(Commissioned Article) The number of different warning lights on your car’s dashboard can be confusing and sometimes difficult to decipher what could be a severe problem. Therefore, it is important to educate yourself so you can take necessary action and react accordingly.
Most modern cars are fitted with top electronic features such as sensors to help us drive better and systems to monitor our cars conditions, such as brake pads and tyre wear. If a sensor detects a problem, a warning symbol will illuminate on your dashboard letting you know what area of the car needs attention. Each warning light will be either red, amber/yellow or green/blue. This helps you to identify what needs urgent attention and what is just recommended. As a general guide:
Red warning lights = Your vehicle requires immediate attention
Amber/yellow warning lights = Get your vehicle checked out by a professional
Green/blue warning lights = Nothing urgent but advisory, such as topping up your screen wash.
It’s easy to forget the highway code as it’s not something we always practice, therefore refreshing your knowledge on your dashboard can help prevent problems such as breaking down and causing additional damage. Lease Car conducted a survey recently looking at whether respondents guessed the warning light correctly.
59% of respondents knew this symbol was an engine warning light. If this light comes on, it can indicate there is a serious problem and it is advised to take your vehicle to a garage as soon as possible.
Brake system warning light
52% of respondents got this incorrect and this is one of the most important symbols! It is advised to check your brake fluid level and take it to a garage if necessary.
Battery charge warning
A faulty battery, an alternator fault or a broken drive belt are 3 of the reasons this light could appear. Make sure you go to a garage if this light appears as it can indicate a serious problem.
Only 4% of respondents got this incorrect!
Anti-lock braking system warning
54% got this incorrect and believed it meant ‘auto brake system.’ If this symbol appears on your dashboard, you need to take it to a professional to have it checked out.
Engine coolant warning light
If the symbol illuminates you could have an issue with your coolant level overheating. Start by checking your levels and take it to a garage if necessary. 75% of respondents got this correct!
Tyre pressure monitor warning
16% of respondents mistook this for a brake warning light. This symbol senses if you have a puncture or your tyre pressure is low. Check your tyre pressure at a pump or take your car to a garage to be checked out.
You can put your knowledge to the test by taking the quiz here! Remember it is important to read your handbook regularly as some warning lights can be specific to your car and easily forgotten.