Awareness

What do the 20 symbols on your car’s dashboard mean?

There are many different symbols on a car’s dashboard, and many of them may be foreign to you. Some vehicle symbols are so simple that they are easier to recognize than others. The most important thing is to know what each symbol means in case a strange symbol appears out of nowhere, and you don’t know what to do. Let’s find out what 20 common symbols on your car’s dashboard mean.

1 The oil pressure warning light indicates that there may be a problem with your vehicle’s oil pressure system.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Oil pressure warning.

The Old Oil Canister symbol indicates that you are either low on oil or your car’s oil pressure system may be experiencing some problems. The oil pressure warning light may turn off if the oil is running low. There is also a possibility that your oil pump is not circulating enough oil to properly lubricate the surface inside your engine, or that there is an oil leak. Go to a nearby mechanic as soon as possible to find out why the oil pressure is low.

2 The engine temperature warning light indicates that the engine is overheating.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Engine temperature warning.

If this symbol lights up, your engine is overheating, possibly having to do with the coolant (also called “antifreeze”). This can be caused by overheating, a problem with the cooling system, or lack of cooling water. The first thing to do is turn off your car’s air conditioning and tow the car for a few minutes in a safe, shaded place. Wait for your car to cool down, then call for roadside assistance.

3 The tire pressure warning light illuminates when the pressure in your tire is too high or too low.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Tire pressure warning.

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) measures the tire pressure in a vehicle’s tyres. The tire pressure warning light turns on when the pressure in your tires is too high or too low. The TPMS symbol blinks for about 60-90 seconds when you start your vehicle, and if it stays on after the tires are properly inflated, something is wrong with the TPMS sensors. Turn your vehicle off immediately and inflate or deflate the tires as soon as possible.

4 The traction control light indicates that one wheel of your vehicle may be turning faster than the others.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Traction control.

Traction control detects when your tires lose contact with the road during rain, snow or wind. If the traction control light activates while you’re driving, it’s because your system is working to keep your vehicle’s wheels in contact with the road. It uses the brakes to help your car regain power with the help of the anti-lock braking system. If the traction control light comes on even in good weather conditions, there may be a serious problem, and you should have your vehicle checked.

5 The engine warning light turns on when the gas cap is open, loose or cracked.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Engine warning light.

The warning engine light or check engine light comes on for various reasons. This could be because your car’s gas cap is open, loose or cracked, causing the fuel to evaporate. However, sometimes it can also be a serious problem such as low oil pressure or overheating. In this case, you need to reduce your speed, stop safely, and call a tow truck immediately, as the engine warning light or check engine light is on for various reasons. This could be because your car’s gas cap is open, loose or cracked, causing the fuel to evaporate. However, sometimes it can also be a serious problem such as low oil pressure or overheating. In this case, you need to reduce your speed, stop safely, and call a tow truck immediately.

6 The traction control malfunction light indicates that the traction control system sensor on your vehicle is broken.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Traction control malfunction.

The traction control system controls the anti-brake system and uses the same wheel speed sensors to control tire slip during acceleration. When the traction control malfunction light illuminates on your vehicle’s dashboard, it indicates that your vehicle’s traction control system has some problem. It may have a broken or damaged sensor or other serious malfunction. However, in some cases, there may be a problem with your ABS system, and that must be the reason why this code appears. You should have your car checked to avoid further problems.

7 The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) Warning Light indicates a potential hazard to the ABS system.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Anti-lock braking system warning light.

When you brake hard, such as on slick roads, the ABS system pulsates the brakes to prevent the wheels from locking up when the driver depresses the brake pedals hard in an emergency. When you turn your car on, the ABS lights come on, and it also performs a self-diagnostic check. However, if the ABS light stays on or pops up while driving, then something is wrong with the system. In this situation, it is important to have a mechanical diagnosis as soon as possible.

8 The battery alert light indicates a problem with the vehicle’s charging system.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Battery alert light.

If the battery alert light pops up while you’re driving, something must be wrong with your car’s charging system, or the charging system isn’t working. Possible causes include a problem with the alternator or voltage regulator, a loose or damaged cable, bad wiring, damaged cells or plates inside the battery, or there could be some other type of electrical fault. The charging system warning light should pop up for a few seconds when you start your car, but if it comes on while you’re driving, you should check the car’s battery.

9 A low fuel indicator light simply means that your vehicle is running low on fuel.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Low fuel indicator light.

The low fuel indicator light has only one function – to alert the driver that their vehicle is running low on fuel. When the light comes on, there may be some fuel left in the vehicle’s tank. Do not drive ignoring the low fuel indicator because it is uncertain how far you can drive on low fuel. Don’t test your luck and fuel your car at a nearby gas station.

10 Automatic transmission lock or engine start indicator means that you are trying to change gears or start the ignition without applying the brake.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Engine start indicator.

