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Few can deny that the Ford Coyote is one of the most powerful and reliable engines in the industry. This V8 engine is capable of delivering up to 460 horsepower all while maximizing fuel efficiency.

If you’re keen on learning more about Ford Coyote engines, what makes them unique, as well as their strengths and weaknesses, read on.

What is a Ford Coyote Engine and What Makes it Unique?

The Ford Coyote engine is a specially made V8 engine designed to deliver as much power and torque as possible while minimizing the amount of fuel used. In other words, the Coyote engine has overcome one of the biggest problems most V8 engines face: poor fuel economy.

Used in Mustangs and F150s, the dual overhead cam V Ford Coyote engine has been part of Ford’s Modular engine family since 2011.

First engineered for the Mustang GT so it could compete with the GM 6.2L LS3 engine used in the Camaro, the Coyote platform had to be built the same physical size as the older 4.6-liter V8.

The Coyote platform was the first Ford engine to use twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) technology on a V8, which greatly improves fuel economy and power delivery all while reducing emissions.

This modular V8 comes with a 5.0 liter displacement, cam torque actuation, and Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) technology to differentiate itself from other engines of the same type.

The Coyote platform was the first Ford engine to use twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) technology on a V8, which greatly improves fuel economy and power delivery all while reducing emissions.

– Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician

Direct Fuel Injection (Gasoline Direct Injection)

The Ford Coyote engine makes use of specialized fuel delivery technology called Direct Fuel Injection (also known as GDI) to boost fuel economy. It accomplishes this by spraying gasoline from the tank directly into your engine’s combustion chamber, burning it up more efficiently to ensure not a drop is wasted.

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On GDI systems, not only is the fuel more completely atomized, but the fuel can be injected either stratified or homogenous modes whenever the ECM/PCM decides to spray it into the chamber. Older systems delivered the fuel behind the intake valve so it would be carried into the chamber with the air rather than injecting it directly into the cylinder. Not only does this result in more power, but it also minimizes emissions.

Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT)

Ti-VCT technology is special in how it maximizes fuel efficiency in a V8 engine, and it accomplishes this by letting the camshafts operate independently from one another. The camshaft timing is advanced or retarded based on engine RPM and load by using electronically controlled solenoids delivering hydraulic engine oil pressure to special gears designed to change the indexing between the gear and the camshaft. This results in increased torque and horsepower as well as decreased emissions and fuel consumption.

Cam Torque Actuation

Another special kind of technology the Coyote engine uses is Cam Torque Actuation, and this lets the engine use torsional energy to rotate the camshaft. Because of this, the engine allows itself to be tuned to facilitate the opening and closing of the valves. This maximizes the airflow when the engine needs it to help with the combustion of fuel.

What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of a Ford Coyote Engine?

While the Ford Coyote engine is one of the most technologically advanced and reliable engines in the industry, it’s not perfect. Even if it manages to overcome most of the flows common to V8 engines, the Coyote has some drawbacks that are unique to it. Here are some of the most prominent strengths and weaknesses of the Ford Coyote engine.

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Ford Coyote Engine Strengths

Fuel Efficiency

What makes the Ford Coyote engine different from other V8s is how it’s able to conserve a lot of fuel. Most V8 engines trade fuel efficiency for increased power, but the Ford Coyote offers the best of both worlds thanks to its direct fuel injection technology. This way, not a drop of fuel is wasted while delivering as much speed, torque, and power as possible. The Ford Coyote also has excellent fuel efficiency because of its variable cam timing.

High Horsepower and Power Output

Like all V8 engines, the Ford Coyote engine is capable of generating tremendous amounts of power thanks to its 8 cylinders. At maximum power, the Ford Coyote can produce up to 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, easily making it one of the most powerful engines of its type. DOHC technology also means it gets better airflow, which means better performance.

Longevity and Durability

Last but not least, Ford Coyote engines are known for being long-lasting. Their durability makes them one of the most reliable engines in the market, lasting up to 300,000 miles with proper care and maintenance. The engine itself is made of high-quality components designed to withstand high temperatures and rough driving conditions.

Ford Coyote Engine Weaknesses

Automatic Transmission Problems

Owners of vehicles with Ford Coyote engines have complained about the automatic transmission being faulty. Many drivers have experienced jerky shifts, hanging gears, and slow shifting. This doesn’t seem to be a universal experience, but the problems have manifested enough times for multiple drivers to bring up the same issues.

Oil Pan and Gasket Issues

While the plastic used to form engine oil pans is incredibly durable and designed to withstand higher temperatures, they can still become distorted, which can cause oil leaks.

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Many drivers have complained about oil leaks due to deformed pans and uncovered gaskets. Over time, plastic oil pans will deform and their ability to collect oil will gradually be compromised.

Ticking Noise in the Engine

One of the most common complaints about the Ford Coyote is the fact that the engine frequently makes a ticking noise. This doesn’t always mean that there’s a problem with the engine.

The sound can be compared to the noise a typewriter makes when it’s used, and people typically experience this ticking noise after changing the vehicle’s oil for the first time. For most drivers, the ticking noise goes away eventually.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Size is a Ford Coyote Engine?

The Ford Coyote is a 5.0-liter gasoline engine with a 93mm bore and a 92.7mm stroke. Since the Coyote engine is a V8, it is relatively small and compact compared to other engine types. It has a deck height of 8.937 inches, and it can fit in most vehicles.

What is the Overheat Temperature of a Coyote Engine?

Coyote engines tend to overheat beyond 220 degrees Fahrenheit. With this in mind, be sure to avoid driving when the temperature gauge on the dashboard gives readings that high. Conversely, if you want optimal performance, V8 engines like the Coyote work best at temperatures around 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long Does a Coyote Engine Last?

With proper maintenance and good driving habits, a V8 engine like the Ford Coyote can last a driver around 300,000 miles. This roughly equates to 12 years on the road, meaning you’ll have a vehicle that’ll last so long as you’re willing to put in the extra effort to keep it clean and well taken care of.

About The Authors
Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician
Reviewed By Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician

Technical Reviewer at

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

CarParts Research Team
Written By Research Team

Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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