Understanding Your Dashboard Lights

Are you familiar with all the warning lights on your dashboard? Nancy and Stephanie break it down so you can understand what your car is telling you!


Stephanie: When you are driving down the road and a light appears on your dashboard, do you get this panicky feeling that you aren’t sure if it’s something serious or something minor? Well, hi, I’m Stephanie from Kneble’s Auto Service Center, and this is Nancy.

Nancy: Hi there, Stephanie did you know most vehicles, they don’t talk to us, not just yet, to point out what’s wrong with the vehicle, but Stephanie, they are speaking to us through the lights on the dashboard.

Stephanie: Oh.

Nancy: We’re going to review a few of them, common lights that appear so you can feel confident that you are making an educated decision on behalf of your vehicle. Give us an example, Steph.

Stephanie: Okay, let’s begin with the light that is easy to identify, the battery light. This light comes on to indicate the voltage level is below the normal level and the vehicle’s charging system is not functioning properly. Before your vehicle leaves you stranded…

Nancy: Oh, nobody likes that Stephanie.

Stephanie: Pull over to a safe location and have your vehicle towed to your local auto repair center to have your charging and starting system tested

Nancy: We can do that Stephanie. Now, Stephanie, how about the light that indicates the oil pressure problem? This light shouldn’t ever be ignored. So make sure you get your oil level and pressure checked, because Stephanie, having a low oil pressure, that may simply mean Stephanie that you’re low in oil, or more seriously, your oil pressure is low and that requires immediate action. So turn off your engine, once again in a…

Stephanie: Safe location.

Nancy: And have your vehicle towed so that the problem can be addressed.

Stephanie: That’s very good to know.

Nancy: Absolutely.

Stephanie: What about the indicator light that looks like an exclamation point or even the word brake on the bulb. There are some possible conditions that could cause this light to illuminate.

Nancy: Such as what Stephanie?

Stephanie: Either the emergency parking brake is on.

Nancy: Oh that can happen.

Stephanie: The brake fluid is low.

Nancy: That can happen too.

Stephanie: The system isn’t working, or even there’s a problem with your ABS which is your braking system. Also, be aware if your brake pedal is low or spongy-

Nancy: Scary feeling.

Stephanie: Pull over to a…

Nancy: Safe location.

Stephanie: And have your vehicle towed.

Nancy: Now that ABS light also has a separate bulb on the dash from the brake light and that indicates an anti-lock brake computer has sent a code which needs professional diagnostics. Do not ignore that light because this can affect your stopping ability.

Stephanie: Oh that’s dangerous.

Nancy: Now Stephanie, I bet you the next light you wish you had on your car.

Stephanie: I do, the teepee and ash light, also known as the tire pressuring monitoring system indicates the system has found a tire with low air pressure, or the tire sensor is faulty or needs replacing. But no, mom, my car is an older model and does not have this light and instead, I have to go to my local auto repair shop and periodically get my tire pressure checked. And remember from our previous video, that the ambient temperature can affect the tire pressures.

Nancy: Well Stephanie, you also have mom’s eyes looking at that tire of yours because your tire was low.
Stephanie: It was.

Nancy: Lastly, the most important light that should never be overlooked is the check engine light. This light can simply signify an emission problem. It may be as simple as checking that gas cap and making sure it’s on securely. Now be aware that light may not go off immediately after you tighten the gas cap, you may have to drive several hundred miles. Now the check engine light flashing at you indicates the engine computer has sent a diagnostic trouble code and needs professional diagnostics and your vehicle should not be driven.

Stephanie: Nope.

Nancy: So remember, having a check engine light also, if that’s on, you’re not going to pass…

Stephanie: Your New Jersey state inspection.

Nancy: That’s right.

Stephanie: See Mom, I’m learning.

Nancy: You are. If your vehicle is talking to you with flashing lights on your dashboard, stop in at your local car care specialist or come see us here at Kneble’s Auto Service Center, your car care specialists.

Stephanie: If you like our video, give it a thumbs up. If you want to inform your friends about the meaning behind the lights on their dashboard, hit the Share button, and if you have any questions about the lights on your dash, then comment them in the section below. Thank you for watching.