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EcoBoost (3.5L, 2.0L) 3.5L Twin Turbo EcoBoost V6 and 2.0L I4 EcoBoost Engines

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Old 07-01-2013, 12:32 PM
fergie1111 fergie1111 is offline
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Overheating towing in high altitudes

So I have a 2011 F150 ecoboost that the sales guys talked me into when I wanted a F250 for towing a 7-8K toyhauler. Living in Boise when I tow at higher elevation and high temps the engine is overheating. This has been going on for the past year with no fix from Ford. I finally took pictures of the overheating so they would believe me and still Ford has no fix. So be careful when you read that the ecoboost will tow 11500 lbs. Does anyone else have any issues towing the the ecoboost?
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:37 PM
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That's really strange the sales guy talked you into a lower model truck?
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:45 PM
fergie1111 fergie1111 is offline
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I went into trade my 2004 F250 diesel in on a new model (not brand new)and the sales guy directed me to the f150 ecoboost since I was going to tow a camper that was between 7-8K. He hit me with great gas milage in town and all the torque. Which don't get wrong I love the truck in town and towing my snowmobile trailer but hate that I have to slow down to 30-40MPH climbing hills. Im guessing he was trying to help. Now I have to worry every time I pull my camper if this time the engine will blow and fords answer is just keep using it and hopefully we will have a fix soon.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:32 PM
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Hi fergie, welcome to FTE!

I split your post off into its own thread in the Ecoboost forum, this is the best place to discuss your issue.

Mine got pretty warm last weekend, but the hill was only about a mile long, so I can see that cooling could be a problem at high altitudes.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:12 PM
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My truck overheats every time I tow my camper up a grade with high temps. Im worried about what its been doing the engine. I love the truck but I'm really frustrated.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:14 PM
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How do you define over heating? Was the temperature gauge going into the red and the engine going into fail safe mode? Or did it just get warm and reduce power?
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:39 PM
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Well the first time it happened (a year ago) the truck went into the red then to fail safe mode. Since then I have to reduce the speed of my truck(30 mph) so it wont go into the red. When I talk to Ford service they tell me they dont have a fix but keep driving it and thats what makes nervous. If it blows then Ford OK with that per the service guy. If they dont have a fix soon so I can tow my camper at more than 30 mph I'm going to call my local TV station for a little help with what my next step should be. Its really frustrating that I spent 40K on a truck and it doesnt perform.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:35 PM
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Can you explain more about the grades you pull and altitude?

I've only overheated a vehicle once in recent memory, and that was my '07 Kenworth pulling up to the Eisenhower tunnel over 79,000 lbs. The cooling system was working just fine, and in every other situation the cooling fan was always capable of bringing the temps back down. This particular time the fan stayed on and the temps just kept climbing. I attributed it to the thin air...after that day I put another 30,000 miles on the truck without incident. The cooling system was working just fine, but the thin air and heavy load was just too much for it.

I suspect you might be having a similar issue. You have an engine belting out more heat than virtually any other gas engine in a pickup truck, and you're doing it without benefit of the larger cooling package you see in 3/4 ton trucks. In our Ohio Meet last week my truck was faster up the hill than any of the Super Duties. But my temps were by far the hottest; I was up to 239° coolant temp!
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:18 AM
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I'm sure you're probably good, but I always suggest that, if you're having problems with overheating, you check the trailers braking system, brakes themselves, and trailer bearings. You might even want to switch to a synthetic bearing grease if you haven't already.

Anything you can do to make sure the trailer is rolling as easy as possible can help keep temps down. You would be amazed how often people have 'truck problems' that turn out to actually be a trailer issue.

On a side note, with that heavy of trailer you're using a weight distributing hitch, right? On the half tons you need one if you're towing a trailer over 5000lbs. The dealers love to tell people an F150 will pull a heavy trailer just fine, but often neglect to mention the difference in tow ratings for a weight carrying vs. weight distributing hitch.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 03 SVT VERT View Post
On a side note, with that heavy of trailer you're using a weight distributing hitch, right? On the half tons you need one if you're towing a trailer over 5000lbs. The dealers love to tell people an F150 will pull a heavy trailer just fine, but often neglect to mention the difference in tow ratings for a weight carrying vs. weight distributing hitch.
That's not a half-ton thing, but rather a safe towing thing. My '11 F350 required a WD hitch over 5,000 lbs; models with a 2.5" receiver require one over 6,000 lbs, and DRW trucks require one over 8,500 lbs.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:45 AM
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So the grade is about 5-6% for 3 miles totaling almost 4000 feet of elevation. The truck works awesome when I'm towing at a lower elevation and cooler temps. My problem is that all over the TV and internet this truck is supposed to be the new best thing in towing. I spent alot of money and I wont pull 7000lbs. Per the Ford service rep this has been happening to many of the Ecoboost 150's but they dont have a fix for it. And Im told to keep driving it the way I am and hopefully Fords engineers with have a fix for the problem soon. Too me this just isnt good enough. I have a camping trip planned for the middle of July for 10 day in a remote area that requires me to drive at a steeper grade when its going to be hot out. This makes me really nervious becasue I will have my wife and two kids with no cell service. Im not a mechanic and dont have a lot of experience with engines and towing so im trying to get some advice as to what to do with my truck.


And for my trailer the bearings were repacked last year and the brakes checked when it was winterized. I have a heavy duty hitch with stabilzer and sway bar set up. Ive also had a airbag system installed for towing.

I really appreciate all the help.
thanks
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:23 PM
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Tell us more about your truck. Do you have the max tow pkg?? If not do you at least have 3.73 gears?? I'm towing the same weight as you and haven't had any issues(knock on wood). If you have the max tow pkg which comes with the bigger radiator then something is definitely not right. I wish you the best of luck.

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Old 07-02-2013, 10:19 PM
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If you have the max tow pkg which comes with the bigger radiator then something is definitely not right. I wish you the best of luck.
I don't know Kevin, my experience has shown that the cooling package on a Max Tow truck isn't capable of keeping the engine cool under extended full-throttle applications in hot weather. The higher the altitude the harder it is for the cooling system to maintain temperature.

I've towed 12,000 lbs in ~80° weather before without incident. But it wasn't pulling a 5-6% grade at altitude either.

I really think the OP needs a diesel Super Duty if he wants to pull those grades with that much weight behind him without slowing down. I think the PCM is smart enough to avoid engine damage though, so I wouldn't worry about blowing it up.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:57 AM
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To the OP,

Have you monitored your transmission temps as well?

Which brand and weight of engine oil are you using? I would switch to a full synthetic 5w-30 oil and continue to use the MC filter. Bring enough of each for another complete change.

I think we need more information on your truck. Does it have the max tow package? If not, what's the gear ratios? Are the electric fans operating properly?
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:41 PM
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It does have the tow package, I have the oil changed at the dealership and I'll have to check what gearing it has.
My biggest complaint is the dealership and ford not standing behind the truck. Im not mechanic but did a little research on the ecoboost before I bought it to see if it really towed what the dealership claims. Now that Ive owned the truck for two years and its been overheating for one of the two. Its been to the dealer multiple times for the overheating without a fix.
Ford cant figure out why its overheating so the customer service person at Ford offered me an extended warranty and that he's sorry but they dont have a cure for the overheating (thats been happening with other ecoboosts for the past year). So now I have a 40K truck that I dont feel comfortable selling to someone because its been overheating. Or I would be out buying a diesel.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:41 PM
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