Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. Surrey BC | F-150 Ecoboost | Stretched Timing Chain

If You’re Buying a 2011- 2013 F-150 Ecoboost From Hallmark Ford in Surrey BC You Need To Read This!

On August 28th 2014 I went over to Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. in Surrey BC to test drive and purchase a 2011 F-150 Ecoboost Lariat pickup truck.  Upon my arrival to the dealership (I beat the salesman by 1/2 an hour) I found that the truck had already been moved off the lot and into “detailing”.  My opportunity to hear the vehicle on a cold start was gone.

When an F-150 Ecoboost truck has a stretched timing chain the main symptom will only show itself during a cold start by making a very loud rattle as demonstrated in the video above.  Ford can also diagnose the problem with sophisticated engine monitoring equipment that can tell the timing on the cams.

After purchasing the truck and driving it home the next morning (August 29th 2014) I went out to start it and it made the loud rattling noise you hear in the videos.  What has followed has been just about 2 months of non-stop problems with this truck and dealer who sold it to me.  The truck has spent 17 days in total at my local Ford dealer so far with nothing but a diagnosis and no fix.

After researching this issue thoroughly it becomes very obvious the timing chain on the F-150 truck that I purchased didn’t stretch in the 140km or so drive home to the Island.  This truck was a lease return and was leased out new through Hallmark Ford.

You’d think if a dealership leased out a vehicle since new that they might want to inspect it thoroughly when it’s returned a few years later right…?  I thought so too… Only to learn that Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. has their lease return vehicles sent to a BCAA inspection facility where they conduct a very basic visual inspection of the vehicle.  They do not inspect the mechanical condition at all, they don’t even road-test or run the vehicle as part of their inspection.  I actually had my local Ford dealer do an inspection afterward and they were able to diagnose my timing chain issue on a subsequent visit.

That BCAA inspection should have been my first clue…  Further, even though Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. was the dealer that put this vehicle into service you’d think maybe they might have had an incentive to complete the regular maintenance on the truck too right?  Wrong…

Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. has not been able to produce a single maintenance or service record for the vehicle.  It’s certainly acceptable that the owner completed maintenance on his own at different (non-Ford shop) but this also gives me no reason to believe the previous owner was even maintaining the vehicle.  With only 64,000 kilometers on the vehicle at purchase the current mechanical condition of the motor (stretched timing chain) could support that theory.

I certainly don’t blame the previous owner of the vehicle… It was a lease, why would they care?  I don’t doubt for a second this truck made this noise for the previous owner who likely didn’t care because the truck was getting returned anyway.

I also don’t doubt that the truck made the noise for Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. employees who started and moved the truck around the lot while it sat there for two months.

Hallmark Ford has so far denied any responsibility for the mechanical condition of this truck.

There is now a TSB out for the stretched timing chain TSB 14-0194 (Hallmark has yet to respond to my email regarding this)

You can read other Ford F-150 Ecoboost owners experiences with this specific troubling issue the Ecoboosts are starting to develop.  Just follow the links below.

F150Forum – Cold Start Grinding F-150 Ecoboost  – This thread has over 500 posts with dozens of affected trucks.  There is plenty of reading.

Stretched Timing Chains F-150 Ecoboost – This thread on the Ecoboost forum has a few affected trucks and even one Ford truck owner who tackled the expensive and laborious repair on their own.

Broken Timing Chain F-150 Ecoboost – This thread was started by an Ecoboost truck owner who’s timing chain actually broke, destroying the engine.

Fleet of Ecoboosts With Broken Timing Chains – The original poster of this thread is a large fleet manager with 57 Ecoboost trucks… 19 of those trucks broke timing chains… I’ll let you read the rest.

The TSB covers a wide swathe of Ecoboost trucks manufactured from 2011 to October 10th 2014.  This potentially encompasses hundreds of thousands of trucks.  The repair itself has a TSB time of 9 hours and after parts owners are reporting costs from $1500 on the low end to $4000 on the high end.


