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[Warning] Fusion’s High Coolant Temp – Act Fast

When the engine over-temperature light illuminates on your dashboard, it’s a concerning warning that your vehicle may overheat, leading to costly internal engine damage. It’s crucial not to ignore this signal. Instead, you should pull over and shut off the engine to prevent further issues. This warning becomes particularly alarming while driving your Ford, turning an otherwise enjoyable ride into a suddenly scary scenario. The Engine Coolant Over Temperature message indicates that the liquid meant to cool the engine has become too hot, potentially creating serious problems. This article aims to give you a quick overview of the problem that specifically affects Ford cars, including the Fusion Hybrid models from 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. With proper understanding and working on resolving this issue, you can keep your Ford in good condition and ensure it continues to work properly.

What Does the Engine Coolant Over-temperature Alert Mean?

When your Ford Fusion’s engine temperature warning light illuminates or an illuminated symbol of a thermometer in coolant appears, it signals an engine over-temperature condition. This warning indicates that the engine is overheating, which can be due to several reasons such as a broken thermostat, insufficient water, or a traffic related burning affecting the cooling system. Ford drivers should view this alert as a critical message to conduct regular checks on the coolant level to ensure the engine’s temperature is within a safe range. For hybrid cars like the Ford Fusion, the electric motor plays a significant role in managing the engine’s temperature. Ignoring this alert can lead to the vehicle breaking down, which can be quite annoying and potentially dangerous.

What Should the Engine Coolant Temp Be?

For modern engines, the normal coolant temperature operating range should ideally be between 195 and 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature hotter than this peak normal operating temperature indicates the engine is overheating. Maintaining your engine within this range ensures it runs efficiently without risking the damages associated with overheating.

Why is My Coolant Overheating?

Contrary to the myth that cars might spontaneously overheat for no reason, in reality, overheating in engines signals that something wrong needs attention. Several possibilities could be the root of an overheating condition, requiring thorough diagnostic work by a mechanic to determine the exact cause. Whether it’s a malfunctioning component or a system failure, identifying the problem is essential to resolving the overheating issue.

Common Causes for Engine Overheating

When your car starts overheating, there’s a good chance you’ll find one or more of the following problems to be the cause. Several reasons can lead to an engine coolant over temperature warning that appears on Ford vehicles. Identifying these issues early can prevent significant damage and ensure your vehicle continues to operate efficiently.

Leaks Leading to a Low Coolant Level

Your car’s cooling system, a complex assortment of components and hoses, can develop leaks, which lead to a low coolant level and result in engine overheating. It’s important to maintain optimal performance and stop issues caused by overheating. An alarm may go off if the coolant level decreases too much. Therefore, it’s important to check the coolant level regularly and add more if needed to prevent these potential problems.

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Failed Thermostat

A failed thermostat is a critical concern in the cooling system of a vehicle. This important automotive part is designed to remain closed when the engine is below normal operating temperature to prevent coolant from circulating too early, which helps the engine warm up quickly and maintain improved efficiency and performance. However, when it fails, especially if stuck in the closed position, it stops coolant flow to the radiator, leading to overheating. If you notice an unusually high temperature, it’s a sign of a faulty thermostat. Addressing this issue promptly by taking off the broken thermostat, cleaning the coolant system, and replacing it can fix the issue and prevent your engine from overheating.

Due to Heavy Traffic

Heavy traffic can be a significant factor causing your engine to overheat, as the warning light may come on during extended use in such conditions. This situation underscores the importance of regular car maintenance and checking the temperature of your parked car before and after use. In heavy traffic, the reduced airflow and prolonged idling can strain the cooling system, making it crucial to stop and address the issue before it escalates.

Faulty Water Pump

A faulty water pump in your car can lead to significant issues within the cooling system, as it employs a multi-blade impeller to force coolant to circulate effectively. Typically driven by the engine via a drive belt, timing belt, or timing chain, any failure in these components can disrupt the flow of coolant. Without proper circulation, your engine is at risk of overheating, highlighting the importance of ensuring the water pump and its driving mechanisms are in good working order.

