Ford EcoBoost Turbo Replacement Cost? About $2250

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Every truck guy knows that Ford has the EcoBoost engine and they also know that Ford has been really, really successful selling EcoBoost engines. Ford truck buyers like the power and fuel economy ratings, and most critics have praised Ford for developing the next great thing in pickup truck powertrains.

However, what happens when the EcoBoot turbochargers fail – 1) how much do they cost to fix? 2) Is EcoBoost worth buying in the first place?

The short answers: 1) $2,250 2) Probably not…it takes a long, long time to break even. Read more for the details.

Ford EcoBoost - Costly?

Ford’s EcoBoost system is a best seller – but how much does it cost when the turbochargers fail?

What Is The EcoBoost Engine?
“EcoBoost” is Ford’s brand name for a twin turbocharged, direct-injection engine designed to deliver power and torque consistent with larger engines. Ford claims it is able to achieve approximately 20 percent more fuel efficiency, while reducing greenhouse emissions by 15 percent.

As far as truck owners are concerned, the EcoBoost is a V6 that has the power of a V8 while getting V6 gas mileage. The cost of the option ranges between $1,095 and $2,395, unless you buy a Limited F150, in which case it’s included in your $50k+ MSRP.

How Well Does The EcoBoost Sell?
Ford sold nearly 80,000 vehicles equipped with EcoBoost engines for the year to date through May 2012, up 179 percent from the number sold a year earlier. For all of 2011, Ford moved nearly 128,000 vehicles equipped with EcoBoost. Ford now plans to triple production of EcoBoost engines, according to Forbes magazine.

Turbocharger 101 – Why Turbos Break
Turbochargers aren’t a brand new invention. In fact, many vehicles use turbochargers, from small imported sports cars all the up to heavy-duty trucks. Turbochargers are an efficient way to boost the power and performance of most engines.

If turbochargers have a problem, it’s that they have to manage heat. Heat from the exhaust system is the primary concern, especially if the vehicle is driven hard, but heat from the bearings that the rotors spin on is also a concern. If this heat builds up, it can:

  • weaken the rotor materials and cause them break or to spin apart (rotors spin at 20-30k RPM, so “spinning apart” is a very real concern)
  • destroy the bearings the the rotors spin on

To address these concerns, Ford has added a cooling motor to the EcoBoost engine that runs 2-3 minutes after the driver turns their vehicle off.  With this cooling system in place, Ford engineers have gone on record that the turbochargers should last for 150,000+ miles. Still, what happens when the turbos fail?

EcoBoost Turbocharger Replacement Costs

All engines, transmissions, etc. will fail at some point. However, turbochargers – which must cope with excessive amounts of heat – have a shorter lifespan than most other mechanical components.

Furthermore, any debris that makes it past the air filter – even small amounts of dust – can gradually wear the rotor surfaces down, reducing the effectiveness of the turbo. Finally, even if the turbo functions perfectly, the cooling system must do it’s job to protect the turbo long-term. While it’s far from a “house of cards,” (Ford’s reliability in the last 5+ years has been nothing short of excellent), it’s easy to see how the turbochargers on an EcoBoost engine will require replacement at some point.

Here’s a breakdown of replacement part prices we found online (see BlueSpringsFordParts.com/ford-f150-parts.html) plus labor times provided by a local Ford dealer:

Part Number Description Price
BL3Z 6K682 E Turbocharger – Left $793.75

Core -$250.00
CL3Z 6K682 B Turbocharger – Right $837.22

Core -$250.00
BL3Z 9450 B Gasket $8.43
BL3Z 9450 C Gasket $7.15

Total Parts Cost $1,146.55



Labor Time Total
R&R both turbos 9.3 hours $1,116.00

assumes $120/hour rate

Total replacement cost? About $2250 using today’s parts and labor costs.

Is EcoBoost Worth It?

UPDATE: Ford’s truck communications manager Mike Levine (who used to write for PickupTrucks.com) has pointed out some math errors. Basically, all the math we ran initially didn’t account for the fact that the 5.0L has an upgrade cost too. Therefore, a lot of our break-even mileage estimates were off…way off, in fact. My apologies. – Jason Lancaster, editor

If we assume that:

  • you spend $2,395 to buy the EcoBoost option vs $1095 to buy the 5.0L (assuming a 2013 regular cab) – or $1300 “extra”
  • you spend another $2,250 at some point around 150k miles to replace the turbos
  • the FuelEconomy.gov average fuel economy estimates are correct:

EcoBoost vs 5.0L Fuel Cost

  • and that gas costs $4 per gallon…

Than you’ll need to drive about 315k 241k miles – and hope that you only have to replace the turbos once – merely to break even compared to buying the 5.0L V8.

