Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

What Does the Distance Warning Light Mean?

Active cruise control is the latest evolution of the cruise control systems that we’ve been using for years. On top of maintaining a set speed while driving, radar sensors mounted to the front of the vehicle check to see if anything is approaching the vehicle quickly. Some active cruise control systems can apply the brakes to slow the car down and keep you at a safe distance from the vehicle or object ahead of you. At lower speeds, this system can also be used to detect pedestrians or bikers and warn you of oncoming objects or people.

It is important to understand how the distance warning systems works on your vehicle so you know what to expect. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific information on when your car’s distance warning will activate.

What the distance warning light means

When this light is illuminated, it indicates that the computer has detected an object in the road ahead of you that is approaching quickly. This may not always be a car and could be a large object in the road. Keep your eyes peeled for anything on the ground if there are no cars ahead of you. Once you have slowed down or gone past the object, the light should go out.

Keep in mind that this system doesn’t look only at distance, rather it looks at how quickly you are approaching an object in front of you. Even if the car ahead is a good distance away, you should still slow down as they are most likely moving slower than you.

Typically, there are separate warning lights to indicate that an issue has been detected. A common fault with these systems is a blocked sensor. Dirt and debris stuck to the front of the car can inhibit the sensors ability to see and the system will be deactivated temporarily. Clean off the front of the car and everything should return to normal. If cleaning the car doesn’t help, get help from a qualified technician to identify the problem using a diagnostic scan tool and fix it.

Is it safe to drive when the distance warning light is on?

You should try to keep the distance warning light off as much as possible. While you cannot do much about debris in the road, you should always be aware of your surroundings, especially on what is in front of you. Systems like this can let drivers lose focus on the road, but that is not their intended purpose. They are there to assist you in driving safely, not drive the car for you.

Whenever you see the distance warning light illuminate, take extra caution and keep yourself safe. If the distance warning system is deactivated due to a malfunction, our certified technicians would be able to help you diagnose any issues with it.

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

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...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance Related Trouble Codes: P2158: Vehicle Speed Sensor B P2160: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Circuit Low P2161:...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: The electric throttle light is on and the car idling rough when it turn it on. It wont go over a certain speed.

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle has detected an issue with the electronic throttle system. The system is designed with sensors and monitors that let you know when there is an issue, and the send you into "limp...

Q: Brake Warning Lamp still on

Typically a warning light needs to be cleared by a digital scanner completed by a professional mechanic if a repair has been made. Based on what you said our mechanic completed; there were no repairs. The brake light issue could...

Q: What does the all-wheel drive (AWD) lock light mean?

The all-wheel drive (AWD) lock light means that the all-wheel drive system is locked. In this condition, power is continuously sent to all four wheels. On the other hand, when the system is in auto all-wheel drive, the distribution...