89 Car Dashboard Icons [What Do They Mean?] (2023)

We all know that feeling when we see a warning light flashing on our car's dashboard. I'm not sure what it means and have a quick look through the manual to try and interpret what the symbol is trying to tell us.

In this blog post, we get into theThe 89 most common car symbols and their meaningthat way you'll be better informed the next time a warning light comes on your dashboard. Being aware of these lights can help you avoid costly repairs later on.

Index to hide

Common car dashboard icons

security symbols

lighting icons

symbol of comfort

other symbols

common questions

What do the car dashboard icons mean?

What does a flashing icon on the dashboard mean?

What are the icons on the panel for?

What are the main dashboard warning lights?

Conclusion: car dashboard icons

references

The most common car symbols and warning lights

There are some dashboard icons and warning lights that are more common than others. Some are specific to certain car brands while others are seen on most car models in the market. We'll start by showing you the most common dashboard icons seen on most cars.

What you should know is that in general for cars, a red warning light means there is danger and should be checked immediately, while a yellow or orange warning light is a warning and should be checked as soon as possible. A green or blue light indicates the system is on and operational

Normally, most warning lights and symbols on the dash should stay on for 3 to 5 seconds after you switch the ignition on. However, if they remain lit while the engine is running, there is likely a fault that needs to be corrected. If you can't find the dash symbol you're looking for, consult your vehicle's owner's manual.

Common car dashboard icons

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1. Check Engine Light

A Check Engine light indicates an engine or emissions problem. It can be displayed as an engine symbol or as plain text with "Check Engine".keep reading

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2. Anti-blocking system

An ABS light indicates that there is a problem with the antilock brake system or antilock brake system (ABS).keep reading

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3. Air bag indicator

An airbag light means there is a problem with the airbag system. Airbags will not deploy in an accident with the lights on.keep reading

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4. Oil level warning light

A yellow oil level warning light indicates a low engine oil level. The oil level must be checked as soon as possible. Probably due to oil leakage.

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5. Oil pressure warning

A red oil pressure light indicates low oil pressure in the engine. Your engine must be stopped immediately to avoid damage if the low oil pressure warning light comes on.keep reading

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6.low battery warning

A low battery warning icon means the generator is not charging the battery properly and its engine is about to shut down due to low battery capacity.keep reading

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7.Coolant temperature warning light

An engine temperature warning light means the engine coolant temperature is high and the engine must be stopped immediately to prevent further damage.keep reading

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8. Tire pressure warning light

A tire pressure warning light indicates low air pressure in one or more tires. It can also be caused by a faulty or uncalibrated tire pressure sensor.keep reading

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(Video) Every Dashboard Warning Lights in Your Car Explained | Part - 1

9.ESP light/traction control

An ESP or Traction Warning Light indicates a problem with the traction control system. Your traction control system does not work when the lights are on - danger.keep reading

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10. Service engine coming soon

The Service Engine Soon message indicates minor engine problems or low fluid levels.keep reading

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11. Low light washer fluid

A washer fluid symbol means that the washer fluid level is low or the metering system is incorrect.

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12.Auto switch lock icon

An automatic shift lock icon indicates that the brake pedal is not depressed and the car will not start and the shift lever will not come out of park.

Engine and emissions symbols

Dashboard lights and icons for cars with engines and emissions include everything from mechanical damage to emissions-related electrical issues.

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13. Reduced engine power

A reduced engine power car light means there is a problem with the engine and the power is reduced to protect the engine.keep reading

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14. Lambda warning light

A lambda warning light indicates that there is a problem with the air/fuel mixture or a problem with the oxygen sensors. This light is more common on older car models.

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15. Low coolant gauge

A low coolant warning light indicates a low coolant level in the coolant reservoir or a problem with the coolant level sensor. Check the radiator for leaks,radiator cap, cooling hoses or water pump.

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16. Glow Candle Indicator (Diesel)

A glow plug icon indicates that there is a problem with the glow plugs or the glow plug control system.

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17. Fuel filter level warning

A fuel filter level warning light means the water separator in the fuel level is full and needs to be emptied

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18. Power steering level icon

A power steering level warning light indicates the power steering fluid level is low or there is a problem with the fluid level sensor

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19. Electronic throttle indicator light

An Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) warning light indicates that there is a problem with the engine's electronic throttle body or system

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20. Particulate Filter Notice (Diesel)

A diesel particulate filter warning light indicates that there is a problem with the diesel particulate filter (DPF) system or that the particulate filter is full and needs to be regenerated or replaced

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21. Low fuel level

A low fuel icon means the fuel level in the tank is low or there is a problem with the fuel gauge system. There may also be an arrow showing which side the tank cap is on.

