DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHTS
Understanding What They Mean & How To Act
DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHT COLORS
Red dashboard warning light: A red dashboard light suggests a potential serious problem to either the vehicle or to your safety. A red warning light may also be used to remind you of an important issue.
Orange or yellow dashboard warning light: A orange or yellow dashboard warning light is intended to provide the driver information that the engine or a component of the vehicle needs repairing or servicing.
Flashing dashboard warning light: A flashing dashboard warning light is used to inform the driver of a state of urgency that the engine or component of the vehicle needs repair or replacing.
Green or blue dashboard lights: Green or blue dashboard lights are for informational purposes to inform the driver that a system or utility is in operation.
TYRE PRESSURE WARNING LIGHT
The tyre pressure warning light will become illuminated when the tyre pressure monitoring system detects a tyres pressure is reduced by 25% or more. This dashboard warning light is more frequently illuminated during cold winter months when outdoor temperatures are reduced and lowering the tyre pressures.
BRAKE SYSTEM DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHT
The brake system warning light will illuminate when the handbrake / parking brake is applied and should extinguish once the handbrake is released. If the light remains on and the handbrake is released it indicates a problem with the braking system of the car. Check brake fluid levels are at correct levels and if light remains on, mechanical assistance should be sought immediately.
ENGINE WARNING LIGHT
The engine warning light, or malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) on some vehicles may be red in colour and will illuminate when the ignition is turned on and should extinguish once the engine has started. If once the engine has started the engine warning light remains illuminated, it will suggest a problem with the engine. If the engine warning light begins flashing, ease off the accelerator and seek assistance immediately.
PARKING BRAKE WARNING LIGHT
This is the dashboard parking brake warning light or handbrake warning light. These lights can be either red or orange depending on the make of the vehicle. The symbol is illuminated to warn the driver that the parking brake or emergency brake is engaged and must be released before driving off. A parking brake warning light may also have a wrench or spanner illuminated underneath which suggests electronic parking brakes need servicing. If the light is illuminated along with a spanner or wrench, the vehicle can be driven safely but requires maintenance.
POWER STEERING DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHT
The power steering warning light will illuminate if your fluid levels are low or if there is a fault within the system. Check power steering fluid levels and top-up if necessary. If fluid levels continuously fall, there may be a leak in the system. Steering is possible without the aid of power steering although may become difficult at low speeds. If power steering dashboard warning light remains illuminated after replenishing levels, contact International Auto Repair
REAR WINDOW DEMISTER / DEFOGGER/ DEFROST DASHBOARD LIGHT
The rear windscreen demister light may illuminate on the dashboard or on the demister button itself. Light symbol only illuminates when button is manually activated. The window demister system can consume a large proportion of the batteries energy if activated for long periods. Turn off once window is clear to save battery energy, which in turn saves fuel.
ENGINE OVERHEATING DASHBOARD SYMBOL
The engine overheating symbol will illuminate if your car engine becomes dangerously hot. An overheating engine can seize causing fatal damage. If light illuminates whilst driving, pull over and turn engine off as soon as possible. Wait for the engine to cool down before checking coolant.