Why is this light on my dashboard flashing? What does this warning light mean? Let’s look at what your Car Dashboard Warning Lights are and why it’s lit up!
No one enjoys seeing a dashboard warning light flash on while driving. We ask: What is this car dashboard warning light? Why did it turn on? Do I need to pull over?!
Breathe, it’s going to be alright. Let’s take a look at the most common car dashboard warning lights!
What are dashboard warning lights?
Car dashboard warning lights alert the driver there is a problem by flashing or remaining on. It can be a for something small like a seat belt not buckled, a door ajar, or a faulty wire. But it can also be a more major issue like a seized engine due to lack of oil, blown head gasket, or lack of hydraulic pressure on your brakes. Knowing the meanings of your car’s dashboard warning lights could save you from unnecessary expenses, lacking driver safety, or major car issues.
The car dashboard is trickled with warning lights that flash on when starting the car for a system check and soon turn off. It’s important to know what they mean. Each car has slightly different dashboard warning lights but all in all, your carhas the basics. You can review your specific model’s car dashboard warning lights in the Car Owner’s Manual or speak to your sales representative. Let’s take a look at the basic lights from the dashboard of a 2019 Kia Optima.
What does each Car Dashboard Warning Light mean?
Immobilizer Indicator Warning Light
When you stick yourkey in the ignition and turn it to the ON position, the immobilizerindicator light will turn on and shortly turn off. If it starts flashing, this means the system doesnot recognize the key. This works the same for a keyless ignition but with the keycode. This warning light is basically an anti-theft system. If the key is not the right key, it disables the engine from starting.
Oil Pressure Warning Light
STOP driving! Low oil pressure is highly damaging to your engine and can be the result of a leak. Check your oil level after the car cools down and add motor oil if needed. If thelight remains on, do not drive your car!It is not uncommon that the sensor is bad but without proper inspection, you shouldn’t risk it. Therefore until the problem is resolved, driving could permanentlyruin your engine. Get it checked by our service department!
Battery Warning Light
This light means there is an issue with the car’s electrical system. It can be anything from a small loose wire to a larger issue like a problem with the vehicle’s battery or alternator. If this light comes on, get your car checked out immediately. Waiting could result in you and your car stranded somewhere.
Seat beltWarning Light
This usually indicates that someone in the car isnot wearing their seat belt!Most new models have lights that will start to blink and beep if all the passengers aren’t wearing their seat belts. If everyone is, there may be a problem with the sensor. Try cleaning out the buckle or replacing it.
Check Engine Light
The dreaded check engine light or malfunctionindicator. This car dashboard warning light flashes on for a number of reasons. It can be as simple as a loose gas cap or as severe as an overheating catalytic converter. Luckily is it easy to find out what’s wrong. A code is triggered and can be retrieved with a Car Code Reader. Bring your vehicle to get checked before the problem escalates.
Tire Pressure Warning Light
Check your tires! Usually, the light indicates tire pressure is low in one or more tires. This could be due to weather change. Add air to your tired immediately and check for punctures.
Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) Indicator
There is an error with your headlight assist when this lights up. Newer cars have a feature where the headlights rotate to shine in the direction of turning, automatically shut off high beams, and more. The lights could be malfunctioning and should get inspected/fixed to ensure safe night driving.
Electronic Stability Control Indicator Light (ESC)
In extreme steering situations, this light will pop on to signal the stability control is on. ESC is an evolution of traction control and helps the driver maintain control of the car when turning nears or exceeds the limits of the road traction. Alternatively, if the light remains on, you will need to see a mechanic to diagnose the issue with the system. The ESC light with the “OFF” below it, notifies you theElectronic Stability Control is disabled.
Electronic or Hydraulic Power Steering
This car dash warning light illuminates when the power steering is not working properly. Newer models have an electronic power steering while older have a hydraulic power steering. Either way, the vehicle needs to be serviced to refill the fluid and/or conduct a system check.
Anti-lock Brake System Warning Light
The system helps maintain traction to the road while braking. For this light, drive with caution and with service in the very near future. Your brakes will still work but in an emergency, this feature is important for safety.
If this light and theParking Brake / Brake Fluid Warning Light (below)are both lit up, immediately pull over. There is a malfunction with the brake system and it is not safe to drive.
Parking Brake / Brake Fluid Warning Light
Check your parking brake because this light means either your parking brake is engaged or a more serious problem. If it remains on and you’ve checked the parking brake, there could be a serious issue with your brakes such as a lack of hydraulic fluid in your brake line. DO NOT DRIVE if this light stays on. It is possible your brakes could fail to work.
Airbag Warning Light
Next, we have the airbag warning light. This little light warns there is a problem with the airbag system and the airbags will not deploy in an accident. Causes of this could be from an accident and the airbags did not deploy or from a faulty seatbelt sensor. Whether or not, getting this check as soon as possible could mean life or death in an accident. Schedule to come into service today.
Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) Light
Many get used to the convenience of an electronic parking brake to assist while stationary. If this light stays on the dashboard, do not rely on the EPB! It is either malfunctioning and/or deactivated due to an issue. Get this inspected by your service department.
Bulb Monitoring Warning Light
Check your lights! An essential light has burned out and is in need of replacing. Check your brake lights, headlights, and others. Then, replace accordingly.
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
Lastly, on this dashboard, we have the Autonomous Emergency Braking Warning light. AEB is a new safety feature that automatically stops the car if the driver fails to react in an emergency situation of a forward collision. If this light illuminates, the safety system is disabled.If the system is switched on and the light is still lit, there may be a problem with the AEB and therefore should be inspected by a mechanic.
Safely knowing your Dashboard Warning Lights
Knowing what is part of your car dashboard provides security and safety to your driving. Warning lights are there for a reason and should not be ignored. If you find other lights on your car dashboard, check your owner’s manual and review what to do in the event of an illuminated warning light.
Remember, when you first start your car the lights will flash on for a check then turn off. If you have any questions about other warning lights, please leave a comment and our team will find the answer for you!
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- Seat Belt Indicator.
- Low Fuel.
- Door Open Check Engine.
- Low Tire Pressure.
- High Beams Indicator.
- Windshield Washer Fluid Low.
- Turn Signal Indicator.
- Cruise Control.
Master Warning Light: It looks likean exclamation point inside a triangle, and indicates that two or more of the following systems have issues: TPMS, washer fluid, Blind Spot Detection (BSD), or open fuel cap.What certain lights mean on dashboard? ›
Red, Yellow/Orange, Green, and Blue Lights
A red warning light demands immediate attention (don't drive any further), while yellow/orange warning lights indicate a problem that needs to be serviced soon. If you see a green or blue light, this normally indicates that a certain car function is on or currently in use.
If you see a Kia warning light with an exclamation and triangle, this indicates that your Master Warning light was tripped. What does that mean? It indicates that your TPMS, washer fluid, or Blind Spot Detection systems are having issues. I could also mean that your fuel cap is open.What is the most serious warning light in a car? ›
The check engine light is usually the most serious and feared warning because of the kind of damage it can signal. This warning often indicates the potential for serious engine damage. When ignored, your vehicle could suffer from a blown head gasket or a seized engine.What are the 3 main warning lights gauges? ›
- Oil Pressure Warning Light.
- Temperature Warning Light.
- Battery Low Warning Light.
Driver Attention Warning is a supplemental function and may not be able to determine whether the driver is inattentive. The driver who feels fatigued should take a break at a safe location, even though there is no break suggestion by Driver Attention Warning.What is the engine management warning symbol? ›
An engine management light, or EML (sometimes also called the 'check engine light') is a dashboard warning light that illuminates when an issue with your car's engine, exhaust or emissions system has cropped up.What are the symbols for the master warning light? ›
Typically, the master warning light looks like a triangle with an exclamation mark in the middle. The light indicates one or more problems have been detected with the vehicle. Exactly what the issue (or issues) might be will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of car you have.What are the 2 main types of dashboard warning lights? ›
There are two main types of dashboard warning lights: red and orange. A red warning light generally indicates a serious issue with your car. You should act quickly if your dashboard warning light is red – it could be an overheating engine, low engine oil pressure or a braking system problem.
Transmission Warning Light
When this red or yellow transmission warning symbol is illuminated, your car is alerting you that your transmission is overheating. If this warning light turns on, you should immediately stop your vehicle and turn it off when it's safe to do so.
Red dashboard lights are serious warning lights. You should stop immediately, or risk damage to the car (or worse, yourself). If you are out driving when you see a red warning light, pull over and deal with the problem. If it requires attention from a professional, don't drive down the block to get one.What vehicle has a yellow triangle exclamation mark? ›
If you see that warning light triangle with an exclamation mark appear there's a simple explanation. This icon stands for your Honda vehicle's Vehicle Stability Assist system and will illuminate your dashboard when an issue with the system is detected.What does yellow light on Kia mean? ›
Kia's dashboard symbols are all color coded just like a traffic light. Red indicates a significant problem that should be addressed right away. Yellow designates a safety concern that may not require immediate attention but should be checked out when safe to do so.What causes multiple warning lights on dash? ›
When all your dashboard lights turn on at once, it most commonly indicates an issue with the alternator or the charging system. It is common for all the dash lights to come on with no alternator output; low voltage can cause unusual electrical issues. The alternator should be tested at the time of battery replacement.What are the hazard warning lights of a car? ›
Hazard warning lights are generally used in the event of a breakdown. If you feel your car starting to lose power whilst driving, put your hazards on to warn other drivers that you may be about to slow down or stop suddenly. This will allow other drivers to keep their distance and avoid a collision.What is the most common Colour of a dashboard warning light? ›
Red is the equivalent of stop, and means the problem needs investigating immediately; orange or amber is an advisory signal, suggesting drivers will need to take action; and green says all is clear and serves as a helpful reminder. Here's a helpful guide to the most common dashboard warning lights.What are the 5 gauges on the dashboard? ›
- Fuel Gauge.
