If you’re an average Joe driver with not a whole lot of mechanical knowledge, the dashboard lights that pop up when something goes wrong can seem like ominous hieroglyphics. Sometimes it’s an easy fix like the low tire pressure light but others like the check engine light could mean bad things are going on in your car. Protect your investment. Know what can go wrong with your car and how to resolve it before you cause serious damage to your car on the road. Here are some serious warning signs that could pop up on your dashboard.
Vehicle Dashboard Warnings
Temperature Warning Light
This light tells you when your engine is possibly overheating due to low coolant or oil levels and any malfunction in the engine that would keep heat from dissipating. Overheating can indicate a serious issue in the engine like faulty cylinders or head gasket and should be looked at by a trusted mechanic. It’s best to find a place to stop and open the hood to let more air circulate in and around the engine.
This light indicates that the charging system is not working properly and could mean several things might be wrong with the battery like loose wire connections or a fault in the battery itself. It’s best to take you car to a mechanic immediately because your battery could lose power and you will be stuck with a car that won’t move.
Oil Pressure Sensor
This light is pretty straightforward as it tells you when your oil is low (if amber) or depleted (if red). The latter can be very serious though and the car should not be operated as the engine does not have proper lubrication and parts can wear down. It is important to know how much oil is in your car (you can check the percentage, which will differ per car) and to act when you see the amber oil pressure light. If this light comes on and your oil levels are still fine, other issues could occur and you will need to consult with a mechanic.
Engine Management Light
One of the more serious lights, (also known as the check engine light) this indicates that there is something wrong with the engine and how the car is running which can be caused by a multitude of things. It is best to take your car to the mechanic as soon as you notice this light before serious damage occurs.
ABS Warning/Traction Control
These lights will come on at the same time and mean that the ABS and other safety features are not working and your braking and traction could be hindered. This can be very dangerous, especially if out on the road and it is best to pull over immediately as to not cause an accident.
Power Train Malfunction
This light comes on when the Engine Management System detects a significant error and the engine needs to be shut down immediately. Call a mechanic as soon as you’ve have the car shut down for further instruction.
Tire Pressure Light
This light indicates that the pressure in one or multiple tires is low and needs to be filled back to the set limit. While you may be fine to at least drive home, if tire pressure is extremely low in even one tire you could have issues with traction, getting your car up to certain speeds and maintaining speed and other issues. It is best to check each tire’s pressure and fill accordingly as soon as you can. If tire pressure is adequate and the light is still on, you will need to consult with a mechanic to determine what is wrong.
This light comes on in combination with other lights but will usually occur with an error message depending on the car. It is important to note that this light and others will flash when you turn your car on which does not indicate a problem unless they stay on after the car is started and running.
With any mechanical issues or indicators, it is best to consult a mechanic even if you don’t know what the cause of the problem is or feel like your car is not running properly. To find a trusted mechanic, see consumer report’s article on tips.
If you’ve been in an accident and need legal help, give McKenzie & Snyder a call at (513)-737-5180