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22. Catalytic converter warning

A catalytic converter warning light indicates that there is a problem with the catalytic converter control system or that the catalytic converter is damaged.

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23. Main warning light

A main warning light usually comes on together with another warning light and it means there is a problem with your car. Let a mechanic take a look.

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24. Blinking engine light

A flickering or flickering engine light indicates that there is a problem with your engine. A flashing light is usually triggered by a misfired engine.Keep reading.

Power train symbols and warning lights

Powertrain lights and icons cover everything from the transmission to the wheels. As we already said, red lights should always be observed immediately!

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25. Transmission Temperature Warning

A transmission temperature warning light indicates that the transmission temperature is too high or there is a problem with the temperature measurement

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26. Traction control off

The traction control off icon means that traction control is manually turned off.

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27. Power train failure

A powertrain fault icon indicates that there is a problem with the powertrain or powertrain system, such as the 4WD or AWD system.

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28. Overdrive-Off-Anzeige

An overdrive off symbol means that the automatic transmission's overdrive system is off.keep reading

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29. Parking brake light

A parking brake warning light indicates that the parking brake is on or there is a problem with the parking brake system

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(Video) Dashboard Warning Lights Explained | Quick Tip

30. Differential temperature warning

A differential temperature warning light indicates that the differential temperature is too high or there is a problem with the measurement system.

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31. DTC-Warnleuchte

A DTC warning light means there is a problem with the BMW traction control system

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32. ESP-BAS

An ESP BAS warning light indicates a problem with the Electronic Stability Program or Brake Assist Program

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33. Automatic Transmission Warning

An automatic transmission warning indicates a problem with the automatic transmission or the system that controls it

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34. Brake pad warning

A brake pad warning light means that the front or rear brake pads are worn and need to be replaced.

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35. Brake warning light

A brake warning light indicates a problem with the brake system. This must be checked immediately, otherwise you can lose your brakes.

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36. Service vehicle coming soon

A service vehicle soon icon indicates that there is a problem with the ABS, traction control or electric suspension system

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37. 4WD activation indicator

An enabled 4WD icon means four-wheel drive is enabled.

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38. 2WD activation indicator

A 2WD enabled icon indicates that the 4WD system is off and the car is providing power to two wheels only

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39. Four wheel drive (AWD/4WD)

A four-wheel drive symbol indicates that the AWD or 4WD system is activated.

security symbols

Safety symbols must be taken very seriously. Especially when it's a red warning light! It can often be a matter of life and death if you are unlucky.

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40. Warning lights and

A hazard warning symbol means the hazard warning lights are on

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41. Ajar door icon.

A door ajar icon indicates that one of the doors is open or that there is a problem with the door switch system

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42. Open hood

An open hood symbol indicates that the hood is not properly closed. Driving at high speed with the hood off is very dangerous.

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43. Spurverlassenswarnung

A lane departure warning light indicates the vehicle is moving out of its lane without flashing

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44. Forward Collision Warning

A forward collision warning light means a potential collision has been detected.

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45. SRS light

An SRS warning light indicates a problem with the airbag or supplemental restraint system.keep reading

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46. ​​​Seat belt indicator

A seat belt icon indicates that one or more seat belts are not fastened or there is a problem with the system. For some car models, check the driver and passenger sides and rear seats.

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47. Side airbag warning light

A side air bag warning light indicates that the side air bags are turned off or there is a problem with the side air bags.

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48. Power steering warning light

A power steering warning light means there is a problem with the power steering system.

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49. Road ice warning light

An ice warning light indicates that the outside temperature is low and there is a risk of frost. Go slow!

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50. Distance warning

A distance warning indicates that the front radar has detected that your vehicle is too close to the vehicle ahead or is approaching too quickly.

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51. Open hood

An open hood symbol means the hood is not closed properly or there is a problem with the hood lock switch

(Video) DASHBOARD WARNING LIGHTS!

lighting icons

Vehicle light icons are linked to your car's lighting system. These colors can be blue, green or yellow and often represent specific vehicle features such as turn signals or warning lights.

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52. Headlight range control

A headlight leveling warning light indicates a problem with the headlight leveling system

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53. External light error

An outside light warning light indicates a problem with one or more outside lights, usually burnt out bulbs.

