What does warning lights in your car mean?

Dec 16, 2020 5 min read
What does warning lights in your car mean?

Your dashboard lights up with many symbols when you turn your car on. Do you know what they mean? Check out!

We all are quite familiar with the car and its parts. One of the most important part of a car is its Dashboard. It is also sometimes called a “dash” or “instrument panel” (IP). It is a control panel, which is usually located directly ahead of the vehicle’s front seats.

It displays instrumentation, warning lights and control tools for the operation of the vehicle. It's very important that you know how to respond to each warning light to reduce any damage to your car and to ensure that your vehicle is safe. Dashboard shows three colors of light: Red, it means that you should stop the car as soon as it is safe, Yellow, it means that some action is required, and Green, this is for some information only. Here's the list of symbols with their meanings:

Check engine light

If this warning appears, it's very important to check your vehicle, even if it feels completely normal to drive. Because this sign warns the malfunctioning with engine and is required to check. Find out the ways how to keep your engine in a good condition.

Oil pressure warning light

This symbol shows a leak or too little (or even too much) oil which can cause damage to the engine running to thousands of bucks. So don't ignore the fluid light. Stop the engine immediately and consult the handbook.

Brake system warning light

This brake system warning light also requires urgent attention. Check if the handbrake is applied. If so, release the handbrake. It may be that you need to check the brake fluid level. Find out how to change the brake fluid level. If it is too low and simply needs topping up, then fill up accordingly. If still the light remains on, however, it could also be a more serious issue with the braking system and contact roadside assistance.

Battery charge warning light

This warning light indicates a number of things, all related to the car’s battery and charging system. This icon will appear when the battery level is below normal. It could be because of a worn alternator, low battery levels, loose terminals, a broken accessory belt, a broken accessory belts or another electrical fault.

Temperature warning light

If you see this symbol, it means that your engine is overheated. This is most related to do with your coolant (also called antifreeze), but it can happen for a variety of reasons. It’s important to address this immediately to avoid further damage.

Read more: How to change the coolant of the car

Anti-lock Brake Warning Light

If this “ABS” warning light pop up while you’re driving, it means that there is a problem with the braking system so don't avoid it. As you know, your anti-lock brakes work to keep your car in contact with the road safely, so it’s important to check the issue as soon as possible.

Seat Belt System

This is the most common icon that we can see in the speedometer console. This reminds you or your passenger when you are not belted up while driving the car.

Security Alert

This is an essential theft-prevention feature in a vehicle. If your car has an anti-theft system, this symbol means that something could be malfunctioning. This symbol also briefly pop up when you turn on your vehicle, which isn’t an indicator that something is wrong.

Fog Lamp Indicator

This symbol will turn on your dashboard, when you switch on fog lamps. Fog lights should only be used if your visibility is less than 100 meters.

Door/Boot/Bonnet Open Warning Light

This symbol turn on when the door/boot/bonnet of the vehicle are not shut properly. Some cars will show the exact door number which is not shut.

Washer Fluid Reminder

The washer fluid light indicates when the wiper fluid levels becomes low. You should need to fill up the reservoir with fluid as soon as possible.

Airbag Indicator

The airbag indicator shows you that something is wrong with airbags system of the car. Airbag keeps you safe during the accidents. So it's important to contact an authorized center.


This is also known as the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. This symbol indicates too low or too high pressure in one of the tyre.

Power Steering Malfunction

This symbol turns on in red or yellow color when there's a problem with vehicle steering fluid reservoir. It's not safe to drive your car when the light stays on, so it's very important to consult a good mechanic.

Traction Control Icon

The traction control system works together with the anti-lock braking system. Cars that come with this feature have the option to deactivate the same. When you do so, this icon appears on the dashboard.

Cruise Control Light

The cruise control light indicates a few different things depending on the color. Green color shows when you activate the cruise control function in your car. Yellow color shows that it's enabled but not set and there's some problem in it.

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