBoost unit appeared on a small car in 2013, in the ST version. The engine is available in two power versions: 182 CV (ST) or 200 CV (ST200). This gives the car very good acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds (most powerful: 6.7 seconds).

Ford Mondeo III

The 1.6 variant appeared in 2010-14 (variant with 160 PS), then came the 1.5 EcoBoost engine. The 1.6-litre supercharged engine can handle even large cars: acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 9.3 seconds with an average fuel consumption of 6.4 litres/100 km.

Ford Focus III

It received a supercharged gasoline compact with the debut of the third-generation model. In 2014, it was replaced by 1.5 EB. The engine (150 or 182 hp) offers good performance and promises sensationally low fuel consumption: in 8.0 seconds to 100 km/h and 5.9 litres/100 km (more powerful version).

Motor 2.0 Duratec

The recipe for a good class in this case turns out to be simple construction and solid material. Despite the drawbacks, mechanics recommend this machine. Over the years, the 2.0-liter engine known as Ford's "Duratec" managed to earn a very good reputation: it broke down a lot and ran well. Today, age and mileage do their job and there is a similar disease to Mazda 2.0 users.

First of all, it is an increase in oil consumption caused by a malfunction of the piston rings. An additional problem is that it is difficult to detect defects during pre-purchase tests. The repairs required significant disassembly of the engine along with removal of the cylinder head.

The second typical problem is making a hole in the manifold, where the cover that controls the flow of air to the engine is installed. The engine began to rattle unpleasantly. Some suggest removing the fin (technically an easy fix), but you have to be aware of a noticeable drop in torque at low engine speeds. Fix? For most versions, Ford has prepared 1 repair kit.

The rest of the problems are usually insignificant, such as the incorrect operation of the EGR valve or lambda probe "too sensitive", exhaust gas purge test. Cooperation with LPG looks bad - the engine has sensitive valve seats.

Advantages of the 2.0 Duratec engine

High mechanical strength, good access to parts, durable timing chain drive (basically maintenance free!).

Engine Cons 2.0 Duratec

Only an average compromise between fuel consumption and dynamics, the possibility of breakdown is quite expensive (engine oil burns).

O2.0 DuratecIt has an aluminum fuselage with cast iron cylinder liners. Indirect injection, without push.

japanese roots

Mazda is a subsidiary of Ford, so it is not surprising that technical solutions are widespread: the 2.0-liter engine is a Mazda unit with the designation "L".

distribution chain

Ford uses a timing belt on gasoline engines, while Japanese engines have chains that rarely have problems.

a bit like diesel

In the engine you will find solutions closer to diesel: EGR valves, dual-mass wheels, a flap that controls the air flow in the intake system.


The two-liter gasoline manual gearbox has only 5 gear ratios. Its advantages include durability and ease of operation.

The classic gasoline “vending machine” is surprisingly simple and its correct operation ensures high durability. However, 4 gears is too little for modern expectations.

2.0 Duratec engine installed in:

ford fiesta v drive

Two liters were used on the ST version in 2005-08. This is the largest machine in its model history! The engine has 150 CV, it does not have great acceleration -100 km/h appears at 8.4 seconds- but the Infante accelerates to 208 km/h.

ford galaxy ii

The first edition of the pickup uses the previous generation 2.0-liter gasoline engine, a Japanese-built engine that debuted in the Galaxy II (2006-14). In Galaxy 2.0 it took 10.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h. Fuel consumption averaged 8.2 l/100 km.

Ford Mondeo III

The two-liter gasoline engine is a popular power source in the middle class. The described generation of engines appeared on the Mondeo II in 2000, and was also used on the Mondeo III, until 2014. The average fuel consumption of the Mondeo III 2.0 is 7.9 l / 100 km, the car reaches "hundreds" after 9.9 seconds.

Engine 2.0 TDCi

The two-liter diesel engine stands out from the competition with a small list of typical faults. Of course, that doesn't mean smooth driving. After a very negative experience with its own production of the 2.0 diesel, Ford decided to cooperate with PSA. The 2.0 diesel unit (code “DW10”, 16-valve variant only), which began appearing at Ford in 2004, is well known and appreciated.

