Our Ford Five Hundred overheated ruining the engine. The only light on was the engine oil life 0%. Any idea why this caused the engine to lock up?
Either there was no oil in it , or something happen to the cooling system, but there are warning signs that you should have paid attention to, to shut it down before frying it.
My son was driving it when this occurred. He said the no oil dashboard light was not lit. I have had a ford blow its head gasket before. Could this have caused it?
Yes but again there are warning signs like a bunch of white smoke out the exhaust, milky and over full oil due to coolant getting into the oil, and or the cooling system over heating. If coolant had gotten into the oil, yes this would lock the motor up if it was still driven.
The car had to not be running at 100% regardless of any warning lights on the dash.
If there's a sudden, catastrophic, loss of coolant the temperature light or gauge may not have indicated that the engine was overheating. The sending unit for the dash gauge/light is like a stick that is designed to be submerged in coolant to sense the coolant's temperature. If the cooling jacket is dry it will be sensing air temperature, which can be much lower. But this doesn't let your Son off the hook! Before the engine locked up it would have been knocking. Unless he had the radio blaring he'd of heard it. It would start knocking because under those extreme temperatures the oil would have thinned out enough to cause excessive clearances between the crankshaft and the crankshaft bearings. Had he shut it down when it started knocking the engine may not have been damaged. I had the exact same thing happen to me once with a '70 Pontiac. As soon as it started knocking I shut it down. The temperature light never came on! I discovered that the lower radiator hose had burst and the cooling system was bone dry. No damage was done so I replaced the hose, refilled the cooling system, changed the oil, and drove the car for another 13 years! HTH. -Jim
This will be a costly lesson for my son. This actually happened to me about 15 years ago with another ford that blew a head gasket. I began to lose power driving on the interstate prior to overheating. I now know to check the temperature gauge when that happens. I am glad you posted your story for others to learn from our mistakes. I know to always check the temperature gauge when something appears wrong. One can not rely only on the dashboard warnings.
You're welcome. Glad to help. You're absolutely correct. When driving we also need to use our eyes and ears in addition to the dash board warning lights and gauges. If something doesn't feel or sound right pull over and check it out. -Jim
I found a worn out camshaft drive on an 05, Looks like a DESIGN FLAW
Looking for a Used Five Hundred in your area?
CarGurus has 735 nationwide Five Hundred listings starting at $2,990.
Search Ford Five Hundred Questions
Ford Five Hundred Experts