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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
UPDATE FROM THE MOD TEAM: - Jan 24, 2018

Hi All,

Now that we have a conclusion to this thread we'd like to close it down and direct everyone to http://www.focusrs.org/forum/154-focus-rs-troubleshooting/96898-i-m-getting-my-head-gasket-fixed-megathread.html so this can remain a source of info but no more posts further diluting it.

Thank you all for your efforts, I'd like to think this community made a huge difference in getting an official FSA released for this issue.

UPDATE - HOPEFULLY FINAL UPDATE - Jan 22, 2018

**Focus RS owners rejoice**. If your RS is built between August 3, 2015 through July 6, 2017, you are at least getting the newest Head Gasket free of charge. If it is leaking, you are getting a new cylinder head as well! I know that for a lot of owners this has been an uphill climb and has discouraged you from fully enjoying the RS, so I hope this puts you at ease and helps you enjoy the awesomeness the car has to offer!

Documents below.

Recall Letter

Program Details


Repair Details

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UPDATE: An article I put together regarding the failure mechanisms for the RS gasket.

http://stratifiedauto.com/blog/focus-rs-head-gasket-failure-mechanism/

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UPDATE: To better track this issue, one of the affected forum members @ZygyKoz has created a Google form where information can be entered and tracked better.

IF you have this issue and it is confirmed, please fill out this Google Form:

Head Gasket Failure Form

Spreadsheet with survey results
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It looks like a number of cars are having issues with a leaking head gasket. They range from tuned to stock and while the issue is not good to have, it's good to see that it's happening to stock cars and it's happening early in their lifespan. This means that Ford will be much more willing and forced to address the issue.

The purpose of this thread is to contain information in an organized manner. This will help us as a community better understand and pin-point the issue as well. Ford lurks forums as well and it's a good indication of the concern we have as a community. Please fill out the form at the bottom of this post in a new post if you have the issue and I will copy it to this OP

Symptoms:
These are some of the more common symptoms of the issue. If you have the issue you will start seeing these issue start to come up. It looks like most leaks are gradual and you will see symptoms creep in rather than cause an immediate failure. A lost of the cars have had symptoms start early in mileage 5k-15k or so but most cars are still low mileage. Stock as well as modified cars have been affected in what seems like equal numbers.

- Misfiring under load and on cold start. Misfire codes P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304.
- Smell of coolant in exhaust, it is a sweet smell.
- Excessive white smoke out of the exhaust. Don't mistake this for normal condensation on cold start.
- Lower level of engine coolant - easy to visually check in engine bay.
- Engine overheat.
- Loss of cabin heating or change in cabin heating.
- Possible coolant and oil mixing but this seems less common.

Possible Causes:
More will come to light in this area as information comes through.
- Design defect in head, block, head gasket, coolant flow and associated parts (causing hot spots)
- Manufacturing defect of head, block, or gasket where the surfaces are not plained properly or there is a shift or change in them. The cylinder liners, head and gasket are said to be RS specific.
- Assembly issue. Torque of head bolts, assembly sequence, etc.

What to do:
If you have these symptoms, make sure that if you need to run the car (ie are on the side of the road) you have enough coolant in the overflow tank. Also make sure your oil still looks clear and not milky or opaque. It is recommended to not run the car and have it brought to a dealer ASAP.

It looks like most leaks result in coolant entering the combustion chambers rather than mixing with the oil. This causes misfires but it is a good thing if the leak is small as contaminating the oil will affect lubrication and bearing life. At the same time, a lot of coolant entering the combustion chamber can cause hydrolock of the engine which bends rods. If caught early the issue is much easier to address and fix.

I do not think there is a relevant VIN range for this issue. We will find out more as we gather information. It is natural and if it is a systematic issue, cars with the higher mileage (earlier VINs) will be more likely to be affected first.

Once you have dealt with taking the car to the dealer etc. fill out the form below:

Please only fill out the form below if you have a CONFIRMED head gasket failure. I will update the thread with a list in this original post.


