Your vehicle has a computer system that uses the dashboard to alert you of any issues. These lights provide vital information about how your car is functioning, helping you prevent long-term damage. No one ever expects the dashboard lights to illuminate, and they may not be completely familiar with their meaning. Does the check engine light mean you need maintenance right away, or is it an issue that's easily solvable? Below is a brief description of a few standard dashboard lights to help you decipher what may be the underlying issue.
The battery light is pretty easy to spot because it's a small rectangle with a plus and minus sign on the inside. If the battery light is on, the battery may need to be charged or replaced. In some circumstances, there may be a problem with the alternator. The alternator and battery work hand-in-hand to supply electricity to the battery. An issue with either of them will cause the battery light to shine.
An oil canister light can indicate a problem with oil pressure. Engine oil lubricates the engine and, over time, can become low and gritty. Without the engine oil's lubrication properties, the engine's metal parts can grind together, causing it to overheat. It's essential to stay on top of regular oil changes because significant engine damage can occur without them. If the oil is too low, the engine light will come on. However, an oil light shouldn't be ignored. If your engine light comes on, it's best to reach out to an automotive specialist.
The check engine light can come on for a variety of reasons. If the gas cap is loose, the check engine light will come on to prevent gas vapors from leaking out. In severe cases, the spark plugs can be worn, and the engine may be misfiring. A check engine light that remains on should be inspected because a small issue left unattended can mean unreliability and costly repairs in the future.
Tire Pressure Light
Your vehicle is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system. It will notify you if your tires are overinflated or underinflated. The tire pressure light looks similar to an exclamation point. If the tire pressure light comes on, use a tire gauge to check each tire's pressure. The recommended tire pressure amount is located on the inside door panel on the driver side door. Your engine has fast-moving metal parts that generate a lot of heat. The radiator and other essential components of the cooling system work together to regulate the engine's temperature. If the coolant is low, the motor oil is gritty, or the thermostat has failed, the engine can overheat. The temperature warning light will alert you of extreme engine temperatures that can damage your vehicle. If the temperature light comes on, pull over, and allow your car to cool off when it's safe to do so. A recurring temperature light should be inspected by a professional.
If you notice an indicator light that is not one of the above, your vehicle's owner's manual should have a fully comprehensive list with detailed information. If you have a light that needs inspecting, Tri Star Automotive works on all vehicle makes and models. Our technicians are passionate automotive experts who have ASE certifications. They also continuously receive training to stay up to date with equipment and technology to serve you better.
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