Learn what the icons and colors of the warning lights on the dashboard mean!

Learn what the icons and colors of the warning lights on the dashboard mean!

On the instrument panel of any car, a series of warning lights can illuminate at any time. Depending on the color and icon, they can signal the need for immediate attention to a specific problem with your vehicle. And while they may seem mysterious to some drivers, understanding and interpreting the meaning of these lights is vital to ensuring the safety and performance of the vehicle. In addition to being an alert, the warning lights on the panel are also an effective way to detect potential problems before they become serious - and to perform preventive maintenance on the vehicle effectively. Today, we'll help you understand the meaning of the colors and icons of the warning lights on the panel, and explain what steps should be taken when they come on. Keep reading to find out!

What is the importance of the lights on the car's panel?

The lights on the car's panel are small encoded messages intended to alert the driver to situations that deserve their immediate or future attention. They are crucial for road safety and the proper functioning of the vehicle, primarily informing about 5 themes:

Problem Alert: Warning lights are designed to alert the driver to issues that may jeopardize safe driving, from mechanical problems to adverse weather conditions.

Vehicle and Occupant Safety: Knowing how to read and understand each illuminated light on the panel ensures the safety of all vehicle occupants, allowing for a proactive approach to issues.

Preventive Maintenance: Warning lights may signal the need for preventive maintenance.

Avoiding Serious Breakdowns: Panel lights also alert to immediate problems. Ignoring them can lead to more serious issues.

Situational Awareness: Understanding warning lights also helps drivers maintain adequate situational awareness while on the road. By recognizing the vehicle's warning signals, drivers can make informed decisions about when to stop, ensuring safer and more reliable driving.

The Meaning of Colors

The first indicator that can help us understand the severity of the situation when a dashboard light comes on is the color. Warning lights can take on four different colors, and consequently, four distinct meanings:

Red: It is the color that alerts the driver to the presence of actual danger to the car's safety. It indicates a critical and urgent situation that requires immediate attention. Typically, it indicates problems in important vehicle systems, such as the engine or safety systems.

Yellow or Orange: Icons of this color inform about conditions that are not immediately critical but still require the driver's attention. These colors usually signal problems or conditions that may affect the performance or efficiency of the vehicle.

Blue: Blue lights are not as well-known, but they are mainly used to indicate the operation or activation of specific vehicle systems, such as high beam headlights.

White or Green: White (or green) indicates that a particular system is active or operating normally.

Understanding the meaning of the colors of warning lights is essential for correctly interpreting the vehicle's warnings and responding appropriately to different situations on the road. But what do the icons mean then?

Meaning of Dashboard Lights

Meaning of Red Lights

     1. Handbrake: Indicates that the handbrake is engaged. Before starting the journey, you should release it. However, please note that this light on the dashboard does not guarantee that the handbrake is fully engaged, so make sure of it before leaving the car on slopes or inclined roads.

     2. Seatbelt: This light illuminates when the driver or another passenger is not wearing their seatbelt. Remember that the use of seatbelts is mandatory.

     3. Doors Open: When this light comes on, it means that one or more doors are open. Immediately stop the vehicle and correct this situation.

     4. Coolant Temperature: This light comes on when the engine overheats, or when the coolant level is below the recommended level. Take the car to a workshop to check the oil levels and troubleshoot any issues.

     5. Battery: The alternator, the part that charges the battery, is not functioning properly. It does not pose a direct danger to driving, but when immobilizing the vehicle, you may not be able to restart it.

     6. Hazard Lights: Indicates to other drivers that the vehicle is immobilized or in an emergency situation.

     7. Oil: The oil pressure, at the pump outlet, is below the minimum required to lubricate the engine. Driving with this light on can cause serious damage to the engine.

     8. Airbag: There is a fault in the airbag safety system. You should repair it as soon as possible.

Meaning of Yellow Lights

     9. Traction Control: Used to correct the lateral movements of the car, preventing the driver from losing control of the vehicle. If this light comes on, it means that the command is off and should be analyzed.

   10. Injection System: When this light comes on, it is because irregular parameters have been recorded in the engine, injection system, ignition, or exhaust pipe. Seek mechanical assistance as soon as possible.

   11. Low Fuel: Indicates that the car has entered reserve, meaning it has low fuel.

Meaning of Green and Blue Lights

   12. Headlights: This symbol indicates that the low beams are on.

   13. Turn Signals: Used to indicate changes in direction.

   14. High Beams: Indicates that the high beams are on.

Airbag Light Illuminated on the Dashboard

As previously discussed, the illuminated airbag light on the dashboard usually indicates a problem or a malfunction in the airbag system. Since this system ensures your safety while driving on the road, this light should not be underestimated. To find out if you can drive with the airbag light on, read our article "Can the car be driven with the airbag light on?".

One of the main reasons for the airbag light to come on is the failure of the airbag tapes. Typically, restoring the proper functioning of the airbag system involves replacing the airbag tapes. But to learn more about all the reasons why this light has come on on the dashboard and how to repair it, read our article "Airbag light on? Discover the causes and how to repair!".

When it comes to repairing airbag tapes, it is important to emphasize that leaving repairs and solutions in the hands of qualified and experienced professionals in airbag systems is essential. Also, remember that acquiring quality airbag tapes is crucial to ensure your safety. Therefore, look for reliable suppliers. By investing in your automotive safety, you are also protecting yourself and all your passengers while enjoying the roads with peace of mind and confidence.

At Nova Luz, you will find a selection of the best airbag tapes for over 40 car brands. Count on a national team of excellence, with numerous models of airbag tapes in stock and with free returns. If you prefer, you can schedule your appointment at our warehouse in Vialonga, where we replace the airbag tape in 40 minutes and in the presence of the customer!

If you need help or advice, do not hesitate to contact us.

Our team of experts will be happy to assist you.

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