Vehicle Dashboard Warning Lights & What They Mean
All the cars these days have electronics of different kind in them and are subtly packed with sensors for monitoring how the vehicle behaves and to help motorists in telling you about the car’s performance and how are its parts faring.
It’s important to monitor and to know how the vehicle is behaving and for that, the car dashboard warning lights are important. If something goes wrong, then it’s difficult to tell what can be wrong, thankfully though, we wrote on how to understand car problems based on your senses, seeing, smelling, hearing, and touching earlier.
Even then, it becomes important that one knows about the car dashboard lights and what they signify so any problem can be identified early on. Plus, knowing may make all the difference and help you save a lot of money from pricey repairs that may be needed later on.
In a study done in Britain recently, over half the people admitted to not knowing the usage or not using the warning lights as a precaution. This trend represents a significant ignorance levels around the world which is troublesome to say the least.
These are the dashboard warning lights one should know about at all times.
Braking system/Brake Fluid Warning Light
A vehicle’s braking system is an essential system, and generally the most important system of a car. So if there is any warning light that points towards any issues with the car’s braking system, best to get it checked right away without any delay.
ECU/Engine Warning Light
If the vehicle’s engine warning light is showing up on the dashboard, it’ll usually be accompanied by any of these unusual symptoms. These can be lack of power due to car entering ‘safe zone’ for protection; an intermittent stuttering when the accelerator is pressed, which can be caused by misfiring; or some other fault that could have altered the car’s normal response.
At times, these can be due to a faulty electrical sensor, although, since it’s related to engine, one shouldn’t wait before checking it out since it can require help owing to large mechanical issue.
If the engine warning light is on, go to a mechanic ASAP to avoid any irreparable or costly damage because of engine being overworked despite the indication.
Airbag Warning Light
Airbag is one of the best tools that have been made for creating a safer driving experience. The airbag warning light being on is dangerous in two ways.
- It can go off when there is no need for it to while driving normally and injure the person as they might be least expecting it.
- It might not go off in the case of a crash and again, causing injury where it could have been avoided.
By all means, a faulty airbag is potentially dangerous and can be compared to an injury waiting to happen.
Furthermore, the cost of getting the airbag fixed is high and hence, it’s important to not test the light whenever it blinks.
Power steering/EPAS Warning Light
If the car’s power steering warning light shows up(Known as the EPAS light). Then it points to something being wrong with the steering system.
If the power steering system fails, the car’s steering might possibly go heavy, thus, requiring much more effort while driving.
While this is an annoyance for anyone making a turn at low speeds, at higher speeds, it will be really risky.
DPF/Diesel Particulate Filter Warning Light
Currently, most modern diesel vehicles come fitted with a diesel particulate filter that removes any harmful soot from the car’s exhaust gases for reducing emissions.
If this light is faulty, then the warning light will glow and this will manifest as two particularly damaging prospects. Not only will the exhaust system pushes out a toxic cloud of pitch black smoke but also will be causing damage to the car’s engine.
This should be checked immediately as the DPF does get clogged and is particularly expensive to replace, thus posing a burden of expenses in dire cases when left unchecked.
Coolant Warning Light
If the car has no coolant, then the car’s engine will be in a bad shape. If the coolant light lights up on the dashboard, it means that the coolant levels are low.
Hence, this should be checked by the gauge present next to the side of the vehicle’s coolant tank and topped up if due.
An effect of the lack coolant is the meter for engine temperature rising.
If both the coolant warning light and the temperature gauge show up as red, then engine is getting overheated. This could present either a small problem such as leak in the car system somewhere or something of the stature of head gasket failing. This should be checked at priority to avoid the car stalling and ending up as antique due to engine trouble costing a lot of money.
Oil Warning Light
Just like the car’s water or coolant warning indicator, one may see the light signify oil warning if the oil temperature goes too high or due to low oil pressure or the level being too low.
As the oil works to lubricate the engine along with the oil pump that sprays oil to all the corners of the engine, if these aforementioned issues are prevalent, the effectiveness of the lubrication is reduced or lost quickly.
This causes expensive engine damage and so, when the light lights up, check it immediately rather than just driving around.
Tire Pressure Monitor Warning Light
Initially, the system for monitoring the tire pressure was only seen in expensive high-end cars but now a lot of cars have them.
These tire pressure-monitoring systems are able to sense any deviation from the car’s normal tire pressure, notifying about puncture. Mostly, the indicator will flash a few times on the car’s dashboard highlighting the need to check the car tires.
Battery Charge Warning Light
When the car’s ignition is turned on, the battery charge warning light briefly shows for a second or two, but if it doesn’t stop showcasing on the dashboard, that’s a trouble waiting to happen,
This could be due to a faulty battery, faulty alternator, damaged cabling in the engine bay or bad connection. If the car’s not charging its battery, then the battery can run out and the car may not start.
The car will need to be checked up for that, or the issue can be temporarily fixed by the use of jumper cables.
Warning Light Woes
It’s not an issue to be ignored and hence if there is even one blinking light, then it should be checked without waiting for more lights to show up.
It’s important to keep the car regularly maintained since it protects the car from getting worked up in a wrong way and ending up as expensive bill.