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Understanding Car Warning Signs Dashboard

  • person Julian Brown
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Understanding Car Warning Signs Dashboard - 


Modern cars feature dashboard warning lights to warn drivers about potential issues, typically in red, orange or amber hues and working similar to traffic signals.

These mysterious hieroglyphics differ depending on which vehicle it appears on, but here are some of the more commonly seen ones and their meanings:

Engine Warning Light

Modern cars are packed with dials and indicators that signal drivers of potential issues - sometimes alarmingly so - by flickering to alert them of something amiss. While certain warning lights such as the familiar check engine light indicate issues which require immediate attention, others can be more obscure and should be studied closely to understand what they indicate and how to react accordingly. Understanding some of the most frequently seen car warning signs dashboard is key for understanding them effectively and acting accordingly.

The engine warning light on most car dashboards is an engine silhouette and typically lights up amber when there is an issue with your vehicle's systems. If this light illuminates while driving, stop immediately and call roadside assistance or your mechanic to address the problem immediately.

Fuel warning lights are another common car indicator, signalling when your petrol or diesel tank is getting low and reminding you to replenish it quickly before running out of gas completely. Failure to pay attention to this light could cause engine stalling or worse, stoppage.

Coolant warning lights, usually red and in the shape of a radiator, indicate when you should replenish your vehicle's coolant levels - this will prevent its engine from overheating which could prove hazardous and should be addressed before damage to its components occurs.

Seat belt warning lights feature the silhouette of a driver seated inside their vehicle and typically alert drivers with audible dinging noises to fasten their seatbelts as a safety feature; seatbelts have been proven to significantly lessen serious crash-related injuries and injuries from occurring during accidents. This feature serves an essential purpose - using seat belts can significantly lessen their severity of impact-related injuries and thus save lives!

Engine Coolant Warning Light

This unmistakable dashboard light, in the shape of an engine block and usually illuminated in amber or red hues, indicates that coolant levels have fallen low. Coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze designed to regulate engine temperature; should its levels drop, this could lead to overheating or even engine failure (with potential serious consequences for overheated head gaskets).

When this light illuminates, you should stop and inspect your cooling system for leaks and blockages as soon as possible. Furthermore, this provides an opportunity to add additional coolant.

This dashboard light shaped like a car and often accompanied by an intermittent dinging sound reminds us to fasten our seat belts - according to the CDC, seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries by 50%, so this should not be ignored!

The brake fluid warning light, depicting a brake pedal with plus and minus symbols inside of it, alerts drivers when it's time to replenish their vehicle's brake fluid supply. However, this light could also indicate issues with your brakes such as worn pads or low fluid levels that must be addressed immediately.

Though most warning lights in your car are universal, it is still wise to consult your owner's manual whenever a dashboard light illuminates. Since some car warning signs are more urgent than others, take note of their color when trying to assess your car's issue - blue and green indicate functional systems while amber suggests there may be issues that should still allow driving while red indicates serious issues and necessitate immediate service visit.

Door/Boot Open Warning Light

The door/boot open warning light is an integral car safety feature that notifies drivers when one or more doors are left ajar. It works by sensing sensors installed within each door - when these detect an unfastened door, dashboard lights illuminate and it is important that manual closure take place prior to driving again.

Although not as serious as engine temperature or oil pressure lights, it's still essential to be aware of what this dashboard warning light signifies and act quickly when necessary. Like other red dashboard warning lights, a flashing red dashboard light should prompt immediate action such as pulling over and making sure all doors are securely shut before proceeding to drive again.

This dashboard warning sign signals an issue with your power steering system, possibly signaling something as minor as needing to reset a sensor, but can also indicate more serious and expensive problems that need immediate attention to ensure airbags deploy as planned in an accident.

If you're unfamiliar with what each dashboard warning symbol represents or why it has activated, check out a comprehensive guide of your vehicle's warning lights and their meanings. It will help keep you in the know about what could cause a breakdown or worse - and make an investment worth making by purchasing RAC breakdown cover which offers everything from breakdown protection to stolen vehicle recovery coverage - discover more here.

Seatbelt Warning Light

Warning lights shaped like passengers with accompanying chimes will activate when your car detects someone sitting in either the driver or front passenger seats without their belt fastened, typically appearing as red lights that remain illuminated until either party fastens their belt.

Warning signals on modern cars equipped with air suspension systems indicate whether their settings have been adjusted too hard or soft for their vehicle, allowing drivers to customize their driving experience with this feature. When this warning light illuminates, however, it could indicate something is amiss with its mechanism and you should take appropriate steps.

Fuel warning lights are another common car dashboard signal to inform drivers when their petrol levels have become dangerously low. While they may be irritating, this signal should serve as a timely reminder that refilling your tank as soon as possible could save both money and damage to other components in your system.

If your vehicle's warning lights come on, it is wise to pull over and seek professional advice as soon as it is safe. Red warning lights typically signal serious problems and require immediate action; professional service technicians can diagnose the cause and help identify quick and affordable solutions quickly and affordably. When green or blue lights illuminate they usually indicate that a system is operating normally; for more details it may be worthwhile consulting the owner's manual for more details.

Airbag Warning Light

This dashboard warning light typically depicts a side view of someone sitting in their seat with airbag or SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) displayed. When illuminated, your car's computer is checking your airbag system; typically it comes on for several seconds when starting up your car before going off again to indicate everything is running as intended; if it remains illuminated however, then there may be an issue preventing airbag deployment during an accident that needs immediate diagnosis and repair.

Your car's airbags are designed to deploy within fractions of a second upon impact in order to provide cushion between you and the hard surface of the dashboard or steering wheel, and potentially serious injury. Their warning light typically glows orange or red and should read "AIRBAG or SRS". Furthermore, some advanced vehicles display an outline graphic depicting someone holding up a beachball.

The airbag warning light can also illuminate to alert you if any passenger seat isn't securely closed, prompting you to ensure there are no obstacles under or wedged into it which might trigger its sensor. In such a scenario, check that everything beneath and wedged into it hasn't tripped this sensor.

Though it can be alarming to see flashing lights while driving, these warnings shouldn't scare you - rather, most need to be addressed immediately upon notice - some more urgently than others - in order to keep your vehicle operating smoothly and safely.