If we drop the gas cost estimate to $3.75, the distance you need to drive extends to about 337k 258k miles. If we raise it to $4.50 a gallon, you’ll need to drive 215k miles.

315k 241k Miles To Break Even?!

Both estimates assume that you replace the turbos after 150k miles or so. If the turbos don’t ever need replacement, and we go with our original $4 per gallon fuel cost assumption, you’ll break even after “just” 163k 88k miles.

So - is the EcoBoost worth it?

With our new math (which accounts for the cost of the 5.0 option), the EcoBoost break-even point gets quite a bit better. Assuming gas is $4 a gallon or so for the foreseeable future, the time to break-even isn’t great (it will take years to accumulate 88k miles), but it’s not laughably bad like our earlier math concluded.

In our defense, for simplicity’s sake our previous calculations omitted some costs:

  1. The additional interest and finance charges that EcoBoost buyers must pay
  2. Additional sales tax owed on the option
  3. Any additional EcoBoost maintenance costs

While these costs aren’t likely to change the picture too much, I do stand by my previous assessment: the smart move is to buy the 5.0L. Why risk a $2,250 turbocharger repair if you don’t have to, especially when the fuel savings will take years to realize?

Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com

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  1. texmln says:

    Exactly. As the owner of a gas turbo vehicle (not an F150) I can tell you a gas turbocharged engine is a scam. They run great for a short time and then they start to lag. Then the lag turns into full time drag. Then the endless repairs begin on the cooling system, the PCV system, the intake system, the exhaust system, the vacuum system and every other system that is taxed far more than an NA engine by the simple fact that you have a turbo. Oh, and when all these systems start to have trouble you also start getting crappy mileage. Then you’ve got bad mileage AND no power. Gas turbos are PURE CRAP – always have been and always will be. A whole bunch of F150 fanboys are gonna find out the hard way… Every ten years or so an automaker is able to roll these things out and find a whole new crop of suckers. Go ahead, name all the famously reliable gas turbo’s throughout history… I’m waiting.

    • Texmin,

      We are drawing a blank on the reliable gas turbos. LOL.

      -Tim

      • Anonymous says:

        You have no idea how good the 2012 f150 Ecoboost is I own one and it has more power then a stock v8 and iv seen turbos in nearly every think I drive big truck and the turbos on there take extrem heat you ppl have no idea what your talking about!

        • I bought a 2012 f150 Platnum in Aug and now have 14 thousand miles on it. I’ve hauled a lot of stuff to kids and dragged my fully loaded ATV trailer all over, up and down mountains in snow, Jud, sand and you name it. I bought the truck with an add on b to b warranty that covers everything. When I get to 100 k I’ll trade it for a new one— what can be better than that.

          All other 1/2 tons are a distant also ran; heck my truck even beats Fords hopped up desert runner in the quarter mile. And have you seen the torture test they put one of thesevthru?

          And it’s fun!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      all of fords 7.3 (200,000 plus miles)superduy turbo diesels are proven reliabe

    • “Go ahead, name all the famously reliable gas turbo’s throughout history… I’m waiting” – a very good point. History has got to count for something.

    • clifford says:

      I have to laugh when you say there is no such thing as a reliable turbo gas engine. My father up until a few weeks ago had a 1990 Volvo 760 turbo. It had the turbo seals replaced at 125,000 miles. He then switched to pennzoil full synthetic to better deal with the friction and heat in the turbo and the body rotted through this past April before the engine or turbo gave out.

    • clifford says:

      I also forgot to mention the 760 turbo Volvo my father had went to 523,000 miles. Anyone with a turbo vehicle should know that most of the time in turbos from the factory the bearings are basically the oil. So since regular oil breaks down so quickly under high heat from the turbos I highly recommend amsoil full synthetic. It resists break down due to heat and drastically reduces the friction in the turbo increasing turbo life 150-200%. Heat is the enemy synthetic oil deals with high heat much better.

    • Mike P. says:

      As a previous Toyota Technician, I bought a 2013 ecoboost, it has Borg Warner turbo’s making it very reliable. I have lost my lead foot, so I maintain 20mpg in the city and 25mpg @75mph on the highway- no other full size truck can come near that!

      While working at Toyota, the Tundra’s that came in for service had quite a bit of metal shavings in the oil…very unusual for a truck with less than 30k miles. Toyota-moving production and parts suppliers to the US was the worst mistake they ever made. The Tacoma/Hilux is far better built.

