Dashboard Lights and What They’re Telling You

Written by Brotherhood Garage

August 27, 2020

Most of us know what to do when the gas light turns on while you’re on the road. It means your fuel level is low and you need to fill up. However, your dashboard has more lights than just the one and they can turn on at any moment.

These little lights alert you when something is wrong with your car, but it can be confusing and almost scary when they pop up while you’re on the highway.

Not every light means you need to pull over immediately, but it’s good to know which one’s mean trouble. You need to have an understanding of what each icon means, and how to deal with it, to make the correct decisions.

1. Oil Warning
Most of the time you know what this means. Your car needs its oil changed every six months to prevent old oil from clogging up the engine’s moving parts.

This light, when turned red, can also tell you that your oil pressure is too low! When the pressure is low, it means that nothing is pushing the oil out onto your car’s cylinders.

Make sure you get this taken care of quickly or your engine can get damaged if you continue driving while the light is still on.

2. Check Engine
This one can be a little tricky to fix. There are many sensors in your engine that can trigger the warning on your dashboard. When this light comes on, that means there’s something wrong with your motor, and you need to take it to an auto shop. There, a technician can use a scanner tool to locate the problem and fix it for you.

3. Service Engine
This light is not so scary when it pops up. The Service Engine light can mean different things depending on the model of your vehicle. It usually comes up when your engine is experiencing minor problems or as a reminder for a scheduled service.

4. Coolant
Coolant keeps your car cool, or more specifically, your engine. When you run out of coolant, your engine will begin to overheat, and you may see some steam rising from the front of your car.

Don’t panic! When this problem happens, it is safest to pull over onto the side of the road and pop the hood to let the engine cool down. Do NOT attempt to open the radiator cap. It is safest to just leave it be and call a tow-truck.

5. ABS
First off, ABS stands for Anti-lock Brake system. This system in your care uses a sensor in each wheel to check their speed. The purpose of this feature is to keep the brakes from entirely when you slam on them. If this light is flashing, then take your car to an auto shop for diagnosis.

6. Car Battery
This light can mean two different things depending on whether or not you’re driving. The battery icon will be on when you are standing on the ignition, but if you are driving, the light is telling you that the alternator is not charging your car’s battery. If this light comes on when you are on the road then you should probably pull over because your car is about to stop.

The mechanics at Brotherhood Garage can ensure that your car is serviced and maintained, to keep you and your family safe on the road. If you see any dashboard lights that concern you, then don’t waste a moment to make the call and we will be happy to help. If you would like to make an appointment, call (405) 265-7617 today.



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