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Warning lights are critical safety features in a vehicle. When something is not working as required inside the car, an indicator light will inform you to apply the correct measures. Warning lights will not pinpoint exactly where the problem lies. They will indicate that proper diagnostic measures are required to identify the issue. This is why dash warning lights must be in optimal condition at all times.
Drivers must also know what each indicator signals. Even though these warning lights are standard in vehicles, they are not universal and, therefore, may vary in colour in different cars. Car owners must refer to manuals to know what means what.
Some indicators demand faster attention than others because ignoring them can cause damage to the vehicle. However, that is hard to do when you are not sure what they mean. Here are several dash lights to watch out for.
Low Engine Oil Pressure - when this light comes on, it could mean that the oil pressure is low, and so, you have to top it off. However, it could be a warning that something is amiss with the engine. When a car owner is sure that the engine oil is not the problem, for instance, if it has just been changed, then it's wise to get professional assistance. The oil pump or filter could be faulty, causing the low engine oil pressure.
Charging System Light - this warning light does exactly what you would expect- show the condition of the battery. So, if it starts blinking, the battery terminals may be failing, interfering with the charging system. A problem with the alternator will also cause the light to send a warning. Battery issues can leave you stranded on the road, so they should be addressed promptly.
Tire Pressure Light - the tire pressure monitoring system became standard in vehicles sold after September 2007. Low tire pressure can result in catastrophic accidents hence, the need to keep an eye on it at all times. If the indicator comes on immediately and stays that way, then the system has detected a tire with low pressure. Pull over and attend to it instantly. If the light keeps flashing, the sensors in the TPMS may be malfunctioning, and that requires expert diagnosis. In some vehicles, you can conduct a manual test to see if the TPMS lamp is fully functional, so check the manual.
Engine Coolant Temperature Warning - engine coolant has to stay at a specific temperature if this component is to operate as required. When this is indicator turns red, it means that the temperature level has risen above the limit, causing the engine to overheat. If the temperature keeps going up, it can result in irreparable damage to the engine. A car owner should request a mechanic to look at the engine when this happens. Opening the bonnet can offer some relief, but one should be careful when doing this to avoid burns. This warning light can also come on if there is a fault with the radiator cap, fan operation or leaking coolant. In some cars, this light would blink red and blue in case of an electrical wiring issue.
Brake Light - another of the dash warning lights to always check when driving is the brake light. When this lights, it could be an issue with the brake fluid; it may be too low. When ABS brakes have a malfunction, this light will come on. Some vehicles have indicators for ABS brakes, so you immediately know where the problem is. If the parking brake is engaged, this warning light will be on, which reminds a driver to disengage. When a driver examines the brake fluid and finds that it's not the problem, a mechanic will have to do a proper diagnosis.
Airbag Fault - when you start a car, and this indicator comes on, it means that the airbag system is defective. Airbags are some of the biggest safety measures in modern cars. You don't want to be on the road without fully functional airbags. When there is a fault, the onboard computer sends a code, prompting the warning light to turn on. A professional diagnostic run is necessary to establish the problem and fix it accordingly.
Check Engine Light - another warning light that facilitates proper maintenance of the engine is the malfunction indicator light. When this light flashes, it could mean serious trouble for a car's engine, requiring professional care. If an engine's emissions have a problem, then this light will come on. Some scan tools can help a vehicle owner tell what the issue is when the engine light turns on.
Warning lights in vehicles are preventative measures that help car owners detect, and sometimes, identify problems before they aggravate. Knowing what each dash light means is important for drivers. Vehicle owners must, therefore, ensure that warning lights are operational before getting on the road.