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2021 Ford Bronco reservation holders have not had a fun time over the past year and a half. Between extreme waitlists and recalls, reservation holders have been in a constant state of either anticipation or dread, often both. Well, this news may not make the wait any easier. Some 2021 Ford Bronco V6 engines are having fatal engine trouble already. 

A blue Ford Bronco Badlands is parked outdoors.
A blue Ford Bronco Badlands is parked outdoors | Ford

Is there something wrong with the 2021 Ford Bronco V6? 

So far, it seems like many Bronco orderers have opted for the up-ticket turbocharged V6 powerplant for their new Bronco. As noted by MotorTrend, a thread on a Bronco forum documents numerous failures allegedly traced to issues with the valvetrain. These valvetrain issues are leading to brand-new Ford Broncos dead in the water. 

The big question is, is there a flaw with the engine’s design, or is this due to a bad batch of parts? If it’s only a parts issue, which Broncos might have the terminal issues? 

What is happening with Bronco V6 engines? 

A blue Ford Bronco Badlands is parked outdoors.
A blue Ford Bronco Badlands is parked outdoors | Ford

Some of the 2.7-liter Bronco engines are failing. In some cases, owners have reported a dead engine in as few as 3 miles on the odometer, but the average mileage is 2,491. According to MotorTrend, these reports began coming in as early as July of 2021. 

One of the forum members who claims to work at the Lima engine plant said that he believes the issue is due to faulty valves purchased from a third-party manufacturer. It feels important to note that this alleged employee’s account was deleted shortly after the post. 

The mysterious member said that the “valves were (the) same as other months and are always tested out of a new batch before install.” However, some defects caused the valves to be brittle and come apart as they heated up. So far, it seems that perhaps the bad batch of valves was only used in April. 

The Bronco6g forum members think the failures could be related to the engine build date (indicated by serial numbers between 21133-21281), manufactured from May 13 to October 8, 2021. As far as more official channels are concerned, only two of these failures were reported on the NHTSA website. 

Forums aren’t always reliable as official sources of information. However, these corners of the internet are typically how things like this begin. Ford has yet to address the valve issue. However, according to MotorTrend, some forum members have presented “proof of dealer repairs and engine replacements.” 

What should 2021 Ford Bronco buyers do while they wait? 

MotorTrend gives a detailed set of instructions to check if your Bronco has the bad bits. “If you’re unsure what to look out for, you can check the build date on your engine. You’ll find it on a square decal, usually located around the oil fill tube. Under the QR code, you’ll see a string of numbers—the engine’s serial number. 

The date code is a set of five numbers after the very first five characters. Once you’ve located the date code, you can decode it with the first two numbers being the year of manufacture and the last three numbers being the Julian date number.”

Is the Ford Bronco still worth it? 

The 2021 Ford Bronco has energized the car market in a way that we haven’t seen in a long time. A resurrected model capable of real off-road performance and a manual transmission is what so many of us have been missing from the car world for a long time. However, the waiting has been tough. If this valve issue becomes a full recall, as the hardtops did, Bronco buyers might stay waiting for a while yet. 

Even still, the automotive world loves the Bronco and still maintains that the Bronco is one of the most exciting cars on the market today. Maybe we who want one will get an opportunity to buy one day. Until then, we must continue to wait patiently.