The automatic transmission lock or engine start indicator indicates that the vehicle’s transmission lock has been released in an automatic transmission. It basically indicates that you have to apply the brakes while changing gears or while starting the vehicle. The transmission lock will lock your vehicle or in neutral until the brakes are engaged. The automatic transmission lock symbol may vary from vehicle to vehicle, but it will almost certainly have a foot, boot, or boot mark on or near the pedal.

11 The airbag indicator symbol indicates that there is a problem with the airbag system.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Airbag indicator.

An airbag is one of the most important safety features in a vehicle, designed to protect you and your passengers during an accident. If the airbag indicator lights up, there may be a problem with the airbag system. The airbag light also turns on when you’ve been involved in an accident, but if the light comes on while you’re driving, something is wrong with one of the airbags or the entire airbag system. You should check the airbag system immediately because it is not safe to drive without a fully functioning airbag.

12 The seat belt reminder light reminds you or the passenger to wear seat belts.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Seat belt reminder light.

Seat belts keep you safe during an accident. To keep you safe and remind you to wear your seat belts, the cars have a seat belt reminder light with an audible alert that reminds you to put your seat belts on immediately. The light will turn on and the audible alert will disturb you until you or your passengers wear seat belts.

13 The fog light indicator symbol indicates that the fog lights are on.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Fog lamp indicator symbol.

During bad weather conditions, fog lights help the driver to drive safely. These lights are located lower than normal driving lights, helping the driver to see clearly through the fog. The fog light indicator lights up when the vehicle’s fog lights are on. The driver should only turn on the fog lights when visibility is less than 100 yards. If the fog light is on unnecessarily, it can cause other drivers not to see the road properly.

14 The safety indicator light turns on when the security system is initialized.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Security indicator light.

If your vehicle has an anti-theft system, the security indicator light will be on when the security system is armed. A safety indicator light ensures that the system is equipped and fully operational. When the security indicator lights up, the stabilization system is activated due to a security threat to your vehicle, and your vehicle will not start until you disable the security system. If the symbol is blinking steadily when your vehicle is operating properly, there may be a system error that needs to be fixed.

15 The brake warning light indicates that the parking brake is applied or there is a problem with the vehicle’s braking system.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Brake warning light.

When the brake warning light flashes on your car’s dashboard, it means one of two things – either your parking brake is engaged or hydraulic fluid (brake fluid) is low in the master cylinder. When the red “BRAKE” appears on the dashboard, first stop and check that the parking brake is applied. If so, try setting and releasing the brakes when your car is stationary. If the brake warning is still flashing, have the vehicle checked.

16 The lane departure warning light illuminates when your vehicle has drifted off the lane.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
lane departure warning light.

Most cars nowadays come with a lane departure warning light which is a safety feature that helps you protect your vehicle. This warning light flashes on your vehicle’s dashboard when your vehicle is deviating from the lane. It detects that the vehicle is leaving the lane and activates this light with a beep to assist the driver in driving within the lane.

17 The washer fluid indicator light indicates that the windshield washer fluid is low.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Washer fluid indicator light.

Windscreen wipers use certain fluids to remove dirt from the windshield. Most modern cars are equipped with soapy water to clean dirty windshields. To make sure your car never runs out of washer fluid, some cars have a fluid level sensor in the reservoir and also a low washer fluid warning light on your car’s dashboard. The only function of the washer fluid indicator light is to inform the driver that the fluid is low and needs to be topped up.

18 The transmission temperature warning light indicates that the transmission is overheating.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Transmission temperature warning.

The Transmission Temperature Warning Light indicates that your vehicle has a problem with the automatic transmission or associated components. Some vehicles illuminate the transmission warning light when the transmission temperature rises for various reasons. Some of the reasons could be low transmission fluid, heavy lugging, worn transmission parts, or some other reasons. The only thing to do at the moment is to pull over and let your car cool down for a while, then head to the repair garage as soon as possible.

19 The power steering warning light indicates a problem with the hydraulic steering system.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Power steering warning light.

The power steering warning light illuminates when there is a problem with the hydraulic steering system, most likely due to a low fluid level. The power steering system generates up to 1,500 pounds of pressure to make sure your vehicle turns smoothly. Possible solutions are to stop your vehicle in a safe place and have a look at the power steering fluid level or visit your local garage to have your vehicle checked.

20 Open Door (Ajar) Indicates that the door is not closed properly.

What do the 20 symbols on your car's dashboard mean?
Door open (Ajar)

The Door Opening Code (Ajar) is one of the most self-explanatory indicators in a car. The main purpose of this symbol is to warn the driver that a door is not closed properly or is wide open. The door open indicators emit a beeping noise to alert the driver and stop beeping when properly heard.

Smith

Tricare west is a global news publication that tells the stories you want to know.

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