What Does the Light On My Dashboard Mean?

Dashboard Warning Lights

Aside from your turn signals, it’s rare that a light on your dashboard is a good sign. But not all of them are bad — some are just letting you know that routine maintenance is needed or that a feature has been turned on or off. Greenway of the Shoals is here to help you decipher the dashboard warning lights on your vehicle so you can keep driving safely around The Shoals. Remember, though, that you should always consult your manual or visit a service center if a light comes on and you aren’t sure what it means.

The Meaning Behind Your Dashboard Warning Lights 

Engine Warning Lights

  • Coolant Temp Warning – It is likely that you will see this light when your coolant levels are off, your fan isn’t working properly, or the vehicle is leaking coolant.
  • Service Vehicle – In most cases, this light lets you know about an electrical issue, but many modern vehicles will also use this to signal need for a routine service like an oil change.
  • Check Engine Light – The check engine light can pop on for several reasons, and different vehicles could have different things that trigger it. While there are warning lights for oil pressure, coolant temperature, etc. some vehicles might turn the check engine light on instead. If your check engine light is flashing, that’s usually a sign of needing immediate service. 
  • Oil Pressure Light – That’s not a lamp for a genie; it’s a lamp for your oil! The oil pressure light could mean that your vehicle doesn’t have enough oil or that the oil is not circulating enough to properly lubricate the engine.

Tire and Brake System Warning Lights

  • Brake System – This light makes you aware of an issue with your brakes, such as the brake fluid is too low or there’s an ABS problem.
  • ABS – Some vehicles will have a specific light for ABS that either lets you know when anti-lock braking has been engaged or turns on when there is a problem with the ABS system.
  • Traction Control or ESP – This is another one of the dashboard warning lights that are letting you know that the vehicle’s electronic stability system is being utilized.
  • Tire Pressure Warning Light The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) has detected that one or more of your tires has a tire pressure rating that’s too low or too high. To prevent further issues with your tires down the road, adjust your tire pressure to meet the recommendations from the automaker. 

Safety & Informative Warning Lights

  • Fog Lamp – This light serves as a reminder that your brights are on. Many vehicles use the same light for headlights as brights, so you should keep an eye on the color of the light as well.
  • Airbag Fault – This light is typically indicative of a fault in the airbag system. For proper safety, bring your vehicle in for an inspection as soon as possible. 
  • Washer Fluid Reminder – This simply means your washer fluid is low and a refill is needed.
  • Low Fuel Light – This light means you need to fill up your tank immediately. The low fuel light shouldn’t be a reminder that you need gas — you ideally won’t ever see it. Driving with low fuel for too long can cause damage to your vehicle, and if you aren’t careful, it could leave you stranded around Northern Alabama.

Let Greenway of the Shoals Fix Those Dashboard Warning Lights

We’ve only scratched the surface on the different messages your car can send you. If a light comes on and you aren’t sure what it means, check your manual or bring it to a Greenway of the Shoals service center as soon as possible. Have questions? Our service team can help: contact us today.

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