2.3 Idle Ticking? Normal? Dealership Says They Can't Find Anything Wrong

Jan 7, 2018
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#1
I have the 2.3 ecoboost mustang. And I noticed the idle when cold or warm the car has a ticking sound, some people claim the ecoboosts have a high fuel pressure and the fuel lifters are loud but its all normal. does anyone else notice this in their ecoboost engines? if so, has anyone confirmed the claim that these fuel lifters are loud and its just normal operation? The service manager at the dealership drove the car, said there was nothing wrong.
 
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74stang2togo

I've never done anything CT worthy...
Mod Dude
Mar 7, 2002
6,006
1,948
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#2
All direct-injected engines tick.

If you locate your high pressure fuel pump (usually on the top of the engine, haven't worked on the Ecoboost Mustang yet, but I've worked on all of the other Ecoboosts except the GT and Raptor), you'll probably find it to be the source of the noise, and that noise is normal. I've also worked on just about everyone else's GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engines, and they all tick from that pump.

If the ticking is somewhere else, then you might have a problem.
 
Jan 7, 2018
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#3
The dealership couldn't find anything wrong. So I don't know. It sounds like it could be coming from the pump .
 
Jan 3, 2019
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Potsdam
#5
Hello there,
I’m having the same sound and I just bought it from a dealership (not a company dealer) in NJ (2015 with 19k miles). Is this serious? Have I bought a junk mustang? I’m taking the car to the ford dealership this Monday. Please help. I just put $20k for this car.
 
Jan 7, 2018
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#6
Hello there,
I’m having the same sound and I just bought it from a dealership (not a company dealer) in NJ (2015 with 19k miles). Is this serious? Have I bought a junk mustang? I’m taking the car to the ford dealership this Monday. Please help. I just put $20k for this car.

what is your warranty situation ? are you within in factory warranty, do you have an aftermarket or extended warranty? For the most part the "ticking" sounds and the like are from loud lifters, ecoboost engines, whether they are I4 or V6 tend to sound like they are knocking or ticking even though they are idling and running normal, at least this is what has been told by dozens of ecoboost owners every time I get paranoid about engine noises. I've learned to just deal with it. I've had my vehicle checked several times by Ford. Everybody I talk to with that owns the 2.3 ecoboost mustang seems to think my car sounds normal. I had a bad issue with my engine at 31K miles, but I can't figure out if it was my fault or not. I had a mechanic put aftermarket sparkplugs in the car, about 100 miles later of driving, my engine failed, I think the head gasket failed so bad it destroyed the top end of the motor, I really don't know. Ford fought me on it for a few days, but I kept the pressure on them. I spoke to several mechanics, they said even if it were the sparkplugs that caused the engine to fail, there would be no way for Ford to verify if it was the sparkplug failure that destroyed a piston, destroyed the cylinder wall, throw a rod, and destroyed a head gasket. After about a week of waiting for the dealership's engine specialist to come back from being sick, they tore down the engine, couldn't prove it was the sparkplug that caused the damage, they gave up and covered the cost of the long block overhaul, and a month later I got my car back with a new engine. 20K miles later,it still runs strong, and still makes those weird ticking sounds and what not, I had the car checked a few ties after that, even performed diagnostics on it myself using my Ford performance software, no DTC's no codes.

My thoughts on the noises you are hearing, I say have Ford look at the car. Do your research on ecoboost engines, most owners have noises that sound like ticking or knocking, but usually the engines are fine. I still do research every week about these engines. I still listen every day to my engine as it idles cold and warm, what it sounds like an the freeway/highway, what it sounds at revving. I still get paranoid about the noises, but after researching this car and other ecoboost engines for 15 months, most of the noises if not all, are just normal operating noises. Keep good care of your engine, do everything you can to maintain it. Research, research, research. I can't stress that enough. I'll help you out with a few things here. here are some suggestions by a Ford tech on youtube.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0irwbwpuEbQ

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6h_FOzFMcs
 
Jan 3, 2019
6
1
13
26
Potsdam
#8
what is your warranty situation ? are you within in factory warranty, do you have an aftermarket or extended warranty? For the most part the "ticking" sounds and the like are from loud lifters, ecoboost engines, whether they are I4 or V6 tend to sound like they are knocking or ticking even though they are idling and running normal, at least this is what has been told by dozens of ecoboost owners every time I get paranoid about engine noises. I've learned to just deal with it. I've had my vehicle checked several times by Ford. Everybody I talk to with that owns the 2.3 ecoboost mustang seems to think my car sounds normal. I had a bad issue with my engine at 31K miles, but I can't figure out if it was my fault or not. I had a mechanic put aftermarket sparkplugs in the car, about 100 miles later of driving, my engine failed, I think the head gasket failed so bad it destroyed the top end of the motor, I really don't know. Ford fought me on it for a few days, but I kept the pressure on them. I spoke to several mechanics, they said even if it were the sparkplugs that caused the engine to fail, there would be no way for Ford to verify if it was the sparkplug failure that destroyed a piston, destroyed the cylinder wall, throw a rod, and destroyed a head gasket. After about a week of waiting for the dealership's engine specialist to come back from being sick, they tore down the engine, couldn't prove it was the sparkplug that caused the damage, they gave up and covered the cost of the long block overhaul, and a month later I got my car back with a new engine. 20K miles later,it still runs strong, and still makes those weird ticking sounds and what not, I had the car checked a few ties after that, even performed diagnostics on it myself using my Ford performance software, no DTC's no codes.