  2. Schroeder says:

    I had an ’83 T-bird Turbo Coupe. Bought it with 100,000 and drove it to 180,000 miles. Got 30MPG running the crap out of it. No turbo maintenance problems. 30 MPG on a 4000 pound car with a turbo equipped Pinto engine…with 1983 technology. AND it ran pretty darn good too.

  3. Mickey says:

    You still have the scam Ford pulled over the company who patented the Ecoboost engine. When that is pulled what will you have then?

  4. Rick says:

    I still hear about lag in this motor through my friends who own Ecoboost F-150s. They are realizing the gas mileage in real world driving does not exceed the normally aspirated V8 motors (hwy mileage is better) and in city driving, it can be worse as the turbo has to spool up frequently to pull the weight of the truck.

    I’d be content with this motor in the Explorer, a truck that weighs a lot less and would potentially be a great ride with that 420ft. lbs. and bigger brakes!

    The F-150 would be awesome if it had more cubes like the Tundra (5.0 vs. 5.7) in its DOHC setup. Both motors breathe very well and make tons of power with less cubes than Chevy and Dodge.

    Can’t wait to SC mine!

  5. mk says:

    superchargers I think are better than turbos.

    Great, fast motor for it’s time and still is the mid 80’s 3.8L turbo Buick Regal Grand National. Still one of the fastest cars of it’s time and was fast. Scared the crap out of me if you kicked it in and was head snapping back quick. Wanna race?

    • Toyotasucks says:

      Superchargers are only good if it comes from the factory like the Mustang SVT or the Supercharged Cadillac because all the parts are tuned and designed to run that power, believe me i learned the hard way i had a 2004 5.4L F150 i put a whipple sc on it finally at over 250 000km it was going on me why? because if you put all that power you have to upgrade all kinds of stuff pulleys belts to name a few. When u buy like that from factory and take care of it should last you long time. Besides SC guzzle gas like a bitch.

  6. Rick says:

    Wanted to add…

    I drove my friend’s 2012 F-150 Ecoboost to tow his boat to the marina on saturday. The truck, a Platinum, put my 2012 Tundra Platinum’s interior to shame. I was impressed. My interior is just way overmatched.

    The torque on this motor is formidable as it comes on very early and easily pulled/maneuvered the 28ft. boat and tandem trailer. I felt confidence pulling his boat out of the water on an incline, with the F-150 easily yanking the boat up the ramp.

    I’m laughing though as my truck is getting supercharged next month and then we’ll compare. I still believe a SC is a better choice for power as it comes on quicker with a flatter power curve. But at low speed, the Ford had no discernible lag, the power was right there and it will best my Tundra in MPG hwy. Despite this modern twin turbo seemingly catching up in technology and closing the gap on SC’s, I know my blown 5.7 will knock me out all day long!!

  7. Dave says:

    Weak argument. With a smaller and lighter motor that is capable of putting out more power and torque and getting better gas mileage than the competitors V8s not to mention the towing capacity this motor gives you it’s well worth the extra money and expense (I’m not sold on this argument either, but only time will tell) just for the flexibility that you get. IMHO…

    Dave

  8. justahangingchad says:

    I like Fords and I drive a Tundra, but I would opt for the 5.0 over the Eco. Sorry. Not a fan of an overworked V6. Besides, I’ve experienced a few rides in the Eco here in Las Vegas where temps get hot. That Ford Eco-no-likey-heat.

  9. trashman says:

    i just bought the ecoboost..so far i enjoy the power..yet my gas mileage is 18..will be heading to ND 1631 plus miles we shall see how the engine handles the distance.. also I dont think i will pass.. 62,000.00 miles.. maybe at that point I’ll just buy the 5.0..wellwho knows..you have positive with negitive..such is life

  10. gbl says:

    I’ve had my F150 Ecoboost for a year and a half. It’s got 40,000 miles on it now. No problems so far. 21 mpg on the highway at 70 mph with cruise on. Sometimes over 22 on long trips. Around town it gets better than 16 mpg. The real beauty is when I pull the horsetrailer with 3 horses….with the horses it weighs around 7000#. Towing it with the old 5.4L I got 8 mpg and now I get 12 mpg. With the 5.4L I’d have to turn the OD off and be running at 3000rpm while the EB would be running in 6th at 1900rpm with tremendous power. Unbelievable difference. Also, it has more torque and horsepower than the 2002 Dodge Cummins. Will it last as long as my 5.4L that went 240k before I sold it….the jury is still out on that one. Still, it has turbo coolers which are touted as making them last a lot longer….we’ll see.

