Decoding the lights on Car Dashboards

car dashboard lights

You probably know the basic instruments on the dashboard like a speedometer and gas gauge. The speedometer tells you how fast you are going and the gas gauge lets you know when to fill up. But there are a number of lights on the dashboard that are important to the safety and performance of your vehicle.

Oil pressure – Just like having a drop in blood pressure can be dangerous, the same is true of oil pressure. If the oil can illuminates, it’s important to stop the car as soon as possible. It could mean that the oil is low or leaking. If there is not enough oil, the engine components are not getting properly lubricated and can be seriously damaged.

Check Engine light – If the sensor that looks like an engine (sometimes accompanied with the words “CHECK ENGINE”) lights up, you should bring your vehicle in for service. An experienced auto technician will be able to diagnose the issue – but the longer you wait to bring it in, the more likely it is that serious damage can happen.

Tire Pressure – Newer vehicles have tire pressure monitors (TPMS) built in that will tell you if any of your tires are over or underinflated. This is extremely handy so drivers know when to stop at a gas station or use their home air compressor to bring tires to a safe pressure level.

Brake Light – We have all started to drive with the parking brake on before catching our mistake and releasing the brake. However, if your brake light comes on when the parking brake is released, it could mean that your vehicle is low in brake fluid or has other issues. Bring your vehicle in to make sure your brake system is operating properly.

If you have warning lights flashing on your dashboard – particularly the oil light, brake light (when the parking brake is not engaged), temperature light (indicating your engine is overheating), or battery light – it’s important to get service quickly. These lights can indicate issues that cause extensive engine damage, safety problems, or imminent breakdown. EuroCar Service offers expert repairs and maintenance on Jaguars, Audis, BMWs, Fiats, Land Rovers, Mercedes, MINIs, Saabs, Smart Cars, Volkswagens, and Volvos.

Here are some critical warning lights for which it is recommended that you schedule an appointment for service:

Oil Light, Temperature Light, Charging or Battery Light, and Brake Light if pedal performance is low.  These warning lights indicate a condition that could cause serious engine damage, leave you stranded, or with unsafe brakes.