This study considers the thermal stresses in single lap adhesive joints between magnesium and steel. The source of thermal stresses is the large difference in the coefficients of thermal expansion of magnesium and steel. Two different temperature differentials from the ambient conditions (23°C) were considered, namely -30°C and +50°C. Thermal stresses were determined using finite element analysis. In addition to Mg-steel substrate combination, Mg-Mg and steel-steel combinations were also studied. Combined effect of temperature variation and applied load was also explored. It was observed that temperature increase or decrease can cause significant thermal stresses in the adhesive layer and thermal stress distribution in the adhesive layer depends on the substrate combination and the applied load.