The Ford EcoSport is a subcompact crossover SUV that is known for being reliable. It has been in production in the USA for five years.
There have only been a few recalls on this vehicle, but many owners have experienced transmission and other problems with their EcoSport. We will explain these issues and what you can do about them in this article.
Many owners appreciate the fact that they can transport their family and. other passengers in a generally reliable and safe vehicle. The Ford EcoSport has had problems such as brake screeching or locking up, transmission problems, and airbag and seatbelt failures. There have also been painting and body problems, doors not locking during rain or cold weather, audio system failure, and others.
These problems can be frustrating, but there are some things that you can do. We will explain the major problems with EcoSport and explain solutions to these problems. We will list the recall numbers so you can check to see if your vehicle has an active recall on it.
Most Common Ford Ecosport Problems and Issues Explained
When the Federal government or a car company issues a recall on a vehicle, there is no charge for the repair. The recall may be caused by a defect or mistake made by Ford. Here are the common problems and recalls on this vehicle:
Blind Spots (No Recall)
The Ford Blind Spot Information (BLIS) is a safety aid to use with your EcoSport when you want to back out of a parking spot or change lanes. The BLIS can help you when another vehicle is in your blind spot that you cannot see. The BLIS warns you of an oncoming vehicle by beeping at a fast pace and also through a message that appears on your dashboard.
The BLIS uses a radar system on the vehicle’s side panels that notify you when another vehicle is nearby.
Here are some causes of the blind spot in the Ford EcoSport:
- Thick pillars in the front of the SUV
- Thick pillars in the rear hear the tailpipe
These pillars are just part of the vehicle’s design, so there isn’t a recall because of this. Here are the only solutions for you:
- Drive more defensively knowing that there are blind spots as you drive.
- Use your side mirrors to check for other vehicles when changing lanes on the highway or when backing out of a parking spot or driveway.
Grinding Brake Noise – No Recall
You may have had brake problems with a grinding brake noise. Many other Ford EcoSport owners have had this problem. There have not been any recalls for this issue, so EcoSport owners may want to find the following solutions to noisy brakes:
- Have brake pads checked for damage. Your mechanic can do this and replace the pads for you, or you can do it yourself if you know how to work on cars.
- Are your brake pads low-quality? If you put bargain brake pads in your SUV or received a very low price from a mechanic, it is possible that it wasn’t such a deal because the brake pads were not good ones.
- Do you have dirty brake components? Many times, noise comes from the brakes when the SUV has gone through a lot of dry mud or sand and grinding can result.
- Are your brake pads unlubricated? Your mechanic or brake shop can check on these issues. Your brake pads may need to be replaced.
It is important to know that all brake pads are not the same. Cheap brake pads wear out sooner and may not work when you
need your vehicle to stop. The cost of new brake pads for a Ford EcoSport cost around $80 for a set of two, not including labor. Labor costs can be up to $250.
Transmission and Gear Problems
Does your Ford Ecosport (or Ford Fucus) make noises when you shift? If so, check these other problems that the EcoSport can have with the transmission and gears:
- Dashboard warning light
- Limited RPMs
- Transmission shudder or jerkiness
- Clunking noises
- Vehicle not moving when put into Reverse
- Transmission failure
These issues can be frightening when you’re on the road and you don’t know if your vehicle will make it to your destination. Here are some possible solutions:
- Check to be sure that the proper level of transmission fluid is in the vehicle. Transmission fluid lubricates various parts of the transmission.
- Transmission fluid should be light red and almost transparent. If yours is not, you may have to drain the fluid in your car and replace it with new fluid.
- Have your mechanic check the solenoid in your vehicle. A faulty solenoid releases either too much or too little transmission fluid.
- The sensors that cause your transmission to shift might be receiving the wrong messages from the ECU. Have your mechanic check it.
- Your EcoSport could have worn transmission bands. These wear out with use, so have your mechanic check them.
- Worn torque converters can also cause transmission and gear problems. It can cause your gears to slip.
Most of these problems need to be evaluated by a qualified mechanic to discover your transmission and gear issues.
Electrical Short-Circuit Issues
Any electrical system can have a short-circuit issue including your Ford EcoSport. This is a common complaint about EcoSport. Here are some symptoms of the problem:
Fixing a short-circuit in your Ford EcoSport can be a complex problem. It involves knowing what the wires are and the purpose of each one. Most people choose to have a professional mechanic fix the problem.
The cost to fix the short-circuit is $200 and up at your mechanic’s shop.
Exhaust Flex Pipe Failure
Owners of the 1.0 liter 3-cylinder engine have had problems with the engine becoming very loud when they step on the gas. A broken flex pipe in the exhaust system may be the problem.
