What All The Dashboard Indicator in A Car mean



What All The Dashboard Indicator in A Car mean


Dashboard warning light

Dashboard Lights

Your dashboard lights up with lots of symbols  each time you start the car, many cars show these warning lights briefly when you turn on the ignition, but they should soon go out again. 

But if you don't understand what a warning lights means or choose to ignore it a small problem could turns into bigger, more expensive, and potentially dangerous issue. And even the Savviest car owner can have trouble deciphering the message a warning light is trying to convey and what if one stays on. 

Car Warning Lights. 

1. Car Battery Is Low

Car battery is low sign on my dashboard

The battery light on your dashboard signals a charging problem with your car battery. If the light turns and stays on, it may be that your alternator isn't generating enough voltage to charge it. Common causes can be a broken alternator belt, damaged battery cells or a failed alternator. 

The battery light comes on when you start your car, and it might linger for a seconds or two, but it usually turns off pretty quickly. If it stays on while the car is running, it probably means there is something wrong with the alternator or it could also mean there is a minor problem with the battery like corrosion. 

2. Door Is Open Light

Car door is open sign on dashboard

The "door open sign" is to signify drivers that one of the doors is not properly closed. This signs illuminate on the vehicle dashboard. 

Cars have been equipped with door switches for quite some time now. The cars computer monitors the switch and alerts the driver when it thinks one of the doors isn't closed all the way through. This is a safety measure to prevent any doors from opening while you are driving. 

Also, most likely the drivers door lock actuator is bad and needs to be replaced. It could also be a wiring/connector problem like the connector from the door to the car by the hinge. 

Even just leaving a door slightly ajar may be enough to cause the internal lights to illuminate and if you leave your lights to illuminate and if you leave your lights on long enough, your car battery will get drained. Luckily, this can be easily fixed with a jump-start, and in most cases, your battery will be just fine afterward. 

All you have to do when the light is in is to check if the doors, boots or closed properly then the sign disappear automatically. 

3. Engine Oil level is Low

Engine oil level is low sign on dashboard

When you see this light while you are driving, don't ignore it because it could be an indication of a potentially serious problem. 

When the oil light comes on, it mean your vehicle has low oil pressure. This drop in oil pressure could be a sign of a few things: you are low on oil, your oil is dirty, or you have an oil leaks. 

Without sufficient oil or oil pressure, the engine can wear itself out in a matter of seconds. Beside lubrication, engine oil helps with cooling, sealing, cleaning, and protecting engine components from repeated impacts. 

Your dipstick will tell you if your oil level is lower than the required amount. If it is low, don't try to continue driving the vehicle because you could actually cause more harm to your engine like destroying the pistons, bending the valves, burns the gaskets e.t.c. which will further cost you heart amount of money for repairs. 

low engine oil symptoms

  • Less efficient performance
  • Clunking sound
  • Burning oil smell
  • Oil pressure warning light. 

4. Starting Car systems abnormal

Starting car system is abnormal sign on dashboard

Anyone who owns a vehicle has likely experienced the frustrating problem of a car that cranks but doesn't start, even after repeatedly turning the key in the ignition. 

For the engine to start normally, it requires sufficient fuel pressure, and appropriate timed spark and normal compression. 

The starter causes the flywheel to turn which rotates the crankshaft when all is working correctly, the  the car can easily start when  you turn  your cars on ignition. 

If your car fails to start then the most common reasons for this message are a dead battery, faulty starter, or a problem with the ignition switch. 

Causes of engine that crank but don't start. 

  • Spark plugs problem
  • Power supply problem
  • Low compression
  • Lack of fuel flow. 

5. Tyre Pressure Warning

Tyre pressure warning sign on dashboard

When the tyre pressure warning light becomes illuminated on your car dashboard. It is a sign that one or more of your tyres has become under inflated and fallen below the ideal pressure. This could be a sign  that you need to replace your tyres or they just need reinflating. 

Low pressure could result from a leak or simply from. The tendency of a tyre to lose about a pound of air pressure every month, as well as a pond of every 10 degree drop in temperature. 

6. Engine Temperature Too High

Engine temperature is too high sign on dashboard

An engine relies on it cooling system to keep its operating temperature stable such as coolant, radiator, fan and water. If one of these factors is not longer working  then there is a serious problem because it will eventually leads to engine over heating. 

The most common causes of over heating are problems with a vehicle cooling system, like low coolant levels or an issue with the circulation. 

A warning sign is display on the vehicle dashboard to notify the driver that there is a problem and it leads to engine overheating. Also, there is steam coming from your bonnet, pull over in a safe place as soon as possible, turn off your engine and look for a professional help from a mechanic.

what causes a car to overheat

  • Faulty radator fan. 
  • Broken water pump
  • Clogged or dirty radiator
  • Leaking head gasket
  • Leaking radiator. 