Screen name:
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?:
Mileage when issue confirmed:
VIN (last 4 digits):
Modifications (what are they) or stock:
Dealer action to resolve:


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Screen name:Justin
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: (JAN 2017){mileage was 6000} Started the car up early on a cold morning car was super rough. Sounded like and felt like missing a cylinder. Cel light popped p0304. Misfire on cylinder 4. Took it into for the next morning they changed out the sparks and coils. Light went off for about idk 2 weeks popped back on. Only this time I noticed my cooliant almost empty. Started reading on forums and facebook. Found people were getting white smoke so i decided to wait for the next morning when the car would be for sure cold start. Got behind it right after I started it and sure enough white smoke very small but not the usual exhaust. I knew than and there it was the engine and nothing small. Took it into ford again the next morning.
Mileage when issue confirmed:8000
VIN (last 4 digits):5533
Modifications (what are they) or stock:STOCK
Dealer action to resolve:
(Feb 14, 2017 )Just got off the phone with ford service. They have decided to ship the engine to Ford corp. Ford wants the engine seems this is starting to happen to what they said 7 cars. My service said they looked and thought it was the head but the head was fine. In the cylinder they found a scratch of some type that they think was causing the leak and the overheating. But in my opinion at least ford corp is aware and wants my engine to dissect it and find out whats causing it. Did something fall in and where did it fall in? Anyways thats all the info I have im waiting till tomorrow to find out how long a new engine will take im hearing 2-3 weeks but I dont know.
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Screen name: serk
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: I lost heating, it was because of low coolant level (about 3L lost), engine temperature went up to 2/3 of the scale. I send it to the dealer. They checked if it's leaking, filled it up with coolant and let me go. After another fuel tank of light driving I lost another 2L of coolant. There were other symptoms too, rough start when cold, sweet smell from the exhaust, check engine light went on and then off. I don't know if this is related but it happened shortly after the PCM update.
Mileage when issue confirmed: 10000 km
VIN (last 4 digits): 4017
Modifications (what are they) or stock: stock
Dealer action to resolve: they're still deciding whether to replace the engine or just the head.
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Thelastosirus - 14000M - August 30 2016 acceptance
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Dika - 19000KM - Build date 25/05/2016
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Screen name: 412Focusrs
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: Started the car one morning and it misfired a few times from a cylinder. From that point on a kept an eye on the coolant level which dropped consistently from that point forward. The misfiring starts would happen more frequently from that point on.
Mileage when issue confirmed: 9500
VIN (last 4 digits): June 2016 build is as much info as im willing to give publicly
Modifications (what are they) or stock: Green airfilter, ETS Titanium cat-back exhaust, Mountune RMM
Dealer action to resolve: Currently at the dealer as of 4/7/17. Awaiting their diagnosis.
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Screen name: y)9CnpEtUvmi
Symptoms/when did you notice issue: Misfire in Cylinder 2. Started after sometime after stage1 tune, didn't have it without a tune before. Found the discussion on focusst.org about random misfiring in cylinder 2 or 4 on both stock and tuned cars, 100+ pages. Dealership didn't tell me anything, just cleared the code. ST owners are pretty aware of it and there is no fix for them yet. Stopped to worry about it. Then I had a white smoke during the cold start for 1 minute coming out of the pipe yesterday (or maybe more times, but I didn't notice it before). Right after that I noticed a noticeable drop in coolant. I'm closely monitoring everything right now. Very similar to what @412focusrs has.
Mileage when issue confirmed: misfiring started about ~17000m. Right now the car has 22000m
VIN (last 4 digits): >4000. Got the car right from the ship in July 2016.
Modifications (what are they) or stock: stage1, tune only. Will uninstall the tune next week to test it on stock.
Dealer action to resolve: the car will be dropped for a check next week
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Screen name: Alex13mod
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: 2 days ago bogging at cold idle with white smoke. (sweet smell)
Mileage when issue confirmed: 15,100
VIN (last 4 digits): 5319
Modifications (what are they) or stock: Stock
Dealer action to resolve: sent to dealer today
Build Date: 01.06.2016
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Screen name: Shimmer
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?:Cracked cyl head, verified by Ford. White smoke and sounded like a subie 3cyl
Mileage when issue confirmed:26078
VIN (last 4 digits):3800+
Modifications (what are they) or stock: Bone stock
Dealer action to resolve: Store my **** for one month, then disassemble 2.3EB and let sit in dirty ass environment exposed to debris, until ford can allocate repair parts
This has been a freakin nightmare
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Screen name: FiSTer
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: Head/head gasket failure, verified by Ford. White smoke and sounded like it was running on 3 cylinders.
Mileage when issue confirmed:11,450
VIN (last 4 digits):4605 - April 2016 build - v4 engine
Modifications (what are they) or stock: Bone stock
Dealer action to resolve: Dealer is replacing the whole engine.
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Screen name: Pli
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: Uneven idle and white smoke at start-up, smell of coolant, eventually loss of cabin heat due to coolant loss. After refilling coolant took the car for a drive and the starter failed to engage forcing me to tow the car to Ford shop. Not sure of connection to the original problem. Only thing I can see is if coolant has entered starter and caused a short?
Mileage when issue confirmed: 1300 km
VIN (last 4 digits): April 2016 build
Modifications (what are they) or stock: Stock
Dealer action to resolve: (May 2017) Authorized Ford shop found head gasket between cylinders looking slightly irregular and traced coolant gas in at least 2 cylinders. This with engine still in car. Ford stated that there were no head gaskets in stock and that they would therefore replace engine!
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Screen name: z0iid
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: Rough idle, loss of power, smell of burnt oil under load, 1/2 quart down 3 weeks after oil change, white smoke 2 weeks after first noticed symptoms
Mileage when issue confirmed: 16,500
VIN (last 4 digits): 3647
Modifications (what are they) or stock: Stock
Dealer action to resolve: (May,17 2017) - Reported that piston #2 "fell apart", no compression, thus engine will have to be replaced. Could be 2 to 8 weeks before they receive an engine. No mention of head gasket, so may not be related.
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Screen name: AS0379

Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: November 20, 2016
hard shuddering on cold/warm startup
dense white smoke from exhaust
sweet odor inside cabin and outside from exhaust
fouled white scorching on plugs
Cyl #3 misfire code (intermittent)
extremely noticeable drop in coolant level
oil/coolant milkshake
loss of power


Mileage when issue confirmed: 14,191

VIN (last 4 digits): 2966

Modifications (what are they) or stock: at the time:
upgraded FMIC
green filter
upgraded turbo BPV
pro tune


Dealer action to resolve: Entire longblock replaced along with turbo, flywheel, and clutch

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Screen Name: Inline6turbo
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: Rough idle on cold start one morning. Really rough idle, sounded like a tractor on three cylinders, the next morning. Popped a CEL. Read code. Cylinder 2 misfire. Swore a lot. Drove to dealer where it currently sits (July 11, one year to the day since delivery) Checked coolant reservoir, very very low.
Mileage when issue confirmed: awaiting confirmation, 38,000kms
VIN (last 4 digits): 4978
Modifications (what are they) or stock:
ETS FMIC
ETS Charge Pipes
Colder Plugs
COBB RMM
Turbo smart BOV
WGA
Catch Can
Crankcase Breather
Intake
ETS extreme exhaust
94oct Tune+
Dealer action to resolve: Awaiting diagnosis. Will update
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Screen name: Sleeper
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: 6/25/17. Started up the car in the morning, had misfires and white smoke (coolant) blowing out of the tail pipe. Coolant reservoir was also low. Car was dropped off at the dealer 6/27/17.
Mileage when issue confirmed: 11,6xx
VIN (last 4 digits):4774
Modifications (what are they) or stock: LULZ-ALL the mods
Dealer action to resolve: Pressure test confirmed cracked block. Tech tore down the entire engine. Found multiple valves leaking and head was warped. Scoring on the cylinder walls was also found. Got a call 7/3 that Ford is replacing the entire engine under warranty. Also that the engines wont be released until 7/17. Engine showed up 7/11...
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Screen name:Krote6
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?:coolant level dropping, misfires on cold start up, excessive steam from exhaust on cold start up
Mileage when issue confirmed:21000
VIN (last 4 digits):4370
Modifications (what are they) or stock:stock
Dealer action to resolveending
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Screen name: Oroxil
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: (July 2017) I started noticing a rough idle at cold startup. Then it would level out. Never noticed any white smoke. My waylens camera started showing code P0303, it actually had additional information and I didn't pay it any attention at first because I assumed it was a camera fault code. The engine light didn't come on until week 3. Looked under the hood to see that the coolant was extremely low. Just got word from the dealer that it is indeed misfiring, but not just on cylinder 3, but also cylinder 2 and that coolant is leaking into the cyclinders.
Mileage when issue confirmed:23394
VIN (last 4 digits): 4656
Modifications (what are they) or stock:STOCK
Dealer action to resolve:
(Aug 2, 2017 )Just got off the phone with ford service. They confirmed the misfire and coolant leak. They are moving it to the next level tech to figure out what's next. I will update the status as I learn more.

