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2003 Ford KA engine light on, spluttering and steam from engine?


my 2003 ford ka has an engine light on which looks like a thermometer with water waves beneath it alight.

I drove straight home when it came on which was about 15 mins away when i parked up there was steam or smoke eminating from the bonnet a metallic smell in the air and was making a spluttering noise.

Does any1 know what the problem could be?

Can i fix it? if i can how?

If i cant how can i do a quick fix to get my car to a garage which is about 8 mins away or do i need to get towed there?

Many thanks and kind regards in advance.

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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 make your day brighter

Posted on Jan 04, 2009

  • rmusker
    rmusker Feb 28, 2012

    I am having the same problem with my t reg ford ka. It overheats when I am stuck in traffic and crawling along in first and second gear. The fan does not kick. I have tested the fan with a different power inlet and it works. I have had the temperature sensor tested and this works too. I have also replaced the thermostat. My radiator pipes have recentely been replaced and I have just had the car serviced. I am at my wits end with this now and panick everytime I get stuck in traffic after overheating 3 times over the last few months whilst stuck in motorway traffic! Someone mentioned that it might be a problem with the engine management system and apparentely it wouldnt be worth fixing if it is. I would be grateful for any suggestions as to what might be causing this.



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