Common Dashboard Warning Lights

Dashboard warning lights are one of the most helpful features of your vehicle — just as your car is headed for trouble, it can let you know. Dashboard indicator lights are nothing to fear. In fact, they give you a great head start on handling whatever issue your car is having before it becomes a major repair. We’ve compiled some of the most common dashboard indicator lights to explain what they mean and what you need to do next to care for your car.

Coolant Temperature Warning Light

Your coolant temperature warning light looks like a thermometer with wavy lines next to and below it. This light means that the engine operating temperature is too high. A high engine temperature could be caused by an issue with the coolant level, the operation of the fan, the radiator cap, or other cooling system issues, so be sure to have your vehicle properly diagnosed by a technician.

Oil Pressure Warning Light

The oil pressure warning light is represented by an oil can with a drop of liquid coming out of it. This light means that there is a loss of oil pressure in your vehicle. If you see this light, pull over immediately and call for assistance as continuing to drive could potentially ruin your engine.

Transmission Temperature Light

The transmission temperature light appears as a thermometer surrounded by a circular gear. This indicates that your transmission is overheating, which can lead to transmission failure. Don’t wait to have this issue looked at by a professional, as overheated transmission fluid can cause many other problems in your vehicle!

Tire Pressure Monitoring System Light

The tire pressure monitoring system will trigger a light that looks like an exclamation point surrounded by an underinflated tire. This light shows up on your dashboard when the tire pressure is too low in one or more of your tires. Simply check the pressure of each of your tires and add air where the pressure is too low.

Battery Alert Light

The battery alert light looks like a small battery with the negative (-) and positive (+) symbols on either side. This light indicates that the battery is malfunctioning or poorly charged. Battery issues can be caused by problems with the alternator or the battery itself, so have your vehicle inspected at an auto repair shop to determine the cause.

ABS Light

The anti-lock braking system light, or ABS light, shows up on the dashboard as the letters “ABS” inside of a circle. The ABS system helps you maintain control of your vehicle in an emergency situation where you must skid or stop quickly. Problems with the ABS system can be caused by a variety of issues, so your car must be professionally diagnosed when your ABS light comes on.

Check Engine Light

The check engine light looks like a small engine, or may actually be the words “check engine” in some car models. Most check engine light issues are not serious if the issue is dealt with right away. View our blog about the check engine light to learn more about the causes and next steps.

Anytime a dashboard warning light comes on, it’s important to have it checked out right away. For professional diagnostics, call Buckeye Complete Auto Care in Columbus, OH, to schedule an appointment with our expert technicians.


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