Everything is good until you’re on the road and a random warning light pops up on your car’s dashboard. The worst time to wonder if it means something minor or super serious is when you actually experience this. Keep calm. Some of these signals aren't as threatening, but don’t ignore them! Read more about what most of these warning lights mean.
That yellow light shaped like an engine and followed by a “CHECK ENGINE” message seems the most alarming for people. The check engine light is probably hated the most because it could mean anything concerning the motor or emissions system. If the light shows up while driving but nothing seems wrong, you may have more time to find the issue. However, if the car is making horrific noises or is performing oddly, it’s safer to pull over and not risk continuous damage.
The light that looks like a thermometer floating in water is the warning for your car’s coolant temperature. If this light alerts you, your vehicle may be running hot! A leaking or bursting water pump or damage to the radiator itself could be reasons why your car is overheated. Driving an overheated vehicle isn’t the brightest idea. It could result in permanent damage to your car.
We all know what the battery light looks like and what it means. You could either find yourself on the side of the road or simply be warned that maybe it’s time for a new battery or have some electrical problems.
This oil can-shaped light means that your oil level is low. Keep watch of your oil levels and pressure often, especially if you have a car that requires a manual check.
Oil Change Reminder
Although the oil pressure light signals you about the oil level and pressure, the “CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON” signal reminds you that your car needs servicing for an oil change. How long can your car go before your next oil change? Older cars can get about 3,000 miles or three months out of oil- whichever comes first. Oil for newer cars can last for about 6,000 miles or six months. Some modern cars now display the percentage of your car’s oil life and when it is time for an oil change on your dashboard or mobile apps.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
If your tire pressure is abnormal, you will see a signal that looks like an exclamation mark between parentheses. You could have a nail stuck in your tire. Other times, the weather can change the pressure of your tires. In the hotter months, the heat expands your tires and the air pressure. In the winter, your tire pressure may need adjusting because the cold temperatures make your tires contract.
You may engage your parking brakes when parking on a slope. The brake system light may pop up if you begin to drive off and forget to turn off your parking brake. Other reasons could be a sign of low brake fluid levels or worn-out brake pads.
The traction control light may pop up on your dashboard while driving in heavy rain. The traction control signal is a simple reminder that the system detects traction or friction to prevent slips and slides on the road. This light also will show “OFF” when it is deactivated.
Anti-Lock Braking System
The anti-lock braking system (ABS) light is a warning that there’s a problem with the anti-lock braking system. The ABS keeps your wheels from locking up whenever you slam on the brakes. The ABS keeps the wheels rotating, allowing friction to stop and keep steering control. If this light turns on and stays on, then there may be an issue with your anti-lock brakes.
If you see the master warning light, another light is on. The master warning light is the warning that detects problems with one or more system. A missing or loose fuel cap and low fuel is an example of why the master warning light would turn on.
Service Vehicle Soon
The service vehicle soon light indicates that there is a problem, and it requires professional maintenance. Faulty spark plugs or a need for an oil change could cause this service light to turn on.
Like you visit the doctor when you’re showing symptoms, your car needs maintenance and attention when it signals a problem. No matter how minor or major a warning light is, don’t ignore it. Consistently listening to what your car tells you and tending to it can keep your car up and running longer. Check out our Member Perks for savings on auto services like oil changes.