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2021 Ford Bronco's 2.7-Liter Engine Has a Catastrophic Problem, Dozens Affected

Ford revealed the Bronco in July 2021, and it was a smashing hit with customers. Despite its cute lines and retro cues that trace back to the first-generation Bronco, Ford’s off-roader is no softie. As capable as it is, the Bronco had its fair share of problems. Among the more serious ones, we can now count catastrophic engine failures on models powered by the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine.
2021 Ford Bronco's 2.7-liter engine has a catastrophic problem2021 Ford Bronco's 2.7-liter engine has a catastrophic problem2021 Ford Bronco's 2.7-liter engine has a catastrophic problem2021 Ford Bronco's 2.7-liter engine has a catastrophic problem2021 Ford Bronco's 2.7-liter engine has a catastrophic problem2021 Ford Bronco's 2.7-liter engine has a catastrophic problem2021 Ford Bronco's 2.7-liter engine has a catastrophic problem
Ford Bronco is probably one of the most hot-selling vehicles in the U.S. right now and certainly the highlight of an otherwise dull 2021. You can understand why the Bronco is so popular, especially with the off-roading community, when you learn about its capabilities. The Bronco can do a lot of things in its stock configuration and can do even more when fitted with upgraded parts.

It wasn’t spared the problems, though, and we can say that the Bronco (and especially its little brother Bronco Sport) has seen a lot of recalls in its short career. Among the more serious problems, it appears that the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine on the 2021 Ford Bronco might suffer a catastrophic failure quite early in its lifecycle.

The first documented case appeared as early as July 2021 when the Bronco only had 1,146 miles (1,844 km) on the odometer, but there are now 46 cases, according to the Bronco6G forum. The lowest mileage for such an engine failure is 984 miles (1,584 km), while the highest mileage recorded is 6,986 miles (11,243 km). The problem, which appears to be caused by a dropped intake valve, is meticulously documented on a forum thread that has already gathered more than 3,500 replies.

The thread documents the engine serial numbers for all affected owners, tracking the build date to identify the scope of the problem. Based on this forensic work, the vast majority of engines affected were built between June and August 2021 at Ford’s Lima engine plant (Ohio). Granted, the plant produced thousands of 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engines in that timeframe, so there are still a lot of potential customers that might see a catastrophic failure in the future.

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine is a great upgrade over the base 2.3-liter engine that powers the Ford Bronco, and it was probably preferred by many people who fancy off-road adventures. The same engine works under the hood of the F-150, and some owners also reported failures, but the problem was significantly less common (or the owners are less organized) than in the case of the Bronco. According to the Drive, who investigated this issue, Ford is aware of the problem.

We are aware of a select number of engines with this concern and we are investigating,” a Ford spokesperson told the Drive. “If any customers are experiencing issues, they will be covered under the vehicle’s 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.”

Based on the discussions on the Bronco6G forum, the problem might be related to a bad batch of valves. This can lead to the head of the valve detaching from the stem and dropping inside the cylinder. This results in an immediate loss of compression, while the chunk of metal in the cylinder can also cause a catastrophic failure of the engine. An engine replacement is mandatory, and although Ford has shown goodwill, the repairs can take months to complete.

Many Ford Bronco owners have complained to NHTSA, with 42 complaints recorded on its website. Of these, 25 are engine-related, and 20 of them reference complete failures. Many Bronco owners indicated that the problem was caused specifically by a dropped valve. On the Bronco6G forum, affected Bronco owners are encouraged to file a complaint with the NHTSA and also report the problem to the thread owner to help him with tracking the failures.

Although Ford has fixed the problems on warranty, and some have been compensated with a longer powertrain warranty, people demand a broader action. There might be thousands of unsuspecting Bronco owners with a 2.7-liter engine built between June and August 2021 at Ford’s Lima engine plant. For them, NHTSA needs to step in and open an inquiry into the failures.

 
 
 
 
 

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