Cars are more than just vehicles, they are much like your partner in life. Whether it is a casual visit to the grocery store or a long weekend drive, your car takes you wherever you want to go. But just like any strong relationship needs attention, the key to keeping your car healthy and hassle-free lies in regular checkups and awareness. Much like us, our cars also showcase symptoms of an underlying problem that might be affecting their best performance.
It is not uncommon for various lights to pop up on your dashboard from time to time, and while some of us might choose to ignore them, they are warnings of an underlying problem. In this article, you will learn about the 10 most common warning lights that can show up on your dashboard, so that you can take the right action at the right time.
Engine Related Lights
Check Engine Light
The Check Engine Light is a yellow light that pops up to warn you about an engine problem. While you don’t need to pull over immediately when the check engine light appears, it’s best to check the engine at the earliest for signs of underlying engine issues such as low oil pressure or overheating. Generally, this light appears if your gas cap is open, loose, or cracked, causing fuel to evaporate, or when there is an issue with the emission system.
Therefore, when the check engine light appears, it’s better to pull over and check your gas cap and other systems. If at any point of time you experience a flashing check engine light, you must stop immediately and call a nearby mechanic, as a flashing engine light may indicate a serious issue.
Engine Temperature Warning
For delivering best performance, your car needs to run with a balanced temperature. The temperature gauge on your dashboard is designed to give you an idea about the real-time engine temperature, the temperature warning light pops up only in emergencies. If ever you experience an engine temperature warning light on your dashboard, make sure to pull over.
This is because the engine temperature warning light means that your engine is overheated. This could be caused due to low coolant levels, leak in the cooling system, a malfunctioning thermostat or a leak in the radiator. But no matter what the real diagnose is, the best way to avoid long-term damage is to pull over and let things cool down before driving again, or simply getting mechanical help.
Oil Pressure Warning Light
Engine oil is a part of your car’s engine. It lubricates your engine and absorbs excessive friction. Thus, if you ever experience an oil pressure warning light popping up on your dashboard, it could mean that your car’s oil pressure has dropped and enough oil isn’t getting into your car’s system.
Also Read: Engine Maintenance Guide
Since engine oil is a crucial element for a car, driving your car despite the oil pressure warning can lead to some serious and permanent damage. Therefore if the oil pressure light pops up, make sure you pull over and check your engine oil levels. If levels are low, you can top-up as needed. But if the oil pressure light continues to glow despite normal oil levels, then it could mean that there is a leak in the oil circulation system or even a faulty oil pump.
Tyre and Brake Related Lights
Tyre Pressure Warning Light
For better fuel economy, tyre grip and longer tyre life, it is highly important for you to maintain your tire pressure as per your manufacturer’s recommended pressure levels. In some cars, the tyre pressure warning light pops up when the pressure in one or more tire is lower than its required level. Thus, when the tire pressure warning light comes up to make sure to visit the nearest air filling station and get your tyres topped up with air to maintain the best tire pressure and improve your drive experience.
Also Read: Tyre Maintenance Guide
2) ABS Warning Light
The ABS or Anti-Lock Braking System Warning light is a crucial element to look out for. The Anti-Lock braking system is a safety feature that stops your wheels from locking up during hard braking, making you lose control of your car. Thus, when the ABS Warning light appears, it could mean that there is an issue with the ABS that needs to be resolved to ensure maximum safety while driving.
3) Brake Alert Indicator
Brakes are perhaps the most important system for your car. This is why you must never ignore the brake alert indicator. The brake alert indicator is a light that appears on your dashboard when the handbrake is engaged. If it appears when the handbrake is disengaged, it could indicated a problem with the braking system or a brake fluid leak. The best way to deal with the brake alert warning is to make sure that you get mechanical help and resolve the issue before driving.
Safety, battery and Fuel related Lights
Airbag Warning Light
Airbags are the highest priority for any car driver as it ensures the safety of passengers from injuries and crashes. The Airbag Warning Light appears when one or all of your airbags are faulty or if there is an overall fault in the airbag system .
The most common light to appear on a dashboard, the seatbelt reminder light reminds you to buckle up your seat belt. The seatbelt reminder light is often accompanied by a chime, therefore the moment you see the seatbelt reminder light make sure you put on your seat belt and ensure your safety.
Battery Alert Light
Your car battery is a powerhouse that juices up your car’s electronic systems. The Battery Alert Light comes up to show an issue with the vehicle’s battery and/or charging system. Much more than just the battery, this warning light alert might also show that you have a loose and/or damaged battery cable or even a broken alternator. Thus, when you experience a battery alert light, you can go ahead to change your old batteries, or check your battery cables and alternator.
Low Fuel Indicator
While most of the drivers are very familiar with the Low Fuel Indicator, for those unaware about it, the Low Fuel Indicator Light usually pops up when your car is low on fuel and has reached the reserve levels. The Low Fuel Indicator light is a reminder to fuel up immediately, as driving on reserve fuels for long can take a toll on your fuel pump.