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Top 15 Car Dashboard Warning Lights Explained

Published by Courtney Fanning on

car dash warning lights

Have you ever wondered what your car dashboard warning lights mean, why they're flashing and what you have to do to get them off? You're not alone and LubeVan is here to help.

Your vehicle has countless safety measures in place to get you from Point A to Point B safely and securely. One of those measures is the vehicle dashboard. Your dashboard has several warning lights that indicate when something in your vehicle is malfunctioning or that your vehicle needs to be serviced.

You've probably noticed that when you start your vehicle, all the lights on your dashboard come on, and after a second or two, they disappear. Across all vehicle manufacturers, there are many common warning lights.  These dashboard warning lights are there to represent information, provide reminders, and alert drivers of any serious issues needing attention. 

You should always address these issues immediately, because pushing them aside and ignoring them could jeopardize your safety and the safety of others. Not to mention costly repairs that could have been avoided.

We made a list of the top 15 most common, car dashboard warning lights you should never ignore - and what they mean! Remember: Warning lights look a little different on different vehicles, so be sure to check your manufacturers handbook to be sure.

Check Engine Light
Check Engine Light

Your check engine light can be a range of quick fixes to lengthy repairs. However, ignoring this light can worsen the problem, causing you to fork out more money than you would have if you’d gotten it checked sooner.

Engine Temperature/Cooling System Light
Engine Temperature/Cooling System Light

This light is used to indicate if your vehicle is overheating. When the light is on, you should pull over when it is safe and turn off your engine. Driving with an overheating engine can again lead to lengthy and costly repairs.

What To Do When Your Engine Temperature Light Comes On:

Avoid driving your vehicle, and contact LubeVan as soon as you can to book an on-site diagnostics service!

ABS Warning Light
ABS Warning Light

When this light is on, it indicates that there is something wrong with the ABS components, and as brakes are a life-saving device, you should never drive with this light on. 

What To Do When Your ABS Warning Light Comes On:

Avoid driving at all costs, and contact LubeVan as soon as you can to book an on-site diagnostics service, as well as brake replacement and repairs!

Brake Fluid Indicator Light
Brake Fluid Indicator Light

The Brake Fluid light can indicate a damaged sensor, low brake fluid levels, or brake pad issues - all of which should be checked out immediately.

What To Do When Your Brake Fluid Indicator Light Comes On:

You can attempt to top your brake fluid up yourself, or you can contact LubeVan to schedule a brake fluid flush!

Parking Brake Light
Parking Brake Light

When your vehicle does not move away, or you hear an audible warning, you have most likely left you parking/hand brake on. Just a quick release of the gas pedal and removal of the parking/hand brake will do the trick.

Oil Pressure Light
Oil Pressure Light

Your oil pressure light may appear when oil pressure is low, when there are engine problems, or when the sensor has pressure issues. In all cases, you should pull over and avoid driving. 

What To Do When Your Oil Pressure Light Comes On:

The best thing to do is get an oil change. You can schedule an oil change with LubeVan!

Tire Pressure Indicator Light
Tire Pressure Indicator Light

The tire pressure indicator light means the pressure in your tires is either dangerously low or dangerously high. An over or under-inflated tire could lead to serious wear on your tires, as well as sudden tire rupture.

What To Do When Your Tire Pressure Light Comes On:

The best thing to do in this case is to get your tires inspected and the air pressure (PSI) adjusted. Avoid driving, and contact LubeVan to schedule an appropriate tire service!

Air Bag Warning Light
Air Bag Warning Light

The airbag warning light means an indication of faults within the airbag. These faults can have very serious consequences if you're involved in an accident when your airbag is not working.

What To Do When Your Airbag Warning Light Comes On:

Avoid driving at all costs, and contact your car dealership immediately.

Seat Belt Not On Warning Light
Seat Belt Not On Warning Light

This light will only come on when there is a passenger in the vehicle who has not done up their seat belt. Rules are rules, and it is pointless risking your safety and the safety of others. 

Power Steering Failure Light
Power Steering Failure Light

Almost all vehicles now use power steering. When this light appears, it will be virtually impossible to handle and control a vehicle let alone do it safely. The best thing to do is very gently give it gas and roll somewhere you can park the vehicle. 

What To Do When Your Power Steering Light Comes On:

Avoid driving at all costs, and contact LubeVan as soon as you can to book an on-site diagnostics service!

Traction Control Malfuntion Light
Traction Control Malfuntion Light

This light is usually a sign that your TC is working on a slippery road, but it can also mean your vehicle may have damaged wires or sensors. Again, the best thing to do is to get it inspected.

What To Do When Your Traction Control Light Comes On:

Contact LubeVan as soon as you can to book an on-site diagnostics service!

Air Suspension Warning Light
Air Suspension Warning Light

The air suspension light means the vehicle's inner computer believes there is abnormal activity. It will most likely appear if the compressor does not provide the amount of air it should. It is not recommended to drive with this light on. 

What To Do When Your Air Suspension Light Comes On:

Avoid driving, and contact LubeVan as soon as you can to book an on-site diagnostics service!

Service Vehicle Soon Light
Service Vehicle Soon Light

The service vehicle soon light appears when a vehicle may be malfunctioning, and it comes with an indication as to what the problem might be. This dashboard warning light can also tell you that your vehicle needs it’s routine maintenance sooner than later. 

What To Do When Your Service Light Comes On:

Read the listed service needed and schedule it with LubeVan!

Boot/Bonnet Open Light
Boot/Bonnet Open Light

These lights will appear when either your trunk or front hood is open. Some times this light shows both the hood & bonnet open, and some times it shows only one.

You should never drive with your hood open, and if you drive with your trunk open it should be properly secured.

Fuel Level Low Light
Fuel Level Low Light

The fuel level low light, also called the 'gas light' indicates exactly that. Your vehicle needs fuel quickly! Waiting until the last minute to fill up your gas tank can strain the fuel pump and cause wear on the filter. A pro-tip to avoid seeing the gas light is to never allow your tank to drop below ¼ full.

All the lights in your dashboard are there for a reason, big or small, and should never go unattended. It is important that you understand what could happen to your vehicle if you ignore them and the safety risks associated. If you're unsure what dashboard light you're dealing with, no problem. A LubeVan General Service & Diagnostic technician will find and fix the issue.