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Meaning of the Warning Indicator Lights on in the Dash

Meaning of warning light indicators in your dash:

Modern cars have sensors and warning systems that notify you that something is going wrong. Consumers that take great precautions to keep their vehicles as healthy as possible can’t cover all these areas of their vehicle, even with meticulous maintenance.  Luckily, nowaday vehicles come with super systems to help in these events.

  • Check engine light – This indicates a problem in the many systems of your vehicle that have various sensors controlling different areas. There are more than 4,000 OBD-II codes that can light up the “Check Engine Light”. If this indicator light comes on, you want to contact a certified repair shop to have this diagnosed.

  • Maintenance light – This indicator light that will usually tell you you’re of need of a scheduled maintenance service. It may come in various prints like “service”, “maint reqd”, or “service engine”.  Your service manual will define the exact meaning of this indicator light.

  • Electrical fault light – Usually the light will look like a battery, so if this stays lit even after the car’s self-test, it simply means that your car’s electrical charging system has some issues that need to be assessed. More than likely, this will report that the alternator has a problem charging the system.  Contacting a certified repair shop immediately is greatly recommended.

  • Brake warning light – This indicator light usually means that the brake fluid is low or your parking brake is engaged.  If you release you parking brake but the light stays on, you need to take the vehicle in for an assessment.  There may be a brake fluid leak or you brake fluid needs to be topped off.

  • ABS warning light – This indicator light means that the Anti-lock brake system is having a problem.  Anti-lock braking systems keep your car stable and controllable in sudden stop situations. Having this system working properly can help in avoiding an accident.  

  • Coolant warning light – Once this indicator light comes on, your engine is overheating. Pull over, open your hood, and just allow it to cool down. Do not ever attempt to open the radiator cap as the cooling system is actually highly pressurized. The recommended action is to call a tow truck to have your vehicle delivered to a certified repair shop to be assessed.

  • Oil warning light – This indicator light means that the oil pressure in your engine it too low. Don’t ever attempt to drive your vehicle with this warning light on as it can severely damage your engine. This warning light can be set off by low oil levels, oil pump failure, or even oil filter or oil strainer blockage.  Having this light is crucial in the health of your engine.

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