Do you know what these dashboard warning lights mean?
Seeing an unexpected warning light pop up on your dash is never a nice feeling. A million questions fly through your head; what does it mean, what should I do, how much is this going to cost?
With our checklist, you can have your very own dashboard warning light glossary! And, you’ll be pleased to know most of them aren’t as bad as they seem…
Before we start please note that red warning lights need your immediate attention. Amber, orange or other coloured lights means that something needs to be checked out at a garage.
It is normal for some lights to briefly pop up as you start your engine, but if they do stay lit whilst driving, then it will need your attention.
Engine Management Light.
To put it simply, this light means there is an issue with your engine. A garage will be able to diagnose the specific problem.
If the light stays on, but you aren’t losing any power, we would advise going to the garage to get it looked over. If it is flashing, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so and call a local garage or your breakdown cover provider.
Battery warning light.
If the battery’s light is red whilst you’re driving your car could be losing significant power. It is best to get this looked at as soon as possible as your battery isn’t signed off.
When safe to do so, stop the vehicle and turn off your engine whilst you are waiting for assistance. It is recommended that you do not restart the engine as this can escalate the issue.
Oil pressure warning light.
If it has been some time since the car’s oil has been refilled then you should check your levels before making your next journey.
This light illuminates when there is no oil pressure in the engine.
If levels are low you must top up your oil; your owner’s manual will tell you how.
Brake warning light.
Brake failure can be fatal. Drivers should not have to press the brake harder than usual, if they do, the hydraulic brake circuits may have failed. Pull over and find help.
Drivers must release the handbrake fully but if the problem continues, check the brake fluid and top up if necessary.
Anti-lock braking system (ABS) warning light
As long as there isn’t any noise coming from your wheels it is safe to continue driving – but do check your handbook.
Cars with ABS that have failed should take extra care when driving, especially in wet conditions are bad as your car’s braking distances may increase.
Tyre pressure warning light
When this light shows, it means that one or more of your tyres have become underinflated and is below the ideal pressure.
This could either mean your tyre needs replacing or re-inflating.
Engine temperature warning light.
This light will show when the car’s engine has exceeded the recommended maximum temperature.
An overheated engine can result in major damage that is often irreparable, take action right away.
Low fuel indicator light.
This will illuminate simply when your fuel levels are low.
Fog Lamp indicator light
This will turn on when your lights are switched on.