My thoughts on the noises you are hearing, I say have Ford look at the car. Do your research on ecoboost engines, most owners have noises that sound like ticking or knocking, but usually the engines are fine. I still do research every week about these engines. I still listen every day to my engine as it idles cold and warm, what it sounds like an the freeway/highway, what it sounds at revving. I still get paranoid about the noises, but after researching this car and other ecoboost engines for 15 months, most of the noises if not all, are just normal operating noises. Keep good care of your engine, do everything you can to maintain it. Research, research, research. I can't stress that enough. I'll help you out with a few things here. here are some suggestions by a Ford tech on youtube.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0irwbwpuEbQ

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6h_FOzFMcs
Thank you very much for your kind reply. I’m taking my car to the ford dealer in this Friday. I’ll update you. It still has the drive train warranty (it covers any engine failure right?). The head gasket failure issue is a common problem in Ecoboost engines and I don’t think it’s the spark plugs made the issue. Ford admitted that’s their problem even for 94-95 models in 2000 and still they can’t fix this. https://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/02/automobiles/ford-adds-to-warranty-on-engine-gasket-flaw.html.
Could you please tell me at what mileage you started hearing this sound. Lot of people are saying this sound is due to metal-metal contact which eventually causes a piston failure.
If I knew this before I would have never bought a ford.
Thanks again for your reply
 
Jan 7, 2018
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#9
Thank you very much for your kind reply. I’m taking my car to the ford dealer in this Friday. I’ll update you. It still has the drive train warranty (it covers any engine failure right?). The head gasket failure issue is a common problem in Ecoboost engines and I don’t think it’s the spark plugs made the issue. Ford admitted that’s their problem even for 94-95 models in 2000 and still they can’t fix this. https://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/02/automobiles/ford-adds-to-warranty-on-engine-gasket-flaw.html.
Could you please tell me at what mileage you started hearing this sound. Lot of people are saying this sound is due to metal-metal contact which eventually causes a piston failure.
If I knew this before I would have never bought a ford.
Thanks again for your reply
I bought the car at 20K, I've noticed it shortly after, the car is now at just over 51K
 
Jan 7, 2018
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#10
the drivetrain warranty covers engine/transmission and some axle components as far as I know
 
Jan 7, 2018
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#11
Honestly if I knew what I know now back in 2017 when I bought my '15 mustang used, I would have saved my money and waited until I could afford a new mustang, rather than a first year 6th generation (2015), the 2017 and newer seemed to have worked out some of the issues that the 2015-16 mustangs had.
 
Jan 3, 2019
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13
26
Potsdam
#12
Yeah. I made the same mistake. The sound is getting worse now. Even the hood of the car has corrosion issues. It was raining and I and my friend didn’t see it. I made a big mistake by not doing a PPI. . Thanks again. Will update this Friday.
 

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
4,108
3,425
183
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#13
Just bought a 19 ecoboost Dec 5th. Have 3500 miles on it already. I'm also a master mechanic for over 20yrs. The ticks I hear are normal and coming from the direct injection system.

Ford says these cars go 10k miles between oil changes....I'd never do that. Mine will be changed every 5k. The GDI engines are known for carbon build up on the valves and intake track. For BMWs we remove the intake and actually blast the valves and intake ports with walnut shells in a sand blaster. Old style injected engines spray fuel on the valves helping to keep them clean. Dirty oil helps increase carbon deposits and blow by gases that make it to the intake. A catch can is always a good idea to keep oil from making it's way through the pcv system and into the intake.

I can say....this car is a bunch of fun with the higher hp and torque. I also have track apps in the base model with line lock and launch control.

The plan for this car ( for me ) is to build up parts and build another engine while I wait for the warranty to wear out. After that it'll get a bigger turbo and all the bells and whistles to represent my shop, Franklin Performance.

These cars are fun but they are subject to failure like anything else man made. If you can, always use Ford parts and always keep up on the maintenance.
 
Jan 7, 2018
62
7
18
31
#14
Just bought a 19 ecoboost Dec 5th. Have 3500 miles on it already. I'm also a master mechanic for over 20yrs. The ticks I hear are normal and coming from the direct injection system.

