We've put together this guide on 10 of the most common car warning lights. By clicking Sign Up, you agree to the  Terms of Use. What it means: This warning light means that there is low oil pressure in your car’s engine. But do you know what all those little icons on the dashboard mean? Activating them wasn’t any harder than simply flipping a switch. A common problem with some systems is the tendency to "strobe," or make the lights flicker. It's federally mandated (as it should be), and sometimes you'll see an airbag warning light in your dash. This old fashioned oil can image indicates that there is an issue with your car’s oil pressure system. A buzzer sounds and the warning light flashes to indicate that the master warning system has detected a malfunction. Flashing lights atop speeding patrol cars mean that officers are heading to emergency calls. It can indicate a problem with any number of items, including the sensors that detect crashes and deploy airbags in the event of an accident have failed. It’s important to know what car dashboard warning lights mean because you might be able to avoid a car breakdown or full-on failure. Cars have been able to monitor their engine's oil pressure for years now. We define the most common headlamp symbols. When something goes wrong with your car or if a feature you should know about gets activated, a signal funnels through the electrical system and into the dashboard. 1. If you've seen what looks like a gravy boat light pop up in your dash it means there's a problem with your engine oil pressure. If you notice this warning light on your car, you should turn off your car’s engine as fast as possible. Read our guide to car dashboard warning lights and understand what they mean. If not, we've got you covered. Instead, this signals an issue with the anti-lock brake system. There may be a problem with brake components or the hydraulic fluid may need a top-off. It’s normal to see some of these lights briefly while you start your engine. Feel like you’re playing a bad game of Pictionary with your car, trying to decipher what the foreign symbol that suddenly appeared on the dashboard means? Modern cars come with tire pressure monitoring systems and the little exclamation point inside of a half-circle merely means one or more of your tires have low pressure. A flashing yellow indicator light means the headlight leveling or AFS is defective. That means eventually you'll drain the battery and you'll likely need a jumpstart to get you going again. Either way, if you see the check engine light on your dash, something's gone wrong and you shouldn't put off a trip to the shop. Color is King! Automotive electrical systems have grown more complex over the years, but the basic principles behind them are similar. In that case, you're going to have to take your car somewhere to get the problem diagnosed. Red indicates a potentially serious problem or safety issue. Either you’re running low on oil or your oil pump isn’t circulating enough fluid to … For example, in most cars, the tire pressure sign, the low fuel sign, and the engine check sign are all yellow or orange. The check engine light means that one of the many sensors monitoring your car has noticed a problem with the engine. We’re located in the heart of America (Dayton, Ohio) and our goal is to deliver an entertaining and informative perspective on what’s trending in the automotive world. Car’s headlight symbols can be confusing if you don't know what those mysterious icons mean. But if they stay lit up while you’re driving, then you'll need to look into it. This light can mean a number of things. The app features dashboard warning lights and alert symbols from all cars brands and models, with an explanation of the problem. This is completely normal and is ideal for keeping your gas tank full. Modern cars are filled with electronics and packed with sensors to monitor how your vehicle is behaving. The colour of the illuminated symbol signifies how serious the problem is. Your information will be collected and used in accordance with our  Privacy Policy. That can lead to major mechanical problems—the engine could seize and leave you stranded. Green and blue warning lights … Most cars with traction or stability control allow you to turn these functions off. It's likely that if you stop too hard with this light on, then your car's brakes may lock up, which could make it a struggle to come to a full stop. 2. The warning lights on car dashboard are designed to inform you in advance if there is a problem with your vehicle. Each bright color is different and defines a certain situation. Yellow/amber/orange mean something needs to be serviced or repaired soon. Instead, find a safe place to stop and inspect your tires. The ECO light will illuminate to let the driver know that some of the cylinders have been disabled. The alternator or generator will power the car while recharging the battery at the same time. These lights may simply be indicating a vehicle control setting, e.g., Front Fog Lamps On. The ABS light can also come on when you have worn out brake pads or the ABS pump is malfunctioning.. You can sometimes fix faulty wheel sensors and the ABS rings by cleaning out the sensor to get rid of dirt particles. A solid yellow warning light means bulb failure is occurring. Learn how and when to check your car's exterior and brake lights by watching this video. Officers also use these lights while their cars are parked for police incidents that are in progress for example, a vehicle traffic stop or domestic disturbance at a residence. 