What Do These Dashboard Lights Mean?

Dashboard Lights Definitions

For most drivers, a check engine light turning on is frustrating and confusing. Not all warning lights are universal, and some have different meanings. If you are not 100% sure, always refer to your owner’s manual for what the light indicates. Many lights indicate that a problem has occurred inside the vehicle. A code reader or scan tool can help determine the part that needs to be repairing. Given these points, if any dashboard lights are on, visit Thorold Auto Parts Service Department!

The check engine light is suggestive of a host of malfunctions. Below are the most common causes:

Oxygen Sensor

The primary function is to monitor how much fuel is burning. The sensor will reduce your gas mileage.

Faulty or Loose Gas Cap

Can cause fuel vapour to leak and activate the light. In case, always make sure your gas cap is securely tight.

Catalytic Converter

The primary function is to reduce exhaust gases. If this part breaks, you will notice a decrease in gas mileage, or you may lose power when accelerating.

Mass Air Flow Sensor 

The sensor tells the car how much fuel to add based on the air coming in through the engine. A faulty sensor can cause the vehicle to stall and decrease gas mileage.

Spark Plugs and Wires

Bad plugs can cause misfires; you may feel a jolt in acceleration when this happens.

Break Warning Light

If this dashboard lights up, it could mean you have forgotten to release the parking brake on your car. If the light remains on after the parking brake is released or it comes on when you apply the brakes, there is something wrong with the braking system. The hydraulic pressure in the car has been lost on one side of the braking system. It could also mean that the brake fluid level is dangerously low (this can be caused by a leak somewhere). Regardless, the fluid in the master cylinder should be checked. Adding fluid may temporarily cause the light to go out, but once the new fluid has leaked out, the light will come on again. t is wise to have this system checked immediately.

Brake Light

Tire Pressure Light

The warning light should come on for approximately one second when the ignition is first turned on. This is for a bulb check. After this, it should go out if all of the tires are at the right pressure and no faults are in the system.
A warning light is not required to come on until a tire is 25% underinflated. But, you should be checking your tire pressure regularly.
If your warning light illuminates, the first thing you can do is check the pressure in all of the tires. After inflating all tires to the recommended pressure, drive the car for a couple of minutes so the system can reset. If the light stays on after, it may need reset at a repair shop. If the light is flashing, it may be due to a fault in the system.

Tire Pressure Light

Oil Light

This light indicates your engine has dangerously low oil pressure (it may be leaking or burning oil) or the oil pressure sending unit that triggers the warning light has failed. Do not keep driving! Let the engine sit and check the oil level. Add oil if it’s low and have the car checked immediately.

Oil Light

Temperature Light

When this light comes on, your engine is overheating. Do not keep driving! If you continue to drive, you can cause serious engine damage. Also, there is a problem with the cooling system of your car.

Temperature Light

Abs Light – (Anti-Lock Brake System)

If this light comes on, it means there is a fault with the ABS in the car. It means the vehicle has failed its self-diagnosis test. There may be some metal shavings or dirt on the sensors, or you may have a faulty sensor. With this in mind, you should have it checked by a qualified technician as soon as possible.

ABS Light

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