2011 F-150 Ecoboost Misfire in #5 Cylinder

One of the well known and documented issues with the 3.5L Ecoboost engine in the F-150’s is the condensation problem that runs rampant with the original Charger Air Cooler (CAC) design.  Ford stated the design was so effective that is was cooling the charged air too much resulting in a condition where condensation could pool within the charger.  When the driver gives hard throttle or accelerates onto the highway for example, the charged air forces all that condensation in droplet form into the intake and then into the cylinders.

Once inside your cylinder the condensation instantly flashes to steam and can damage the spark plugs, causing carbon tracking and even causing a flashover situation that destroys the coil.  If you really suck in a lot of water via the CAC it’s actually possible to “hydrolock” the engine and serious damage has occurred.

To make a long story short, this truck I purchased from Hallmark Ford in Surrey BC never had any of the several CAC updates (TSB’s) that have come out over the last few years.   This came to light on Friday October 10th when the vehicle suddenly started missing really bad, shaking violently and eventually going into limp mode while accelerating on the highway.

The result was getting towed into my local Ford dealer and spending $165.00 to replace the #5 spark plug and coil.  They quote TSB 14-0180.


F-150 Ecoboost Spark Plug Carbon Tracking

That Black Line Is Actually A Crack In The Porcelain.  The Result Is A Misfire.

The list of TSB’s for the CAC issue is as follows:

  1. TSB 12-6-4
  2. TSB 12-10-19
  3. TSB 13-3-3
  4. TSB 13-8-1

When asked if any of these updates had been completed on the truck I purchased, Hallmark said NO and stated there was nothing on file that the previous owner had reported.  By the trucks build date (May 10th 2011) it definitely qualifies for the TSB and a mechanic at my local Ford dealer also confirmed that it is eligible for the TSB.

He also agreed with me that the sudden surge of condensation being ingested into the cylinders on bank #2  (where #5 is located) gets the worst of the condensation issues.  I’ve had this truck less than 2 months and it’s spent more than 17 days in the shop so far.

Truck was purchased at Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. in Surrey, BC.

2011 F-150 Ecoboost – Purchase At Hallmark Ford Surrey BC – Cold Start Engine Noises

This is a collection of the cold start noises I’ve been able to catch on camera between August 30th 2014 and October 10th 2014. There are 14 instances of the noise happening on camera.  There is absolutely no way anyone can deny there is an issue with this truck.  This truck made this noise the day after taking delivery from Hallmark Ford Sales.

The truck has made this noise another dozen or so times at least including for my local Ford dealer who diagnosed the problem as an internal engine noise/timing chain issue.

Ford Engineering has said not to repair the truck at this time.

In the meantime I’ve purchased a truck that has an internal engine noise (stretched timing chain) along with a faulty turbo that is also making noise. The truck is now missing quite heavily on 3/4 to wide open throttle. Either related to the CAC issue or timing not being correct…

At this point in time Hallmark Ford Sales is refusing to open the motor on this truck they’ve sold me because Ford Engineering won’t authorize the warranty repair.  In the meantime I am expected to drive this expensive truck that I know has a problem, Ford knows has a problem and Hallmark Ford knows there is a problem but it’s too bad for me.

It’s quite obvious the engine in this truck has a problem and won’t be repaired until someone is ready to open the engine and diagnose it.

I can’t take the risk of having this truck break down while towing a trailer with all my gear inside… Which is the primary reason I wanted to buy another truck in the first place.  Some of us actually use them.

This particular noise is becoming a known issue on 2011 F-150 Ecoboost trucks.

Startup Noise Truck Purchased At Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. Surrey, BC.

This is just another YouTube video recording of the grinding noise my truck is making on cold starts.  This truck was purchased used from Hallmark Ford Sales in Surrey BC on August 28th 2014.  It made this noise the next day.  I’ll let you decide if you think the noise developed on the drive home or was present when the truck was sold.

The below video is from October 5th 2014.

Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd in Surrey BC Negative Review

This Is My Experience Purchasing A Used Ford Truck From Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd.

Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. is located at 10025 152 st in Surrey BC.

On August 26th 2014 I traded a 2011 F-150 XLT Ecoboost to Hallmark Ford in Surrey BC. Only a 5 seater my old truck no longer suited my needs so I found the F-150 Lariat Ecoboost Hallmark was selling on Autotrader with a 40/20/40 bench in the front which gave me seating for 6 and also brought me up several trim levels.

