15 Car Dashboard Warning Lights For Beginners


Those who have just passed their driving license test, our congratulations to all of them. But, are you still uncertain of your car’s warning lights on the dashboard? If you are, then carry on reading.

Car warning lights are essential for drivers to understand. Each symbol represents a specific part of your vehicle, and they indicate a malfunction.

Since these warning lights are used universally on every type of vehicle, it should be known to everyone who drives on a regular basis. Some of the warnings need immediate attention and should not be ignored, as you might end up in a life or death situation.

In this guide, we have compiled a list of 15 car dashboard warning lights for beginners so that they can rectify the malfunctionings as quickly as possible.

1. Engine Temperature Warning Light

If you see this, then you need to immediately park your car in safety, and open the hood. Your car engine is overheating at this point due to a breakdown of the cooling system. It is also possible that the antifreeze coolant has been vaporized, and you have to refill it.

2. Oil Pressure Warning Light

The oil pressure warning light indicates that your car’s oil pressure system is degraded, or the oil pump isn’t properly being lubricated. Without proper maintenance, the car engine will simply stop working one day.

3. Battery Charge Warning Light

Your car’s battery is low on charge, or it’s not charging as intended. It also might be a loose battery cable or a non-functioning alternator belt. If you are on a road trip on a deserted place, do yourself a favor and turn off all electric accessories in your vehicle except for the headlights.

4. Brake Warning Light

The brake warning light notifies you about the handbrake. If it shows up all the time, then it probably indicates the loss of hydraulic pressure of the brake system. Or, the brake fluid in your car’s master cylinder is leaking. Try to send your vehicle to a repair shop as quickly as possible, as this issue is a safety hazard.

5. Tire Pressure Warning Light

One or multiple of your car’s tires are low on pressure. You should get to a petrol pump station nearby and fill-up the required amount of air in the tires.

6. Traction Control Light

When you are driving on a slippery road affected by adverse weather conditions (rain or snow), your vehicle’s wheel-speed sensors run a diagnosis to check whether a car wheel is spinning faster than the others.

To maintain enough traction on the road, your car’s traction control system gets activated, which is indicated by the traction control light.

7. Distance Warning Light

When the distance warning light is lit up, it means that another vehicle or a large object is too close to your car. If you don’t see anything in front of your vehicle, then it might be some dirt blocking the sensors.

8. Check Engine or Malfunction Indicator Warning Light

The check engine or malfunction indicator light (MIL) indicates a malfunction related to your car’s engine. If the light flashes continuously, there is a severe engine issue. In case you encounter this problem, get your vehicle to a qualified repair shop immediately.

9. Airbag Warning Light

If you see the airbag warning light, then you should get it fixed as soon as possible. Alternatively, the flashing light indicates a fault in the airbag, as well as the seatbelt system. Your car’s airbag might not deploy in an accident, which can result in severe injuries or possibly, death.

10. Seat Belt Reminder Light

Reminds the driver and passengers to wear the seat belt. If you are already wearing the seatbelt, make sure to latch it properly. According to a survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wearing seatbelts is one of the most effective ways to reduce fatal injuries in accidents.

11. Gas/Fuel Cap Warning Light

After filling up fuel, you might see this warning indicator on your car dashboard. Make sure you have correctly tightened up the gas/fuel cap.

12. Catalytic Converter Warning Light

If you don’t know about catalytic converter in your car, it is an exhaust emission control device that combines toxic gases and hydrocarbon molecules in a redox reaction to produce less harmful pollutants.

This warning light indicates that the catalytic converter is overheating or not functioning at all. It can significantly affect the engine’s overall performance and result in a total breakdown.

13. Washer Fluid Reminder Light  

It reminds you to refill your vehicle’s windshield washer fluid reservoir. You should not use tap water as washer fluid, as heavy minerals can clog up the washer jets. Try to stick with aftermarket washer fluids, or use distilled water as an alternative.

14. Brake Bulb Failure Warning Light

When you see this warning light, one or both of your car’s exterior brake light bulbs are probably dead. The defective bulbs should be replaced immediately.

15. Low Fuel Indicator

Your vehicle is running low on fuel. Before any further commutes, take your time and head over to the closest petrol pump station to refill the fuel tank.

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