The warning lights on your dashboard are keys to understanding your vehicle. The complex system of symbols can be overwhelming, though, especially when a light you don’t recognize pops up. Here are some of the most common dashboard warning lights and what they mean.
This warning symbol looks like a key inside of a gear and it alerts you that your transmission is in trouble. Towing heavy loads, low transmission fluid level, or excessively worn transmission inner components, sets this light to glow.
An exclamation point in a circle that is bookended with parenthesis makes up the brake system warning light. This is an important warning alerting you that something is wrong with your vehicle’s braking system. If you have been driving on an engaged parking brake, you’ll see this light appear. Of course, it can also signal significant dangers such as a malfunctioning anti-lock braking system, brake pads that are worn down, or a reservoir for the brake fluid that lacks the recommended level. If you see this light appear and it wasn’t caused by an engaged parking brake, bring your vehicle in for service at Motor Inn of Spirit Lake..
A malfunctioning airbag system puts your safety at risk if you are in an accident, so pay attention if the airbag warning light stays on while you are driving.
If one of your headlamps or taillights is burned out, a light with an exclamation point inside of a circle that looks like the sun and its rays will flip on. It also activates when another type of light is out.
The washer fluid dashboard light shows a spray of water on a windshield and lets you know you’re washer fluid is too low. It’s important to your driving safety to always have a clear view of what’s in front of you. If your windshield is sprayed with dirt, debris, or bugs, and you can’t wash the culprits away, you’re comprising visibility.
This light is easy to read since it looks exactly what it signifies. You’ll notice an overhead depiction of a car image with an open door or doors.
You’ll see a picture of a fuel pump glow when your gas tank is running low. If you’re driving on fumes, it’s important to get to a gas station as soon and as safely as you can before you’re vehicle comes to a halt.
A picture of an old-fashioned oil can in red means there is an issue with the oil pressure system. This could indicate a problem with the oil pump or that you are running low on oil. You could risk substantial (and expensive damage) to your engine if you don’t address this warning immediately.
Tires are a vital component of your driving safety — they are the only equipment that connects your vehicle to the road. When you see a yellow exclamation point in parenthesis and a squiggle under it that resembles tire tread, it means one or more of your tires has low air pressure. Take a look at your tires, check their pressure, and add air to your tires as needed to help keep your vehicle operating efficiently and safely.
If you see this red symbol, your engine is overheating. It often means there is an issue with the coolant or antifreeze. You need to address this problem as soon as you can or you are at risk of causing serious damage to the engine.
When you see this yellow image of a car and two squiggly lines turn on, it means the traction control system has activated. This usually happens when one of the wheels has slipped, like on an icy road or while driving over loose gravel. It should turn off when you regain traction.
The Check Engine Light is probably the most dreaded of dashboard warning lights. If you see the icon pop up, you should seek automotive attention immediately. A variety of issues ranging from a loose gas cap to something a lot more serious can trigger the light. Since it’s so difficult to determine why the light turned on, the best thing to do is to get your vehicle inspected by the service experts at Motor Inn of Spirit Lake as soon as you can.
A red light that looks like a car battery with a plus and minus sign inside indicates that there is a problem with the charging system, including the battery, battery cables, or even the alternator belt.
Our service staff members at Motor Inn Auto Group locations across Iowa are here to help you decipher the meaning of your dashboard lights and rectify the problem. Call anytime to set up a service appointment.