Are you confused on how to read the vehicle warning lights on your dashboard?  Don’t feel alone.  Lots of people have trouble with this one.  You never want to see one of those unfamiliar lights show up on your vehicle dashboard when you are getting ready for a road trip or just a trip to the store.  Your dashboard may be different and the symbols have different designs.  Consult your owner’s manual.  Below is a summary of the top dashboard lights to look out for.

First, let’s talk about the color of the lights on the dashboard.

Red means stop.  There is something serious going on.  You should get to the nearest service center.
Yellow/Orange indicates something is ready to be serviced or possibly repaired.  Drive with caution.
Green/Blue is just a visual clue that a system is on, for instance, your low beam is on.  No need for concern.

Transmission Temperature

This warning light means that your engine is overheating or the coolant level is low.  This is very dangerous and can lead to a minor problem and can damage your engine.  If this happens turn your engine off.  Let it cool off and get checked out by a professional pronto!

Check Engine Light

This light usually indicates a problem.  Your car’s engine computer is telling you something is wrong.  Do not ignore this.  It usually indicates a problem with your ignition, fuel or emission system.  Have a diagnostic test run to see what your problem is.

Oil Pressure

This warning light indicates your oil level or oil pressure may be low.  If you continue driving with this light on very far you engine could stop running while  you are driving.  This could cause an accident if you are on a busy road, and also, can damage your engine.  Check your oil level, if low fill it up, and get to the nearest service center.


This light often comes on when your battery is not charging.  There could be a few things that cause this to happen.  Your terminal cables may be loose, alternator isn’t working, or your battery life is out.  Don’t turn off your car.  You might not get it started back.  Head to your nearest service center and get it checked out.

ABS Brakes

This light indicates that you may have a problem with the hydraulic system or the brake fluid level is low.  This is something you don’t want to gamble with.  Safety comes first.  Your ability to stop could be impaired.  Get it checked out ASAP!

Tire Pressure

If this light is on and stays on it usually indicates that at least one of your tires is low on pressure.  Check the pressure in all four tires and add air where needed.  Find where the leak is coming from and have it repaired.

Power Steering

This warning light indicates that there could be something wrong with your steering system or possibly just needs some power steering fluid added.  When you fluid is low it can cause your steering to go heavy where it takes more effort to steer the vehicle.  Have it checked out ASAP.

Have your vehicle serviced on a regular basis.  Check your owner’s manual to learn more about your vehicle.  There are more warning light that may pop up that I didn’t cover.

Happy Motoring!!