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Dashboard Indicator Light Meanings

Long before advanced infotainment systems started dazzling drivers, dashboards were the source of all information. Service indicator lights remain a staple part of the dashboard. But what good is this library if you haven’t got a clue what the lights mean? Here is a list of the most common service indicator lights. Remember, these things do vary sometimes from car to car, so make sure to check your owner’s manual for the final say.


Check Engine Light


The check engine light resembles an engine and could come on for a variety of reasons. It sometimes means that a part (like a spark plug, for instance) needs replaced, or that your gas cap is open. If this light stays on for more than a couple of days, take your car to a professional.


Oil Pressure Warning


If you see the oil can, either your car is low on oil or there has been a loss in oil pressure.


Coolant Temperature Warning


This light will often look like a thermometer in water. It’s indicating that your car is overheating, which means you should pull over and turn it off as soon as possible. You can also check out your vehicle’s temperature with the temperature gauge that usually sits next to the speedometer.​ 


Battery Light


The battery icon means that your vehicle’s battery’s voltage is lower than it should. Unless you left your lights on all night and just barely missed needing a jump, than this light probably means that your battery isn’t charging properly.


Transmission Temperature


Resembling a thermometer inside of a gear shape, the transmission temperature light says that your transmission fluids are hotter than usual, and thus that your transmission needs to cool down. Check to make sure that your coolant levels and your transmission fluid level are where they need to be.

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