Update: build date 04/16

Just got my car back from Ford. It's running great so far.

Here is what they found. P0303, P0316 Coolant in cylinder, head was warped, 2 tappets damaged. Replaced head, head gasket, 2 tappets, front cover gasket, front crank seal, valve cover gasket, exhaust gasket, coolant bypass gasket and intake gaskets. Filled coolant to spec. Replaced oil and filter due to contamination while repairing.

So, no new engine. Hopefully this will turn out to be a long term solution. Time will tell.

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Screen name: BrettRS

Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: 8/26/17 -- Rough Idle on Cold Start (much rougher than normal, I've always had a rough idle on cold start) -- Coolant Levels were checked and were quite low -- Check Engine light came on, code P0300, Random Multiple Misfires

Mileage when issue confirmed: 21,XXX Miles

VIN (last 4 digits): 41XX

Modifications (what are they) or stock: Stock

Dealer action to resolve: Pending, Towed to Dealer 250 miles from my home via Roadside Assistance

Update 9/7/17

The dealer (Magic City Ford in Roanoke) finally looked at my car yesterday (11 days after it was dropped off, that's awesome). The service dept confirmed it is a blown head gasket. He thinks that they won't need to replace the head or the engine and a head gasket alone should do the trick.

I told him to do whatever the Ford SOP is for this problem on my car, the only reason I mentioned the v4 to v5 head change was because other people on the forum said that was their fix for the same issue. He seemed very confident that he could have parts here in 1 day for repair, expedited from Germany, however I don't share his confidence.

He thought they might be done with it by Friday and I told him that'd be great but I have a feeling that there will be many more weeks to go before I get my car back.

Update 9/13/17

Finally got the service manager on the phone today. He said they had to order in 26 pieces, 25 of which were available from Ford Technical in the US so they should be there by the end of the week and he thinks the only other item was some bolts then can get in quick. He hopes that it will be 1-2 day repair when the parts get in. He's hopeful for the end of this week / next week.

The thing that sucks the most about this is I've always volunteered to drive my friends places, or drive my car instead of a company car if I have to drive a few hours because I genuinely enjoy driving the RS. Now, I will always have to consider the mileage so that I don't run out of warranty before the yearly warranty expires in case it decides to blow another head gasket, which it sounds like it is probably going to.

Ford needs to be doing a recall for this issue. I remember when people were up in arms when the cars were being delivered and they didn't think they were getting the advertised 350HP, dozens of people on this forum shouting for a lawsuit...Turns out the car was putting down the stated power...Now these cars are blowing head gaskets after 10k miles left and right, nothing is being done by Ford, we have the proof, and yet I am at the dealer's discretion and will on repairs.

Ford won't come out and say "There's a mechanical flaw in our engine design that is causing hundreds of RSs to blow head gaskets and engines within the first 20k miles, we have no idea what is going to happen after 50k or 100k, so we need to fix this now" -- not to mention it is going to ruin the resell value of the car.

I'm just estimating but lets say there were 100x more Toyota Camry sold in 2016 than Ford Focus RS -- do you think if there were 10,000 head gasket failures (compared to 100 RS failures on the same scale), it wouldn't warrant a recall, engine replacement, national news? It's because there are so few of us that this place it literally our echo chamber and no one cares because there aren't as many of us...just sucks...

