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Old 10-28-2021, 10:28 AM   #1
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3.5L Ecoboost Recall

Last week I got a recall notice from Ford for my '17 F150. It said it had to do with a cam phasing problem and that I needed to contact the dealer for a computer reprogramming. I took it in yesterday and they did the adjustment. I was wondering if anyone has had the problem that was described in the recall.

The service advisor said that this solved a noticeable noise (like starting a diesel motor) for about five seconds during a cold start. I've never heard this problem, but the recall said that if I didn't have it looked at by Feb. '22, then I would be on the hook for repairs, should the issue come up. If the problem develops, Ford would make the repairs for free up to 65,000 miles and pro-rate the repair after that.

I think Ford is trying to offer a quick fix without having to dig into the motor. Has anyone here had this knocking problem?
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Old 10-28-2021, 11:20 AM   #2
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a noticeable noise (like starting a diesel motor):

My 2016 F350 Diesel twin turbo... operates this way.

Turn ignition to On.
Turn ignition to Start.
Purrs like a Big Mountain Lion ready to tow our Airstream.

No knocking of pistons like a Mac 18 wheeler... different engines.

No delay. No hesitation. No noticeable noise. Starts like our 2021 Toyota gas Land Cruiser. This a Ford Dealership? Check the sign outside.

Toyota designed the new larger 2007 introduction had Cam Shafts breaking in the new 5.7L model engine. Someone may have 'accurate' information. We waited until the second year 2008 of production and Tundra's were the best pickup I had owned. Flawless...

Don't you love it when a manufacture 'discovers a problem' after many are out of warranty, if ever? I have a 2016 F350 Diesel... wonder what is not covered now that needs to be... fixed?
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Old 10-28-2021, 11:47 AM   #3
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There are thousands of people having trouble with that Ford Ecoboost (I think mostly 2017-2021), my son is one of them. They have re-flashed him computer a few times, rebuilt the whole top end of the engine, and now he constantly has a check engine light right after the rebuild, all on a 2020 F-150. Time to look a lemon law for him and/or trading it in, he is totally fed up, different dealers giving him different answers, even been on the phone with Ford technicians. There are many online posts about this on Ford forums and Youtube.
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Old 10-28-2021, 12:44 PM   #4
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Taking my SUV in Tuesday for the same thing. Well known problem related to the part of the valvetrain which adjusts valve timing. That part is controlled by oil pressure and the thought is that this reprogram allows oil pressure to build up during the start up process and avoid wear coming from starts after the truck has been sitting for a few days when the oil has leaked back down to the pan. If the wear is already there and a problem, the fix is to replace the adjuster part (the phaser) which a fair amount of work.
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Old 10-28-2021, 12:51 PM   #5
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The recall is an effort by Ford to eliminate future cam phaser problems that owners might experience without it. It won't fix any current problems but will hopefully prevent them down the road. Every 3.5 L EcoBoost engine won't have the problem but it is common. Ford does cover most repairs under warranty within the warranty period and they are offering extended warranty if the recall is done before the expiration date on the letter received.

Ford isn't the only company that uses cam phasers to adjust engine timing and others have similar problems caused by cam chain and parts wear. If you have an EcoBoost engine, be sure to follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule to help ensure you don't have any problems.
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Old 10-28-2021, 01:43 PM   #6
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Literally just picked up my '17 truck from dealer to fix this problem. My truck started making grinding noises at start at 62k miles. Ford put out a TSB for '17 trucks that if the dealer recognized the problem before 8/20/21, they would extend warranty for a year.

The software re-program did not help. Ford then replaced the cam phasers under warranty (in my case 2/3 of cost was covered, missed 100% by 2k miles).

Couple of ideas for others:

*As someone said, this problem may have to do with not enough oil at startup, due to running into oil pan. Ford Motorcraft filters apparently have some kind of back flow prevention to prevent this, so stick with them if you can.

*The horrible grinding noise at startup can be prevented by putting the accelerator to the floor (F150s are designed not to start if you do that), turning the engine over for a second or two and then releasing accelerator. The cranking brings up enough oil that it should not grind. Does not fix the problem, but at least you don't hear it.
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Old 10-29-2021, 10:40 AM   #7
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Wow, all good information. That's what makes this forum so valuable. Crossing my fingers that the software fix doesn't exacerbate the problem. With only 14K miles on my '17, it does give me some wiggle room, since they warranty it out to 65K for this particular problem. To be honest, we love the way it tows our AS and hope it continues to do so without issue.
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Old 11-01-2021, 04:43 PM   #8
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My 2015 has not had a recall issued on it so thats probably good.

I've always used motorcraft oil filters OEM for the truck. I buy them in bulk by the case and get a good rate.

I also use full synthetic and change it every 5000 miles to 6000MAX.
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Old 11-02-2021, 08:40 AM   #9
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I have a 2017 F150 with 76k. Just had the cam phaser recall work done. Never had a problem with the engine, but do notice its quieter at startup. Always had oil changed at dealership, so maybe that helped. About half it's miles are towing.
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Old 11-02-2021, 09:51 AM   #10
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My 2017 F-150 had the cold startup clacking noise at 44k miles. This was before the recall and the dealer replaced the cam phasers and reprogrammed per a technical service bulletin. Got rid of the noise for the last 5 months I owned it (sold the truck after a brake issue they couldnt figure out after 3 trips to the dealer. Nothing scarier than random flashing brake warning sound and dash warning that brakes arent working while towing).
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Old 11-02-2021, 10:09 AM   #11
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Ford 3.5 ecoboost recall

I took my 2018 Expedition 3.5 into Hennessey Ford Lincoln, in Atlanta for a cam phaser replacement, under warranty. I found one you tube video from a site called Flying Wrenches, hosted by a Ford certified master mechanic that explains the issues. A second video that shows the engineering defect with with original cam phases. Two schools of thought. All I can say is I hope Ford fixes the problem!