- Oil Pressure.
- Temperature Gauge.
When the driver's attention level is below one bar, the message “Consider taking a break” appears on the LCD display and a warning sounds to suggest the driver take a break. The RCCA system can be deactivated/reactivated through the audio head unit screen.What is Kia lane departure warning? ›
Lane Departure Warning: When the system detects that you're about to leave your lane in this mode, it will use haptic, visual, and audio cues to alert you. Off: You can turn the Kia Lane Keeping Assist system off anytime you like.
Master WARNING Dashboard LIGHT
The exclamation mark contained in a triangle is the Kia master warning light. This warning symbol informs the driver of the following situations: – Low washer fluid – TPMS – Blind Spot Detection (BSD) – Fuel cap open – Service required.
What the catalytic converter warning light means. This light is made to warn the driver that the catalytic converter is either overheating or not operating as intended. The inside of the catalytic converter consists of a honeycomb design that increases the surface area in contact with the air.What is the most common reason for engine warning light? ›
The emissions/exhaust system is the most likely culprit for many check engine lights being illuminated. There could be an exhaust leak or a problem with the catalytic converter. The mass airflow sensor (MAF) is another sensor that is easily tripped or can fail.What does the oil warning light look like? ›
This light looks like a genie lamp with a drop coming out of the end, but in some models it is a red light that says OIL. Any red warning light that your vehicle displays is an indication that your vehicle needs maintenance as soon as possible to avoid serious damage.How many dashboard symbols are there? ›
There are 64 warning lights and symbols on a car's dashboard - but how many do you recognise? They are an everyday sight that could mean the difference between a smooth journey and a costly repair bill. But many of us have no idea what the lights and symbols on our car dashboards actually mean and when to take action.What are the different emergency lights? ›
Generally, red and white are used for emergency vehicles, amber for parking/bylaw enforcement, construction, utility vehicles, Amber and White for security vehicles, and green or red for volunteer firefighters as per various Provincial legislations.What are the dashboard indicators or warning lights of a bad battery alternator? ›
Dim Lights. An early warning sign that your alternator is going bad could be dim, flickering lights. This symptom could show up on any or all of your dashboard lights, reading lights, headlights or other lights. The alternator is supposed to provide the electricity for your car's lights.What is the warning signs of transmission failure? ›
Some common symptoms of a failing transmission include unusual noises, slipping, grinding, and jerking when engaging and shifting gears. A failing transmission can lead to various issues ranging from your vehicle making loud noises, behaving erratically on the road, or being undrivable.Which dashboard light tells you when engine needs service? ›
If the check engine light illuminates, it will either blink or remain constantly illuminated, depending on the problem. A blinking light, or in some cars a red light instead of a yellow or orange light, indicates a problem that needs immediate attention. Either way, you should have the vehicle checked by a mechanic.Can I drive my car with all the warning lights on? ›
If all of your lights have come on then that may be an indicator of some sort of serious malfunction with the vehicle. The fact that it appears to be running fine is a good sign. However, I would refrain from driving it until you can figure out what the issue is.
Contemporary dashboards may include the speedometer, tachometer, odometer, engine coolant temperature gauge, and fuel gauge, turn indicators, gearshift position indicator, seat belt warning light, parking-brake warning light, and engine-malfunction lights.Where would the most important information appear on a dashboard? ›
When you're designing a dashboard, the top left quadrant as well as the center quadrant are the most important. Most people will quickly put their eyes on those two sections first. Therefore, you will want to focus the most important information of your dashboard in those two areas.What does the alternator warning light mean? ›
The alternator light will either be a battery or an ALT, both can indicate that your alternator isn't working properly. Without an alternator, your battery isn't going to stay charged. During a ride in your vehicle, your alternator recycles energy and charges up your battery.What are dashboard elements? ›
A dashboard contains elements, which are the data visualizations, text tiles, and buttons on the dashboard. This page discusses options for the visualizations within a LookML dashboard. For settings that affect an entire LookML dashboard, see the Dashboard LookML reference page.What lights come on when transmission is bad? ›
An illuminated check engine light is an early indicator of transmission and other related problems. NOTE: Your vehicle may be forced into a fail-safe or limp mode when the transmission dashboard warning light turns on.Is there a warning light for low transmission fluid? ›
When the level of transmission fluid goes down, you will get a warning light on the dashboard. The warning light indicates hotter temperatures than normal of the fluid, and there is a need to get the fluid checked.What does a check engine light look like? ›
The check engine light (typically a yellow or orange outline of an engine with the word “Check” or “Service Engine”) should come on for a few seconds every time you start the engine with other warning lights. If it stays on, that means there is a problem.