Ford 3.7 Cyclone Engine Problems
The Ford 3.7 V6 Cyclone engine (Duratec 37) was introduced in 2009 and continues to be manufactured today. The Ford 3.7L engine produces between 270 and 305 horsepower. It was the first engine to offer 300+hp and 30+mpg in the 2011 Mustang. In other words, the Duratec 37 strikes an excellent balance between power and efficiency.
However, no engine is perfect, and the Ford 3.7L Cyclone engine is no exception. This article will discuss several of the most frequently encountered issues with the 3.7 Cyclone and conclude with thoughts on overall reliability.
What Cars Use the Duratec 3.7?
The following vehicles are equipped with the Ford 3.7L V6 Cyclone engine:
- 2008-2015 Mazda CX-9
- 2009-2013 Mazda 6
- 2009-2012 Lincoln MKS / MKT
- 2011-2014 Ford F150
- 2011-2015 Lincoln MKX
- 2011-2017 Ford Mustang V6
- 2011-2014 Ford Edge Sport
- 2013-2016 Lincoln MKZ / MKS
- 2016-2018 Lincoln MKX
- 2017-present Lincoln Continental
- 2013-present Ford Police Interceptor Sedan
Additionally, the Ford Cyclone engine is used in a few other industrial and limited production vehicles. Earlier models are equipped with the iVT Duratec 37, which employs variable valve timing only on the intake cams. With the 2011 Ford Mustang, the 3.7L V7 engine was equipped with Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing).
Certain issues discussed in this post may have a greater impact on certain models than others. We’ll clarify where necessary. Regardless, the Ford 3.7 Cyclone engine powered a number of Ford’s flagship vehicles, most notably the F150 and Mustang. Mazda even discontinued the 3.7-liter V6 engine in a few of their own vehicles.
3 Common Ford 3.7 Engine Problems
Several of the most frequently encountered problems with the Ford 3.7 Cyclone include the following:
- Water pump
- Cam torque actuated phasers
- Ignition Coils
Throughout this post, we will go into detail about each of the aforementioned issues. Before diving in, it’s a good idea to add a few quick notes. While we have classified these failures as common, this does not mean that every Ford 3.7L V6 will experience them. These are just a few of the more prevalent issues, but that does not mean they are widespread.
Additionally, engines become prone to a variety of issues as they age and accumulate mileage due to wear and tear. 3.7 Cyclone V6 engines may develop issues that are not covered in this post.
Having said that, the Ford 3.7 V6 Cyclone engine is a dependable performer. Many exceed 200,000 miles with proper maintenance. We’ll return to this subject near the conclusion of the article. Anyway, let’s take a look at the three most frequently encountered 3.7 V6 Cyclone engine problems.
1) Ford 3.7L V6 Water Pump Failures
Water pump failures can occur on virtually any engine. They are moving components that are responsible for cooling the 3.7 Cyclone engine. Typically, a failed water pump requires immediate repair, but additional damage is unlikely as long as the engine does not overheat.
However, early Ford 3.7 V6 engines had significant water pump issues. The water pump on Duratec iVCT engines is an unusual design. As a side note, the iVCT 3.7 Duratec engine is found in the Mazda CX-9 and Mazda 6 from 2008 to 2015. Additionally, it is available in the 2009–2012 Lincoln MKS and MKT.
Due to revisions to the timing chain and sprocket designs, the Ti-VCT Ford 3.7 Cyclone is less prone to these issues. Anyway, returning to the water pump issue at hand. The Ford 3.7 V6 engine’s water pump is driven by a timing chain.
The water pump is prone to bearing failure, allowing the timing center to move. Once the situation has deteriorated sufficiently, coolant is poured into the engine, where it mixes with the oil.
This is where the true difficulties begin. Combining coolant and oil is not a good idea. It can result in corrosion and significant internal wear, as the Ford 3.7 Cyclone oil is no longer capable of lubricating moving parts properly. Essentially, it can result in significant internal engine damage and result in extremely costly repair bills.
3.7 Cyclone Water Pump Failure Symptoms
Several symptoms may indicate that the Ford 3.7 V6 water pump bearings are nearing failure, including the following:
- Rattling/clunking from engine
- Milky oil
- Visible leak
The true problem occurs when the bearings fail and the timing center begins to move. This usually results in an audible rattling or knocking noise emanating from the front engine cover area.
When coolant is combined with oil, the oil becomes a milky mess. Additionally, a visible coolant leak beneath the car may occur. Finally, the 3.7L Cyclone may overheat if an excessive amount of coolant is lost.
Ford 3.7 V6 Water Pump Replacement
This is a critical issue to be aware of, as early detection can help prevent further damage. Nonetheless, the location of the water pumps behind the front cover makes this a laborious repair. Labor costs add up quickly, and replacing the 3.7 Duratec water pump at a repair shop can cost up to $1,000.
If the problem is not identified and corrected in a timely manner, the engine may be rendered completely useless. Additionally, the Ford 3.7L engine may require opening for cleaning and machining to remove any corrosion or potential damage.
