The 3 Most Common Ford 2.5 Liter Duratec Engine Problems

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Every engine is prone to developing one fault or another, including the Ford 2.5 liter Duratec engine. However, before the breakdown of any device, some signs are visibly shown to create awareness.

The Ford 2.5 liter Duratec engine problems a quite few, with commonest problems being:

  1. Excessive Loss Of Coolant
  2. Power Steering Failure
  3. Shifting Transmission Issue

Other different problems apart from those mentioned above may be noticed. While the listed ones are common, other ones should also be treated as urgent.

However, do not turn a deaf ear or ignore these signs that lead to these problems. Once you notice them, do the needful by reaching out to your technician as quickly as possible.

What Are The Most Common Ford 2.5 Liter Duratec Engine Issues?

1. Excessive Loss Of Coolant

Coolant loss is the most common problem associated with the Duratec engine. Many owners often lament that they refill their coolant at least once or twice in a single year. While the case is different with other cars that fill their coolant once a year, some may not even need a refill throughout the year.

Much has not been explained on why there is heavy consumption of coolant by Duratec engine. However, this excessive consumption is not typically a result of any noticeable leakage, as widely believed by many people that it is a result of the porosity of the engine block.

Although there is no known solution, it is, nonetheless, essential to have an idea of this problem. A shortage of coolant can result in overheating of the engine. An overheated engine can result in warping the engine block, internals, heads and so badly damage the whole engine.

What To Watch Out For

The following signs/symptoms will be noticed of coolant loss in your Duratec engine:

  • Possible Coolant Leaks: You may notice leakage signs in your coolant once your engine begins to consume coolant excessively.
  • Engine Overheating: This may be another sign of Ford 2.5 liter engine problems, but it is mainly associated with coolant loss. As the name suggests, coolant helps in cooling the various components of the engine. However, a loss of coolant causes the engine to intensely increase in temperature. It then results in overheating.
  • Low Coolant Warning Light: A dim coolant warning light may sometimes indicate a loss of coolant.

Causes Of High Coolant Consumption/Leaks

We may not limit the cause of coolant loss to the Ford 2.5 Liter engine’s design flaw, and it’ll be unfair to lay the blame solely at the doorpost of the manufacturers.

There are other areas the vehicle owner needs to take responsibility for a few faults.

  • Leakage In Radiator Hoses: A stream of hot coolant escaping from the hoses leads to increased coolant consumption. A radiator hose may leak due to old age and wear and tear.
    The consequence is dire on the overall performance of the engine, particularly in coolant leaking outside the engine. Once the hose running to the radiator weakens, the connection between the expansion tank and the radiator becomes loose, leading to a fluid leak.
  • Leakage Or Cracks In The Radiator: A crack in the radiator automatically leads to high loss and consumption of coolant due to leaks.
  • Bad Radiator Cap: A loose radiator seal is a great risk factor for high coolant consumption. The cap is essentially built to prevent the coolant from escaping. But once it slacks and is unable to keep the radiator content in place, the coolant escapes out.
  • Failure Of The Tank Expansion: The expansion is designed into the car to supply coolant into the engine. The tank is the plastic vessel located beside the engine. Connected to the radiator, the expansion tank receives coolant that runs from and to the radiator during the engine idle.
    However, due to excessive exposure to extreme pressure and temperature, the plastic weakens or cracks, leading to its inability to supply or keep the coolant intended for the engine.
  • Blown Head Gasket: Coolant leak is an indirect consequence of a damaged head gasket. Sandwiched between the engine block and the cylinder head, the head gasket is built to run several miles enduring extreme temperatures and high pressures.
    The challenge with a blown head gasket is that it may go on for a relatively long time without showing any visible signs.
    Once blown, the head gasket will be unable to perform its primary function which is to keep the engine oil and coolant apart. While the engine will be unable to function optimally, a blown head gasket also causes the coolant level to drop significantly as the coolant leaks outside of the engine.

Possible Solution

The most promising way to prevent coolant loss or leaks before it happens is to adopt a preventive maintenance culture rather than corrective measures—carry out preventative maintenance such as changing the coolant in your radiator to prevent leaks.