When I arrived to view the truck at Hallmark Ford it had already been started and moved around the lot prior to my arrival. This prevented me from hearing the vehicle perform a cold start. This point will become important later in this review.

After test driving the truck and finding a small quirk with the Turbo I waited around for over an hour waiting for my Salesman (Dan) to get a service tech to road-test the vehicle. Finally they did, confirmed the sound was exhaust related and wanted to send me on my way.

Here is the noise the Turbo is making below

I took delivery of the vehicle and drove it home to the Island. The next morning, less than 16 hours after delivery the vehicle exhibited a very loud rattle from the top end of the motor when I went to start it the next morning. I was immediately concerned, but being a long weekend there wasn’t much I could do. I called my local Ford dealer and got an appointment for the truck the following Tuesday.

After hearing that initial noise I began documenting the noises on camera. My local Ford Dealer took the truck in that Tuesday, I had them change the oil and do a complete vehicle inspection and also listen for the issue. They could not replicate it! I was extremely frustrated and feeling sick over this purchase. I emailed Hallmark to let them know what was going on.

The truck sat in my driveway for the first week as I went out and video recorded every single start, driving it very little. You can see some those videos below.

Out of frustration the following week I booked another appointment with my local Ford Dealer. This time I left the truck there on Friday afternoon and returned Monday morning and started the vehicle with a Ford technician under the hood. He confirmed the noise was internal engine noise, likely the timing chain and they took the truck in to repair it under powertrain warranty. They called me that Friday and said Ford Engineering has denied any repair on the truck at this time.

I’d already begun researching the issue online and discovered there are actually a few dozen if not more F-150 Ecoboost trucks that have the exact same issue. The diagnosis on those trucks was a stretched timing chain and worn tensioner. Many of those affected trucks reported the issue coming back after having the timing chain and tensioner replaced. Ford cited this in their explanation to me as to why they denied the repair.

If you read other truck owners experiences on the F-150forums you’ll see Ford has done little to appease the people that are having this issue with Ecoboosts. In fact many have also been denied repair under warranty and for others the warranty has expired.

This particular truck (the one I purchased) sat on Hallmark Fords lot for more than 2 months prior to me buying it and likely had been moved several dozen times. It’s my belief someone, if not several people knew of the issues with this truck and heard the rattle it makes on a cold start. I cannot prove this though.

Hallmark is very proud of the BCAA inspections that they put their used vehicles through. In reality, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. The BCAA inspection is just a visual check-list. Nothing more. If you are buying a used vehicle from Hallmark Ford take the vehicle to an independent mechanic or another Ford dealer for a second opinion.

Hallmark does not offer any type of used vehicle warranty on their used vehicles. Many dealers, even shady ones generally offer some type of warranty, especially with an inspected used vehicle. In fact most vehicle manufacturers have certified used programs their dealers can utilize so you have more protection and confidence in the used vehicle you are about to purchase.

I am no stranger to Ford trucks. This is my 4th F-150 in a row bought from a dealership and the first one I’ve ever driven off the lot and into the shop.

It’s been a little over a month since buying the truck and my last email exchange with the Service Manager at Hallmark Ford (Eric) has resulted in me posting this review of Hallmark Ford and my experience buying a used vehicle from their dealership.

Hallmark Ford sold me a truck with problems refuses to stand behind it. I know there is an issue with the truck, Ford knows there is an issue, Hallmark knows there is an issue but nobody has the balls to open up the engine and take a look at what’s really causing my problem.

I am very unhappy with the conduct of Hallmark Ford with respect to how this vehicle was represented. I do not recommend Hallmark Ford under any circumstances for a used vehicle purchase.

If you have any questions about my purchase, how it was handled, or any other specifics related to my experience with Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. of Surrey BC I’d be happy to answer those queries.

My Negative Review Of Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. on Yelp
My Negative Review of Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. on Dealerrater.ca
My Negative Review of Hallmark Ford Sales Ltd. on Google+