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Your Car Dashboard lights up with Warning Lights and symbols each time you start the car, but what do they mean – and what does it mean if one stays on?
To notify you if one of several systems isn’t working properly, cars include a variety of dashboard warning lights, such as the oil pressure warning light and the engine management light. When you switch on the ignition, these warning lights may momentarily illuminate on many cars, but they should quickly disappear. Once the engine is running, if any of these lights remain illuminated, it may indicate that your car is experiencing mechanical difficulties.
Red, amber, green, and blue are just a few of the warning colours that can be seen on dashboards. Blue and green warning lights are less urgent, but we still advise taking the same precautions as you would for more serious warnings because acting sooner rather than later can stop an issue from getting significantly worse or causing damage to your car. These typically indicate how serious the problem is. It’s important to pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so, then, before resuming your trip, consult the car’s manual for any additional guidance.
More critical faults will be indicated by red and amber-colored warning lights, and should be checked as soon as possible by a professional. A low windshield washer fluid warning light is an example of one of the less urgent and easier-to-fix issues. This is especially true for any problems with the brakes, engine, oil, or gearbox, as they may endanger you or harm your automobile beyond repair if they aren’t fixed right away.
All brands and models of cars have the majority of Car Dashboard Warning Lights, however they can be located in different places on or near the dashboard. To determine what they all imply, we advise consulting the owner’s manual for your car. We walk you through the most prevalent and significant dashboard warning lights in your automobile right here.
Even if it seems perfectly safe to drive, you should have your car checked immediately if this warning glows. This is because it alerts you to a potential engine issue, which you should avoid at all costs.
While it’s probably simply a malfunctioning sensor or other small issue, this light can turn on for a broad variety of issues, so a proper diagnosis is essential to avoid potential damage.
The oil warning light is one of the most critical warning lights of all, second only to the brake warning light, which is why it is red. The amount of oil in the engine and the oil pump, which keeps the engine oil circulating, produce oil pressure. The engine may be harmed by a leak, a broken pump, or too little (or too much) oil, which could result in expensive repairs or even a write-off.
Even though you should never ignore a warning light, this one is particularly crucial to pay attention to. Stop the engine right away, and then read the manual. If the light stays on, there might be a far more serious problem that has to be looked into by a garage. However, you might only need to fill off the oil to make it go off.
This brake system warning light is likewise red and needs immediate attention. Make sure the handbrake is completely disengaged because you might have left it partially engaged while starting the car. In some vehicles, the parking brake may be indicated by the letter “P” rather than an exclamation point. If this doesn’t work or the warning light comes on while you’re driving, carefully pull over and contact for roadside assistance or make plans to have the car towed to a shop.
It could be a brake pad wear sensor issue or that the brake fluid level is too low and needs to be topped off. But the brake system could also be having a more significant problem. While there is always a risk, if the pedal sinks all the way to the floor or feels spongy when you press it, there is unquestionably a serious problem and the vehicle should not be driven further.
Numerous issues with the car’s battery and charging system can be indicated by this warning light. This is a particular issue at night because a bad battery might cause the headlights to malfunction, but if the battery or charging system isn’t supplying electricity, you might also experience problems with the engine, power steering, or braking servos.
A defective battery that needs to be replaced could be the simple solution to the warning light’s problem. However, it might also be the result of a wiring issue with the vehicle or, more gravely, an issue with the alternator or drive belt. Dim headlights or a reluctant engine to start are two other indicators of a failing battery. The majority of mechanics can diagnose the issue by checking the battery and charging system in your automobile.
This one should go without saying. If the light ever comes on after starting up, either there isn’t enough coolant (also known as antifreeze) in the system or the engine is running too hot. You might be trapped in a cloud of steam as a result of a number of problems that could all be the cause of this. You might notice coolant dripping out if the car’s radiator is leaking, clogged, or broken in this situation. Another reason for it can be a bad water pump.
A blown head gasket, which is more serious, can indicate catastrophic failure if the engine isn’t stopped right away. White smoke coming from the exhaust could indicate a failed head gasket. Some autos might also have a blue version of this light. When you start your car after it has been sitting for a long, this light should come on since it indicates that your engine is cold. Although the blue light is nothing to be concerned about, it is best to wait until it has gone out before pushing your engine too hard. In any case, if you see this red light, stop the car right away because letting the engine run hot for too long can cause it to completely fail. If your car is constantly overheating, you need to get it looked at by a garage.
Although this is largely self-explanatory, we’ll still go over everything. A particular level of fuel in the tank triggers the illumination of this warning light. It will often turn on when you have between 50 and 70 miles left in your range and is intended to give you ample time to reach a gas station. Although running out of fuel won’t harm the vehicle’s mechanics, stopping on public property because of it is illegal. In order for the engine to start correctly if the diesel runs out, the fuel lines and injectors must be bled of air. That implies that it involves more than just topping off from a jerrycan.
If you find that you are consuming more fuel than you would expect, either your car’s on-board computer (ECU) is directing the engine to consume more fuel than it requires, or you may have a fuel leak (examine the ground under your car, especially in your driveway or parking spot). You can have this checked by a garage.
Tyre-pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are becoming more and more prevalent; in fact, for the past few years, installing the system has been required of automakers. In essence, it continuously checks how much air is in the tyres.
It will provide a warning if it notices a decline. This is crucial because low tyre pressure can make it difficult to brake and turn, and a fast reduction in pressure can result in a hazardous blowout at high speed. You must check and re-inflate the tyre if the TPMS system alerts you to low pressure. You’ll need to replace the wheel or use a puncture repair kit if there is a clear puncture.
The traction control warning light on your automobile will most likely come on when the wheels start to lose traction, which is typically in the rain or snow. It serves as a visual cue that your grip is about to be compromised. If it is always on, it has probably been deactivated—either due to a malfunction or your turning the system off. In the first case, you should have the system checked; in the second, you should turn the system back on.
Diesel-powered vehicles, unlike petrol-powered ones, don’t require a spark to cause the air/fuel mixture to go “bang” and start the entire engine. Instead, they encourage combustion in the mixture using compression and temperature. The aforementioned symbol denotes a problem with either the glow plugs themselves or the systems and computers that manage them. Every diesel engine uses glow plugs to increase the heat.
Glow plug problems can cause early and/or late combustion (also known as “knocking”) even if you initially don’t detect anything amiss. Your engine will sound a little rougher and perform less smoothly and effectively as a result, which will reduce fuel economy.
Nowadays, the vast majority of brand-new vehicles are equipped with a system that alerts you if any of your passengers are not wearing seatbelts. To let you know if this is the case, there will typically be a light, as mentioned above.
In order to alert you if there is a particular amount of weight on a seat but the seatbelt isn’t fastened, cars utilise pressure sensors in the seats and sensors in the seatbelts. There might also be an odd noise in addition to these warnings.
Similar to the seatbelt light, these lights typically do not indicate that there is a mechanical issue with the vehicle (unless the sensor that sends the signal to the light is itself faulty). Instead, they simply inform you that an opening, such as a door, boot, or bonnet, is wide open.
This is frequently visible while, for instance, loading the family’s groceries into the trunk or strapping the kids into the back seats. These lights are quite helpful because they can also let you know if a door, boot, or bonnet hasn’t been properly closed or is merely loosely closed.