There are a lot of lights on your dashboard that might flash from time to time, but do you know what they mean? Most indicate some sort of problem with your vehicle’s operating system, although it generally takes a bit more investigation to find out the extent of the issue.
However, it’s always useful to have a basic understanding of what these lights mean incase it’s something that needs to be dealt with immediately. Not all of these lights are universal, so the only way to know for sure is to consult your owner’s manual. However, this guide will give you a general synopsis of the lights most commonly used by manufacturers.
This means the engine computer has detected some abnormality and logged a Diagnostic
Trouble Code that your dealer can scan to identify the issue. If your check engine light begins
flashing, the issue is series and you should not attempt to drive your vehicle.
Signals that your car’s voltage has dropped below acceptable levels and is not
correctly being charged by your vehicle. Your alternator belt, battery terminals, and battery will all
Your engine is too hot! You’ll need to look at fans, your radiator cap, and to check
coolant levels and for leaks.
Your transmission is running hot. Make sure you have adequate transmission fluid and
Oil Pressure Alert
If this remains on, your vehicle is losing oil pressure. Check both oil level and
pressure that instant.
Oil Change Reminder
This means that your oil life has reached 0% and needs changing. This is determined by
your vehicle’s computer based on miles driven and other data.
This is an indicator of several possible electrical problems including malfunctioning
exterior lights, traction control, or internal communication. It is recommended that you service your
vehicle as soon as possible.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
There is a tire with low air pressure or a sensor has misfired. Check tire pressure
accordingly, and visit your dealership if the light cannot be manually reset.
This indicates the parking brake is engaged or that something is wrong with your
brakes or ABS. Make sure brake fluid levels are correct and the parking brake is completely off. A
more complicated issue may require the help of a technician.
Reduced Power Warning
A broken component has caused your engine’s computer to limit engine output to safe
levels to compensate for the issue. Your car’s CPU will likely need scanning.
An issue with the ABS has triggered the computer and requires a technician’s
Your vehicle’s gas cap is not attached properly. This may also trigger your check
Indicates your vehicle’s cruise control is engaged.
There are issues with your electronic stability system or traction control. Contact a
Your ignition switch is locked and your alarm code will need to be entered to reengage
it. If this indicator displays while your vehicle is running, there is a problem with your security
An exterior light on your vehicle is not fully working or has gone out.
Indicates that traction control is enabled, often lights up on slick roads.
A door or the vehicle’s trunk or hood is not fully shut.
Your vehicle’s performance mode is engaged.
If indicator remains on, a possible airbag malfunction has been detected and logged by
your vehicle’s computer. Seek the help of a professional.
Your wiper fluid is low. Check all storage tanks as per your owner’s manual and refill
as needed. Doing this proactively keeps you safer on the road.
Glow Plug (Diesel)
Your engine’s glow plugs are engaged and heating. Do not start the engine until this
indicator is off.
Exhaust Particulate Filter (Diesel)
There is an issue with your exhaust filter that requires service.
Exhaust Fluid (Diesel)
Your diesel exhaust fluid levels are low. Locate and refill your reservoir as per your