Many Ford F150 Ecoboost owners note the noise under various driving conditions and temperatures, heard in (D) drive, (R) reverse, (N) neutral, or (P) park. This rattling is not only irritating to occupants but also embarrassing, audible to pedestrians, resembling a marble in an empty can. Embarrassing!
Let’s now get into a few potential causes of this rattling noise.
Table of Contents
Ford F150 Ecoboost Rattling Noise When Accelerating: ALL CAUSES
Below are a few potential causes of the annoying rattling noises when accelerating. We start with the easiest and least expensive to identify and repair.
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Solution #1 – The Infamous Loose Heat Shield
Something as simple as a loose heat shield can cause all sorts of annoying rattles sounds since the shield is made from a very low-grade tinfoil-type aluminum.
- The shield can bend or dislodge rather easily once the clamps that are designed to secure it come loose.
- This causes either the metal clamp or the heat shield to, either rattle or make contact with other metallic components around the engine.
Many F150 truck owners report a vibrating rattle which is extremely similar to the cam-phaser deceleration rattle. In that particular instance, it is mainly audible when the engine operation temperature is cold. Read more about that here: Why Does My Ford F150 Rattle at Startup
Back To The Heat Shield!
So what happens to the heat shield and clamp?
As mentioned previously, over time the metal clamps that secure the heat shield become corroded and break causing them to hang or dangle on the exhaust pipe. Of course, since there is always vibration in the exhaust while idling or under acceleration results in a lovely rattle duo between the two.
Where To Check?
- Check both sides of the engine bay thoroughly.
- Pay attention to the large heat shield above the exhaust, bolted to the cross-member.
- Ensure it doesn’t droop and touch the cross-member.
- Examine the thin heat shield near the manifold on the driver’s side and the piece next to the wastegate at the engine’s back.
- Look for a clamp; tighten it on the driver’s side or check for damage as a broken clamp can cause a rattling noise.
Solution #2 – 93 Octane Fuel vs 87
Choosing the right fuel matters. Is your truck knocking lightly? Lower-grade fuel might reduce power and mileage. In severe cases, it causes engine knocking. Switch to 91 or 93 Octane if you experience this issue.
Light acceleration with constant rattling could be due to lower-grade fuel. Higher octane handles compression better, preventing premature detonation.
Solution #4 – IWE Check Valve
F150 owners often face the IWE CHECK VALVE VACUUM issue, caused by a dirty valve losing vacuum. Clean it with kerosene until it holds the vacuum well.
Test using a vacuum pump or by sucking on the valve; if it doesn’t hold the vacuum, replace it. Job done. Get your Purge Valve here (Amazon).
Why Does My F150 Rattle When I Start It – Cam Phasers
What are Cam Phasers on the Ford F150 Ecoboost and what job are they designed to do? Cam phasers are located in the head and are designed to lock at base timing after shutting down. Why is this important? It’s important because this allows time for oil pressure to build in the heads on the next cold start.
How does this happen? The oil pressure unseats the locking pin and the PCM (Power Control Module) can then control the phaser position via the VCT solenoid.
What happens when the phasers don’t lock properly? When the phasers don’t properly lock, they rattle until there is sufficient oil pressure to fill the VCT unit.
Quick DIY Test: Perform the Extended Cranking
- Start by holding the gas pedal while turning the key for 6 seconds.
- Do this after a few hours of standing or in the morning at start-up.
- This action turns the starter without starting the engine.
- This process builds oil pressure.
- After 6 seconds, release the gas and try starting again.
- The absence of startup rattle confirms an issue with cam phasers.
Ford F150 User Experience & Feedback
Let’s now look at a few real-world experiences from Ford F150 owners who’ve experienced the same vibration issue.
User Experience/Feedback #1
Do you have an F150 with the on/off throttle rattle and have already gone back to Ford and had the useless repair and then told it was a ‘normal characteristic’? What route are you taking?https://www.f150forum.com/f118/does-your-2017-f150-have-off-throttle-rattle-what-you-going-do-435865/
Please comment year, model, engine, build date, plant etc in the comment section. ie 2017 F150 XLT, 3.5 L ecoboost, July 2017, Kansas City
User Experience/Feedback #2
I purchased the truck in March 2018 and has been doing this (rattle under acceleration) since. Never noticed till about 5 months back when I drove my buddys truck which he bought 2 months after mine.https://www.f150forum.com/f118/2018-3-5-ecoboost-rattling-444818/
Once I noticed there was a serious problem with my truck I brought it to the dealership immediately where it went over for 3 visits a total of 3 months in total.
On the final visit without a tech from the supposed hotline that the onsite tech spoke too even being there present nor ever physically seeing the vehicle. They determined this was normal operations.
User Experience/Feedback #3
I found the cause of my rattle. It was a loose heat shield, and not very obvious at all. I’m sorry that I did not take a picture, however this shield sits on top of the pipe where the exhaust runs from passenger side to driver side, and before it combines into a single pipe.
This shield is welded on one side, but has a steel band clamp on the other. The clamp had rusted through, allowing it to rattle at a certain frequency. Because it is welded on, you wouldn’t think it was loose. But when I replaced the clamp on the other side, the rattle went away.https://www.f150forum.com/f118/rattle-during-low-speeds-light-throttle-450782/
The funny thing is it mentions in the Ford F150 Ecoboost owner’s manual that some noises like that every once in a while are normal. Go Figure!?
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