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Old 11-03-2021, 05:30 AM   #12
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Goood videos.

Just remember folks, to ya'll that have this truck, You WILL do this to your truck in any case up towards the 100K mark. Maybe a bit further. It's normal maintenance as these parts wear out. Chain, Phasers, guides. But it shouldn't be happening at 40-50K is all, here.

Frequent high quality oil changes are the key to longevity.
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Old 11-03-2021, 10:12 AM   #13
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I use Castrol full synthetic 0w40 and a motor craft filter on my 2018 and change every 3-5 miles.

So far so good. My friend that's a Ford tech told me to wait till they've done the reprogram on more trucks as he feels they are beta testing a fix on people's trucks. Hence the fact that if it doesn't fix the problem they reset it back to what it was
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Old 11-03-2021, 12:00 PM   #14
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Just made appt. for 11/15. Will take 1/2 dY. My Expedition is leased so, if there are problems . . . . .I'll have about 8 months to evaluate.
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Old 11-03-2021, 05:47 PM   #15
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Seems like most every engine from every MFG using variable cam timing has a few with phaser issues. My 3.6L GM HFV6 needed a new actuator solenoid at 36,000 miles. Less than $40 and took about 10 minutes to replace so not worth my time to go to dealer for warranty coverage. As someone mentioned, good possibility that the phasers and timing chains and guides, etc will be a maintenance item at or before 100,000 miles.
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Old 11-03-2021, 10:19 PM   #16
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I have a 2018 F150 3.5 L Ecoboost. At around 50,000 miles it started developing an intermittent rattle following a cold start-up. The rattle started happening a few weeks after the first time I had an oil change done by the local garage and not the Ford dealership. I didn't at the time associate the rattle with the oil change as the noise didn't start appearing for about 2 to 3 weeks following the oil change. Likely a non-Motorcraft oil filter was used. I still don't know if that had anything to do with the rattle.
Anyway I later got the recall letter and brought the truck in to have the cam phaser reprogrammed and had them do an oil change. I also asked the tech to check out the intermittent rattle. He couldn't duplicate the rattle and there were no computer codes indicating a problem but he did the cam phaser reprogramming and oil change. It has been 12 days since. There has been no rattle noise yet. Either the reprogramming or the new Motorcraft oil filter have solved the issue or the intermittent nature of my rattle problem has temporarily gone quiescent. I don't know yet. If my rattle reappears, I will post a notice here.
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Old 11-03-2021, 11:12 PM   #17
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And there are simplistic "fixes" of course one example for a similar phaser issue https://www.wmsracing.com/wms/wms-camphaser.php

Problem with that sort of fix is that the variable cam timing really does result in better hp and torque throughout the rpm range as well as improved MPG and reduced emissions. It is a great way to go, just all MFG need to get the durability dialed in.
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Old 11-10-2021, 10:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abqdor View Post
Last week I got a recall notice from Ford for my '17 F150. It said it had to do with a cam phasing problem and that I needed to contact the dealer for a computer reprogramming. I took it in yesterday and they did the adjustment. I was wondering if anyone has had the problem that was described in the recall.

The service advisor said that this solved a noticeable noise (like starting a diesel motor) for about five seconds during a cold start. I've never heard this problem, but the recall said that if I didn't have it looked at by Feb. '22, then I would be on the hook for repairs, should the issue come up. If the problem develops, Ford would make the repairs for free up to 65,000 miles and pro-rate the repair after that.

I think Ford is trying to offer a quick fix without having to dig into the motor. Has anyone here had this knocking problem?
I had this exact problem (knocking noise) and had it fixed under warranty at 30k miles on my 2018 F150. Cost was $2400, all covered by Ford. So it is real and the recall fix should be completed. Not sure of root cause, but it can be a real and expensive problem!
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Old 11-10-2021, 12:55 PM   #19
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Rattle has come back even after the cam phase reprogramming

This is a follow-up to my earlier post in this thread. I am sorry to report that the intermittent rattle/chattering has returned even after I got the Ford dealership reprogramming for the cam phaser and a new oil change. The rattle as I stated earlier was intermittent and of course the Ford tech did not hear it on his test drive. The cam phaser reprogramming was done and I was hoping this would solve the problem. Initially it seemed to be the case, but now after a couple of weeks, the rattle/chattering has reappeared again intermittently. Sometimes immediately as I start the truck and sometimes up to 10 minutes later as I ascend a hill coming out of my residence. When I go down the hill in the other direction the rattle never occurs. Another side effect of the reprogramming is that the truck is now "lugging" at lower speeds. The transmission gears seem to be way high for the relative low speed of the engine. It is a 10 speed transmission and the transmission likes to hang out in 8th or 9th gear even when I am traveling at only 25 - 30 mph. This never was the case prior. Guess it is back to the dealership we go.
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Old 11-10-2021, 01:16 PM   #20
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Ecoboost 3.5 Cam Phaser Problem

Just had this taken care of. The Ford program has two aspects: (1) reprogramming the computer to prevent the onset of a cam phaser rattle, and (2) correcting a cam phaser rattle after it starts. I had to have them both done. Ford did (1) for me after the cam phaser rattle already started. I believe this involves changing the timing with which oil flows into the cam phasers. Because my cam phasers continued to make the noise, they did (2) which involves replacing the cam phasers and related components. I understand this is normally about a $3000 repair. In the letter I received Ford offered to complete (2) under warranty up to 69,999 miles (I was just short of that). The letter said coverage would be prorated at 70,000 miles and above.
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