Mechanics easily mention the advantages of this design: a solid piston-crank system, an injector that can withstand hundreds of thousands of kilometers, decent two-mass wheels (up to 250,000 km without replacement). Of course, this diesel also creates problems. The biggest ones are related to the turbocharger: steering, stuck exhaust flywheel, sensors, etc. Fortunately, there are no more problems with professional turbine regeneration and flywheel setup.

Thus, the good durability was also improved during the modernization (2011) – since then, the main problem has been the malfunction of the exhaust afterburner located in the exhaust, which helps in the regeneration of the diesel particulate filter. Keep in mind, however, that Focus and Mondeo, which are several or tens of years old, have already covered hundreds of thousands of kilometers; you cannot count on the fact that vulnerabilities will be free. You should expect, among other things, problems with the DPF filter and the EGR valve.

Advantages of the 2.0 TDCi engine

Some technical problems (mainly the version after the modernization in 2011), great variety of varieties and specimens.

Cons of the 2.0 TDCi engine

Potential issues with exhaust cleanliness (especially newer versions), often using expensive PS boxes to repair.

The 2.0 TDCi is an engine taken from the care of PSA. The timing is belt driven, but the shafts are held together by an additional chain.

also sporty

The weakest variant has 115 HP, the most popular - 140 HP. Lovers of good performance can opt for the 185 hp version (Focus ST).

private filter

The treatment of exhaust gases is one of the main problems of diesel. New DPF filters from well-known companies are expensive.

belt, not chain

Ford's two-litre diesel engine is easy to distinguish from the PSA design: the former has a timing chain, and successors have a belt that must be replaced every 240,000 km or 10 years.


The engines normally work with a manual gearbox (6 speeds), in the 115hp S-Max you will find a 5-speed box. It is a safe choice.

“Automata” is usually a PowerShift (dual clutch) transmission, but up to 2010 you can also find classic automatic transmissions that are cheaper.

2.0 TDCi engine fitted to:

Ford Focus III

The compact is dominated by the fleet's choice of 1.5 and 1.6 TDCi diesels, but the 2.0 engine is a lot of fun to drive. The weakest version of the Focus III - 2.0 / 115 hp - is connected only to the PowerShift gearbox. You will also find varieties: 140, 150, 163 and 185 CV (the latter being ST).

Ford S-Max I

Most of the S-Maxes offered on the aftermarket have a 2.0 diesel engine, all with PSA roots. The weaker S-Max 2.0 TDCi develops 115 PS (0 to 100 km/h acceleration in 12.2 seconds), but there are also variants: 130, 140 and 163 PS.

Ford Mondeo III

A nice change: The old Mondeo has a Ford diesel engine, since 2007 the 2.0 variant from PSA dominates. Various versions: 115, 130, 140 and 163 CV. We recommend the 140 hp variant after modernization: average fuel consumption 5.3 l/100 km, “hundreds” in 9.5 seconds.

worst ford engine

  • 1.0 EcoBoost: On paper it's tempting due to its performance, but it disappoints in practice. Note: repair is expensive!
  • 1.6 TDCi 16V: Serious problem, we advise you to be careful when buying the 109 HP variant.
  • 1.8 TD - many variants of power systems, increased mileage and expensive repairs.
  • 2.0 TD - Ford engine stalls - too many failures, repairs may not be profitable!

We will only give a negative review for the two-liter diesel engine developed by Ford - in terms of a passenger model, it is under the hood of theMondeo2000-2007 (updated successively, at the end of production it becomes tolerable in operation).

The 1.6 diesel engine with a 16-valve cylinder head was also bad. As our contact George Zarcki from Solid Garage service points out, this is a good unit for training mechanics – its main problems are the lubrication and refueling systems.

The remaining engines are blacklisted mainly due to neglected maintenance and various possible costly failures; for example, costs may be due to EcoBoost liter (insufficient access to parts, required experience, for example, when changing timing belts).


In recent years, Ford has used its most reliable engines. Most gasoline cars run fine, their diesel engines have improved. Worst of all was the Ford 2.0 diesel engine from the start of production.

4.9/5 - (35 votes)

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