2) 3.7 Cyclone Cam Torque Actuated Phasers Problems
The water pump issue mentioned previously primarily affects earlier iVCT engines. On the other hand, cam torque-actuated phasers are primarily found on later Ford 3.7 Ti-VCT engines. We’ll avoid getting too technical in this section, but for context.
Dual variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) is a relatively complex technology with numerous moving components. The goal is to optimize cam/valve timing in order to improve power band and fuel economy. It’s an incredible piece of technology that many modern engines utilize.
However, these systems are not without flaws. Cam torque actuated phasers (cam phasers for short) on the Ford 3.7L Cyclone are one of those issues that crop up. Each camshaft is rotated in relation to the timing by cam phasers.
When the 3.7 Duratec cam torque-actuated phasers fail, they can cause a variety of symptoms and other problems if they are not repaired promptly. Additionally, it is a fairly costly repair.
Ford 3.7L V6 Cam Phasers Symptoms
Examine the following symptoms to determine if there is a problem with the 3.7 Cyclone cam torque-actuated phasers:
- Check engine light
- Rattling sound from engine
- Power loss
- Rough running
When the cam phasers fail, the check engine light illuminates and the Ford 3.7 engine makes a rattling sound. Additionally, it can result in incorrect ignition timing, which can result in a loss of power and rough running.
3.7 V6 Cyclone Cam Phasers Replacement
With increased mileage, it may be prudent to replace the VCT solenoids as well. These are known to cause intermittent issues with the 3.7 Cyclone V6. Anyway, because cam phasers are located within the head, replacing them requires some time and effort. Expect to pay around $700+ for repairs due to the extensive labor.
3) Ford 3.7 Cyclone Ignition Coil Issues
While the above two issues can be quite costly and serious, the 3.7 V6 is an excellent engine in general. We’re primarily discussing ignition coils here because there aren’t many other significant common problems.
Ignition coils are a common wear and tear component that must be replaced at some point during an engine’s life. However, the 3.7 Duratec ignition coils occasionally fail sooner than expected.
Expect these issues to manifest themselves somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 miles. It’s really not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Generally, ignition coil replacement is required after 150,000 miles. Additionally, it is not a serious issue, though ignition coil problems can result in some drivability issues.
3.7L V6 Duratec Ignition Coil Symptoms
Symptoms of an ignition coil failure on a Ford 3.7L V6 include the following:
- Rough running
- Check engine light
Misfires are the most common indication of spark plug or ignition coil failure. However, misfires can be caused by a variety of other factors. When the 3.7 Cyclone ignition coils fail, the air/fuel mixture will not ignite properly.
As a result, you may notice that the Ford 3.7 engine runs rough or stutters. Misfires can occasionally illuminate the check engine light as well.
Ford 3.7L Cyclone Ignition Coil Replacement
Fortunately, ignition coil replacement is a relatively simple procedure. The Ford V6 engine utilizes six ignition coils, and it is prudent to replace them all at the same time.
This is especially true if your 3.7 Cyclone has exceeded 100,000 miles, as they will eventually require replacement. In any case, ignition coils cost between $25 and $40 each. It’s a simple repair that the majority of people can complete in less than an hour in their driveway.
3.7 Cyclone Reliability
How dependable is the Ford Cyclone 3.7L V6 engine? We’ll give the 3.7 Duratec an above-average reliability rating. Water pump and cam phaser problems can be a pain and require costly repairs. They are, however, unlikely to be as prevalent as the internet suggests. Apart from that, the 3.7 V6 is free of many common problems and design flaws.
Naturally, problems can and do occur, but this is true for all engines. Much of it is also about maintenance. Replace oil, coolant, and other fluids on a regular basis. When problems do occur, resolve them promptly. It’s basic stuff that all Ford 3.7 V6 owners can do to improve their chances of having a positive engine experience.
With proper maintenance, the 3.7L Cyclone is known to last up to 200,000 miles, and in some cases, even longer. It’s an excellent engine that strikes a good balance between performance and efficiency. Additionally, the 3.7 Duratec is a dependable engine in general.
Ford 3.7 V6 Common Problems Summary
Ford’s 3.7-liter V6 engine has been used in a number of their flagship vehicles, both Ford and Mazda. The 3.7L V6 engine in the 2011 Ford Mustang was the first engine to achieve 300+hp and 30+mpg. It strikes an excellent balance of performance and efficiency. However, no engine is perfect, and the Duratec 37 is no exception.
Water pump failures on Ford 3.7 iVCT Cyclone engines can result in costly repairs if not caught early. Regular oil and coolant changes can help reduce the risk of further damage if the water pump bearings fail. The variable valve timing system on later Ti-VCT models has some issues, most notably with the solenoids and cam phasers.
By and large, the Ford 3.7L engine is free of common problems. They frequently have a service life of more than 200,000 miles with proper maintenance, while still providing respectable power, performance, and fuel economy.
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