HELP! What does that light mean?

What does that car dashboard light mean?

Monday 26 August, 2019

As a fully independent garage based on North London, we often receive calls from customers when they have a light appear on their dash board, but they have no idea what it means and what they will need to do; do they need their engine serviced? Are the brakes about to fail or are the tyres properly inflated? All these are common examples, so here we would like to highlight some of the most common lights what they mean.

Engine Management Light

The Engine Management Light indicates that there is a problem with the engine running or potentially an issue that could mean the car will have more serious damage if the issue is not corrected quickly. The best approach will be to have your car booked in to the garage for an investigation and repair

Dashboard Colour Code Meaning

The various different symbols represent the area of the car that could have an issue, however it’s worth noting that their colour system represents the severity of the problems. The codes are:

RED – This means that there could be either a serious problem with the car or there is a safety issue.

YELLOW – This means that there is something that will need to be serviced or assessed for any repair soon. However, if the light is flashing, the car will need to be taken to a garage straight away. 

GREEN/BLUE – This simply means that a particular system is either on or operating properly.

Oil Pressure Light

If the oil pressure sensor detects that the oil pressure is too low, this red indicator light will appear, if this is the case, DO NOT DRIVE THE VEHICLE. We can help arrange for the car to be brought into us if you do not have your own breakdown recovery service. In some vehicles, the light can appear amber which normally means that the oil levels need to be checked as they are appearing too low. 

Brake System Alert Light

This is another serious light and you should take notice as it shows that the brake fluid levels are low and the brakes will not operate properly. The fluid levels could be low due to leaks or damage to the system and it should be taken to a professional car mechanic to resolve the issues immediately. 

Battery Warning Light

The battery warning light could result is an array of issues so it would be advisable to seek help in replacing the battery as soon as possible.

Temperature Warning Light

The temperature warning light is another warning that drivers should not ignore. This means that the engine is close to overheating as the cooling system is not working properly. The best approach is to switch the engine off. Don’t let the engine overheat. If the temp gauge is abnormal do not attempt to drive the car it could cause serious damage.

Cars vary widely and therefore there may be some lights on a dashboard that do not appear on other cars. By following the manufacturers instruction manual and understanding the most common or serious warning lights, along with their colour, you will be able to maintain your car’s safety and performance. 

If you have recently seen a light appear on your dashboard and would like some advice as to its meaning and the best way forward, please give one of our experienced team members a call and we’ll be more than happy to help. Call Garage Express, North London on 0208 905 8788.


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Whilst travelling to you you ordered the part, and an hour after my initial call my van was on the lift and a new starter-motor was being fitted. An hour later I was on my way back to work. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Not only did you go out of your way to keep us working, you did it at a very sensible price.

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