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Screen name: The Stig

Symptoms/first noticed: Evening of 8/22. Classic sweet white smoke from exhaust. Checked the coolant level, DAMN, was way low. Next morning started it up, same issue, now a CEL. Didn't get a code, since I lost my phone same day (don't ask) and didn't have my OBDII setup. Checked the oil, looked fine. I did notice a couple "sputters" on mild acceleration in 2nd gear over the last week or so, even to the point where I checked the plugs then and they looked fine. Rechecked them again after the CEL, still ok.

Mileage when issue confirmed: 31,600 miles,

VIN #: 5858 with June 2016 build date, V5

Modifications: Mishimoto CAI, COBB AP with custom tune (removed)

Dealer action to resolve: Dropped it of at dealers 8/25 (sons friend works there and has done my oil changes). Took them a week to get started on it, and another to confirm bad head gasket. No warped/cracked head or cylinder issues. Waiting on a couple miscellaneous parts. The gasket is Rev C and in stock. All indications are that they are covering everything. Got a free loaner, an Expedition XLT. Damn, that thing's HUGE!

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Screen name: Alphadark
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: 15,000
Mileage when issue confirmed: 15,800
VIN (last 4 digits): 5284
Modifications (what are they) or stock: Stock
Dealer action to resolve: In the garage and drove the Subaru. Will deal with it later.

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Screen name: Karnarel
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: I started noticing a rough idle at cold startup, but no smoke or coolant level going down at first. Then one day (13th July 2017) lot of smoke with coolant smell, and coolant level decreased a lot (went below min). Went to dealer that confirmed water in cylinder 3.
Mileage when issue confirmed: 14500 km
VIN (last 4 digits):
Modifications (what are they) or stock:STOCK
Dealer action to resolve:
(Jul 14, 2017 ) Still drove it as no one available to do repair, and Ford dealer said it was ok for small trips. Then got on the phone with another dealer which said it was dangerous due to risk of hydrolock.
(Jul 21, 2017 ) Got a rental car as no car available from dealer. Ford to partially pay the cost.
(Jul 27, 2017 ) Got the car pulled to another dealer as motor did not start (Too much coolant in cylinder). Dealer had a car to lend. Car got checked and confirmed water in cylinder 3.
(Aug 7, 2017 ) Dealer checked the motor under Ford instructions. Too damaged. Will be getting a new engine.


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Screen name: Buzz Skyline
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: Puttering sound under light to moderate throttle that I noticed on August 24. (I took it to the dealer the next day.) No loss of power, but what appeared to me to be unusual bubbling and excessive flow in the coolant reservior
Mileage when issue confirmed: 4505
VIN (last 4 digits): 9735
Modifications (what are they) or stock: Stock
Dealer action to resolve: I had changed my own oil at 1200 miles, and apparently managed to damage the replacement motocraft oil filter (they seem to be made of much lighter gauge metal than the K&N filters I usually use), causing a modest leak that the dealer rep initially blamed for the noise. I couldn't see how that could cause the noise, but let them replace the filter and change the oil to see if that got rid of the noise. The rep then called me back and said the motor will have to be torn down and diagnosed. The rep also said I will definitely need a new engine, but how he could know that before the tear-down is beyond me. He implied that the leaking oil filter was the cause and that I would be on the hook for the engine replacement. Bear in mind that there was no low oil light, the oil pressure guage was normal, the car never overheated, and there were no check engine lights. I also check the oil frequently (as a former Evo and WRX owner, I know to keep an eye on the oil level in turbo cars), and had happened to check it when I topped off the fuel on the way to the dealer. It was in the normal full range. Other than the extra noise, it ran fine.
Build Date: Not sure, I'll check

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Screen name: ardevas09

Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: 9/8/17, the car hyrdolocked and blew the motor

Mileage when issue confirmed: 11500

VIN (last 4 digits): 5608

Modifications (what are they) or stock: full bolt-ons and tune

Dealer action to resolve: Pending

Update: 9-15-17

well, dealer optioned to replace everything on tuesday, because there were no apparent signs that my tune or mods caused any issue. Today they said "nah, just kidding" and denied everything.

