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3 min read

Understanding The Dash Lights On Your Vehicle

By Bill DeBoer on Apr 13, 2021 11:45:00 AM

dashboard warning lights

With April being one of the car care awareness months, we thought it would be a great time to talk to you about the most important dash lights on your vehicle. The dash lights can be very confusing, and it’s not uncommon for people to refer to their owner’s manual when they see a dash light to know what it means. The use of symbols to indicate issues can be convenient and confusing at the same time, so we want to help clarify any confusing ones for you.

Why You Need To Know What Your Dash Lights Mean

Knowing what your dash lights mean is important because you need to understand what to do if they come on. Sometimes the issue isn’t urgent, and you can take your vehicle into the auto shop at your convenience. Other times you need to stop driving the vehicle immediately and get it serviced.

Ten Important Dash Lights

Know what your vehicle is trying to tell you with your dash lights.We’ve broken down the top ten most important and common dash lights you could see on your vehicle at any time:

  • Oil Pressure - this is a red light that indicates the vehicle should be stopped immediately and checked out.
  • Tire Warning - this is a yellow light which is a basic warning that can be driven on usually until you have a chance to check the tire pressure.
  • Engine Temperature - this is a red light that usually means you need to stop and get the vehicle checked out quickly.
  • Traction Control - you can drive when this yellow light is on, but have it looked at when you have a chance.
  • Anti-Lock - similar to traction control, this yellow light means the anti-lock feature is malfunctioning and should be looked at.
  • Battery - when this red light comes on, you likely need to have your battery replaced immediately.
  • Check Engine - this yellow light could mean there’s a critical issue, especially if it’s flashing.
  • Low Fuel - this usually starts as a yellow light and indicates that it’s time to fill up with gas.
  • Airbag - this yellow light is of low importance, but should get looked at for safety reasons. 
  • Brake - this red light comes on if the emergency brake is on or if the brake fluid is lower than what it should be.

Call DeBoer’s Auto If You See A Dash Light In Your Vehicle

If you have any questions about what a dash light on your vehicle means, don’t hesitate to reach out to DeBoer’s Auto. We can attempt to diagnose the issue over the phone with you and can tell you the next steps to take, so contact us at any time for assistance.


Bill DeBoer

Written by Bill DeBoer

William J. DeBoer (Bill Jr.) is Co-owner and Vice President at DeBoer’s Auto. As the company’s General Manager, Bill has been responsible for bringing innovations in daily operations to the full-service, high-tech auto repair facility for 20+ years. Passionate about computers from an early age, Bill’s interest in technology gravitated to cars while he was in college. By obtaining a Certificate in Automotive Technology followed by a B.S. in Business Management from Penn State, Bill was able to fuse his interests into a car technology specialization and join the family business shortly thereafter.