EcoSport’s Engine Cooling System

The average engine temperature of a vehicle depends on how efficiently heat is removed from the engine and dissipated through the metal fins of the radiator. A fault on any of the systems involved in the heat transfer and dissipation will lead to higher engine temperatures and in some cases, overheating. Below are some factors that affect a vehicle’s engine temperature, applicable also to an EcoSport.

  • Heat from the engine is dissipated through the radiator. A dirty radiator with its metal fins covered with dirt or oxidation will not dissipate heat as effectively as a radiator with clean radiator fins. Radiators need cleaning as soon as you notice an increase in the average operating temperature of your vehicle (87 °C on a brand new EcoSport).
  • If there is no air flowing through the radiator (e.g., when the vehicle is stopped on traffic or idling in a parking lot), the engine temperature rises due to minimal heat transfer to the atmosphere. To force air through the radiator and keep the engine temperature to about 100 °C or lower, the auxiliary fan spins.
  • Heat from the engine is transferred to the radiator by circulating a liquid (called coolant) through the engine, letting the coolant absorb the heat, then transfer the heat to the radiator where it will be dissipated. A coolant that has passed through the radiator then becomes cooler, and the cycle continues as the coolant is pumped back to the engine to absorb heat. The coolant must be maintained at the proper level (volume) and have the proper water-additive ratio to effectively absorb heat.
  • A failure in the pump that circulates the coolant result’s to heat not being transferred to the radiator, thus, leading to rising engine temperatures. Failure is usually caused by broken pump mechanism, or a snapped drive belt that spins the pumping mechanism.
  • The coolant reservoir, hoses, and all connected parts must be checked for possible leaks. When a leak occurs, there will be no coolant to absorb and transfer the heat from the engine to the radiator.
  • Based on our EcoSport, the average engine operating temperature is around 84 °C to 87 °C when at cruising speeds, and up to 100 °C when idling and stopped. The auxiliary fan spins at 100 °C to bring the temperature back to 87 °C. Overheating of the engine begins when the temperature goes beyond 129 °C.
  • To minimize heat generation through friction and prevent premature engine damage, proper oil lubrication is essential. Check the oil level regularly. Ford recommends changing the oil every 10,000 km.
  • Active monitoring of the engine temperature is essential. Consider installing a tool that displays the vehicle’s engine temperature such as an HUD.

To prevent issues related to overheating, perform regular maintenance checks and never ignore any temperature-related alert or warning.

Related links:
EcoSport’s Hidden Temperature Gauge
Adding Water to the Orange Coolant
EcoSport Warning Lights

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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Check Engine Light

The dreaded check engine light appeared on our dashboard when we were climbing a steep hill in Tagaytay. We believe that the error was tripped by poor combustion since it appeared precisely at the moment when the car was struggling, with the RPM dropping below idling levels (below 900 RPM). We did not reset anything, we simply parked and leave the car for about 30 minutes. When we restarted it, the error has disappeared.

Check engine light simply indicates that something about the engine is beyond the normal expected readings as determined by the manufacturer.

The error appeared when our EcoSport was still at 31,000 km. The car now has covered more than 55,555 km, and the error has not reappeared.

Related link: EcoSport Warning Lights

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Early Warning Device (EWD)

Early warning devices (EWDs) are signaling devices used to alert other motorists of a road emergency, and must be used whenever a vehicle is stopped on the road for any reason. EWDs are mandatory accessories for all motorized vehicles, as required by law.

EWDs are not included as standard accessory in an EcoSport.

To view other posts about roadside emergency, click here.

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EcoSport Warning Lights

Warning lights are used to indicate the status of a vehicle. Green and blue lights indicate that a component is activated. Yellow lights indicate that a component needs attention. Red lights indicate urgent and pressing error.

Warning Lights
Dashboard warning lights in an EcoSport

To learn what these warning lights mean and what to do when you encounter one, head directly to: EcoSport Warning Lights.

Related link: EcoSport Quiz: Warning Lights

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EcoSport Battery Replaced After 2.5 Years

As I switch on the high beams: random errors show up, the cabin lights dim, and the cabin fan (at max speed) slows down, indicating a weak battery. Upon inspection of the battery, I noticed a light corrosion build up on the positive terminal. Clearly, the battery needs replacement soon. This is to be expected since the stock battery is already 2.5 years old.  As a general rule, one should replace the battery every 2 years.

Corrosion most probably due to battery leak indicates that the battery is getting old and may not be as reliable as it was. Note that batteries degrade as they get older, and may start to fail after 2 years. Expect to see corroded terminals when the battery is nearing the end of its usable life. Clean the corroded terminals as you replace the battery with a new one. You may use grease to weather-seal the terminals and minimize corrosion. In the case of our EcoSport, only the positive terminal suffered from corrosion.

EcoSport accepts both DIN44 and DIN55 batteries (DIN refers to a battery standard, with the numbers indicating the capacity, AH or ampere-hours, of the battery). I opted for an Emtrac DIN55, and it comes with 2.5 years warranty. Considering that the stock battery lasted 2.5 years, the warranty period of 2.5 years offered by Emtrac is enough incentive for me to consider purchasing the brand. According to the dealer, if the battery fails within the warranty period, it will be replaced with a new one.