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Screen name: Swissayon
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: Not sure if related but issues started with failed Catalytic Converter. Shortly thereafter I started to have ruff cold start and white smoke. Coolant level started dropping and quickly escalated to visible drop each day. Initial pressure test did not show a visible coolant leak. Following catalytic converter replacement, check engine light came back on as Cylinder 3 miss fire.
Mileage when issue confirmed: 25.5k
VIN (last 4 digits): 5468
Modifications (what are they) or stock: Stock
Dealer action to resolve: Replace Head Gasket - as of this morning no other issues/damage have been identified, however the engine has not been taken apart yet.

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Screen name: ZygyKoz
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?:
This all happened last week during a road trip (to RS Adrenaline Academy ironically). Car is a 2016 RS took delivery July 16, 2016 from a February order. ETIS bud date back then showed May 6, 2016.
~ 7,000 miles - experienced very rough idle (literally shaking the car) at a couple startups.
~7,300 miles - check engine lit up after the 3rd rough idle start. Could definitely smell coolant. Drove it less than half mile to our hotel, parked overnight. Checked CELs in the morning: P0300, P0302, and P0303. Coolant reservoir was half empty between the LOW line and bottom. Called FORD roadside. Started it and had to backup to get it on the tow truck, coolant odor was super strong.
Mileage when issue confirmed: ~7,300
VIN (last 4 digits): 5379
Modifications (what are they) or stock: stock
Dealer action to resolve: They topped of the coolant that was missing/low and cleared the CELs. Ran a pressure test, and they noticed it did drop a little. The cylinder 3 misfire CEL came on again for them. They checked out cylinder 3 did have coolant in it. I have a case with Ford that the dealer is working with. Ford asked them to tear down and check where the failure is occurring. Once identified they work with Ford on next steps. They will know more by end of week hopefully.

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Screen name: Workinca
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?:Car was not getting driven regularly as I was deployed for six months. Came home and the car was fine for about two weeks. Started noticing white smoke coming from the exhaust and it smelled of coolant. The following day I started the car and had a rough idle with a misfire code on cylinder 3 and coolant reservoir was under min. Brought the car in the dealership on 8/25 and had them start looking at the car. 8/31 I get a call and they tell me that the headgasket let go and they were tearing apart the motor and would be talking to ford. (notes from dealer stated coolant in cylinder 3, block surface out of speck .003 and cylinder headdye around valve seat.) 9/7 I get a call and Ford has approved the new long block. 9/19 I get a call and my car is all put back together and running, they tell me they can pick it up.
Mileage when issue confirmed: 15988
VIN (last 4 digits): 4181
Modifications (what are they) or stock: FMIC, Intercooler piping, intake, tune, turbo back exhaust and wastegate actuator.
Dealer action to resolve: 9/7 I get a call and Ford has approved the new long block. 9/19 I get a call and my car is all put back together and running, they tell me I can pick it up.
 

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Screen name:Justin
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: (JAN 2017){mileage was 6000} Started the car up early on a cold morning car was super rough. Sounded like and felt like missing a cylinder. Cel light popped p0304. Misfire on cylinder 4. Took it into for the next morning they changed out the sparks and coils. Light went off for about idk 2 weeks popped back on. Only this time I noticed my cooliant almost empty. Started reading on forums and facebook. Found people were getting white smoke so i decided to wait for the next morning when the car would be for sure cold start. Got behind it right after I started it and sure enough white smoke very small but not the usual exhaust. I knew than and there it was the engine and nothing small. Took it into ford again the next morning.
Mileage when issue confirmed:8000
VIN (last 4 digits):5533
Modifications (what are they) or stock:STOCK
Dealer action to resolve:
(Feb 14, 2017 )Just got off the phone with ford service. They have decided to ship the engine to Ford corp. Ford wants the engine seems this is starting to happen to what they said 7 cars. My service said they looked and thought it was the head but the head was fine. In the cylinder they found a scratch of some type that they think was causing the leak and the overheating. But in my opinion at least ford corp is aware and wants my engine to dissect it and find out whats causing it. Did something fall in and where did it fall in? Anyways thats all the info I have im waiting till tomorrow to find out how long a new engine will take im hearing 2-3 weeks but I dont know.
 

