Updated at: 06-08-2023 - By: Lucas

Dashboard lights are critical to the proper operation and safety of a vehicle since they can identify faults, errors, or malfunctions with specific automotive parts or electrical and technological concerns. They are.

Model-to-model variation is possible when it comes to the amount of dashboard warning lights. We’ve compiled a list of more than 40 dashboard lights, along with explanations and workarounds.

Before we get started, let’s have a look at the three primary categories of warning lights on an automobile.

a set of red dashboard indicators Error lights are typically used to alert the driver to a potential safety concern or critical issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

The presence of yellow or orange dashboard warning lights indicates that an automobile component is not functioning properly and should be examined. If the problem can be postponed, the yellow or orange fault lights normally say so, although this isn’t always the case with every situation.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most frequent dashboard warning lights and what they indicate.

Red car dashboard lights explained

A Red Indicator Light On A Dashboard Indicates-2

When a warning light turns red, it usually indicates a significant problem or a safety hazard that has to be addressed immediately.

1. Open trunk

If the trunk is not closed properly or is open all the way, this dashboard light will come on. Dust, rain, and numerous trunk openings and closings can cause excessive wear on this sensor, and even if the trunk door is closed properly, the sensor may be defective as a result.

The sensor should be cleaned of dust and dirt if this happens, but if the problem persists, you may need to buy a new sensor.

2. Low fuel level in the tank

This mistake light’s meaning is crystal clear. When this light comes on, don’t hesitate to refill the tank. Warning signs appear on some vehicles that indicate there are only a few minutes or a few miles left in the tank, depending on the model of the vehicle. There is a smaller amount left in tanks with a lower capacity.

3. Engine temperature problems

The engine’s temperature has risen to an unsafe level, as indicated by this error light.

Typically, the temperature ranges from 90 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (194 230 F). If you’re driving aggressively, you’re more likely to see temperatures of 115 or 120 degrees Celsius (239 or 248 Fahrenheit). The engine overheats if the temperature rises beyond 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit).

One of the most prevalent problems that you should not neglect is engine overheating. Stopping the engine and quickly checking the coolant tank should be your immediate response if you see this warning light on the dashboard. An overheated engine’s initial warning indicator is this.

To help you deal with an overheated engine warning light, here are some pointers:

  • Do not try to restart the engine right away. Most of the time, the engines are overheating because of the low coolant level or no coolant at all. Check the level
  • Do not rush to lift the hood immediately. Most of the time, you run the risk of getting some burns if you are not careful. Let the car cool a bit and lift it slowly after some minutes have passed.
  • Due to the increased temperatures, the coolant tank cap is very hot and you could burn yourself. Just wait 20-30 minutes for that.
  • If it is necessary to refill with coolant, do not rush to ad it to the tank. First, make sure there are no leaks in the cooling system.
  • Start the engine only after a few minutes have passed since you complete with coolant. If overheating occurs again, do not try to force it, there is a problem somewhere and you need to go to a repair shop for further invetigation preferably towed.

4. Engine oil

The dashboard light can be used for a variety of purposes. For instance, the engine oil temperature could be excessively high. The concentration may be too low, as well. The oil pressure could perhaps be too low. In this instance, it’s best to put the car in park.

Red oil error light vs yellow oil error light

A Red Indicator Light On A Dashboard Indicates-3

A red oil light indicates a problem with the vehicle’s oil pressure, therefore it is best to stop the vehicle. Adding more oil won’t fix the problem if the red light is actually indicating an oil pump problem.

This is a completely different story when it comes to yellow oil lamps. He informs you that the oil level is lower than the manufacturer’s minimum requirement. Having an extra 1 liter of oil would be excellent in this situation. Your driving can resume after that.

Other reasons why the red oil light is on:

  • using an oil that is not required by the car manufacturer in the owner’s manual.
  • the oil is worn-out, the car has not been started for a long time, the oil filter is clogged
  • faulty oil pressure sensor
  • faulty oil pump
  • worn or damaged bearings

5. Check engine light or malfunction indicator light (MIL)

This dashboard light frequently indicates issues with the engine or emissions. A expert diagnosis is the only way to find out what’s wrong with your car’s check engine light, which can be caused by a variety of issues.