Damaged or Obstructed Radiator

A damaged or obstructed radiator can significantly hinder its role as a heat exchanger in your vehicle. Designed to dissipate heat from the hot engine coolant into the atmosphere, the radiator’s efficiency is crucial, especially when the vehicle is moving on the road and air flows through the front grille. However, when idling or moving slowly, fans help move air through it. If the radiator becomes damaged or obstructed, it cannot remove heat effectively, leading to engine overheating.

Inoperative Cooling Fan

An inoperative cooling fan is a significant concern, especially noted when your vehicle is idling or traveling slowly. The radiator heavily relies on the cooling fan to provide necessary airflow to dissipate heat from the engine. If it’s not working properly, due to an internal failure or a circuit problem, the engine will likely overheat. This situation demands immediate attention to prevent potential damage and ensure your vehicle operates efficiently.

Internal Engine Problem

Internal engine problems can be quite common, with blown head gaskets, cracked cylinder heads, and cracked engine blocks often leading to internal coolant leaks and overheating. When a leak is located, it allows coolant to either enter the engine’s combustion chamber and get burned, or mix with the engine oil through the lubrication system. Either scenario can cause a low coolant level, further exacerbating engine overheating. It’s important to note that these issues not only result from but can also contribute to overheating, creating a cycle that’s crucial to discuss and address promptly.

Faulty Cooling System

A faulty cooling system can lead to overheating coolant, with potential causes including insufficient antifreeze, damaged coolant lines, or a malfunctioning cooling fan. It’s important to replace any cracked cooling system components promptly to prevent further engine damage. Staying alert to these issues and addressing them through regular maintenance or professional help is crucial to extend the life of your Ford and ensure it continues to run smoothly.

Temperature RangeDescription
Below NormalEngine coolant temperature below normal operating range
NormalOptimal operating temperature range for the engine
ElevatedSlightly higher than normal operating temperature
OverheatingEngine coolant temperature exceeding safe limits
CriticalExtremely high temperature, risking engine damage

4 Ways to Fix High Coolant Temperature

When facing high coolant temperature in your Ford Fusion, here are four steps to address the issue:

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Step 1: If your car’s engine overheating light comes on, pull over and shut off the engine immediately. Consider having the car towed to your destination of choice for repair to ensure your vehicle is in a safe place.

Step 2: Diagnose the underlying cause of the overheating concern. You might need to take your car to a repair shop for a professional checkup to identify the exact problem using hybrid diagnostic tools.

Step 3: Address Coolant System Leaks as your first priority. Use a pressure tester to locate any leaks. Depending on your comfort level, you can opt for DIY solutions or hiring a professional.

Step 4: Consider Restocking the Coolant and Thermostat Replacement. Ensure the coolant level is as recommended by the manufacturer and replace any faulty thermostats. Error Code Reset may also be necessary if the issue was caused by a temporary problem or sensor glitch.

By following these steps, you can fix the problem and save on maintenance costs, extend your Ford’s life, and keep your vehicle running smoothly.

Is It Safe to Drive With an Activated Temperature Light on the Dash?

Driving with an activated engine temperature warning light on the dash is dangerous and poses a significant risk to damaging your engine. Ignoring this warning light can lead to costly repairs, as it usually indicates signs of engine overheating. The safest course of action is to find a safe spot to park and avoid trying to inspect the hood yourself, as the extreme heat could injure you. Instead, it’s advisable to contact a towing service to take your ride to an auto repair shop for a thorough examination and necessary repairs.

The coolant temperature in your engine goes up when it’s too hot, making the control of your vehicle risky. Cylinder heads and engine cylinders could become damaged and possibly break, leading to expensive technical problems that need to be fixed. Driving in such a state not only makes your car dangerous but also compromises the safety of the world around you. If your coolant temperature reading exceeds the safe range while you’re driving, it’s crucial to stop, turn off the engine, and get help. Taking immediate action upon noticing any signs of a radiator temperature that is too high is essential to stop damage and save lives.

