Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What warning messages can be displayed on the instrument panel?

asked by on

What warning messages can be displayed on the instrument panel?

A: The Driver Information Center, or DIC, is a...

The Driver Information Center, or DIC, is a small screen at the bottom of the tachometer that can display a variety of information to the driver. Some of the information can be selected by the driver and is used to track vehicle performance and mileage. Other times, the DIC displays warning messages that can tell the driver crucial information about a possible issue with their truck. Here are the messages that might pop up:

  • BATTERY LOW START VEHICLE: This indicates that the battery is being severely depleted and needs to be charged back up by the truck’s alternator. To do this, start the engine.

  • SERVICE BATTERY CHARGING SYSTEM: This message will pop up if the battery is not holding a charge properly. The battery or alternator could be at fault. When this message pops up, turn off the radio and AC along with anything else draining power from the battery.

  • SERVICE BRAKE SYSTEM: This message means that there is an issue with the braking system. If this warning is shown, the vehicle needs a brake service as soon as possible.

  • SERVICE BRAKES SOON: This message means the brake performance may be suffering and that the brake system should be serviced in the near future.

  • SERVICE TRAILER BRAKE SYSTEM: This message is shown if the truck is towing something and there is a weak connection to the trailer’s brakes or lights. The truck should be pulled over and the trailer wiring should be checked.

  • DRIVER DOOR OPEN: If the driver’s door is open when the transmission is not in ‘Park’, this warning will appear.

  • HOOD OPEN: This message appears whenever the hood is not completely closed.

  • LEFT REAR DOOR OPEN: Same function as driver door warning.

  • PASSENGER DOOR OPEN: Same function as driver door warning.

  • RIGHT REAR DOOR OPEN: Same function as driver door warning.

  • ENGINE HOT A/C TURNED OFF: WHen the engine is running too hot, the truck will shut off the air conditioning in order to relieve strain on the engine. The A/C will work once the engine reaches a normal temperature.

  • ENGINE OVERHEATED IDLE ENGINE: This message will appear if the cooling system itself is getting hot. Idling the engine will keep the coolant circulating to cool it down faster.

  • ENGINE POWER IS REDUCED: Usually caused by overheating, this message is displayed when the vehicle senses a problem in the engine and reduces power to lessen the strain on the engine.

  • FUEL LEVEL LOW: Message appears when fuel level is too low.

  • TIGHTEN GAS CAP: To avoid leaking gas vapors out into the air, tighten the gas cap to fully seal the tank.

  • REPLACE BATTERY IN REMOTE KEY: This message appears when the keyless entry remote is low on power.

  • TURN SIGNAL ON: If the truck travels ¾ of a mile with the turn signal on, this warning will sound.

  • PARK ASST BLOCKED SEE OWNERS MANUAL: If the park assist system is being blocked from something this message will appear.

  • PARK ASSIST OFF: This message pops up when the engine is started while the parking assist system is disengaged.

  • SERVICE PARK ASSIST: This message is shown if the truck senses that there is a problem with the parking assist system and it needs to be serviced in order to work correctly.

  • SERVICE STABILITRAK: This message will pop up if there is some problem with the Stabilitrak system. Before getting the system serviced, try turning the truck off for 30 seconds and then start it up again.

  • SERVICE TRACTION CONTROL: If there is an issue with the traction control system, this message will appear. Without traction control, the wheels are more likely to spin.

  • STABILITRAK INITIALIZING: The road surface or condition of the truck’s tires can make the Stabilitrak system slow to initialize. The system may need to be serviced if this message is displayed for a long period of time.

  • TRACTION CONTROL/STABILITRAK: When the driver turns the Stabilitrak and/or traction control systems on or off, this message will display. If the Stabilitrak system turns off without driver input, it means that there is either a heat issue or that something in the system is not working correctly.

  • SERVICE AIR BAG: If there is a problem that may affect the effectiveness of the air bag system, this message will appear. The system should be inspected if this message is shown.

  • SERVICE THEFT DETERRENT SYSTEM: If the alarm/theft deterrent system may not function properly, this message will appear. Sometimes turning the truck on then off will get rid of the message.

  • FAST IDLE ON: This message pops up when the fast idle system is engaged.

  • SERVICE TIRE MONITOR SYSTEM: The system in the truck that monitors tire pressure may malfunction and be unable to properly monitor pressure.

  • TIRE LEARNING ACTIVE: Whenever the tire sensors are replaced or when the tires are rotated, the system that monitors the pressure in the tires needs to re-learn the position and pressure of the tires, which causes this message to appear.

  • TIRE LOW ADD AIR TO TIRE: When the system responsible for monitoring pressure in the tires senses that there is not sufficient pressure, this message will appear. Adding air to the tires is necessary if this message appears.

  • SERVICE 4 WHEEL DRIVE: In 4 wheel drive trucks, this message will pop up when there is an issue somewhere in the 4 wheel drive system. Turning the truck off for one minute and then restarting it may reset this warning. If it does not reset, get the 4 wheel drive serviced.

  • TRANSMISSION HOT IDLE ENGINE: When the transmission fluid reaches too high of a temperature, the truck needs to be stopped to avoid damage. Keeping the engine idling will cool the transmission fluid down faster.

  • CHECK TRAILER WIRING: This message will pop up if there is a lack of electrical connection between the truck and the trailer being towed or if there is a short circuit. The driver needs to pull over and inspect the wiring going to the trailer when the ignition is turned off.

  • ICE POSSIBLE DRIVE WITH CARE: When the temperature is around 37 degrees fahrenheit (when ice can form on bridges and windy sections of road), this message is displayed to warn the driver.

  • TRAILER CONNECTED: When the trailer brake/control system activates, this message is displayed.

  • WASHER FLUID LOW ADD FLUID: This message will pop up when the level of washer fluid is not sufficient.

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: How do I fast forward or rewind with the iPod?

When listening to a track on the iPod, you can easily fast forward or rewind. Press and hold the Up or Right button (depending on your model) for more than 1.5 seconds to fast forward, or press and hold the...

Q: How do I use the hydraulic power steering?

Your vehicle comes with hydraulic power steering that requires no action on your part to activate. To use, simply turn your engine on and drive as you would normally. While your vehicle’s hydraulic power steering is a handy tool that...

Q: How do I adjust the autolamp delay?

The autolamp delay is the amount of time that your lights stay on after exiting your vehicle. This delay can be adjusted with just a few steps: 1. Press the Up/Down buttons on the steering wheel until Settings is displayed...

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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...