7 Dashboard Car Warning Lights

7 Dashboard Car Warning Lights You Shouldn’t Ignore

According to an HPI study, about 96% of the drivers don’t know what a dashboard brake warning light looks like-and only about one in five can identify the oil pressure warning light. What’s more, many drivers in the study didn’t think airbag, battery, and coolant car warning lights are urgent.

Learning these findings, it’s no wonder many drivers don’t give their used vehicles the maintenance and care they need. When you spot a vehicle warning light, and you’re not handy under the hood, it’s best to get your car to a trustworthy mechanic quickly to be safe.

  1. Airbag Warning LightThe dashboard airbag warning light could be for an issue that could literally be the difference between life and death in the event of an accident. The airbag light usually displays the word “airbag” or an image that looks like a ball in front of a seated occupant with a seat belt on. If this warning light comes on in your vehicle, find a qualified mechanic.
  2. Battery/Charging System Car Warning Light
    Battery car warning lights show that there is a problem with the vehicle’s electrical system and/or battery. Identifying a battery warning label should be easy-most look like a miniature battery. The warning light could mean you have worn battery cables, a bad alternator, or a damaged drive belt-all things that can make your car stall. If the battery warning light comes on while you’re driving, don’t pull over and cut off the car because it may not restart. Instead, immediately take your vehicle to the nearest service center because you’ll have about 15 minutes to drive with your battery light on before your car may stop.
  3. Brake Warning Light
    A dashboard brake warning light can indicate a variety of issues. A brake warning light usually looks like an exclamation point in a circle inside parenthesis and is often accompanied by the word “brake.” From low brake fluid to faulty components, a brake warning light is a serious problem that must be addressed right away. If your brake warning light and the ABS warning light appear together, pull over, park your car and get professional help.
  4. Engine Warning Light
    The check engine car warning light is one of the most common alerts on your dashboard. Sometimes called SEC (service engine soon) warning lights, these lights are usually yellow and display a warning in text or a graphic of an engine. An engine warning light can often be an indicator of something simple like a loose gas cap or something more serious, like a catalytic converter issue. Because there are so many problems that can cause a check engine light to light up, err on the side of caution and have your vehicle checked out as soon as possible.
  5. Oil Pressure Vehicle Warning Light
    The oil pressure car warning light appears when oil levels are low, or the pump isn’t working correctly. Like the battery warning light, the oil pressure light is easy to spot-it’s an oil can. An oil pressure issue could cause severe damage to your vehicle’s engine and other components. Have your oil checked and topped off if needed. If the light still comes on, your issue will need a professional diagnosis.
  6. Power Steering Car Warning Light
    If the power steering system warning light comes on, you could quickly find your vehicle hard to steer. The issue could be anything from low power steering fluid to a faulty hose. Without the power steering assistant, it could be hard to control your direction, even at slow speeds. If you spot a dashboard warning light that looks like a steering wheel, pull over to a safe spot and get help.
  7. Temperature Car Warning Lights
    When you see car dashboard warning lights for coolant, it means your vehicle’s engine temperature is too hot. If you see a dashboard warning light that looks like a thermometer dipped in water, pull over, turn off your vehicle, and let the engine cool down. Don’t delay by driving just a little further. While the problem could be as simple as low coolant, it could also be something more complicated, like a broken fan. Because high temperatures can ruin an engine, it’s important to have a mechanic check for leaks and other issues ASAP.

It looks like vehicle manufacturers are trying to make it easy for drivers to identify dashboard warning light symbols-but evidence shows that many of us either don’t care or overcomplicate things. Did you know what all those vehicle warning lights mean in your car? When you’re ready to find your next used car (with no dashboard warning lights on!), count on one of the most trusted car dealers in Tucson, AZ. Learn more when you contact Car Time Supercenter today at (888) 557-4326.

Shane Vossough

There are good reasons people will buy their next used car in Tucson from Car Time Supercenter. But I think we are one of the most trusted used car dealerships mainly because we treat everyone like family. My family has provided quality, dependable local used cars to Tucson customers since 1984, and I'm proud to be a part of our continued success. Like many family-owned businesses, I grew up going to work with my dad. Falling in love with cars was natural because of my father's passion, and eventually, I came to love the car business just like him. I officially joined the Car Time Supercenter team in 2012, starting in the finance department. Over the past decade, I've learned the used car business and how to treat customers from my family and industry resources. Today, I oversee marketing, social media, inventory, and reconditioning, so I play an essential role in delivering local Tucson used car buyers the best experience possible. I also help our family business keep up with the times while providing old-fashioned customer service. From attending NADA classes to becoming Allstate certified for back-end products, I continue to learn and add skills to serve our customers better.