A Complete Guide to Your Vehicle’s Dashboard Lights
For those not familiar with how vehicles operate, the signals and mechanics of a car can be incredibly confusing. This is why many people tend to get their car repairs done by a mechanic as opposed to doing it on their own. Nonetheless, one thing that you should know about is your car’s dashboard lights. While there are some you are likely familiar with, there are many that might be telling you that your vehicle may have serious damage. To understand what these signs mean so you can get the necessary repair, here is a complete guide to your vehicle’s dashboard lights.
When the lights that appear on your vehicle’s dashboard are red, this means that the issue that may be more severe. Here are some red warning lights your vehicle may have, where they are on the dashboard, and why they appear.
Brake System Warning
Not having properly functioning brakes can be a serious issue for any car owner. A brake system warning light typically has an exclamation light with a circle around the symbol with “BRAKE” above or below it to get the driver’s attention. This is an issue that will demand your attention right away. Some of the issues at hand may include the brake fluid, new brake lines, or a sensor problem.
Another important safety feature of your vehicle is your airbags. Although they were not present at the induction of cars, airbags are essential in softening the blow in a potential accident. An airbag warning symbol appears as a person in a seat belt with an airbag above them. An airbag symbol might also just read “AIRBAG” in all capital letters. If you notice this symbol is on, it’s critical that you have someone inspect your airbags as soon as possible, as a potential car accident can become fatal.
Seat Belt Reminder
Seat belts didn’t find their way into passenger cars until 1968. Today, new vehicles have alerts and lights to ensure that passengers always wear their seatbelts. A seat belt light looks like a person wearing a standard seatbelt, and if the light is on, you should put on your seatbelt. Otherwise, you may run the risk of a fatality, not unlike having faulty airbags.
Battery Charge Warning
A common car issue many people face is a dead car battery. This can occur because either you left a light on, the batter is old, or the temperature is extremely cold. This typically means that your vehicle will have trouble starting. A battery charge warning symbol looks just like the battery itself: a rectangle with a plus and minus on it. You can get ahead of a potential issue if you see this light is on because it means your vehicle is telling you that something may be wrong.
Vehicle overheating deserves your attention, and when the temperature warning light turns on, you may be in trouble. A transmission temperature light looks like a thermometer with waves underneath it. The best thing you can do if this turns on is to pull over to the side of the road and turn off your vehicle and let it cool down. If your car continues to overheat then it will likely require repairs.
Oil is an essential part of any vehicle because it ensures that everything runs smoothly by lubricating the engine. An oil pressure light has a symbol in the form of an old-fashioned oil can with a drop of oil at the end of it. This light turns on to indicate that something is blocking the filter or oil gallery, or you may have the wrong type or not enough oil in your vehicle. This can be a sign of a serious issue, so be sure to use your dipstick and check your oil. All you have to do is lift the hood so you can handle the potential problem.
Your vehicle might also have yellow lights. The difference between yellow and red lights in your vehicle is that if it’s yellow, the issue isn’t as serious, but still deserves your attention. Here are some yellow warning lights you should be aware of.
Check Engine Light
The check engine light might be one warning sign people ignore the most. A little engine represents the check engine light, and it can mean several things when it’s on. Many people tend to ignore the warning because it could be due to a sensor issue. However, if your check engine light continues to stay on, there may be a serious issue with your vehicle. This could be anything—from tightening your gas cap to replacing your thermostat. This is why it isn’t a good idea to simply ignore the check engine light in your vehicle.
Your emissions warning light has the same symbol as the check engine light, minus the “check.” An emissions warning light likely resides within your vehicle’s speedometer. If you notice that the emissions warning light is on, it could mean your vehicle is emitting a lot of toxins into the environment. However, if your car is running smoothly, then it could very well just be a sensor issue. Many states require vehicle owners to go through an emissions test before yearly registration, so a turned-on emission warning light is worth looking into.
Low Fuel Warning
The vehicle dashboard light that you are probably most familiar with is the low fuel warning. This sign looks like a gas tank and turns on when you’re low on gas. This warning keeps drivers from running out of gas and appears near the fuel gauge.
Keeping tabs on your tire pressure is a huge part of common car maintenance. The good news is a tire pressure mentioning system will let the driver know when it’s time to put more pressure in your tires. While it’s common for tires to have low pressure (especially those who go off-roading), you never want them to get dangerously low. This is mainly because you don’t want to ruin the tires. To keep tabs on tire pressure, be sure to look out for the symbol that has an exclamation point but doesn’t feature a full circle like the brake system warning.
Now that you have looked over our complete guide to your vehicle’s dashboard lights, you can take the necessary steps to ensure that your car is in good shape. At AM Off-Road, we can help Jeep owners keep their one-of-a-kind automobile in tip-top shape. From Jeep Wrangler gas cap covers to specially designed hoods, we’ve got you covered. Check out our selection of Jeep parts and accessories.