What Does the Lane Departure Warning Light Mean?

Auto manufacturers are always creating new ways to keep the driver and passengers safe. One of the newer technologies to emerge is the Lane Departure Warning System. This system typically uses a forward facing camera that can identify the lane lines on the road as you are driving. If the computer notices you moving to one side without a turn signal, it will alert the driver with a light, sound, vibration, or combination of the three.

Auto makers have taken this safety system one step further with Lane Keeping Assist. Lane Keeping Assist has the same functions as Lane Departure, however, if the system doesn't see the driver take action, it can manipulate the steering to keep the car within the lane. It may seem scary that the computer can change the direction of the vehicle, but it can always be overridden by the driver.

What the lane departure warning light means

As you drive along, the camera is constantly watching for lines on the road. If you start drifting to one side without an active turn signal, the computer can detect this movement through the camera and will provide a warning. At the very least, the light on the dashboard will illuminate and will usually show the side you are drifting to. Many Lane Keeping Assist systems also have additional cues such as vibrations in the steering wheel or a chime sound. Make sure you understand how your particular system works so you know what cues to look out for. Once you have corrected your steering and are centered in the lane again, the light should turn off.

As mentioned earlier, some systems are able to take action and move the car automatically. The Lane Keeping Assist will only activate if the computer doesn’t see the driver react to the departure warning, and if they continue to drift out of the lane. Depending on the system, the computer can apply the brakes on one side of the car or manipulate the steering slightly to re-center the vehicle. In either case, the driver is able to override those actions if they so choose. Both the Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist systems will be disabled if the driver has a turn signal activated.

Is it safe to drive with the lane departure warning sign on?

Hopefully this light remains unlit for most of your journeys. If you notice the light illuminate, be sure to slowly adjust your position back to the center of the lane. Do not overcorrect or you’ll likely end up in an even worse situation.

These systems are there assist you, but you should never rely on them 100%. Anything that prevents the camera from clearly seeing road lines will also prevent the system from working. This includes snow or leaves on the ground, unmarked roads, or even roads that have old, faded lane markers. In these situations, the computer will not able to warn you of any drifting in the lane. If this light keeps coming on and you’ve been driving for a while, take it as a sign to pull over and take a break for a while. Driving for extended hours can be fatiguing so taking that 10 minute break to get some coffee or stretch your legs will likely save you.

If your lane departure system doesn’t appear to be working properly, our certified technicians are always available to help you diagnose any issues.


Next Step

Schedule Warning Light is on Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Warning Light is on Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Warning Light is on Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(199)

Rating Summary
187
5
4
0
3
187
5
4
0
3

Jason

15 years of experience
344 reviews
Jason
15 years of experience
Nissan Armada - Warning Light is on - Mineola, New York
Excelente. Jason es todo un profesional con mucho conocimiento en la mecanica, buena persona educado y amigable. Gracias Jason.
Ford Taurus - Warning Light is on - Jamaica, New York
Very Professional definitely takes his time to find out exactly what’s the problem with the car! I was up and running in no time ! Will definitely recommend Him to anyone having issues with cars!!!

Travis

13 years of experience
497 reviews
Travis
13 years of experience
Volkswagen Beetle - Warning Light is on - Stillwater, Minnesota
Unbenoest to me when you change a battery on a 18 yr. old car you also need more than a code reader to reset the new battery.
Audi A8 Quattro - Warning Light is on Inspection - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Very helpful and very knowledgeable will be using this service again thank you Travis for everything trumbs up

Nicholas

11 years of experience
472 reviews
Nicholas
11 years of experience
Chrysler 300 - Warning Light is on - Durham, North Carolina
Excellent diagnostician. Knowledgeable and caring. Created a desire for him specifically, to do the job. Hope we get him every time!
Honda Accord - Warning Light is on - Garner, North Carolina
I was very happy with Nicholas and his knowledge and expertise about diagnosing the issues with my car. He is honest, reliable and professional. He is now my Mechanic that I will call on for all my car's needs.I will also recommend him to my friends whom have been taken advantage of by other car shops as I have been, and are looking for someone honest , that will not take advantage of them Thank you so much Nicholas for resolving my issue with my car. I feel relieved and happy with the outcome

Eduardo

19 years of experience
457 reviews
Eduardo
19 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Warning Light is on Inspection - Houston, Texas
He arrived way early take his time and ran his diagnostic and i was satisfied at the end of his work great job

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

Related articles

What Does the Convertible Roof Warning Light Mean?
The convertible roof warning light turns on when the roof is opening or closing, and will flash if repair is needed, such as cleaning or replacement.
What Does the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Warning Light Mean?
The ESC warning light is designed to help drivers in case they lose steering control by retaining control of the brakes and engine power in the car.
What Does the Fuel Cap Warning Light Mean?
The fuel cap light tells you when a leak has been detected in your car, most likely from a loose gas cap.

Related questions

My aura shakes when it starts saying "service traction" what is it?

Hello, thank you for writing in. At this point there are a lot of possible causes for your vehicle's symptoms. To gather more information, we need to start with having the vehicle scanned for diagnostic troubleshooting codes. This can be...

What does it mean when your charging system failure light comes on out of no where while driving?

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle is detecting an issue with the alternator or the battery. When supplied power from the system is too low or too high, the monitoring system will alarm you. You should have the...

Warning lights and PO344 Camshaft Position Sensor

This vehicle came with three different engines and they all have different directions to replace the sensors. The sensors also may have specialized removal and installation procedures that require special tools for the seals and sensors. The code P0344 is...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com