Car Warning Lights on your dashboard are usually there because of alarming reasons. Since the economy nowadays isn’t stable, it’s actually helping us to know the meaning of each warning sign to maybe handle the issue on your own, or avoid a more serious damage. The lower the damage, the lower the cost. Remember that!
Types of Car Warning Lights
When it comes to Car Warning Lights, colours matter! There are 3 colours in total and the meaning to it is as follows:
|Green or Blue||Indicate that the system is operating|
|Orange or Yellow||Sign that your vehicle need to serviced|
|Red and/or Flashing Light||Vehicle urgently need to be serviced|
18 Common Car Warning Lights
1. Oil Pressure
What it means: There’s an issue with the oil pressure. It could be because the oil in your vehicle is running low, or isn’t circulating enough fluid.
What to do: Pull over immediately, turn off your engine & check the oil! If the oil is on low level, add oil. However, if there’s no issue with the oil level but the engine is noisy, it might be an issue with the engine itself. Either way, it’s recommended to bring your vehicle to the mechanic.
2. Tire Pressure Warning
What it means: Signal an issue with tire pressure or Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
|TPMS light solid||Pressure in one or more of the tires, either too high or too low|
|TPMS light flashes for 60-90 secs then stays illuminated when vehicle is on||Something wrong with the TPMS sensor|
What to do: Stop the vehicle as soon as possible to inflate or deflate the tires according to the need, as it may cause serious damage to them if the journey is continued.
3. Engine Temperature
What it means: Engine is overheating.
What to do: First turn off the A/C and wait for a couple of minutes. If it didn’t work then pull over as soon as possible and turn off the vehicle. Allow the engine to cool for at least 15 mins. While waiting, consider calling a roadside assistance service to get to the nearest repair shop.
4. Traction Control
What it means: Indicates that your vehicle’s traction control system is activated, usually used while driving in rain. It determines if one wheel is spinning faster than the others and if a wheel is slipping, it applies the brakes until the car regains traction.
What to do: Continue driving, but be aware of slippery conditions.
5. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
What it means: When you brake hard, the ABS pulses the brakes to prevent your wheels from locking up. If the light is illuminated, it means that something is wrong with the system.
What to do: Have a mechanic diagnose the issue as soon as possible.
6. Traction Control Malfunction
What it means: Indicates that the traction control system might have a broken or damaged sensor or some other malfunction.
What to do: Even though this won’t affect your everyday driving, it’s still recommended to go get your vehicle checked.
7. Engine Warning (or the phrase CHECK THIS ENGINE)
What it means: Indicates a few reasons;
- triggered by an open loose or cracked gas cap, or
- low oil pressure, or
What to do:
|If there’s no change in the way the car drives, sounds, or smells||Continue driving with moderate distance|
|If the light is red and/or flashing||Stop driving immediately!|
Either way, make sure the light is checked and the engine repaired as soon as possible!
8. Battery Alert
What it means: Signifies a problem with the vehicle’s charging system – loose or damaged battery cable, a bad alternator, or another electrical fault.
What to do: Don’t wait too long to get it checked out or you may have to jump-start your car to get it to the shop!
9. Low Fuel Indicator
What it means: Indicates that your vehicle is running low on fuel.
What to do: Stop at the nearest gas station and fill up, duh…
10. Automatic Shift Lock or Engine Start Indicator
What it means: Lock your vehicle in park or neutral until you engage the brake.
What to do: Press the brake pedal, then shift gears or start the ignition, whichever you are wanting to do.
11. Seat Belt Reminder
What it means: Reminds you or your passenger to fasten your seatbelts.
What to do: Buckle up!
12. Airbag Indicator
What it means: Signals that something is wrong with one of your airbags or the entire airbag system.
What to do: Get your car checked out immediately! Your car’s airbags keep you safe during accidents, so it’s important to make sure they are working properly.
13. Security Indicator
What it means: If your vehicle has an anti-theft system, then this symbol will blink steadily when the security system is armed.
|If solid and the car will not start||The immobilisation system has activated due to a security threat or malfunction|
|If solid and the car is running normally||The security system is malfunctioning and needs to be fixed|
What to do: If immobilised, follow your vehicle’s guidelines for how to deactivate the security system. If malfunction, get it repaired.
14. Fog Lamp Indicator
What it means: Shows that your fog lights are on.
What to do: Fog lights should only be used if your visibility is less than 100 yards. Use them only when it’s necessary.
15. Washer Fluid Indicator
What it means: Means that you’re low on windshield washer fluid.
What to do: Fill up the reservoir with fluid as soon as you can.
16. Brake Warning (or the word BRAKE)
What it means: Indicates that either the parking brake is engaged or there’s a problem with your braking system.
What to do: First, stop and check to see if your parking brake is engaged. Try setting and releasing the brake while your vehicle is in park. If there’s no change, get to the nearest repair shop.
17. Lane Departure Warning
What it means: It detects that your vehicle is drifting out of your lane.
What to do: Correct your steering, if needed.
18. Transmission Temperature Warning
What it means: Signifies that transmission is overheating.
What to do: Pull over as soon as it’s safe and turn off the vehicle. Wait for the vehicle to cool down before attempting to drive again and get to a repair shop as soon as possible.
- Every car is different, so car warning lights on your dashboard may vary slightly from the ones on our list. Example, even Perodua latest car have different system compared to the old ones. If in doubt, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual!
- Many of these dashboard lights will illuminate briefly when you turn on your vehicle and perform a system check. As long as the lights turn off within a few seconds, everything is operating normally.
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