This can happen when the flex pipe gets disconnected. It gets disconnected if the underside of the car hits something hard. It can also rust out as the vehicle gets older.
Solution – It is almost necessary to get the exhaust flex pipe replaced. You can have this done for much less money by taking your SUV to a private mechanic.
Ford sells the exhaust flex pipe only in a catalytic converter kit that sells for $840 plus about an hour’s labor. Having your own mechanic replace the flex pipe cost about $356 plus labor.
ABS stands for Anti-Locking Brake System. This is a safety feature in the Ford EcoSport to keep the brakes from locking when you press the brake pedal.
The ABS light on your dashboard will turn on if the anti-locking brake system has failed. The ABS is very important because it allows you to steer even if you press hard on the brake pedal.
The light can come on for reasons other than the anti-locking system failing. It can come on due to low brake fluid if one or more speed sensors are not working as they should or if the fuse is blown. It can also light up if the tire pressure is low or if there is an issue with the ABS system.
Since there are many causes of an ABS light turning on, the anti-locking brake system is disconnected automatically in your vehicle. You can still drive your SUV but if the brake light also comes on, stop driving immediately because brake failure is possible.
Here are some solutions to your ABS light coming on:
- e ABS light to come on. Connect a diagnostic tool to your Ford EcoSport and read the code to discover the problem.
Timing Belt Issues
All timing belts are recommended to be changed after 10 years or to be replaced after 100,000 miles. You may drive your EcoSport beyond this time or beyond 100,000 miles, but the chance of breakage will increase with usage.
If your SUV’s timing belt breaks, it can do a lot of damage to the engine. Here are some solutions to avoiding early breakage of the timing belt:
- Make sure to have oil changes at the recommended times by Ford. Use 5W-20 synthetic oil recommended by Ford.
- Use the same oil that Ford uses (Motorcraft) to avoid additives that other brands may have. Using other brands could lessen the life of your car’s timing belt.
Fuel Economy Is Not Good
Poor fuel economy results in having to fill your gas tank more often. This has been a big problem for some EcoSport owners who purchased their cars because they cost less than others. They may be on a budget and cannot afford to buy extra gas.
Some owners of EcoSports only get about 25 miles per gallon from their vehicle. Even the newer SUVs or 2nd generation cars that are 2012-2022 do not get very good gas mileage.
The solutions to this problem are limited. There is nothing to repair because these SUVs are made that way. You can get more miles per gallon if you practice good driving by not stepping on the gas pedal and racing your car, especially between traffic lights in the city. On the highway, try to maintain the same speed to get the best gas mileage.
Front Seat Issue (Recall Number 18C08)
Some 2019 EcoSports were recalled due to a front seat problem. The front seat frames were not properly welded and would not be safe during a crash because they might come apart.
Front seats were replaced in those vehicles that were recalled.
There is no charge for a recall because it is the responsibility of Ford to replace faulty components in the vehicle.
Oil Pump Problems (Recall Number 20C26)
The 1.0-liter engines had a lot of problems with oil pump failures. These earlier-model SUVs had extensive engine damage when the oil pumps failed.
This has happened in many models but especially in the 2018 and 2019 Ford EcoSport. These vehicles have oil pumps that are belt-driven instead of gear-driven like other vehicles.
When the belt stops working or breaks, the engine does not have oil circulating. Extensive engine damage happens then.
Ford released a statement that the oil pump belt tensioner can fail and cause engine damage.
What Years Did the Ford EcoSport Have Problems?
All cars have pros and cons. What years were bad for the Ford EcoSport? Here is a list of EcoSport worst years and the reasons why they are not good vehicles to buy. Here are the years that had serious problems:
- 2014 Model – This EcoSport had more complaints than any other year that the vehicles were produced. Some problems began at only 5,000 miles. Unreliable audio systems and the car shuddering when coming to a stop were two of these issues. Another issue was a jerky transmission especially when moving forward from a stop.
- 2018 Model – This model of the EcoSport had more serious problems such as the brakes locking up after 10,000 miles. This problem could cause serious injury or loss of life. Another problem was that the doors would not lock when it rains or during cold weather.
Here are some models that had few or NO problems:
- 2012, 2016, 2017, 2020 Models – No major complaints or problems are associated with these models, so they are good to buy. All-year models of the EcoSport have poor gas mileage.
- 2013 and 2019 Models – These two models have a few complaints. The 2019 model’s biggest complaint is low-gas mileage.
