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Vehicles have numerous system warnings that signal a variety of problems. Picture: SUPPLIED
Vehicles have numerous system warnings that signal a variety of problems. Picture: SUPPLIED

Vehicle warning lights could be alerting you to a serious problem and if you ignore these signs, excessive damage could be caused to the vehicle. These warning lights usually indicate that your car needs maintenance or a service.

Some warning lights are more serious than others, and the colour of the light usually signifies how urgent the problem is, says MotorHappy, a supplier of motor management solutions and car insurance options.

Unsurprisingly, red warning signs are often the most serious and should be dealt with immediately, as this can indicate a safety issue or serious mechanical problem. The yellow warning signs usually indicate that a car service or vehicle maintenance is needed. However, if a yellow warning light flashes, it should be attended to immediately. Green and blue dashboard lights usually simply let the driver know that a system is active and working.

Red warning lights: Serious and should be looked at asap

  • Check engine light: This light warns of any engine-related issues and can include something as small as a loose cap or something more serious such as a misfire.
  • Temperature warning light: Usually looks like a thermometer with wavy lines underneath it. This light is a serious warning, as it indicates the engine is overheating and there could be a cooling system problem.
  • Oil warning light: This indicates low oil pressure, which means there is not enough oil in your engine to lubricate all moving parts. If this light comes on you should turn your engine off to prevent damage from occurring.
  • Brake warning light: It indicates something is wrong with the brakes or braking system, and could cause you to have trouble stopping your vehicle. Attend to it urgently.
  • Battery charging light: This light indicates something is wrong with your charging system, and your battery could be in critically low condition. It’s important to have your battery checked.


Orange warning lights: Car maintenance

  • Tyre pressure warning light: Not all vehicles have this warning light. The symbol indicates that not all tyres are at the same pressure, or at the minimum requirements of tyre pressure or a complete deflation.
  • ABS (antilock braking system) warning light: If this light appears on the dashboard, it indicates that your antiskid braking system has failed and you should brake cautiously until the problem has been attended to.


Green and blue lights: Not problematic

  • Cruise control light: This light is indicated as a small speedometer with an arrow, to indicate that cruise control is activated at a permanent speed, until the driver disables it.
  • Auto engine start light: This light looks like a shoe that has been tilted at a 45 degree angle and indicates the engine will auto start again once you take your foot off the brake or clutch.

The best way to avoid problems with your vehicle is to ensure your car services and vehicle maintenance are up to date. 


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