As automotive manufacturers integrate more sophisticated sensors into the vehicles it can be hard to keep track of what is malfunctioning.
Given below is a brief list that starts from the most important and least important warning lights that can come up in your dashboard. We have also tried to highlight what could be causing the problem and what steps you can take to resolve the issue.
This warning light comes on when the engine is running too hot. This could either be caused due to a coolant leak, the radiator fan not operating, and/or the radiator cap being loose. Running the vehicle in this condition will lead to the engine seizing, therefore, it is strongly advised that the drivers pull to the side and troubleshoot the problem.
This is the battery charge warning light and comes on when the car’s charge system is short on charge. This means that either the battery is faulty and is not providing sufficient charge or the alternator is not functioning as intended. The driver will have to check the alternator belt or the battery terminals and wires to troubleshoot the problem.
If you have been running your vehicle without proper maintenance, this light is sure to come on. This is the oil pressure warning light and warns the driver that the engine oil is either below the recommended level or the quality of the oil has depreciated. If the driver keeps the vehicle running in such condition the vehicle will be prone to overheating. The driver needs to check for an oil leak or replace the oil.
The brake warning indicator light comes on when the driver pulls on the handbrake and the light should go off when the handbrake is released. If the light stays on it means that the brakes are losing hydraulic pressure or the level of brake fluid in the master cylinder is extremely low. This would mean that the brakes need servicing and the driver must avoid going on long routes when the light is on.
When the driver starts the vehicle the check engine or engine malfunction light comes on and stays on for a few seconds as the computer is running a systems diagnostics and then goes off. If the light in your vehicle does not go off this indicates that the system has detected a malfunction like air, fuel, or oil system is malfunctioning. The driver should have the vehicle diagnosed to narrow down the problem.
The transmission temperature light comes on when the transmission oil gets too hot and continuous operation at this point can lead to transmission failure. When the light comes on the driver should pull over to the side and let the transmission cool down and have the vehicle checked by a mechanic to ensure that everything is at its right place and for the replacement of transmission oil if necessary.
Most modern cars have the “Service Vehicle Soon” light, which tells that driver that the vehicle has run a specific number of miles/kilometers and should get a proper tune-up. The tune-up will include checking the oil, brakes, ABS, traction control, and other necessary functions of the vehicle. Again, it is advised that the drivers avoid going on long routes if the vehicle requires maintenance.
The ‘Brake Pad’ warning light is mostly seen in high-end or luxury vehicles and tells the driver that the brake pads are worn out and need to be replaced. Ignoring the light will result in loss of braking and the vehicle will make squealing noises as the driver brakes.
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) ensures that the driver retains directional stability of the vehicle and the vehicle does not skid when the brakes are applied in an emergency. It is an automated process and if the onboard system finds some fault with the ABS the ‘ABS warning light’ will come on. It is to remind the driver still has manual braking and he/she will have to perform cadence braking.
The ‘Tire Pressure’ warning light is available in most vehicles these days and informs the driver that one or more of the tires have low air pressure, which can be dangerous as the tire may burst. Drivers are advised to check tire pressure before heading on the road.
There is a lot more going on in the dashboard of a modern vehicle than what is stated here but it is advised that the drivers keep at least these few things in check as ignoring these warning lights will have the driver pay for an expensive repair.