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54. High Lantern Indicator

A high beam symbol means the high beam is on

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55. Automatic High Lantern

An auto high beam icon means auto high beam is on

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56. Position light indicator

A position light symbol illuminates when the headlights are off and the position lights are on

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57. Low beam indicator light

A low beam icon illuminates when the low beams are turned on

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58. Fog lights on

A fog light icon is displayed when the fog lights are on.

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59. Rear fog light on

A rear fog light icon is displayed when the rear fog lights are on.

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60. Turn signal warning symbol

An arrow warning icon indicates that there is a problem with the headlight's signaling system.

symbol of comfort

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61. Windshield de-icing indicator

A windshield defogger icon indicates that the windshield defogger is on

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62. Rear window defrosting

A heated rear window icon means the heated rear window is on

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63. Cruise control on indicator

A green cruise control icon indicates that cruise control is on and activated.

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64. Cruise control warning

A cruise control warning icon indicates that there is a problem with the cruise control or throttle control system

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65. Cruise control speed limiter

A cruise control speed limiter icon means the cruise control system is limiting the maximum speed.

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66. Cruise control SET indicator

A "SET" symbol indicates that the cruise control is set to a fixed speed and will attempt to maintain that speed.

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67. Gear shift indicator

An upshift symbol indicates it's time to shift to a higher gear

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68. Downshift Indicator

A downshift icon means it's time to shift to a lower gear

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69. Automatic cleaner

An auto wiper icon indicates the auto wiper system is on.

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70. Ar de recirculado cabine

A recirculated cabin air icon indicates the vehicle is recirculating air inside the vehicle instead of drawing air outside the vehicle

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71. Heater fan on

A heater fan icon means the fan motor is on.

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72. Heated seats in

A seat heater symbol indicates that one or more seat heaters are on.

other symbols

Here's a list of other common dashboard icons and lights that don't fit into any of the categories covered so far. Remember there are hundreds of different ones if you include all car models but these are just a few examples!

(Video) No Light in car dash? Top 4 things you can do to fix DIY

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73. Bergabfahrkontrolle

A Hill Descent Assist icon indicates that the Hill Descent System is activated and will limit the vehicle's speed when driving downhill.

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74. Steering lock warning light

A steering lock warning light means there is a problem with the steering lock or the car key is not recognized

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75. Brake fluid level warning

A brake fluid level warning indicates that the brake fluid level is too low or there is a problem with the measurement system.

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76. The key is not in the vehicle's indicator.

A key out of vehicle icon indicates that the vehicle immobilizer cannot reach or recognize the car key

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77. Immobilizer Indicator

An immobilizer icon means the car key cannot be reached or recognized, or there is a problem with the immobilizer.

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78. Ignition switch warning

An ignition switch warning icon indicates that there is a problem with the ignition switch system.

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79. Low battery charge

A low electric battery icon indicates it's time to charge your electric vehicle's battery

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80. Brake light warning

A brake light warning indicates that the brake lights are not working.

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81. Air Suspension Warning

An air suspension warning icon means there is a problem with the air suspension system.

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82. Suspension warning light

A suspension warning light will come on if there is a malfunction in the electric suspension system.

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83. Car in ramp mode

A car on ramp mode warning icon lights up when the car's tires are lifted into the air or when repair mode is activated

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84. ECO mode no indicator

An ECO mode icon indicates that the Eco system is activated.keep reading

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85. Rear Spoiler Alert

A rear spoiler warning light indicates a fault in the rear spoiler electrical system

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86. Track assistant

A green Lane Assist icon indicates that Lane Assist is on.

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87. Exhaust Fluid (Diesel)

An exhaust fluid warning light means that the exhaust fluid (AdBlue) level in your diesel vehicle is low.

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88. Convertible roof warning light

A convertible roof warning light indicates the convertible roof system is opening or closing

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89. Blue coolant temperature light

A blue engine temperature symbol means the engine is still cold and you should drive carefully.

common questions

What do the car dashboard icons mean?

There are over 100 different car symbols. To see each meaning, you should consult the owner's manual for your specific car model. Red usually means stop or danger, and yellow means caution (see a mechanic). Blue, green and white means everything is normal and a system in your car is up and running.

However, it's important to note that different car models sometimes use different colors for similar warnings; therefore, it is always best to consult the owner's manual before taking any action.

What does a flashing icon on the dashboard mean?

Aflashing engine controlor another flashing icon usually means that there is a serious problem with the system or that the problem is occurring. Serious damage or security issues can result if a flashing dashboard icon is not resolved. So if you see a flashing dashboard icon, contact a mechanic ASAP. However, this depends on the vehicle model, and sometimes an intermittent system just means that a system is operational.