When your coolant becomes too old, it can become acidic and start to eat up the aluminum in the radiator.

Scheduling regular maintenance will also help to find out worn-out and bad hoses, including other underlying problems which may result in radiator leakage.

Should you notice any of these signs, it is best to hire a professional specializing in locating and fixing the problem. Earlier detection of these symptoms will prevent you from further outrageous spending.

2. Power Steering Failure

While power steering failure is not connected to one of the Ford 2.5 liter engine problems, it can be a potential problem. The Electronic Power Assister Steering units (EPAS) substituted the hydraulic power steering by Ford.

This newly introduced EPAS simplified power steering in the aspect of removing fluids, pumps, including pulleys that are required for the hydraulic. One of its complications now is that a computer is necessary for controlling the whole system.

There is a motor torque sensor, motor, ECU, and position of steering wheel sensor, which helps to control the system. The primary concern with introducing the EPAS system to the Duratec engine is the common failure associated with the torque sensor.

Whenever you turn, the torque sensor function as a monitor to your turning. It is primarily the failure point and constantly fails without any sign or indication.

There is a halt in signals to the ECU once there is a sensor failure while the ECU then disables the power steering unit. On the other hand, there is a loss of power steering, resulting in difficulties turning the wheel, especially when not driving at high speed.

Causes Of Damaged Power Steering

  • Damaged steering pump
  • Contaminated fluid
  • Improper fluid level
  • Broken steering pump
  • Excessive strain on the pump
  • Lack of power steering maintenance

What To Watch Out For

  • Whining Noise: A power steering failure leads to some whining or squealing sound from the engine. The noise could also come in the form of a groan.
    A whining sound increases as the engine RPM increases. The groaning noise results from low fluid level and this deteriorates more and destroys some engine components as you drive the vehicle.
  • Stiff Steering Wheel: The consequence of a stiff steering wheel following a power steering failure is a no-brainer. Under normal circumstances, you shouldn’t feel any pain or pressure when turning the wheel of your vehicle.
    However, if you feel that you have to turn the wheel with much energy and under severe pressure, then something is seriously not right with your power steering. In the process, you’ll notice a slow steering response.
  • Changed Fluid Color: While inspecting the engine fluid and you notice a change in the color of the fluid, something might not be right with your steering pump or the power steering system. Typically, a power steering fluid is reddish-brown.
    However, a grey-colored fluid is an indication that your power steering wheel needs some change. You may also notice the presence of metal flakes in the fluid which indicates the fluid has been oxidized.
  • Drop In Fluid Level: Typically, a car runs on braking fluid, engine fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and gear fluid. Each of these fluids has a specific role they play and comes with a recommended fluid level.
    A failure in the power steering system causes the fluid level to drop. Regular inspection of this fluid level will save you a lot of issues.

Besides the below-listed symptoms, you can also notice issues in handling the steering or slow steering response.

What To Do

Once you notice that the power steering system of your Ford 2.5 Liter Duratec engine is failing through these signs, you’ll need to take quick action. If the problem is about a drop in the level of the power steering fluid or a change in fluid color, you can either top or replace the fluid.

However, you should call the attention of your technician to look into the entire power steering system to diagnose and establish the remote and immediate cause of the symptoms you have observed over time.

Depending on the cause of the power steering problem, you may not know what to do or how much it’ll cost. For contaminated fluid, you can simply flush out the fluid and replace it.

Broken belts can also cause your power steering system failure. The major culprit of a failed power steering is a damaged steering pump. The deterioration happens over time due to wear and tear and too much strain on the pump. You’ll need your technician to work on this part.

3. Shifting Transmission Issue

Traditional 6-speed automatic is used in certain Ford cars such as Milan, Fusion, Escape, and most Ford with Duratec engines.

The wrong side about this is that leaks are associated with this transmission which leads to a low run of the transmission fluid. It can also lead to further issues such as hardness in shifting, slippage, or even erratic shifting.

Transmission issues can start to show in Ford Fusion or Escape when they travel about 70,000 miles. There have been yearly reports about these problems, though primarily found in cars produced from 2012 to 2014.