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Screen name: serk
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: I lost heating, it was because of low coolant level (about 3L lost), engine temperature went up to 2/3 of the scale. I send it to the dealer. They checked if it's leaking, filled it up with coolant and let me go. After another fuel tank of light driving I lost another 2L of coolant. There were other symptoms too, rough start when cold, sweet smell from the exhaust, check engine light went on and then off. I don't know if this is related but it happened shortly after the PCM update.
Mileage when issue confirmed: 10000 km
VIN (last 4 digits): 4017
Modifications (what are they) or stock: stock
Dealer action to resolve: they're still deciding whether to replace the engine or just the head.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Screen name:Justin
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: (JAN 2017){mileage was 6000} Started the car up early on a cold morning car was super rough. Sounded like and felt like missing a cylinder. Cel light popped p0304. Misfire on cylinder 4. Took it into for the next morning they changed out the sparks and coils. Light went off for about idk 2 weeks popped back on. Only this time I noticed my cooliant almost empty. Started reading on forums and facebook. Found people were getting white smoke so i decided to wait for the next morning when the car would be for sure cold start. Got behind it right after I started it and sure enough white smoke very small but not the usual exhaust. I knew than and there it was the engine and nothing small. Took it into ford again the next morning.
Mileage when issue confirmed:8000
VIN (last 4 digits):5533
Modifications (what are they) or stock:STOCK
Dealer action to resolve:
(Feb 14, 2017 )Just got off the phone with ford service. They have decided to ship the engine to Ford corp. Ford wants the engine seems this is starting to happen to what they said 7 cars. My service said they looked and thought it was the head but the head was fine. In the cylinder they found a scratch of some type that they think was causing the leak and the overheating. But in my opinion at least ford corp is aware and wants my engine to dissect it and find out whats causing it. Did something fall in and where did it fall in? Anyways thats all the info I have im waiting till tomorrow to find out how long a new engine will take im hearing 2-3 weeks but I dont know.
Keep us updates Justin - would be good to know if it's a defect that needs addressing on every car eventually or if it's a manufacturing issue.

Screen name: serk
Symptoms/when did you notice issue?: I lost heating, it was because of low coolant level (about 3L lost), engine temperature went up to 2/3 of the scale. I send it to the dealer. They checked if it's leaking, filled it up with coolant and let me go. After another fuel tank of light driving I lost another 2L of coolant. There were other symptoms too, rough start when cold, sweet smell from the exhaust, check engine light went on and then off. I don't know if this is related but it happened shortly after the PCM update.
Mileage when issue confirmed: 10000 km
VIN (last 4 digits): 4017
Modifications (what are they) or stock: stock
Dealer action to resolve: they're still deciding whether to replace the engine or just the head.
Keep us updated on what they decide. At this point it's not a TSB but looks to be heading in that direction.
 

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Far more variables to consider in possible causes like how the car was run in, how driven cold/warm/hot, etc. etc. etc. Nothing is a constant. Some will baby the hell out of the car and some will abuse the crap out it, whether modified or not, and everything in between.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Far more variables to consider in possible causes like how the car was run in, how driven cold/warm/hot, etc. etc. etc. Nothing is a constant. Some will baby the hell out of the car and some will abuse the crap out it, whether modified or not, and everything in between.
Absolutely. However these care are relatively new and if issues starts to show up this early (especially things like head gasket which is usually quite a stout mls piece) there may be something going on. This is the point of this thread, to track this.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's important for those that have this issue to note exactly what the dealer is replacing. Because the likelihood of an MLS gasket just leaking is low, there may be another underlying failure or issue here.

Has anyone noticed an external coolant leak when they were missing coolant?
 

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It's important for those that have this issue to note exactly what the dealer is replacing. Because the likelihood of an MLS gasket just leaking is low, there may be another underlying failure or issue here.

Has anyone noticed an external coolant leak when they were missing coolant?
I recall one guy did from the fitting on the tank, that's all I've heard.

I don't think my coolant has moved since I got it, this car doesn't really have an easy time with me either.

I will keep an eye on mine, 4k miles.
 

