Understanding Your Car’s Dashboard Warning Lights

Meaning of Dashboard Car Warning Lights in San Diego, CA

Dashboard lights are important indicators that tell you when something urgent must be brought to your attention regarding your vehicle. However, many drivers are unsure what each specific light means, and the symbols and lights can vary from vehicle to vehicle. Here is some information on five common dashboard lights and their widely misunderstood meanings, brought to you by the auto insurance experts at American Tri-Star in San Diego.

Brake System Light

A blinking red exclamation point in a sphere is a common indicator for your brakes. If this light is solid or flashing, it may indicate your brakes are not functioning properly, are overused, or will need to be replaced. However, many cars employ this type of symbol as a simple display to tell you it is time for regular maintenance.

Anti-Lock Brake System Light

Sometimes the letters ABS are within the sphere instead of an exclamation point. This is a specific indicator for your anti-lock brake system. The reasons it holds a separate symbol are because afflictions to the system are not the same and because anti-lock brakes require different maintenance than that of a regular brake system.

Check Engine Light

A light that resembles an engine can mean many things. For instance, it may mean the gas cap is loose or that the spark plugs, catalytic convertor, or O2 sensor needs to be replaced. Since there are so many possibilities for triggering this light, the vehicle will need a diagnosis with a professional scan tool to determine the actual cause.

Oil Pressure Light

A light indicating a tank with a drop of liquid on the tip is a sign for your engine’s oil system. This is a very urgent symbol, as it indicates a loss or burning of oil in your engine through a leak or malfunction. You need to get to a safe place quickly and contact your auto dealer or a mechanic.

Coolant Temperature Light

A thermometer symbol that appears to float in water is an indicator for your engine’s cooling system. This is usually an urgent sign showing your engine is overheating or its cooling mechanisms, including the fan, need servicing or replacement.

Knowing what your dashboard lights mean can help you stay safer when driving. Make sure you take your car to a professional to see what repairs might be needed. For additional driving safety tips, or for quotes on San Diego cheap car insurance, call American Tri-Star today at 619-272-2100. We hope to hear from you soon.