Car Warning Lights And What They Mean

January 4th, 2024 by

Car Warning Lights And What They Mean

Oh no…your car’s warning lights came out. Don’t freak out! Cars today are equipped with multiple warning lights to let you know when there is an issue. Without them, a problem could go from bad to worse without you even realizing anything was wrong. When your car’s warning lights are triggered, it’s important to take notice. It’s easy to see a light pop up and choose not to pay attention to it. However, ignoring car warning lights can be dangerous, leading to costly and time consuming repairs. By paying attention to your car warning lights dashboard, you can ensure that your car is getting the service that it needs. Take a look at this list of car warning lights to understand what’s going on with your vehicle and what you need to do to fix it.

Check Engine Light

Perhaps the most dreaded of your car warning lights is the check engine light. In most vehicles, this lights up as a red or yellow icon of an engine. In others, your vehicle may display “CHECK ENGINE” in all capital letters. This light can be illuminated for a variety of different reasons, making it hard to tell without proper diagnosis how serious the issue really is. The check engine light can be triggered for anything related to the car’s engine and exhaust system. This could be pointing to something very serious, like a failing transmission system. Or, it could be something incredibly minor, like a loose wire leading to faulty signals.

Even if everything seems to be operating normally, it’s important to never ignore your check engine light. Sometimes a serious issue may not be immediately apparent based on how the car is functioning. If your car is displaying this warning light, it is always best to go to your local service department and verify what the problem is. Your mechanic will be able to perform a diagnostic test and tell what is causing the warning light.

If you encounter a check engine light and have noticeable operational issues with your vehicle, such as strange noises or problems accelerating, do not attempt to continue driving the car. You should pull the car over and get a tow truck to bring you to a mechanic. If you’re having noticeable problems with your vehicle beyond just the warning light, there’s likely something serious going on. Continuing to drive the vehicle may only make the issue worse, and could be potentially very dangerous. It is best to get a professional to check the system, rather than worsen the problem and potentially cause permanent damage.

Battery Light

This warning light is fairly self explanatory, as it depicts an icon of a battery. If you see the battery warning light on your dashboard, there is something wrong with your vehicle’s battery system. Typically, you’ll get this light when you attempt to start your vehicle but the engine won’t turn over – the battery is dead. However, you can also receive this warning light if there’s issues with other parts of the electrical system. Your vehicle may be operating perfectly, but if you see this warning light come on, it’s still best to bring your vehicle to a professional for inspection. There may be an issue with the system’s wiring, electrical components, or alternator. There may even be a problem with the battery itself. If this is the case, you may need to buy a new battery.

Tire Pressure Warning Light

Usually one of the easiest warnings to address, the tire pressure warning light is an indication that your tire pressure is low. This warning light depicts a circle with a flattened bottom, with an exclamation point in the center. Typically, you can clear this light by filling your tires to the recommended pressure. Your tires will naturally lose pressure over time and need to be periodically refilled. If you live in an area that has cold winters, you may experience this light more often. The cold temperatures can cause your tire pressure to drop overnight, causing the light to illuminate when you start your car in the morning. As you drive the car and the air inside heats up, the light may go away on its own. If not, have the air pressure checked and filled accordingly.

In the worst case scenario, your tire may have a puncture, meaning that it can no longer hold pressure. If this is the case, you will have to patch your tire. Depending on the severity and location of the hole, you may need to have the tire completely replaced. It’s a smart idea to always have a spare tire, lug wrench, and jack on hand in case you ever encounter a flat.

Transmission Temperature Light

The transmission temperature light typically shows a thermometer icon surrounded by a circle. This can be due to several reasons, including low transmission fluid levels, heavy towing that exceeds the capability of your vehicle or, in the worst case scenario, the wearing down of your transmission. If your transmission is starting to break down, you will definitely need to bring your vehicle into your local service department to be evaluated.

Oil Pressure Light

The oil pressure warning light shows an oil can with a drop of oil coming out of it. This light may be illuminated for several reasons. The most minor reason could be a lack of oil fluid. You can verify this by simply checking your dipstick oil level. If the level is low, add fluid to the correct level and restart the vehicle. The light should turn off. If the issue isn’t the oil level, you may be dealing with a leaky engine or broken system parts, such as the piston ring or oil pump. If this is the case, you will need to seek professional service to diagnose and fix the problem. Do not attempt to drive for long periods of time with this warning light illuminated. You could further damage the engine and lead to even more costly repairs. If you notice any of these warning car lights, there’s no need to panic. Schedule an appointment at your local service center as soon as possible, and be sure to keep off the road until then. By addressing warning lights in a timely manner, you can increase the lifespan of your vehicle and continue driving for many miles to come.

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