1. If the symbol lights momentarily it may mean that the ignition switch is locked and will need the proper transponder-equipped key to re-start. Just like your computer at home, doing a simple reset may fix the issue and the light … Not all cars come equipped with fog lights, though, so it's possible you'll never see this dashboard light during the course of vehicle ownership. The Best on a Budget: Find out the best Nissan cars to buy pre-owned. A loose fuel cap is one of the most common reasons why the check engine light turns on. Check coolant level, fan operation, radiator cap, coolant leaks. © 2021 MotorTrend | MOTOR TREND GROUP, LLC. Here is what the different colors mean. Check your car’s dashboard lighting as it is essential to identify your car’s potential problem, safety issues or immediate failure points. If you see a little red battery on your dash, then that means you're currently powering your car on the battery alone. half-a-dozen different settings to choose from, Find out the best Nissan cars to buy pre-owned. It’s not always clear what a dashboard warning light means. This means one of two things has happened here: Either you turned the function off because you wanted to do some sporty driving (turn it back on, you're not Lewis Hamilton) or the feature has failed altogether. Don’t panic! In the event that you see an exclamation mark with a circle around it in your dash, that means something is wrong with your brakes. If the symbol is visible when the vehicle is on, then it typically indicates a malfunction in the security system. This illuminates a … Traction control systems are a part of a vehicle's ant-lock brake system and are intended to prevent the loss of traction between the wheels and the roadway. However, the ECO light isn’t used as a warning indicator as the check engine light is similarly focused on emissions. Let’s clear up any confusion and explain what all your car’s headlight symbols mean. Whether you drive a Chevrolet car or truck, you may have a dashboard warning light appear. Engine Temperature Warning Light Indicator light means the engine temperature has exceeded normal limits. Car lights include: Headlights. It's best to take your car to a shop in this case, as ABS is one of the most important safety enhancements in cars since the seatbelt was invented. It can be anything from a spark plug fault to the failure of something major such as the intake manifold or low compression. The lights on your car's dashboard light up when something's wrong. If so, select your model of Chevrolet to find out what those dash lights mean, with each symbol explained. Although it is related to the braking system, the ABS warning light does not signal a failure of the physical brakes. Like many things, cars are not perfect. The light could be a minor issue, such as a faulty gas cap, or it could mean something more serious, such as a misfiring engine. 15 Common Warning Lights on Your Car’s Dashboard. . Red may also indicate an important reminder. It is fair to assume something is eventually going to break or stop working no matter what sort of car you buy, and no matter how reliable it is rumored to be. These lights allow the driver to see the roadway in the dark, while also signaling to other motorists that a car is present. Basically, if you see the battery light on in your car when it is running, you shouldn’t expect to be able to drive it for very long. So, you can both prevent malfunctions that may occur in your vehicle and protect your safety. On most cars, this light will go away on its own after you've topped the tires off. There are sensors and warning lights in new cars that alert you to tire pressure levels and the washer fluid level. If your car is so hot the engine, coolant reservoir, or coolant tank is "smoking," then you might want to call a tow service. Emergency vehicle lighting is one or more visual warning lights fitted to a vehicle for use when the driver wishes to convey to other road users the urgency of their journey, to provide additional warning of a hazard when stationary, or in the case of law enforcement as a means of signalling another driver to stop for interaction with an officer. It's safest to let the computer think about traction for you, so find a way to get it back on ASAP. The glow plug is a heating element that is activated during startup when the … Lucky for you, your car's proverbial brain will figure out an impending problem before you do and send you a warning more often than not. Nissan Warning Lights and Their Meanings By Product Expert | Posted in Tips & Tricks on Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 at 10:16 pm. The "TRAC off" alert light found on some vehicles is a visual aid that indicates the vehicle's traction control feature is not currently engaged. But, most of the vehicle’s dashboard, these car warning lights will represent the same meaning, displaying almost the same icons right there. Low oil pressure can cause serious damage to your engine, … The following are warning lights and indicators found in