What are the icons on the panel for?

Icons on the dashboard indicate the operation of various systems and devices in your car. For example, a yellow engine image means there is a problem with the engine system. A green light means the headlights are on. There are many other symbols that may vary depending on the car brand. You can usually find an explanation of all the symbols in your car's manual.

What are the main dashboard warning lights?

The main dashboard warning lights used by most car manufacturers are theCheck engine light,ABS light, oil pressure warning light, airbag indicator,battery charge light,coolant overheating light, and washer fluid lamp low.

Conclusion: car dashboard icons

Dashboard icons are very important to understand what is happening with your car. Familiarizing yourself with the different symbols can save you a lot of time and money if something goes wrong.

If you're not sure what a specific warning light or dashboard symbol means, consult your car's owner's manual. If the problem persists, take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic as soon as possible to avoid serious damage. Here is a long video explanation of all car dashboard icons:

(Video) BATTERY WARNING LIGHT {on dashboard}🚨: Meaning & Explanation – What causes battery light come on?🚘

references

  1. Toyota dashboard lighting
  2. Lexus warning lights

Categories:Generally,hazard lights

FAQs

What do the lights on the dash board mean and what do they mean? ›

Green: the system is working correctly or is currently in use. Yellow: something is not working correctly - take extra care and check it out as soon as possible. Red: there is a serious, and potentially dangerous problem - stop driving as soon as it is safe to do so.

What is the transmission light symbol? ›

Transmission Warning Light

When this red or yellow transmission warning symbol is illuminated, your car is alerting you that your transmission is overheating. If this warning light turns on, you should immediately stop your vehicle and turn it off when it's safe to do so.

What are the 3 main warning lights warning gauges in your car? ›

There are 3 different categories of warning lights; red, amber and green: Red warning lights mean you should stop the car as soon as it's safe. Yellow warning lights mean that action is required. Green warning lights are for information only.

What is the symbol for brake warning light? ›

The brake system light, typically a red or yellow circle symbol with the letter “P” or an exclamation mark “!” in the center, illuminates in the event that your vehicle's parking brake is engaged.

What is the check engine symbol? ›

The check engine light is one of your car's dashboard symbols – it's an orange engine-shaped icon set amongst your dashboard lights that illuminates to alert you on your car's health.

What engine warning light means? ›

An engine management light, or EML (sometimes also called the 'check engine light') is a dashboard warning light that illuminates when an issue with your car's engine, exhaust or emissions system has cropped up.

What is the most serious warning light in a car? ›

The check engine light is usually the most serious and feared warning because of the kind of damage it can signal. This warning often indicates the potential for serious engine damage. When ignored, your vehicle could suffer from a blown head gasket or a seized engine.

What are the most common dashboard warning lights? ›

So What Do They Mean?
  • Check Engine or Malfunction Indicator Light. You'll see this light when there's an engine problem, and it may lead to the system operating abnormally. ...
  • Oil Pressure Warning Light. ...
  • Door Ajar Indicator Light. ...
  • Brake System Light. ...
  • Security Indicator Light.

What does low oil symbol look like? ›

Engine Oil Level Indicator– This dashboard warning light looks like a lamp with a drop of oil dripping from it.

How many dashboard symbols are there? ›

There are 64 warning lights and symbols on a car's dashboard - but how many do you recognise? They are an everyday sight that could mean the difference between a smooth journey and a costly repair bill. But many of us have no idea what the lights and symbols on our car dashboards actually mean and when to take action.

What is the oil light symbol? ›

The oil can symbol means the oil pressure is low. If the symbol has a wavy line below it, that means the oil level is low. When this is the case, topping off the oil should make the indicator light turn off.

Is there a dash light for low transmission fluid? ›

When the level of transmission fluid goes down, you will get a warning light on the dashboard. The warning light indicates hotter temperatures than normal of the fluid, and there is a need to get the fluid checked.

What is the warning light for low transmission fluid? ›

If your transmission fluid gets low enough, the check engine light could pop on. It's important to have this checked out to make sure it doesn't result in any serious damage.

Which symbol warns that there is something wrong with your alternator *? ›

A box with a + and – symbol indicates an issue with your battery and/or charging system. This could be a bad or declining battery or a problem with the alternator. Continuing to drive with this light on could leave you stranded if you run down your battery or your alternator is not working correctly.

What is a master warning light in a car? ›

The Master Warning light is used to notify you of a potential problem with one or more of your vehicle's advanced systems. It will be accompanied by a message in your car's vehicle information display with a more detailed system message.

