Your car's dashboard is equipped with warning indicators that illuminate in various shapes to alert you of a potential system fault. Modern cars come with a plethora of sensors designed to monitor your car for potential problems. If you're unaware of what the indicators mean, you may panic, or ignore them. In some instances, vehicle warning indicators go off when there is nothing wrong with your vehicle, such as when the sensor is knocked around. However, in most cases, it's an indication that something is amiss and shouldn't be ignored. Here are three dashboard warning lights for you to become familiar with. Keep in mind that the exact meaning of the indicator may vary depending on your car's make and model.
The electrical warning light is typically in the shape of a battery and usually, has a plus and minus sign on it. If this light comes on and stays on, it means there is a problem with the car's electrical charging system. For example, if your battery has failed, your car won't start because it isn't getting any electricity. Your car's alternator plays a crucial role in powering your car. It keeps the battery charged and converts the engine's energy into electricity. The resulting current powers everything in your car that requires electricity, such as your headlights.
The brake warning indicator is most often indicated by an exclamation mark with a circle around it. This indicator can come on for simple reasons, such as having your handbrake up after you start driving. Putting the handbrake down will cause the brake warning light to turn off if that's the culprit. Aside from having the handbrake active while driving, the brake warning indicator usually means there's a problem with the car's brake system. Low brake fluid is a common reason the brake warning indicator turns on.
The oil warning light looks sort of like a genie's bottle with a drop of liquid coming from the spout. When this light turns on it typically means that your oil pressure is low. Reduced oil pressure can occur if your oil pump fails, or your filter becomes blocked. Your engine must have enough oil to run properly, so it's crucial that you take your car into a car repair shop immediately if this indicator light turns on. If you ignore the warning indicator and continue to drive with low oil pressure your engine could die completely.