Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What do the various lights mean on the instrument cluster?

asked by on

What do the various lights mean on the instrument cluster?

A: Your car’s instrument cluster contains quit...

Your car’s instrument cluster contains quite a few different lights, all of which provide you with information about different systems (most of which you activate yourself during the course of normal driving). Here’s a quick rundown of what you should see in your gauge cluster:

  • Turn Signals: You have two turn signal indicators. They should light up when you flip the lever up or down to indicate a turn, as well as when the hazards are on.

  • High Beams: When you change from your Low Beams to your High Beam headlights, the High Beam indicator comes on.

  • Key in Ignition Warning: This chime will sound if you turn the engine off and open the driver door without taking the key out of the ignition.

  • Headlight Warning: This chime will sound if you turn off the engine and open the driver’s door without turning off your headlights.

  • Parking Brake Warning: This chime will sound if the parking brake is on and you put the car in drive.

  • Message Center Activation Warning: This chime will sound if a warning message is displayed in your car’s message center.

  • Turn Signal Warning: If you forget to turn off your turn signal, a chime will sound after a few minutes.

  • Perimeter Alarm Warning: If the alarm is active and you use the key to unlock the door, a warning chime will sound.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What is the Anti-Scan feature on the Securicode® system?

While your Securicode® keypad system offers a handy way to get into and out of the vehicle without having to use the key or remote to lock and unlock the doors, it’s a potential weak spot for thieves. Ford built...

Q: New front tires and aligned, but tires are different sizes

I would have the tire size double checked as a 60 series tire will generally be taller if the profile number does not change. The tire light is probably due to a failed tire monitoring system initialization which should have...

Q: Adding Transmission fluid additives

Hi there. I've never been a big believer in using additives in transmission applications. The purpose of an "additive" is to mask the root cause of why a component is not working correctly. In the case of a transmission...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...