    • GBL,

      That’s really the point of the article. Nobody really knows what the long term future of the EcoBoost and turbochargers will be like. This article is really our best, educated guess.

      -Tim

    • CurlyBill says:

      Just traded my 5.4L F150 with 227,000 miles. Sad to see it go. I was a total V8 fan, but I love the new 2012 Ecoboost. Im going for over 200K again.

  11. Larry says:

    Most of this is right on the mark. There is a huge difference between a turbo on a cat diesel running 600 RPM and gas V6 at 5000 RPM.

    These modern V6 deals are questionable. Variable valve timing, high pressure injection. twin turbos. No question down the road repair costs will eat up all the savings and then some. The 5L V8 is a much smarter engine long term. Good luck replacing both turbos for 2500, in 10 years it will 3500 or more. We need solid non-turbo V6 and V8 engines with 6 speed manual transmissions and old style free hub to unlock the front end. All this automatic crap is costing us money with no benefit. If you need a work horse truck you need an F250.

    As for power,,,,,,,, I just don’t get all these people. I run an original 1994 Toyota T100 3.0L 6 thats about 180 cubic inches. 150 HP, torque,,,, not much but, it’s 18 years old and has cost me about 2000 in repairs total (muffler, timing belt, water pump, hoses). I replaced everything but the muffler by my self. 250,000 mile and still runs like the day I got it and 19MPG. Wish I could get another one just like it. I tow a small 1000 pound boat just fine. 350HP is not enough? Get real. I laugh every time a see an 800 foot Lb diesel rolling down the road empty. I bet only 1 out of every 10000 miles requires the pulling power of these monsters. Sure if you are a rancher who needs to move 4 horses, then it makes sense but, most are in the parking lots at computer companies.

    • Jeff says:

      Larry, GOOD POINT! Facts are facts. I’ve driven all three Ford, Chevy and Dogde, w V-8’s and one w a V-6. The V-8’s all had dood power and decent mileage. They were all USED when I bought them, over a thirty year period, but averaged 25,000 to 45,000 miles at time of purchase. The V-6 was BRAND NEW , a Ford 3.8 L and IT SUCKED! So Ford still has several thousand of my dollars to try and change my mind to favor anymore of their crappy V-6’s! They claimed then that it would pull as well as the 5.0L I had, with 179,000 miles on it then, BS! And to boot it sucked gas! The 5.0 was getting me 22 on the highway, in two years that I tolerated the V-6 it never got over 18, EMPTY! So, like the gentleman said, every 10 years or so suckers come along and buy V-6’s, not me, I learned that lesson the hard way! It’ll be nothing but V-8’s in my trucks from here on out!

  12. Brian says:

    I own a 2002 ford F-150 with a 5.4L eng & looking to re- place soon

    I’m lost ?

    • Jeff says:

      Brian, go Dodge. I don’t know how old you are but I’ve owned all 3, Ford, Chevy and Dodge. Several years of hard driving them has given me a perspective that no sales pitch will ever admit too. For the best all around performance, dependability, mileage and price, Dodge. Hell, I bought a used Dodge with 70,000 miles on it, been driven back and forth from Texas to San Diego, pulling 5000-6000 lb trailers, several times and still runs great with 180,000 miles on it! Just keep the engine and transmission serviced!!! Anybody ever made that trip in July or August can vouch for the ultimate test in heat and a good test in mountain pulling. So don’t let Dtroit pull the wool over on you, and for God’s sake, don’t buy a NEW truck! You’ll loose $10,000 or more pulling it off the lot! ! Get a year or two old truck w low mileage and in good shape, let some other idiot with more $$$ than brains take that fatal hit! Just my humble opinion, but I tell you the truth, I don’t make money off your deal and I’m too damned old to try and impress somebody for 30 seconds at a red light with my new truck! Think it over.

  13. ALL1 says:

    Wow, you guys are sure scared of this little motor, but I guess you have every right to be when this little 3.5L Ecoboost can pull the 5.7 I-Force like a rag doll like it did here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUXi5DXahr8). I guess what they say is true that people insult or try to put others down when they can’t do it by any other means.

