What Does the Light on my Dashboard Mean?

April 5, 2022
Dashboard Light

So you’ve started your car, and a light has appeared on your dashboard. When this happens, it can be difficult to determine which light you need to tend to immediately and which are less serious.

At Freedom Collision Center, we’ve put together some of the most common dashboard light indicators and what they mean. It’s critical to understand what each dashboard indicator light means because some lights could leave you stranded or cause an accident.

What Type of Dashboard Indicator Lights Are There?

Engine Temperature Warning Light

This light looks like a thermometer, and it works to indicate when your car is overheating. If this light appears, be sure to pull over and turn off your vehicle as soon as you safely can. You will then need to check the car’s coolant level, radiator cap, and fan. You also want to look for any leaks.

Keep in mind when checking these components that they may be very hot to touch with bare hands. Use protective gloves to prevent burns.

Check Engine Light

This light appears as an icon that looks like an engine. This icon indicates that your engine requires maintenance. The check engine light can indicate several issues, such as needing an oil change, so to pinpoint the problem you will need a scan tool to read the code and determine which part of the engine requires attention. In most cases, you can o to your local auto parts store or mechanic shop to have the check engine scan completed.

Oil Pressure Warning Light

This warning light appears as an oil canister. This light indicates that your vehicle has lost oil pressure which means that the lubrication in your vehicle could be low or totally lost.

Battery Charge Warning Light

This light appears as a battery shape. It works to indicate that your battery is low on power or that it is not functioning properly. To resolve this issue, you need to check your battery and alternator to see what the issue may be. You can use a car battery tester to check your battery. We also recommend that you keep a portable battery charger in your vehicle.

Brake Warning Light

This light looks like an exclamation point with a circle around it. The brake warning light indicates something is wrong with your car’s brakes. This should be checked out immediately as faulty brakes could make your vehicle unsafe to operate.

Traction Control Warnings

This indicator will appear as a car that looks like it is slipping on the road. This light indicates that your car is losing traction on the road as you drive. This can happen in wet or snowy conditions. When your vehicle detects that one wheel is spinning faster than the other wheel, your traction control will activate. This system applies the brakes automatically to help your vehicle regain traction. If this indicator appears, be sure to drive carefully to prevent the loss of traction.

Anti-Lock Brake (ABS) Warning Light

This light shows up as ABS inside of a circle. Most modern vehicles have ABS. If this light comes on, it may indicate that something is wrong with the ABS system. When you first start your vehicle, this light may appear but should go away. If it does not shut off, you will need to have your ABS system looked at.

Tire Pressure Warning Light

The tire pressure light looks like an exclamation point that has been placed inside of a tire icon. This warning light often indicates that the pressure in one or more of your tires is either too low or too high. This is a safety concern for your vehicle, so be sure to stop at a local gas station to readjust your tire pressure and check air pressure levels.

You can also purchase a tire pressure gauge to keep in your vehicle and keep an eye on the tire pressure.

Dealign with a Dashboard Indicator Light? Contact Freedom Collision Center Today!+

Freedom Collision Center serves the Morgantown area as a reputable collision repair shop. If you are dealing with a dashboard light indicator, be sure to contact us today to get your car back in safe operating shape!



Morgantown Center

696 Fairmont Rd.
Morgantown, WV 26501

(304) -241-1325

Freedom Auto Group's Morgantown Center