DIN55 (left) is slightly larger than DIN44 (right). You need to pull a removable a tab on the battery’s cradle when installing a DIN55. Also, the computer box may be pushed upward and thus may leave a bit of a gap, but this is totally non-issue as you can still tighten the screws that hold the computer box in place. DIN55 is recommended if you have installed a number of accessories in your EcoSport.

DIN44 is perfectly capable of handling the demands of an EcoSport. DIN55, however, has 55 AH, thus, has a higher battery capacity than DIN44, which is rated only at 44 AH. The difference of 11 AH is desirable if you have installed a number of accessories, as in the case of my EcoSport. DIN55 costs about 7,000 pesos (140 USD) and DIN44 at about 6,000 pesos (120 USD). Replacement takes about 30 minutes.

A word of caution:

For MT variants: There is no need to keep the computer powered up during battery replacement. Simply disconnect the battery terminals, swap the batteries, clean the terminals, then reconnect the battery. The system’s time and date will reset due to disconnected power, but no error should show up.

For AT variants: There have been a number of reports that errors show up on some (but not all) AT units, when power gets disconnected. You may use an extra battery connected in parallel with the old one, so as to keep the computer powered during replacement. This issue seems to affect only some AT units, since a number of AT owners have successfully replaced their batteries with the power fully disconnected. It is still unclear what causes the errors to show (no formal statement yet from the car manufacturer). Most dealers charge up to 3,000 pesos (60 USD) to fix this error—computer reprogramming, as they call it.

Related link: When to Replace Your Car’s Battey (EcoSport)

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Zambales Roadtrip

In May 2019, I went on a trip to Iba, Zambales. From Cavite, the trip took around 6 hours, via NLEX and SCTEX, passing through Subic, and eventually, through the Olongapo-Bogallon road. I had a flat tire due to a ‘key’ left on the road, which pierced a tire some 30 km before reaching Iba proper.

On the way home, I stopped by a long bridge traversing a very wide river, where the lahar from Pinatubo discharges directly to the sea. The amount of lahar deposited in that river is massive!

 

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Zero Km-to-Empty (Empty Gas Tank)

Have you driven your EcoSport with an almost empty fuel tank? In June 2017 (about 2 years ago) I was able to do so. While the information display shows “0 km range” indicating an “empty” gas tank, I was able to drive around for about 2-3 km after reaching the zero mark. I do not know how much fuel is left at zero mark (I have yet to measure that), but it appears that there is still some “reserve fuel” in the tank. As a safety margin, the gauge is probably calibrated to display zero even though there is still some fuel left.

Zero km to empty (4)
If the needle overlaps with the zero mark, then the fuel is almost empty.

To watch a video showing an EcoSport with zero km-to-empty reading on its instrument cluster, head directly to Zero Km-to-Empty (Empty Gas Tank).

Related link: Information Display

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Changing a Flat Tire

Changing a flat tire is an essential skill that every driver must know. With practice, changing tires should take only about 20 to 30 minutes, even for first timers. You should not be driving if you do not know how to swap tires!

To change a flat tire:

1. Loosen the nuts using the supplied tool found at the boot.
2. Engage the hand brake.
3. Place the supplied jack in the designated position.
4. Lift the car to free the wheels.
5. Remove the nuts.
6. Swap the damaged wheel with the spare wheel.
7. Replace and tighten the nuts slightly.
8. Lower the car.
9. Tighten the nuts completely.

To watch a video on how to change a flat tire, head directly to Changing a Flat Tire.

Related link:
Vulcanizing a Punctured Tire
Removing the Spare Wheel Cover

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Pen-Type Tire Pressure Gauge

A tire pressure gauge is an instrument for measuring the air pressure in a car’s tire. Proper tire pressure is essential in promoting road safety and maximum fuel efficiency.

To watch the video on how to use a pen-type tire pressure gauge, head directly to Using a Pen-Type Tire Pressure Gauge.

Related links:
Recommended Tire Pressure for EcoSport’s Wheels
Portable Air Compressor

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EcoSport’s Emergency Rear Door Opener

EcoSport’s rear door (boot door) does not have a manual override. If the door’s actuator fails, the rear door won’t open until repairs are made. In this video, I have demonstrated how I installed an emergency rear door open knob that you can simply pull to open the rear door.

The DIY manual override knob features the following:

1. When the vehicle is locked, the knob will be automatically disabled. If a child pulls this knob, it will not open the rear door for as long as the vehicle is locked.

2. When the engine is running and the knob is pulled, a notification ‘door open’ appears on the dashboard’s console. The rear door will open only when the vehicle is unlocked.

3. It integrates fully with the alarm system, i.e., if someone pulls this knob when the alarm is active, it will trip the alarm. But then again, with the vehicle locked, the alarm sounds off but the door will not open!

Emergency Rear Door Opener (2)

To watch the video on how to install an emergency  rear door opener, head directly to EcoSport’s Emergency Rear Door Opener.

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Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
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