Dashboard Lights: Warning Lights and Symbol Meanings
Whether your next adventure takes you across town or across the country, one thing is for sure: you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you don’t have to wonder and worry about an illuminated indicator light on your dashboard.
Here are some of the most common lights you’ll see illuminated on your car dashboard, and advice for taking care of them.
What Do Dashboard Lights Mean?
LOW OIL PRESSURE LIGHT
What Does the Oil Light Mean?
There are a number of reasons this light turns on. It could be a low oil level, a bad oil pump, or a defective oil pressure sending unit, oil pressure gauge, or warning-light switch.
Worst Case Scenario: Engine Failure
If you don’t fix the problem, it could lead to total engine failure. That means your car shuts down and you’re most likely stuck with an expensive repair.
When the Oil Pressure Light Comes on
First and foremost, stop your car. If you feel comfortable, roll up your sleeves and check your oil level. Top it off if it's low and if you have oil handy. If the problem is something other than oil level, the fix involves more than a dipstick and some oil.
We recommend to quickly make an appointment and have one of our service technicians inspect your vehicle.
POWER STEERING LIGHT
What Does the Steering Wheel Light Mean?
A steering wheel and exclamation point appear when your car’s power steering fluid levels are low or when there’s a fault in the system.
Worst Case Scenario: Power Steering Failure
If the power steering fails, it is best not to drive your vehicle, as it is very difficult to steer.
Check for Low Power Steering Fluid
If this light turns on, check your fluid levels and top them off if they’re low. If the light stays on after the fluid is filled or comes back on down the road, make an appointment today for our Power Steering Fluid Change.
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT
What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?
Anything from a loose gas cap to an engine misfire can illuminate this dreaded light. Either way, it’s important that you get it checked out as soon as possible.
Worst Case Scenario: Catalytic Converter Damage
A blinking check engine light usually means a severe engine misfire is allowing unburned fuel to be dumped into your exhaust system. That can raise the temperature of your car’s catalytic converter to a point where damage will most likely happen, and expensive repairs could be required. Pull over and turn off your engine.
What to do When the Check Engine Light Comes On
Don’t ignore this one. Check your dashboard gauges and lights for indications of low oil pressure or overheating. These conditions mean you should pull over and shut off the engine as soon as you can find a safe place to do so.
You can also try tightening your gas cap (sometimes that solves the problem).
If the check engine light is blinking or you notice any serious performance problems, like a loss of power, reduce your speed and try to reduce the load on the engine.
Learn more about our Check Engine Light Service at Goodyear Auto Service and make an appointment today to have your car checked as soon as possible to help prevent any potential unwanted expensive damages.
Why is the Tire Pressure Light On?
The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light illuminates when the system detects at least one tire with a pressure above or below the recommended psi for your vehicle.
Worst Case Scenario: Tire Failure
Driving on an under-inflated tire can increase wear and make the tire very unsafe.
When to Service Your Tire Pressure Monitoring System
If your tire warning light comes on after you start the car or when you’re driving, pull the vehicle off the road and find a safe place to stop and call for service. The tire should be inspected by a professional for damage.
One way to keep the light from turning on: follow the recommendations outlined in your vehicle's owner’s manual and keep your tires inflated to the pressures indicated on the tire placard.
LOW COOLANT LIGHT / TEMPERATURE WARNING LIGHT
Why is the Temperature Light On?
This light typically comes on when your coolant levels are low or there’s a problem with the coolant level sensor system.
Worst Case Scenario: Engine Overheating
Coolant is part of the circulation system your vehicle uses to cool off. If you don’t have the right levels, your engine can overheat, which could lead to a breakdown. Learn more about overheating engines and the impact of proper coolant levels.
Check Coolant Levels
Check your engine coolant levels as soon as possible. If your levels are low, the proper amount and type of coolant should be added. You should also get your car inspected for any leaks or problems with your coolant level warning system.
Come in today and let us check your coolant levels as part of our Radiator & Coolant Flush Service.