There is a light on the dash but I can't find out what it is in the owner's manual. Looks like an engine with steam. The engine gets hot fast .. moves to about mid point ... but see no leaks nor do I hear any strange sounds. Oil is fine .. had all fluid levels checked about 2 mos ago ... what else can it be or what do I look for ?
If you've had your fluids changed they probably did your anti freeze, What happens is that since it's winter you have just started using your heat which is now pulling coolant inside the car to give you heat. The thermostat is now opening since it's calling for fluid into the heater coil (inside your car) Not to worry, the mechanic shop probably didn't put enough coolant in the car after the change. You can run the car and open the radiator (ONLY OPEN THE RADIATOR WHEN THE CAR IS RUNNING, IF YOU SHUT THE CAR OFF THEN OPEN IT COULD EXPLODE DUE TO HIGH PRESSURE) You can then just add antifreeze to the system and it should do the trick.
Another possibilty is that your thermostat could be going, it may be staying closed not allowing cooler fluid into the engine. You may need to have the thermostat changed if it's not a lack of fluid.
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There is no warning light for catalytic converter heating uo. Brake light usually is a exclamation mark inside a circle inside parentheses. What you are describing sounds more like a temperature warning light for the cooling system.
It looks like the parking lamp fuse is in the box in the engine compartment marked PARK and the dash light fuse is in the box on the driver side of the dash marked DIMMER. They are two different circuits.
I think what you are seeing is an airbag readiness light. Here is what the owners manual says about it:
Air bag readiness Momentarily illuminates when the ignition is turned to the RUN position. If the light fails to illuminate, continues to flash or remains on, have the system serviced immediately Here is the link to download the owners manual for your car. http://www.motorcraftservice.com/pubs/content/~WO1204/~MUS~LEN/34/01204og5e.pdf
If you're ever driving along again and you smell coolant, see steam, or your sensor (thermometer) shows up on your dash again...IMMEDIATELY stop the car in a safe place and turn the engine off!!!!!
You may have gotten lucky this time, but I can't say that for sure because I can't see your car.
The thermometer is an indicator light telling you that for some reason your car is overheating (not circulating coolant). It could be the thermastadt is stuck shut, coolant is low, hole in the radiator hose, water pump is shot, and on and on, and on.
When you run a car's motor that hot you stand the chance of warping the heads (big dollar repair item).
I would strongly suggest that you call a tow-truck, and have your garage/mechaninc look at it. It will be alot cheaper this way instead of having to repair warped heads and any other damage from runing the car that hot.
I hope this helps you, and thanks for letting FixYa.com make your day brighter