2016 3.5l Ecoboost Expedition EL Reliability?

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Brandonian

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Hey Ya'll -

I've been a spammer of noob inquiries on this thing so far lol :( - But I've gotten by for a bit now with it. Overall, I like the oomph and the pizazz of this Expedition and appreciate everyone's assistance to date!

I wanted to see - from other's perspectives of their opinions on long term reliability of these?

I have a 2016 Expedition EL XLT with the 3.5 Ecoboost - I bought it about a year ago with a bit over 145k miles or thereabouts. Almost year later (I work from home lol) I have 151k miles and I've fixed a couple of things. When I bought this I made sure it had a good clean carfax of maintenance by the way. I made sure to look for years beyond introduction so that certain kinks were worked out for us.

What's been replaced - both catalytic converters, the "internal" water pump (according to dealer), I replaced the external water pump and thermostat, and the driver side upstream O2 Sensor. It's been a nice ride - but now I'm filled with paranoia after going through forums and others. Most of the paranoia is associated with the time it takes to self work on these over a standard engine for even small things - I don't like a lot of down-time for our vehicle as we have a large family and tons we want to do.

Mileage doesn't scare me with proper maintenance - especially with timing chain related vehicles as generally timing chains are a life-long thing if proper maintenance is kept up. Most things actually are lol, which is good. Proper maintenance leads to longevity.

What's come to mind is I may have a vacuum pump leak (no biggie, $15 seal, some RTV and time), the passenger valve cover MAY be leaking - have to check again and clean it up (again not a huge deal) - then I noticed a small wet area by the alternator (could be residual stuff from the water pump and thermostat swap that never got cleaned up - I don't hose an alternator ever - I always have bad luck washing engines and then frying the alternator for some reason - so now I get paranoid I'm going to have to strip this down and do a timing cover gasket job on it. All minor costs in consideration - but largely playing a fact in - did I get one of those that I'm going to have to start replacing things on?

Additional background - I had a Jeep Commander for 13 years, I did all the work myself (after taking it in for a couple of small jobs I lost faith in mechanics in general and started to learn myself with my master tech of a father) - we also tore his wrangler down and did tons with it. In 13 years that Commander went from 28k miles to 179k miles and ran top notch - no issues. I replaced a water pump, a radiator, alternator, general stuff - and of course lots of suspension related being I was messing around with different lift kits. Only things I had shops do were alignments, AC recharging and stuff I couldn't justify cost of "proper" equipment for to do one time personally. Bottom line, it was RARELY down when we needed it because what was wrong I could fix quickly as I knew it inside and out.

Also Being a large family of 6 - everything is more expensive for us due to family size like rent, food etc. (nobodies fault, just life with a large family)- so I am reliant on my ability to work on vehicles, father taught me much - but passed too soon when I had so much to learn still lol - but we can't afford mechanics, and even when I could - they did things to my prior jeep I did not like and lost so much faith in most of them. This is our family wagon - if this goes south, I am getting a 6 seater F250 or Ram 2500 (GAS engine) without Turbo and we will just rent an Expedition or similar for our once or twice a year long trips if we continue to visit our distant family via vehicle. I'm fairly mechanically inclined - and am smart enough to research, gather FSM's, etc. -

In other words - I'm looking for advice/recommendations - Is this a vehicle to stick with and in others experiences are these typical repairs and nothing more - or is this leading down the road to something catastrophic - I kind of wish I had gone the Suburban route - but I wanted to do a Ford over a Chevy - I just didn't realize I don't think this engine set-up will last nearly as long as a Suburban's 5.3l Vortec and the likes? They all have their drawbacks - but that's why I'm looking for other experiences.

The other factor in this is living in a smaller city - all our drives are really short, which is one of the reasons I dumped the Diesel F250 (I also couldn't justify having something I didn't have the proper equipment to work on at home regarding if something went south I'd have to find a way to lift the body off the frame to really reach a lot lol) - but short drives are deathly to those. General reading on gas turbos suggests it's not quite as deadly - but still bad for them to drive short distances only.
 

JasonH

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Every vehicle I've owned began having leaks around 150k. That's doing around 15K per year. Unfortunately, there's a decent chance you'll see the same given the age and mileage on the vehicle. It may be unavoidable...the rubber seals have a finite lifespan. I think most of the ones that are most likely to go out...valve cover, vacuum pump, spark plug seals, etc. can be serviced by the user. There are a few, such as the turbo feed lines, that are much more difficult to work on. Given the cost of these vehicles, your best bet may be to keep driving it, and put money aside for a major repair that you don't feel comfortable handling. I don't think there are any vehicles in this class that much more reliable at these mileage levels.
 

