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Ford 3.5L P0016- VVT Timing Chain Issue

Bulletin 5002

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2011-2015 Ford 3.5L Eco-Boost


Possible engine rattle on startup, possible low engine power condition and trouble code P0016 along with other possible related trouble codes. In many cases the VVT solenoid has been replaced numerous times but the problem continues.


With over 400k of these engines on the road this is not a large problem but has seen some attention. Ford service bulletin TSB 14-0194 outlines an issue with the primary timing chain which can be most attributed to not following the suggested maintenance program with the correct fluid type.


Diagnosis can be rather quick using a full function scan tool. Locate PID VCT_INT_ACT1. With the engine at operating temperature and idling the reading should not be greater than +5 degrees. If your data reports a number +6 degrees or greater the primary timing chain and all other related items will need to be replaced.


If you do not have access to a full function scan tool you may also perform a cylinder compression test. Consistency and process is very important following this method. All spark plugs must be removed, listen carefully to engine rotation count as you test each cylinder. If you see a variation in compression between cylinder banks you most likely have a timing issue. Verify your compression test by removing the timing covers and visually inspect all chains for tension along with verifying timing marks per the service manual.


All turbocharged engines do see extreme lubrication conditions, following the recommended change interval and using the correct oil type is critical to long engine life.

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