Car Care Tip – Is your car trying to tell you something? Common Warning Lights and what they mean

diagnostic light on dashboard

Modern cars are becoming much better at monitoring themselves lately and letting you know when there is a problem. They communicate this with picture signals and warning lights to let you know something just isn’t right. But have you ever had a warning light and you weren’t completely sure what it meant? Well here is a list of the most important, and most dangerous signs for you to see. When it is just a regular maintenance issue or when should safely pull to the side of the ride to avoid those costly repair bills. A lot of time and money can be saved my listening to your car.

Here are the most important warning lights you should watch out for:

1) Engine warning light

A major safety issue with your vehicle is the engine. When your engine light is illuminated, it will soon be pretty obvious why and you will see some unusual symptoms happening. Lack of power and the engine going into “safe mode” is one of the most common. At this point you should not keep driving it. Pull safely to the side of the road and give an expert a call to find out what is going on. Towing in will save you money here in the long term as opposed to pushing the engine too much. Sometimes, these issues are only minor but they need addressing it the most correct, safest manor possible. Driving around longer with these issues can cause long-term damage to your vehicle.

2) Brake system / brake fluid warning light

Safety has always been our biggest concern here at Wilhelm, and when you talk about safety, one thing comes to mind. Brakes. If this signal is appearing on your dash, you are best to get it checked out straight away and avoid any potential danger. Brake jobs usually aren’t overly expensive and without doubt are a necessity, If you are in any doubt, get them checked out by an expert before getting back behind the wheel.

3) Coolant warning light

If this warning light it showing, it means you engine is in danger of overheating and causing a lot of damage and costly repairs. Without enough coolant, the engine can be caused some real damage. If the gauge is well into the red, then the engine is already overheating and you need to stop driving whenever it is safe to do so. These issues are commonly linked to bigger problems such as head gasket failure. Although that is not always the case it is better to be safe than sorry. It could just be something reasonably minor like a leak in the system somewhere but it is best to get it looked over to avoid costly repairs.

4) Oil warning light

Similar to the coolant warning light, oil Is vitally important to the engine running correctly. If the light flashes up, that means oil level is too low or the temperature of the oil is getting too high. The bigger issue here is the low oil level in the vehicle. If this is the case, there may be a bigger issue to address. The result of something like this would be for the engine to stop working and therefore an expensive repair bill. If this issue is addressed early, it can be monitored and repaired before a major issue occurs.

5) Airbag warning light

Airbag features are obviously a necessity it todays vehicles. All cars have to go through a tough safety procedure before they are allowed anywhere near our roads. The Air bag is a key component to the driver’s safety in their vehicle. If you see an issue with your airbag and your dashboard has a light like this one, go get it checked out. A faulty air bag may not go off in the event of a crash and when you need it to protect you. Other common factors include the airbag going off at an irrelevant moment causing potential major implications to your vision on the road.

6) Power steering

Power steering is another issue we cannot take any risk with. Imagine driving at high speed on a highway and you have to change direction quick to avoid a slower vehicle. Our cars needs to be ready for any. If the power steering goes “heavy” and this warning light comes on, it is best to get it checked out. Sometimes the fluid is just low and sometimes it is a more detailed problem. Either way, best to get it checked out.

7) Battery charge warning light

In Arizona, battery issues are more common because of the hot summer climate. Batteries usually last for about 2-3 years but there can be different cases. The last thing you want is being stuck somewhere if your car will not start due to a faulty or damaged battery. Something worth keeping an eye on, especially during the extremely HOT summer months in Arizona.

This could be to do with many issues such as;

  • Faulty battery
  • Bad connection
  • Faulty alternator
  • If your car isn’t charging its battery when it is in motion, then it could be the alternator.

Worst-case scenario, the light could be on due to an alternator drive belt braking.

8) Tire pressure monitor warning light

This warning light allows you to monitor the air pressure in the tiresl. For a number of reasons it is important to keep an eye on this. You may have an issue with one tire, or multiple tires. It could even be an issue with one of the sensors. You may have ran over a nail and the tire is low. Either way, best to get it looked at

9) DPF / Diesel particulate filter warning light

This is a problem that is specific to Diesel based vehicles. Most modern diesel vehicles are fitted with a particular filter to protect it. It could be causing damage to your engine but also could be releasing toxic clouds to the environment. Something we always want to try and avoid.

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