Understanding Your Dashboard Warning Lights

Modern cars are very advanced. Your vehicle’s computer can tell you exactly when there is a significant problem that you need to know about. In some cases, it may be a faulty sensor or an error. However, usually when certain warning lights come on you need to pay attention.

Certain dashboard warning lights are there to warn you when there is a major concern that requires immediate action. Let’s take a look at some of your car’s most important dashboard warning lights:

Check Engine Light

If this light comes on and stays illuminated, it is usually something less urgent. That said, you shouldn’t try to drive much further. Otherwise, you could compound the problem. It’s a good idea to get it checked out by a professional as soon as possible. The warning light could represent any number of problems, so you’ll want an inspection and diagnostic testing performed by a skilled auto repair technician.

If your check engine light is flashing, then it means you have a major problem. You should pull over immediately and turn off the car. Unless you are really savvy working on your own vehicle, call for roadside assistance and don’t risk irreparable damage to your engine (or you).

Oil Pressure Light

This is one of the most misunderstood warning lights because not everybody takes it as seriously as they should. If this light is illuminated bright red, then you need to pull off the road immediately and shut off your engine! If your car is losing or has lost oil pressure, it could completely blow your engine if you try to continue driving. We shouldn’t have to tell you how expensive replacing or rebuilding your engine would be, so don’t take any chances.

Coolant Temperature Warning Light

If the temperature light turns on while you are driving, it means you are overheating (or getting dangerously close to overheating). Again, this should be taken seriously. Pull over and let the engine cool down. You may be able to add water/coolant to the radiator if the level is low. If the overheating persists, you should get to a repair shop as quickly as you can or call for roadside assistance.

Warning: Be very careful if removing the radiator cap yourself. It will be very hot (use a rag) and a lot of pressure will be built up in the radiator that could release steam or hot fluid in your face.

Tire Pressure Light

All modern vehicles will have a tire pressure warning light. This one can sometimes be faulty (especially if you just had your tires rotated). It can be reset easily. However, if it does stay on or it keeps coming on after you reset it, then you should pull over and check it out. You may have a slow leak or a puncture that needs to be fixed immediately.

Other Dashboard Warning Lights

The warning lights above are the most important to be aware of. There will be others that you should keep an eye on and understand what they mean. These include the battery alert, transmission temperature gauge, change engine oil light, service light, brake system light and ABS light. Study your owner’s manual and get familiar with all your dashboard warning lights. Some aren’t that serious while others are very, very serious. You need to be ready for anything that can and will happen while you are driving.

We hope you find this article helpful. If your check engine light or any warning light is on or you need roadside assistance, call Fox Run Auto today at (302) 597-9205


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