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Common Dashboard Warning Lights

Andy Mohr Collision Center Blog

Posted: December 13, 2018

Have you ever been driving around the Bloomington, Plainfield, Fishers, or Indianapolis areas and found that there is a new light shining on your dashboard display? It happens. Cars can’t speak to us, but they’re good at communicating their needs, especially through these dashboard lights.

Not every dashboard light signifies an issue with your vehicle, some of these lights are meant to make you aware of a minor problem before it becomes a major issue. At Andy Mohr Collision Center, we know that you can’t always pull out your owner’s manual to see what the light means, so we decided to give you a little cheat sheet to some of the more common occurrences on the dashboard.

Warning Lights

When it comes to these several different lights, you’ll want to take note of them and schedule a service appointment as soon as you can.

  • Battery Light – This light will look like a small rectangle with a plus and minus sign inside of it. If this symbol illuminates, it means something isn’t right with your battery. The issue could be as simple as a loose cable, but it could also mean that the battery needs to be replaced.
  • Engine Light – This icon looks like small vehicle engine and has various reasons for coming on. For the most part, the appearance of the engine light means there’s an emissions issue with your vehicle. The first test to perform on your own, however, is to tighten your gas cap if you have one as this can sometimes trigger this illumination.
  • ABS Light – This light will show up as a circle with “ABS” inside it and a parenthesis on either side, which is indicative of an issue with your Antilock Braking System. Sometimes, this icon will come on as a result of a bad sensor, but it’s important to get your service center to run a diagnostics test to make sure.
  • Airbags – This symbol shows a person in a seated position with a ball in their lap, and it means there is a problem going on with your airbag system in your car. Get it checked out as soon as you can.
  • Temperature Warning – If you see what looks like a thermometer bobbing on two small waves, then something is awry with your coolant system, so it’s important you have it looked at.

System Lights

Some of the dashboard lights in your vehicle are there just to let you know certain systems are active, especially with all the new technology that goes into vehicles these days.

  • High Beams – If you see what looks like a rounded-off triangle with lines behind it, it indicates that your high beams are on. Be a polite driver and ensure you’re not seeing this symbol when traveling with other cars.
  • Traction Control – If the tail end of a car with two squiggly lines behind it appears, then your traction control system has been activated. You’ll likely only see this when you’re driving in slippery conditions.
  • Doors – If you’re looking at a tiny aerial view of your vehicle with one of the doors open, then you haven’t fully closed one of your car doors.

Indicator Lights

These lights are meant to inform you of something that needs to be replaced in your car and are used as a pre-warning to let you know that you’re about to run out of something or already have.

  • Gas Light – One of the most popular dashboard symbols is the fuel indicator light, which looks like a small gas pump. This icon usually illuminates when you’re low on gas, so fill up soon.
  • Tire Pressure Light – This light looks like an exclamation point inside an incomplete circle. If this light flickers on, it means that one or all of your tires aren’t measuring up to the desired pressure. Stop by an air tank and pump them up.
  • Windshield Wiper Fluid – This icon will look like your windshield with the wipers going across it and fluid coming out of the wipers. If it comes on, then it indicates that your wiper fluid is empty and needs to be replaced.
  • Oil Light – This dashboard symbol will show up as a small oil can with one drop coming out of it, which usually means that your engine oil is on the low side. Grab a quart and fill it up or schedule an oil change.

Turning Off the Lights

While no lights showing up on your dashboard is the best appearance for your state of mind, they’re not always in relation to serious issues. At Andy Mohr Collision Center, we can run a simple diagnostics test that will discover any potential issues with your vehicle.

Schedule an appointment at one of our four convenient locations in the Bloomington, Fishers, Indianapolis, or Plainfield areas by giving us a call or going online.

Andy Mohr Collision Centers