In trying to identify potential defects during routine engine operation, sometimes, there’s no substitute for a well-trained pair of ears.
That’s why Ford’s Engine Plant in Valencia, Spain has a team of highly-trained experts who conduct “listening tests” on every 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine bound for duty in the new Ford Focus RS. The employees are instructed what to listen for using specially-prepared faulty engines, learning the subtle rattling or whistling noises that might indicate a blocked oil passage or a damaged gear tooth, for example.
Then, they turn that experience on newly-produced production engines, helping to guarantee that each engine in the new Ford Focus RS works flawlessly from the factory.
“The experience of hearing thousands of engines allows us to sense straight away when something is not working perfectly,” said Valencia Engine Plant Quality Technician Juan Carlos Rosmari. “Each different engine type has its own unique sound, and from listening to them in the test cells we get to know their individual characters – and the tell-tale signs which indicate a problem.”
At the Valencia Plant, Ford’s team of “engine listeners” tests as many as 2,000 engines per day. Apart from the new Ford Focus RS, the team’s auditory expertise is also applied to engines used in the Focus ST, S-MAX, and Mondeo models.