The modern automobile has a fantastic ability to monitor itself, and provide the driver with a warning when it looks like things are going wrong. When the relevant light appears on your dashboard, you know that it’s time to take remedial action.
But knowing what all of these lights really mean can be tricky.
Anti-lock brake system warning light
If the ABS isn’t working properly, you’ll get a little yellow ABS symbol. This is not to be confused with the main brake warning.
Battery alert light
This one could be meant that the battery is losing its ability to retain a charge and that it needs to be replaced. On the other hand, it might mean that you’ve left the car inactive for long enough that the battery is flat.
Check engine light
This one looks like a miniature engine. It’s the one that many drivers dread – though the precise cause of the fault could be just about anything. It’s a sign that the car needs to be checked out, even if it feels fine.
Service vehicle soon light
This light indicates that your vehicle is due a service. You can book a car service online easily, and thereby end up saving money in the long term. Get it done!
Oil pressure warning light
If your car loses oil pressure, then it’ll be unable to keep the oil circulating. This is very bad news for your engine. Stop the car and top up the oil levels. If that doesn’t work, you have a serious issue.
Brake system warning light
The brake warning light is in bright red so that you take it seriously. It might mean that you’ve left the handbrake partly engaged – but if it appears when you’re driving, it’s time to stop whatever trip you were planning and get the car to a garage.
Temperature warning light
A temperature warning means a problem with the radiator, which might mean that the coolant is leaking or the pump is faulty. If your car can be topped up, now is a good time to get it done.
Tyre pressure warning light
Modern cars increasingly come with tyre-pressure monitoring systems, which will let you know when you’ve suffered a loss of pressure. This means you should reinflate the tyre, or perhaps even get the entire tyre replaced.
You might find that your car has an independent temperature monitoring system for transmission. If you’re getting this warning, then the solution is pretty much the same: get the radiator checked out.
Traction control off
This indicates that the traction control system isn’t working properly. This might be because you’ve deactivated it yourself; if not, you might notice a loss of grip, especially in wet and wintry conditions.