Ever noticed your dashboard’s lighted symbols flashing when you start your car? For many people these lights are soon forgotten because they usually go off within seconds. But all motorists need, for their own safety… to take a few minutes to learn the meaning of their vehicles’ dashboard lights, says the non-profit Car Care Council.
“Warning lights on the dashboard are simply that, warnings. If one of the lights stays on after you start your car, you could potentially have a problem and should have your vehicle inspected for needed repairs.” ~ Rich White – Car Care Council – Executive Director
While dashboard lights usually vary by carmaker and vehicle, these following examples are a few of the most common warning lights. See more lights in our Dashboard Maintenance Lights Infographic below.
- Check Engine Light – Usually indicates that a vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally. A glowing check engine light doesn’t mean you have to immediately pull the car to the side of the road, but it should be inspected as soon as possible. A flashing check engine light requires immediate attention.
- Brake System Light – Could mean the parking brake is on, the brake fluid is low, or there is an issue with the anti-lock braking system (ABS). Check to make sure the parking brake is off and have a professional technician check the brake fluid level and diagnose if there is an ABS issue.
- Oil Pressure Warning Light – When the oil pressure warning light stays lit, it indicates loss of oil pressure. Have the oil level and pressure checked immediately.