Ford says these cars go 10k miles between oil changes....I'd never do that. Mine will be changed every 5k. The GDI engines are known for carbon build up on the valves and intake track. For BMWs we remove the intake and actually blast the valves and intake ports with walnut shells in a sand blaster. Old style injected engines spray fuel on the valves helping to keep them clean. Dirty oil helps increase carbon deposits and blow by gases that make it to the intake. A catch can is always a good idea to keep oil from making it's way through the pcv system and into the intake.

I can say....this car is a bunch of fun with the higher hp and torque. I also have track apps in the base model with line lock and launch control.

The plan for this car ( for me ) is to build up parts and build another engine while I wait for the warranty to wear out. After that it'll get a bigger turbo and all the bells and whistles to represent my shop, Franklin Performance.

These cars are fun but they are subject to failure like anything else man made. If you can, always use Ford parts and always keep up on the maintenance.

I switched to full synthetic oil and change it every 5-6K miles. I use the chevron techron GDI fuel system cleaner every time near oil changes, while only using chevron top tier fuel, which is (believe it or not), the cheapest premium fuel where I live. Right now the only mods I have are the ford performance pack with the GT-350 air cleaner setup, and I put a dry non-oil Airaid reusable filter in there. Most people will tell you that the fuel injection system is loud. People who say that the noises on the ecoboost engines are an indication of piston slap or deterioration don't understand ecoboost engines or have never owned one, they fail to understand that turbocharged inline 4 cylinder engines are designed differently than Naturally aspirated V-8 engines, and fuel systems vary. Yes, what people are hearing on the ecoboost engines could be impending failure, but most likely its just the way the ecoboost sounds normally.
 
Jan 7, 2018
62
7
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#15
Yeah. I made the same mistake. The sound is getting worse now. Even the hood of the car has corrosion issues. It was raining and I and my friend didn’t see it. I made a big mistake by not doing a PPI. . Thanks again. Will update this Friday.

what did they say about the car?
 

74stang2togo

I've never done anything CT worthy...
Mod Dude
Mar 7, 2002
6,006
1,948
224
#16
maxresdefault.jpg


If the ticking is centered around the part the green arrow is pointing at, (image is from an ST, Mustang should look similar) it's a normal byproduct of direct injection. It doesn't matter who makes it, Hyundai/Kia, GM, Toyota, and even BMW directed engines all tick. Unfortunately for Ford and Ford owners, the sound of a cam-driven high pressure fuel pump sounds almost exactly like certain failures in the 5.4 3v and Coyote engines.

If the noise isn't coming from the high pressure pump, then you have cause for concern.
 
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90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
4,108
3,425
183
41
#17
My car is a19 and ticks. In my experience with direct injection the high pressure pumps are noisy by nature. If the ticking is unusually loud replacement can help ivey replaced a few on different makes and models. If the are no codes from the high pressure fuel pump sensor then dealers find it functioning correctly and will not replace for noise.

This all depends on mileage and the type of sound it's making. Ticking is normal....tapping is a sign of wear. If the engine doesn't have sufficient bolts on it I highly doubt its worn or doing anything abnormal. The pump isn't hard to change....it is under extreme pressure when running... up to 1500psi.
 
Jan 3, 2019
6
1
13
26
Potsdam
#18
Hello there,
Sorry I was busy with my car. I put winter tiers in cuz I live in North country. And it’s perfomrmance in winter is amazing (we get 5-18 inch of snow).
I took it to the dealer and they couldn’t even recognize the noise (guy was an expert). They said engine is doing fine. As my area temperature is around -17 celcius these days I think this sound is normal and seems I’m over worried about it.
they found an oil leak at the passenger side timing chain cover though. They said it’s not a major issue and warranty doesn’t cover it until it dips. I did some research and most of the EcoBoost engines have this issue and fixing this is really easy.
 
Jan 7, 2018
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#19
Hello there,
Sorry I was busy with my car. I put winter tiers in cuz I live in North country. And it’s perfomrmance in winter is amazing (we get 5-18 inch of snow).
I took it to the dealer and they couldn’t even recognize the noise (guy was an expert). They said engine is doing fine. As my area temperature is around -17 celcius these days I think this sound is normal and seems I’m over worried about it.
they found an oil leak at the passenger side timing chain cover though. They said it’s not a major issue and warranty doesn’t cover it until it dips. I did some research and most of the EcoBoost engines have this issue and fixing this is really easy.

how do they fix this? did they tell you how they repair the issue with timing cover leak?
 
Jan 3, 2019
6
1
13
26
Potsdam
#20
They didn’t fix it. Just said leak is very small so I don’t have to worry about it. There is a YouTube video showing how to fix it (there are some other forums as well). Its just one bolt causing the leak. Its because there is no gasket between the timing chain cover and the block. It is sealed with silicon. People say it’s is pretty common in EcoBoosts.
I hope it won’t kill my engine and I only have 17 months warranty for the Powertrain.
 

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