We all understand that dashboard lights are important, but after seeing one, many of us will often brush it off as an issue which will simply resolve itself. While this may seem like the easy way out, it most certainly is not as warning lights flick on for a reason and ignoring them can cause many more problems down the line.
So, let’s run down five of the most common (and important) dashboard lights you need to be aware of.
Overheating can happen for a number of reasons, from scorching exterior temperatures to a lack of coolant. But if you see this light flick on, the engine is seriously overheated, which can lead to some pretty serious problems if ignored.
Thus, if you see this light flick up it’s advisable to stop the vehicle in a safe location as soon as possible. Where you can then check coolant levels and let the engine cool down before continuing.
Engine oil is used to lubricate engine parts, as they are under constant friction. Thus, if you see the engine oil warning light appear on your dashboard it is paramount to find a safe stopping location as soon as possible, as if you are completely out of engine oil the friction on the engine can cause major internal problems. And, yes, that sounds expensive.
Fortunately refilling your engine oil is a simple affair.
It’s normal for your battery warning light to flick on as soon as you turn on your vehicle. But don’t let this get you used to seeing it.
If the light stays on for an extended period after starting the car, or flicks on during driving, it means that a fault has been detected in the battery’s charging system. Which could result in your car’s power cutting out at any moment.
Again, this means you need to find somewhere to safely park up to check the battery.
Perhaps the most important part of any vehicle, the brakes are the fundamental component which ensures we are safe on the road. Thus, the brake warning light always requires immediate attention. As if you can’t stop, you’re almost guaranteed an accident.
However, the brake system warning light has two reasons it lights up. Firstly, it can mean the hydraulic fluid (brake fluid) is running low, or the parking brake is engaged. Let’s hope it’s always the latter.
The dreaded engine management warning light is perhaps the most disconcerting of them all, as it indicates that there is an issue that you are unlikely to be able to solve yourself.
If this light stays on for an extended period after the vehicle has been switched on, it could mean that the engine control unit or the engine’s electronic network is compromised.
Fortunately, this isn’t likely to cause an immediate problem. But it does mean you should take your vehicle to a garage as soon as possible in order to avoid further faults or internal damage.
Worst comes, this could reveal some larger underlying problems with your vehicle. Thus, after the issue has been identified, you may soon want to enter the market for a new or used car. MotorHype is the perfect place to find used cars for sale. Whether you’re looking to upgrade to a classy used BMW or steady the ship with a reliable used Ford, or anything in between.
Understanding our vehicles is key to keeping them in healthy working order. Knowing how to identify the key dashboard warning lights, and what they may suggest about your vehicle, is a key way of doing this. So next time one of these little lights pops up on your dash, be sure to pay it proper attention.