Advice and Tips

What your dashboard symbols mean

Advice and Tips // 24 June 2016

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Your car dashboard is full of different features, including the numerous dashboard symbols. These symbols that pop up every now and then are a sign that something isn’t right. First of all, some lights are specific to your model so it is important to check your handbook if you can’t find the information you need online.

We’ve got a great infographic to share with you, letting you know exactly what the most important lights on your dashboard mean; as well as some more information about the symbols and what you should do if they come up.

Why are they different colors?

You might have noticed over time these symbols are different colors. These different colors act as a way to tell you what light is more important. If you have a red symbol this indicates a potentially serious problem, a safety issue or an important reminder.

Yellow/orange highlights that something on your car needs to be serviced or repaired soon. If the yellow/orange symbol is flashing you should contact your dealer or repair shop pretty quickly. Green or blue symbols are nothing to worry about; they are telling you that your system is on or operating (such as an indicator symbol).

What do I do if a symbol comes on when driving?

First of all, don’t panic. A signal on your dashboard isn’t always the end of the world. Unless it is red, the car is more than likely still running fine and, while there might be a problem that needs attention, you don’t need to rush. If you turn your car on and see a red signal, or it pops up when driving it is important to get to a garage as soon as you can. Other symbols such as yellow, orange and blue do not need attention as quickly, so you could finish your trip, get home and then call a garage for advice.

Are some dashboard signals more important than others?

Some dashboard signals can be quite serious and require attention as quickly as possible. Other symbols are not as serious and, in most cases, do not need immediate attention. We’ve selected some of the most common dashboard signals and broken them down it to sections of importance to make it a little easier for you.

Warning symbols: The serious ones

The following list of symbols are all serious warning signs. If you see any of the following appear on your dashboard, we advise you to stop your vehicle and contact your local garage who can discuss the problem and arrange a repair with you.

Air bag
If the air bag symbol appears on your dash there is a fault with one of more air bags within the vehicle and should be taken to a garage for inspection.

Master warning light
The red triangle with an explanation mark shows you that there is an unidentified problem within your car and should be taken to a repair centre to be diagnosed.

Engine Temperature
Your engine currently has an overheating issue. If this happens when driving we advise you to stop and seek help from a mechanic as soon as possible.

Seat belt
Easy to fix, this indicates that someone in your car is not wearing a seatbelt.

Routine and common indicators and symbols

The following list of symbols are all common indicator symbols. These symbols do not need attention as urgently, but you should still take your vehicle to a repair shop when you can.

Tire pressure
The pressure in one of more of your tires is low; you can fix this yourself by putting air in at a local fuel station.

Windshield washer fluid
Your windshield washer fluid is running low and needs topping up. Once again you can top this up yourself.

Check engine
There is an issue with your engine, have a professional check it when you can.