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New-car delays pushed the production of some Ford Bronco models back into this year. Many owners waited months to get their 2021 Bronco, but the ones lucky enough to get their SUVs last year might not have been so fortunate after all. One of the Bronco’s engines has caused some major trouble. Which one is it, and what’s the problem?

What’s going on with Ford Bronco engines?

Ford Bronco engines problems
2021 Ford Bronco on the assembly line at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The problem appears in the second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, installed only in the Ford Bronco and F-150. However, the issue has affected the SUV more than the pickup truck. According to The Drive, these failures started showing up within the first few thousand miles. 

Some owners reported the issue turned out to be a dropped valve in the engine. When that happens, the head of the affected valve separates from the stem, dropping into the cylinder and causing loss of compression. But it can also cause metal fragments to break off and get inside the engine, ultimately damaging it.

Though the first-generation engines are still used in other Ford vehicles, they don’t appear to have problems, only specific models of the second-gen engines. According to a thread on the Bronco6G forum, the culprit seems to be a defect in a batch of valves received at Ford’s engine plant in Lima, Michigan, in April 2021. 

The metal composition in that particular batch could fail at high heat due to brittleness. The engine build dates that seem to be affected are marked 21131 (May 11) to 21281 (October 8).

How has Ford responded to the engine problem?

Ford is taking a proactive role in dealing with the serious issue plaguing the Bronco. The SUV’s production ended until the company addressed the engine problem and changed the unit’s design to avoid more severe issues down the line.

Though that’s good news for future Ford Bronco owners, it does little for those who own an affected model. So far, no recall has come through for the owners that waited a long time to get their Broncos only to wait some more while it sits with a dead engine. However, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty will help in some cases. 

In the meantime, users on the Bronco6G forum are urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate. The users also encourage other owners that experience this problem to report it to the NHTSA while the website collects data about the engines’ failures. 

Which model is affected?

The Ford Bronco engine problem doesn’t appear to be limited to any trim level, but it occurs in those with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engines. The First Edition and the Wildtrak come with that engine standard, but others, like the Badlands, have it as an option. 

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 produces 330 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. It and a 10-speed automatic transmission allow the Bronco to go from 0 to 60 in 6.7 seconds. As for fuel economy, you can expect approximately 20 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. 

Storage is plentiful in the Ford Bronco. You get 52.27 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats in the four-door version. If you fold those seats down, you can almost 83 cubic feet of space. If you have a two-door version, you get 22.4 to 38.3 cubic feet of storage area, depending on whether the back seats are up or down. 

It can tow a little over 3,000 pounds. But it can pull less with the smaller 1.5-liter EcoBoost. 

The Ford Bronco offers plenty of features to customize your purchase, but you might want to be careful with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 because you might have some issues with it down the line. Let’s hope Ford has dealt with the problem efficiently, but we’ll keep an eye on the situation to see how it turns out.