Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

5 Warning Lights You Should Never Ignore

DashboardWarningLights

The modern automobile is almost fully computerized, and it provides drivers with access to a wide range of information. However, the problem is that your car can’t really talk to you (not yet, at any rate), and tell you what the issue is in plain English. The lights in your dash are designed to help warn you that there’s a problem, so you can have it repaired.

Five warning lights that you should never ignore

  1. Check Engine Light. Yes, your Check Engine Light can come on for a wide range of reasons, some of them relatively minor. If you’ve ever forgotten to put your gas cap back on or didn’t tighten it all the way after filling up, you’re familiar with this. However, the light could mean any number of things, most of which are of critical importance to your car. Emissions problems, engine problems, transmission problems and fuel system problems will all make this light come on.

  2. Tire Pressure Light. If you have a TPMS, or tire pressure monitoring system, then there’s a light on your dash that will warn you when one of your tires is low. While it might just be a case of a cold morning combined with slightly low tire pressure, it could be something much worse – like a nail in the tread.

  3. Brake Light. The Brake light on your dash comes on when you first crank the engine, and then goes back off unless you have the parking brake set. When you release the parking brake, the light should go out. If it doesn’t, then there’s something wrong with the parking brake and it’s not releasing. If it comes on while you’re driving, it generally means that the brake fluid is low in the master cylinder.

  4. Engine temperature/coolant temperature. Your car’s computer monitors the temperature of the engine coolant as a safeguard against overheating. If the Temperature light comes on, it means that you’re about to overheat. Chances are good that it’s low engine coolant, but it could be a failed thermostat, a leak in a hose (which also means low coolant) and other problems.

  5. Oil pressure. This light looks like a little oil can, and it should flash on for a few seconds when you crank before turning back off again. However, if it stays on or comes on while you’re driving, it means that your engine doesn’t have enough oil pressure. This can indicate anything from low oil in the engine to a failed sending unit.

If you see any of these warning lights in your dash, pay heed.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...


Related questions

Q: oil pressure light blinking when start,My car is toyota 86,can advise me?

Hello, thank you for writing in. The moment you put your key in the ignition, or get into the vehicle with a keyless starting system, the vehicle begins to run tests on its monitored components. The oil pressure system is...

Q: My tire monitoring system service light is on

Hi there. One of the most common components to fail on your Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is the inner low tire pressure, which is attached to each wheel on the vehicle. Low tire pressure is determined in two ways: monitoring indirect...

Q: Check engine light, VSA On light, and EPS light all on while driving.

Car warning lights come on for numerous reasons. The Check Engine Light is the most common light and may be on for several possible reasons. The VSA light relates to the vehicle stability assist system which is like a traction...