Leaking shaft seals on the left side of the transmission are mainly responsible for this issue. On the front of the transfer case is located the output shaft, being a seal of the output shaft to the transfer case.

When this is commonly found with seals for a longer time, it leads to their wearing out and deterioration, causing the leakage at the output shaft.

Powertrain and transmission control modules are another cause responsible for shifting transmission in Duratec engine problems. There can be a fallout software calibration from sync, and there is a need for an upgrade when this happens.

When you have issues with the TCM / PCM, you will notice shifting takes time and can sometimes be rough between gears 1 and 2 and between gears 4 and 5, being the typical issue to note.

The earliest noticeable sign is the leakage of tranny fluid from the transfer case. This specific issue is not noticed or ignored by many Duratec owners until things go from bad to worse.

Once there is a leakage of sufficient fluid, the transmission begins to have a massive problem, from gear spillage to shifting difficulties.

What To Watch Out For

The following are the signs/symptoms to watch out for in your Ford 2.5 Duratec engine:

  • Gear Spillage: Slipping or spilling gear is one of the earliest signs of shifting transmission. An impulsive in and out slipping of your gears out of place is pretty risky and driving with this condition is not safe for you and other road users.
  • Leakage Of Fluid: A shifting transmission results in the transmission fluid leaking from the transfer case. This is one of the earliest and easiest symptoms to notice once there’s a transmission problem. Typically, you’ll notice some red- sweet-smelling fluid beneath the hood, on the floor of your parking lot, or under the car.
  • Delayed Shifts: When your vehicle finds it hard or refuses to switch or shift gears, the first thing to suspect is either wrong transmission or low transmission fluid.
  • Burning Smell: An overheated transmission causes a burning smell to ooze out from inside the car. The transmission is either burning or old.

Other symptoms you’ll likely notice include neutral noises, dragging clutch, illuminating check engine light, humming sounds, and more.

Possible Solution

To start with, find out any traces of leakage sign on your transfer case and transmission. If there is none and with the fluid in good condition, the problem may likely be located in the PCM / TCM.

Ford recommends that when faced with these issues, it is best to upgrade or reprogram the software on PCM / TCM. Some car technicians often say that updating the software may result in more significant fluid leakage, leading to failure of the clutch and transmission.

The surest way to prevent this specific Ford 2.5 liter Duratec issue for prolonging transmission lifespan is to have an adequate quantity of transmission fluids.


1. Is The Ford 2.5 Duratec Good Enough?

Absolutely. Without mincing words, the Ford 2.5 Duratec engine is good, thanks to its amazing max output of 175hp. Although people often overlook it due to its minimal power, the performance the engine boasts is so incredible.

While the Ford 2.5 Duratec engine may not be a choice for car enthusiasts, it remains a trusted and fuel-efficient engine for moving from one place to the other.

2. What Is A 2.5 Duratec Engine?

The Ford Duratec engine, often referred to as the Mazda L engine in some quarters, is a 2.5-liter engine. Produced by Ford Motors, the engine is naturally an aspired four-cylinder used for powering medium-sized motors, including SUVs and cargo vans.

3. What Is The Overview Of The Ford 2.5 Duratec Engine?

Metric : Value:
Engine Family Duratec
Displacement 2.5 Liters
Valve Configuration Dual-Overhead Cam (DOHC)
Configuration And Cylinders Inline Configuration, Four Cylinders
Stroke 100 mm
Max Torque 172 lb-ft @ 4,500

Final Thoughts

At one point in time, all engines or machines are prone to developing one fault or another, including very expensive supercars. The above-listed Ford 2.5 liter engine problems can be prevented if strict and adequate measures are taken.

Adopting a good maintenance culture, primarily preventive, can help extend the lifespan of your Ford Duratec engine more than usual, regardless of the distance they travel.

Proper and timely attention is required when you notice sudden or strange signs. Replace all faulty or weak parts and carry out regular maintenance to avoid deterioration of your engine. Reach out to your mechanic to help you fix problems as well as prevent potential ones.

Finally, the Ford Duratec engine has got what it takes to give you the most excellent driving experience, although, it may not meet up with what car enthusiasts expect. It remains one of the best out there when due to its fantastic abilities.