xmarkanthonyx

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Hello, I spent 6 years in automotive care and we all must face some tough facts. Gaskets and all such parts are NOT as good as they used to be say from 2000-2005...think about how often new wiper blades last versus 20 years ago...why? Because ALL the entire auto industry and suppliers are under ever more stringent rules about the amount and type of chemicals they can have in the manufacture of parts. The quality of ALL PARTS USED, including mechanical is LESS than 2000-2005...competition pressures and higher supplier costs, plus greed to make ever better profits mean your Commander would most likely lasted longer with fewer problems - given equal care as your 2016. Another issue? Turbo engines by the very fact that they force air into the engine force that pressure into the combustion chamber on the rings, against nearly every gasket...and make extra heat...NEVER a vehicles friend...SIGH...what to do? We had 7 kids ( all grown now)...1st Expedition was a 1997. Have 2017 EL Platinum 4x4 now...so my advice? #1. There is no "good vehicle" anymore-all makes have issues, some worse than others. Expeditions like ours are Ok. #2. All machines will begin to have_____ (issue) past 150k miles. #3 Keep on maintenance...get a brake flush, old fluid gets gummy and caliper pistons will stick. Have transmission fluid drained and refilled (YES it really is Ok). Get the differential fluid OUT and refilled (!!!). Ok...hang on...PLEASE SOAP DOWN (by hand if you worry) and WASH THAT ENGINE and RINSE it!!!! Dirt, road grime, residual oil from STUPID Ford oil filter drain trough...sand THIS IS ABRASIVE and grinds and rubs and WEARS OUT items under the hood. I have washed 1000s of customer engines...just don't BLAST the fuse box, ABS, or alternator- rinse them...then grab an old towel and wipe down under the hood. Let it dry for 30 minutes then start and get it nice and warm...hood closed and you are fine, I promise. Fix small things ASAP before they get worse. Lastly, and NO I don't work for them :) but go buy and extended warranty - car shield or whomever...then you have coverage for major breakdowns. OR save up $4000-$5000 in a OMG the Truck is broke fund....AND go find a mechanic shop you like (today BEFORE a major breakdown)...read reviews, GO VISIT, get an oil change or two...find a mechanic like a good doctor GO VISIT AND TALK. Tell a prospective shop you had bad experiences in past, want a place to bring the Expy if a major problem...and let them look over the truck...give a list of recommendations...do this at 2 or 3 places...you'll find a good shop. So, all cars, and their parts are less good than in 2000-2005 era, keep fuilds changed, engine bay clean, fix small things before they get worse, have warranty plan, or slush fund...and find shop BEFORE the Expy is on a flatbed wrecker. This advice courtesy someone who personally worked on over 5,000 vehicles.
 
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Brandonian

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Thanks ya'll - I guess I just wanted to know if I should keep working on it or get something different., I can deal with small stuff like the valve cover/ vacuum pump seals but did not want to get into Timing Chains and Cam Phasers etc. until I'm more settled down. Looking at Suburbans - it was just a completely different set of issues and forum cruising I found less issues with the Expedition than Suburbans - their oil consumption and bearing issues have only gotten more prevalent in today's age it seems. I had my good friend ask why I always bought an early 2000s vehicle (my cream of the crop year was 2008) - and I said because that was a good solid time-frame for vehicles, that's why things like my Commander lasted without issues.

I agree, I hate the parts - I have to be very cautious of what I throw in them and I don't really tinker with performance products like I did the Commander because I don't have the money or the down-time risk - let alone how much damage it could do. Could throw a kitchen sink at that thing and it'd still run. Stupid cheap maximum profit bologna garbage today's vehicles have turned into. Not even 40 yet and people say I talk like I'm an 80 year old man. We're currently in the market to get a house - so trading this in for a lower mileage turned into not an option now. The smells and plumes haven't come back yet - I'll get the Vacuum pump gasket and Valve covers in my cart so when we move in a couple of months I'll replace em - there is absolutely no oil on the ground.

yes I HATE that filter oil catch area under this lol - I wipe it up when I do my oil changes and clean it out :) I'ma go ahead and clean out the engine bay and everything so I can rather carefully look for things. But once I have my own place with a larger garage the expy can actually fit in and my own 2 post lift I'll be much more satisfied to work on something.

I will commend that I bought this because it's SOOOO clean and had some very good maintenance records that I was fond of - a 2016 with that mileage meant the parts had not quite aged out yet - and for the monthly price of $390 if I traded it I'd be looking at hundreds more - may as well just start saving for parts and down-time or stop complaining I suppose. I keep it clean and look frequently (I hate looking because I am afraid to find something lol). I have a spectrum of ADHD and autism so it makes me flip circles.

I love my wife's Pentastar V6 - that's so easy to work on comparatively - but nothing will take quite as long on the Expy now that i've had some of it apart already. I'll just keep my preventative up and go with it.

One thing I don't understand is how these tank in value and the Burbs just remain steady - if I didn't need a family of 6 vehicle I'd totally grab another Jeep - I am biased :) lol. With the kids growing so fast and a couple in their teens - I'll probably hang onto this for a couple of years and stretch it out then just upgrade then to a practical for me vehicle. Unfortunate side effects of life.
 

MikeN

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I have a 16, its at 130KM (80778 miles) on it. So far I have had my transfer case changed out at 90k (ford covered this as they are good for 250k) at 105k i had to change the spark plugs. ( i had the pre paid maintenance and this was covered). Other then that i have driven across Canada 8 times with this baby and so far so good.
 
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