Know your dashboard indication light signs


Sometimes we see flashing lights on the vehicle dashboard, either when driving or before setting off. Why do these lights come on, and what are the warnings about? In today’s write-up, let’s look at what some of your dashboard warning lights are and what they mean when lit-up.

Warning lights on the dashboard are to alert you, the driver, of a problem with the car. Once in a while you may see such warning lights appearing, but do not fuss; rather, be calm.

Before getting to some key warning-light indication signs, there are trivial ones like seatbelt not buckled or a door left slightly open. However, there are serious types like the engine has seized-up, probably due to low or lack of oil for the engine; faulty-wire or blown fuse; low hydraulic pressure on brakes; head-gasket blown, and the rest.

Each car has its own model design for the dashboard, but the flashing/warning lights are often and mostly the same; and it is very important to know indications of the warning lights when they occur. Warning lights are there for a reason and should not be ignored. If you find other lights on your car dashboard you don’t understand, check them out for safety’s sake.

Below are 8 major warning signs to pay attentions to

1) Battery light: The battery warning light means the connection is either weak or there is a fault with the electrical system. One other factor to check for when a battery light shows is it could be that the alternator which charges it is faulty.

2) Seatbelt-light: This often indicates that the driver or passenger by the driver does not have their seatbelt on. This can also result in cars beeping for some minutes before it stops. If there is problem with it not showing or blinking, or even beeping, try getting a mechanic to clean the buckle or replace the sensor.

3) Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) light: Usually, it will come on briefly every time you start your car as part of a system check. If the light stays on, that means something isn’t working and the system is faulty. This light is usually amber in colour, although it can also be yellow, orange, or even red in some applications, depending on the vehicle type. If the ABS system determines that your wheels are in danger of locking-up, it is capable of rapidly activating and deactivating brake calipers or wheel cylinders. Before you add any brake fluid to your ABS reservoir, it is important to find out what type of fluid your vehicle uses. This information will typically be stamped or printed right on the reservoir, or the reservoir cap.

Some types of brake fluids aren’t compatible with others, which is why it’s so important to use the right type. For instance, if you top-up your brake fluid reservoir with silicone-based DOT 5 brake fluid while your vehicle uses polyethylene glycol-based DOT 3 brake fluid, you can end up damaging internal seals or ABS components.

4) Oil Pressure light: Check your oil-level often. Try to stop driving or don’t move if you see this light indication on your dashboard. Low oil pressure to the engine can damage your engine, and could cause a leak somewhere around the engine body. So, until that is solved, do not drive the vehicle because it could ruin your engine.

5) Electronic or Hydraulic Power-steering light: This dashboard warning light illuminates when the power-steering is not working properly. Newer models have electronic power-steering while older ones have hydraulic. Either way, the vehicle needs to be serviced to refill the fluid and/or conduct a system check.

6) Check Engine light: The dreaded check engine light or malfunction indicator warning light flashes for a number of reasons. It can be as simple as a loose gas-cap, or severe as an overheating catalytic converter. Luckily, it is easy to find out what’s wrong. A code is triggered and can be retrieved with a Car Code Reader. Send your vehicle to get it checked before the problem escalates.

7) Tyre Pressure Warning light: Check your tyres often! Usually, the light indicates tyre pressure is low in one or more tyres. This could be due to weather change. Add air to your tyre immediately and check for punctures.

8) Fuel light: Running low on fuel (Petrol, Gas or Diesel) is not a joke or fun situation; and it’s worse when the fuel shortage warning light isn’t showing on the dashboard. This light has one function: to warn drivers of low fuel-level. When the light comes on there will still be some fuel in the tank, but not much. You should try to find a fuel station as soon as possible if this light illuminates while you’re driving or parked. The distance you can drive with low fuel varies between different cars, but typically there will be at least one gallon left in the tank when this warning light comes on.

Glancing at your dashboard warning lights can save you from unnecessary expenses and chaos. Remember, when you first start your car the lights will flash on for a check then turn off. If you have any questions about other warning lights, please leave a comment and I will find the answer for you!

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