There was a time when the only warning light that would come the dash would be the ambiguous “check engine” light. That could mean literally anything is wrong with your car and you will only know what is going on by getting it checked. Today, cars utilize computer systems throughout all components and these systems are getting more sophisticated with every new model. That includes the dashboard warning lights. Here are five dashboard indicators that shouldn’t be ignored when they flash on:
Low Oil Pressure
This light might look like an actual oil can. When it comes on, it means that you could be experiencing a leak. However, it could also mean that there is a problem with your oil pump or oil filter. Any one of those issues needs to be corrected immediately. Of all the dashboard lights, this is the one that probably requires the fastest fix in order to prevent more serious damage
Not every tire pressure warning light means that you have a nail in your tire. You might check your tires and they seem fine. It could just mean that you’re underinflated. Yes, you can still drive but when the tires are underinflated, then you’re not as fuel efficient as you could be. As an added bonus, some cars can tell you specifically which tire is having the issue and how much inflation it needs.
This might be the most common light to come on your dashboard because it covers so many potential issues. Those issues can run the range of “serious” to “easy fix.” The good news is that in a majority of cases, a quick computer diagnostic from your mechanic will be able to pinpoint the issue and provide a recommended repair.
Electrical System Fault
When a tiny “battery” pops up on the dashboard, you might think that your battery needs replacing. In some instances, that could be true but this warning covers all of your car’s electrical systems. There could be something wrong with the alternator or a fuse. If you’re driving and this light comes on, then it can mean that you’re going to have problems charging the car. In other words, it might not start after turning it off. Get to the mechanic ASAP.
Coolant Temperature Warning
Unlike the other warning lights, this one is rather straightforward: It usually means your car is close to overheating. That doesn’t mean it can tell you why the car is overheating just the temperature. The immediate quick fix is to check the radiator to make sure you’ve got the right amount of fluid in there.
The warning lights might be different icons for each car but are listed in your owner’s manual. Be sure to check them out before they flash on.