As cars have gotten more complex the number of dashboard lights have increased. And if you are not a mechanic you may not know what these lights indicate. Similar to all of those laundry tag symbols, dashboard lights are meant to act as shorthand for different car sensors, and if they are lit you may need to see a mechanic. But before you set up an appointment with a mechanic let’s go over what the different lights indicate. One thing to note is the lights are generally color-coded based on urgency. Red lights require immediate attention, whereas orange and yellow lights do not.

Check Engine Lights

So this is the standard light most drivers know about. It is denoted as a yellow light in the shape of an engine with either the words “check” or “check engine” on it. This light does not require an immediate response. It could come on because your engine needs routine maintenance and one of the sensors like your oxygen sensor is showing that you need a replacement. It can also be caused by a loose gas cap. If you notice this light and it persists, consider taking your car to a mechanic for routine engine work.

Engine Temperature Warning

The engine temperature warning light is denoted by a thermometer above a wavy line. It is a red light that indicates that your engine is overheating. If this light comes on, you need to stop driving as soon as possible. There are many causes for engine overheating and generally, repairs are simple and inexpensive, but if you have issues with an overheating engine you need to have it looked at.

Steering System Warning

The steering system warning light can be yellow or red and looks like a steering wheel next to an exclamation point. If your car uses a hydraulic system for power steering this warning usually means you are low on power steering fluid. If you have an electric system you will need to take your car to a mechanic to have the problem diagnosed.

Airbag Fault / SRS Warning

This light is a symbol of a person in a car seat with an airbag in front of them. This light indicates that either your airbag possibly won’t deploy in a crash situation or that your seatbelt might not lock correctly. Either way, you will want to have this checked by a mechanic.

Brake System and ABS Warning

Your brake system light is an exclamation point in a circle or the word “brake” and it indicates that there is something wrong with your braking system. This could be a lack of brake fluid or a stuck parking brake. The ABS light indicates that your Anti-lock braking system has an issue. If both of these lights are on at the same time you need to have your brakes checked by a mechanic.

Contact Everett Transmission

If you have questions about your vehicle or need a dashboard light addressed, contact a member of Everett Transmission. We are a transmission shop that has been serving Boston and Everett drivers for over 40 years with expert mechanic services.


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