Those with a knack for the mechanical –– and those that carefully studied their owner’s manual –– will have no problem understanding what these lights and symbol on the dashboard display mean and why they would light up. For the rest of us, a helpful review can keep us safe and our vehicles in proper working condition.
Most of the latest automobiles are capable of monitoring their own conditions and can provide their owner an alert if anything unusual is happening. This can include notifications on the air pressure of your tires or many other things happening in your car.
Not all the symbols that light up are an indication of a major problem, but knowing what they all mean and how to provide proper attention is important in enjoying your car’s functionality and your experience as a driver.
Timely attention to smaller issues can also extend the functional life of your car. So let’s get right into it…
1. Engine Temperature Alert
This symbol looks like a thermometer with a couple of wavy lines going through. This light will often be red and indicate that the temperature is rising.
If the internal temperatures of your engine are getting hotter there is only one place to look –– the radiator. Maybe it needs more water?
2. Tire pressure
This warning light looks like a cutaway of a tire with an exclamation point. Something in the tires of your car is not right. The air pressure in your car is getting low enough to send you a message about it.
Next time you pull into a station for fuel, think about adding some air to your tires.
3. Oil Pressure Warning
This symbol looks like a magic lamp, but actually that’s a classic old fashioned oil can with a drip coming from the spout. Oil is an important part of what keeps your car mobile. The pressure of your car’s oil is getting to low, there can be all kinds of issues because everything needs oil to run smoothly. Time to pick up some proper motor oil at your next stop at a service station.
4. Engine Warning
This one looks a bit like a cartoonish submarine, but if you exercise your imagination, it could also be a side view of a car engine. There are a variety of smaller issues that could be the underlying cause for your engine indicator symbol to light up. They are not always a serious issue, but you will definitely want to get your car to a knowledgeable expert for more information.
5. Anti Lock Brake System
When you see a circle with the indicative letters “ABS” inside, be aware that this is an indication that something is awry with your anti-lock braking system.
Since you vehicles brakes are extremely important to stop, and your safety and public safety are at stake, better get this one checked ASAP.
6. Engine Fault/Start Indicator
This is a shoe in the center of a circle and two semi-circles. Obviously some footwork will need to be done. (Hope it doesn’t mean you are walking home).
This symbol means that the break needs to be engaged before the car can be started or taken out of neutral gear.
The most obvious of the symbols here, it actually looks like a car battery with positive and negative terminals.
This means that battery power is failing and without a full-charge, your car might not start up again next time you park.
The icon of a classic fuel pump typical of the last century. Like us, you’ve likely seen this one many times over in your driving experiences.
As you might imagine, the car won’t get very far without the proper fuel, if you look closely, some of these symbols indicate which side the fuel access is located because we can all forget.