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Car Dashboard Warning Lights Explained

When packed with electronics and sensors to monitor, expect the car to flash those warning signals, every time something goes wrong while driving. It is called Car dashboard warning lights that lets you drive much safer on the roads.

So, how car dash symbols work? Well, as soon as something goes wrong in the car, one or the other feature gets activated on the dashboard. This activates the signal funnels through the electrical system, illuminating a hieroglyphic, which is then displayed on the dashboard to the driver.

Car Dashboard Warning Lights: Symbols and their Meanings

The dashboard is full of symbols, which may differ slightly in different cars. But, most of the vehicle’s dashboard, these car warning lights will represent the same meaning, displaying almost the same icons right there. While some car dashboard symbols and meanings could portend a serious malfunction, here are explained some important signals which you should not be ignoring anyway.

1. Engine Warning Light (ECU)

This is basically the engine-shaped signal that your car has shifted into the safe mode itself. The reason for this light illuminating on your dashboard could be the lack of power, trouble caused by the misfire, or any other fault which is halting the normal working of the engine. So, when such sign appears on the dashboard, there is no better option than calling a professional mechanic to get it checked, as driving such car would only lead to irreparable damage or here are 4 easy ways to reset check engine light by yourself you can follow

Check engine light
Engine Warning Light (ECU) is one of popular warning shown on car dashboard.

2. Tire Pressure Warning Light

This symbol appears like a U alphabet with an exclamatory mark in between. This is one of those car dashboard warning lights, which will appear when there is some sort of trouble in the tires. So, when it shows up right there, it means that the pressure in one or more o the tires are too low and needs your attention right there and then.

3. Engine Temperature Warning Lights

Well, the warning light looks like an ‘E’ that is sailing in the water. This dashboard warning light warns you to keep the engine cool. So, it appears when the engine has become too hot and it probably needs the instant attention. Engine maintenance tips must, therefore, be followed from time to time for safe driving.


4. Seatbelt Indicator

Expect this signal on the dashboard when the seatbelts are not worn. While this is something that needs no professional help, but this is one of the most important aspects of driving. Yet many don’t even buckle up on it every time, this is something that is really important to reduce the accidents and injuries on the roads. Remember, seat belt safety comes first when on the roads.

Seat Belt Car dashboard warning lights
Car dashboard warning lights for your seat belt

5. Brake Warning Light

Expect this signal to display on your dashboard, when the handbrake is left on. In case, the light is flashing even while driving, this could probably be the indication of low brake fluid as well. Then comes the serious concern, if the light is permanently lit, as this could be the indication of pulling the car to the roadside and towed (not drive) to the repair shop.

6. Airbag Warning Light

Airbags could be considered one of the most amazing inventions to make cars safer, any day. So, when this warning light appears on the dashboard, get the car checked instantly to avoid sudden shock or popping up of the faulty airbag during the car crash. So, don’t let yourself stuck in the “Why my Airbag light is On” query. The warning signal on the dashboard is going to tell you all.

Car dashboard warning lights to ensure airbag safety
Airbag Car dashboard warning lights

Knowing these common car dashboard warning lights can possibly save your vehicle and even your life. So, being aware of these signals can be a great assistance for driving safe on the roads. Learning car dashboard warning lights is, therefore, a must.

7. Auxiliary Steering Wheel Warning Light

This light indicates that the steering wheel’s electric power has a problem. When the power steering wheel is faulty, you will find the steering wheel very heavy and difficult to rotate. This can be dangerous when the car is running at high speed.

8. Coolant Warning Light

Coolant temperature warning light plays an important role in cars, especially in the summer. As the name implies, the effect of this type of water is to cool the car engine. If there is not enough cooling water in the system, the engine will overheat and stop running.

Coolant Temperature Warning Light
Coolant Temperature Warning Light

When you see this light comes on the dashboard, you need to add more coolant to the engine.

9. Battery Error Indicator Warning Light

In some cases, the battery error light will come on when you first start the computer. After a few seconds, the light will turn off. If the lights do not turn off after a few seconds, your car has a faulty battery or cord.

Battery Error in Dashboard Warning Light
Battery Error in Dashboard Warning Light

If the electric system of the car is malfunctioning, it is best not to attempt to start the engine again before the problem is resolved.

10. Oil Warning Light

When you see this light on the dashboard, you need to understand that the oil temperature is too high or that the oil/pressure in the tank is too low. Excessive oil can lead to engine failure. So, you should check with oil spatula and fill as needed.

So for all of information above with the specific expression of each light among the dashboard warning lights, you will have a safely driving whether any kind of lights comes on in your dashboard. If you are interested about car maintenance, let’s follow us for more daily updated articles which could satisfy your demands.

  1. Titus says

    I like this column about car from Japan. I always follow it on facebook and it is very educative. Kudos!

    1. Ashab says


  2. Steve says


  3. JOHN says

    Learnt knew and good things. Am now equipt kindly share more.
    Thank you

  4. JOHN says

    Thanks for the infor.
    Keep me posted on cars and especially Mercedez benz c 180 or 200.

  5. Wayne Stewart says

    What model cars have the tire pressure signal.
    How can I get a manual in English for my 2010 corolla fielder

  6. Paul Onundo says

    Love this information about car from Japan.I have been very green on such matters and now happy to learn a lot from you people.l can now make a good decision any time am in a fix.

  7. Bit Robert says

    I like this information

  8. Peekay says

    I have been following this page for a while and I find it educative.thanks to carjapan

  9. Medix says

    Every expert was a learner thanks for good skills

  10. Michael says

    I enjoy this forum. It is very educatI’ve.

    1. moses soett says


  11. Nicholas otieno says

    I saw a warning light on the dashboard that looks like a bulb that is lit. What does it indicate on warn the driver about… VW made in Japan….

  12. Saunders says

    I have a Toyota ‘Rav’4 it sutters before it starts when cold only after 4 tries it starts 1995 modle fitted with a 3sge engine can you help Mechanic don’t know in Guyana.

  13. Iggy Giranah says

    I have a Toyota Land Cruiser 10 seater. 3rd and 4th gear spontaneously shifts to neutral on its own.

  14. sibana michelo says

    Very insightful.

  15. Patrick Musuku says

    I have a station wagon MarkX Zio toyota and last week it showed BSC symbole of an engine check on dash board,so what does that mean ir what’s the problem with my car?Your help and advice will highly appreciate.Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you.

  16. Woche says

    Hi,I have a Subaru impreza which continuously blinks green power light on the dashboard and the vehicle has no picking power.What might be the problem and what’s the solution to that.

  17. Sikalunda kalesy says

    Wonderful especially on the air bag warning light

  18. Manoj says

    I have learnt a lot . Very informative

  19. Kelvin says

    What could be the problem when the dashboard is showing ABS

  20. Glen says

    I am driving Totota Mark II Grander GX 110, One time i see the warning with car picture showing zigzag movement what does this indicate?

  21. Fredrick says

    Quite important explanations

  22. Stephen says

    I have Toyota Yaris Yom 2000 when driving it’s Show check engine then go off over and over . What might be the problem. Tnkx in advance

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