The following are some of the most common causes of the Check Engine Light to illuminate:

  • low battery voltage;
  • oxygen sensor problems (lambda probe), may need to be changed;
  • the fuel cap is broken or not tight;
  • bad MAP sensor;
  • bad MAF sensor;
  • used spark plugs;
  • interrupted spark plugs wires;
  • the EGR valve is clogged;
  • problems with the catalytic converter, it might need to be changed;
  • if it blinks, this means engine faults, respectively one of the cylinders is not working properly.

When a car hasn’t been started in a long time, the check engine light may come on after the engine starts. It will turn itself off after a period of time in this situation. If it doesn’t, you need to do a thorough examination.

6. Doors are open

If any of the doors are left open or not properly closed, the warning light will come on.

7. Front fog lights on

Ideally, this dash light would be illuminated in bright green (informative). Driving with the fog lights on when there isn’t any fog is punishable by a fine, which is why the road signs are red. As a result, the driver’s attention is drawn to the emblem.

8. Power steering problems

If this light comes on, the most typical problem is low power steering fluid, so be sure to check it. It must be completed as quickly as feasible if the risk is real.

This error light can potentially indicate the presence of leakage, which necessitates immediate investigation. Adding water may be a short-term remedy. It’s important to check even if the light goes off after re-filling.

As long as the warning light is on, the power assisted steering will be disabled. While you can still operate a vehicle, it will be more difficult to maneuver the steering wheel. In addition to red, this light might be yellow.

Restarting the engine may turn off the warning light if the power steering system is electric. However, this could be a sign of an electrical problem.

9. The windshield fluid level is low

When the windshield liquid level is near zero, this warning light comes on, as stated. The light will go out if the windshield fluid is refilled with the correct one for the season. It’s possible that the light is yellow.

Worn brake pads

The brake pads are excessively worn and will need to be replaced if this dashboard light comes on. Alternatively, the sensor itself may be faulty. Also, keep in mind that your brake fluid may need to be replaced if it’s worn out and contains too much water or is below the appropriate level.

Problems with the car start-up system

If this error light comes on, it’s likely due to a problem with the starting system’s electronic immobilizer. Leaving the remote control’s battery out could be the cause, or it could be the result of a more complex problem.

The key battery is low

It’s time to replace the key battery if this indicator light comes on. If your car doesn’t have this feature, you’ll have to work out the issue on your own.

Problems with the towing system

Problems with the towing hook are the most common cause of this issue. Installing it incorrectly is the most prevalent problem.

The hood is open

If the car’s hood is open, this light will flash on the dashboard. Stopping and closing the hood is all you need to do in this case to ensure your safety. Improvise a remedy if it doesn’t close and prevent any potential dangers.

Problems with air suspension

Air leakage or sensor failure are two possibilities that could be indicated by this symbol. You’ll need an OBD diagnostic to get an accurate picture of the problem.

Lane assist

In order to alert the driver that the vehicle has strayed from its intended lane, this light turns on.

Oxygen sensor malfunctions

The ECU may limit the engine’s maximum power if this error light is on. The check engine light is normally triggered by malfunctioning oxygen sensors, however this dashboard light is relatively new.


A faulty oxygen sensor is explained in greater detail in this article.

The seat belt is not attached

If the driver or front passenger is not wearing a seat belt and the car is moving, this light will come on. There is no other option than to put on your seatbelt if you see a flashing light.

Warning about the distance from another vehicle

This dashboard light indicates a collision hazard if the distance between your vehicle and the next closest one is less than the minimum safe distance. The visual warning is usually accompanied by an auditory warning in the majority of cases.

The parking brake is engaged

The parking brake is engaged if this indicator light is lit. In addition to the check engine light, the brake pad wear light may signal a problem with the brake system.

Battery or alternator problems

There is nothing to worry about if this error symbol disappears within a few seconds of starting the car. If the light stays on, this may indicate that the battery, alternator, or related wires are malfunctioning.

Keeping this dashboard light on could result in a power outage. A weak battery or a faulty charging relay or an alternator that is malfunctioning are the most common causes.

