Compared to 30 years ago, cars are a bit easier to understand these days. Manufacturers made it a point to include as many warning lights on your dashboard as possible. This means no more guessing what’s wrong with the vehicle. Well, as long as you know each one of the lights and what they mean.
We get it, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You may have as many as 10 lights on your dashboard and newer cars even have more. Don’t worry, unless you are the unluckiest person alive, you won’t be worrying about multiple warning lights on your dashboard. The idea is, when you see one warning light stay on, you should go to the mechanic right away.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let us first discuss the most important lights on your dashboard, what they mean, and what you need to do when they light up.
Understanding Your Dashboard Lights
Before we go and discuss the symbols, let’s first talk about the colors of the lights on your dashboard. Not all symbols in your car denote a warning when they light up. You just have to follow this simple light color code:
- White – When the symbol is colored white then you should not worry about anything. White just means it’s currently in use or the symbol is active.
- Green or Blue – While white is the universal “don’t worry symbol”. Green or blue also means that the system is currently active and in use.
- Yellow or Orange – These colors denote a “warning something might go wrong within the next few kilometers”. This means your car needs to be serviced soon. A yellow or orange light gives you enough warning to take your car to your favorite mechanic.
- Red – Red means danger. When something in your dashboard lights up in color red then you might want to find a safe place to stop. Call your mechanic or try to diagnose the problem before deciding to go back on the road.
What Do The Symbols on Your Dashboard Mean
Now we know what the colors mean, let’s not discuss what each symbol on your dashboard mean. We will be discussing the more important ones that can affect your driving or your own safety.
- Brake System/Brake Fluid Warning Light – This symbol covers everything related to the braking system of your car. When this light ups, this can mean something as tame as your parking brake is engaged or something scary like your whole braking system is busted. When you notice this light going on even after disengaging your parking brake, you need to get off the road right away. A faulty brake system can cause accidents so you shouldn’t risk it.
- Engine Warning Light – This is the symbol that most of us see light up that means there are problems with your car. The thing with this symbol is that it can mean a lot of things. When the Engine Warning Light goes on, it is usually accompanied by different symptoms. For example, the engine might stutter as you step on the accelerator signifying a misfire. Your engine might also feel like it’s losing power which means the engine has gone into a “safe mode” to protect itself from further damage. The engine warning light can light up from something as simple as a damaged sensor to something big and mechanical in nature. You can buy an OBD Diagnostic tool if you have enough know-how to find out what’s wrong. However, just to be on the safe side, you should always take your car to the mechanic to solve the problem properly.
- Airbag Warning Light – Depending on your car, the airbag warning light might also be called the SRS light. This light basically covers the inside safety system of your car. If the SRS or airbag warning light is on, this means something is wrong with the system. As a result, the airbag might not engage when an accident happens. There are also times that a faulty airbag system causes the airbag to go off while driving normally which can cause quite a shock and result in an accident. Usually, the fix is quite easy if you take your car to a mechanic and they can reset the light within minutes.
- Coolant Warning Light – Nobody wants their car to overheat in the middle of the road. It’s such a bother and you will be causing a traffic jam. Your coolant warning light basically exists to tell you that you need to top off your coolant. When you see your coolant warning light on and your temperature gauge going up, this means your car is overheating. When these two coincide, this can mean serious things like a leak or a gasket failure. Take your car to a repair shop right away because the damage will get more expensive if you disregard it.
- Oil Warning Light – Oil is one of the more important liquids in your car engine. Without oil, your engine won’t work. When the oil warning light goes on, it means you either have low oil pressure or the oil level is low. When either of the two happens, this can spell disaster for your car. With low oil levels or oil pressure, your car engine won’t get the lubrication it needs. The result can be piles and piles of repair bills if no addressed right away.
If you see any of the warning lights stay on while driving then it is best to go to a repair shop right away. T3Atlanta is the leading name in repairs and maintenance for Infiniti, Lexus, Toyota, and Nissan cars in Atlanta. Our team of experts can help you diagnose the problem and fix it in no time.