What does the master warning light look like? ›

Typically, the master warning light looks like a triangle with an exclamation mark in the middle. The light indicates one or more problems have been detected with the vehicle.

Is it OK to drive with brake light on? ›

Again, it is important that you do not continue driving and ignore the brake light, this can cause more damage to the braking system and be very dangerous. *Pro Tip: when you first turn on your vehicle, all the lights on the dashboard should illuminate.

Can I drive with my parking brake light on? ›

1. You should never drive with the parking brake on. Driving with your car parking brake on can do major damage to your braking system. It can wear down your brake pads quickly, as well as cause excessive heat in the system that can do other types of expensive damage.

What does low oil pressure light look like? ›

This light looks like a genie lamp with a drop coming out of the end, but in some models it is a red light that says OIL. Any red warning light that your vehicle displays is an indication that your vehicle needs maintenance as soon as possible to avoid serious damage.

What are signs of engine failure? ›

7 Common Signs of Engine Trouble
  • Power Loss. If you drive an older car with high mileage, you don't necessarily need to worry if it's gradually lost a bit of power over time. ...
  • Check Engine Light Turns On. ...
  • Knocking Noise. ...
  • Vibrations. ...
  • Discolored/Excessive Exhaust Smoke. ...
  • Overheating. ...
  • Engine Stalls while Idling.
Apr 2, 2021

How do I know if my check engine light is serious? ›

If the check engine light illuminates, it will either blink or remain constantly illuminated, depending on the problem. A blinking light, or in some cars a red light instead of a yellow or orange light, indicates a problem that needs immediate attention. Either way, you should have the vehicle checked by a mechanic.

Can low oil cause check engine light? ›

Low oil pressure is a common cause of a check engine light turning on, and it can seriously interfere with your car's performance.

What is the most common problem when the check engine light comes on? ›

Oxygen Sensor Malfunction

One of the most common reasons your check engine light may come on is that your oxygen sensor is failing. Your local auto repair shop in Western Washington can replace it for you quickly, which will restore your vehicle's ability to measure unburned oxygen in its exhaust system.

What dash light looks like a fish? ›

The tire pressure light looks like a fish bowl with an exclamation point in the center. This light commonly comes on during the winter months when the temperature drops and the air pressure decreases.

What does the yellow car symbol mean? ›

Orange or yellow dashboard lights remind you that something needs to be serviced soon, like an oil change, or that something is wrong with your emissions system. While not an emergency, you should have a repair person look at the problem as soon as possible.

What is the orange symbol on my dash? ›

You might notice the orange exclamation mark on your dashboard. It's a common symbol often surrounded by a tire icon. If you see this symbol, pay attention. It's an alert that one of your tires has dropped below 75% of its recommended pressure.

Why is my check engine light on but my car runs fine? ›

Sometimes, the check engine light comes on to let you know that there's a problem with the car's internal diagnostic mechanism. That means the system could be “finding” a problem that doesn't exist, or it could be that loose wire systems are creating a false positive in the system.

What is the symbol with exclamation mark in car? ›

The horseshoe shape on your dashboard light (often with an exclamation point in the middle) indicates low tire pressure. Low tire pressure happens naturally over time from driving. Cold weather also causes low air pressure as the air compresses inside of your tires.

What engine code is low oil? ›

P0524 code definition

When the PCM of a vehicle stores this code, it's because its oil sensor detects that the amount of engine oil pressure is too low.

What symbol represents oil pressure warning? ›

A wavy line below the oil can indicates the oil level is low. Without the wavy line, your engine is telling you that the oil pressure is low. But first, is one of these truly your symbol??

What does this mean (!) On my car? ›

Modern cars come with tire pressure monitoring systems and the little exclamation point inside of a half-circle merely means one or more of your tires have low pressure.

What does the yellow symbol on my dashboard mean? ›

Orange or yellow dashboard lights remind you that something needs to be serviced soon, like an oil change, or that something is wrong with your emissions system. While not an emergency, you should have a repair person look at the problem as soon as possible.

What does the red triangle with (!) Mean on car dash? ›

This indicator lets you know that there's a Critical Warning Message that you need to read as soon as possible, but it doesn't actually indicate a specific problem. Really, the triangle with an exclamation point is a catch-all warning light, designed to alert you to issues that your other lights won't catch!

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References

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Introduction: My name is Arielle Torp, I am a comfortable, kind, zealous, lovely, jolly, colorful, adventurous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.