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.