This Fiesta was recovered into us with its oil warning lamp on and a horrendous noise coming from its engine.
Once we had stripped the engine we could see the cause of the noise, the inlet cam pulley had been starved of oil which was allowing excessive free play (variable timing pulley) which as you can imagine is not great when the engine is running!
The cause of the oil starvation was quiet apparent when looking at the oil pump pick up, it was completely blocked with rubber debris from the failing wet belt.
The customer was very honest with us and admitted she had not had the car serviced regularly which would of allowed some of the rubber to be cleaned out with an oil change instead of blocking the oil pump.
This Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost was brought into us with its oil pressure warning light on and its engine sounding a bit noisier than it should.
After stripping the engine our previous guesses turned out to be correct, the wetbelt had been degrading (as they do over time) leaving deposits of rubber in the oil which were being sucked into the oil pump pick up and causing it to block subsequently causing low oil pressure.
If this problem is left to long it can cause serious engine damage as it is starving the engine of its lubrication.
On this EcoBoost engine we replaced its wetbelt kit and oil pump belt and also decided it would be a good idea to replace the oil pump itself rather than clean out the pick up (as it was so bad).
Once the job was completed it was time to see if the repair had worked and turn the engine over on the key!!
Success, the engine started, oil warning light went out and it purred like a kitten.
We think the biggest issue with this particular engine was caused by a lack of servicing, we know the wetbelts degrade over time leaving rubber deposits in the oil but with regular oil changes most of those deposits would be removed from the engine and not be allowed to block the oil pick up.
The Ford 1.0 EcoBoost engine fitted to the Fiesta, Focus, B Max and some Ford Connect vans is ran by a wet belt (runs inside the engine) and Ford recommend it should be replaced at 150,000 miles or 10 years.
This Fiesta was 8 years old and had only done 80,000 miles and you can see by the pictures the condition of the belt and the debris inside the oil pump pick up caused by the failing belt.
Replacing the wetbelt and oil pump belt is a time consuming job, you have to remove about 90% of the engines ancillaries to be able to access the wet belt and to be able to fit the timing kit which ensures the new belt goes on in exactly the right place.
Wetbelt strip down process
Remove coil packs, fuel rail and rocker cover
Remove AC compressor, AC pipes, alternator and catalytic converter
Drain engine oil, drain coolant, remove drive shaft, starter motor and sump
Remove water pump and aux belt tensioner
Rotate engine to TDC and fit crank timing tools and flywheel locking tool
Fit camshaft timing tools
Remove crank pulley using a Torque Multiplier
Remove front engine cover
Remove wetbelt, oil pump belt and oil pump and inspect
Normally we can just clean out the oil pump pick up but in this case we decided it would be a good idea to replace the oil pump whilst it was stripped down because it was so bad.
There are several other seals and washers we replace when rebuilding the engine such as the block to front cover seal behind the water pump and the crank bolt friction washer (Ford advise fitting this due to early problems of crank slip).
Wetbelts are becoming a big problem in all makes and models of vehicles and we advise you get yours replaced well before the recommended interval to reduce the chance of failure.