This Ford Transit EcoBlue was recovered into us with a very hard brake pedal and no brakes which sounded like a brake servo fault.
To test the brake servo we removed the vacuum feed to it to see if it was holding pressure but instantly found out that there was no vacuum to it.
Tracing the vacuum pipe back checking for leaks or breakages to the vacuum pump we found no vacuum at all.
After removing and stripping the vacuum pump we could see the plastic internals of the pump had broken up into several pieces.
We replaced the vacuum pump and carried out a road test, everything seemed OK so we handed the van back to its customer.
Unfortunately the customer only managed about 60 miles before the exact same fault occurred again.
Once the van was back with us we removed the new (genuine Ford) vacuum pump to find it had broken up exactly the same as before.
We carried out an oil pressure test on the van and check for oil pressure up to the vacuum pump which all seemed OK.
After speaking to Ford technical services we were told this is know a known problem by Ford and is caused by ‘wet belt degradation‘, bassicaly the wetbelt is breaking up and the small parts off rubber are blocking oil ways and pick ups and intermitantly starving parts of the engine of oil, the main one being the vacuum pump.
Even though this van has only covered 90,000 miles and is a 2017 and Ford recommend the wetbelt to be replaced at 144,000 or 10 years they are now saying they will not cover the warranty of the vacuum pump unless the wetbelt is replaced at the same time.
The first thing we did was to remove the sump to access the oil pump and check for the rubber deposits, we were amazed at what we found, we have been replacing the wetbelts on the Transit EcoBlue and EcoBoost engines for quite some time now but have not seen deposits like this before.
After removing all parts required to carry out the wetbelt and oil pump belt replacement we had to vigorously wash out all accessible galleries, pipes and engine internals.
We replaced the wetbelt kit, oil pump belt, front cover and sump then ran the engine up to see if we still had good oil pressure, which we did.
it is not recommended to use oil flushes with engines that run wetbelts as this can also damage the belt so we ran the engine for 60 miles and drained the oil again to get as much debris out as we could.
If you have a Ford Transit EcoBlue or a Ford car using the EcoBoost engine make sure to keep on top of the servicing and use the correct oil, if you have brought one recently and have no service history get the wetbelt replaced as the consequences are very expensive compared to replacing the belts.
Ignore Fords recommended change interval and aim for 8 years or 80,000 miles, and even if you are not doing massive miles every year still at least have your oil and filter replaced as a preventative measure.