You’ve probably seen the dashboard warning lights on the driver’s instrument cluster every time you start your vehicle. Although it’s for a brief moment, some of these warning lights do appear depending on the situation. Knowing what they mean can help you identify certain issues should they arise during your drive. In this three-part series, we cover 30 of the most popular dashboard and car warning lights and indicators that you might find in your car. For part one, we look at the most basic and important indicators on most vehicles today.
Brake warning indicator
This usually comes on when your handbrake is in use. If it is not in use and still comes up during a drive, pull to the side safely. The light could mean one of a few things including a low brake fluid level, ABS problems, worn brake pads, or one or two brake lights have failed.
Check engine light
The check engine light is part of the car’s computer diagnostics system. It could mean an overheat, low oil pressure, loose gas cap, a mechanical issue or an issue that needs immediate attention. In this situation, have your car checked by a mechanic soonest possible.
The coolant temperature warning light indicates an overheated engine due to several causes including a low coolant level, coolant system problems, or a possible leak in the system. In such an event, stop the vehicle at a safe area and open the bonnet to cool down the engine.
The battery light indicator comes on to point towards a possible recharging system problem. This could mean a battery that fails to charge, or alternator issues. It is best to stop the car or drive to the closest mechanic soonest possible before the battery fails completely, and the car is rendered immobile.
Oil pressure warning
If this light comes on during a drive, you will need to stop the vehicle safely as soon as possible. The light coming on is a sign of a defective oil pump or that your engine oil is low.
Tire pressure warning
For vehicles equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), this warning comes probably once a month when the tire pressure goes below the recommended limit. Just ensure that you have your tires checked when the warning appears as there could be a flat.
High beam indicator
Turn these on for the brightest lights on your car. Depending on the vehicle, this indicator may be accompanied with the letter ‘A’ or the word ‘Auto’ which turns the system off when there is an oncoming vehicle from a distance.
Front and rear fog lamps
Often confused with the low beam indicator, the best way to tell them apart is with the wavy line to indicate light passing through a fog. The best way to tell apart the front and rear fog lamps is with the symbol’s lines. If the wavy lines is to the left of the symbol, it is the front fog lamp. If the wavy lines is on the right, it is the rear fog lamps.
This symbol may be illuminated with the words ‘Airbag’ or ‘SRS’ which stands for “supplemental restraint system”. If it comes on, it could indicate a problem with one of the many airbags in the vehicle. Get it checked at your nearest service center.
Vehicle stability control off indicator
While this system may come in various names including Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and more, it shows that the system has been deactivated. What the system does is help the driver maintain control of the vehicle when a loss of control is detected.
Watch out for part 2 of this article to know more about car warning lights and indicators!
Read below for more stories
What are the most popular car colors in Malaysia?
Learn more about 5 of the 175-inspection points at Carsome!
Selling your car doesn’t have to be complicated. Trust Carsome to do it professionally, conveniently, and fast for you!