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Subscribing.
As I'm scared as hell, I'm monitoring my car on a daily basis. 2500 miles, nothing showed up as symptoms yet, so if something happen, this thread will hear it first. I like @Alex's idea since for those tuned (specially) this will be an easy reference to tell ford "fix my car anyway".
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, Russ has illustrated things very well on his particular car. That head bolt is right above where the crack is meaning that if the block cracks and shifts you can lose seal on the gasket. It is a high stress area. We don't know if this is the issue on all the cars but this is why it's important to monitor the situation and see what the dealers are doing to fix the issue.

If you have the problem and are taking into the dealer, kindly suggest they check for external leaks on the block. If you see coolant missing and are able to, take the undertray off and inspect the area.
 

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Ford has made 5 changes to the 2.3L Ecoboost Block since its first release. Most of them have been minor, but some have been substantial. Some of the first variants/part numbers were casting changes. The quality from V1-2 to V3 was much different, smoother, and much much cleaner. V4 changed the slotting on the deck it looked, and very minor other changes. V5 was the biggest change, all the oil galleys were changed from a huge aeronautical style rivet to threaded bungs. The rivets weren't able to be replaced if you ever took the engine apart unless you had a $100,000 machine or a $10,000 tool. So on the older engines we would just thread them and plug them ourself, or use freeze plugs. Then the other difference were the reliefs on the deck surface between the cylinders.

Now, V5 started showing up to us for builds around NOVEMBER of 2016, I imagine they were used in previous build months before we were able to get them as just a empty block. Since the RS has released we have been seeing nothing but the V5 block come in from customers for builds, but just last week we received a complete longblock from a customer that was complaining of sputtering/noise/ and powerloss.

We disassembled his engine and found damage to the #3 cylinder wall, and the gasket was slightly damaged on that cylinder. I inspected the block and found it was a V4, instead of a V5. I asked the customer for the build dates and it was a few months before we started seeing the V5.

So, it seems some of the very first Focus RS's were built with the V4 block, but that isn't the only weird thing we noticed. The head gasket was a different part number that what is requested by Ford as a replacement. I was already aware of the different gaskets for 2.3 in EU vs US but have yet to see one on an engine here. So I went back to another longblock that came in from a customer and it was V5, but had the new headgasket part number on it. His engine was perfect, just wanted a build so no blown head gasket.

With all this different info, I came to the following conclusion. The engine/gasket you get is not specific to your build date, neither is the block. But the V5's I have had come in for builds have all been perfectly fine no headgasket issues. So the majority of the issue has seem to be on V4 blocks. Now this isn't saying that anyone with a V4 engine is going to have an issue it seems to be very hit or miss. I have customers that have checked that have been tuned for 10K+ miles with zero issues. It seems the ones that ARE having issues are happening within the very first thousand miles and most have been UNTUNED.


Quick wrap up as I have to get back to it, lots of emails to go through:

- Your build date doesn't matter, it looks like Ford was "scrap-binning" it.
- Even if you have an older engine, it doesn't mean your car is going to have a blown headgasket. As mentioned most see the issue within the first couple thousand miles
- DON'T PANIC! EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK!

On the older engines, with the "meh" casting there were some issues with the side of the block getting small hairline cracks in it. It became even more apparent on the early 2015 Ecoboost Mustangs when we upgraded the headstuds to 1/2". We had a engine that we were making 700whp on start having coolant squirt out the side of his block under boost, no good!

So we actually machined and added plates to the earlier blocks when we built them, you can see it in the picture I posted in the comments. That is my engine for our drag car. We gusseted the block and inserted them and welded before we did any machine work.

Every single person, tuned or not tuned, has been able to go to the dealer and get the issue fixed. I believe Ford has somewhat of an idea this is going on and it isn't a huge deal. Nobody has been "roughed up" about it when taking the car in.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Unless there is a way to correlate failures with actual Ford part numbers it will be quite difficult to determine a root cause linked to a certain part. If Ford had recognized a serious flaw that required a revision to address THIS flaw you bet they would stop putting "failure prone" parts in cars. The different freeze plugs could very well be coincidental.

The data pool is yet too small to draw conclusions but this is why this thread is important. As it gets populated, we will see how the dealer is fixing the cars and get a better idea of the root cause. The cars are so new that most with the issue will go into the dealer to get fixed. Asking as much detail as possible about what is replaced and with what part numbers will give a lot more insight.
 
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