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Old 09-04-2014, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default 2011 F150 Ecoboost CEL & Shudder Story with Remedy (for mine)

Iím a new member but long time lurker and reader. This forum is an excellent resource for anything F150 and my thanks to the membership and mods for making it so.I wanted to post my recent experience so that it may benefit others.I know nothing I am writing is new news, but Iíve not read any stories quite the same as mine so I figured Iíd attempt to contribute and hopefully help others with what Iíd learned.

Last week I arrived home from a business trip and was on my ~40 mile drive, 95% highway, from the airport to home in my 2011 F150 Ecoboost Lariat S-Crew 4x4 (59,000 miles).The weather was nice with no rain and humidity where I live is always very low.About 15 minutes into my drive I went to overtake a slower vehicle.Pushed the accelerator to the floor and suddenly my CEL started flashing, the truck started shuddering and lurching and I lost any real power.I was able to make it home as long as I did not accelerate above low levels.By time I arrived home my CEL was on constantly.

The next day I woke up the same issue, CEL on constantly and any moderate to hard acceleration created an almost violent shudder at any speed including starting from a dead stop.I called my dealer and he could not get me in until the following Tuesday.So I had 5 days to wait.The entire 5 days the CEL was always on and the truck would shudder any time I pushed hard enough to create boost.I even topped my truck off with non-ethanol premium to make sure I wasnít a victim of bad corn.

I arrived Tuesday to the dealership, they had my truck almost all day.When they called they informed me I had a code (canít remember exactly, but it ended in 306) and needed to pay for a TSB.The TSB had them installing a piece of plastic on my CAC and a re-flash.They didnít have the part(s), so they scheduled me to come back in 2 days.

In the meantime it just wasnít sitting right with me, I could not see how this was going to cure my issue.What I was experiencing was constant, not intermittent and in the wet as Iíd found in my research of this TSB fix.Therefore I just could not get my head around what this was going to do for my immediate problem, Iím not saying the TSB doesnít help long term, I just couldnít swallow this fixing my current issues.

The symptoms I had felt much like any mis-fire problems Iíve ever came across, only over multiple cylinders.So I figured Iíd change my spark plugs, beside I had two days to waste anyways for the TSB parts to arrive. Off to my local part store, $45 later I was installing new plugs (gapped by me to .030Ē).

The results were instant and definitive.The CEL went out immediately and I had full power back at every speed and situation.I even gained almost 3mpg on my daily 30 mile each way commute over the last couple days. The plugs I removed were gapped at .040Ē, Iíd assume due to electrode erosion, several of the old plugs also showed positive signs of carbon tracking on the porcelain.

For the cost of plugs, and the ease they are to change on this engine, I will start a 40,000 mile change policy going forward on my truck.Maybe excessive, but I look at it as cheap insurance and a good reason to spend time in my garage.Win-Win.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:38 PM   #2
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I only got half way through and was saying "plugs!". Last time I had one go bad I had the dealer check for a misfire and only replaced the one offending plug. Turned out the insulator was cracked inside the cylinder.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:11 PM   #3
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Good to hear. My '11 has 35k miles on it, and I'm thinking about changing out the plugs before winter. What brand did you use?

Glad to hear they weren't hard to do. Changing the plugs on my V8 GMs has been a real pain ...
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:20 PM   #4
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I went with Autolite plugs because that's all I could get after checking 5 stores locally. I really wanted the NGK but I couldn't wait for them to be ordered since I had the pending TSB appointment and wanted to get these installed beforehand.


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Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
Good to hear. My '11 has 35k miles on it, and I'm thinking about changing out the plugs before winter. What brand did you use?

Glad to hear they weren't hard to do. Changing the plugs on my V8 GMs has been a real pain ...
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:53 PM   #5
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Yea, I only read part of it and thought plugs too.

The new TSB actually requires removal of top and bottom shield on the inter cooler for the shutter with a re flash. I would make sure they know what TSB to apply.

I don't think ford has yet to issue a TSB for the spark plug issues. The forums are the ones that actually built a consensuses on the issues and found the fix...
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