Sponsored

Burning plastic smell while towing

Dixie

Well-known member
First Name
Alex
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Threads
11
Messages
76
Reaction score
71
Location
Winnipeg
Vehicles
2021 F-150 Lariat 4x4, 2013 Subaru BRZ
I towed my 14’ enclosed trailer for about 100km this weekend with 1 quad in it and came across a bit of an issue. Right near the end of the trip, I smelled a bit of a burning plastic smell. When I stopped, I popped the hood and noticed some smoke coming from the drivers side turbo area. I figure the turbos got red hot after leaning on them while towing, I just couldn’t see anything that melted. Im going to mention it when it’s in for an oil change, but In the meantime, has anyone else had a similar issue? It’s a 2.7 4x4 lariat screw
Sponsored

 

Egilson1

Well-known member
First Name
Ethan
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Threads
2
Messages
56
Reaction score
61
Location
Boston
Vehicles
2021 F150 Lariat powerboost
I’ve noticed the same thing after towing. But wasn’t able to verify what it was. Got a PowerBoost and was running in tow/haul mode.
 

samj

New member
First Name
Sam
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Threads
0
Messages
2
Reaction score
3
Location
Toronto
Vehicles
F-150 Powerboost 2021
I’ve noticed the same thing after towing. But wasn’t able to verify what it was. Got a PowerBoost and was running in tow/haul mode.
Ethan, I have the same problem with my F-150 Powerboost 2021. Took it to the dealer and they told me not to use the towing mode unless for a very short period, which doesn't make sense. Were you able to resolve that issue for your vehicle?
 

Doublet

Member
First Name
Tristan
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Threads
2
Messages
19
Reaction score
10
Location
California
Vehicles
2021 F-150 502A Lariat Powerboost
Occupation
Development
Ethan, I have the same problem with my F-150 Powerboost 2021. Took it to the dealer and they told me not to use the towing mode unless for a very short period, which doesn't make sense. Were you able to resolve that issue for your vehicle?
That doesn’t sound right, I would be careful listening to them in the future. Could someone correct me if I’m wrong.
 

samj

New member
First Name
Sam
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Threads
0
Messages
2
Reaction score
3
Location
Toronto
Vehicles
F-150 Powerboost 2021
Update: I took it to another dealership this morning and explained the strong propane/ natural gas smell and what the first dealership told me about not using the towing mode. They said that doesn't make sense (no more BS like the first dealership). They had two technicians (junior and senior) coming with me on two separate short drives to demonstrate the issue. They both noticed the strong natural gas smell. Then they took the truck inside their service garage. They checked everything and found a loose hose somewhere which they tightened. I did another test drive with the senior technician, but still, the smell persisted. They told me that they have to get in touch with Ford's "hotline" and expect to hear feedback within 48 hours. I will keep you posted.
 

Sponsored

PungoteagueDave

Well-known member
First Name
Dave
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Threads
6
Messages
593
Reaction score
791
Location
33435
Vehicles
Tesla MX, Porsche C4S, Ford F-350 KR, Ford F-150 K
Occupation
retired
My truck runs with the turbo-boost way up almost all the time with the biggest of our boat trailers in tow - I did not notice any smell from the engine bay, but plenty from the trailer brakes, and a couple times from the truck's brakes. Surge brakes cannot be adjusted and do their thing whenever engine or foot braking puts any rearward pressure on the trailer, so I expect a certain amount of smoking from the trailer disks/pads, was surprised that the truck brakes had issues with a trailer weighing 9,750 pounds. I hope the dealer finds your issue. Please report back.
 

MANDO2021

Member
First Name
Dave
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Threads
0
Messages
9
Reaction score
15
Location
Canada
Vehicles
1992 - F150, 2012 - F-150, 2021 - F-150
Update: I took it to another dealership this morning and explained the strong propane/ natural gas smell and what the first dealership told me about not using the towing mode. They said that doesn't make sense (no more BS like the first dealership). They had two technicians (junior and senior) coming with me on two separate short drives to demonstrate the issue. They both noticed the strong natural gas smell. Then they took the truck inside their service garage. They checked everything and found a loose hose somewhere which they tightened. I did another test drive with the senior technician, but still, the smell persisted. They told me that they have to get in touch with Ford's "hotline" and expect to hear feedback within 48 hours. I will keep you posted.
Any more Updates???
 

rpellerin

Member
First Name
Rob
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Threads
1
Messages
10
Reaction score
3
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
Vehicles
2022 F-150 Lariat, 5.0
Hey guys, any more updates on this issue? I have 5.0L and noticing something similar (started a new thread un the 5.0 section to see if it will gain traction there).

Anyways, I'm getting a burning or melting smell from the engine bay when towing. At first I thought this was just a break it thing, but it the problem has persisted. A few details and things I've noticed about this problem are:
- I only smell this when towing (in regular and in tow/haul mod, long or short haul)
- I am easy on the accelerating when towing and try to keep the RPMs as low as possible when on the highway (driving lower speeds in head and cross winds)
- I only smell it in the cab when the windows are open
- When pop the hood, I can't seem to isolate exactly where the smell is coming from, but it is pretty strong
- It smells of burning or melting plastic
- I waited the recommended break-in period by Ford before towing (1,000mi)
- Truck is currently sitting around 4,500mi, and of those, about 1,250mi have been towing
- I'm towing is a 24ft travel trailer, estimated weight is 6,500lbs
 

RedTXV

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Threads
8
Messages
669
Reaction score
542
Location
Houston, TX
Vehicles
2021 SQ Limited
I know you’re looking for 5.0 related, but my 3.5 had the same issue for the first 3K miles. Eventually it went away.