Recent Recall Numbers
20V791000 – 2020 and 2019-2020 airbags on either the driver’s side or the passenger’s side are missing first-stage booster propellent and sleeve. These airbags will not work properly during a crash. Ford will replace the airbag module on the side needed without cost.
19V023000 – 2019 Models — Front seat frames may not have been welded properly and do not meet crash safety standards. Ford will replace the seats if your vehicle has been recalled.
18V312000 – 2018 Models – These vehicles were shipped with labels on the caps to the brake reservoir written in European English. Owners were also given manuals written in this language. There is some danger if the wrong fluid is placed in the brake reservoir, causing the brakes to fail. If your vehicle has a recall, Ford will replace the cap and manual which is written in standard English.
Check to See Whether Your Vehicle Has an Open Recall
You can check to see if your vehicle has an open recall by logging into this website:
You will need your Ford EcoSport’s VIN number to do this. Follow these easy steps:
- Look on the lower left side of your vehicle’s windshield to find this 17-digit number.
- Enter the number in the above web address.
- Have the year, make, and model of your EcoSport available to enter at this website.
How Reliable Is the Ford EcoSport?
Consumer Reports rated the 2018 Ford EcoSport at 89% reliability. This rating was computed by comparing it with other SUVs that are sold. Although the problems with this EcoSport model are frustrating, the vehicle is still more reliable than many others.
As we told you above, each model has its own set of positive and negative features. A vehicle may have a recall and be repaired or have the part replaced by the manufacturer. It may run well with no other problems during its lifetime.
We recommend that you follow the advice that we have researched to know which year and model Ford EcoSport to purchase.
Our advice is to avoid the 2014 and 2018 models of the Ford EcoSport.
What Is Good and Bad About the Car?
Most cars have problems, but some have very few issues and can be driven with only regular maintenance for years. Others have issues beginning at low mileage. Here are some good things about the Ford EcoSport:
- Low-price vehicle with many options – Customers can choose a lot of options including trims and upgrades like leather seats.
- Roominess for passengers, sports equipment, and other things – The back seats fold down for additional room.
- Blind-spot monitoring – It will beep and present a message if another vehicle is next to you as you change lanes on the highway or in back of you if you are pulling out of a parking spot or driveway.
- 2019 up models have a choice of a turbocharged 3-cylinder engine instead of a 4-cylinder engine. The turbocharged engine improves gas mileage.
Here are some bad things about the Ford EcoSport:
- Below-average fuel economy – You will have to fill your gas tank more often with this car
- Engine is not as powerful as it could be – The Ford EcoSport has trouble accelerating when stopped. This is especially true in the models before 2019.
- Many transmission problems from slipping to transmission failure
How Is It Compared to Similar Cars?
This is how the Ford EcoSport compares with other similar cars:
- Honda HR-V – The two SUVs are similar in some ways, but the Honda HR-V starting price for the 2022 E-XL model is more expensive at $28,000. The EcoSport costs less.
The Honda HR-V can seat only 4 passengers, whereas the EcoSport seats 5.
- Mazda CX-3 – The Mazda CX-3 is a very safe vehicle with excellent crash report results. It costs slightly less than a Ford Ecosport and has a similar amount of interior room for passengers. Both vehicles have all-wheel drive and many similarities.
- Hyundai Kona — The Hyundai Kona has updated interior functions in the 2022 model. These are heated back seats, wireless smartphone charging, and a digital gauge display. The Kona is slightly more powerful than the EcoSport.
What Is the Life Expectancy?
A Ford EcoSport lasts an average of 7 years. Although Ford says that it can reach 100,000 miles without developing serious problems, some customers report that their vehicles had serious problems after 45,000 miles.
What Do Owners Say About the Car?
“I love my EcoSport! Driving is easy and sporty. Great for in-town shopping, school, and work. It struggles through the mountains but not enough to be a problem. Gas mileage is a bit low for such a small car. Love the price (bought new) and driving is just fun! Very satisfied with this car.” – Wendy R.: August 19, 2021 Via Edmunds Ford
“I have driven this all week and I gotta say I couldn’t imagine finding a car that is less powerful, refined, or user-friendly. If I could give it 0 stars I would.” – Snoopy97: July 24, 2021 Via Edmunds Ford
“New 2 weeks ago today. This car is not intended for a family vacation. It will fit 4 people, but I believe Ford didn’t intend it to be a vacation car but one to go back and forth to work.” – Travis: August 3, 2022 Via cars.com
The Ford EcoSport has not been a complete success for Ford, and 2022 is the last year that this model will be available. One survey of customers said that 60% of Ford EcoSport owners love this car while 40% do not like it.