vehicles built by Chevrolet. There are a number of things that could have happened, but the best thing to do is stop the car and wait a good long while for the engine to cool down by itself. If this light pops up on your dash consistently, then it's time to take your car to a shop for a lookover. Despite seeing a new tell-tale or warning light on your instrument panel, unless it is red it is likely the car is still running fine and while there may be a problem to attend to, proceed with confidence and patience. Approaching police lights warn civilians to move out of the way and to avoid police activity scenes. Next, grab a rag, pop the hood, and use the rag to lift the lid of the coolant reservoir and check the coolant level. A guide to understanding a cars dashboard warning lights. There are two types of headlights—low beam and high beam. You can probably still drive the car safely for the time being, but something will require your attention soon. The car’s battery light coming on generally means that there is something preventing your car’s electric system from the battery charged and thus, the car is running on battery power only. Fast forward to today: When you go to turn the headlights on a car today, you’re met with half-a-dozen different settings to choose from, all featuring different symbols that vaguely resemble light bulbs. If they look a bit low, carefully make your way to the nearest gas station to fill them with air. Download this app if you want to know what different warning lights and symbols, mean and if there is anything you can do yourself to avoid a trip to the repair shop. Light 'em Up: A Guide to Common Dashboard Warning Lights. What it means: If your car is running on diesel, this is the glow plug indicator. When the ABS light comes on, the first thing you should do is find a safe place to stop the vehicle, shut it off, and then start it up again. Driving without a fully functioning brake system is dangerous (not to mention totally nuts) and should be fixed as soon as possible. The cap is a crucial part of a car’s fuel delivery system. Stop the car and call a tow truck as soon as you safely can. Vehicle warning lights in all makes and models generally follow a similar rule in terms of symbol colour. Car dashboard warning lights - what do they mean? A blinking light, or in some cars a red light instead of a yellow or orange light, indicates a problem that needs immediate attention. Due to the nature of diesel engines, they require some extra help when first starting up at a cold temperature. If the wheel sensor is faulty, the ABS light will also come on. https://cars.usnews.com › cars-trucks › dashboard-lights-meaning If certain indicators were to remain illuminated while your engine is running, however, they could be alerting you to a serious condition. Attend to it! As a rule of thumb: Red warning lights need immediate action. The sooner you can fix it, the better. Car Dashboard Warning Lights: Symbols and their Meanings The dashboard is full of symbols, which may differ slightly in different cars. What follows is easily the most complete list available of symbols and warnings that may appear in and on your car’s dashboard or instrument cluster. Green or Blue Warning Light. See more articles from The News Wheel. Unless you're really handy, you should leave a fix like this to a mechanic you trust. Either way, you should have the vehicle checked by a mechanic. means that one of the many sensors monitoring your car has noticed a problem with the engine. If you see what looks like the rear view of an old sedan followed by some squiggly lines on the road behind it, then that means your stability control system is either partially or fully off. Oil Pressure Light. Nissan Altima Dashboard Warning Lights and Meanings By Product Expert | Posted in Nissan Altima, Service & Sales, Tips & Tricks on Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 at 8:16 pm. If you see this sign don't freak out. All cars have airbags these days. Few things are scarier than driving down the road only to see one of your warning lights is on. We'll start with a dash light that isn't technically a warning light. The fog light symbol looks a lot like the one used for the regular headlights, albeit with a squiggly line in front of it instead of three lines that look like beams. Shopping with Sense: What are the best pre-owned Ford models? As a result, it's best if you get this checked out right away. If you see a little thermometer pop up in your dash, that means your car is probably overheating. When the engine isn't on, the alternator isn't actively charging the battery. The News Wheel is a digital auto magazine providing readers with a fresh perspective on the latest car news. In the old days, car headlights had two settings: on or off. If this light is on while your car's engine is on, then it's typically a sign that the battery charging system isn't working. The wheel sensors send information to the ABS and this will help you to steer the car during bad weather. Seat belt reminder light Warns the driver and/or front passenger to fasten their seat belts. If you know what the car warning lights mean, you can take precautions in advance to prevent accidents in your vehicle. What do they all mean? 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