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10 Important Dashboard Warning Lights

By Geraldine Ashton Green | July 2, 2015


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We've listed ten of the most important dashboard lights that may pop up through your car ownership. These lights should NOT be ignored, so we've told you what they mean and what you need to do...

10 Important Dashboard Warning Lights

Today modern cars are fitted with so many electronics and sensors the dashboard is full of different lights,  but do we know what any of them mean?  When a flashing light appears it is difficult to know what the warning is for. We have listed some of the most important warning lights you should look out for if they do pop up on your dashboard.

1. Airbag warning light

The airbag warning light appears when the airbag could be faulty. The airbag needs to be inspected, if it is not working properly it may not go off in a crash. There is also the possibility that the airbag could go off when you least expect it which could cause an injury, airbags are very expensive to put right if they do deploy so this warning light could save you some money. 

2.Brake system / brake fluid warning light

If the brake warning light is flashing this needs to be checked sooner rather than later. Your brakes are one of the most important features on your car, it could be signalling a low brake fluid level or that your brake pads are worn or even a fault with the ABS anti-lock braking system. Either way your car needs booking in to have the potential issue inspected and if necessary repaired.

3. Power steering / EPAS warning light

This particular light is a warning there could be a potential problem with the power steering. Failure of the power steering means the steering will go heavy so harder to make the car change direction. This could be risky if happening at motorway speeds when you need to change lanes quickly. Again something that needs checking as soon as the light flashes.

4. ECU/ Engine Warning Light 

The engine warning light is often seen flashing on the dashboard, this can be due to a small faulty electrical sensor. Other times the light flashes and is accompanied by other symptoms such as lack of power this is because the car will go into ‘safe’ mode to protect itself. If the engine warning light is on a professional mechanic should look over it as driving with it on could cause further damage and sometimes it can be irreparable. 

5. / 6.  DPF / Diesel particulate filter warning light

This needs checking quickly as can be expensive to replace, if you happen to have a faulty diesel particulate filter then your engine could be in for a lot of damage, this warning light could mean the car is releasing a toxic of black smoke every time you hit the accelerator. The diesel particulate filter needs to be working correctly to remove the harmful soot from the exhaust gases to reduce emissions. 

7. Coolant warning light

Coolant levels are running low when this light flashes up. Check the gauge on the side of the coolant tank under the bonnet and top up if necessary.  The car needs coolant and without it the car engine would get so hot and cause damage. Be sure your car is not overheating as this is potentially an expensive repair bill. 

8. Oil warning light

When the oil warning light flashes this is similar to the coolant light it is letting you know the oil temperature is too high. Oil lubricates the engine, if  temperatures get too high or the level is low the lubrication of the engine is reduced or lost all together. Expensive engine damage will happen if this is not rectified it is better to get advice and see if the level is low or the the oil pressure is too low. 

9.Tyre pressure monitor warning light

This is one of the easiest lights, if this flashes you need to look at the tyres. Tyre pressure needs monitoring, it can also mean you have a slow puncture.

10. Battery charge warning light

This light generally comes on the first few seconds when you turn your car on but the problem occurs if it stays on as this could then mean there is a problem with the electrical system. It could also be a faulty alternator, faulty battery or damaged cabling. A professional is needed to take a look at the cause of this light staying on. 

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