Then I towed a boat at about 5k, smell came back. By the end of that trip, it was gone and now currently at 14k. Never could figure it out, but never took it in either.
 

Ford Motor Company

Well-known member
Official Ford Account
First Name
Ford
Joined
May 26, 2021
Threads
9
Messages
1,900
Reaction score
1,056
Location
Dearborn
Vehicles
F-150
Hey guys, any more updates on this issue? I have 5.0L and noticing something similar (started a new thread un the 5.0 section to see if it will gain traction there).

Anyways, I'm getting a burning or melting smell from the engine bay when towing. At first I thought this was just a break it thing, but it the problem has persisted. A few details and things I've noticed about this problem are:
- I only smell this when towing (in regular and in tow/haul mod, long or short haul)
- I am easy on the accelerating when towing and try to keep the RPMs as low as possible when on the highway (driving lower speeds in head and cross winds)
- I only smell it in the cab when the windows are open
- When pop the hood, I can't seem to isolate exactly where the smell is coming from, but it is pretty strong
- It smells of burning or melting plastic
- I waited the recommended break-in period by Ford before towing (1,000mi)
- Truck is currently sitting around 4,500mi, and of those, about 1,250mi have been towing
- I'm towing is a 24ft travel trailer, estimated weight is 6,500lbs
Good afternoon! Can you please send over a private message with your VIN and the name/location of your local Ford dealer? I would like to look into this odor issue you are experiencing with your F-150.
 

Sponsored


JohnMcClane

Well-known member
First Name
John
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Threads
14
Messages
984
Reaction score
1,548
Location
Lower 48
Vehicles
15 150
Hey guys, any more updates on this issue? I have 5.0L and noticing something similar (started a new thread un the 5.0 section to see if it will gain traction there).

Anyways, I'm getting a burning or melting smell from the engine bay when towing. At first I thought this was just a break it thing, but it the problem has persisted. A few details and things I've noticed about this problem are:
- I only smell this when towing (in regular and in tow/haul mod, long or short haul)
- I am easy on the accelerating when towing and try to keep the RPMs as low as possible when on the highway (driving lower speeds in head and cross winds)
- I only smell it in the cab when the windows are open
- When pop the hood, I can't seem to isolate exactly where the smell is coming from, but it is pretty strong
- It smells of burning or melting plastic
- I waited the recommended break-in period by Ford before towing (1,000mi)
- Truck is currently sitting around 4,500mi, and of those, about 1,250mi have been towing
- I'm towing is a 24ft travel trailer, estimated weight is 6,500lbs
Just experienced something similar and this isn’t my first time towing with it, definitely first time driving it spirited while towing.

Popped hood and it was definitely coming from engine bay, unfortunately I was in a hurry and couldn’t investigate further.

I did notice my cluster behaving oddly, so I suspect something electrical.
 

PPK

Well-known member
First Name
PPK
Joined
May 25, 2022
Threads
0
Messages
118
Reaction score
144
Location
OKC
Vehicles
2022 F150 502A, 1947 CJ2A, WK2 Limited
Occupation
Engineer
let me tell you a story - I keep pestering my dad to go Ford and drop ram. for years. then I tell him go ecoboost - the newest one has an iron block. then I tell him they tested wide open throttle for 18 days straight. I tell him they are solid...

my dad was a mobil oil and oxy maintenance foreman for years.. his question back to me was: I want to know what happened on day 19. I don't care about the other days...

Since that, even though I do have two turbos.. I watch them with an ODB2 gauge so I know that they are not running consistently more than 4 or 5 pounds. I am worried about what happened on day 19 too.

mine does the same smell when pulling a loaded 18 ft trailer.. and I let up. I posted this smell when I first got it in spring.. I thought the firewall insulation was too close to the driver's side cat. but.. now I think it just gets fierce hot.
 
Last edited:

JohnMcClane

Well-known member
First Name
John
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Threads
14
Messages
984
Reaction score
1,548
Location
Lower 48
Vehicles
15 150
let me tell you a story - I keep pestering my dad to go Ford and drop ram. for years. then I tell him go ecoboost - the newest one has an iron block. then I tell him they tested wide open throttle for 18 days straight. I tell him they are solid...

my dad was a mobil oil and oxy maintenance foreman for years.. his question back to me was: I want to know what happened on day 19. I don't care about the other days...

Since that, even though I do have two turbos.. I watch them with an ODB2 gauge so I know that they are not running consistently more than 4 or 5 pounds. I am worried about what happened on day 19 too.

mine does the same smell when pulling a loaded 18 ft trailer.. and I let up. I posted this smell when I first got it in spring.. I thought the firewall insulation was too close to the driver's side cat. but.. now I think it just gets fierce hot.
Based on this thread, two Ecoboosts have experienced this and two Coyotes.

My previous ecoboost towed near max capacity a handful of times and never had this smell, brakes definitely didn’t appreciate one run.

Edit: makes me think it’s 14 Gen related
 

rpellerin

Member
First Name
Rob
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Threads
1
Messages
10
Reaction score
3
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
Vehicles
2022 F-150 Lariat, 5.0
Just experienced something similar and this isn’t my first time towing with it, definitely first time driving it spirited while towing.

Popped hood and it was definitely coming from engine bay, unfortunately I was in a hurry and couldn’t investigate further.

I did notice my cluster behaving oddly, so I suspect something electrical.

This issue eventually went away for me after a few tows. I did a bigger trip later summer (about 1,000mi of towing the camper, mix of mountains and prairie) and didn't notice it at all, so I summed it up to a break-in thing in my case.
Sponsored

 
 




Top