Warning Lights

dash-board-warning-lights1Those pesky little lights that appear on the dashboard….. sometimes with a warning beep…. What exactly do they mean? This week Suzanne Keane guides you through the minefield that is a modern vehicle….

We’ve all seen them, usually just for fuel, water and possible a service light – But what about if something different appears on your dashboard?

Obviously the first thing to do is pull over and check your handbook – that is, if you still have one in the car.

If not, as a general rule of thumb – if the light is red STOP, turn off the engine and call for help. If the light is orange it usually isn’t as urgent but will still need to be checked out as soon as possible.

Many lights will be common to all vehicles – e.g. battery, oil, ABS and airbags are generally quite easy to understand.

The most common light that appears on modern cars seems to be the engine check light – this can be caused by various problems or a combination of things and will usually require a diagnostic check – so you should be aware of what this symbol is for your car.

To get to know your own car turn on the ignition, without starting the car. The most common lights will appear on the dash (and should vanish again once it’s started). Check out what each one of these mean while you’ve got time so that if it happens on the road you will know what it’s for in your own car.

Remember, if nothing else most warning lights will cause an NCT failure so it’s worthwhile getting any issues sorted out before they cause any damage!

Once again, if a light is red it means urgent so stop as soon as you can safely do so and turn off the engine. If it’s orange, stop when you can and turn off and turn back on the engine. If the light comes straight back on you will need to get it checked out a.s.a.p.!!


Suzanne Keane


2nd September, 2013


Author: Suzanne Keane

A confirmed petrol head with a penchant for retro VW’s, Suzanne has been taking apart (and sometimes putting back together) her own cars for years! You can follow Suzanne on Twitter at @g60girl

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