7. Traction Control

Traction control sign on dashboard

Traction control is safety features embedded in vehicles starting from 2012 model to the present age. It is abbreviated as TC, TCS, or TRAC, or will show a car going away from the original road. 

Traction control system are designed to assist the vehicle from losing traction. In other words, to stop the wheels from skidding, slipping, spinning. 

Your car has a computer that monitors and runs all of your vehicle components, ensuring that the parts are functioning properly. 

If you are driving in a bad weather conditions and the traction control system (TCL) turns on then your vehicle system is working very fine and it will helps to eliminate accident caused by skidding, slipping and spinning. 

8. Hand Braking Warning Lights

Hand braking warning light

Hand brake warning lights displaying on the vehicle dashboard simply means that the hand brake is currently engage. It is a reminder that you should disengage it before attempting to drive. 

Don't start driving with the hand brake sign on or it can cause the brake pad to rub against the wheel and also overheat over time. 

9. ABS Warning Light 

ABS warning sign on dashboard

The anti-lock braking system,  better known as the ABS system makes sure your tires continue to stick to the road while you are braking. If your tires lose contact with the road, your car can end up skidding which us very bad. 

When the ABS warning light becomes illuminated on your dashboard cluster it means that your vehicle requires service to repair the braking system. 

The four common reasons that typically cause this light to turn on include a malfunctioning ABS module, low levels in the fluid reservoir, broken wheel speed sensors, or the system is turned off. 

If the ABS light get turn on, you should check your brake fluid reservoir to ensure that the levels aren't too low, as the ABS warning light can be activated if the levels of brake fluid have dropped. If this is clearly an issue, you can top the brake fluid up yourself, which should cause the ABS light to go off. 

10. Low fuel Indicator

Low fuel indicator sign on dashboard

The low fuel warning lights has one purpose: to tell drivers that their fuel tanks are running low. 

There are sensors in your tank that let your electronic known when you're running out of gas, and the light will start flashing when you're down  to either a gallon or 1.5 gallons of fuel left. 

Most people start to panic after seeing the low fuel indicator sign on there dashboard. But you will be able to drive between 30 and 50 or more miles even after the light comes on. Which means that even if the gas light comes on, it may not be time to panic yet. 

All you have to do is to drive to the nearest petrol station to refill your fuel tanks. And the low fuel indicator will disappear immediately. 

It is not advisable to always drive your car around without topping the fuel until the low fuel indicator shows up on the dashboard because it could damage the fuel pump exposing you and your car to danger. 

11. Airbag Warning Light

Airbag warning lights on dashboard

It's perfectly normal for this light to turn on when your vehicle is first started. 

When this light goes red it means that at least one element of the airbag safety system is not working correctly: either the airbag system itself; the front passenger occupant classification system (which detects the front passenger weight and position in order to safely deploy the airbag); or the seat belt system, which tighten the belt in the event of an accident. 

There are various numbers of reasons the airbag warning light on: 

  •  Faulty sensors. 
  • Small collision. 
  • Dead backup battery. 
  • Water damage. 

12. Seat Belt Warning Light. 

Seat belt warning light on dashboard

The seat belt reminder indicator symbol will typically appear on your dashboard when the seat belt reminder sensors detects that you or your passenger is seated in the car seat without the seat belt securely fastened. 

Those who don't fastened their seat belts have a higher chance of getting thrown out of the vehicle or even worse killed during impact. 

Cars use pressure sensors in the seats and sensors in the seat belts so if there is a certain amount of weight on a seat and the seatbelt isn't secured, it'll let you know. 

Once all seat belts have been fastened, the light will shut off. 

If you find that your seat belt reminder indicator symbol is remaining active despite securely fastening your seat belt, there is a possibility that the system is experiencing a malfunction. 

13. Various Light Indicators

Various light indicator sign on dashboard

These indicators tell you which lights are turned on, depending on the symbol. The blue light indicates the high beam headlights are on (be sure to dim these for incoming vehicle). 

A similar light, but green, indicates the low beam headlights are on. A light symbol with the dashes pointed downward, usually with a slash through the dashes, means the fog lights are on. If facing left, the front fog lights are on, if facing right, the rear fog lights are on(this is a feature common on European cars.) 

Two lights with the dashes pointing outward means the parking lights are on or is a general indicator that your vehicle lights are turned on. 

14. Water Fluid Indicator

Water fluid indicator sign on dashboard

The washer fluid indicator tells you simply that your windshield washer fluid is low and needs to be topped off soon. 

To make this indicator diappear, simply check your windshield fluid, and refill the tank if necessary. 

15. Eco Driving Indicator

ECO driving indicator sign on dashboard

The ECO driving indicator light turns on when our car is driving at a speed that allows you to get the maximum miles from a gallon of gas. 

The ECO driving indicator lights have been around since the mid 2000's. This ECO light serves to let drivers know if they are getting the most out of their fuel tanks. 

Thank you very much for taking your time to read this article, if the article is helpful do consider sharing to your various social media handles. 

 Thank you

Post a Comment