Cars: Dashboard Lights and What They Mean

Have you ever looked at your dashboard and a light comes on without you knowing what it means? It happens to many drivers who aren’t familiar with the different symbols. Here is a descriptive breakdown of what the symbols are:

  • Engine Temperature Warning light – this symbol looks like a sailboat in wavy waters. When this warning light turns on it means that your engine is overheating. There is a possibility that the lubrication and oil system is not functioning properly. The lubrication prevents friction and it helps to cool the engine down during use.
  • Tyre Pressure Warning Light – this symbol looks like an exclamation mark inside a bowl with grips. When this light comes on you need to urgently check the tyre pressure before you destroy your tyres and the axle of your car. The pressure might not be so low but you never know when you are dealing with a complete flat on the highway.
  • Oil Pressure Warning Light – this warning light looks like the lamp from Aladdin or if you are old-school, an oil dispenser that was used in the workshops. The car needs oil like a person needs water. Oil assists with lubrication and keeps the engine running smoothly without wearing down different components.
  • Traction Control Light – This light looks like a car that is swerving. When this light comes on it means that one wheel is spinning faster than the other. The car then engages the traction control so that the brakes can pump the wheel up to reduce speed and possible slippage.
  • Engine Warning Light – This warning looks like either a yellow submarine or a faucet. This may come on due to a loose gas cap or a faulty spark plug and it should be checked at a mechanic to resolve the problem.
  • Anti-Lock Brake Warning – This symbol looks indicates the letters “ABS” inside a circle which is then surrounded by an incomplete circle. This means that there is a problem with the anti-locking braking system. If the brakes lock, you could end up in a serious accident.
  • Battery Alert – this warning symbol looks like a block with a plus and minus sign on each side respectively. Your car could be running low on battery power or general power. The purpose of the battery is to power all the electronics of your car such as the spark plug ignition. The lack of spark in the plug would mean that your car won’t ignite or start.
  • Fuel Indicator Symbol – This symbol looks like a petrol dispenser. When this light comes on you need to fill up the fuel tank with the specified fuel that the car uses.
  • Fog Lamp Indicator – it looks somewhat like a speaker with stitches next to it. This means that the fog lights are on. This light’s sole purpose is to see through thick climates such as fog. Many people use it to signal another driver so that they can see you in through the thick fog.
  • Traction Control Malfunction – this looks like an exclamation mark in a triangle with an arrow circling it. This light means that there is an issue with the anti-skid system and it has been turned off. This could cause you to skid in traffic and could affect the wheels.

Always be attentive to these different lights in your car. There could be a wide array of problems that might destroy any part of the car. Then you’ll need to get in touch with a wheel supplier or a mechanic.

A1 Wheel and Tyre is a private family owned and operated company specialising in the warehouse and distribution of wheels and tyres to the automotive fitment trade. The company has a well established operation in Johannesburg, South Africa.