6 Common dashboard symbols – what do they mean?

By: Martin Dasko on May 4, 2016
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Every single person reading this has stressed out at some point when a random dashboard symbol turned on while cruising down the street. Misunderstanding a dashboard symbol cost me thousands of dollars about five years back. My engine was too hot and I kept on going. I ignored the light and kept on driving. By the time I brought the car to the mechanic it was time to replace the engine. I was a fool for ignoring the dashboard symbol. I don’t want this to happen to you.

When you ignore what’s going on with your car, the repairs can get costly. You can save tons of money by knowing when to avoid disaster. Here are the six most important dashboard symbols.

1. Engine temperature warning light

Your engine is overheating. This isn’t good. You need to take immediate action. Turn off the a/c and the radio. Pull over to a safe spot. See if the light goes away.

I don’t recommend driving far when this light is on. You may not even be able to make it down the street. When this happened to me, the car stopped running. I had to park it and let it cool down.

2. Tire pressure warning light

One of your tires needs pressure before you can keep going. Head over to the gas station to check on this. Don’t drive too far with low pressure. Get help as soon as possible before you have to deal with real damages, including the damage you can do by driving on the rim.

3. Battery charge warning light

This is common among dashboard symbols. We’ve all likely experienced it. This usually indicates an issue with your alternator. Everything in your car is probably running off the battery The good news is that you can safely drive your car to the mechanic. It’s suggested that you turn off the radio and a/c unit.

If you can’t drive any more, park your vehicle and get assistance. Find someone who knows what they’re doing. Don’t start messing around with the cables.

4. Engine warning light

Don’t wait another second. Bring your car to the shop. You’re going to start to notice that your car is slowing down and that it isn’t running properly. There’s something wrong with your engine and it needs immediate attention.

5. ABS warning light

If the brake system and ABS warning lights go off at the same time, you need to let go of the brakes. Stop slamming the brake pedal. Pull over to a safe spot. You may even have to get your car towed because this means that you have no brakes.

6. Oil pressure warning light

Your car might be in desperate need of oil or there could be an issue with the oil pressure system. Don’t wait. Get the oil change. Turn the engine off. Get this worked on before any damage occurs to your engine.

Be alert for these dashboard symbols. Don’t ignore them if they turn on. You can check out this page for images of these dashboard symbols. Ignoring a symbol could damage your car and cost you a decent chunk of change. Stay on top of your car’s maintenance so that you don’t have to replace your vehicle over a simple issue.