What Do All of Those Dashboard Warning Lights Really Mean?

These days, all newer cars are full of technology. With all that technology comes a lot of extra bells and whistles, including all kinds of warning signals on the dashboard. From the low fuel warning to the check engine light, there is a lot to keep track of. While some of these lights are fairly straightforward and easy to understand, some of them are a little more difficult to decode. So just what do all of these lights really mean? Let’s take a closer look.

Common Dashboard Lights

Check Engine Light – this is one of the most common warning lights that drivers experience. It can be triggered for numerous reasons, including a loose gas cap or something more serious like a failing catalytic convertor. The best thing to do is use a diagnostic tool to get the code and see exactly what triggered the light to come on. You can bring your car into our shop and we’ll get the code and read it for you.

Service Engine Soon – your vehicle’s computer system activates this light and it could be for several different reasons. Some are very minor and others could be very serious. The best thing to do is come in and get your vehicle diagnosed and determine the exact problem.

Battery – obviously this light indicates an issue with your battery, or somewhere else in the electrical system. If this light comes on keep your vehicle running. It might not start again if you shut it off. Take your vehicle into the shop and get your battery tested. If the battery is fine, it could be a loose wire that’s causing the light to come on.

Oil Pressure Warning – this light can mean two different things. Either your oil pressure is low, or the sensor that activates the oil pressure dashboard light is broken. If you have low oil pressure then you might have an oil leak, or your engine could be burning oil. Get it checked out ASAP.

ABS – when the ABS light comes on, this indicates there is a problem with your anti-lock brake system. The computer receives a signal that something is wrong and creates a code. With the right diagnostic tool you can see the code and understand what it means. Your car’s brakes will continue to work, but the ABS needs to be checked before it will function properly.

Brake Light – this is usually not a big problem. Most of the time it’s on because you haven’t completely disengaged the emergency brake. However, if you have disengaged it and the light is still on then you could have a bigger problem. For example you could be low on brake fluid or have a lack of hydraulic pressure. If that’s the case, then get your vehicle into a Vancouver auto repair shop as soon as possible.

Temperature Warning Light – when your engine gets too hot the temperature warning light will come on. Most likely it’s because your coolant level is too low. But no matter the reason, if this light comes on you should pull over and shut your car off. If your engine gets too overheated it will seize. Make sure you wait for your vehicle to cool down before you check the radiator and try to add coolant or water.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System – this is an easy one. If you see this light come on then you need to check the air pressure in one or more of your tires. Add more air as needed and the light should shut off.

Tire Rotation – some cars these days even come with a reminder to rotate your tires. If you see this light then get your vehicle in for a rotation to ensure longer-lasting tread.

Low Fuel Light – this is another obvious warning light. But you should take it serious if it comes on. You’re about to run out of gas, so get to the nearest station soon or you’ll be stuck on the side of the road somewhere.

Traction Control System – this system helps stabilize your vehicle, together with the anti-lock brake system. However, when you see this light come on the triggering device is has been disabled and it will not control the amount of wheel slip while you’re driving. If it doesn’t go away then you need to get the code to see what’s wrong.

Bring Your Vehicle to Hoesly Automotive

If any of these lights turn on and they won’t turn off, then it’s time to bring your vehicle into Hoesly Automotive. Just call us today to make your next appointment or click here to set up an appointment online.

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