Guide to Dashboard Warning Lights in Your Car

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Guide to Dashboard Warning Lights in Your Car

If you see one or more car dashboard lights, chances are there is an issue with your car that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. They can be confusing and difficult to decipher, especially if you have never had experience with them before.

In this guide, we will walk you through the different types of car dashboard symbols and what they mean. We will also discuss how to use these car light symbols as a diagnostic tool to help identify potential problems with your vehicle.

Check Engine Light

The check engine light is probably one of the most recognizable dashboard warning lights. It's in the shape of an engine, so it's easy to identify. If this light comes on while you're driving, seek assistance as soon as possible. This means there could be a serious problem in your engine that needs attention.

Although it's worth noting that sometimes the issue is minor, like a loose gas cap, don't take your chances on the road and have your car checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

Battery Warning Light

If the battery warning light is on, don't neglect it — it means that your car's battery is not performing as expected. This could be because it needs to be replaced or there's something wrong with the charging system. Either way, have it checked out by an expert as soon as possible.

If your car still has power and can be driven, it may just be a matter of replacing some fuses or other minor fixes. However, if this persists, it would be wise to contact an auto mechanic immediately.

Tip: Never hesitate to contact an auto mechanic if you are unsure of how to check or replace your car's battery.

Brake System Warning Light

If you see the brake warning light, it could mean your brakes are worn out or your brake fluid is low. It could also mean that the hand brake is still engaged when it shouldn't be. If it's the latter, make sure to let go of the handbrake before driving off again, so you don't damage any parts of your car!

Should you see this and the problem is not due to the handbrake being engaged, take your car to a mechanic right away so they can check out your brakes and make sure everything is okay with them.

Airbag Warning Light

If the airbag warning light is on, it means that there is a problem with the airbag system. Your car will not break down if this light is illuminated. However, you may want to have your vehicle checked out by a mechanic because it could mean there's been an issue with your airbags, and you'll want them to work in case of an emergency. Non-working airbags could be lethal in case of an accident while on the road.

Fog Lamp Indicator

Fog lamps, or fog lights, are a type of headlight that is used to improve visibility in foggy conditions. They're especially useful at night when there's limited visibility.

Its dashboard indicator automatically lights up when you turn on your car's fog lights. However, if this indicator turns on by itself, there could be an issue with your fog lamp system. If this happens again after turning off and restarting your car, it could indicate that something needs to be repaired or replaced by a mechanic.

Lamp Out Warning Light

The lamp out warning light is an indicator on your dashboard that looks like a sun with rays with an exclamation point in the middle. It comes on to let you know that one or more bulbs on your car have burned out and need to be replaced.

Driving with a problematic head or taillight can get you a hefty ticket or in a car crash, so never ignore a lamp out warning indicator when it lights up on your dashboard.

Tire Pressure Warning Light

If you see this indicator on your dashboard, it means that one or more of the tires on your car is low on air. This can be dangerous because low tire pressure makes it harder for your vehicle to stop and steer properly, which could lead to an accident.

Check all four tires as soon as possible and fill them up with air if necessary. You should also get them checked by a qualified mechanic if there are any signs of damage or unusual wear on their surface.

Coolant Temperature Warning Light

The coolant temperature icon is another common warning light on your dashboard. If it's lit, it means there's an issue with your car's cooling system, and you need to add some coolant to your vehicle as soon as possible. The icon for this light looks like a thermometer dipped in some water.

If this light comes on while driving, pull over immediately and turn off the engine to prevent any serious damage from occurring. You should also get in touch with a road assistance service to help you. If you really must drive, try letting things cool down naturally before returning to the road.

Transmission Temperature Warning Light

If you see the transmission temperature warning indicator lit on your dashboard, it means that your car's transmission is overheating. This can be caused by a variety of things, such as a faulty water pump or a leak in the radiator.

Check all related hoses for cracks and leaks. If any are found, replace them immediately before moving on to other potential issues. If you don't see any damage on any hoses or lines connected directly under the hood, it's best to call a mechanic to help you out.

Oil Pressure Warning Light

The oil pressure warning light on your dashboard means that the oil level in the engine is dangerously low. If this happens, pull over as soon as possible and turn off the engine.

To check whether there is an issue with your oil system, start by checking its level in the engine compartment. If it looks low or empty, add new oil until it reaches full capacity again. Remember: Neglecting this issue can get your car engine destroyed.

Stability Control Indicator

If the stability control light comes on, it means that your car's stability control system is active. This feature helps your car navigate bad weather conditions by adjusting its braking and steering systems.

If the light does not come on when driving on wet or snowy roads, this could indicate that something is wrong with your car's electronic system, and you should have them checked out.

Washer Fluid Warning Light

The washer fluid light comes on when the vehicle needs more washer fluid. This basically tells you that you should check your reservoir for empty or low levels of washer fluid.

The first step to checking the level of your reservoir is to find where it's located under the hood. After locating the container, look at how much liquid remains inside and fill it accordingly with the correct washer fluid.

Final Thoughts

The warning lights on your car are there to make sure that you know what's wrong with your vehicle before it becomes a major issue. Now that you've learned dashboard light meanings, we hope you're more confident in driving your vehicle and giving it the care it needs.

If you notice any of these warning lights come on, it's important to take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible so they can diagnose and fix the problem.

We at Audi Annapolis are experts in resolving vehicle issues flagged by dashboard warning lights. Visit or contact us any time you need a repair or maintenance service!