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Dashboard warning light meanings

When driving your car the last thing you want to see is a warning light on your dashboard however some of them are simple easy fix’s so we have outlined some of the meanings so you know what to do.

dashboard warning lights

The colour of the light indicates wether you must stop driving immediately to rectify an issue with your vehicle.

RED - Requires immediate attention.

Amber/yellow - This category of lights is more of a warning to remind a driver that something needs fixing, topping up or is turned on so that you are safe on the roads.

What does it mean when a dashboard light is on?

Break System Alert - This can be as easy as taking your hand break off but if that does not fix the problem then it is important you do not drive the vehicle until a mechanic has fixed the issue.

Oil Warning - If you drive your vehicle with no oil in the engine it will break the internal components of your engine which will be very expensive to fix.

Seatbelt - You are required by law to drive with a seatbelt on.

Hazard warning - This can be turned off by pressing the Red Triangle usually in the centre of your dashboard.

Glow plug check - this light will come up if the glow plugs in your diesel engine are not warm enough and the vehicle must not be started until the light is off. If the light flashes when the engine is on then a problem has been detected and the glow plugs might need replacing or reconnecting.

Power train malfunction - this is a waring that there is an issue with either the engine, driver train or transmission which could cause more damage if the vehicle is driven.

Traction control - this can be turned off and on by the driver and is the system modern cars have to restrict power to the wheels if it senses a loss of grip at the wheels.

Throttle control - this could mean there is damage to the components which deliver fuel to the engine. You might find yourself filling up at the fuel station more than usual.

Open doors - it isn't safe to drive with open doors so make sure they are all closed securely before setting off on a journey.

High beam - this light is to make you aware that your high beam is on. It is important to turn it off when oncoming traffic is passing so it doesn't dazzle other drivers.

Bulb Failure - It is a legal requirement that all of your lights are functioning correctly so that other drivers can be alerted of your driving signals and also your vehicle remains visible at night.

Rear window defrost - A very useful feature when your back window is steamed up or iced over in cold conditions.

Child Lock - The back doors are locked from the inside so that young passengers don't cause any accidents.

Cruise control - This is mostly seen in modern vehicles and holds your speed on the motorway so you can take your foot away from the accelerator on long journeys.

Engine management - This light can mean many different things as it is detecting a fault somewhere in the engine. It is important to get this checked by a mechanic as quickly as possible so that no damage is caused to your vehicle.

ABS - This is an anti lock breaking system warning light and if it comes on it means the system is not working properly.

Tyre pressure - simply to make you aware your tyres need some air. This light will show more frequently in the winter as harsh changes in temperature make tyre’s deflate.

Power steering - the common reason this light will come on is if the power steering fluid is low. If the light does not go off when the fluid has been topped up then it is important a mechanic looks at the vehicle. If your power steering is electric fluid is not required so it is best to get a mechanic to look at your

Rear Fog light - This can be turned off manually by the driver.

Battery check - If there is a fault with the battery your car will not start. The light will indicate a loose wire or if your battery levels are low or if it is being drained with no power source i.e. if you sit listening to music in the car with the engine off.

Temperature warning - The engine is too hot and might need a coolant top up.

Front air bag - this can be switched off if you are putting a child seat in the front of the vehicle.

Low fuel - vehicles do have some reserves so that you are not stranded immediately but it is important to get to the nearest fuel station before it runs out completely.

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