Why Does My Engine Temperature Light Go On and Off?

When your engine temperature light flashes and then disappears as you start your vehicle, it’s usually part of a bulb check to ensure that all dash warning lights are functioning properly. There’s no need to worry if the light turns off after this initial check. However, if the light stays still on after driving for a few minutes, it could indicate your car is overheating or you might be dealing with a faulty coolant temperature sensor.

What Happens if Coolant Gets Too Hot?

When the coolant in your engine gets too hot, it can lead to a series of problems and consequences that are both major and costly. Engine overheating can cause blown radiators, blown head gaskets, cracked cylinder heads, and cracked blocks. The extreme heat can cause internal engine components to expand, potentially leading to damaged valves and scuffed pistons. High operating temperatures might also trigger detonation, which can destroy vital components of the engine.

Replacing Parts Damaged by an Overheating Engine

When an engine overheats, it can lead to problems such as blown head gaskets, damaged radiators, and engine block damage. If crucial components become faulty or damaged, a mechanic may recommend replacing the affected part. Finding a top-notch replacement can be as easy as shopping online with just a few clicks. By entering your car’s specifications into a vehicle selector and using search filters, you can narrow down the options to find the right part for your ride that matches your preferred brand, price, and features. With products on hand and ready to ship, you don’t have to wait long to receive your new part, and thanks to a low-price guarantee, you won’t have to break the bank to get an OE-grade replacement.

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Preventing Engine Coolant Over Temperature Issues in Ford Cars

To prevent Engine Coolant Over Temperature issues in Ford cars, adhering to a comprehensive maintenance schedule is crucial. Maintenance Checks at the recommended level for your car’s coolant are essential, as is Evaluating Hoses to ensure they are in good condition and tightly secured. Regular maintenance, ideally every two years or 30,000 miles, can significantly contribute to the vehicle’s health. Keeping an eye on Ford’s performance and addressing any irregularities promptly can prevent the need for extensive repairs. Locating and Fixing any Leaks within the radiator system is critical; proper fixing of these leaks not only helps to extend the life of your vehicle but also helps maintain your Ford running smoothly and avoid potential overheating issues. Following these guidelines can ensure your Ford remains reliable on the road.


In new Ford models, particularly the Fusion Hybrid from 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017, the engine coolant over temperature issue is more likely to occur, making it essential to watch for symptoms and signs that your car might be facing problems. While many may find it easy to solve on their own, there’s always the option to seek help from a qualified professional if the situation seems too dangerous to handle. Being proactive and knowledgeable about this issue can greatly help in maintaining your vehicle’s performance and safety on the road.


To address an engine coolant over temperature issue in your Ford Fusion, here’s a strategic approach. First, Immediately turn off the air conditioner to reduce strain on the engine. Next, turn up the heat to help draw warmth away from the engine. It’s crucial to find a safe place to pull over and shut off the engine to prevent further damage. Allow the engine to cool for at least 15 minutes before taking any further action. Then, take out your phone to consult your manual or seek assistance. If available, add radiator fluid to help stabilize the engine temperature. Following these steps can help manage and mitigate the issue temporarily until professional service can be obtained.

When your dashboard displays the engine coolant over temperature warning, it signifies an urgent alert indicating that your coolant—and, by extension, your engine—is overheating. It’s critical to stop in a safe area and allow the engine to cool down. After the engine has cooled, you should check for leaks in the coolant system, then check the coolant level, fans, and radiator cap for any issues that could have contributed to the overheating. Addressing this warning promptly can prevent severe damage to your engine.

If your car is overheating while driving, it is critical that you do not, under any circumstances, continue. Doing so can cause extreme damage to the engine and may even lead to a fire. Should you notice your temperature gauge starting to tick up too high, the safest course of action is to pull over immediately.

Although your vehicle may still run when the temperature is too high, you will be causing unseen damage to the engine internals. This damage can include fuel combustion issues (knocking), increased fuel consumption, and damage to the pistons due to excess heat, ultimately leading to head gasket failure or a cracked or warped head.

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