Own a vehicle? You’re not the only one. More than nine in 10 American homes have access to at least one car, and most people would rather own or lease a car than attempt to live without one. The absence of convenient public transportation makes owning a car essential for most people.
Whether you had difficulty picking your latest car or knew exactly the make and model you wanted, there are probably some aspects about your car you may not know. One of those things that may confuse amateur drivers and more experienced ones alike is deciphering what the various dashboard warning lights mean.
Today’s dashboards have more warning lights and notifications than ever. Automobile dashboards have developed from the simplest of instruments and controls to panels that incorporate instruments that indicate data including your speed, mileage, fuel capacity, and inside temperature — and that’s only the start. Your dashboard also likely features dozens of colored symbols and warning lights, many of which can be confusing.
The primary aspect to examine with a symbol is its color. Green, blue or white symbols typically indicates that something about the car needs your attention, such as that you’re low on gas, a door isn’t properly closed, or your windshield wiper fluid is almost empty. Other green symbols include lighting indicators, such as when your bright headlights or hazard lights are on, the cruise control indicator, ignition switch warning, and lane assist warning.
A yellow symbol may symbolize a safety issue that you should address, such as not wearing a seatbelt when the car is moving, that your tire is low on air, or that your brake pads are wearing out. Typically, these symbols indicate a possible safety issue you should address soon, not necessarily immediately.
A red icon presents the most danger to your vehicle and safety. A red symbol is likely to indicate a critical issue with your vehicle and one that should be addressed immediately. Red symbols include warnings that your brakes are malfunctioning, your engine is overheating, or your battery is almost dead.
Some symbols are easy to read, such as the symbol that shows a door is open. Others, such as the tire pressure notice, may not be as instinctive. Be sure to read the accompanying information, which covers this topic more in-depth.