    I understand you are scared because Toyota has nothing to offer that can match up against the Ecoboost in the real world pulling power and fuel mileage while unloaded. Sure you can match it’s power and probably beat it on the strip, but you can’t do that and meat eats fuel mileage and low end torque. For those who say that the Ecoboost is not getting good fuel mileage better look at the real world. If you go to fuelly.com and look, most people with Tundra V8s are averaging 15 combined and most with Ecoboost are averaging 17 combined in a more powerful engine. I will give you a wild guess on what V6 Tundra’s are getting combined(hint:it’s the same as the Ecoboosts numbers). Seriously guys, the I-Force 5.7 is a sweet engine and I have never downed it. Instead of trying to sway people with these articles, why don’t you tell Toyota to sway customers by outdoing Ford like they did in the engine line up in 2009.

  14. nick says:

    Seriously…if you bought the ecoboost for saving gas, get your head checked. It is about the stump pulling torque down low…..there is no turbo leg. That is the drive by wire system ford employs.
    Maintenance in the long run….well that is an educated ges at best. But to say the the 5oh motor will need NO maintence is foolish at best. If all that fails is two turbos outside of warranty, big deal. Such is life.
    In the meantime i will enjoy my little ttv6 that will tow the socks of anything short of a diesel. And when non towing, enjoying my gas mileage, which i might add is eceptional considering it is over 6000 pounds.
    Depending on trim level. The 3.7 is the base engine.
    Optional egines are 5oh and ecoboost.
    Harley and platinums 6.2
    All is thrown out the window as the 6.2 option is available in all trim levels
    .What other manufacter gives you this many exceptional engine options….imo no one does.

  15. Rick Skinner says:

    I enjoyed reading all of this. I have a friend with 680k on his tundra. I have 320k on my 95 f150 5.0. I bought the new 2013 f150 5.0. There is no way that 3.5 v6 is going to crank out more horses and last more than 100k. Some might, but the money you save on gas now will never break even on the extra spent for the turbos and when the turbos need replacing, I will be driving by with a wave and a smile.

    I had turbos and I would get them again–in an airplane. As you go up and the air gets thin, the turbos force the air and maintain the performance. Air gets thinner, you go faster. I am just not seeing the advantage on an f150. It makes as much sense as super charging, which is great for drag racing. People who bought in on the ecoboost will likely find out there is no such thing as a free lunch…or is there? Anyone want to take me to lunch?

    • STAN says:

      i have a 2011 ecoboost 4×4 51000 on the truck no problems what so ever ,this truck kicks ass all day long every day ,you have no idea what your talking about ,high tech , 6 bolt mains oil piston coolers on all 6 pistons , water cooled turbos. this is not your grand daddys old engine

      • another Stan says:

        I like this topic. As a pickup owner and a truck driver, I see the most of the factors involved. bearings surfaces and bearing maintenance are the keys to reliable machinery, plain and simple. If I used any pickup at 110% capacity 8 hours a day, like I do with my C15 powered truck it’s engine will fail much more quickly. But , as is the case with most pickups, they will only be loaded to capacity (and this means max trailer weight) a very small amount of the time. As a note, before I had a truck (92′ f150 5.0 ;)), I would haul garbage and material with my Honda Civic hatchback, and pickup drivers at the dump would look in awe as I unloaded double what they had hauled with my 1.5 powered car. Also worth noting about modern turbocharger reliability is the temps the big truck turbo operates at usually being around 1000°f for the heavy haul that I do. I expect 150k miles out of that turbo too. p.s. SR20DET, 2JZTTE, 3SGTE, RBXXDET(T), etc. reliability of these goes up with use of ball bearings, extra cooling, and ( very important) cool down procedure or turbo timer.

        • Stan is NOT the man says:

          I come from the import world too, but you are way out of context. These turbo’s are water cooled and oil cooled. Ball bearing or journal bearing, it makes no difference in longevity; just spool times. Turbo timers are for oil cooled only; as water cooled continues to cool after the engine is shut down through convection…more specifically free heat convection. Reliability will come down to routine maintenance;specifically oil changes. Heat has always been a factor, regardless of age or fuel type.

          • don miller says:

            Stan is right on w/ new ford gas turbos. They are built by Garett, are water cooled at bearing area, convection water cooled when engine shut down. It draws water from the bottom of raditor where the water is cooler. I think they are well engineered. My 2013 sho is spooled up at 1500 thru 5000 rpm. I am impressed at ability to move this heavy car with no effort [4450 lbs].
            Don

  16. Anonymous says:

    Whole lotta butthurt in here lol!

  17. Bret says:

    Opinions are like a$$h@les, everyone has one.

    You “men” on here b!t(h more than the women on FB LOL

    The only truth to any of this would be found by having you girls in a parking lot and seeing who cries first

  18. JC says:

    The turbos on the trucks are Borg Warner not Garrett. Been around a long time and are known for reliability.

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