If you want to learn more about alternator difficulties, read this article.

Braking system

In addition to indicating when the handbrake has to be applied, this light may also alert you to other potential issues with the brakes. A faulty brake pedal or insufficient brake fluid, for example. Depending on the make and type of the vehicle, this could potentially indicate other braking system issues.

Problems with airbags

If the airbag is either deactivated or not working properly, the warning icon will light up. Alternatively, the airbag may not open in the event of an accident in the second scenario. There is a danger of this happening.

ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) Warning

The driver may lose control of the vehicle each time the brake pedal is applied if there is a problem with the ABS. It is possible that the problem is limited to the ABS sensors and not the entire system.

However, it is imperative that you investigate this matter immediately. There are a number of reasons why the ABS light may be illuminated in a vehicle during the winter, including frozen ABS sensors and ice accumulation on the wheel or floor. If this dashboard light is on, the ABS may not work at all.

Water in the fuel filter

The engine must be shut off immediately if this symbol occurs. If you can’t drain the water out of the filter, you’ll need to replace it.

Yellow car dashboard lights

It is important to note that yellow and orange dashboard lights are less harmful than the red light warning lights. Some issues will go away on their own or can be quickly rectified, but for others, you’ll need to take it to a service center.

Stability control system

Traction control is indicated by this symbol. To indicate low-grip conditions like snow, or when the device is malfunctioning, the light blinks and stays on when driving on an unsuitable surface like an icy road. In the second scenario, an OBD scanner should be used to verify the problem.

The most prevalent causes for the traction system’s control panel to go into overdrive

Warning about convertible ceiling

There is a problem with the automatic convertible system, and you are not allowed to drive faster than the manufacturer’s recommended speed limit while it is open or closed.

Typically, a convertible with the roof capped can reach 30 mph, but many models have to operate at a lesser speed.

Rain sensor

It’s a sign that something isn’t quite right if this sensor on the dashboard is on. You should utilize an OBD scanner to find out what’s wrong.

You should visit the service

Scheduling an oil change is indicated by this sign. Most of the time, this dashboard light is on because it’s time for routine oil and filter changes, but an OBD diagnosis may be necessary to pinpoint the exact cause.

Adaptive headlights

There are a variety of ways in which the adaptive headlights system can go wrong. In the car’s technical manual, these are discussed in great depth. Check to see if the sensor is covered in dirt or snow before moving on to the next step.

Airbag deactivated

The light on the dashboard indicates that the airbag has been deactivated willingly.

Slope descent assistance system

Slope descent assistance is activated when this indicator is illuminated.

Diesel particulate filter warning

When the regeneration of the diesel particulate filter does not take place under optimal conditions, this symbol comes on. In this case, a consistent speed of roughly 3000 RPM across a distance of many miles is appropriate.

Find out more about diesel particulate filters by reading on.

Press the clutch pedal

To start the engine, press the clutch pedal, as indicated by this dashboard light.

A burnt brake bulb or a burnt bulb on the rear

When you see this dashboard light, it could be an indication of a blown headlight, taillight, lamp, signal, or other bulb. A faulty bulb must be replaced if the indicator light is on.

The key is not in the car

If you have a keyless go car, you’ll see this dashboard light as a warning that the key is missing. It is impossible to start the engine until the key is identified, and stopping it under these conditions will not result in a restart until the key is detected.

Low tire pressure

One or more tires may be under-inflated, which is indicated by the TPMS symbol (also known as the Tire Pressure Monitoring System).

If the problem is an electronic one, it could be that a sensor in the system is malfunctioning.

In some vehicles, the TPMS sensor icon may appear differently from the one seen in the image above.

Learn more about the Tire Pressure Monitoring System by reading this article.

Problems with the light sensor

The headlights must be turned on manually if there is a problem with this system.

Spark Plugs / Preheat Warning

This light is typically found on diesel engines, but it can also signal a problem with the exhaust/pressure/temperature sensor or a problem with the spark plugs. Alternatively, a malfunctioning spark plug relay could be to blame.

Low-temperature warning

When the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the indicator begins to flash. Because of the possibility of ice forming on the road when temperatures fall below 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit), it may appear.